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Federal Communications Commission Intergovernmental Advisory Committee Presentation by Consumer Protection Subcommittee Ronald Brisé, Chair.

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Presentation on theme: "Federal Communications Commission Intergovernmental Advisory Committee Presentation by Consumer Protection Subcommittee Ronald Brisé, Chair."— Presentation transcript:

1 Federal Communications Commission Intergovernmental Advisory Committee Presentation by Consumer Protection Subcommittee Ronald Brisé, Chair

2 Overview State vs. Federal Jurisdiction Nationwide landscape of consumer protection mechanisms Technologies include telephone, cable, VoIP, internet and bundled services Case Study: Florida

3 Intro Brief history of deregulation trend and the subsequent impacts to consumer protection services. How was consumer protection handled in regulatory framework? Questions to consider: –What is a minimum standard to ensure consumer protection in a deregulated industry?

4 State/Locality vs. Federal Jurisdiction Cities with jurisdiction –Cable franchising trend has been local-statewide –Some cities provide their own cable and/or telecom State Commissions

5 State/Locality vs. Federal Jurisdiction Other State Agencies FCC/FTC Partner: FCC Consumer Advisory Committee

6 State Model Comparison Wisconsin –takes complaints regarding Lifeline/USF issues and number portability problems Oklahoma & South Dakota –accept wireline complaints, wireless ETC complaints New Hampshire & Missouri –While continuing to take complaints, recent legislation limits the commission’s ability to mandate a resolution

7 State Model Comparison Arkansas –Maintains the authority to regulate the quality of service of all telecommunications providers but has limited authority to regulate rates, terms, and conditions of services Idaho –The Commission's authority only extends to wireline telecommunication carriers, payphone providers, and limited authority over wireless carriers that have been granted ETC status California –While taking all types of telecommunications complaints, it is limited on what it can do for long- distance telephone and wireless services, Internet rates and services, and as of September 28th, VoIP complaints.

8 Protection Mechanisms Per Telecom Service Special consideration to new service/possible issues raised by bundled services –Voice over Internet Protocol –Cable, Broadband, and Voice Bundled Services

9 Case Study: Florida The Path To Deregulation < FL PSC was a “one- stop-shop” for landline telephone complaints 2009 – service quality authority was reduced to basic service only 2011 – retail services deregulated

10 Case Study: Florida The Florida Regulatory Reform Act –Eliminated or severely curtailed oversight of retail telecommunications, including: eliminating all oversight of interexchange telecommunications companies, limiting the Commission’s designation of eligible telecommunications carriers to traditional wireline providers, and removing remaining jurisdiction over consumer complaints, including slamming.

11 Case Study: Florida The Florida Regulatory Reform Act (cont.) The Commission still has jurisdiction to address wholesale slamming Retail customer questions and complaints are now handled by Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Complaints regarding wireless and VoIP services are directed to DACS

12 Case Study: Florida Florida PSC website: “The Public Service Commission no longer has the authority to accept as many of the consumer telecommunications complaints as we have in the past. The PSC may still accept consumer complaints dealing with the Lifeline Program, Relay Service, and Pay Phone Service. Other consumer telecommunications complaints (excluding Slamming) should be filed with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Complaints about Slamming should be filed with the Federal Communications Commission.”

13 Case Study: Florida A Current Complaint – Florida consumer signs up for cable + Internet (no phone service) 3 rd party installer connects service on moving day Installer secretly activates VoIP telephone line and makes international calls Customer gets bill and contacts company After 3 days of contact, the company states it will open a fraud case After 3 months, complaint is not resolved and customer calls city government

14 Case Study: Florida This Consumer’s Options – DACS Attorney General FCC

15 Case Study: Florida Calendar Year 2011 Fiscal Year Federal Communications Commission 4,537 Not Available Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services 2,8092,789 Attorney General1,1431,029 Florida Public Service Commission3,665*3,446** Florida Telecommunications Complaints For Calendar Year 2011 and Fiscal Year (as of May)

16 Case Study: Florida

17 Complaints filed at the FCC 1st Quarter nd Quarter 2012 Bundled and VoIP Service-related Complaints 2,0031,847 Wireless Telecommunications Complaints 45,39645,254 Wireline Telecommunications Complaints 36,03240,150 Quarterly Report of Informal Complaints

18 Recommendations As policy makers rely on market forces to enforce minimal service quality standards, an efficient federal/state partnership is necessary. –Continued market monitoring –Education –Improved consumer access to complaint systems –Access to aggregated state data by state commissions and policy makers –Support technology-neutral approaches to regulatory and deregulatory action.

19 Recommendations Cable Service – Some service standards should be amended –Office locations –Late and missed appointments –Incorporate broadband into cable standards

20 Thank You! With special thanks to: Gary Resnick Brandon Stephens Michael Vaughn Florida Public Service Commission’s Office of Telecommunications

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