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Inside Scoop on California Net Neutrality Policy

The past year of net neutrality policy in California has been a real roller coaster, from failed bills to passed builds, and from preliminary injunctions to stipulations. The Federal Communications Bar Association will host the key figures involved to discuss the current state of affairs in the California net neutrality policy debate, and where things go from here.... Read More

California Enacts the Nation’s First Internet of Things Security Law

On Friday, September 28, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the nation’s first Internet of Things (IoT) cybersecurity law. Although the new law presents some compliance issues, it does not appear to conflict with federal regulatory policy, unlike some have alleged regarding the state’s recent forays into net neutrality and online privacy. Therefore, the new law will likely go into effect as scheduled on January 1, 2020.... Read More

New California Pole Access Rules: A Boost for Wireless Installation

Back in 1998, California gave pole access rights to competitive carriers. With the explosion in demand for wireless broadband and the rise of 5G, California has recently expanded those access rights. The wireless companies got their pole access rights for wireless equipment in 2016. Starting at the end of this summer, competitive carriers too will have pole access rights for wireless equipment installation.... Read More

California Public Utilities Commission Issues Resolution ALJ-344, Constricting Procedures

At the end of 2017, the California Public Utilities Commission issued Resolution ALJ-344 which implements statutory amendments pursuant to Senate Bill (SB) 215, reflects changes in the Commission’s administration, streamlines certain procedures, and provides greater clarity. These changes come amidst mounting pressure on the CPUC to address allegations of “cozy” relationships with utilities, in the wake of several reports of backroom CPUC dealings with utilities.... Read More

Change is Coming for CPUC Procedures

Spring cleaning has come to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) as it sets on a path to overhaul its Rules of Practice and Procedure. On May 4, 2017, Administrative Law Judge Wildgrube issued Draft Resolution ALJ-344 with the purpose of implementing statutory amendments pursuant to SB 215, reflecting changes in the CPUC’s administration, streamlining certain procedures, and providing greater clarity.... Read More

California Utility Regulator Grows Data Hungry

As the world’s appetite for data increases, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has decided to take a seat at the table. Over the last several months, the CPUC has issued a series of orders and data requests asking telephone corporations (including CLECs) to produce increasing amounts of sensitive data. Of particular note, the CPUC has begun to seek increased data on infrastructure, subscription, call completion, and service outages.... Read More

California PUC Adopts Safety Enforcement Citation Program

On Dec. 1, 2016, the California PUC (CPUC) unanimously adopted Resolution SED-3, which implements a safety enforcement citation program for communications infrastructure providers (CIPs) including CLECs, cable operators, wireless providers, and facilities-based VoIP providers.  The citation program appears focused on violations pertaining to General Order (GO) 95 (aerial facilities) and GO 128 (underground facilities), but conceivably could be applied to any violation involving “communications facilities.” Safety Violation Corrections The program mirrors citation programs adopted for gas and electric utilities in 2012 and 2014. ... Read More

A New Year Brings New Leadership at CPUC

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced on December 28, 2016, the appointment of Martha Guzman Aceves and Clifford Rechtschaffen to the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”), replacing Michael Florio and Catherine Sandoval whose six-year terms expire on January 1, 2017. Martha Guzman Aceves, 39, of Sacramento, has been a deputy legislative affairs secretary in the Office of the Governor since 2011, focusing on natural resources, environmental protection, energy and food and agriculture.... Read More

FCC Grants States Extra Time to Implement Lifeline Rules

On December 1, 2016, the day before new eligibility and port freeze rules imposed by the 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order on Lifeline-supported broadband services were to take effect, the FCC granted in part the petitions of eight states seeking waivers to delay implementation of a portion of the new Lifeline eligibility rules that remove state-specific programs from the list of federal Lifeline-qualifying programs.... Read More

California Expands Service Quality Regulations

Not only is the weather changing, but so are service rules in sunny California. In Aug. 2016, the California Public Utilities Commissions (CPUC) issued Decision (D.) 16-08-021 in its service quality docket, Rulemaking 11-12-001. This decision revises General Order 133 (which sets out service quality rules for telephone corporations), imposes automatic fines on certain (time-division multiplexing) TDM-based voice service providers for failure to meet various service quality measures, and requires wireless and interconnected VoIP providers to submit FCC Network Outage Reporting Systems (NORS) reports to the CPUC.... Read More

California Reforms CPUC Ex Parte Policy

The talk in Sacramento over the last few years to reform the California Public Utilities Commission has begun to take form. On September 29, 2016, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 215 (Leno) (“SB 215”), modifying several provisions in the California Public Utilities Code. This bill makes significant changes in four key areas: lobbying rules, Commissioner disqualification, ex parte communications, and general procedural changes at the CPUC.... Read More

Wireless Legal Seminar for the West

Friday, November 18, 2016 8:30 a.m – 5:15 p.m. PST Davis Wright Tremaine 1201 Third Avenue Suite 2200 Seattle, WA 98101 The wireless world continues to explode as smartphones and 4G become ubiquitous – and devices, apps and other usage climb at exponential rates. This seminar, sponsored by CTIA—the leading organization in the U.S. for the wireless industry—and co-sponsored by Federal Communications Bar Association, addresses the full range of legal and regulatory issues for all participants in the wireless ecosystem: Privacy, Robocalls, and Ongoing Related Jurisdictional Issues Spectrum, Spectrum and More Spectrum: Auctions, Wi-Fi and Related Updates The FCC in the Courts: Never Before Has the FCC Experienced So Much Litigation.... Read More

CPUC Hosts Workshop for New Safety Intervenor

Earlier in 2016, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) received approval from the Legislature to establish its own Office of Safety Advocates (OSA) as an effort to expand the participation of safety related intervenors in relevant CPUC proceedings.  This month, the CPUC is hosting a workshop to: (i) allow stakeholders to brainstorm an effective way to establish the OSA, and (ii) discuss opportunities and challenges surrounding the potential participation of OSA in relevant CPUC proceedings.... Read More

CPUC Cracks Down on Secrecy of Utility Data

For California utilities, ensuring their information stays confidential just got harder. On August 25, 2016, the California Public Utilities Commission issued a decision updating the process for submitting potentially confidential documents to the Commission. The Commission intended for this process to ensure consistency across industries and to expedite Commission review of California Public Records Act requests.... Read More