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ACT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2007-2008

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NO. 95.  AN ACT RELATING TO SMALL ELIGIBLE TELECOMMUNICATIONS CARRIERS.

(H.575)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  30 V.S.A. § 227d is amended to read:

§ 227d.  SMALL ELIGIBLE TELECOMMUNICATIONS CARRIERS

(a)  A carrier which serves fewer than ten percent of subscriber lines installed in the aggregate statewide and has been designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier in a service area where a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier has also been designated may, by providing written notice to the public service board and to the department of public service, elect to be exempted from one or more of the regulatory requirements under sections 104, 105, 108, 225, 226, 227, 229, and 230, and 247 of this title, except for purposes of E-911 services, for switched or dedicated access to the local exchange by providers of long distance telephone service or for rates for utility pole attachments.  For the purposes of this subsection, “eligible telecommunications carrier” means a telecommunications carrier designated eligible pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 214(e).

(b)  For any carrier that elects exemption under subsection (a) of this section:

(1)  The carrier shall provide notice of its election to its existing customers within 30 days of its election and to any new customer at the time the new customer requests service from the carrier. 

(2)  The carrier shall maintain the rate schedules that were required prior to the carrier’s election and upon request shall provide notice of any change to such rate schedules to the board and the department for informational purposes only.

(A)  Notice of increases of rates for services offered by the carrier on or before June 30, 2005, shall be made at least 30 days in advance to the board and department.

(B)  The carrier shall not withdraw any service subject to the jurisdiction of the board which it offered on June 30, 2005, without at least 30 days’ advance notice to customers, the board, and the department.

(C)  Rate schedules which are exempted from approval by the board under this section shall not have the effect of a tariff.

(3)  The board shall have continuing regulatory authority over service quality standards; access to carriers of long distance telecommunications services; customer deposits; disconnection of residential and nonresidential services; billing practices and procedures; access to emergency services; access to operators’ services; access to directory services; the requirement under subsection 218(a) of this title that rates be just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory; and the nine supported services required under 47 U.S.C. § 214(e) as related to basic exchange telecommunications service.  For purposes of this subsection, “basic exchange telecommunications service” means the provision of publicly switched, voice grade interactive telecommunications services between or among two or more end users, where a single central office provides that service to those two or more end users any matter under its jurisdiction for which the authority of the board is not specifically limited by this section.

(4)  The carrier shall not condition the purchase of basic exchange telecommunications service upon the purchase or subscription to bundles of or any combination of telecommunication services other than the one access line required for the provision of such service.

(5)  The carrier shall limit its prices as follows:

(A)  the carrier shall not increase its price for basic exchange telecommunications service during the first year following such election and,; during the second and third years following the end of the year in which the carrier has made such election, the carrier shall not increase its price for basic exchange telecommunications service by more than nine percent or by $1.50, whichever is less; and during the fourth and fifth years following the end of the year in which the carrier has made such election, the carrier shall not increase its price for basic exchange telecommunications service by more than 11 percent or by $2.00, whichever is less;

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(c)  Upon petition by the department, the board shall and upon its own initiative the board may investigate whether it should impose or reimpose any regulatory requirements which the carrier has elected out of pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.  If the board finds, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, and, after considering the factors identified in subsection 227c(c) of this title, that the public is not sufficiently protected, the board may impose or reimpose any of the regulatory provisions listed in subsection (a) of this section.  Pending any final order and subject to the provisions of section 12 of this title, the board may impose or reimpose any of the regulatory provisions listed in subsection (a) of this section on a temporary basis as it determines is just and reasonable.  Upon petition of the carrier and after notice and opportunity for hearing, the board may modify, reduce, or suspend any regulatory requirement it has reimposed on the carrier.

Sec. 2.  REPEAL 

Sec. 2 of No. 73 of the Acts of 2005 (repeal of section 227d of Title 30) as amended by Sec. 17b of No. 79 of the Acts of 2007 is repealed.


Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

Approved:  May 24, 2008



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us