Nevada Telecommunications Association Monthly Newsletter
Serving the Industry for over 57 Years
Have a Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year!!!
Best wishes from the NTA to all of you. Hoping 2015 is the greatest year ever!!!
Congratulations to Corning Optical Communications
Learn more about Corning Optical Communications by clicking the NTA Associate of the Month photo, top right of any NTA website page.
The 2015 Nevada Legislative Session starts Monday February 2nd.
See 78th Nevada Legislative Session below to view the list of BDRs and Bills the NTA is tracking.
Fifty U.S. cities bond together to home-grow broadband
By Nancy Scola The Washington Post There is a club of U.S. mayors fixated on improving the way broadband Internet works in their cities. And, while it's new, it's growing. Called Next Century Cities, the group added Medina County, Ohio, this week and now numbers 50 cities (and the occasional county). That makes 50 municipalities now turning their attention to understanding how to best bring broadband to their citizens, whether that's figuring out how to build out Internet connections to historic buildings or passing bonds to pay for new fiber networks. Complete Story [Source: Washington Watch, 12/11/2014]
After Sony, North Korean hackers may target telecoms and utilities
The extensive cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment demonstrates that North Korea has the capability to disrupt the online operations of telecoms and utilities, according to defectors from the secretive nation. "North Korea's ultimate goal in cyberstrategy is to be able to attack national infrastructure of South Korea and the United States," says Kim Heung-kwang, a computer science professor who left North Korea a decade ago. "The hacking of Sony Pictures is similar to previous attacks that were blamed on North Korea and is a result of training and efforts made with the goal of destroying infrastructure." Reuters (12/19) [Source: USTelecom dailyLead, 12/19/2014]
White Paper Finds Decline in Rate-of-Return Carriers Financial State
The Rural Broadband Alliance announced on December 22, 2014, Harold Furchtgott-Roth and Kathleen Wallman released a white paper entitled An Assessment of the Operational and Financial Health Of Rate-of-Return Telecommunications Companies in More Than 700 Study Areas: 2007-2012. The study concluded the operational and financial health of the rural rate-of-return industry has been declining since 2007, and that the decline was more markedly adverse in the period 2011-2012 following implementation of the Transformation Order. The study is based on an analysis of data examining 705 rural rate-of-return carrier study areas, and is based on publicly available data maintained by NECA. RBA said the data demonstrate that investment by small rural rate-of-return carriers slowed significantly after the release of the 2011Transformation Order. The study was partially underwritten by a grant from the RBA. [Source: Washington Watch, 12/22/2014]
FCC Releases CAF Phase II Order
The FCC released the CAF Phase II Program Report and Order on December 18, 2014, that was adopted at its December 11, 2014 Open Meeting. For rate-of-return carriers, the Commission adopted its proposal to freeze the NACPL and use an adjustment factor on all recipients' High Cost Loop Support payments to satisfy the overall fund cap, and adopted a process for periodic determination of whether an unsubsidized competitor provides voice and broadband service across 100 percent of an RLEC service area and how support would be eliminated in those cases. The FCC required companies receiving CAF Phase II support for fixed broadband to provide at least 10/1 Mbps broadband service, increasing the required speed from the current 4/1 Mbps, made changes to the framework for the offer of model-based support to price cap carriers, and addressed where Phase II support will be available, both for the offer of model-based support to price cap carriers and the subsequent Phase II competitive bidding process. The FCC also forbore from price cap carriers' obligation to offer voice service in certain circumstances. [Source: Washington Watch, 12/19/2014]
FCC Announces First Quarter 2015 Proposed Universal Service Contribution Factor
The FCC's Office of Managing Director released a Public Notice on December 15, 2014, announcing that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the first quarter of 2015 will be 16.8 percent, up from 16.1 percent in the previous quarter. [Source: Washington Watch, 12/16/2014]
FCC Releases E-rate Modernization Second Report and Order
The FCC released a Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration on December 19, 2014, increasing the E-rate spending cap from $2.4 billion to $3.9 billion. The Order also allows schools and libraries to build broadband facilities themselves when it is the most cost-effective option; provides an incentive for state support of last-mile broadband facilities through a match from E-rate of up to 10 percent of the cost of construction; and requires carriers that receive subsidies from the High Cost program to offer high-speed broadband to schools and libraries located in geographic areas receiving those subsidies at rates reasonably comparable to similar services in urban areas. [Source: Washington Watch, 12/22/2014]
FCC Announces Release of FCC Forms 499
The Wireline Competition Bureau released a Public Notice on December 23, 2014, announcing the release of Form 499-A and accompanying instructions to be used in 2015 to report 2014 revenues, and Form 499-Q with instructions to be used in 2015 to report projected collected revenues on a quarterly basis. The Bureau indicated that due to the de minimis nature of the revisions to Forms 499-A and 499-Q and accompanying instructions, it did not separately issue a Public Notice seeking specific comment on the revisions. The revised FCC Forms and the accompanying instructions will be available soon on USAC's web site at http://www.usac.org/cont/tools/forms/default.aspx. [Source: Washington Watch, 12/24/2014]
NTA Bill Tracking
Democratic Senators Send Letter to Republican Senators on Net Neutrality
Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), et al. sent a letter to Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) on December 18, 2014, to state that any reforms made to the Communications Act must be fully consistent with protective net neutrality principles. They said net neutrality rules must contain at least four essential elements: prohibiting fast lanes; preventing discrimination against and blocking of lawful content; prohibiting throttling; and increasing transparency. [Source: Washington Watch, 12/23/2014]
Chairman Wheeler Responds to Congress on Open Internet
Chairman Wheeler responded to a letter from Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) on November 19, 2014, who suggested a hybrid approach for open Internet rules. Chairman Wheeler said there are three bright lines for any open Internet rules: no blocking, no throttling, and no fast lanes. Chairman Wheeler also responded to Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), who urged the FCC to adopt a comprehensive set of open Internet rules that apply to both fixed and mobile broadband services. Chairman Wheeler agreed with Rep. Eshoo that any rules adopted must be based on solid legal ground, and agreed with concerns about providers blocking or degrading lawful content and Internet traffic. He also said he opposes fast lanes that degrade the quality of the consumer's experience or create an artificial structure that interferes with the virtuous cycle of the Internet ecosystem. [Source: Washington Watch, 12/05/2014]
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