H.P. 1661 - L.D. 2288
An Act Regarding Telecommunications Regulation
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 35-A MRSA §7104, as enacted by PL 1991, c. 654, §4 and affected by §5, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:
§7104. Affordable telephone service
1. Low-income support. The commission shall require telephone utilities to participate in statewide outreach programs designed to increase the number of low-income telephone customers on the network through increased participation in any universal service program approved by the commission.
2. General availability. The commission shall seek to ensure that similar telecommunication services are available to consumers throughout all areas of the State at reasonably comparable rates.
3. Authority. The commission shall adopt rules to implement this section and may require providers of intrastate telecommunications services to contribute to a state universal service fund to support programs consistent with the goals of applicable provisions of this Title and the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, Public Law 104-104, 110 Stat. 56. Prior to requiring that providers of intrastate telecommunications services contribute to a state universal service fund, the commission shall assess the telecommunications needs of the State's consumers and establish the level of support required to meet those needs. If the commission establishes a state universal service fund pursuant to this section, the commission shall contract with an appropriate independent fiscal agent that is not a state entity to serve as administrator of the state universal service fund. Funds contributed to a state universal service fund are not state funds. Rules and any state universal service fund requirements established by the commission pursuant to this section must:
A. Be reasonably designed to maximize federal assistance available to the State for universal service purposes;
B. Meet the State's obligations under the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, Public Law 104 - 104, 110 Stat. 56;
C. Be consistent with the goals of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, Public Law 104 - 104, 110 Stat. 56;
D. Ensure that any requirements regarding contributions to a state universal service fund be nondiscriminatory and competitively neutral;
E. Require explicit identification on customer bills of contributions to any state universal service fund established pursuant to this section; and
F. Allow consideration in appropriate rate-making proceedings of contributions to any state universal service fund established pursuant to this section.
Rules adopted under this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter II-A.
4. Standards and reporting. The commission, annually, shall assess the penetration rate of basic telecommunications services. If this penetration rate ever falls more than 2% below the national average penetration rate, the commission shall commence an investigation and take steps to enhance telecommunications market penetration. The commission, annually, shall assess the success of any actions taken by the commission to achieve the purposes of this section. In the annual report submitted by the commission pursuant to section 120, the commission shall include a description of any actions taken pursuant to this section and assessments made pursuant to this subsection.
Effective June 30, 1998, unless otherwise indicated.
|Revisor of Statutes Homepage||Subject Index||Search||Laws of Maine||Maine Legislature|
About the Laws Of Maine
Contact the Office of the Revisor of Statutes