IA-06-25

IA-06-25
I.
Meeting Packet
State of Florida
Public Service Commission
INTERNAL AFFAIRS AGENDA
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
9:30 am
Room 105 - Gerald L. Gunter Building
REVISED
1. Presentation on AT&T’s IP Transitional Wire Center Trial Proposal to the FCC.
(Attachment 1)
2. Revised Memorandum of Understanding Between the Public Service Commission
and the Water Management Districts. Approval is sought. (Attachment 2)
3. Presentation of the Report on the Status of Competition in the Telecommunications
Industry. Approval is sought. (Attachment 3)
4. Draft Letter of Support for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Office of Energy Grant Application. Approval is sought. (Attachment 4)
5. Legislative Update. (No Attachment)
6. Executive Director’s Report. (No Attachment)
7. Other Matters. (No Attachment)
BB/mj
OUTSIDE PERSONS WISHING TO ADDRESS THE COMMISSION ON
ANY OF THE AGENDAED ITEMS SHOULD CONTACT THE
OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT (850) 413-6463.
Attachment 1
State of Florida
Juhlk~~tfrir~ mnmmissinn
CAPITAL CIRCLE OFFICE CENTER • 2540 SHUMARD OAK BOULEVARD
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32399-0850
-M-E-M-0-R-A-N-D-U-MDATE:
June 16, 2014
TO:
Braulio L. Baez, Executive Director
FROM:
Mark Long, Public Utilities Supervisor, Office of Telecommunic~
RE:
Staffs Presentation on AT&T' s IP Trial Proposal
Please place on the June 25, 2014, Internal Affairs agenda. This
CRITICAL
INFORMATION: presentation is intended to briefthe Commissioners in advance of the July,
2014, NARUC Summer Committee Meetings.
BRIEFING ONLY
AT&T filed a proposal at the FCC on February 27, 2014, to transition two wire centers to all-IP
services. One wire center is located in Delray Beach, Florida. AT&T' s proposal is still pending
FCC approval. The attached PowerPoint presentation will brief the Commissioners on the
highlights of AT&T's proposal in advance of the upcoming NARUC Summer Committee
Meetings.
Cc:
Lisa Harvey
Apryl Lynn
Curt Kiser
AT&T’s IP Transition Wire Center Trial
Proposal
Mark Long
Office of Telecommunications
June 25, 2014
“By 2020, we expect to have fully
transitioned our customers from decadesold, legacy technologies to an all-Internet
Protocol network architecture.”
Randall Stephenson
Chairman, CEO and President
AT&T
February 11, 2013
2
Trial Objectives
• Provide a process to identify and resolve operational, technical,
logistic, and other issues that could arise when existing TDM-based
networks and services are discontinued.
• Help AT&T, policymakers, customers, and other stakeholders
develop and implement processes for migrating customers off
traditional TDM networks and services and only all IP platforms.
• To ensure customers, manufacturers, policymakers, and other
stakeholders have sufficient education and notice regarding the
impending transition so they also have the opportunity to prepare for
the end of TDM networks and services.
• Develop an actionable plan to be utilized to transition
approximately 4,700 wire centers to meet the goal of completing
the IP Transition by the end of 2020.
3
Locations
The trials will be conducted at two wire
center locations:
• Carbon Hill, Alabama
• Kings Point, Florida
4
Locations
Walker County,
AL
Carbon Hill
Wire Center
Palm Beach County,
FL
King’s Point
Wire Center
5
Carbon Hill, AL
6
Carbon Hill, AL
Carbon Hill, AL exchange –
• 4,388 living units
• Served by a remote switch
• Population density: 38/sq. mi.
• 38% of population is over 50 years old
• 21% of households with income below poverty
level
• Rural, former mining town
7
King’s Point, FL
8
King’s Point, FL
9
King’s Point, FL
Kings Point, FL exchange –
• 49,712 living units
• Served by a class 5 (5ESS) switch
• Suburban, population density: 1,961/sq. mi.
• 70% of population is over 50 years old
• 9% of households with income below poverty
level
• Coastal city, part of West Palm Beach
metropolitan area
10
Phases
AT&T proposes to conduct the trials in three phases:
• Phase one will have customers opt for new
services voluntarily
• Phase two will grandfather TDM-based services
• Phase three will sunset all TDM-based services in
these exchanges and require customers to
migrate to IP-based products.
11
Timeline
AT&T plans to complete all three phases within three years
• Before it can grandfather or sunset any services, it will
first seek permission to do so from the FCC
• The timelines for grandfathering and sunsetting services
will vary based on the development of IP-based
alternatives as well as FCC approval
• The FCC has not yet approved the proposal
12
Implementation
• Extensive customer outreach, advertising, and
personnel in the area to answer questions
• No retail or wholesale customer will be required to
transition to all-IP during the first phase
• AT&T will not require migration for customers until it
has completed its product development and
introduced IP-based substitutes for existing services
• Migration of all TDM-based service to IP counterparts
will be required at some point during this trial
13
Consumer Services
•
Customers within AT&T’s wireline IP network footprint have access to AT&T’s Uverse® Voice and High Speed Internet services, which provide next-generation voice
calling features and high-speed broadband Internet access.
•
Customers in AT&T’s wireless footprint also will be able to purchase one of AT&T’s
commercial mobile radio services, including AT&T Mobility’s Wireless Home Phone
and Wireless Home Phone and Internet with 4G LTE Broadband service, in place of
traditional, TDM-based voice telephone services.
•
For those customers located outside AT&T’s wireline IP footprint, AT&T will offer only
its Wireless Home Phone and Wireless Home Phone and Internet with 4G LTE
Broadband service (or other wireless services) in place of TDM services.
•
The wireless Internet component of Wireless Home Phone and Internet provides
broadband Internet speeds generally capable of downstream speeds between 5-12
Mbps
14
Business Services
• AT&T will offer business customers within its wireline IP
network footprint a variety of IP-based business-class voice
services in place of legacy TDM services such as BellSouth
Centrex and Business Access line services:
• U-verse® Business Voice
• AT&T Voice DNA®
• IP Flexible Reach
• U-verse® High Speed Internet-Business Edition, and a variety
of business-class Ethernet services that deliver extremely
reliable service at ultra-fast speeds
15
Incompatibility
• Initially, some services will not be entirely
compatible with existing equipment:
– AT&T’s wireless products will comply with the FCC’s
existing 911 requirements for CMRS, but do not
provide E-911 with street address.
– They also do not currently support alarm monitoring,
medical alert and credit card validation applications.
• AT&T is currently developing enhancements that
will provide all of these applications before AT&T
requests any action to grandfather or discontinue
its TDM-based voice services.
16
Incompatibility
There are a few applications that the Company does not
currently plan to support due to rapidly declining market demand
or applications that are based on outdated technology:
•
•
•
•
•
DVR services
elevator phones
third party pay per call
dial around calls
operator services functions (live operators and collect calling).
AT&T’s IP-based services may not ultimately be compatible with
every single piece of equipment customers may still have, such
as 10-15 year old analog fax machines
17
Protecting Consumers
• AT&T will continue to meet the needs of persons
with disabilities and populations with unique
needs and residents of Tribal lands.
• The trial includes an outreach plan for persons
with disabilities and other populations with
unique needs as an integral component of the
trials.
18
Protecting Customer Privacy
• All aspects of the trial will be conducted consistent with
the AT&T Privacy Policy, which applies to legacy TDM
services, as well as IP-based services.
• AT&T will comply with applicable privacy laws and
regulations, including those concerning customer
proprietary network information.
• Pursuant to the FCC’s 2007 order extending the CPNI
regulations to VoIP providers, the AT&T business units
that provide interconnected VoIP services will apply
these processes and procedures to safeguard the CPNI
of AT&T’s interconnected VoIP customers.
19
Wholesale Services
•
Wholesale participation is voluntary during the initial
phase of the trial due to conditions established in the
FCC’s Technology Transition Trials Order
– Technology Transition Trials Order – limits the involvement
of wholesale customers at the initiation of the trial
• Wholesale customers will not be forced to migrate to
alternative services
• Wholesale interconnection arrangements with AT&T
during the initial phase of the trial will not be altered
20
Wholesale Services
• Interconnection compensation will remain status quo ante,
including the transition to bill-and-keep
• AT&T will continue to meet its wholesale obligations under
Section 251(c) of the Act during the initial stages of the trial
but will pursue additional phases as the trial progresses
•
Additional trial phases will be pursued to include:
– Section 214 process
– Complete withdrawal of TDM-based wholesale services
(includes withdrawing the legacy TDM service and retiring the
TDM electronics and facilities used to provide TDM services)
21
Attachment 2
State of Florida
Juhlic~.er&ic.e arommizsinn
CAPITAL CIRCLE OFFICE CENTER • 2540 SHUMARD OAK BOULEVARD
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32399-0850
-M-E-M -0-R-A-N-D-U-MDATE:
June 16,2014
TO:
Braulio L. Baez, Executive Director
FROM:
Gregory L. Shafer, Chief of Conservation & Forecasting, Division of Economics
_
Ana Ortega, Public Utility Analyst, Division of Economics Ao/ Q4fi
Charles Murphy, Senior Attorney, Office of the General Counsef (._ ~ ,M
RE :
Revised Memorandum of Understanding Between the Public Service Commission
and the Water Management Districts
&- ,
Critical Information : Please place on the June 25, 2014 Internal Affairs.
Approval of the Draft Revised Memorandum of Understanding is sought. There is
no critical date.
In August 2012, the Division of Economics began a review of the Public Service
Commission's (Commission or PSC) existing Memoranda of Understanding (MOU or
Memorandum) with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Water
Management Districts' (WMD(s) or District(s)). On July 19, 2013, the Commission approved a
revised MOU with DEP. The MOU was deemed effective on August 18, 2013, when DEP
Secretary Vinyard and Chairman Brise signed the Memorandum.
Subsequent to the completion of the revised PSC/DEP MOU, staff began the process to
update the MOU with the Water Management Districts. The attached Draft Revised
Memorandum is the result of those efforts. Staff is seeking Commission approval of the Draft
Revised Memorandum.
Background
The existing MOU between the PSC and the five WMDs has not been revised or updated
since June 27, 1991. The purpose of the MOU is to formalize policies and procedures to be
followed by each agency in order to coordinate agency efforts to promote and encourage water
conservation and reuse of reclaimed water. Currently, PSC staff assigned to water and
wastewater rate cases contact the relevant District to determine the utility's status regarding its
Consumptive Use Permit (CUP) and determine whether conservation rates are necessary. The
assigned staff also informs the District of the time and location of customer meetings. In
1 The five Water Management Districts are South Florida, St. Johns River, Southwest Florida, Northwest Florida,
and Suwannee River.
addition, if a hearing is conducted in a case Commission staff will inform the District of the date,
time, and location of the hearing. Staff expects these activities to continue regardless of the
existence of a formal MOU. The attached Draft Revised Memorandum (Attachment A) has been
developed by Commission staff and the staff of four Districts.
The Draft Revised Memorandum
The Draft Revised Memorandum is a result of a collaborative effort of staff members of
the PSC and staff members of each of the five WMDs. An initial revised draft was sent to each
of the Districts and input was received from four of the five Districts. After several rounds of
suggestions and edits, the representatives of each of the four participating Districts and PSC staff
reached a consensus document reflected in Attachment A.
Changes to the text of the MOU are contained in the attached track changes version of the
document (Attachment B). The bulk of the changes are organizational and stylistic. The
organization of the document has been simplified. For example, the somewhat formalized
structure of the introduction of the current MOU has been eliminated and the substance of the
prior language is now captured in the introduction and background of the revised MOU.
The most substantive change to the revised MOU from the PSC perspective is the
deletion of language relating to the PSC conducting feasibility analyses for infrastructure
improvements. The rationale for deleting this reference is that feasibility analyses were to be
performed primarily relating to the implementation of reuse facilities. As a practical matter,
most PSC jurisdictional utilities for which reuse infrastructure is a viable alternative have already
installed the necessary infrastructure and therefore staff no longer performs feasibility analyses.
During the vetting process, the South Florida Water Management District expressed its
desire to have a separate Memorandum even though the proposed language is identical to that
proposed for the other Districts. Commission staff believes that it would be administratively
cleaner to have separate MOUs for each of the remaining Districts rather than one standalone
agreement and another identical Memorandum for the other three Districts. In addition, the
Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD) has indicated its desire to opt out of
the MOU, but indicated its willingness to cooperate fully with the PSC when appropriate. The
rationale for NWFWMD’s decision to opt out of the MOU is that it believes the responsibilities
of the Districts and the PSC are more than adequately addressed in statutes. Past PSC interaction
with the NWFWMD has been very limited due to the small number of PSC jurisdictional utilities
located in the NWFWMD. A letter from NWFWMD stating its intent to opt out of the existing
MOU is attached (Attachment C). Under the terms of the current MOU, it is no longer effective
upon execution of a new MOU or 180 days after written notice to all other parties.
Cc: Curt Kiser
Lisa Harvey
Apryl Lynn
Attachment A
DRAFT
Draft Revised
PSC/__ WMD MOU
June 26, 2014
2
Attachment A
DRAFT
DRAFT REVISED
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
_________________ WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
AND
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
The ____________ (_____) and the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC)
recognize that water conservation and reuse and use of reclaimed water are key elements of
Florida’s long-term water management strategy.
It is our goal to ensure the efficient and
conservative utilization of water resources in Florida. This Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) formally outlines the responsibilities and duties of the ___WMD and FPSC in regard to
water conservation and water reuse and describes how the ___WMD and FPSC will coordinate
on these issues.
BACKGROUND
The ___WMD
The ___WMD was created by the Florida Legislature and given those powers and
responsibilities enumerated in Chapter 373, Florida Statutes (F.S.). Within its jurisdiction, the
___WMD’s mission is to manage and protect water resources of the region by balancing and
improving water quality, flood control, natural systems and water supply.
The ___WMD
administers flood protection programs, performs technical investigations into water resources,
develops water shortage plans for times of drought, and acquires and manages lands for water
management and conservation purposes, among others. The ___WMD implements permitting
programs for the regulation of the consumptive use of water, well construction, and surface water
management. The ___WMD is empowered to enter into contracts with public agencies, private
corporations, or other persons, pursuant to Section 373.083, F.S.
3
Attachment A
DRAFT
The Florida Public Service Commission
The FPSC is an agency of the State of Florida created by the Florida Legislature and
given the powers and responsibilities enumerated in Chapter 367, F.S. The FPSC’s jurisdiction
is limited to economic regulation of investor-owned water and wastewater utilities in counties
that have designated the FPSC as the regulatory entity. A county may by resolution, pursuant to
Section 367.171, F.S., designate the FPSC as the economic regulator of investor-owned water
and wastewater utilities.1 For those utilities subject to its jurisdiction, the FPSC establishes
authorized rates and rates of return for investor-owned water and wastewater utilities pursuant to
Chapter 367, F.S., and Chapter 25-30, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.).
COMMON OBJECTIVES
The common objectives, as they relate to public water systems, are as follows:
1. To encourage and promote the efficient use of ground and surface water resources
through, among other measures, employment of conservation promoting rate
structures, promotion of reuse and use of reclaimed water, and through consumer
education programs.
2. To effectively employ the technical expertise of the ___WMD regarding water source
development and water resource management and of the FPSC regarding economic
regulation and rate design of jurisdictional utilities for the promotion of efficient
water consumption.
FPSC RESPONSIBILITIES
The following represents a general description of the roles and responsibilities of the
FPSC related to water service providers. The FPSC’s jurisdiction is limited to investor-owned
utilities and is effective in Florida counties that have designated the FPSC as the regulatory
authority for economic regulation. The FPSC agrees to implement policies and procedures
necessary to administer the following duties:
1
As of June 1, 2014, the FPSC regulates investor-owned water and wastewater utilities in 37 Florida counties.
4
Attachment A
DRAFT
1. Determine the type of rate structure needed to encourage conservation in association with
water use planning or permitting requirements.
2. Timely notify the ___WMD of the FPSC public meetings with customers where
conservation efforts, water use planning, or permitting criteria will be discussed.
3. Recognize and allow recovery of expenses and investment necessary to address and
correct unaccounted for water that exceeds limits set in ___WMD rule or in a utility’s
Consumptive Use Permit or, in the alternative, adjust expense levels to discourage higher
than allowable unaccounted for water.
Established rates will be set in a way that
recognizes the impact of conservation on a utility’s revenues. Allowable expenses may
include meter accuracy testing, meter replacement and leak detection, and other
reasonable conservation programs.
4. Provide technical input to the ___WMD as requested with regard to service territories.
The FPSC staff will offer assistance to the ___WMD to the extent provided by law and agency
workload.
___WMD RESPONSIBILITIES
The following represents a general description of the roles and responsibilities of the
___WMD related to water service providers. The ___WMD agrees to implement policies and
procedures necessary to administer the following duties:
1. Evaluate public water supply needs to determine beneficial demands and identify future
deficiencies.
2. Identify demand management (conservation) strategies and alternative water supply
sources necessary to meet reasonable demands.
3. Evaluate water resource availability.
4. Evaluate and monitor cumulative water withdrawal rates and identify and recommend
potential options for resource management protection.
5
Attachment A
DRAFT
5. When requested by the FPSC, participate at FPSC public meetings and evidentiary
hearings where water use planning or permitting matters are to be discussed.
6. Provide technical input to the FPSC as necessary and appropriate in FPSC proceedings.
This may include, but not be limited to, testimony from expert witnesses.
The ___WMD staff will offer assistance to the FPSC to the extent provided by law and agency
workload.
PROJECT COORDINATION
1. The ___WMD and the FPSC will each designate a liaison to coordinate communication
between the agencies. The project managers will be the principal contact persons for the
technical staff on a particular project.
2. The designated representative of the ___WMD and the FPSC representative, with
designated members of their staffs, shall communicate as necessary.
3. The ___WMD and the FPSC shall endeavor to provide appropriate technical assistance in
necessary enforcement actions taken against individual water systems for failure to
implement recommended water conservation and reuse measures.
AMENDMENTS
This MOU may be amended by mutual agreement of the ___WMD and the FPSC. Either
party may terminate its participation in this Memorandum of Understanding by providing 180
days written notice to the other parties.
PREVIOUS MOU
This MOU supersedes the previous MOU dated July 27, 1991, between the WMDs and
the FPSC. Upon execution of this MOU by the ___WMD and the FPSC, the MOU dated July
27, 1991, will be null and void between the ___WMD and the FPSC.
6
Attachment A
DRAFT
EFFECTIVE DATE AND SIGNATURES
This MOU will become effective on the date of the last signature.
authorized representative, are duly authorized to execute this agreement.
The parties, or their
Approved:
Approved:
____________________________
Water Management District
Florida Public Service Commission
By: _________________________
Executive Director
By:________________________
Chairman
Date: ________________________
Date: ______________________
7
Attachment B
Draft Revised
Track Changes Version
Memorandum of Understanding
Florida Public Service Commission
8
Attachment B
9
Attachment B
10
Attachment B
11
Attachment B
12
Attachment B
13
Attachment B
14
Attachment B
15
Attachment B
16
Attachment B
17
Attachment B
18
Attachment B
19
Attachment C
20
Attachment 3
State of Florida
lEfublie~ttfxk~
C!Lnttttttiiminn
CAPITAL CIRCLE OFFICE CENTER • 2540 SHUMARD OAK BOULEVARD
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32399-0850
-M-E-M-0-R-A-N-D-U-MDATE:
June 11, 2014
TO:
Braulio L. Baez, Executive Director
FROM:
Office ofTelecommunications (Fogleman, BJfes, Curry,
RE:
Draft of the Report on the Status of Competition in the Telecommunications
Industry
CRITICAL INFORMATION: Please place on the June 25, 2014 Internal Affairs.
FPSC approval of draft report is sought. Report due to the Governor and
Legislature by August 1, 2014.
Af:r/J
'X--.j:/ C1~~
Hawkins,~
Section 364.386, Florida Statutes, requires that the Commission prepare an annual report
on the status of competition in the telecommunications industry. The report is to be submitted to
the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, and the
majority and minority leaders of the Senate and the House of Representativeness by August 1st
of each year. The attached preliminary draft report on the "Status of Competition in the
Telecommunications Industry" has been prepared to fulfill the legislative requirement. Staff is
seeking approval of the draft report.
Attachment
cc: Lisa Harvey, Deputy Executive Director, Technical
April Lynn, Deputy Executive Director, Administrative
S. Curtis Kiser, General Counsel
DRAFT 06/11/2014
Report on the Status of
Competition in the
Telecommunications
Industry
AS
OF DECEMBER
3 1,
2013
Table of Contents
Table of Contents ............................................................................................................................ ii
List of Figures ................................................................................................................................ iv
List of Tables ................................................................................................................................. iv
List of Acronyms ............................................................................................................................ v
Executive Summary ........................................................................................................................ 1
Chapter I. Introduction and Background ....................................................................................... 5
Chapter II. Wireline Market Overview .......................................................................................... 7
A. Economy ....................................................................................................................... 7
B. Incumbent Carriers ........................................................................................................ 8
C. Mergers/Acquisitions .................................................................................................... 9
Chapter III. Status of Wireline Competition in Florida ............................................................... 13
A. Wireline Trends in Florida .......................................................................................... 13
B. Wireline Market Mix, Market Share, and Access Lines ............................................. 14
C. Competitive Market Trends ........................................................................................ 16
Chapter IV. Wireless, VoIP, and Broadband ............................................................................... 19
A. Wireless ....................................................................................................................... 19
B. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) ........................................................................... 22
C. Broadband ................................................................................................................... 25
Chapter V. Competitive Market Analysis and Statutory Issues .................................................. 29
A. Statutory Issue - Competitive Providers ..................................................................... 29
B. Statutory Issue – Consumers ....................................................................................... 30
C. Statutory Issue – Affordability & Service Quality ...................................................... 31
D. Statutory Issue – Carrier Disputes .............................................................................. 32
Chapter VI. State Activities ......................................................................................................... 33
ii
A. Intercarrier Matters ..................................................................................................... 33
B. Lifeline ........................................................................................................................ 36
C. Telephone Relay Service ............................................................................................. 36
D. Florida Broadband Grant Projects............................................................................... 37
Chapter VII. Federal Activities ..................................................................................................... 41
A. TDM-to-IP Transition ................................................................................................. 41
B. Network Neutrality and Internet Network Management ............................................. 43
C. Inmate Calling ............................................................................................................. 44
D. Next Generation 911 ................................................................................................... 44
E. Rural Call Completion ................................................................................................. 45
F. Universal Service ......................................................................................................... 46
Appendix A. List of Certificated CLECs as of 12/31/13 ............................................................. 53
Appendix B. Summary of Complaints Filed By Carriers ............................................................ 56
Glossary ........................................................................................................................................ 57
iii
List of Figures
Figure 3-1. Florida Access Line Trends ...................................................................................... 13
Figure 3-2. Florida Residential & Business CLEC Market Share ............................................... 14
Figure 3-3. Florida Residential Line Trends by ILECs and CLECs ............................................ 16
Figure 3-4. Florida Business Line Trends by ILECs and CLECs ............................................... 17
Figure 4-1. U.S. Wireless Substitution Rates .............................................................................. 19
Figure 4-2. U.S. Wireless Subscribers in Fourth Quarter 2014 ................................................... 20
Figure 4-3. Florida Wireline / Wireless Subscribers ................................................................... 21
Figure 4-4. Florida Residential Interconnected VoIP Subscribers .............................................. 24
Figure 4-5. Inadequate Broadband Coverage in Florida ............................................................... 27
Figure 5-1. Telephone Service Penetration: Florida vs. Nation................................................... 31
Figure 7-1. Location of Kings Point Wire Center......................................................................... 41
Figure 7-2. Kings Point Wire Center Boundaries ......................................................................... 42
Figure 7-3. USF Quarterly Assessment Factor ............................................................................. 47
Figure 7-4. High-Cost Disbursements .......................................................................................... 48
Figure 7-5. Average of Lifeline Subscribers Supported ............................................................... 49
Figure 7-6. E-Rate Funded Applications in 2013 ......................................................................... 51
Figure 7-7. Rural Health Care Disbursements .............................................................................. 52
List of Tables
Table 3-1. Florida Access Line Comparison ............................................................................... 15
Table 7-1. 2012 Federal Universal Service Programs in Florida................................................. 46
iv
List of Acronyms
Bus
Business
CDC
Centers for Disease Control
CLEC
Competitive Local Exchange Company
FCC
Federal Communications Commission
FiOS
Verizon’s trademark name for its fiber-to-the-home package of services
FPSC
Florida Public Service Commission, the Commission
F.S.
Florida Statutes
ICA
Interconnection agreement
ILEC
Incumbent Local Exchange Company
IP
Internet Protocol
kbps
kilobits per second
LEC
Local Exchange Company
Mbps
Megabits per second
Res
Residential
USF
Universal Service Fund
USAC
Universal Service Administrative Company
VoIP
Voice over Internet Protocol
v
Executive Summary
This report fulfills the statutory obligations set forth in Section 364.386, Florida Statutes
(F.S.), which requires the Florida Public Service Commission (the Commission or FPSC) to
report on the status of competition in the telecommunications industry to the Legislature by
August 1 of each year. The Commission is required to address specific topic areas within the
realm of competition. On February 17, 2014, information requests were sent to the 10 incumbent
local exchange companies (ILECs) and 290 competitive local exchange companies (CLECs)
certificated by the Commission to operate in Florida, as of December 31, 2013.
In 2013, the competitive telecommunications market in Florida, as reported by the
carriers, continued to show consumers migrating from traditional wireline service to wireless and
cable/VoIP services, while business customers continued to resist the mass migration of the
consumers, instead increasing their subscription to CLEC business-specific offerings. Carriers
reported approximately 5.1 million total wireline access lines in Florida for 2013. While the mass
migration in the residential market has had a drastic effect on the ILECs’ residential access line
counts, these customers are not all “lost” to the ILECs. Nationally, AT&T has over four times as
many wireless customers as it does wireline accounts.
There were also a few “firsts” this year. While residential lines have plummeted over the
past decade, business wirelines have remained relatively stable. As a result, for the first time,
AT&T reported as many business wirelines as residential lines. In addition, competition from
CLECs continued to be fierce. ILEC wirelines decreased by 15 percent in 2013, while CLEC
lines increased by 15 percent. CLEC-reported business access lines gave them a market share of
51 percent, making ILECs a minority in the wireline business market for the first time.
Analysis of the data produced the following conclusions:

Many CLECs reported offering a variety of services and packages comparable to
those offered by ILECs. Subscribers to cable, wireless, and competitive wireline
services continued to increase. These factors contribute to the conclusion that
competitive providers are able to offer functionally equivalent services to both
business and residential customers.

The continued decrease in both business and residential ILEC wireline access lines
demonstrates customers are finding reasonable pricing packages and functionality
with CLECs, cable providers, and wireless providers, as well as VoIP services from
the ILEC.

Based on the continued growth of interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
services and wireless-only households, network reliability of non-ILEC providers is
sufficient to satisfy customers. The FCC-reported telephone penetration rate of 93.6
percent for Florida suggests that the overwhelming majority of Florida residents are
able to afford telephone service. The number and variety of competitive choices
among all types of service providers suggests that competition is having a positive
impact on the telecommunications market in Florida.
1
Wireline Competition
The following data relates exclusively to the ILEC and CLEC wireline market and does
not reflect the number of wireless and VoIP subscribers in Florida. For the third year in a row,
total wireline business access lines exceeded total residential lines. This report addresses
changes in the telecommunications market for the period January 1, 2013, through December 31,
2013. Significant findings relating to the wireline market as of December 2013 include:
CLEC Market Share

CLECs’ market share of all wireline access lines (residential and business) in Florida
increased to 32 percent as of December 2013 from 26 percent in 2012.

CLEC residential market share has remained about the same at 2 percent over the last
three years.

For the first time, the CLEC business market share exceeded that of ILECs at 51
percent in 2013.
CLEC Access Lines

Total CLEC access lines increased by 15 percent from December 31, 2012, to
December 31, 2013.

CLEC residential access lines decreased by 17 percent.

CLEC business access lines increased by 16 percent.

CLEC business access lines were 98 percent of total CLEC access lines served in
2013, compared to 95 percent in 2012.
ILEC Access Lines

Total ILEC access lines decreased by 15 percent from December 31, 2012, to
December 31, 2013.

ILEC residential and business lines each decreased by 18 percent.
•
ILEC residential lines accounted for 56 percent of total ILEC access lines in 2013.

ILEC business access lines were 44 percent of total ILEC lines served in 2013.

AT&T and Verizon have about a 50 percent split between residential lines and
business lines in 2013.
2
Intermodal Competition
Wireless and VoIP services compete with traditional wireline service and represent a
significant portion of today’s communications market in Florida. Broadband service also
provides the basis for some VoIP services. These three services are not subject to FPSC
jurisdiction, and the FPSC relies on information collected from other sources for this analysis.
However, the number of wireless handsets in service and VoIP customers in Florida far exceeds
the 1.6 million wireline access lines served by CLECs. Four ILECs and 59 CLECs furnished
VoIP data. Highlights relating to wireless, VoIP, and broadband services include:
Wireless

Approximately 18.4 million wireless handsets were in service in Florida as of
December 2012, the most current data available.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that 39.4 percent of U.S. households
were wireless-only as of June 2013.
VoIP

An estimated 2.8 million Florida residential VoIP subscribers were reported as of
December 2013, an increase of approximately 5 percent from 2012.

Fifty-nine CLECs and four ILECs voluntarily reported 1.2 million VoIP lines
(residential and business) to the FPSC as of December 2013.

The Florida Cable Telecommunications Association (FCTA) reported 2.1 million
residential cable digital voice (VoIP) subscribers as of December 2013, about the
same number reported for December 2012.
Broadband

Fifty-six percent of Florida households have a fixed broadband connection with
download speeds of at least 3 Mbps, as of December 2012.

Seventy-six percent of Florida households have fixed broadband connections of 200
kbps or greater, as of December 2012.
3
4
Chapter I. Introduction and Background
In 1995, the Florida Legislature amended Chapter 364, F.S., to allow for competition in
the state’s local telecommunications markets. The Legislature found that “the competitive
provision of telecommunications services, including local exchange telecommunications service,
is in the public interest and will provide customers with freedom of choice, encourage the
introduction of new telecommunications services, encourage technological innovation, and
encourage investment in telecommunications infrastructure.”
Chapter 364, F.S., requires the Commission to prepare and deliver a report on the status
of competition in the telecommunications industry to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of
the House of Representatives, and the majority and minority leaders of the Senate and the House
of Representatives on August 1 of each year. Section 364.386, F.S., requires that the report
address the following four issues:
1.
The ability of competitive providers to make functionally equivalent local
exchange services available to both residential and business customers at
competitive rates, terms, and conditions.
2.
The ability of customers to obtain functionally equivalent services at comparable
rates, terms, and conditions.
3.
The overall impact of competition on the maintenance of reasonably affordable
and reliable high-quality telecommunications services.
4.
A list and short description of any carrier disputes filed under Section 364.16, F.S.
The Commission is required to make an annual request to local exchange
telecommunications providers each year for the data required to complete the report. The data
request was mailed on February 17, 2014, and responses were due April 15, 2014. Data requests
were mailed to 10 ILECS and 290 CLECs. The Commission continues its efforts to increase
efficiency while gathering the data and information to produce this report. Commission staff is
confident that the data presented and the analyses that follow accurately reflect the information
provided by the ILECs and the reporting CLECs.
5
6
Chapter II. Wireline Market Overview
A. Economy
According to the U.S. Commerce Department, the national economy continued to
recover, but at a slower pace in 2013 compared to 2012. Gross Domestic Product, the best
measure of overall economic activity, grew by 1.9 percent in 2013, compared to an increase of
2.8 percent in 2012.1 Corporate profits were up 4.6 percent, compared to a 7.0 percent increase
the previous year.2 Unemployment figures dropped slowly but steadily throughout 2013, starting
at 7.9 percent in January and finishing the year at 6.7 percent. 3 The Consumer Price Index rose
1.5 percent in 2013, compared to a 2.1 percent increase in 2012.4
In 2013, Florida’s economic growth remained positive for the third year after declining
for the previous two years. The state’s gross domestic product ranked Florida eighteenth in the
nation in real growth with a gain of 2.2 percent.5 Florida’s personal income grew 2.9 percent in
2013 over 2012, ranking Florida thirteenth in the country with respect to state personal income
growth. The national average was 2.6 percent.6
The unemployment rate in Florida started the year greater than the national average, but
experienced a higher than average decrease and by August 2013 Florida’s rate was below the
then-current national average. Florida’s unemployment rate continued to show consistent
improvement during each month, falling from a high of 8.0 percent in January to a low of 6.3
percent in December.7
With the unemployment picture improving, but still above historical averages, along with
moderate economic growth during 2013, it is likely that Florida consumers are still taking a hard
look at their discretionary expenditures. While it is more attributable to increased competition
from CLECs and the continued mass migration, at least in the residential market, from wireline
to wireless and cable/VoIP services, the economy was also likely a contributing factor to Florida
ILECs losing approximately 585,000 access lines. This represents about 15 percent of their
1
U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, “National Income and Product Accounts: Gross
Domestic Product, 4th quarter and annual 2013 (third estimate), Corporate Profits, 4th quarter and annual 2013,”
released March 27, 2014, http:www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/2014/gdp4q13_3rd.htm, accessed May 8,
2014, Table 7.
2
Ibid., Table 11.
3
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Labor Force Statistics for the Current Population Survey,”
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000, accessed May 8, 2014.
4
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “CPI Detailed Report,” http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1404
.pdf, accessed June 10, 2014, Table 24.
5
U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, “News Release: Advance 2013 and Revised 1997–
2012 Statistics of GDP by State,” released June 11, 2014, http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/2014
/pdf/gsp0614.pdf, accessed June 11, 2014, Table 1.
6
U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, “News Release: State Personal Income,” released
March 25, 2014, http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/spi/2014/pdf/spi0314.pdf, accessed May 8, 2014.
7
U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Local Area Unemployment Statistics,”
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LASST120000000000003?data_tool=XGtable, accessed May 8, 2014.
7
wireline market in 2013.8 By comparison, competitive wireline carriers (CLECs) gained
approximately 217,000 access lines in 2013, an increase of 15 percent, from growth in business
customers.
B. Incumbent Carriers
AT&T, CenturyLink, and Verizon are the three largest ILECs in Florida providing
wireline services.9 These providers continued to face access line losses in the national wireline
market in 2013. While their wireline access line counts fell, both AT&T and Verizon
experienced increased wireless subscriptions as well as subscriptions to digital voice services
provided over VoIP as consumers transitioned from traditional circuit switched services.
In 2013, AT&T reported losses of 4.6 million switched access lines nationwide (or 15.8
percent) from the prior year.10 This represents about the same number of wirelines lost in 2012.
AT&T attributes the access line declines to economic pressures and increased competition.
Customers have disconnected traditional landline services, or switched to alternative
technologies, such as wireless and VoIP. AT&T’s strategy continues to be to offset these line
losses by continuing to market its wireless products as well as increasing non-access-line-related
revenues from customer connections for data, video, and voice.11 For 2013, AT&T’s total
operating revenues increased by $1.3 billion (almost twice as much as the prior year) despite
their wireline access line losses.12 AT&T capitalized on its opportunity to increase its wireless
segment revenues for customers that choose AT&T Mobility as an alternative provider. In
Florida, AT&T’s wireline residential access lines decreased by 23 percent and business access
lines decreased 10 percent.13
Verizon also lost switched access lines nationally while experiencing an increase in
operating revenue of $4.7 billion.14 Verizon reported a decline of 1.4 million in total voice
connections (or 6.3 percent) in 2013. Total voice connections include switched access lines as
well as FiOS digital voice connections. This represents a slower rate of loss than in 2012 when
Verizon lost 6.8 percent of its total voice connections. By comparison, Verizon reported growth
of 11 and 12 percent in its FiOS Internet and video services from last year, respectively. 15 In
Florida, Verizon experienced wireline reductions of 27 percent in residential access lines and 11
percent in business access lines in 2013.16
8
Responses to FPSC Local Competition Data Request for 2013 and 2014.
AT&T and Verizon are also the largest wireless carriers nationwide and increased subscribership by 3.4 million
and 4.6 million, respectively, according to their 2013 Form 10-K reports (exhibit 13).
10
AT&T, Form 10-K, for December 31, 2013, http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/73271720
/000073271714000010/ex13.htm, accessed April 24, 2014, Exhibit 13, p. 1.
11
Ibid, p. 17.
12
Ibid, p. 1.
13
Responses to Local Competition Data Request for 2013 and 2014.
14
Verizon, Form 10-K, for December 31, 2013, http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/732712
/000119312514073266/d622994dex13.htm, accessed April 25, 2014, Exhibit 13.
15
Ibid.
16
Responses to Local Competition Data Request for 2013 and 2014.
9
8
While currently the third largest wireline telecommunications company in the U.S.,
CenturyLink continued to experience declines in its switched access lines in 2013. Access lines
decreased from 13.7 million in 2012 to 13.0 million in 2013.17 This represents an approximately
5 percent loss of CenturyLink’s access lines nationwide. By comparison, CenturyLink
experienced a 2.4 percent increase in broadband subscribers. By the end of 2013, CenturyLink’s
operating revenues decreased $281 million, or 1.5 percent from 2012. CenturyLink’s wireline
access line loss in Florida was six and eight percent for the residential and business sectors,
respectively, for 2013.18
The seven remaining smaller Florida carriers also experienced contraction in the number
of switched access lines in their respective wireline service areas. Rural carriers in Florida saw
their residential access lines fall by approximately seven percent in 2013.19 In Florida,
Windstream is the largest of the “rural” ILECs and operates in northeast Florida. Windstream
experienced an overall access line loss of only four percent, the lowest access line loss of any
carrier in Florida. Nationally, Windstream has 1.7 million consumer voice lines in service.20
Through an aggressive acquisition strategy, Windstream has shifted its revenue mix towards
business and consumer broadband services. Windstream estimates that 72 percent of its 2013
revenues were generated from these areas.21
Even with the decline in wireline access lines, wireline telecommunications carriers
continue to play a role with an evolving telecommunications ecosystem. For example, wireless
carriers continue to be dependent on the wireline network. The majority of wireless call transport
occurs over the wireline network, not over wireless facilities, a function commonly referred to as
“backhaul.” While the economic sustainability of the wireline network appears to be tenuous as
access lines continue to decline, it remains a crucial element in the mix of communications
technologies.
C. Mergers/Acquisitions
Approval of merger and acquisition petitions for telecommunications carriers peaked
nationally in 2006 with more than 90 communications companies consolidating their
operations.22 By comparison, 48 mergers and acquisitions occurred in 2013.23 This figure
represents an increase of 30 percent from the previous year. Recent transactions of interest to
Florida are described below.
17
CenturyLink, Form 10-K, for December 31, 2013, http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/18926/00014453
0514000656/ctl-2013123110k.htm, accessed April 25, 2014, p. 5.
18
Responses to FPSC Local Competition Data Request for 2013 and 2014.
19
Ibid.
20
Windstream, 10-K, for December 31, 2013, http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1282266/0001282266
14000008/a201310k.htm, accessed April 25, 2014, p. F-5.
21
Ibid, p. 2.
22
FCC, “2006 Completed Domestic Section 214 Transfer of Control Transactions,” http://www.fcc.gov/wcb
/cpd/214Transfer/214completed2006.html, accessed April 17, 2014.
23
FCC, “2013 Completed Domestic Section 214 Transfer of Control Transactions,” http://www.fcc.gov
/encyclopedia/2013-completed-domestic-section-214-transfer-control-transactions, accessed April 17, 2014.
9
1. Birch Communications/Lightyear Network/Ernest Communications/Cbeyond
In 2013, Birch Communications (Birch) announced two acquisitions affecting the Florida
market. The latest completed transaction marks Birch’s nineteenth acquisition since 2005.24
Birch reported that its acquisition of Lightyear Network Solution and Ernest Communications
would strengthen the breadth and scope of Birch’s IP network and network footprint. 25 As a
result of this acquisition, Birch saw its business lines increase by about 60% in Florida. 26 In
2014, Birch announced additional acquisitions subject to regulatory approval with Cbeyond,27
Liberty-Bell,28 and EveryCall.29
2. Time Warner Cable/DukeNet
On December 31, 2013, Time Warner Cable completed its acquisition of DukeNet
Communications, LLC (“DukeNet”), an 8,700-mile regional fiber optic network company that
provides data and high-capacity bandwidth services to wireless carrier, data center, government
and enterprise customers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina,
Tennessee, and Virginia.30 After this acquisition, Time Warner Cable will provide wireless
backhaul to approximately 14,000 cell sites throughout its 29 state territory.31 National this
represents an estimated 1.7 percent market share in 2013. Since this acquisition, Time Warner
Cable has transferred DukeNet’s Certificate of Authority to offer service in Florida.32
3. Comcast/Time Warner Cable
In the first quarter of 2014, Comcast and Time Warner Cable announced their planned
merger. The Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice have begun
the formal regulatory approval process of this transaction. According to the their application
before the Federal Communications Commission, “This transaction will enhance consumer
welfare and competition and deliver substantial public interest benefits, including through
24
Birch, “Birch Closes Acquisition of Ernest Communications Assets,” https://www.birch.com/Business/About
/Newsroom/Birch-Closes-Acquisition-of-Ernest-Communications.aspx, accessed April, 17, 2014.
25
Birch, “Birch Closes Acquisition of Lightyear Network Solutions Assets,” https://www.birch.com/Business/About
/Newsroom/Birch-Closes-Acquisition-of-Lightyear-Network-Solu.aspx, accessed April 17, 2014.
26
Base on pre-merger access lines reported as of December 31, 2012.
27
Birch, “Birch Communications to Acquire Cbeyond,” released April 21, 2014, https://www.birch.com/Business
/About/Newsroom/Birch-Communications-to-Acquire-Cbeyond.aspx, accessed May 27, 2014.
28
Birch, “Birch Signs Agreement to Acquire Liberty-Bell Assets,” released April 22, 2014, https://www.birch.com
/Business/About/Newsroom/Birch-Signs-Agreement-to-Acquire-Liberty-Bell-Asse.aspx, accessed May 27, 2014.
29
Birch, “Birch Signs Sales Acquisition Agreement with EveryCall,” released May 1, 2014, https://www.birch
.com/Business/About/Newsroom/Everycall.aspx, accessed May 27, 2014.
30
Time Warner Cable, 10-K, for December 31, 2013, http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1377013/0001193
12514056642/d640670d10k.htm, accessed April 21, 2014.
31
Comcast Corporation and Time Warner Cable Inc., “Application and Public Interest Statement before the Federal
Communications Commission,” released April 8, 2014, http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521097357,
accessed April 21, 2014, pp. 97-98.
32
FPSC Order No. PSC-13-0660-PAA-TX, Docket No. 130264-TX, Issued December 18, 2013.
10
competitive entry in market segments neither company can meaningfully serve on its own
today.”33
If approved, Comcast would gain approximately 8 million subscribers from Time Warner
Cable. While Time Warner Cable actually has 11 million subscribers, Comcast, the nation’s
largest cable provider, has offered to divest 3 million subscribers to reduce competitive
concerns.34 Consumer groups have expressed opposition to the merger, noting that Comcast has
raised its basic cable rates in some of its markets by nearly 70 percent. 35 In general, consumer
groups argue that the cable and broadband markets will not be as competitive as they should be
and this merger will continue to consolidate market power. In Florida, there is no overlap of
service areas.
4. AT&T/Leap Wireless
AT&T Inc. and prepaid wireless provider Leap Wireless International Inc. (Leap)
announced that it had entered into an agreement for AT&T to acquire Leap in July 2013. 36
Under the terms of agreement, AT&T will acquire all of Leap’s wireless properties, network
assets (and spectrum), and approximately 5 million subscribers. Leap’s network covers
approximately 96 million people in 35 states. Leap currently operates under the Cricket brand.
AT&T will retain the Cricket brand name and provide Cricket customers with access to its 4G
LTE mobile network. The combined company will have the financial resources, scale and
spectrum to better compete with other major national providers for customers interested in lowcost prepaid service. The acquisition was completed in March 2014.37
5. AT&T/DirecTV
On May 18, 2014, AT&T and DirecTV announced they entered into a definitive
agreement under which AT&T will acquire DirecTV.38 The merger is subject to approval by
DirecTV shareholders and review by the FCC, the Department of Justice, a few states and some
Latin American countries. The transaction is expected to close within approximately 12 months.
AT&T already markets DirecTV’s satellite video service to customers where its own U-verse
video offering is not available. It is expected that this merger would give the combined company
greater leverage in negotiations with content providers.
33
Comcast Corporation and Time Warner Cable Inc., “Application and Public Interest Statement before the Federal
Communications Commission,” released April 8, 2014, http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521097357,
accessed April 21, 2014, p. 1.
34
Ibid, p. 25.
35
Free Press, et al, Comments in Opposition, Letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and FCC Chairman Tom
Wheeler, released April 8, 2014, http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521097394, accessed May 27, 2014.
36
AT&T, “AT&T to Acquire Leap Wireless,” released July 15, 2013, http://about.att.com/newsroom/att_to_acquire
_leap_wireless.html, accessed April 18, 2014.
37
AT&T, “AT&T Completes Acquisition of Leap Wireless,” released March 13, 2014, http://about.att.com/story
/att_completes_acquisition _of_leap_wireless.html, accessed April 18, 2014.
38
AT&T, “AT&T to Acquire DIRECTTV,” released May 18, 2014, http://about.att.com/story/att_to_acquire
_directv.html, accessed May 27, 2014.
11
6. Sprint/SoftBank
SoftBank Corporation completed its acquisition of Sprint Nextel Corporation in July. 39
This differs from prior wireless mergers in which two domestic competitors with overlapping
service areas or spectrum holdings have sought to merge, thereby eliminating an existing
competitor. Rather, SoftBank, a Japanese telecommunications and Internet corporation, had no
U.S. spectrum licenses, prior to its purchase of Sprint. In addition, SoftBank has stated that it
plans to invest an additional $5 billion in Sprint. With this investment, Sprint has indicated its
intent to deploy TDD-LTE40 services using its unpaired spectrum.41
7. Verizon/Vodafone
On September 2, 2013, Verizon entered into a stock purchase agreement with Vodafone
to acquire Vodafone’s indirect 45 percent interest in Verizon Wireless for approximately $130
billion.42 Verizon completed the transaction on February 21, 2014 and acquired 100 percent
ownership of Verizon Wireless.43 This acquisition, according to Verizon will enhance its ability
to deliver integrated wireless and wireline products and solutions across all networks and
platforms.
39
Sprint, “Sprint and SoftBank Announce Completion of Merger,” released July 10, 2013, http://newsroom
.sprint.com/news-releases/sprint-and-softbank-announce-completion-of-merger.htm, accessed April 18, 2014.
40
TDD-LTE is a type of LTE that has not previously been offered in the U.S. TDD-LTE offers the flexibility to
allocate bandwidth to downlink and uplink traffic and is well suited to unpaired spectrum.
41
Sprint, “The TDD-LTE Advantage,” released February 24, 2014, http://newsroom.sprint.com/blogs/sprintperspectives/the-tdd-lte-advantage-1.htm, accessed April 18, 2014.
42
Verizon, “News at a Glance: Verizon reaches agreement to acquire Vodafone’s 45 percent interest in Verizon
Wireless for $130 billion,” released September 2, 2013, http://www.verizon.com/investor/news_verizon_reached
_agreement_to_acquire_vodafones_45_percent_interest_in_verizon_wireless_for_130_billi.htm, accessed April 25,
2014.
43
Verizon, “News at a Glance: Verizon Projects Higher Margins and Sustained Revenue Growth in 2014,” released
September 2, 1013, http://www.verizon.com/investor/news_verizon_projects_higher_margins_and_sustained
_revenue_growth_in_2014_02242014.htm, released February 24, 2014, accessed April 25, 2014.
12
Chapter III. Status of Wireline Competition in Florida
A. Wireline Trends in Florida
During 2013, total traditional wireline access lines for ILECs and CLECs combined
declined 7 percent, to 5.0 million as of December 2013, from 5.4 million in December 2012.44
Most of the lost access lines resulted from lower demand by residential customers.
Residential access lines, which totaled 1.9 million as of 2013, fell by 18 percent from the
previous year. From 2003 through 2013, wireline residential access lines have declined by 75
percent, or about 6 million lines. By comparison, total wireline business access lines for ILECs
and CLECs were 3.1 million, an increase of 2 percent from 2012 to 2013.
The net increase in business lines included a decrease of 159,000 ILEC lines and an
increase of 225,000 CLEC lines. While fluctuating in response to the business cycle, Figure 3-1
illustrates the relative stability of business access lines from 2003 to 2013. The trend for
residential lines, however, has consistently declined for all the individual ILECs and the CLECs
over the same ten-year period.
Figure 3-1. Florida Access Line Trends
Source: Responses to FPSC data requests (2005-2014)
44
VoIP lines reported by CLECs and cable companies are not included in wireline CLEC market share analyses.
13
B. Wireline Market Mix, Market Share, and Access Lines
1. Market Mix
The composition of customers served by ILECs and CLECs has shifted over time. In
general, both ILECs and CLECs have seen increased concentration of business customers as
residential customers migrate to wireless and VoIP services. The business-to-residential
customer mix for ILECs was about 27 percent business and 73 percent residential in 2003. By
2013, the mix for ILECs was 44 percent business and 56 percent residential.
By comparison, the business to residential customer mix for CLECs was about 61 percent
business and 39 percent residential in 2003. The CLEC customer mix has seen significant
changes since then. In 2013, the business-to-residential customer mix was 98 percent business
and 2 percent residential.
2. Market Share
CLECs have traditionally focused on business customers. Figure 3-2 illustrates the
CLEC market share by business and residential customer classes. The inverse of this percentage
would be market share for the ILECs in Florida. Overall, the CLEC residential market share has
remained at about 2 percent over the last three years, while ILECs retain 98 percent of the
wireline market. This percentage excludes VoIP services, which cable companies have made
significant inroads into over the past several years. The CLEC business market share however,
has continued to grow over the last five years. This year’s report marks the first time that
CLECs market share of business lines was greater than that of ILECs. Specifically, CLECs have
51 percent of the wireline business market, while ILECs have 49 percent.
Figure 3-2. Florida Residential & Business CLEC Market Share
Source: Responses to FPSC data requests (2005-2014)
14
The FCC also reports CLEC market share by state and for residential and business lines.
For 2012, the FCC reported that CLECs have 45 percent of the total residential market share and
48 percent of the business market share; however, these percentages include VoIP subscriber
lines.45
The FCC started including VoIP subscriber lines in the market share calculations with its
December 2008 Local Competition Report. The inclusion of VoIP subscriber lines accounts for
the majority of the difference in market share totals calculated by the FPSC compared to those
reported by the FCC for 2012. Specifically, removing the associated VoIP lines from the FCC’s
calculates results in a CLEC residential and business market share of 1.8 percent and 42.7
percent, respectively. This compares favorably to the data based on the FPSC’s data collection
in Figure 3-2.
3. Access Lines
Local exchange companies were serving approximately 5.1 million lines in Florida as of
December 31, 2013, a decline of seven percent from 2012. The first time that total (ILEC and
CLEC) business access lines exceed total ILEC and CLEC residential access lines was in 2011.
The gap between the number of residential and business access lines continues to widen this year
as illustrated in Table 3-1.
In 2013, residential access lines provided by ILECs decreased by 18 percent, while ILEC
business lines declined by nine percent. Most of the business line losses were experienced by
AT&T and Verizon with declines of 10 percent and 11 percent from last year, respectively. This
compares to only a 2.2 percent decline among all of the rural ILECs. CLEC business access
lines, however, saw an increase by approximately 225,000 from 2012 to 2013, a gain of 16
percent.
Table 3-1. Florida Access Line Comparison
201246
Res
Bus
Total
Res
Bus
Total
Res
Bus
Total
Change
from
2012
2,809,826
2,013,846
4,823,672
2,334,184
1,675,328
4,009,512
1,908,357
1,516,305
3,424,662
<15%>
70,259
1,140,816
1,211,075
46,667
1,378,547
1,425,214
38,711
1,603,560
1,642,271
15%
2,880,085
3,154,662
6,034,747
2,380,851
3,053,875
5,434,726
1,947,068
3,119,865
5,066,933
<7%>
2011
ILECs
CLECs
Total
2013
Source: Responses to FPSC data requests (2012-2014)
45
FCC, “Local Telephone Competition: Status as of December 31, 2012,” released November 2013,
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-324413A1.pdf, accessed on May 22, 2014, Tables 10 and 11.
46
Data for 2012 corrected for error in CLEC residential calculation.
15
C. Competitive Market Trends
1. Residential Access Line Trends
Figure 3-3 displays the residential access line trends separately for AT&T, Verizon,
CenturyLink, the rural ILECs, and aggregate CLECs. Each individual ILEC and the CLECs in
aggregate reported a decline in residential access lines from December 2012 to December 2013.
Figure 3-3. Florida Residential Line Trends by ILECs and CLECs
Source: Responses to FPSC data requests (2009-2014)
Residential access lines declined for Verizon at approximately the same rate in 2013 as in
2012. By comparison, AT&T experienced a slight increase in the rate of residential access line
loss from last year. CenturyLink was the only large ILEC in Florida that saw residential line loss
decrease slightly. CLECs also faced residential access lines decline in 2013, however the rate of
line loss was less than in the last four years.
16
2. Business Access Line Trends
Figure 3-4 displays the business line trends for AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, the rural
ILECs, and CLECs. ILEC business access lines generally trended downward in the last five
years with the exception of AT&T in 2011. CLEC business access lines increased the last four
years. It increased by 21 percent in 2012 and by 16 percent in 2013. AT&T and Verizon have
about a 50 percent split between residential lines and business lines in 2013.
Figure 3-4. Florida Business Line Trends by ILECs and CLECs
Source: Responses to FPSC data requests (2009-2014)
17
18
Chapter IV. Wireless, VoIP, and Broadband
A. Wireless
1. National Wireless Market
Wireless device usage continues to grow throughout the U.S. Figure 4-1 shows national
trends in the percentage of households with wireless only, wireline only, and dual household
usage. In 2012, 38.2 percent of Americans lived in wireless-only homes, up from 32.3 percent in
2011.47 During the same period, the number of households with both landline and wireless
service declined 2.6 percent, to 50.8 percent in 2012. Between January 1, 2013 and June 30,
2013, the percentage of households with both wireline and wireless service declined 1.3 percent,
to 49.5 percent.48
Figure 4-1. U.S. Wireless Substitution Rates
Source: Centers for Dease Control
Consumer demographic information has only been released for the last six months
following the FPSC’s 2013 report.49 In general, most demographic groups have seen a slight
increase in wireless usage and subscribership.50 National, consumers aged 25 to 29 showing the
highest wireless substitution growth in the last six months of 65.6 percent.
47
Stephen J. Blumberg, Ph.D., Julian V. Luke, “Wireless substitution: Early release of estimates from the National
Health Interview Survey, January–June 2013,” National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, released December 2013, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/wireless201312.pdf,
accessed May 3, 2014.
48
Ibid.
49
Ibid.
50
Key demographics include: Race/ethnicity, age, sex, educations, and employment status.
19
ComScore reports that ownership of smartphones in the U.S. has grown 24 percent in
2013 to 156 million.51 In its 2013 Cell Phone Activities report, Pew Research reported that 91
percent of American adults own a cell phone.52 Among Original Equipment Manufacturers,
Apple and Samsung remain the leaders maintaining 42% and 26% of the market share,
respectively.53 Though Apple leads the market in smartphone hardware market share, the
Android operating system software maintains the lead with a 51% market share over Apple’s
operating system at 42 percent. The remaining 7 percent is made up of Blackberry and
Microsoft. Among wireless network providers, AT&T Mobility (110.4 million subscribers),54
Verizon Wireless (102.8 million subscribers),55 Sprint Corporation (53.9 million subscribers),56
and T-Mobile US (46.8 million subscribers)57 are the four largest wireless services in the U.S.
Figure 4-2 shows the relative market share of the top providers. 58 AT&T and Verizon increased
their dominance of the wireless market in 2013, each adding market share from the previous
year.
Figure 4-2. U.S. Wireless Subscribers in Fourth Quarter 2014
Source: Statista: The Statistics Portal
51
ComScore, “2014 U.S. Digital Future in Focus,” released February 2014, https://www.comscore.com/Insights/
Presentations_and_Whitepapers/2014/2014_US_Digital_Future_in_Focus, accessed May 3, 2014, p. 11.
52
Maeve Duggan, “Cell Phone Activities 2013,” Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. released
September 16, 2013, http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/09/19/cell-phone-activities-2013/, accessed May 3, 2014.
53
ComScore, “2014 U.S. Digital Future in Focus,” released February 2014, https://www.comscore.com/Insights/
Presentations_and_Whitepapers/2014/2014_US_Digital_Future_in_Focus, accessed May 3, 2014, p. 13.
54
AT&T, “2013 Annual Report,” http://www.att.com/Investor/ATT_Annual/2013/downloads/ar2013_annual_report
.pdf, accessed May 6, 2014.
55
Verizon, “2013 Annual Report,” www.verizon.com/investor/DocServlet?doc=2013_vz_annual_report.pdf,
accessed June 4, 2014.
56
Sprint, “2013 Annual Report,” http://newsroom.sprint.com/news-releases/sprint-reports-fourth-quarter-and-fullyear-2013-results.tekpdf, accessed May 6, 2014.
57
T-Mobile, “2013 Annual Report,” http://investor.t-mobile.com/Cache/1500059458.PDF?Y=&O=PDF&D=&fid=
1500059458&T=&iid=4091145, accessed May 6, 2014.
58
Statista: The Statistics Portal, “Market share of wireless subscriptions held by carriers in the U.S. from 1 st quarter
2011 to 4th quarter 2013,” http://www.statista.com/statistics/199359/market-share-of-wireless-carriers-in-the-us-bysubscriptions/, accessed May 27, 2014.
20
For 2013, the PewResearch Internet Project reported on predominate wireless phone
activities in the U.S. 59 According to its data, 81 percent of users reported using their wireless
phone to send or receive text messages. By comparison, only 60 percent use their phone to
access the Internet. Fifty-two percent of respondents also indicate that they use their phone to
send or receive email. Approximately 50 percent of users also used their phone to download
software applications, get directions, or listen to music.
2. Florida Wireless Market
Florida’s total population grew from an estimated 19.3 million at the end of 2012 to 19.6
million by the end of 2013.60 The number of wireless subscribers in Florida reached a total of
18.4 million by the end of 2012.61 This means that there are nearly as many wireless handsets in
Florida as there are people. Wireless–only households in Florida grew from 34.4 percent at the
end of 2011 to 39.7 percent by the end of 2012.62 Florida’s adoption rate of wireless handsets
tracks the national trend. Figure 4-3 illustrates that as ILECs lose wireline subscribers to
competitors and affiliated wireless companies, many of these subscribers are transitioning to
wireless-only households.
Figure 4-3. Florida Wireline / Wireless Subscribers
Source: FCC, Local Competition Report
59
Maeve Duggan, “Cell Phone Activities 2013,” Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. released
September 16, 2013, http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/09/19/cell-phone-activities-2013/, accessed May 3, 2014.
60
Florida QuickFacts, U.S. Census Bureau, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/12000.html, accessed May 4,
2014.
61
FCC, “Local Telephone Competition: Status as of December 31, 2012”, released November 2013,
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-324413A1.pdf, accessed May 4, 2014, Table 18.
62
Stephen J. Blumberg, Ph.D., et al., “Wireless substitution: State-level estimates from the National Health
Interview Survey, 2012,” National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
released December 18, 2013, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr070.pdf, accessed on May 4, 2014.
21
B. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
1. National VoIP Market
As in prior years, the number of residences and businesses subscribing to VoIP services
increased.63 Cable companies have continued to maintain their dominance in the residential
VoIP market while traditional wireline carriers, such as AT&T and Verizon, make gains as more
consumers take advantage of their fiber-based services. Other ILECs and CLECs have also
experienced an increase in VoIP subscribership. The FCC’s most recent data reports
approximately 34.3 million interconnected residential VoIP subscribers and over 7.6 million
business subscribers nationwide as of December 2012.64 This represents a 14 percent increase of
total interconnected VoIP subscribers nationwide since December 2011.65
a. Facilities-Based VoIP Providers
ILECs, CLECs, and cable companies all provide interconnected VoIP services.
However, cable companies dominate the facilities-based residential VoIP market with an
estimated 28.2 million VoIP subscribers as of December 2012.66 More recent data is available
from publicly traded carriers. Comcast, the largest cable provider, had an estimated 10.7 million
VoIP subscribers at the end of 2013.67 This represents a seven percent increase since year-end
2012. Time Warner Cable, the nation’s second largest cable provider had an estimated 5.1
million subscribers.68
While all of the large cable companies continue to experience growth in VoIP
subscribership, the rate of growth has decreased. Between 2007 and 2009 the number of
residential VoIP subscribers more than doubled. However, in 2010 cable VoIP providers began
reporting slower yearly subscriber growth rates. This decrease can be partially attributed to
consumers completely abandoning their home phones for wireless phone service.69 Another
63
See Glossary. VoIP is not the same as “the Internet.” It is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using
a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line. Facilities-based VoIP services are
generally provided over private managed networks and more closely emulate traditional telephone service
reliability. Over-the-Top VoIP service is provided over the public Internet.
64
FCC, “Local Telephone Competition: Status as of December 31, 2012,” released November 2013,
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-324413A1.pdf, accessed May 2, 2014, Tables 10 and 11.
65
FCC, “Local Telephone Competition: Status as of December 31, 2011,” released January 2013,
http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2013/db0114/DOC-318397A1.pdf, accessed May 2, 2014,
Tables 10 and 11.
66
FCC, “Local Telephone Competition: Status as of December 31, 2012,” released November 2013,
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-324413A1.pdf, accessed May 2, 2014, Tables 10 and 11.
67
Comcast Corporation, “Comcast Reports Fourth Quarter and Year End 2013 Results,” released January 28, 2014,
http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/CMCSA/3138493226x0x721201/edb5a694-8a2d-4bf1-b4b5-718461607f31/
CMCSA_News_2014_1_28_General_Releases.pdf, accessed May 2, 2014.
68
Time Warner, “Time Warner Cable Reports 2013 Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results,” released January 30,
2014,
http://ir.timewarnercable.com/files/4Q13/Q4%202013%20TWC%20Earnings%20Release%20FINAL.pdf,
accessed on May 2, 2014.
69
PRWeb.com, “VoIP in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld has Been Updated,” released
December 24, 2012, http://www.prweb.com/pdfdownload/10267567.pdf, accessed May 2, 2014.
22
contributing factor is the loss of market share concentration. For years, the largest cable VoIP
providers dominated the market and earned the vast majority of the revenue within the industry.
However, for the past five years, their market share concentration has declined due to an increase
in competition from the emergence of free and low cost VoIP providers.70
Wireline telephone companies continue to deploy facilities-based VoIP services over
fiber-based facilities. While AT&T and Verizon continue to show losses in traditional voice
access lines, both companies reported gains with their other services offerings. AT&T reported
approximately 3.8 million U-verse voice subscribers at year-end 2013.71 This represents a 31
percent increase from the previous year. Verizon reported approximately 4.2 million FiOS
Digital Voice subscribers as of December 2013, an increase of roughly 32 percent from the
previous year.72
b. Over-the-Top VoIP Providers
Over-the-top providers offer low-priced stand-alone interconnected VoIP service.73 The
service quality of these VoIP Providers varies because calls are transmitted over the public
Internet rather than private managed IP-based networks. The price advantage over the bundled
services offered by facilities-based VoIP providers has allowed the over-the-top VoIP providers
to attract customers. Between 2008 and 2013 the U.S. VoIP (interconnected and over-the-top)
market increased approximately 17 percent each year.74 Vonage, 8x8, Inc., Skype, Google, and
magicJack are a few of the leading over-the-top VoIP providers. Some of these companies have
also introduced mobile VoIP services that take advantage of consumers’ mobile broadband
connections to offer service. The adoption of mobile VoIP services is rapidly increasing. It is
anticipated that by 2015, the number of mobile VoIP subscribers will increase ten-fold from
2010.75
Reliable information on subscribership is not widely available for over-the-top providers.
Some available data suggest that certain market segments are performing better than others. The
data also suggests that the market may be maturing due to slower growth rates. For instance,
despite having a 17 percent increase in VoIP subscribers in 2011, 8x8, Inc., which almost
exclusively focuses on the business market, reported a slightly lower growth rate at 14 percent
70
IBISWorld, “VoIP in the US: Market Research Report,” released February 2014, http://www.ibisworld.com/
industry/default.aspx?indid=1269, accessed May 6, 2014.
71
AT&T, “2013 Annual Report,” http://www.att.com/Investor/ATT_Annual/2013/downloads/ar2013_annual_
report.pdf, accessed May 6, 2016.
72
Verizon, “Fourth Quarter 2013 Earnings Report,” http://www.verizon.com/investor/DocServlet?doc=vz_fs
_pdf_2013_4q_new.pdf, accessed May 6, 2014.
73
The phrase “over-the-top VoIP” refers to a VoIP service that requires a consumer to obtain broadband access from
another company.
74
Felice Physioc, World of Business Ideas, “The Top 5 Fastest Growing Industries of the Future,” released March
13, 2013, http://www.wobi.com/blog/future-industries/top-5-fastest-growing-industries-future, accessed May 6,
2014.
75
Andrew Burger, “Report: Mobile VoIP Growing Exponentially, but Revenues Remain Small,” Telecompetitor,
released October 20, 2011, http://www.telecompetitor.com/report-mobile-voip-growing-exponentially-but-revenuesremain-small/, accessed May 6, 2014.
23
for 2013.76 Despite declines in subscribership in recent years, at year-end 2013 Vonage reported
approximately 2.5 million subscribers, an increase of roughly eight percent from the previous
year.77
3. Florida VoIP Market
Limitations exist in determining an accurate estimate of VoIP subscribers in Florida
because the Commission does not have jurisdiction over VoIP services. However, the Florida
Cable Telecommunications Association reported residential VoIP line data for its six largest
members78 and a number of CLECs and ILECs voluntarily responded to the Commission’s data
request. Based on a review of available data, there are an estimated 2.8 million residential
interconnected VoIP subscribers in Florida. Figure 4-4, shows the number of residential
interconnected VoIP subscribers in Florida by provider type, as of year-end 2013. It appears that
recent growth trends in residential VoIP by Cable companies in Florida may have plateaued in
2013. For Florida, growth in residential VoIP lines in 2013 was from ILEC and CLEC
providers.
Figure 4-4. Florida Residential Interconnected VoIP Subscribers
Source: Responses to FPSC data requests (2010-2014)
76
8x8, Form 10-K, http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/EGHT/3151808256x0xS1136261-13-259/1023731
/filing.pdf, accessed May 7, 2013.
77
Vonage, Form 10-K, http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/VAGE/3151879113x0x747676/246bd883-5c1a4b26-8cda-f86d88a99a6f/2013FORM10K_SEC-VAGE-1272830-14-20.pdf, accessed May 7, 2014.
78
Those members are: Advanced Cable, Atlantic Broadband, Bright House Networks, Comcast, Cox, and
Mediacom.
24
C. Broadband
1. National Broadband Market
According to the latest survey report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 70
percent of adults had broadband connections in their homes in 2013.79 This is a 4 percent
increase from the previous year. Thirty-three percent of households with a broadband
connection have set up a router for wireless access, 31 percent connect directly to their cable
modem, 18 percent connect to a DSL-phone line, and 8 percent utilize a fiber optic connection to
get on the Internet.80
Having a broadband connection strongly affects how frequently an individual uses the
Internet. Broadband users typically use the Internet more frequently than dial-up users. This
difference can be attributed to the “always on” broadband connection. High-speed access to the
Internet at home has risen steadily in recent years, while dial-up has steadily decreased. For
instance, in 2000, only 3 percent of households had broadband connections, compared to 70
percent in 2013.81 Thirty-four percent of households had dial-up in 2000, compared to about 2
percent in 2013.
According to the most recent FCC report, 50 percent of U.S. households have a fixed
broadband connection with download speeds of at least 3 Mbps and 70 percent have fixed
broadband connections of 200 kbps or greater.82 Demographic groups that are less likely to have
broadband connections within their homes include minorities, those without a college education,
and low income individuals.83
Notable differences in broadband adoption in 2013 included:

Men (70 percent) are just as likely as women (70 percent) to have home broadband.

Hispanics survey participants subscribed to broadband services at a rate of 56 percent,
compared to African Americans at 62 percent, and Whites at 74 percent.

Households with an annual household income of over $75,000 subscribe to broadband at
a rate of 91 percent, compared to 85 percent with incomes of $50,000 to $74,999; 71
79
Pew Research and Internet Project, “Broadband Technology Fact Sheet,” http://www.pewinternet.org/factsheets/broadband-technology-fact-sheet/, accessed May 7, 2014.
80
Mike Flacy, Digital Trends, “30 Percent of Americans Don’t Have Broadband Access at Home,” released August
27, 2013, http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/30-percent-of-americans-no-broadband/#!KpvMR, accessed May
7, 2014.
81
Pew Research and Internet Project, “Broadband Technology Fact Sheet,” http://www.pewinternet.org/factsheets/broadband-technology-fact-sheet/, accessed May 7, 2014.
82
FCC, “Internet Access Services: Status as of December 31, 2012,” released December 2013,
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-324884A1.pdf, accessed May 28, 2014, Tables 13 and 14.
83
Pew Research and Internet Project, “Broadband Technology Fact Sheet,” http://www.pewinternet.org/factsheets/broadband-technology-fact-sheet/, accessed May 7, 2014.
25
percent with incomes of $30,000 to $49,999; and 52 percent for households with incomes
that are less than $30,000.

