Nevada Telecommunications Association Monthly Newsletter
July 2017, Volume 177 Serving the Industry for over 59 Years Editor: Mike Eifert
Nevada Telecommunications Association Annual Convention
Registration for our August 7th and 8th convention at Harrah's Resort is in full swing.
Preformed Line Products is our NTA Associate of the Month!
Learn more about Preformed Line Products and what they do by clicking the NTA Associate of the Month photo, top right of any NTA website page.
USAC Files USF Quarterly Contribution Base for Third Quarter 2017
USAC filed the Federal Universal Service Support Mechanism Quarterly Contribution Base for Third Quarter 2017 on June 2, 2017. The total projected collected interstate and international end-user revenue base to be used in determining the contribution factor for the USF Support Mechanisms for Third Quarter 2017 is $13,110,461,173, down from $13,615,143,917 in the previous quarter. [Source: Washington Watch, 06/06/2017]
FirstNet delivers initial state plans
FirstNet and AT&T have released the initial state plans explaining deployment of the public-safety network, and some states could begin using prioritized FirstNet broadband service shortly. The plans, distributed through online portals, describe services, coverage and subscription pricing, and future updates will include the fees for each state if they opt out. Read more... [Source: USTelecom dailyLead, 06/20/2017]
NECA Files RoR Carrier Rate Floor Data
NECA filed rate-of-return carrier rate floor data on June 30, 2017, at the rate zone level as of June 1, 2017. NECA indicated it filed this data in compliance with sections 54.313(h) and (i) of the Commission's rules and pursuant to the Protective Order in this proceeding. [Source: Washington Watch, 06/30/2017]
NTCA Discusses RLECs Offering Broadband as Private Carriage
NTCA spoke with Commissioner O'Rielly's Legal Advisor on May 31, 2017, to discuss the implications of RLECs electing private carriage treatment of broadband transmission facilities to avail themselves of relief from USF contribution obligations. NTCA urged the Commission to consider options to enable RLECs to avail themselves of the relief contemplated by the RoR Reform Order without putting at risk receipt of USF support, as also contemplated by that Order and by federal law more generally. [Source: Washington Watch, 06/06/2017]
NTCA Discusses Negative Effects of Insufficient USF Support in RLEC Areas
NTCA met with Chairman Pai's Wireline Advisor and interns on June 16, 2017, to discuss the negative effects of insufficient USF support and the ensuing unpredictable nature of the budget control mechanism on investments by RLECs and the rates paid by their consumers. NTCA urged the Commission to act on its pending Petition for Reconsideration to address such concerns so the purported goals of USF reform and the mandates of federal law may be achieved. [Source: Washington Watch, 06/21/2017]
Pai Responds to Congress on Local Service Rate Floor
Chairman Pai sent letters to Sens. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Luther Strange (R-Ala.) and Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) and Mo Brooks (R-Ala,) on June 20, 2017, in response to their letter about the local service rate floor. Pai said after several years of experience with the rate floor rule, it now appears to impose high costs on rural consumers without any corresponding federal benefit. He noted the Commission recently froze the rate floor at the current minimum rate of $18 per month and adopted an NPRM seeking comment on whether the rate floor has met its intended purposes, whether changes should be made to the current rate floor methodology, or whether it should be eliminated entirely. [Source: Washington Watch, 06/29/2017]
FCC Provides Guidance on Broadband Privacy Rules
The FCC issued an Order on June 29, 2017, to provide guidance on the FCC's privacy rules. It said the FCC's rules implementing section 222 for telecommunications carriers that were in existence prior to the 2016 Broadband Privacy Order are again in effect, pursuant to the resolution of disapproval of that Order under the Congressional Review Act. The FCC said the section 222 rules that are in effect are in Appendix A, and include the annual compliance certification and recordkeeping requirements set out in section 64.2009(e) and (c). The FCC reminded ISPs that they remain subject to section 222, but need not comply with the Commission's implementing rules as a result of the forbearance granted in the Title II Order. The FCC also dismissed as moot 11 petitions for reconsideration of the 2016 Broadband Privacy Order, noting the Order, and the rules adopted therein, are no longer in effect. News Release [Source: Washington Watch, 06/30/2017]
Senate Holds Hearing on FCC 2018 Budget Request
The Senate Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government held a hearing on June 20, 2017, on the FCC's 2018 budget request. Chairman Pai and Commissioners O'Rielly and Clyburn testified. Pai said the FCC will focus its resources on closing the digital divide, promoting innovation, protecting consumers and public safety, and reforming the FCC's processes. O'Rielly said only a dozen or so people in the Wireline Competition Bureau are working on the USF High Cost program, and said necessary changes to the USF programs have been put on hold for lack of resources. He also discussed his concerns with USAC, and discussed broadband, USF reforms and infrastructure deployment. Clyburn discussed FCC employment issues, and said future budget requests should include a dedicated account supporting IT modernization and cybersecurity needs. [Source: Washington Watch, 06/21/2017]
Pai Responds to Fischer on Affordable Broadband Access
Chairman Pai sent a letter to Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) on June 16, 2017, in response to her letter on affordable access to high-speed internet access in rural areas. Pai said despite the FCC's efforts in the 2016 Rate-of-Return Reform Order, he still hears from small carriers that the rates they have to charge exceed the rates for bundled services because of the different regulatory treatment. Pai said to provide some relief, he directed his staff to gather a punch list of lingering issues from the Order. Pai noted in May 2017, he circulated an Order on a surrogate method to avoid duplicative cost recovery and another involving charges imposed on stand-alone broadband lines, and he circulated an Order to address certain duplicative reporting requirements imposed on rural providers. [Source: Washington Watch, 06/22/2017]
Senate Holds Hearing on USF for Broadband Deployment
The Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet held a hearing entitled "The Universal Service Fund and Rural Broadband Investment" on June 20, 2017, to examine the FCC's USF and its capabilities for the deployment of broadband in rural America. Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA, testified, saying the viability and effectiveness of the USF is in serious peril. She said while the FCC took steps to provide some level of additional funding within the fixed overall USF budget for a subset of carriers that elected model-based High-Cost USF support, the funding was insufficient to achieve the goals of the model the FCC designed. She also said the problem is even more dire for those small carrier recipients of High-Cost USF that could or did not elect model support. Testimonies were also given by: Michael Balhoff; Eric Graham-C Spire; and Dr. Karen S. Rheuban. [Source: Washington Watch,06/22/2017]
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