• On June 7, 2011, the Indiana Telecommunications Association (ITA) filed a proposal to streamline intrastate switched access tariff amendments with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) in its investigation into simplifying the regulatory burdens facing carriers. Under the IURC’s current rules, there is a 30-day filing process when a LEC seeks to revise its rates. Under ITA’s proposal, if a LEC maintains its intrastate access rates at its interstate levels, the LEC’s intrastate rates would “instantly mirror” its interstate rates. ITA stated that “[r]ather than following the 30-day filing requirements for mirrored intrastate access charges … the ITA seeks Commission approval for all LECs to utilize the ‘instant mirroring’ tariff filing procedures…. [Instant mirroring] would provide simplicity, consistency, and administrative efficiency for the Commission, the carriers filing intrastate access tariffs, and for intrastate access customers.” Docket No. 44004.
  • A further development on our North Carolina story from the June 6 edition: The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) has initiated the formal investigation requested by Staff on whether LECs should be compelled to reduce their intrastate access rates, and if so, whether a state Universal Service Fund (USF) should be established. The NCUC has been considering intrastate access charge reform through the informal “Access Charges Working Group” that was established after Sprint petitioned it in 2009 to direct North Carolina ILECs to reduce their intrastate access rates, which Sprint called “anti-competitive and antiquated” subsidies. On March 15, 2011, the Commission had held that the state legislature had implicitly granted it the authority to establish a state USF. A hearing has been scheduled for October 18, 2011, with direct testimony due August 10, and rebuttal testimony due by September 27. Docket No. P-100, Sub 167.