Eighty-one percent of adults age 18 to 29 have broadband connection within their homes;
compared to 77 percent age 30 to 49; 68 percent age 50 to 64; and 47 percent of adults 65
and older.

Of the respondents with a college degree, 90 percent have access to broadband at home
compared to 28 percent without a high school diploma.84
The Pew Survey also indicated that 30 percent of adults did not have fixed broadband
connections in their homes in 2013. Of those who do not have fixed broadband connections, 10
percent went without a fixed broadband connection at home in favor of wireless 3G and 4G LTE
access on their smartphone.85 Most of the people in this group are young, have never gone to
college, and make less than $30,000 a year.86 The remaining 20 percent do not utilize high speed
Internet access at their home in any form.87 In addition, the survey results found that 15 percent
of all adults do not use the Internet at all. Among those adults who do not use the Internet,
almost half indicated that they do not use the Internet because it is not relevant to their lives.88
4.
Florida Broadband Market
According to the most recent FCC report, 56 percent of households in Florida have a
fixed broadband connection with download speeds of at least 3 Mbps and 76 percent have fixed
broadband connections of 200 kbps or greater.89 The FCC also reported that cable modem
services accounted for approximately 60 percent of non-mobile broadband connections in
Florida with download speeds greater than 200 kbps. Mobile broadband connections accounted
for 63 percent of all Florida broadband connections with download speeds in excess of 200
kbps.90 By comparison, data from the Florida Department of Management Services provides
information regarding the geographic area that has access to broadband in Florida. The areas in
brown on Figure 4-5, below show the locations in Florida that have inadequate wireline (e.g.,
84
Ibid.
Mike Flacy, Digital Trends, “30 Percent of Americans Don’t Have Broadband Access at Home,” released August
27, 2013, http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/30-percent-of-americans-no-broadband/#!KpvMR, accessed May
7, 2014
86
Brian Fung, Washington Post, “10 percent of Americans use smartphones for Internet. Are they better off than
people with traditional Internet?” released August 26, 2013, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/
2013/08/26/10-percent-of-americans-use-smartphones-for-internet-are-they-better-off-than-people-with-traditionalinternet/, accessed on May 7, 2014.
87
Mike Flacy, Digital Trends, “30 Percent of Americans Don’t Have Broadband Access at Home,” released August
27, 2013, http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/30-percent-of-americans-no-broadband/#!KpvMR, accessed May
7, 2014.
88
Pew Research and Internet Project, “Broadband Technology Fact Sheet,” http://www.pewinternet.org/factsheets/broadband-technology-fact-sheet/, accessed May 7, 2014.
89
FCC, “Internet Access Services: Status as of December 31, 2012,” released December 2013,
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-324884A1.pdf, accessed May 7, 2014, Tables 13 and 14.
90
Ibid, Table 16.
85
26
FiOS, Cable Broadband, and DSL) broadband coverage with download speeds of less than 3
Mbps.91
Figure 4-5. Inadequate Wireline Broadband Coverage in Florida
Source: Broadband Florida Initiative, Florida Department of Management Services
91
Florida Department of Management Services, Broadband Florida Initiative, http://map.broadbandfla.com/,
accessed May 28, 2014.
27
28
Chapter V. Competitive Market Analysis and Statutory Issues
Section 364.386, F.S., contains four specific issues the Commission is required to address
in its annual report on telecommunications competition. These issues emphasize analysis of the
impact of competition and regulatory changes on the telecommunications market.
A. Statutory Issue - Competitive Providers
1. The ability of competitive providers to make functionally equivalent local
exchange services available to both residential and business customers at
competitive rates, terms, and conditions.
In Florida, the total number of access lines decreased by 7 percent in 2013. CLEC lines
increased 15 percent between December 2012 and December 2013 due to continued growth in
business lines. Total CLEC wireline market share in Florida increased to 32 percent in 2013
from 26 percent in 2012. Wireless carriers also experienced growth in the number of wireless
subscribers in Florida. In December 2012, the FCC reported that there were 18.4 million
handsets in service.92
In addition, residential VoIP subscribership rose to nearly 2.8 million by December
2013.
This data suggests that CLECs, VoIP, and wireless carriers are able to provide
functionally equivalent services to residential and business customers at rates, terms and
conditions acceptable to consumers. The number of CLECs offering a variety of services also
indicates the availability of functionally equivalent services at comparable terms. Other services
offered by the 87 CLECs that reported providing local service include:
93

Bundles including services other than local voice (54 CLECs)

VoIP (63 CLECs)

Broadband Internet access (54 CLECs)

Fiber to end users (11 CLECs)94

Video service (6 CLECs)
The majority of CLECs reported no barriers to competition or elected not to respond in
the comment portion of the survey. A few carriers noted concern over the inability to charge
rates that are competitive with ILEC rates, due to the cost of wholesale service. Other
complaints relate to wholesale billing errors, application of promotional credits, delays in
92
FCC, “Local Telephone Competition: Status as of December 31, 2012,” released November 2013,
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-324413A1.pdf, accessed on May 22, 2014, Table 18.
93
Responses to FPSC data requests 2012 and 2013.
94
Carriers that resell fiber loops provided by other carriers were not included.
29
number porting, access to dark fiber, and concerns regarding the future arbitration of IP-to-IP
interconnection.
Conclusion: The majority of CLECs did not report any significant barriers to
competition. Subscribers to CLEC, VoIP, and wireless services continued to increase in 2013,
reflecting the opportunity for customers to seek out services from providers other than traditional
ILECs. Many CLECs reported offering a variety of services and packages comparable to those
offered by ILECs. All of these factors contribute to the conclusion that competitive providers are
able to offer functionally equivalent services to both business and residential customers.
B. Statutory Issue – Consumers
2. The ability of consumers to obtain functionally equivalent services at
comparable rates, terms, and conditions.
Customers may obtain functionally equivalent services via wireline telephony, wireless
telephony, or VoIP. The primary focus of this report is the provision of wireline
telecommunications by ILECs and CLECs, which submit responses to the FPSC’s annual data
request. As of December 31, 2013, 87 CLECs reported providing local voice service in contrast
to 97 CLECs as of December 31, 2012, continuing the gradual decline in the number of CLECs
providing service. CLECs can offer service through resale of an ILEC’s or a CLEC’s wholesale
services, by using its own facilities, by leasing portions of its network from an ILEC, or a
combination of any of these methods. According to the FCC, 46 percent of the total Florida lines
are provided by companies other than ILECs.95
ILEC business lines fell 9 percent in 2013, while the rate of growth in CLEC business
lines was 16 percent. This suggests that business customers have the ability to find reasonable
pricing packages with CLECs and are taking advantage of these options. These options also
include cable and in some cases, wireless providers. Residential ILEC lines decreased 18
percent in Florida in 2013, while nationally, wireless-only households continued to grow,
reaching 39.4 percent through June 2013.96 As reported in Chapter IV of this report, there are
approximately 2.8 million interconnected residential VoIP subscribers in Florida.97 These and
other factors demonstrate that customers are able to find comparable services at reasonable
prices through wireless, CLEC, and VoIP providers.
Conclusion: CLEC business lines increased offsetting ILEC business line losses in
2013. This suggests that business customers are finding comparably priced packages and
functionally equivalent services with a variety of providers, which includes CLECs, cable
95
FCC, “Local Telephone Competition: Status as of December 31, 2012,” released November 2013,
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-324413A1.pdf, accessed on May 22, 2014, Table 12.
Note: The referenced access lines consist of switched access lines as well as VoIP subscriber lines.
96
Stephen J. Blumberg, Ph.D., Julian V. Luke, “Wireless substitution: Early release of estimates from the National
Health Interview Survey, January–June 2013,” National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, released December 2013, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/wireless201312.pdf,
accessed May 3, 2014.
97
Responses to FPSC Local Competition Data Request for 2013.
30
providers, and wireless providers. Residential lines have maintained a steady decline and
wireless-only households continue to grow consistent with the trend over the past several years.
Providers are coping with the changing market by modifying the way consumers pay for their
services and bundling pricing among wireline, wireless, and television services, further
increasing customers’ ability to select the services, providers, and pricing plans they prefer.
C. Statutory Issue – Affordability & Service Quality
3. The overall impact of competition on the maintenance of reasonably affordable
and reliable high-quality telecommunications services.
The FCC reported that 93.6 percent of Florida households had telephone service in March
2013, lower than the national penetration rate of 96.0 percent. 98 As shown in Figure 5-1, the
Florida telephone penetration rate has consistently been below the national penetration rate and
the gap has varied little between 2008 and 2013. This gap persists despite successful efforts in
recent years by Florida carriers and the FPSC to make Lifeline benefits more accessible to
eligible low-income consumers. The majority of Florida residents have a choice among several
non-ILEC providers, with 10 or more providers available in 87 percent of Florida zip codes.99
According to the FCC, there are no zip codes in Florida without at least one CLEC or non-ILEC
VoIP provider.
Figure 5-1. Telephone Service Penetration: Florida vs. Nation
Source: FCC, Telephone Subscribership & USF Monitoring Report,
* Represents March Current Population Survey Data Only
98
FCC, “Telephone Subscribership in the United States as of July 2011,” released December 2011,
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-311523A1.pdf, accessed May 19, 2013, Table 3;
“Universal Service Monitoring Report,” released December 2013, http://transition.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common
_Carrier/Reports/FCC-State_Link/Monitor/2013_ Monitoring_Report.pdf, accessed on May 22, 2014, Table 3.8.
99
FCC, “Local Telephone Competition: Status as of December 31, 2012,” released November 2013,
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-324413A1.pdf, accessed May 22, 2014, Table 21.
31
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report on wireless substitution for the
period January-June 2013 and found that 39.4 percent of adults live in wireless-only
households.100 While state-specific data on wireless-only households was not provided in the
most recent CDC report, a December 2013 report containing state-level data noted that Orange
County had the highest wireless-only penetration rate in Florida at 46.5 percent.101 The CDC
report found 6.5 percent of Florida adults living in households with only a wireline phone. It
also found that 2.5 percent of Florida adults living without any form of telephone service.102
This data suggests that most Florida households are able to afford telephone service and have
access to a variety of service providers, including ILECs, CLECs, VoIP, and wireless. This data
also supports the fact that many consumers choose to subscribe to more than one type of
telephone service.
Historically, regulatory reliability standards have applied to landline telecommunications
service making it the most reliable telecommunications service. Reliability in landline networks
is no longer insured as many states, including Florida, eliminated service quality standards.
Given the continued growth of interconnected VoIP and wireless-only households, and the
continued erosion of landline access lines, it appears that the reliability of these alternatives is
acceptable to consumers. Moreover, mobility, pricing, and the demand for data-based services
are consumer preference factors that may be changing how consumers view reliability.
Conclusion: Based on the continued growth of interconnected VoIP and wireless-only
households and the ongoing erosion of wireline access lines, network reliability of non-ILEC
providers appears to be sufficient. The telephone penetration rate of 93.6 percent supports the
conclusion that the vast majority Florida residents are able to afford telephone service. The
number and variety of competitive choices among all types of service providers suggest that
competition is having a positive impact on the telecommunications market in Florida.
D. Statutory Issue – Carrier Disputes
4. A listing and short description of any carrier disputes filed under Section 364.16,
F.S.
Conclusion: This information can be found in Appendix B. The number of docketed
and informal intercarrier complaints remained relatively stable in 2013.
100
Stephen J. Blumberg, Ph.D., Julian V. Luke, “Wireless substitution: Early release of estimates from the National
Health Interview Survey, January–June 2013,” National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, released December 2013, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/wireless201312.pdf,
accessed May 3, 2014.
101
Stephen J. Blumberg, Ph.D., et al., “Wireless substitution: State-level estimates from the National Health
Interview Survey, 2012,” National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
released December 18, 2013, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr070.pdf, accessed on May 4, 2014.
102
Ibid.
32
Chapter VI. State Activities
The Commission dealt with several intercarrier and compliance issues during the past
year. The following is a summary of activities affecting local telecommunications competition in
2013 and early 2014.
A. Intercarrier Matters
1. AT&T v. Express Phone Adoption Dispute103
This dispute relates to Express Phone’s allegation that AT&T Florida failed to honor
Express Phone’s request to adopt the interconnection agreement (ICA) between AT&T and
another CLEC. Express Phone contended that the alleged failure would violate the federal
Telecommunications Act of 1996. An evidentiary hearing was held May 3, 2012. On July 17,
2012, the Commission adopted the staff’s recommendation that Express Phone could not adopt
an alternative ICA when it failed to materially comply with its existing ICA.
On August 28, 2012, Express Phone filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive
relief in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida. Express Phone alleges that the
Commission’s decision was contrary to 47 U.S.C. §252(i) and 47 C.F.R. §51.809, and that the
order is arbitrary and capricious. On December 12, 2013, the Court affirmed the Commission’s
July 17, 2012 decision. The case was closed January 2, 2014.
2. Qwest Discrimination Complaint104
Qwest Communications Company, LLC (Qwest), filed a complaint against a large
number of CLECs on December 11, 2009, regarding rate discrimination in connection with the
provision of intrastate switched access services. Qwest sought relief from all parties for
engaging in unlawful rate discrimination. Specifically, Qwest alleged that by extending
contracts to other interexchange carriers for switched access, advantages were withheld from
Qwest. The complaint further alleged that all parties failed to abide by their price lists, and
charged Qwest more for switched access than other similarly situated interexchange companies.
The Commission addressed several procedural filings in this docket and a hearing on the issues
was held October 23-25, 2012. During the process, Qwest and a number of CLECs settled their
103
Docket No. 110087-TP – Notice of adoption of existing interconnection, unbundling, resale, and collocation
agreement between BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc. d/b/a AT&T Florida d/b/a AT&T Southeast and Image
Access, Inc. d/b/a NewPhone, Inc. by Express Phone Service, Inc.
104
Docket No. 090538-TP – Amended Complaint of Qwest Communications Company, LLC against MCImetro
Access Transmission Services (d/b/a Verizon Access Transmission Services); XO Communications Services, Inc.;
tw telecom of florida, l.p.; Granite Telecommunications, LLC; Broadwing Communications, LLC; Access Point,
Inc.; Birch Communications, Inc.; Budget Prepay, Inc.; Bullseye Telecom, Inc.; DeltaCom, Inc.; Ernest
Communications, Inc.; Flatel, Inc.; Navigator Telecommunications, LLC; PaeTec Communications, Inc.; STS
Telecom, LLC; US LEC of Florida, LLC; Windstream NuVox, Inc.; and John Does 1 through 50, for unlawful
discrimination.
33
disputes on these issues; as a result only five CLECs remained as respondents to the complaint at
the time of the hearing.
On May 1, 2013, the Commission issued Order No. PSC-13-0185-FOF-TP, finding that
the Commission retained authority under Chapter 364.16, F.S., to hear the complaint. The
Commission found that that Qwest failed to demonstrate that it was similarly situated to AT&T
and thus was not eligible for AT&T’s contract terms. The Commission also found that the
CLECs abided by their price lists and did not engage in any unlawful anticompetitive behavior
against Qwest regarding these switched access contracts. On May 16, 2013, Qwest filed a
Motion for Reconsideration of the Commission’s decision. The Commission denied Qwest’s
Motion on August 28, 2013.
3. AT&T v. Digital Express Adoption Dispute105
On June 5, 2012, Digital Express, Inc. (Digital) filed a Notice of Adoption of an existing
interconnection, unbundling, resale, and collocation agreement between BellSouth
Telecommunications, Inc. d/b/a AT&T Florida d/b/a AT&T Southeast (AT&T Florida) and New
Talk, Inc. (New Talk ICA) On July 9, 2012, AT&T Florida filed a Response in Opposition to
Digital’s adoption of the New Talk ICA. Order No. PSC-12-0598-PCO-TP, on November 1,
2012, established procedural dates and set this docket for an administrative hearing on April 18,
2013.
On February 8, 2013, Digital and AT&T filed a Joint Motion for Abatement, stating that
the parties reached an agreement to request an abatement of this docket until all appeals were
resolved in the ATT v. Express Phone adoption dispute discussed previously. In support of their
Joint Motion, the parties argued that the issues in this docket were substantially similar to the
issues in ATT v. Express Phone. After the Court affirmed the Commission’s decision in that case,
Digital Express filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal, without prejudice, of its Notice of
Adoption, on January 30, 2014, and this case was then closed.
4. Nexus v. AT&T Promotional Credit Complaint106
On November 18, 2010, Nexus Communications, Inc. (Nexus) filed its Complaint and
Petition for Relief seeking to recover cash back promotional credits from AT&T. AT&T filed its
Answer and Affirmative Defenses on November 24, 2010. On February 28, 2011, the parties
filed a Joint Status Report and Proposed Motion to Abate. A second status report was filed by
Nexus on January 10, 2013, stating that the parties had agreed in principle to the terms of a final
settlement. On May 29, 2013, Nexus filed its Motion to Dismiss, with prejudice, stating that all
issues presented in the case had been resolved and this case was subsequently closed.
105
Docket No. 120169-TP – Notice of adoption of existing interconnection, unbundling, resale and collocation
agreement between BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc. d/b/a AT&T Florida d/b/a AT&T Southeast and Image
Access, Inc. d/b/a NewPhone, Inc. by Digital Express, Inc.
106
Docket No. 100434-TP – Complaint and petition for relief by Nexus Communications, Inc. against BellSouth
Telecommunications, Inc. d/b/a AT&T Florida for dispute over interpretation of interconnection agreement
regarding cash back promotions.
34
5. CompSouth Petition for Rulemaking on Expedited Complaints107
On July 31, 2012, the Competitive Carriers of the South, Inc. (CompSouth) filed a
Petition to Initiate Rulemaking to Revise and Amend Portions of Rule 25-22.0365, F.A.C, to
revise portions of the Expedited Dispute Resolution Rule to “enable quicker resolution of cases
where a consumer is without service or suffers impaired service as a result of a dispute between
telecommunications carriers.”108 Rule development workshops were held on November 15,
2012, and August 20, 2013. CompSouth requested additional time to work out compromise
language with other carriers. The Commission approved rule language on May 9, 2014, adopting
a combination of language from CompSouth, other carriers, and Commission staff.
6. FLATEL v. AT&T Billing/Promotional Credit Complaint109
On December 10, 2013, FLATEL, Inc. initiated an informal request to renew billing and
promotional credit disputes from a complaint the Commission previously dismissed without
prejudice.110 FLATEL filed a Motion to Amend its previous case on December 30, 2013.
FLATEL claimed that it was unlawfully billed for promotional credits, claiming “AT&T offers
immediate relief via Promotions to its End Users without parity to instantly offer the same exact
relief to FLATEL’s End Users.”111 The Commission dismissed FLATEL’s complaint, with
prejudice, on June 5, 2014, due to continuing rule violation infirmities.
7. Wholesale Performance Measurement Plans
Wholesale performance measurement plans provide a standard against which the
Commission can monitor performance over time to detect and correct any degradation in the
quality of service ILECs provide to CLECs. The Commission adopted performance
measurements for AT&T in August 2001 (revised in 2010), for CenturyLink in January 2003
(revised in 2013), and for Verizon in June 2003 (revised in 2007). Trending analysis is applied
to monthly performance measurement data provided by each ILEC.
AT&T is the only ILEC that is required to make payments to CLECs when certain
performance measures do not comply with established standards and benchmarks. AT&T’s
approved Performance Assessment Plan consists of 47 measurements, of which 24
measurements have remedies applied to them. For the calendar year 2013, AT&T paid
approximately $347,772 in remedies to CLECs, an increase of 32 percent from 2012. AT&T’s
highest payments were for its Customer Trouble Report Rate.
107
Docket No. 120208-TX – Petition of the Competitive Carriers of the South, Inc., to initiate rulemaking to revise
and amend portions of Rule 25-22.0365, Florida Administrative Code.
108
Petition at p. 1.
109
Docket No. 140055-TP – Complaint of FLATEL, Inc. against BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc. d/b/a AT&T
Florida.
110
Docket No. 110306-TP – Request for emergency relief and complaint of FLATEL, Inc. against BellSouth
Telecommunications, Inc. d/b/a AT&T Florida to resolve interconnection agreement dispute.
111
Complaint at p. 1.
35
On February 1, 2013, CenturyLink filed proposed revisions to its Performance
Measurement Plan as a result of a negotiated settlement in Nevada. The revisions included
eliminating three measures (leaving a net of 33 measures) and revising several others. The
Commission approved these revisions on May 14, 2013, and they have gone into effect in July
2013 reporting month. For the 2013 calendar year, CenturyLink’s monthly compliance with
established standards ranged from 91.4 percent to 99.0 percent. CenturyLink’s measure with the
most noncompliant instances was its Average Firm Order Commitment Notice Interval.
Verizon’s current Performance Measurement Plan contains 29 measures. For the calendar
year 2013, Verizon’s monthly compliance with approved standards ranged from 84.0 percent to
90.7 percent. The previous year, Verizon’s compliance ranged from 81.1 percent to 92.2
percent. Verizon’s Percent Due Dates Missed was its most troublesome measure.
8. Other Matters
In addition these proceedings, the Commission processed a number of other
telecommunications-related items in 2013. The Commission processed 182 service schedule and
tariff filings, 56 interconnection agreements and amendments, 16 carrier certifications, 34
certificate cancellations, and over 500 general inquiries/informal complaints.
B. Lifeline
In order to comply with FCC requirements and keep the Lifeline application process
uncomplicated, the FPSC created an on-line Lifeline application for consumers participating in
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, or Temporary Assistance for
Needy Families (TANF). When the applicant completes the application making all the necessary
attestations, certifications, and the electronic signature, the FPSC computer automatically makes
a query to a Florida Department of Children and Families Web services interface to confirm
current participation in SNAP, Medicaid, or TANF. The real-time response will verify
participation in at least one of the programs, but does not identify the program. A positive
response will generate an automatic e-mail to the appropriate Lifeline provider advising it that an
approved Lifeline application is available for retrieval on the FPSC Web site. A negative
response will cause a letter to be sent to the applicant stating his/her participation in SNAP,
Medicaid, or TANF could not be confirmed and offering staff assistance with any questions.
C. Telephone Relay Service
According to the Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, nearly
three million deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, and speech-impaired citizens live in Florida.112
Florida is the fourth largest state in the U.S. and has the second highest percentage of population
who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind.113
112
2013 Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Report to the Governor and Legislature of
the State of Florida.
113
2007 Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Report to the Governor and Legislature of
the State of Florida.
36
Chapter 427, Part II of the Florida Statutes, established the Telecommunications Access
System Act of 1991 (TASA). TASA provides funding for the distribution of specialized
telecommunications devices and intrastate relay service through the imposition of a surcharge of
up to $0.25 per landline access line per month, for up to 25 access lines per account. The current
surcharge billed per month per landline access line is $0.11.
Pursuant to TASA, the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) is responsible for
establishing, implementing, promoting, and overseeing the administration of a statewide
telecommunications access system to provide access to telecommunications relay services by
people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired. In accordance with TASA, the FPSC
directed the local exchange companies (LECs) to form a not-for-profit corporation, known as
Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI) to directly administer basic relay service in
Florida. FTRI is responsible for paying the provders’ bills, outreach, and the distribution of
equipment.
Basic relay service is provisioned in Florida under contract by a single service provider.
Through a competitive bid evaluation process, the FPSC awarded the current relay provider
contract to AT&T, effective June 1, 2012, for a period of three years ending May 31, 2015. The
contract contains options to extend the contract for four additional one-year periods, and requires
mutual consent by both parties to extend the contract.
On January 16, 2014, AT&T provided written notice to the FPSC that it does not intend
to extend the relay provider contract into the option periods when the existing contract expires.
On June 9, 2014, the FPSC approved the release of a Request for Proposals to seek a new relay
provider to begin providing service by June 1, 2015.
On May 9, 2014, the FPSC approved FTRI’s 2014-2015 budget maintaining the $.11
monthly surcharge per access line. Specifically, the FPSC approved FTRI’s proposed operating
revenue of $8,528,177, and proposed expenses, of $8,263,702, for fiscal year 2014-2015,
effective July 1, 2014.
D. Florida Broadband Grant Projects
The Florida Department of Management Services received federal grant funding in
January 2010 for $2.5 million to develop a broadband map for Florida and broadband planning
for the state. In September 2010, the Department was awarded an additional $6.3 million, for a
total amount of $8.8 million, to extend the mapping project through 2014 and initiate four
additional broadband projects. The four projects are library technology assessments, E-rate
assistance, broadband grants assistance, and regional broadband planning.
37
1.
Broadband Mapping
Efforts to maintain the map are ongoing, focusing on building Florida’s database for
household broadband availability and broadband use by anchor institutions. The most recently
compiled data will be submitted for the national broadband map in October 2014. 114 Data will
be updated bi-annually through the end of 2014. The Broadband Mapping team also assisted the
Department of Education with analysis of the broadband coverage and availability for all the
public schools in Florida to assist with digital learning capability.
2.
Library Technology Assessment
This project inventoried and reported on Florida’s 180 public libraries and was completed
by the end of the 2nd quarter of 2012. The assessment helped to identify libraries whose
broadband needs are the greatest.
3.
E-rate Assistance
In 2011 and 2012, comparably populated states such as California, New York, and Texas
received more E-rate funding than Florida.115 In an effort to improve Florida’s benefit from the
program, the E-rate assistance team, which now also serves as the State E-rate Coordinators,
provided technical training seminars throughout the state to assist potential applicants and served
as a technical resource on multiple school and library E-rate applications, including follow-up
assistance and application monitoring. Per a Universal Service Administrative Company
(USAC) directive, the Department of Management Services must be the applicant for all funding
requests that utilize the state master contracts. The team certified all of the applications and is in
the process of handling any USAC review inquiries. The project is funded through 2014.
4.
Grants Assistance and Resource Development
In fiscal year 2010, Florida ranked 48th in federal program grant funds per capita. 116 The
grant assistance team is focusing on matching up eligible community anchor institutions with
federal programs that will support and fund broadband related technology. The current program
focus is the new HealthCare Connect Fund, which falls under the Universal Service Fund
umbrella and funds broadband capacity and infrastructure. The team will assist with the
application process for all eligible applicants.
114
The Florida broadband map can be accessed online at http://map.broadbandfla.com/.
FCC, “Universal Service Monitoring Report,” released March 2013, http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-releases2012-universal-service-monitoring-report, accessed May 24, 2013, and “Universal Service Monitoring Report,”
released December 2013, http://transition.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common_Carrier/Reports/FCC-State_Link/Monitor/
2013_Monitoring_Report.pdf, accessed May 22, 2014.
116
U.S. Census Bureau, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, “Federal Aid to
States for Fiscal Year 2010,” released September 2011, http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/fas-10.pdf, accessed
June 20, 2012, Figure 5, (2010 was the last year this report was published).
115
38
5.
Regional Broadband Planning
This project will develop and provide Florida communities with a broadband planning
process, tool kits, and training to local communities and regions who wish to develop broadband
plans as part of their economic development efforts.
39
40
Chapter VII. Federal Activities
A. TDM-to-IP Transition
On November 7, 2012, AT&T filed a petition asking the FCC to launch a proceeding to
eliminate what AT&T perceived as regulatory barriers affecting investment in Internet Protocol
(IP)-based networks.117 It asked the FCC to approve trials that would allow ILECs to retire their
existing Time-Division Multiplexing (TDM) services in select exchanges and introduce all-IP
services in their place. On January 31, 2014, the FCC invited interested providers to submit
detailed proposals to test real-world applications of planned changes in technology likely to have
tangible effects on consumers.118 AT&T submitted its proposal to the FCC on February 27, 2014
to conduct the trials in a rural wire center in Carbon Hill, AL, and in a suburban wire center in
Palm Beach County, FL (Kings Point119).120 Figures 7-1 and 7-2 identify the location and
boundaries of the areas in the proposed trial in Florida.
Figure 7-1. Location of Kings Point Wire Center121
Palm Beach County
Kings Point
Wire
Center
117
AT&T, “Petition to Launch a Proceeding Concerning the TDM-to-IP Transition,” filed with the FCC on
November 7, 2012, http://www.att.com/Common/about_us/files/pdf/fcc_filing.pdf, accessed May 16, 2014.
118
FCC, “Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Proposal for Ongoing Data Initiative,”
GN Docket No. 13-5, FCC 14-5, released January 31, 2014, http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC14-5A1.pdf, accessed May 16, 2014.
119
Kings Point is part of the West Palm Beach metropolitan area and includes approximately 50 thousand living
units. Residential consumers in the Kings Point exchange are predominately (about 70 percent) over 50 years old
and about 9 percent of households have income below poverty level.
120
AT&T, “Proposal for Wire Center Trials - Redacted,” GN Docket No. 13-5, February 27, 2014, http://apps.fcc
.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521084110, access May 16, 2014.
121
Geology.com, Florida Physical Relief Map, http://geology.com/topographic-physical-map/florida.shtml, accessed
May 16, 2014.
41
Figure 7-2. Kings Point Wire Center Boundaries
AT&T proposes to conduct the trials in three phases: phase one will have customers opt
for new services voluntarily, phase two will grandfather TDM-based services, and phase three
will sunset all TDM-based services in these exchanges and require customers to migrate to IPbased products. Within AT&T’s wireline and wireless footprints, it will offer consumers and
businesses wireline and wireless products as substitutions for traditional TDM services. In areas
within AT&T’s wireless footprint but outside its wireline footprint, only wireless services plan
will be offered. AT&T’s proposal plans for extensive customer outreach, advertising, and
personnel in the area to answer questions. AT&T plans to complete all three phases within three
years. However, before it can grandfather or sunset any services, it will first seek permission to
do so from the FCC. The timelines for grandfathering and sunsetting services will vary based on
the development of IP-based alternatives as well as FCC approval. The FCC has not made a
decision on AT&T’s proposal.
Currently, some services will not be compatible with existing equipment. AT&T has
committed to develop services that will be compatible with most existing equipment. For
example, its wireless products will comply with the FCC’s existing 911 requirements for
Commercial Mobile Radio Services, but does not provide E-911 with street address. They also
do not currently support alarm monitoring, medical alert and credit card validation applications.
However, AT&T states it is currently developing enhancements that will provide all of these
42
applications before AT&T requests any action to grandfather or discontinue its TDM-based
voice services. AT&T has indicated that its IP-based services may not ultimately be compatible
with equipment customers may still have, such as 10-15 year old analog fax machines.
Furthermore, there are a few applications that AT&T does not plan to support due to rapidly
declining market demand such as digital video recorder services, elevator phones, third party pay
per call, dial around calls, and operator services functions (live operators and collect calling).
AT&T proposes that because the first phase of the trial will only require voluntary
participation, no retail or wholesale customer will be required to transition to all-IP during that
phase. This includes wholesale customers such as CLECs, who may opt for IP interconnection
when the trials begin but may also choose to retain their existing TDM-based services. AT&T
admits that it has not developed all of the necessary IP-based products in either the retail or
wholesale markets, so it will not require migration for customers until it has completed its
product development and introduced IP-based substitutes for existing services. However, AT&T
does plan to require the migration of all CLEC TDM-based service to IP counterparts at some
point during this trial.
B. Network Neutrality and Internet Network Management
In January 2014, the D.C. Circuit held the FCC has authority to impose network
neutrality requirements on regulated telecommunications companies via section 706 of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996, but that most of the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet Order122
exceeds that authority. The court concluded that because the FCC has not classified broadband
providers as a “common carriers,” it cannot impose net neutrality rules on them. 123
The
decision reviews three FCC Network Neutrality rules: (1) A “transparency” rule that requires
broadband providers to disclose to consumers the way in which their facilities are managed and
what type of service performance can be expected; (2) An “anti-blocking” rule that prevents
providers from blocking consumer access to lawful Internet content absent some need to protect
the network; and (3) An “anti-discrimination” rule to prevent providers from favoring their own
content, or content that they somehow prefer, over the content that consumers attempt to access
from third parties, again absent some need to protect the network.
The court’s decision struck down the FCC’s rules relating to “anti-blocking” and “antidiscrimination.” The following month, the FCC established a new docket within which it will
consider how it should proceed in light of the court’s decision and what actions the FCC should
take consistent with its authority under section 706.124 The FCC tentatively concluded that it
should enhance the transparency rule that was upheld by the court by differentiating the level of
details provided to consumers and application developers. The FCC also tentatively concluded
to adopt the text of the no-blocking rule with revised legal rational.
122
FCC, “Report and Order,” GN Docket No. 09-191, FCC 10-201, released December 23, 2010, http://hraunfoss.
fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-10-201A1.pdf, accessed May 19, 2011.
123
U.S. Court of Appeals, Verizon v. Federal Communications Commission, argued September 9, 2013, decided
January 14, 2014, https://prodnet.www.neca.org/publicationsdocs/wwpdf/11414net.pdf, accessed May 14, 2014.
124
FCC, “Public Notice,” GN Docket No. 14-28, DA 14-211, released February 19, 2014, http://transition.fcc.gov/
Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0219/DA-14-211A1.pdf, accessed May 14, 2014.
43
C. Inmate Calling
On August 9, 2013, the FCC approved an order to reduce the cost on interstate long
distance calls from inmate facilities.125 The order concludes that some interstate inmate calling
service rates are not just and fair. The order requires interstate rates to be cost-based. The rates
may include security costs and a reasonable return. While the FCC encouraged states to make
similar changes to intrastate rates, the FCC also sought comments for legal bases to compel
reform of intrastate inmate calling service rates. Other reforms implemented in the order
include:

