Today: FCC Seeks Comment on NECA Average Schedule, New Hampshire Approves New Fund Under FairPoint WPP, FCC Waives Number Assignment Rule For Hurricane Irma, FCC Activates DIRS
FCC Seeks Comment On NECA Average Schedule
The FCC is seeking comment on the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc.’s (NECA) 2018 Modification of the Average Schedule Universal Service High Cost Loop Support Formula. Comments are due October 5, 2017; reply comments are due October 20, 2017. The filing contains proposed modifications to the formula used to calculate interstate universal service fund high cost loop expense adjustments for average schedule companies. Under the proposed formula, annual payments to average schedule companies will total approximately $6.45 million payable to 99 average schedule study areas in 2018. According to NECA, these payments reflect the maintenance of the cap on the overall fund size. In comparison, payments in 2017 under the current formula are expected to amount to $6.03 million paid to 92 study areas. The proposed payments represent an increase of $0.42 million, about 7%, compared to current payments. Read the full NECA filing here. If approved, the new formula would be in effect from January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018.
New Hampshire Approves New Fund Under FairPoint WPP
The PUC of New Hampshire designates the Telecommunications Relay Service Trust Fund as the recipient for payments in lieu of bill credits under the FairPoint Wholesale Performance Plan (WPP). The prior recipient of such payments, the Telecommunications Planning and Development Fund, was dissolved by the legislature. The PUC said such payments should be accounted for and made to the TRS Fund separately from FairPoint's assessment payments that are based on its access lines.
Do you need more details regarding this New Hampshire fund?
FCC Activates DIRS, AGAIN
The FCC announced it was once again activating its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS), this time in response to Hurricane Irma. DIRS is a voluntary, web-based system that communications providers, including wireless, wireline, broadcast, cable and VoIP providers can use to report communications infrastructure status and situational awareness information during times of crisis. Counties of Interest for this activation are:
- Puerto Rico: Aguadilla, Aguas Buenas, Arecibo, Barceloneta, Bayamon, Caguas, Camuy, Canovanas, Carolina, Catano, Ceiba, Corozal, Culebra, Dorado, Fajardo, Florida, Guaynabo, Gurabo, Hatillo, Humacao, Isabela, Juncos, Las Piedras, Loiza, Luquillo, Manati, Maunabo, Morovis, Naguabo, Naranjito, Quebradillas, Rio Grande, San Juan, San Lorenzo, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Trujillo Alto, Vega Alta, Vega Baja, Vieques, Yabucoa
- Virgin Islands: St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas
The FCC requests that communications providers that provide service to any areas listed above expeditiously submit and update information regarding, inter alia, the status of their communications equipment, restoration efforts, and power (i.e., whether they are using commercial power or back-up power) through DIRS at https://www.fcc.gov/nors/disaster/. For providers that participate in DIRS, the separate Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) obligations are suspended for the duration of the DIRS activation with respect to outages in the counties where DIRS has been activated. Reports are requested beginning at 10:00 a.m. on September 7, 2017, and every day after that by 10:00 a.m. until DIRS is deactivated.
FCC Waives Number Assignment Rule For Hurricane Irma
The FCC also waived its number assignment rules to allow service providers in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the State of Florida, and any other states declared states of emergency as a result of Hurricane Irma, and the numbering administrators that support them, to deviate from the FCC’s rule requiring service providers to age numbers for no more than 90 days before making the numbers available for reassignment (47 CFR §52.15(f)(ii)). This will allow carriers in the affected areas, upon customers’ request, to disconnect temporarily customers’ telephone service to avoid billing issues, and then reinstate the same numbers when service is reconnected in those areas. The waiver is in effect immediately and until June 4, 2018. In addition, during the period of service interruption, the FCC encouraged service providers to port telephone numbers geographically outside a rate center to the extent it is technically feasible and to waive call forwarding, message center, and voicemail service charges for affected customers, to the extent lawfully permitted, until the customers’ service is restored.
The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Briefing.