Nevada Telecommunications Association Newsletter

January 2018, Volume 183           Serving the Industry for over 60 Years           Editor: Mike Eifert

FCC Adopts Restoring Internet Freedom Order

     The FCC adopted at its December 14, 2017 Open Meeting a Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order in the Restoring Internet Freedom proceeding. The item, among other things: restores the classification of BIAS as an information service; reinstates the private mobile service classification of mobile BIAS; adopts transparency requirements that ISPs disclose information about their practices to consumers, entrepreneurs, and the Commission; restores broadband consumer protection authority to the FTC; and eliminates the Internet Conduct Standard. The Order will take effect upon approval by the Office of Management and Budget of the new transparency rule that requires the collection of additional information from the industry. The item is not yet released. [Source: Washington Watch, 12/14/2017]

FirstNet Persuades All States To Opt In

     FirstNet and its vendor, AT&T, have persuaded all states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, to join the first responder network, with New Hampshire reversing an earlier decision to award its contract to Rivada Networks. California and New York were among the last states to join FirstNet in the days leading up to Thursday's deadline. News releases: Government Technology online, StateScoop. [Source: USTelecom dailyLead, 12/29/2017]

FCC Enters Into Memorandum of Understanding with FTC Over Consumer Protection

     On December 11, the FCC issued a Press Release announcing the intent of the FCC and the FTC to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which the two agencies "would coordinate online consumer protection efforts following the adoption of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order." The draft MOU outlines the ways in which the FCC and FTC intend to work together to protect consumers, including:
          * The FCC will review informal complaints concerning the compliance of Internet service providers (ISPs) with the disclosure obligations set forth in the new transparency rule. Those obligations include publicly providing information concerning an ISP's practices with respect to blocking, throttling, paid prioritization, and congestion management. Should an ISP fail to make the required disclosures- either in whole or in part-the FCC will take enforcement action.
          * The FTC will investigate and take enforcement action as appropriate against ISPs concerning the accuracy of those disclosures, as well as other deceptive or unfair acts or practices involving their broadband services.
          * The FCC and the FTC will broadly share legal and technical expertise, including the secure sharing of informal complaints regarding the subject matter of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order. The two agencies also will collaborate on consumer and industry outreach and education.

     The full MOU can be downloaded here.

     The 9th Circuit is currently preparing to opine on whether or not the FTC has jurisdiction over common carriers, even when they are providing an unregulated service. It is likely that this decision will have a tangible impact on the MOU and the agencies' behavior. [Source: BloostonLaw Telecom Update, 12/14/2017]

A-CAM Companies Urge Additional Funding for A-CAM Program

     Five Washington RLECs who have accepted A-CAM support filed a letter on December 1, 2017, to ask the Commission to take action before the end of 2017 to authorize additional A-CAM funding up to $200 per month per eligible customer location. They said they have committed to defined additional broadband deployment obligations if increased funding is made available. Thirty Wisconsin RLECs and three Arizona RLECs sent similar letters. [Source: Washington Watch, 12/04/2017]

FCC Postpones Launch of National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier Until Early 2018

     The Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice on December 1, 2017, announcing the launch of the National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier will be postponed until early 2018. Originally scheduled for six initial states in December 2017, the Bureau said USAC informed it the National Verifier's systems have unresolved potential vulnerabilities that have not yet been addressed under the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002, which could impact the security of personal subscriber information. News release [Source: Washington Watch, 12/04/2017]

NTCA and WTA Submit Updated Proposal for Permitted Expenses

     NTCA and WTA filed a letter on December 20, 2017, to submit an updated version of their proposal for a rule delineating the kinds of capital investment and operating expenses that would not be considered eligible for recovery via regulated interstate rates, CAF BLS support, or HCLS support. They said the proposal is intended to meet the need for greater near-term certainty regarding whether and to what degree certain expenses are recoverable via high-cost USF support, and builds upon many accountability measures that already apply to the business of smaller operators, including a capped overall USF support budget, a separate, annually declining cap for the HCLS program, capital investment limits, overall OpEx limits, separate corporate OpEx limits, network buildout obligations, etc. They said the proposal would provide substantial assurance for the proper use of USF resources and urged the Commission to adopt the proposal. [Source: Washington Watch, 12/21/2017]

First Quarter 2018 Proposed USF Contribution Factor Is 19.5 Percent

     The FCC Managing Director issued a Public Notice on December 14, 2017, announcing the proposed universal service contribution factor for the first quarter of 2018 will be 19.5 percent, up from the current 18.8 percent. [Source: Washington Watch, 12/14/2017]

AT&T will replace TTY with RTT tech

     AT&T has selected real-time text to replace its text telephony service, which was developed in the 1960s for people who are hearing-impaired and those with speech disabilities. The RTT technology works on Android and iOS smartphones that have updated software. Full Story [Source: USTelecom dailyLead, 12/12/2017]

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January 17 - 18 2018 - WSTA - Wisconsin*s Broadband Association Broadband Forum Holiday Inn, Stevens Point, Wisconsin

January 28 - 31 2018 - Alaska Telephone Association (ATA) Winter Conference Koloa Landing Resort, Koloa (Poipu), Kauai, Hawaii

February 5, 2018 - Colordado Telecom Association Winter Meeting Denver, Colorado

February 7 - 9 2018 - Louisiana Telecommunications Association Annual Convention Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans, Louisiana

February 13, 2018 - Wyoming Telecom Association Winter Meeting Little America Hotel, Cheyenne, Wyoming

February 20 - 21 2018 - Georgia Telecommunications Association (GTA) Vendor Showcase Macon Marriott, Macon, Georgia

March 5 - 7 2018 - Iowa Communications Alliance (ICA) Annual Meeting & Expo Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center, Des Moines, Iowa

March 14, 2018 - Pennsylvania Telephone Association Small Company Meeting The Penn Stater Conference Center, State College, Pennsylvania

March 20 - 21 2018 - Telecommunications Association of Michigan (TAM) PoliTECH Radisson Hotel, Lansing, Michigan

March 26 - 28 2018 - Minnesota Telecom Alliance (MTA) Annual Convention & Trade Show Hyatt Regency, Minneapolis, Minnesota

March 26 - 28 2018 - South Carolina Telecommunications and Broadband Association Annual Convention Belmond Charleston Place Hotel, Charleston, South Carolina

April 3 - 5 2018 - Telephone Association of New England (TANE) Spring Symposium Marriott Sable Oaks, South Portland, Maine

April 8 - 10 2018 - North Carolina Telephone Cooperative Coalition Telecom Expo Pinehurst, North Carolina

April 9 - 11 2018 - Ohio Telecom Association (OTA) Annual Convention Columbus Hilton at Easton, Columbus, Ohio

April 17 - 19 2018 - California Communications Association (CalCom) Tech Expo Doubletree Resort by Hilton, Sacramento, California

April 24 - 25 2018 - Iowa Communications Alliance CyberCon Prairie Meadows Conference Center, Des Moines, Iowa

April 25 - 26 2018 - PTA - Pennsylvania Telephone Association Spring Conference The Penn Stater Conference Center, State College, Pennsylvania

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