setting an interim rate-caps based on data submitted by providers

adopting a debit/pre-paid calling cap of $0.21 per minute

presumption that rates that will to be cost based (rebuttable/challengeable) for
debit/prepaid cards calls - at or below $0.12/min and for collect - at or below $0.14/min
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals however issued an Order on January 13, 2014 that
stays portions of the FCC’s inmate calling rule.126 The rules that were stayed included rules that
required cost-based rates, established an interim safe harbor, and required annual reporting and
certification.
D. Next Generation 911
Congress enacted the Next Generation 911 Advancement Act as part of the Middle Class
Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.127 Next Generation 911 systems have the potential to
increase public safety for consumers, especially for people with disabilities. These technologies
will enable the public to send emergency communications via text, photos, and videos, and will
provide Public Safety Answering Points and other first responders with access to enhanced
information to respond to emergencies.
On January 30, 2014, the FCC adopted a Policy Statement stating the goal that all
wireless telephone companies and providers of interconnected text messaging services should
enable consumers to send text messages to 911.128 The FCC encouraged industry-developed
125
FCC, “Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” WC Docket No. 12-375, FCC 13-113,
released September 26, 2013, http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-13-113A1.pdf, accessed May
14, 2014.
126
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, No. 13-1280, Securus Techonologies, Inc.,
v. Federal Communications Commission and United States of America, filed on January 13, 2014, https://prodnet.
www.neca.org/publicationsdocs/wwpdf/11314dcct.pdf, accessed May 14, 2014.
127
Committee Reports, 112th Congress, House Report 112-399, Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of
2012, http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/R?cp112:FLD010:@1(hr399), accessed May 14, 2014.
128
FCC, “Policy Statement and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” PS Docket No. 11-153, FCC 14-6,
released January 31, 2014, http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0131/FCC-14-6A1.pdf,
accessed May 14, 2014.
44
solutions to achieve this goal, and proposed rules that would require all covered text providers to
support text-to-911 by December 31, 2014.
AT&T, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, and Verizon entered into a voluntary agreement with
the National Emergency Number Association in which these carriers agreed to provide text-to911 service by May 15, 2014, to Public Safety Answering Points that are capable of and request
to receive text-to-911 service.129 These wireless carriers provide quarterly progress reports to the
FCC regarding the status of their national text-to-911 service capability. While AT&T, TMobile, and Verizon are providing Text-to-911 service in select cities, none of these locations
are in Florida at this time.130
During the transition to text-to-911, the FCC has established rules to help keep
consumers safe. Specifically, all wireless telephone companies are required by the FCC to send
an automatic "bounce-back" message to any consumer who tries to send a text message to 911
where this service is not yet available beginning September 30, 2013. 131 Consumers who receive
this "bounce-back" message will be advised to call 911 as opposed to sending a text.
E. Rural Call Completion
On October 28, 2013, the FCC adopted an order to address problems associated with
completion of long distance calls to rural areas.132 The order requires certain providers to record,
retain, and report rural call completion data to the FCC for investigation. The data was also
intended to allow state regulators to better monitor performance and identify problem areas.
Four months following this order, Windstream Corporation (Windstream) agreed to pay
$2.5 million to the U.S. Treasury to resolve an investigation by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau
into the company’s rural call completion practices.133 The company also agreed to implement a
three-year plan to ensure compliance with FCC requirements designed to combat the problem of
long-distance calls failing to complete in rural areas. Windstream agreed to cease using
intermediate providers that fail to improve their performance.
129
Commitment Letter from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, Verizon, APCO International, & NENA – The 9-1-1
Association to the FCC, filed December 6, 2012, http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7022074960, accessed
May 14, 2014.
130
FCC, Text-to-911 Deployments as of May 9, 2014, http://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/text-to-911-deployments.pdf,
accessed May14, 2014.
131
FCC, “Report and Order,” PS Docket No 11-153, FCC 13-64, released May 17, 2013, http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/
edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-13-64A1.pdf, accessed May 14, 2014.
132
FCC, “Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” WC Docket No. 13-39, FCC 13-135,
released November 8, 2013, http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2013/db1108/FCC-13135A1.pdf, accessed May 14, 2014.
133
FCC, “Order,” File No. EB-IHB-13-00011781, Acct. No. 201432080020, DA 14-152, released February 20,
2014, http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0220/DA-14-152A1.pdf, accessed May 14,
2014.
45
F. Universal Service
The FPSC monitors and participates in ongoing proceedings at the FCC and with the
Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service (Joint Board). Florida consumers pay
significantly more into the federal Universal Service Fund (USF) than what is returned to eligible
service providers in Florida.134 While Florida was a net recipient of low income support
programs in 2010, this trend was reversed in 2011 when contributions exceeded receipts. Table
7.1 shows Florida’s estimated contribution and receipts for 2012.
Table 7-1. 2012 Federal Universal Service Programs in Florida
(Annual Payments and Contributions in Thousands of Dollars)
High-Cost
Low Income
Schools
Libraries
Rural
Care
&
Health
Total135
2010
2011
Estimated
Net
Estimated
Net
2012
Payments to
Service
Providers
Estimated
Consumers
Contributions
Estimated
Net
($211,439)
($206,311)
$59,281
$268,520
($209,239)
2,146
(1,007)
118,154
141,767
(23,613)
(41,568)
(67,626)
80,450
143,625
(63,175)
(5,395)
(8,558)
457
10,064
(9,607)
($263,152)
($290,437)
$258,342
$571,148
($312,806)
Source: FCC Universal Service Monitoring Report, Tables 1.12 Table 1.13.
1. Contribution System Reform
Funding for USF is collected from telecommunications service providers. The amount
they contribute is based on a quarterly FCC assessment factor and the amount of
telecommunications revenues service providers collect from end-users. Specifically, the
assessment factor is applied to interstate and international telecommunications revenues. Mobile
wireless carriers and interconnected VoIP providers also required to contribute.136 In 2013 the
assessment factor, ranged from a high of 16.1 percent in the first quarter to a low of 15.1 percent
in the third quarter.137 Figure 7.3 below illustrates the general increase of the assessment factor
over the last five years.
134
FCC, “Universal Service Monitoring Report,” CC Docket No. 98-202, released December 13, 2013,
http://transition.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common_Carrier/Reports/FCC-State_Link/Monitor/2013_Monitoring_Report.pdf,
accessed May 9, 2014, Table 1.13.
135
The total contribution for 2012 includes approximately $111 million in administrative expenses for the Universal
Service Administrative Company.
136
Wireless carriers and interconnected VoIP providers may use the interim safe harbor percentages to estimate the
interstate portion of their revenues.
137
FCC, Contribution Factor and Quarterly Filings – USF Management Support, http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/
contribution-factor-quarterly-filings-universal-service-fund-usf-management-support, accessed on May 9, 2014.
46
Figure 7-3. USF Quarterly Assessment Factor
Source: FCC, Public Notices on Proposed Contribution Factors, various quarters.
Last year, the FCC initiated a proceeding to consider modernizing how Universal Service
fund contributions are assessed and recovered. The FCC has acknowledged that the current
contribution system has given rise to uncertainty, inefficiency, and market distortions. Outdated
rules and loopholes mean that services that compete directly against each other may face
different treatment. Among the options the FCC is considering is a change to assess
contributions based on either total revenues (i.e., interstate and intrastate), connections, numbers,
or a hybrid approach (of connections and revenues).
2. High-Cost
In 2011, the FCC modernized its existing high-cost fund to explicitly support deployment
of broadband to unserved areas.138 While the order implementing these reforms was appealed,
the Tenth District Court of Appeals in Denver recently rejected almost all the arguments made
by the 31 petitioners.139 The arguments that were not rejected were found to be not yet “ripe” for
judicial review. As part of this reform, the FCC began to phase out the existing high-cost
support programs and began funding through the two new high-cost programs, the Connect
America Fund and the Mobility Fund. The Connect America Fund focuses on supporting and
expanding fixed broadband availability and voice service. The Mobility Fund that will provide
138
FCC, “Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” WC Docket No. 10-90, et all, FCC 11161, released November 18, 2011, http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-161A1.pdf, accessed
May 9, 2014.
139
United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, Petitions for Review of Orders of the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC Nos. 11-161, 12-47), Case No. 11-9900, released May 23, 2014, http://www.ca10.uscourts.
gov/opinions/11/11-9900.pdf, accessed May 29, 2014.
47
up to $300 million in one-time support to accelerate deployment of networks for mobile voice
and broadband services in unserved areas.
In conjunction with other reforms, the FCC adopted a retail rate floor to limit high-cost
universal service support where there are artificially low retail rates. Specifically, high-cost
support will be reduced to the extent that a carrier’s rates for local voice service fall below an
urban local rate floor. An initial rate floor of $10 was established for the period July 1, 2012
through June 30, 2013.140 The following year, the rate floor was increased to $14. On March 20,
2014, the results of the new urban rate survey for voice services were announced. Based on the
survey results, the average local end-user rates, plus state regulated fees, of the surveyed ILECs
in urban areas was $20.46.141 Under the FCC’s rules, by July 1, 2014, all ILEC recipients of
high-cost support must report the number of residential service lines for which the sum of the
rate and state fees are below $20.46 as of June 1, 2014. The FCC has also sought comment on a
petition requesting that the deadline for compliance with the local service rate floor be extended
by six months. Figure 7.4 illustrates the national program size over the last five years.
Figure 7-4. High-Cost Disbursements
Source: USAC 2013 Annual Report
3. Low Income
On February 6, 2012, the FCC released an Order to protect against waste, fraud, and
abuse of the Federal Lifeline program which tightened requirements on Lifeline recipients and
140
FCC, “Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” WC Docket No. 10-90, et all, FCC 11161, released November 18, 2011, http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-161A1.pdf, accessed
May 9, 2014.
141
FCC, “Public Notice,” WC Docket No. 10-90, DA 14-384, released March 20, 2014, http://transition.fcc
.gov/Daily_Releases/ Daily_ Business/2014/db0320/DA-14-384A1.pdf, accessed May 13, 2014.
48
eligible telecommunications carriers.142 The reforms include: (1) requiring consumers to provide
proof of eligibility at enrollment; (2) requiring consumers to certify that they understand key
program rules and to recertify annually their continued eligibility for support; (3) limiting the
Lifeline benefit to one per household; (4) eliminating Link Up support for all providers except
those that receive high-cost universal service support on Tribal lands; (5) establishing a uniform,
nationwide floor for consumers’ eligibility to participate in the program, which states may
supplement; (6) enhancing requirements concerning marketing and advertising practices of
supported carriers; and (7) putting in place a robust audit requirement for providers entering the
Lifeline program and an ongoing independent audit requirement for providers drawing more than
$5 million from the Fund.
Low-Income Disbursements from the Federal Universal Service Fund have declined from
a high of $194 million in March 2012, to $128 million in March 2014, the lowest it has been in
the last three years.143 The reforms resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in savings to the
Universal Service Fund and in the decline in Lifeline subscribers (see Figure 7-5). Overall, the
changes are expected to lead to $2 billion in savings through the end of 2014.
Figure 7-5. Average of Lifeline Subscribers Supported
Source: USAC Annual Reports, (2013-2011)
In May 2013, the Universal Service Administrative Company began building the
National Lifeline Accountability Database to help eligible telecommunications carriers identify
and resolve duplicate claims for Lifeline Program-supported service and prevent future
142
FCC, “Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” FCC 12-11, WC Docket Nos. 11-42, 03109, 12-23, CC Docket No. 96-45, released February 6, 2012, http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public
/attachmatch/FCC-12-11A1_Rcd.pdf, accessed May 16, 2013
143
USAC, “2014 Third Quarter Filings to the FCC,” http://www.usac.org/about/tools/fcc/filings/2014/q3.aspx,
accessed May 9, 2014, Table LI06.
49
duplicates.144 The database will detect and prevent duplicative support before it occurs by
providing a means for eligible telecommunications carriers to check on a real-time and
nationwide basis if the consumer is already receiving a Lifeline Program-supported service. By
March 2014, eligible telecommunications carriers in all states were participating in the National
Lifeline Accountability Database.145 These reforms are in place and appear to be working as
intended, cutting waste, fraud, and abuse from the program, while ensuring that low-income
consumers have access to basic communications.
4. Schools and Libraries
The schools and libraries support program, commonly known as the E-rate program,
provides financial assistance to make telecommunications services, broadband Internet access
and internal network connections affordable for eligible schools and libraries. The discounts
range from 20 percent to 90 percent of the costs of eligible services depending on the level of
poverty and whether the school or library is located in an urban or rural area.
Eligible schools, school districts and libraries may apply individually or as part of a
consortium. E-rate program funding is based on demand up to an annual Commissionestablished cap, which is inflation adjusted annual. For 2013, the E-rate cap was $2.38 billion,
and was increased by 1.4 percent for 2014.146 Figure 7.6 illustrates total committed E-rate
funding for 2013 by geographic area.
In July 2013, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment to modernize the E-rate
program.147 In general, the FCC sought broad comment on and proposed three goals for the
program: (1) ensuring that schools and libraries have affordable access to 21st Century
broadband that supports digital learning; (2) maximizing the cost-effectiveness of E-rate funds;
and (3) streamlining the administration of the program.
The FCC followed up on this proceeding in March 2014, inviting further comment on the
following three issues that the FCC believed merited further focus: (1) how best to focus E-rate
funds on high-capacity broadband, (especially high-speed Wi-Fi and internal connections); (2)
whether and how the FCC should begin to phase down or phase out support for traditional voice
services and (3) whether there are demonstration projects that the FCC should authorize that
would help the it test new ways to maximize effective purchasing in the program. Also of
interest, the FCC noted that an internal review by FCC staff found that the FCC could free up an
additional $2 billion over the next two years to help support broadband networks for schools and
libraries significantly increasing the size of the program.148
144
USAC, “2013 Annual Report,” http://www.usac.org/_res/documents/about/pdf/annual-reports/2014/LifelineSpread.pdf, accessed May 9, 2014. p.8.
145
USAC, “National Lifeline Accountability Database Migration,” http://www.usac.org/li/tools/nlad/nlad-migration
.aspx, accessed May 9, 2014.
146
FCC, “Public Notice,” CC Docket No. 02-6, DA 14-426, released March 24 2014, http://transitionfcc.gov/
Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0328/DA-14-426A1.pdf, accessed May 9, 2014.
147
FCC, “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” EC Docket No. 13-184, FCC 13-100, released July 23, 2013,
http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-13-100A1.pdf, accessed May 9, 2014.
148
FCC, “Public Notice,” WC Docket No. 13-184, DA 14-308, released March 6, 2014, http://transition.fcc.gov/
Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0306/DA-14-308A1.pdf, accessed May 9, 2014.
50
Figure 7-6. Total Committed E-rate Funding for Florida in2013
Source: Broadband Florida Initiative, Florida Department of Management Services
5. Rural Health Care
The USF Rural Health Care Program is made up of four components: the
Telecommunications Program, the Internet Access Program, the Pilot Program, and the new
Healthcare Connect Fund. The Telecommunications Program ensures that eligible rural health
care providers pay no more than their urban health care providers for telecommunications
services. The Internet Access Program provides a 25 percent discount off the cost of monthly
Internet access for eligible health care providers. This program will sunset after June 30,
2014.149 Current recipients will have to seek support from the new Healthcare Connect Fund to
continue to receive support. The Pilot Program provides support for 85 percent of the eligible
costs of broadband for telehealth networks that connect rural and urban health care providers in a
state or region. The Pilot Program is closed to new applicants, and the last funding commitments
under that program were issued in 2012.
In December 2012, the FCC expanded its existing Rural Health Care programs by creating the
Healthcare Connect Fund.150 The Healthcare Connect Fund provides support for high-capacity
149
FCC, “Report and Order,” WC Docket No. 02-60, FCC 12-150, released December 21, 2012, http://hraunfoss
.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-12-150A1.pdf, accessed May 8, 2014.
150
Ibid.
51
broadband connectivity to eligible health care providers and encourages the formation of state
and regional broadband health care provider networks. Under the program, eligible health care
providers applying individually or as part of a consortium can receive a 65 percent discount on
all eligible expenses. All eligible applicants may request multi-year funding commitments under
the program. In addition, consortium applicants may seek support for upfront charges, which
may include support for service provider deployment of new or upgraded facilities or for health
care provider-constructed and owned network facilities. Healthcare Connect Fund support was
available to applicants starting on July 1, 2013.151 Figure 7-7 illustrates the national program size
over the last five years.
Figure 7-7. Rural Health Care Disbursements
Source: USAC 2013 Annual Report
151
Ibid, ¶¶ 353-355. Pilot projects were able to start the competitive bidding process on April 1, 2013, and will be
eligible to receive funding starting on July 1, 2013. For new applicants -- either current Telecommunications or
Internet Access Program participants or health care providers new to the Rural Health Care programs -- the
competitive bidding process will start in late summer 2013. New applicants will be eligible to receive funding
starting on January 1, 2014.
52
Appendix A
Appendix A. List of Certificated CLECs as of 12/31/13
** Indicates that the company did not respond to the Commission’s data request.
365 Wireless, LLC
382 Networks, Inc.
Access Communications, LLC.
Access Media 3, Inc.
**Access One, Inc.
Access Point, Inc.
ACN Communication Services, Inc.
Advanced Communications Southeast, Inc.
Aero Communications, LLC
Affordable Phone Services, Inc.
Airespring, Inc.
ALEC, LLC
Alternative Phone, Inc.
American Telephone Company LLC
Americatel Corporation
**AmTel
ANEW Broadband, Inc.
ANPI Business, LLC
**AstroTel, Inc.
A.SUR Net, Inc.
AT&T Corp.
AT&T Florida
ATC Outdoor DAS, LLC
Atlantic Broadband Enterprise (Miami), LLC
ATN, Inc.
Backbone Communications Inc.
**BAIX Corporation
**Baldwin County Internet/DSSI Service,
L.L.C.
Bandwidth.com CLEC, LLC
Barr Tell USA, Inc.
**BCN Telecom, Inc.
BeCruising Telecom
BellSouth
Benchmark Communications, LLC
BetterWorld Telecom
Birch Communications, Inc.
Birch Telecom of the South, Inc.
Bright House Networks Information Services
(Florida), LLC
Broadband Dynamics, L.L.C.
BroadRiver Communication Corporation
Broadview Networks, Inc.
Broadvox-CLEC, LLC
Broadwing Communications, LLC
BT Communications Sales LLC
Budget Phone
BudgeTel Systems, Inc.
BullsEye Telecom, Inc.
Cable & Wireless Americas Operations, Inc.
Callis Communications, Inc.
Cbeyond Communications, LLC
Centennial Florida Switch Corp.
CenturyLink Communications
CenturyLink QCC
Cincinnati Bell Any Distance Inc.
Citrix Communications LLC
City of Bartow
City of Daytona Beach
City of Lakeland
City of Leesburg
City of Ocala
Clear Choice Communications
Clear Rate Communications, Inc.
Cogent Communications of Florida LHC, Inc.
Comcast Long Distance
Comcast Phone of Florida, LLC d/b/a Comcast
Digital Phone
Comity Communications, LLC
Communications Authority, Inc
ComNet (USA) LLC
Comtech21, LLC
Conterra Ultra Broadband, LLC
Convergia, Inc.
**Covista, Inc.
CoreTel Florida, Inc.
Cox Florida Telcom, L.P.
Crexendo Business Solutions, Inc.
Crosstel Tandem, Inc.
Crown Castle NG East Inc.
Custom Network Solutions, Inc.
Custom Tel, LLC
Dais Communications
Dedicated Fiber Systems, Inc.
Dialtone Telecom, LLC
Digital Express, Inc.
DIGITALIPVOICE, INC.
dishNET Wireline L.L.C.
DRS Training & Control Systems, LLC.
DSCI Corporation
EarthLink Business
EarthLink Business
EarthLink Business
Easy Telephone Services Company
53
Appendix A
Electronet Broadband Communications, Inc.
ENA Services, LLC
ENGAGE COMMUNICATIONS
Enhanced Communications Network, Inc.
Entelegent Solutions, Inc.
Ernest Communications, Inc.
EveryCall Communications, Inc.
Excelacom Light, LLC.
Express Phone Service, Inc.
ExteNet Systems, Inc.
Fast Phones, Inc. of Alabama
FiberLight, LLC
First Choice Technology, Inc.
First Communications, LLC
FLATEL, Inc.
Florida Hearing and Telephone
Florida Phone Systems, Inc.
Florida Telephone Services, LLC
FPL Fibernet, LLC
FPUAnet Communications
France Telecom Corporate Solutions L.L.C.
**Freedom Communications USA LLC
Frontier Communications of America, Inc.
Georgia Public Web, Inc.
Global Connection Inc. of America (of Georgia)
Global Crossing Local Services, Inc.
Granite Telecommunications, LLC
Great America Networks, Inc.
GRU Communication Services/GRUCom/GRU
GRUCom
GTC Communications, Inc.
Harbor Communications, LLC
Hayes E-Government Resources, Inc.
Home Town Telephone, LLC
Hotwire Communications, Ltd.
Hypercube Telecom, LLC
IBC Telecom Corp.
IDT America, Corp.
inContact, Inc.
iNetworks Group, Inc.
**Infotelecom, LLC
IntelePeer, Inc.
Intelletrace, Inc.
Intellicall Operator Services, Inc.
Intellifiber Networks, Inc.
InterGlobe Communications, Inc.
InterMetro Fiber, LLC
Internet & Telephone, LLC
Intrado Communications Inc.
IPC Network Services, Inc.
ISN Telcom
ITS Telecommunications Systems, Inc.
J C Telecommunication Co., LLC
Keys Energy Services
Lake Wellington Professional Centre
Latin American Nautilus U.S.A. Inc.
Level 3 Communications, LLC
LightCore, a CenturyLink limited liability
company
Lightspeed CLEC, Inc.
Lightyear Network Solutions, LLC
Linkup Telecom, Inc.
Litestream Holdings, LLC
Local Access LLC
Local Telecommunications Services - FL, LLC
LTS of Rocky Mount, LLC
Marco Island Cable, Inc.
Maryland TeleCommunication Systems, Inc.
Mass Communications
MCC Telephony of Florida, LLC
McGraw Communications, Inc.
McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services,
L.L.C.
MegaPath Corporation
MetTel
Miami-Dade Broadband Coalition I LLC
**Micro-Comm, Inc.
Mitel NetSolutions, Inc.
Mobilitie, LLC
Momentum Telecom, Inc.
MOSAIC NETWORX LLC
MULTIPHONE LATIN AMERICA, INC.
Nebula Telecommunications of Florida LLC
NET TALK.COM, INC.
Network Billing Systems, L.L.C.
Network Innovations, Inc.
Network Operator Services, Inc.
Network Telephone Corporation
Neutral Tandem-Florida, LLC
New Horizons Communications Corp.
**NewPhone, Inc.
Nexus Communications TSI, Inc.
NMG Telecom, LLC
Norstar Telecommunications, LLC
North American Telecommunications
Corporation
North County Communications Corporation
NOS Communications, Inc.
O1 Communications East, LLC
One Voice Communications, Inc.
**OneStar Long Distance, Inc.
OneTone Telecom, Inc.
54
Appendix A
Onvoy Voice Services
Opextel LLC d/b/a Alodiga
**Pac-West Telecomm, Inc.
PAETEC Business Services
PaeTec Communications, Inc.
Peerless Network of Florida, LLC
PeerTel Communication, LLC
Phone Club Corporation
Pioneer Telephone
PowerNet Global Communications, Inc.
Preferred Long Distance, Inc.
**PrimeCast
Primus Telecommunications, Inc.
Public Wireless, Inc.
QuantumShift Communications, Inc.
RCLEC, Inc.
Reliance Globalcom Services, Inc.
ReTel Communications, Inc.
Rightlink USA, Inc.
Ring Connection, Inc.
Rosebud Telephone, LLC
Sage Telecom Communications, LLC
Sago Broadband, LLC
SanTel Communications
**Semnac Technologies, LLC
SH Services LLC
Shands Teaching Hospital and Clinics, Inc.
Signal Point Corp.
**SKYNET360, LLC
SmallCells Tower Company, LLC
Smart City Communications
Smart City Networks, Limited Partnership
**SNC Communications, LLC
Southeastern Services, Inc.
Southern Light, LLC
Southern Light, LLC
Southern Telecom
Sprint Communications Company Limited
Partnership
**StarVox Communications, Inc.
Stratus Networks, Inc.
Summit Broadband
Sunesys, LLC
Sun-Tel USA, Inc.
T3 Communications, Inc.
Talk America Inc.
TCG South Florida
TelCentris Communications, LLC
Telco Experts, LLC
TelCove Operations, LLC
Tele Circuit Network Corporation
TeleDias Communications, Inc.
Telefonica Express
Telepak Networks, Inc.
Telovations Inc.
Telrite Corporation
Telscape Communications, Inc.
Terra Nova Telecom, Inc.
**Terra Telecommunications Corp.
TerraNovaNet, Inc.
The Other Phone Company, Inc.
Time Warner Cable Business LLC
TNCI Operating Company LLC
Touch Base Communications
Touchtone Communications Inc. of Delaware
TQC Communications, Corp.
**Trans National Communications
International, Inc.
Transparent Technology Services Corp.
Tristar Communications Corp.
tw telecom of florida l.p.
U.S. Metropolitan Telecom, LLC
**Unity III
Unity Telecom, LLC
Universal Local Exchange Carrier of Florida
US Signal Company, L.L.C.
US Telesis, Inc.
Vanco US, LLC
Velocity The Greatest Phone Company Ever
Verizon Access Transmission Services
Verizon Florida LLC
Verizon Select Services Inc.
Vitcom, LLC
VoDa Networks, Inc.
Voice Stream Network, Inc.
VOX3COM
Voxbeam Telecommunications Inc.
Wholesale Carrier Services, Inc.
Wide Voice, LLC
WiMacTel, Inc.
Windstream KDL, Inc.
Windstream Norlight, Inc.
Windstream NTI, Inc.
Windstream NuVox, Inc.
WonderLink Communications, LLC
WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone
WTI Communications, Inc.
**www.netquincy.com
XO Communications Services, LLC
XYN Communications of Florida, LLC
YMax Communications Corp.
Zayo Group, LLC
55
Appendix B
Appendix B. Summary of Complaints Filed By Carriers
(calendar year 2013)
Carrier
Date
Opened
Complaint
or Docket
Number
Description
Date
Closed
Resolution
Qwest
CLECs
12/11/09
090538
Rate discrimination
9/30/13
No unlawful
discrimination found
Nexus
AT&T
11/18/10
100434
Promotional credits
6/12/13
Resolved by parties
Terra Nova
Telecom
AT&T
1/4/13
informal
Number porting
problem
1/28/13
AT&T lifted PLC
freeze
6/26/13
AT&T reconnected
the trunks
Terra Nova
Telecom
AT&T
6/12/13
informal
Trunk group
disconnection
FLATEL
AT&T
12/10/13
140055
UNE line
disconnection/promotional credits
56
open
Dismissed for lack of
rule compliance by
Commission
Glossary
Access Line
Backhaul
Broadband
Circuit
CLEC
Facilities-based VoIP
service
FiOS
ICA
ILEC
Interconnected VoIP
service
The circuit or channel between the demarcation point at the
customer’s premises and the serving end or class 5 central office.
In wireless networks, the connection from an individual base
station (tower) to the central network (backbone). Typical
backhaul connections are wired high-speed data connections (T1
line, etc.), but they can be wireless as well (using point-to-point
microwave or WiMax, etc.).
A term describing evolving digital technologies offering
consumers integrated access to voice, high-speed data services,
video on demand services, and interactive information delivery
services.
A fully operational two-way communications path.
Competitive Local Exchange Company. Any company certificated
by the Florida Public Service Commission to provide local
exchange telecommunications service in Florida on or after July 1,
1995.
This term refers to VoIP service provided by the same company
that provides the customer’s broadband connection. Facilitiesbased VoIP services are generally provided over private managed
networks and are capable of being provided according to most
telephone standards. While this service uses Internet Protocol for
its transmission, it is not generally provided over the public
Internet.
FiOS is Verizon’s suite of voice, video, and broadband services
provisioned over fiber optic cable directly to the customer
premises. FiOS can currently provide Internet access with
maximum download speed of 300 Mbps and upload speed of 65
Mbps.
Interconnection Agreement. An interconnection agreement is a
contract that establishes the rates, terms and conditions that govern
the business relationship between telecommunications companies.
Incumbent Local Exchange Company. Any company certificated
by the FPSC to provide local exchange telecommunications
service in Florida on or before June 30, 1995.
According to the FCC, it is a VoIP service that (1) enables realtime, two-way voice communications; (2) requires a broadband
connection from the user's location; (3) requires Internet protocolcompatible customer premises equipment; and (4) permits users
generally to receive calls that originate and terminate on the public
switched telephone network.
57
Intermodal
Internet Protocol (IP)
Over-the-Top VoIP
service
Switched Access
Telecommunications Act
of 1996 (the 1996 Act)
U-verse
Universal Service
Universal Service
Administrative Company
(USAC)
VoIP
Wireline
The use of more than one type of technology or carrier to transport
telecommunications services from origination to termination.
When referring to local competition, intermodal refers to
nonwireline voice communications such as wireless or VoIP.
The term refers to all the standards that keep the Internet
functioning. It describes software that tracks the Internet address
of nodes, routes outgoing messages, and recognizes incoming
messages.
This term refers to VoIP service that is provided independently
from a particular broadband connection and is transmitted via the
public Internet. Examples of this service include Vonage and
Skype.
Local exchange telecommunications company-provided exchange
access services that offer switched interconnections between local
telephone subscribers and long distance or other companies. Long
