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Introduced by Representatives Kitzmiller of Montpelier and Livingston of Manchester

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Public service; universal telecommunications service charge

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to allow the public service board to assess by rule a minimum charge or a flat charge per telephone line or telephone line equivalent.


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

Sec. 1.  30 V.S.A. § 7502(b) is amended to read:

(b)  By rule or general order, the public service board may adopt procedures and standards to implement its responsibilities under this chapter.  Rules may further clarify terms used in this chapter and may specify how to calculate line equivalents for the minimum or alternative charge imposed on presubscribed services.  To the extent applicable, the public service board shall use the procedures and standards applicable to the setting of rates for regulated utilities.  Those procedures may be designed to expedite the annual establishment of amounts to be collected and distributed by the fiscal agent.

Sec. 2.  30 V.S.A. § 7521(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The universal service charge shall not apply to wholesale transactions between telecommunications service providers where the service is a component part of a service provided to an end user.  This exemption includes, but is not limited to, network access charges and interconnection charges paid to a local exchange carrier  The board may establish by rule a minimum charge per telephone line or telephone line equivalent per month of service or portion thereof if the board finds that to do so is necessary to ensure sufficient revenues for payment from the fund or to ensure equity among different types of telephone users.  The board may also establish by rule a flat charge per telephone line or telephone line equivalent for a class or classes of service in lieu of the rate of charge established in subsection (a) of this section if the board finds that it is administratively efficient to do so and not contrary to the public good.

Sec. 3.  30 V.S.A. § 7523(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Annually, after considering the probable expenditures for programs funded pursuant to this chapter, the probable service revenues of the industry and seeking recommendations from the department, the public service board shall establish a rate of charge to apply during the 12 months beginning on the following September 1.  However, the rate so established shall not at any time exceed two percent of retail telecommunications service.  The board’s decision shall be entered and announced each year before July 15.  However, if the general assembly does not enact an authorization amount for E‑911 before July 15, the board may defer decision until 30 days after the E‑911 authorization is established, and the existing charge rate shall remain in effect until the board establishes a new rate.  Rates established by the board on a per‑line or line equivalent may be set notwithstanding the maximum percentage rate established by this section, but shall not be set at a rate that collects in excess of that which is required to support the program purposes as established by law and any necessary reserve.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont