Nevada Telecommunications Association Monthly Newsletter
May 2017, Volume 175 Serving the Industry for over 59 Years Editor: Mike Eifert
Annually the NTA accepts applications for our two scholarships, the John and Mary Louise Christian Memorial Scholarship and Nevada Telecommunications Association Customer Scholarship. This year we received a plethora of outstanding applicants and we would like to thank all those that submitted applications and congratulate our scholarship winners!
2017 John and Mary Louise Christian Memorial Scholarship Recipients
2017 Nevada Telecommunications Association Customer Scholarship Recipients
This month's NTA Associate of the Month is Nor-Cal Battery!
Learn more about Nor-Cal Battery and what they do by clicking the NTA Associate of the Month photo, top right of any NTA website page.
2017 annual access tariff filing incorporates USF Reform Order
The Tariff, Rates, Costs, Average Schedules and Technology group is fully involved in the preparation and filing of NECA's annual access charge tariff in June. In this year's filing, we will continue to address and incorporate the effects of the March 30, 2016 USF Rate-of-Return Reform Order on access rates and universal service support. Read more... [Source: NECA Access Newsletter, 04/27/17]
CenturyLink offers price-for-life deal on Nevada broadband
CenturyLink is apparently seeking to retain customers in Nevada by offering a lifetime pricing guarantee on three of its broadband speed tiers. CenturyLink has not said whether it will extend the offer to other regions. [Source: USTelecom dailyLead, 04/24/17]
Pai Circulating NPRM Reclassifying Broadband as Title I
Chairman Ajit Pai gave a speech at the Newseum on April 26, 2017, announcing he is circulating an NPRM to return to the light-touch regulatory framework for the internet. He indicated the NPRM will be considered at the Commission's May 2017 Open Meeting, and it will propose: returning internet broadband access service to the classification of Title I information service; eliminating the so-called internet conduct standard; and seeking comment on how the FCC should approach the so-called bright-line rules adopted in 2015. Pai also issued two fact sheets: Internet Regulation: Myths vs. Facts and Restoring Internet Freedom for All Americans, which provide background information on internet regulation and the benefits of his new approach. [Source: Washington Watch, 04/27/2017]
FCC issues net neutrality notice
The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday laid out the scope of its proposal to modify or eliminate net neutrality rules after Chairman Ajit Pai said he would seek an initial vote May 18 to start the process. In seeking public comment, the FCC is asking whether to "keep, modify, or eliminate" the rules. Read more... [Source: USTelecom dailyLead, 04/28/2017]
NECA Supports Extension of Separations Freeze
comments on April 17, 2017,
supporting an extension of the current freeze of Part 36 category relationships and jurisdictional cost allocation factors for at least
18 months, pending a recommendation from the Federal-State Joint Board on Separations on comprehensive separations reform. NECA noted
the Commission is anticipating a recommendation from the Joint Board by April 2018, and suggested the Commission give the Joint Board
and the industry some breathing room by extending the freeze for a set period of time after revised separations rules are promulgated.
Pai Asks USAC to Implement E-rate Directives
Chairman Pai sent a letter to Chris Henderson, CEO of USAC, on April 18, 2017, to indicate it has come to his attention there are flaws in USAC's administration of the E-rate program, especially with development and roll-out of the online E-rate Productivity Center. Chairman Pai asked USAC to implement a number of directives, including USAC focus on administration of E-rate, full transparency to the Commission and identification of alternative options to assist applicants in the event of IT failures. Pai directed USAC to respond with its plan to address the issues by May 18, 2017. [Source: Washington Watch, 04/19/2017]
Court hands Lifeline policy back to FCC
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai won a victory when a federal appeals court agreed to let the agency, rather than the court, handle a utility regulatory group's challenge to Lifeline rules enacted under former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, like Pai, believes states should control the process. Read more... [Source: USTelecom dailyLead, 04/24/2017]
Order Amending Construction Project Limitation Issued
The FCC issued on April 21, 2017, the Order on Reconsideration it adopted at its April 20 Open Meeting granting NTCA's Petition for Reconsideration and amending the construction project limitation within section 54.303. The amendment will permit RoR carriers to report, for USF purposes, capital expenses per location up to the established per-location per-project limit, rather than disallowing all capital expenses associated with construction projects in excess of the limit. The Commission found that amending the rule will encourage carriers to plan cost-effective broadband deployment projects that include higher cost locations, while maintaining adequate incentives for the efficient use of USF funds. The Order will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. [Source: Washington Watch, 04/24/2017]
Senators Ask FCC to Make Broadband Affordable in High-Cost Rural Areas
Fifty-six senators sent a letter to Chairman Pai and Commissioners O'Rielly and Clyburn on April 11, 2017, to encourage the FCC to consider changes to the high-cost USF mechanisms to make affordable broadband available to Americans in high-cost rural areas. They claimed despite reforms last year, millions of rural consumers are still not seeing widespread affordable standalone broadband services due to insufficient USF support, and the limited USF budget also reduced the amount of funding available to carriers electing new model-based USF support, resulting in tens of thousands of rural consumers receiving slower broadband speeds than intended by the model or not gaining access to broadband at all. NTCA issued a statement on the letter. [Source: Washington Watch, 04/12/2017]
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