distance companies use switched access for origination and
termination of user-dialed calls.
The federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 established a
national framework to enable CLECs to enter the local
telecommunications marketplace.
U-verse is the brand name of AT&T for a group of services
provided via Internet Protocol (IP), including television service,
Internet access, and voice telephone service. Similar to Verizon’s
FiOS service, AT&T’s U-verse is deployed using fiber optic cable.
This term describes the financial support mechanisms that
constitute the national universal service fund. This fund provides
compensation to telephone companies or other communications
entities for providing access to telecommunications services at
reasonable and affordable rates throughout the country, including
rural, insular, high-cost areas, and public institutions.
USAC is an independent American nonprofit corporation
designated as the administrator of the federal Universal Service
Fund by the Federal Communications Commission. USAC is a
subsidiary of the National Exchange Carrier Association.
Voice over Internet Protocol. The technology used to transmit
voice conversations over a data network using Internet Protocol.
A term used to describe the technology used by a company to
provide telecommunications services. Wireline is synonymous
with “landline” or land-based technology.
58
II. Outside Persons
Who Wish to
Address the
Commission at
Internal Affairs
OUTSIDE PERSONS WHO WISH
TO ADDRESS THE COMMISSION AT
INTERNAL AFFAIRS
June 25, 2014
Speaker
Lila Jaber
J. R. Kelly
Tracy Hatch
Representing
Item #
TW Telecom & CompSouth
Office of Public Counsel
AT & T
1
1
1
III. Supplemental
Materials for
Internal Affairs
NOTE: The following material pertains to Item 3
of this agenda.
Summary of Staff Recommended Changes to Draft 2014 Competition Report
(Proposed updates since draf report submitted/br Internal AlJitirs as of 6/24/ll)
Report Pages
Affected
Description of Change
1,31, &32
Updates FCC reported telephone penetration rate from March 2013 survey
results to annual average for 2013
A'I
al
Adds 2014 third quarter federal universal service assessment factor to chart
Pard€s/@
Hmdout
Inrcmal Atrairs/Agcnda
o^*_J_23J_A_
ttcnNof,
Executive Summary
This report fulfills the statutory obligations set forth in Section 364.386, Florida Statutes
(F.S.), which requires the Florida Public Service Commission (the Commission or FPSC) to
report on the status of competition in the telecommunications industry to the Legislature by
August I of each year. The Commission is required to address specific topic areas within the
realmofcompetition. OnFebruarylT,2|l4,informationrequestsweresenttothel0incumbent
local exchange companies (ILECs) and 290 competitive local exchange companies (CLECs)
certificated by the Commission to operate in Florida, as of December 3 I,2013.
2013, the competitive telecommunications market in Florida, as reported by the
carriers, continued to show consumers migrating from traditional wireline service to wireless and
cable/VolP services, while business customers continued to resist the mass migration of the
consumers, instead increasing their subscription to CLEC business-specific offerings. Carriers
reported approximately 5.1 million total wireline access lines in Florida for 2013. While the mass
migration in the residential market has had a drastic effect on the ILECs' residential access line
counts, these customers are not all "lost" to the ILECs. Nationally, AT&T has over four times as
many wireless customers as it does wireline accounts.
In
There were also a few "firsts" this year. While residential lines have plummeted over the
past decade, business wirelines have remained relatively stable. As a result, for the first time,
AT&T reported as many business wirelines as residential lines. In addition, competition from
CLECs continued to be fierce. ILEC wirelines decreased by 15 percent in2013, while CLEC
lines increased by 15 percent. ClEC-reported business access lines gave them a market share of
5l percent, making ILECs a minority in the wireline business market for the first time.
Analysis of the data produced the following conclusions:
.
Many CLECs reported offering a variety of services and packages comparable to
those offered by ILECs. Subscribers to cable, wireless, and competitive wireline
services continued to increase. These factors contribute to the conclusion that
competitive providers are able to offer functionally equivalent services to both
business and residential customers.
.
The continued decrease in both business and residential ILEC wireline access lines
demonstrates customers are finding reasonable pricing packages and functionality
with CLECs, cable providers, and wireless providers, as well as VoIP services from
the ILEC.
.
Based on the continued growth of interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
services and wireless-only households, network reliability of non-ILEC providers is
sufficient to satisff customers. The FCC-reported telephone penetration rate of 93.56
percent for Florida suggests that the overwhelming majority of Florida residents are
able to afford telephone service. The number and variety of competitive choices
among all types of service providers suggests that competition is having a positive
impact on the telecommunications market in Florida.
providers, and wireless providers. Residential lines have maintained a steady decline and
wireless-only households continue to grow consistent with the trend over the past several years.
Providers are coping with the changing market by modifying the way consumers pay for their
services and bundling pricing among wireline, wireless, and television services, further
increasing customers' ability to select the services, providers, and pricing plans they prefer.
C. Statutory Issue - Affordability & Service Qualtty
3.
The overall impact of competition on the maintenance of reasonably affordable
and reliable high-quality telecommunications services.
The FCC reported that 93.16 percent of Florida households had telephone service in
March 2013,lower than the national penetration rate of 956.9A percent.es As shown in Figure 5l, the Florida telephone penetration rate has consistently been below the national penetration rate
and the gap has varied little between 2008 and 2013. This gap persists despite successful efforts
in recent years by Florida carriers and the FPSC to make Lifeline benefits more accessible to
eligible low-income consumers. The majority of Florida residents have a choice among sever4
non-ILEC providers, with 10 or more providers available in 87 percent of Florida zip codes."
According to the FCC, there are no zip codes in Florida without at least one CLEC or non-ILEC
VoIP provider.
hone Service Penetration: Florida vs. Nation
Figure 5-1. T
99.O/o
97.OYo
95.9Vo
95.7Vo 95.9Yo
gs.z% 95.7Yo 95'8%
95.0%
rll'o94'2Yo
rr:1
g3'7% gll:r,"
93.oYo 93.oYo
93.O%
97.OTo
95.9Yo
95'9
g3'5%
89.OYo
87.OTo
85.OYo
2010
2011
*Florida *Nation
Source; FCC, Telephone Subscribership & USF Monitoring Report,
* REresents lllarbh eurrent Populatiott Survey Data Onb'
nt FCC, "Telephone
Subscribership
in the
of July 2011," released December 2011,
I l-523A I .pdf, accessed May 19, 2013, Table 3;
United States as
http ,'"hraunfoss.ttc.govredocs*public/attachrnatch/DOC-3
"Universal Service Monitoring Report," released December 2013, http://transition.l'cc.gov/Bureaus/Cotntnon
htto:i thraunfoss.ftc.sov,iedocs
-
public/attachrnatch,/DOC-3244
I
3A I .pdf, accessed May 22,2014, Table 21
31
.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report on wireless substitution for the
period Janua^ry-June 2013 and found that 39.4 percent of adults live in wireless-only
households.'" While state-specific data on wireless-only households was not provided in the
most recent CDC report, a December 2013 report containing state-level data note4 that Orange
County had the highest wireless-only penetration rate in Florida at 46.5 percent.rOl The CDC
report found 6.5 percent of Florida adults living in households with only a wireline phone. ,^lt
also found that 2.5 percent of Florida adults living without any form of telephone service.'"
This data suggests that most Florida households are able to afford telephone service and have
access to a variety of service providers, including ILECs, CLECs, VoIP, and wireless. This data
also supports the fact that many consumers choose to subscribe to more than one type of
telephone service.
Historically, regulatory reliability standards have applied to landline telecommunications
service making it the most reliable telecommunications service. Reliability in landline networks
is no longer insured as many states, including Florida, eliminated service quality standards.
Given the continued growth of interconnected VoIP and wireless-only households, and the
continued erosion of landline access lines, it appears that the reliability of these alternatives is
acceptable to consumers. Moreover, mobility, pricing, and the demand for data-based services
are consumer preference factors that may be changing how consumers view reliability.
I
Conclusion: Based on the continued growth of interconnected VoIP and wireless-only
households and the ongoing erosion of wireline access lines, network reliability of non-ILEC
providers appears to be sufficient. The telephone penetration rate of 93.56 percent supports the
conclusion that the vast majority Florida residents are able to afford telephone service. The
number and variety of competitive choices among all types of service providers suggest that
competition is having a positive impact on the telecommunications market in Florida.
D. Statutory Issue - Carrier Disputes
4.
A listing and short description of any carrier disputes filed under Section 364.16,
F.S.
Conclusion: This information can be found in Appendix B. The number of docketed
and informal intercarrier complaints remained relatively stable in2013.
the National
'oo Stephen J. Blumberg, Ph.D., Julian V. Luke, "Wireless substitution: Early release of estimates fiom
Health Interview Survey, January-June 2013," National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, released December 2013, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/wireless20 l3l2.pd1,
accessed May 3,2014.
'ot Stephen J. Blumberg, Ph.D., et al., "Wireless substitution: State-level estimates from the National Health
Interview Survey, 2012," National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Conffol and Prevention,
released December 18,2013, http:i/www.cdc.gov/nchsidata/nhsr/nhsr070.pdf, accessed on May 4,2014.
r02
Ibid.
JZ
Assessment Factor
88t868t88tttEEstEttE88s
sE;€sE;€ 5E;€sES€sES€sES
2072
2071
2073
2074
Source: FCC, Public Notices on Proposed Contribution Factors, various quarters.
Last year, the FCC initiated a proceeding to consider modernizing how Universal Service
fund contributions are assessed and recovered. The FCC has acknowledged that the current
contribution system has given rise to uncertainty, inefficiency, and market distortions. Outdated
rules and loopholes mean that services that compete directly against each other may face
different treatment. Among the options the FCC is considering is a change to assess
contributions based on either total revenues (i.e., interstate and intrastate), connections, numbers,
or a hybrid approach (ofconnections and revenues).
2.
High-Cost
In 2011, the FCC modernized its existing high-cost fund to explicitly support deployment
of broadband to unserved areas.l38 While the order implementing these reforms was appealed,
the Tenth District Court of Appeals in Denver recently rejected almost all the arguments made
by the 31 petitioners.'3e The arguments that were not rejected were found to be not yet "dpe" for
judicial review. As part of this reform, the FCC began to phase out the existing high-cost
support programs and began funding through the two new high-cost programs, the Connect
America Fund and the Mobility Fund. The Connect America Fund focuses on supporting and
expanding fixed broadband availability and voice service. The Mobility Fund that will provide
t"
FCC, "Repon and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking," WC Docket No. l0-90, et all, FCC I lreleased November 18,2011, http://hraunfbss.fcc.sov/edocs public/attachrrratch/FCC-ll-l6lAl.pdf, accessed
Mav 9.2014.
"n iJnited States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, Petitions for Review of Orders of the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC Nos. ll-161, 12-47), Case No. ll-9900, released May 23,2014, http:ir'www.cal0.uscout1s.
goviopinions/ I li I I -9900.pdt, accessed May 29, 2014.
l6l,
47
IV. Transcript
1
BEFORE THE
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
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PROCEEDINGS:
COMMISSIONERS
PARTICIPATING:
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INTERNAL AFFAIRS
CHAIRMAN ART
COMMISSIONER
COMMISSIONER
COMMISSIONER
COMMISSIONER
GRAHAM
LISA POLAK EDGAR
RONALD A. BRISÉ
EDUARDO E. BALBIS
JULIE I. BROWN
12
DATE:
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
13
TIME:
Commenced at 9:34 a.m.
Concluded at 10:29 a.m.
PLACE:
Gerald L. Gunter Building
Room 105
2540 Shumard Oak Boulevard
Tallahassee, Florida
REPORTED BY:
LINDA BOLES, CRR, RPR
Official FPSC Reporter
(850) 413-6734
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FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
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P R O C E E D I N G S
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Good morning.
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CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
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COMMISSIONER EDGAR:
4
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
Good morning.
Let the record show it is
5
Wednesday, June -- let the record show it is Wednesday,
6
June the 25th, and this is the Internal Affairs meeting.
I guess we could just jump straight into the
7
8
agenda.
The first thing on the agenda is the
9
presentation of AT&T's trial proposal, Mark Long.
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MR. LONG:
Commissioners, this item is a
11
briefing on AT&T's proposal to the FCC to transition two
12
wire centers from existing services and infrastructure
13
to all IP services.
14
to speed on it in case it comes up in NARUC.
I want to make sure that you're up
The transition to Internet Protocol has been
15
16
going on for a number of years, but this trial's genesis
17
was part of a companywide $14 billion investment plan
18
that AT&T announced on an investor call on
19
November 2012.
20
encompasses the whole company and transitioning it into
21
IP-based services.
22
23
They call it Project Velocity IP.
COMMISSIONER EDGAR:
Did you say Project
Velocity?
Project Velocity IP.
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MR. LONG:
25
COMMISSIONER EDGAR:
Oh, wow.
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
It
1
MR. LONG:
Right.
And coincidentally with
000003
2
that announcement they filed the petition with the FCC
3
for these trials.
4
report came out at the end of 2012, beginning of 2013,
5
their CEO included this statement in it, that "By 2020,
6
we expect to have fully transitioned our customers to
7
all IP."
8
corporation, announced it to investors that this is
9
where we want to go.
10
And so by the time their annual
So he kind of laid down the gauntlet for his
Now considering that AT&T has almost 5,000
11
wire centers in its, in its nationwide footprint, you
12
know, this is a pretty aggressive statement.
13
know, AT&T's been, you know, trying to move as quickly
14
as possible since.
15
So, you
The only thing I know to compare it to is the
16
transition to digital television where, you know, the
17
broadcast signals went from analog to digital.
18
were a lot of things in the network that hadn't changed,
19
a lot of things that the vendors had to change, and even
20
people had to change their end user equipment in the end
21
a little bit.
22
There
AT&T proposed four objectives in the trial.
23
First, they wanted to identify and resolve all the
24
operational, technical, logistic, any issues they have
25
while they transition the wire center from TDM to IP.
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
1
Just for review, you know, TDM means Time
000004
2
Division Multiplexing.
That's a digital architecture.
3
It's both a specific technology and kind of a generic
4
term for where the telephone network is now.
5
means Internet Protocol.
6
you know, as we commonly know, know the Internet.
7
it means here is, is that the telephone network will run
8
on the same protocol as the Internet uses, which is, at
9
its most basic, IP addresses.
And IP
It doesn't mean the Internet,
What
You know, you have IP
10
addresses for all your devices, your phone, your
11
computer, those types of things, where all phones will
12
have IP addresses, and it will use IP architecture in
13
order to distribute, translate, communicate calls.
14
And IP is -- you know, the whole -- it was
15
invented back in the '70s, and it's gone through several
16
iterations.
17
IP Version 6 now.
18
the network that provides for 4 billion different IP
19
addresses and, unbelievably, they're running out.
20
IPv6 kicks that up a notch.
21
down and look it up, because IPv6 will allow for
22
approximately 340 undecillion IP addresses.
23
10 to the 33rd power.
24
in, in connecting devices, that they feel like this
25
version will, you know, last for some time as a basic
It's up to -- they're starting to implement
IP Version 4, I think, is what's in
So
And I had to write this
That's
So that's a, you know, hugely --
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
1
network architecture.
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3
000005
Mr. Chairman, how many zeros is
MR. KISER:
that?
A lot.
4
MR. LONG:
5
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
6
MR. KISER:
Thirty-seven.
Due to, due to the sensitive
7
nature of all this, I just wonder if we shouldn't put
8
Mr. Long under oath.
(Laughter.)
9
10
MR. LONG:
Second, AT&T wants, you know, to
11
develop an acceptable migration process.
12
their intent is, is once this network is deployed and
13
functional, then they believe it's duplicative of the
14
existing network in a lot of ways, and several -- and
15
many of the facilities they can retire that will
16
necessarily need to migrate customers onto the new
17
services.
18
You know,
So they want an acceptable migration process.
Third, they want sufficient education and
19
notice so that all customers, stakeholders, regulators,
20
everyone else understands what they're doing, how
21
they're doing it, when they're doing it so that, you
22
know, nobody is surprised over it.
Mark, in talking about
23
COMMISSIONER BRISÉ:
24
that, who will be the owner of the data?
25
will have access to all of that data?
I mean, who
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000006
Access to the data for the trials
1
MR. LONG:
2
will go to the FCC.
3
couple of weeks ago, and they announced that they're
4
going to hire a third-party consultant.
5
third-party consultant is going to help develop a
6
methodology and data analysis and help analyze all the
7
data that they get from these wire centers and from any
8
control wire centers that they would designate, you
9
know, as, as not being transitioned to be able to
The FCC just had an open meeting a
And the
10
compare the two.
So all that data will go to the FCC.
11
What the FCC does with that or what the, the proprietary
12
nature of any of it is I'm not aware of, but I'm not
13
sure they've quite, you know, worked that out.
14
don't know if they're going to be sharing that with
15
states or they're going to be sharing that with anyone
16
other than that third-party contractor.
17
COMMISSIONER BRISÉ:
Okay.
So I
So then this data
18
is post-collection.
And after it's all, all analyzed,
19
then anybody might have access to it, in essence.
That's possible, yes.
20
MR. LONG:
21
COMMISSIONER BRISÉ:
22
MR. LONG:
Okay.
All right.
Sometimes though -- I guess I'll
23
caveat that -- the FCC, especially in my limited
24
experience in universal service back in the day,
25
sometimes when they hire third-party consultants, they
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000007
1
will create their methodology and put it in the
2
proverbial black box that they will then trademark, and
3
so sometimes you never really get to see how they did
4
what they did.
5
They decided on two wire centers: one in
6
Carbon Hill, Alabama, and one right here in King's
7
Point, Florida.
8
Point is in, is in Delray Beach in Palm Beach County,
9
and Carbon Hill is in northwestern Alabama.
10
This is where they're located.
King's
Carbon Hill is rural, sparsely populated.
I
11
think it's about 38 people per square mile.
12
below the poverty level.
13
classified as a rural exchange.
14
by a remote switch, not even served by a, a, you know,
15
first line switch, and I think that's part of why they
16
wanted to do it that way.
17
you know -- currently we serve it with a remote.
18
we transition that?"
19
21 percent
So it's -- it would be
I believe it's served
"What happens when we serve,
King's Point is a lot different.
How do
First of
20
all, it's -- two-thirds of it is in a wildlife refuge,
21
so it's virtually uninhabited.
22
part with all the access lines in it, and that part does
23
not look anything at all like Carbon Hill, which is why
24
they wanted to choose it.
25
populated.
The eastern part is the
It's much more densely
The three points on the map -- High Point,
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
1
Villages of Oriole, and King's Point -- those are all
2
retirement communities.
3
old.
4
are about ten golf and country clubs.
5
000008
The median age is over 75 years
And I also notice all those green dots in there
AT&T is proposing to roll this trial out in
6
three phases.
The first phase, they're going to
7
aggressively market their new services.
8
to develop new services.
9
the replacement services and figured out how they're all
They're going
They have not developed all of
10
going to work.
11
selling, some they're still developing.
12
going to actively market and try to convince the people
13
in these exchanges to, to convert their existing
14
services over to these new services.
15
completely voluntary for all customers; it will be
16
voluntary for the wholesale providers in there to
17
participate in it in the first phase.
18
Some of them they have and have been
So they're
It will be
Phase 2, they're going to want to grandfather
19
the TDM-based services, and they will apply to the FCC
20
under Section 214 for a, for relief to grandfather and
21
discontinue services.
22
customers who, who currently subscribe to a service to
23
keep it, but don't let any new customers buy it.
Grandfathering means allowing
24
Then in Phase 3, they will sunset all their
25
TDM-based services and require people to buy IP-based
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
And,
000009
1
services to continue getting service from AT&T.
2
again, that will follow a proceeding at the FCC, either
3
one proceeding to allow a timeline for Phases 2 and 3 or
4
separate ones.
That's not really determined yet either.
They plan to do all this within three years.
5
6
Again, that's extremely ambitious.
7
to meet their target of converting the other 4,700 COs
8
to IP by 2020, then, you know, they, they have to keep
9
rolling with this and get the data they need in order to
10
11
But if they're going
do that.
COMMISSIONER BROWN:
Mark, do you happen to
12
know what the timelines are for the IP transition for
13
CenturyLink and Verizon?
14
MR. LONG:
I do not know specifically.
15
spoken with CenturyLink, and they have a somewhat
16
different philosophy on the IP transition.
17
network architecture is going to be a little bit
18
different from AT&T's, and their timeline is
19
substantially longer in transitioning that.
20
I've
Their
They, they have, you know, their own unique
21
challenges in that they may have some, some more rural
22
facilities that would need to be converted.
23
You know, AT&T has some rural areas, and AT&T
24
connects with rural carriers all over.
But AT&T's
25
facilities within their network are, you know, pretty
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000010
1
state of the art and up to date.
2
the most part, but they do have some outlying areas that
3
are still, you know, served with facilities that will
4
prove difficult to transition to IP quickly.
5
have a few separate challenges, and that's going to make
6
their timeline longer than AT&T's.
7
CenturyLink's are for
So they
To implement this trial, AT&T first plans
8
extensive customer outreach, advertising, and to put
9
people in the area in King's Point and Carbon Hill to
10
answer any questions for customers, have customer focus
11
meetings and things of that nature so that all the
12
customers are aware of what's going on and what they're
13
planning on doing.
14
And, again, no retail or wholesale customer
15
will be required to transition, do anything during the
16
first phase of the trial, which is expected to continue
17
through a substantial part of next year.
18
going to require any migrations until they have
19
completed their product development, figured out the
20
answers to their open questions of "How are we going to
21
serve this, how are we going to solve this?" for the
22
vast majority of them.
23
know, the vast majority of them.
24
to go to the FCC and present that to them:
25
solved these problems.
They're not
Maybe not all of them, but, you
And then they're going
"We've
These are the services we offer.
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000011
1
We believe they are reasonable to cover the customer
2
base that we have, and, you know, we'd like to be able
3
to start grandfathering and migrating them."
But they do emphasize that, you know,
4
5
migration of all TDM services to IP will be required at
6
some point during the trial -- obviously with the FCC's
7
permission -- but that's their -- that's -- that will be
8
part of the trial.
This busy slide just talks about presently the
9
10
services that they've developed and what, how they plan
11
on offering transition customers to these services.
12
their wireline footprint -- remember, they are, you
13
know, a major wireless carrier, so they have a wireline
14
footprint and a wireless footprint that don't completely
15
overlap.
16
to their U-verse Voice and High Speed Internet services
17
that they presently offer.
18
products that they're offering now, so these are
19
developed products.
20
tone, that will provide their Internet access, their
21
broadband capabilities, you know, and anything along
22
those lines that they need in, in their current wireline
23
footprint.
24
25
In
They'll have customers that will have access
These are, these are
And that will provide their dial
In their wireless footprint they will have a
service called Wireless Home Phone and Wireless Home
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
1
Phone and Internet, and those will replace landline
2
phones, if they have them, and/or serve as their home
3
phone service.
000012
There are places that are currently in their
4
5
wireline footprint that they actually intend to convert
6
to wireless that are kind of in the less populated areas
7
of the wireline footprint that they don't intend to
8
bring U-verse to, U-verse is not currently available in,
9
and they don't intend to bring it to it.
10
They intend to
substitute a wireless product for it.
And the FCC -- I'll talk about that in that
11
12
the FCC did speak briefly about that in their, in their
13
briefing the other week.
The wireless component, they generally have
14
15
developed speeds -- 5, 12 megabits -- that are
16
comparable with DSL products.
17
wireless footprint they have -- their wireless product
18
does function a little bit like that.
So in most of their
Business services, they have Ethernet-based
19
20
business services, AT&T Voice, Flexible Reach, U-verse
21
products that are in their wireline footprint.
22
wireless footprint, they have not quite developed a
23
business wireless product.
24
that.
25
Their
They're still working on
There are some incompatibilities.
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000013
1
911 requirements, they will comply with existing
2
911 requirements.
3
address worked out yet, and alarm monitoring, medical
4
alerts, credit card validation applications, there are
5
still some challenges there.
6
enhancements that will be able to overcome those
7
challenges.
They're developing
There are some things that they're not going,
8
9
But they don't have E-911 with street
they're not planning on being compatible with.
They
10
believe they're outdated technologies.
They listed DVR
11
services, elevator phones, third-party pay per call,
12
dial around calls, and live operators.
They may not ultimately be compatible, you
13
14
know, with all equipment: really old fax machines, for
15
example.
16
the last 15 years for it to work.
17
They may have to get a, a fax machine made in
They intend to continue to meet consumer
18
protections outreach plans.
19
they currently apply to services, they'll roll those
20
over to the IP services.
21
any of those customer privacy rules during this trial.
22
CPNI rules that they, that
They're not going to change
And then the wholesale services, that's
23
generated a lot of the comments about the trials because
24
a lot of the wholesale providers are wondering what's
25
going to happen when they transition to these IP-based
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
Not just what services now will we be
000014
1
services.
2
required to buy, but what will their regulatory
3
environment be as far as requiring wholesale access, you
4
know, to, to your network once you convert it to IP.
5
And AT&T said, you know, "During the first phase or two
6
of the trial we're not going to require anything from
7
the wholesale providers.
8
in the trial.
9
there's nothing that we're going to require from them."
They don't have to participate
We encourage them to participate, but
The last piece of that is, the important piece
10
11
is that they will file a Section 214 process that I
12
talked about earlier about phasing out or discontinuance
13
of service, and that will mean a withdrawal of TDM-based
14
wholesale services at some point in the trial.
The FCC talked about it happening maybe in a
15
16
separate trial, so they talked about a wholesale trial.
17
So it may even be separated out from this particular
18
trial or put on at the very end of this trial.
19
know.
20
I don't
It's kind of unclear what they, what they said.
And the other things that the FCC said in
21
their open meeting, along with the independent
22
consultant that they're going to hire, is that they seem
23
to be geared towards what they think the important part
24
of the trial is, and that is when they come in for one
25
of these requests for relief where they want to
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000015
1
grandfather services, transition services, they expect
2
sometime in the second half of 2015.
3
about when they would approve this trial.
4
generally have one meeting a month, and so the earliest
5
they could do it would be July.
6
specifically there were some things AT&T had to do to
7
get it approved.
8
status of it, and a couple of Commissioners made some,
9
some statements, but they were more towards, you know,
They did not talk
They
They did not say
They just -- staff briefed them on the
10
"We're not ready to, for this transition to happen.
11
We're hoping that we're ready by 2015 when you come in
12
and ask to actually withdraw some services or
13
grandfather some services."
14
specifically of what we're going -- what they're going
15
to do now.
They didn't really speak
And they, they, they pointed out that AT&T
16
17
revealed that, that it plans to serve 25 percent
18
nationwide of its current wireline customers with
19
wireless-only products at the end of its transition.
20
that 25 percent of existing AT&T wireline customers will
21
not be able to keep a wireline service.
22
convert to a wireless product if they want to stay with
23
AT&T.
24
25
So
They'll have to
Well, there are a few more things I could talk
about, but I don't need to.
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000016
1
(Laughter.)
