In February 2021, as part of it Rulemaking 18-03-011, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted Decision 21-02-029, Decision Adopting Wireline Provider Resiliency Strategies (Decision). The Decision generally requires facilities-based wireline communications providers to (i) develop comprehensive resiliency strategies to prepare for disasters and commercial power outages and (ii) file emergency operations and resiliency plans with the Commission providing emergency contact information and describing providers' ability to maintain service during disasters and outages.

The Decision defines wireline providers to include "all companies owning, operating, or otherwise responsible for the infrastructure that provides or otherwise carries 9-1-1, voice, text messages, or data services." Most significantly, the Decision requires wireline providers to:

  • 1) Equip their facilities in the Tier 2 and 3 High Fire-Threat Districts (HFTDs) with 72 hours of backup power; and
  • 2) Post on their websites outage maps during disasters and public safety power shutoff (PSPS) events.

By August 12, 2022, wireline providers must equip all of their facilities in the Tier 2 and 3 HFTDs with 72 hours of backup power unless they secure a waiver from the CPUC for certain facilities.

The Decision also requires facilities-based wireline providers to annually file with the CPUC:

  • 1) An Emergency Operations Filing, an information only filing that includes the provider's:
    • Emergency operations plan;
    • Emergency contact information;
    • Emergency preparedness exercise attestation; and
    • Public communications plan; and
  • 2) A Wireline Resiliency Plan, which is an advice letter in which providers may request waivers of the 72-hour backup power mandate for specific facilities.

These filings were due for the first time in April and August of 2021, respectively. Last week, the Director of the CPUC Communications Division announced the following 2022 deadlines for these requirements:

  • Emergency Operations Filings are due April 19, 2022
  • Wireline Resiliency Plans are due August 18, 2022

The announcement further states that any wireline facilities-based communications provider that did not file a Wireline Resiliency Plan in 2021 must file its 2022 plan by April 11, 2022.

Please contact us if you have any questions about the CPUC's wireline resiliency requirements or require assistance with the related regulatory filings.