2
I mean, you know, the, the, the -- they -- the
3
FCC did spend some time on the wholesale services part
4
in their update because, again, they've had a lot of
5
comments on that, and a lot of the wholesale providers
6
are concerned about that.
7
business; they need network elements from another
8
carrier in order to complete their service.
9
just want to make sure that they are able to construct a
10
11
12
Because that's their
So they
viable business plan after this is over.
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
Commissioners, any other
questions of Mark Long?
13
It says we have another speaker, Lila.
14
MS. JABER:
15
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
16
MS. JABER:
Thank you, Commissioner.
Chairman Jaber.
Thank you.
Lila Jaber, Gunster
17
Law Firm, on behalf of TW Telecom and CompSouth.
18
no, there's nothing wrong with Beth Keating.
19
got a scheduling conflict, so she let me come and
20
present on behalf of our clients today.
21
And,
She's just
Thank you to Mark Long for a very thorough
22
presentation.
Our comments are really to reiterate the
23
point Mark last made with regard to wholesale services.
24
From TW Telecom and CompSouth's perspective, really our
25
ask of you is just to keep an eye on the process as it
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
1
relates to preserving the ability to have access to
2
those wholesale services.
000017
3
Just to put in context our comment, later on
4
in the competition report I think you're going to hear
5
good news with regard to the level of competition
6
certainly in the business sector.
7
the competition report, and I have no reason to believe
8
it's not accurate, which is that CLEC market share has
9
outgrown ILEC market share in the business sector.
There's a comment in
And
10
that's a testament, frankly, to the regulatory policies
11
you've put in place and the FCC has put in place.
12
So our encouragement is that that work
13
continues as the transition happens with an eye on
14
making sure appropriate access and agreements stay in
15
place and that there is a transition that involves
16
CLEC-to-AT&T communication and eventually Sprint and
17
CenturyLink as well -- or CenturyLink and Verizon as
18
well, but with a mindful eye that everyone needs
19
certainty on what those equivalent products look like,
20
in particular the wholesale sector.
21
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
22
Thank you.
23
J.R.
24
MR. KELLY:
25
So thank you.
Any questions of Ms. Jaber?
Mr. Chair, I'd just like to ask a
question that's been posed to my office, and that is
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000018
1
what -- under the new IP-based system, what happens if
2
the power goes out?
3
elderly that now if the power goes out, the copper
4
system still works.
5
for wireline IP network versus the wireless footprint?
6
And I -- that may not be a fair question to Mark, but I
7
just, it just popped in my head when I was --
8
9
MR. LONG:
And I think that a lot of the
And does it, does the answer change
Well, that was one of the other
things I decided not to talk about, that the FCC staff
10
brought up in the opening, that's one issue that has not
11
been -- that they couched has not really been addressed
12
much so far in the trial proposal, and that is the
13
available fiber-based networks during power, power
14
outages.
15
aware of and, you know, will, will fully contemplate
16
some solution to, you know, during this process, I'm
17
sure.
18
So that's certainly a concern that they're
MR. HATCH:
Mr. Chairman, Tracy Hatch with
19
AT&T.
20
got to realize today is that unless you have an
21
old-fashioned wireline rotary or touch-tone phone, when
22
the power goes out, your power goes out unless you have
23
another alternative already.
24
25
Just to sort of follow up on that.
What you've
Now everybody that's got cordless phones in
their house, they go out when the power goes out.
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
For
000019
1
example, now if you are an AT&T U-verse customer and you
2
have a U-verse voice product, that product comes with, I
3
believe it's an 8-hour battery.
4
bigger battery, if you want.
5
make those kinds of arrangements for whatever products
6
that they have in the future.
You can get a bigger,
But people will have to
And in the wireless world, of course, it's --
7
8
if your cell phone is charged up, it works.
9
not, then it won't work regardless of what it is.
10
11
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
If it's
So, in other words, if your
power goes out, you have bigger problems.
12
MR. HATCH:
Potentially if the power really
13
goes out, then you may have really bigger problems.
14
That's exactly right.
15
MR. PARADO:
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
Any other further questions or
comments?
Mark, thank you very much for your
presentation.
Now let's venture on to Item Number 2 on the
agenda, which is the MOU.
MR. SHAFER:
Good morning Commissioners.
Greg
Shafer with Commission staff.
Item 2 seeks approval of a revised Memorandum
24
of Understanding with the water management districts.
25
The currently effective memorandum was effective in
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000020
1
June 1991, and staff believes it's appropriate to update
2
the memorandum.
3
respective water management districts is not a
4
requirement, and each entity's legal responsibilities
5
are delineated in statutes.
A Memorandum of Understanding with the
However, a Memorandum of Understanding seeks
6
7
to address specific duties that each entity will
8
undertake in furtherance of the statutory
9
responsibilities when those responsibilities interact or
10
overlap.
The attached revised memorandum represents a
11
12
less formal, more contemporary style of document than
13
the previous document and was developed through a
14
collaborative effort between staff of the Public Service
15
Commission and staff from each of the five water
16
management districts.
Most changes are stylistic and organizational
17
18
in nature.
19
of language addressing reuse feasibility analyses.
20
practical matter, the Commission conducted, I think, two
21
feasibility analyses back in the '90s, reuse feasibility
22
analyses, and has not been called upon to do such since
23
then.
24
25
The most substantive change is the removal
As a
All of the Commission jurisdictional utilities
that could cost-effectively install reuse facilities
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
1
have already done so.
And, further, should the need
2
arise, we would absolutely provide the necessary
3
analysis.
000021
And with that, I'm happy to take questions.
First question.
4
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
5
COMMISSIONER BROWN:
Okay.
Thank you, Greg.
I know
6
it's kind of a burdensome task to work with all of those
7
different governmental agencies to come up with a final
8
work product.
9
collaborative efforts with all of them.
10
So thank you for your perseverance and
But I know we spoke before about some
11
stylistic and grammatical changes.
12
substantive changes I wanted to raise to my fellow
13
Commissioners.
14
which is the red line version, so it's easier for me to
15
look at the changes that were actually made.
16
I just have two
And I'm looking from the Attachment B,
On page 13 under the Florida Public Service
17
Commission's responsibilities -- well, the first
18
paragraph, the last sentence where it says, "The FPSC
19
agrees to implement policies and procedures necessary to
20
administer the following duties," I thought we should
21
add language "when applicable" rather than making it
22
carte blanche, always mandatory.
23
applicable" or, alternatively, "in accordance or
24
furtherance of Chapter 367."
25
I think "when
The other change on there that I wanted to
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000022
1
suggest to you all is on number 3 of the
2
responsibilities, it says "Recognize and allow recovery
3
of expenses."
4
"prudently incurred" preceding the word "expenses."
I think we should add the words
Also, I didn't like the word "and allow"
5
6
because it almost suggests that we, the Commission shall
7
always allow recovery of those expenses, those expenses
8
for excessive unaccounted for water.
9
to mirror the language, the last sentence of page -- of
I kind of wanted
10
paragraph, of that same paragraph where it says,
11
"Allowable expenses may include."
12
thought it would be nice to change "Recognize and may
13
allow recovery of prudently incurred expenses."
So I kind of -- I
Finally, the last suggested change on page 16,
14
15
the attachment under project coordination, a minor
16
change.
17
non-substantive, but the one that I wanted to include on
18
number 3 under project coordination where it talks about
19
"actions taken against individual water systems," I
20
think it would be wise to include the words "subject to
21
FPSC jurisdiction."
22
provision, Greg, correct, looking at the, comparing the
23
previous MOU?
24
25
There was a stylistic change that's
And that looked to be a new
It looked -- is that correct?
MR. SHAFER:
was restyled.
I don't know that it's new.
It
The water management districts do not
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000023
1
typically take enforcement or make enforcement
2
recommendations, which is what the old language said.
3
And so the language was restyled to make it more correct
4
with what they actually do.
5
COMMISSIONER BROWN:
Okay.
With those, I
6
think it's a solid work product.
7
changes would make it cleaner and would be -- I don't
8
think it would really be to the detriment of the other
9
water management districts.
10
I think they would be
complicit and agree accepting those minor changes.
11
12
I just, I think those
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
Any questions or concerns of
the proposed changes by Commissioner Brown?
13
Anything from staff?
14
Okay.
15
Commissioner Balbis.
16
COMMISSIONER BALBIS:
Anything else?
Thank you.
I have a
17
quick question.
I know previously in 1991 we had one
18
MOU that was for all of the water management districts.
19
But now in this case, I guess because of the South
20
Florida Water Management District's desire to have an
21
individual one, is that going to be the intent, that now
22
we're going to have individual MOUs with each one or one
23
blanket?
Yes.
Yes.
24
MR. SHAFER:
25
COMMISSIONER BALBIS:
Okay.
And then I did
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000024
1
notice that the Northwest Florida Water Management
2
District did not want to execute it.
3
important, you know, when you go through rate cases to
4
say we have an MOU with all of the water management
5
districts.
6
or are there revisions to the draft MOU that would make
7
them more comfortable?
8
9
I just think it's
I mean, do you feel that that's a detriment,
MR. SHAFER:
First of all, I think it would
probably be better if they were all participating.
10
There was not a dialogue in regard to making changes to
11
the document that would mollify any concerns.
12
the express issue there was that the district -- and
13
it's included in the letter -- that the district
14
believes that their responsibilities and our
15
responsibilities are clearly reflected in the current
16
statutes and that it's not necessary to have the
17
document.
18
try to bring them in.
19
had more or less been made on their end.
20
COMMISSIONER BALBIS:
I think
You know, I don't know that we pushed to, to
It just seemed like the decision
Okay.
Because I know
21
that with this Commission we've had a lot of discussions
22
on where the appropriate inclining rate block structures
23
are.
Right.
24
MR. SHAFER:
25
COMMISSIONER BALBIS:
And it's always
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000025
1
something that we always mention that we do have an MOU
2
with all the water management districts.
3
this is --
4
MR. SHAFER:
So, but if
And, again, the Northwest
5
District did say in the letter and in conversation that,
6
you know, they didn't anticipate changing the way they
7
interact with us, that they, you know, that they look
8
forward to cooperating with us in the future.
9
an internal decision was my interpretation.
10
COMMISSIONER BALBIS:
11
MR. KISER:
12
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
13
MR. KISER:
Okay.
It's just
Thank you.
Mr. Chairman.
Yes.
A historical note, that district
14
has consistently been treated differently through the
15
years, and the reason for that was when the water
16
management district constitutional amendment was
17
prepared, it was to -- they wanted to limit it because
18
the Constitution prohibits local -- state, any part of
19
state government from having a property tax.
20
wanted the water management districts to have property
21
tax, so the constitutional amendment was required to
22
give them 1 mil of taxation.
23
But they
Well, the legislators representing Northwest
24
Florida objected to that much of a millage.
They
25
didn't think 1 mil was -- that was way too much.
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
So
000026
1
there was an agreement in the Legislature to only give
2
them half a mil, .5.
3
say a scrivener's error, it went on the ballot at .05.
4
So for many years they had virtually no taxing authority
5
to speak of.
6
dealt with state permits and other tax issues where they
7
would have to come up with money, they were almost
8
always exempted or a different provision put in because
9
they just had no money to even pay co-payments, to pay
10
on grants and things like that where you have to put a
11
certain amount of money up of your own, they couldn't do
12
any of that.
13
Well, unfortunately, due to, they
And every time something came along that
It wasn't until just relatively recently that
14
the constitutional amendment was passed to bring them
15
back up to where everybody else -- I think it brought
16
them back up to -- it either brought them back up to
17
1 mil or it brought them back up to a half a mil.
18
for quite some time they have always been treated
19
differently.
20
was a certain amount of cooperation required, a lot of
21
times they would just, they'd come to the Legislature
22
and say, "We really can't do that because we don't have
23
the money in our budget.
24
that's, from a historical note, that's why they've kind
25
of been treated differently for quite some time.
But
And in situations like this where there
We can't tax for that."
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
So
000027
1
2
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
I think what it was is they
brought everybody else back down to where they are.
What's that?
3
MR. KISER:
4
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
5
Anything else?
6
COMMISSIONER BROWN:
7
COMMISSIONER BALBIS:
8
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
9
10
Never mind.
Any other comments, questions?
Move approval as amended.
Second.
It's been moved and seconded
to approve the MOU to the water management districts as
amended by Commissioner Brown.
Any further discussion?
11
All in favor, say aye.
12
(Vote taken.)
13
Sounds like you guys are good to go.
14
you.
15
Number 3.
16
MR. FOGLEMAN:
17
18
Thank
Commissioners.
This is telecom day, isn't it?
Yeah.
Good morning,
Greg Fogleman with Commission staff.
Yesterday you should have received a brief
19
outline of a few amendments to a proposed draft.
20
was one correction regarding telephone subscribership.
21
What it was was an update.
22
report before was as of March 2013.
23
all of 2013.
24
25
There
The data that we had in the
This now reflects
The second amendment related to the third
quarter USF assessment factor.
That, that data became
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000028
1
available, and we seek to amend the, the proposed report
2
to reflect those two, two updates.
In this report we -- there are two firsts that
3
4
we've noticed.
5
noticed that AT&T's residential lines continue their
6
decline, but they now match what their -- the number of
7
business lines they have.
8
interesting.
9
direction.
10
11
The first one related to AT&T.
We
We thought that was kind of
Verizon looks like it's headed in the same
Maybe by next year we may see, see that as
well.
The next thing we noticed that was kind of a
12
first related to the CLECs.
13
the CLECs have more business access lines than the
14
incumbent carriers.
15
access lines decline by about 17 percent; whereas, their
16
business lines increased by 16 percent.
17
aggregate, all of the ILECs saw, saw their, their
18
residential and business lines decline by, by
19
18 percent.
20
As mentioned before, now
CLECs did see the residential
In the
One thing also to note in this year's
21
competition report, traditionally we rely on data from
22
the FCC to kind of flush out the national trends and
23
what have you.
24
couple of reports that we look to, so that the data that
25
we're using are, are end of 2012, December of 2012.
This year the FCC has not released a
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000029
1
Staff would like to go ahead and update that should the
2
FCC release data between now and when the report has to
3
be distributed.
4
5
Staff is available for questions.
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
All good to go?
7
MR. LONG:
I guess I burned them out on
phones.
9
MR. FOGLEMAN:
Thanks.
somebody's birthday today?
No.
12
MR. LONG:
13
MR. FOGLEMAN:
14
MR. LONG:
15
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
16
I owe you lunch now.
As a matter of fact, wait a second, isn't it
10
11
Questions,
concerns, comments?
6
8
Commissioners?
approval.
No?
No?
Tomorrow.
Tomorrow.
All right.
They seek
Is there a motion?
17
COMMISSIONER EDGAR:
Move approval.
18
COMMISSIONER BRISÉ:
Second.
19
COMMISSIONER BALBIS:
20
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
21
Second.
It's been moved and seconded
to approve the draft letter.
Any further discussion?
22
All in favor, say aye.
23
(Vote taken.)
24
MR. LONG:
25
And we would just include editorial
privileges to keep the information updated and fresh as
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
1
it goes to press, if we can, so.
That was in the motion.
2
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
3
MR. LONG:
4
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
5
COMMISSIONER BROWN:
6
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
7
MR. LONG:
8
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
9
10
000030
Okay.
Just making sure.
Guys, thank you very much.
Thank you.
And happy early birthday.
Thanks.
All right.
Legislative
updates.
MR. KISER:
Mr. Chairman, we really, really
11
don't have anything new to, to update other than I think
12
maybe since the last meeting, as we know, the
13
legislation was approved on Senate Bill 272 that dealt
14
with the private water and sewer companies, and the
15
implementation of that is moving forward.
16
that is being circulated about how the petition is going
17
to look and what will be attached to it and all that
18
good stuff and we're right in the middle of doing that.
Okay.
A draft of
Executive Director.
19
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
20
MR. BAEZ:
21
We actually, I think we had skipped one item.
22
23
Thank you, Chairman.
I think it's Item 4.
Commissioners, on June, June 19th of this year
24
the staff at the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
25
Services, the Office of Energy, had requested a letter
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000031
1
of support from the Commission on a pending application
2
for a grant from the, from the U.S. Department of
3
Energy.
4
The USDOE had recently announced their State
5
Energy Program Competitive Awards for 2014.
These allow
6
state energy offices to compete for funding for projects
7
addressing energy efficiency.
8
two grants in, in some areas of interest that the DO --
9
that our Office of Energy, Agriculture's Office of
And the DOE is offering
10
Energy had expressed interest in:
11
energy planning and the second being innovative
12
opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy
13
practices.
14
The first being state
The Office of Energy is applying for a grant
15
under, under the first item, state energy planning.
16
Those grants are intended to assist in bolstering state
17
planning by facilitating stakeholder discussions related
18
to activities concerning the future direction of the
19
energy sector in the state and how energy efficiency and
20
renewable energy fit into the vision for the future.
21
We are requesting, as has been requested from
22
us, approval for a letter of support for the energy
23
office's grant application.
24
provided for your review and really mainly for
25
discussion.
A draft letter has been
It was staff's first stab at it.
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
And on,
000032
1
on second or third reflection, I think some of the
2
verbiage could stand some tightening because, in my
3
estimation, I think we may be tracking a little too
4
closely to pending matters -- for instance, the goals
5
dockets coming up this summer.
6
would request is, based on the intent of the letter,
7
your approval of intent to file a supportive letter, and
8
let us go back and tweak it a little bit, along with
9
whatever else you may already have, in order to get that
10
language a little bit clearer so it's not misinterpreted
11
as, as prejudging any issues that may be live before the
12
Commission at this point.
13
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
So we would -- what we
Do you have any questions?
The first question is what's
14
the necessity of this letter?
15
MR. BAEZ:
Necessity -- well, candidly,
16
Chairman, it's, it was a request from a sister agency.
17
I mean, there's, there's really no, no special way of
18
putting it.
19
time to time.
20
believe we sent a similar letter of support for a prior
21
grant application that the Office of Energy had
22
provided, I believe it was in 2010.
23
respects, a renewal.
24
25
We get, we get some of these requests from
This has been a practice of ours.
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
I
So this is, in many
Commissioners?
Commissioner
Balbis.
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
1
COMMISSIONER BALBIS:
Mr. Baez, with this
000033
2
letter of support, I mean, is it anticipated that the
3
Public Service Commission will have any participation in
4
the activities?
5
MR. BAEZ:
It's not my understanding that we
6
would have any participation in the, in the activities
7
of the grant.
8
COMMISSIONER BALBIS:
Okay.
Because looking
9
at their outline of the process in their application,
10
there's a lot of crossover into what I know our staff
11
looks at in preparing and going through different
12
processes.
13
participation in it.
14
15
16
So it would be good if we had some
MR. BAEZ:
it wasn't.
So that wasn't discussed at all?
To my knowledge, to my knowledge,
Cayce, if you have anything to add.
MR. HINTON:
At this stage there's been no
17
real discussion about who's going to participate as they
18
go forward.
19
pitching a project.
20
MR. BAEZ:
21
MR. HINTON:
It's their -- they've -- they've -- they're
Yeah.
It's going to start with a, an
22
analysis of the current state of affairs in the state
23
with regards to policy, you know, the energy portfolio,
24
all that, those type things.
25
Once they get a good ground, look at the
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
1
ground -- as, as -- once they get a good picture of
2
where things lay, then they're going to organize
3
stakeholder meetings.
4
not be invited to participate.
5
determined at this point.
6
And at that point we may or may
I don't think it's been
And then once they've got, they have those
7
stakeholder meetings, they're going to come up with a
8
list of proposals they think that the state should
9
consider going forward.
10
COMMISSIONER BALBIS:
Okay.
Well, hopefully
11
if we are invited to participate, that there is some
12
funding within this grant to, to pay for that.
13
those are my only concerns.
14
000034
MR. BAEZ:
Yeah.
But
And I would, I would point
15
out in addition -- as you can see, our attorney has
16
moved up to the, to the table -- whatever requests of
17
participation has to get filtered through whatever we
18
have going on at the time.
19
to my comments on the draft letter as well.
20
like questions that may have, whether or not a strict
21
overlap, they could rub up closely against.
22
effort to be cautious with our own decisions, that's the
23
filter with which we would consider any offer of
24
participation or any insistence on participation, for
25
that matter.
I mean, I would allude prior
We do have
And in an
It's always a good opportunity, but the
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
1
opportunity comes with risks as well.
2
always take that into consideration.
3
4
5
COMMISSIONER BALBIS:
So we would
000035
And one last thing,
Mr. Chairman.
And I think you bring up a good point,
6
Mr. Baez, in that there are a lot of statements in the
7
grant application that I, that I want to make sure that
8
the draft letter, the final letter that goes out doesn't
9
imply any tacit approval of any of the --
10
MR. BAEZ:
That's an excellent point. I think
11
that's something that we would, as an overall goal, have
12
the letter make clear, that in addition to staying away
13
from making any statements of our own is to not
14
necessarily adopt conclusions that may be part of the
15
grant application, but rather a support in a general
16
sense to a sister agency that is also charged with some
17
public interest obligations.
18
more the feeling that we would want to capture in the
19
letter of support.
So I think that's really
Okay.
20
COMMISSIONER BALBIS:
21
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
22
COMMISSIONER EDGAR:
23
I am aware that DOE, when looking at grants to
Commissioner Edgar.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
24
states and other governmental entities, is very
25
interested in seeing coordination and communication
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000036
1
between a state energy office, a state commission, and,
2
in certain instances, a state environmental protection
3
agency.
4
process for DOE to be interested in seeing some evidence
5
of that coordination and communication is in keeping
6
with the approach that they're taking.
7
So for it to be part of the grant review
I certainly want to be supportive of our state
8
energy office's efforts, and glad to see coordination
9
and communication.
But I will say that when I read the
10
information available to us -- and I realize that
11
there's, there's way more -- but it raised more
12
questions in my mind than it answered.
13
It's, it's very broad, and I do have a concern
14
about the last sentence in the letter.
15
coming from this agency, recognizing, Mr. Chairman, that
16
if we move forward with this, it is your letter and I
17
would defer to you for the word choice.
18
sentence it says that this grant application, that we
19
believe as an agency that the grant application will be
20
an effective approach to developing a vision for
21
Florida's energy future, and that just seems a little
22
overly sweeping and --
But in the last
Conclusive.
23
MR. BAEZ:
24
COMMISSIONER EDGAR:
25
It will be
Exactly.
If, indeed, the
grant money would be intended and focused more on, say,
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
000037
1
energy efficiency or something else, my suggestion would
2
be that we are a little more specific.
And perhaps, Commissioner Balbis, similar to
3
4
some of your context when you talked about it, the team
5
will convene.
6
be, and we want to be careful that we aren't, without
7
knowing that, sanctioning.
8
there's a whole lot more information that's out there.
9
But as far as from my standpoint being supportive of our
I'm just curious as to who the team would
And, again, I just think
10
state energy office and giving evidence that we are
11
trying to work together, I certainly would want to, to
12
do that.
13
be done.
14
But I think maybe a little more work needs to
MR. BAEZ:
Absolutely, Commissioner.
Good
15
points all.
16
comment is to try to be as supportive without becoming
17
unwittingly complicit in something that we, that we
18
cannot commit to because of our process, if nothing, if
19
nothing more.
20
can be, and by our action to the, to the grant as a
21
whole, to the intent of the grant as a whole, if not
22
entirely, the, the claims and the statements that, that
23
are made.
24
25
I, I think I would, I would fall back on my
And so we want to be as supportive as we
But I think your points are well taken.
Like I said, we're going to take a much more
critical stab at the, at the draft to try and keep, keep
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
1
to those parameters as well.
2
3
000038
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
Anyone else?
I hear
crickets.
4
All right.
5
COMMISSIONER BALBIS:
6
due, Mr. Chairman or Mr. Baez?
7
MR. BAEZ:
When is the application
I'm not, I'm not sure.
I do know
8
that the request for the letter of support was made
9
rather -- it was requested that it be turned around
10
rather quickly.
And I think that the Chairman had made
11
a question, had had a question before offline.
12
don't, just for your information, we don't have another
13
Internal Affairs before the application is due, if that
14
answers your question.
15
deadline.
We
June 30th, I'm told, is the
Next week.
16
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
17
COMMISSIONER BROWN:
Mr. Chairman, I know in
18
the past we've given discretion to the Chairman to leave
19
it in your discretion to review and approve the letter,
20
as it's your signature.
21
Commissioners.
22
So I would offer that to the
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
Is there any other comments
23
or concerns about the way this current draft reads other
24
than the ones that Commissioner Edgar made?
25
Thank you, Commissioner Balbis.
FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
1
COMMISSIONER BRISÉ:
I think the spirit of
2
the, of our thought process is included, that we want to
3
provide assistance or provide support from a, a
4
Commission, but we don't want our hands tied.
5
think that that -- the letter needs to, needs to reflect
6
that, that reality.
7
MR. BAEZ:
Yes, sir.
And I
And we'll, we'll
8
coordinate with, with, with your office, both -- I'm not
9
volunteering Curt necessarily -- but, you know, have
10
legal look at it as well, make sure that we're clear of
11
all of those sticky parts, and get back to you ASAP.
12
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
13
MR. BAEZ:
14
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
15
Is there anything else in the Executive
16
Thank you, Commissioners.
Thank you.
Director's report?
17
MR. BAEZ:
18
CHAIRMAN GRAHAM:
19
Crickets again.
20
All right.
21
Thank you very much.
22
Okay.
Nothing else, Chairman.
Other matters.
Thank you.
Anything?
Seeing none, we are adjourned.
Travel safely.
(Internal Affairs concluded at 10:29 a.m.)
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FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
1
STATE OF FLORIDA
2
COUNTY OF LEON
)
:
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000040
CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER
3
4
5
6
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I, LINDA BOLES, CRR, RPR, Official Commission
Reporter, do hereby certify that the foregoing
proceeding was heard at the time and place herein
stated.
IT IS FURTHER CERTIFIED that I stenographically
reported the said proceedings; that the same has been
transcribed under my direct supervision; and that this
transcript constitutes a true transcription of my notes
of said proceedings.
I FURTHER CERTIFY that I am not a relative, employee,
attorney or counsel of any of the parties, nor am I a
relative or employee of any of the parties' attorney or
counsel connected with the action, nor am I financially
interested in the action.
DATED THIS 2nd day of July, 2014.
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__________________________________
16
LINDA BOLES, CRR, RPR
FPSC Official Commission Reporters
(850) 413-6734
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FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
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