130th Ohio General Assembly
The online versions of legislation provided on this website are not official. Enrolled bills are the final version passed by the Ohio General Assembly and presented to the Governor for signature. The official version of acts signed by the Governor are available from the Secretary of State's Office in the Continental Plaza, 180 East Broad St., Columbus.

Sub. S. B. No. 271  As Passed by the Senate
As Passed by the Senate

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
Sub. S. B. No. 271


Senator LaRose 

Cosponsors: Senators Seitz, Jones, Manning, Widener, Eklund, Burke, Coley, Sawyer, Patton, Jordan, Schaffer, Beagle, Hite, Wagoner, Bacon, Daniels, Hughes, Lehner, Niehaus 



A BILL
To amend sections 4927.07, 4927.08, 4927.11, and 4927.12 and to enact sections 4927.071 and 4927.10 of the Revised Code to establish certain exemptions, including permitting the withdrawal of services, for incumbent local exchange carriers determined to be fully competitive, and, regarding the provision of basic local exchange service, for other telephone companies operating in the same areas.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1.  That sections 4927.07, 4927.08, 4927.11, and 4927.12 be amended and sections 4927.071 and 4927.10 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 4927.07.  (A) A As used in this section:
(1) "Exchange area" has the same meaning as in section 4927.12 of the Revised Code.
(2) "Fully competitive incumbent local exchange carrier" means an incumbent local exchange carrier to which both of the following apply:
(a) The carrier has elected the designation as a fully competitive incumbent local exchange carrier by notifying the public utilities commission in writing.
(b) Either of the following applies to each exchange area in which the carrier is an incumbent local exchange carrier:
(i) The commission has made a prior determination that the exchange area qualified for alternative regulation of basic local exchange service under Chapter 4901:1-4 of the Ohio Administrative Code as that chapter existed on September 13, 2010.
(ii) The commission has found or has been deemed to have found that the carrier's application for the exchange area, filed under division (C)(3)(a) of section 4927.12 of the Revised Code, meets the requirements of that division.
(B) Except as provided in divisions (C) and (E) of this section, a telephone company may withdraw any telecommunications service if it gives at least thirty days' prior notice to the public utilities commission and to its affected customers.
(B) A (C)(1) Subject to the restrictions in division (C)(2) of this section, a fully competitive incumbent local exchange carrier may withdraw basic local exchange service if it gives at least ninety days' prior notice to all of the following:
(a) The commission;
(b) The consumers' counsel;
(c) Affected customers, which notice may be provided in any reasonable manner, including a bill insert, bill message, direct mail, or, if the customer consents, by electronic means;
(d) The public in accordance with a rule adopted by the commission that is consistent with the public notice requirements established in section 4909.19 of the Revised Code.
Notice required under this division may be provided before the dates specified in division (C)(2) of this section, so that the withdrawal may take effect on those dates.
(2) A fully competitive incumbent local exchange carrier may not withdraw basic local exchange service before July 1, 2013, in any exchange area to which division (A)(2)(b)(i) of this section applies. A fully competitive incumbent local exchange carrier may not withdraw basic local exchange service before July 1, 2014, in any exchange area to which division (A)(2)(b)(ii) of this section applies.
(D) Except as provided in division (E) of this section, a telephone company may abandon entirely telecommunications service in this state if it gives at least thirty days' prior notice to the commission, to its wholesale and retail customers, and to any telephone company wholesale provider of its services.
(C) (E) Divisions (A) and (B), (C), and (D) of this section do not apply to any of the following:
(1) Basic local exchange service provided by an incumbent local exchange carrier that is not fully competitive;
(2) Pole attachments under section 4905.71 of the Revised Code;
(3) Conduit and conduit occupancy under section 4905.71 of the Revised Code;
(4) Interconnection and resale agreements approved under the "Telecommunications Act of 1996," 110 Stat. 56, 47 U.S.C. 151 et seq., as amended.
(D) An incumbent local exchange carrier may not withdraw or abandon basic local exchange service.
(E) A telephone company may not, without first filing a request with the commission and obtaining commission approval, withdraw any tariff filed with the commission for pole attachments or conduit occupancy under section 4905.71 of the Revised Code or abandon service provided under that section.
(3) Interconnection and resale agreements approved under the "Telecommunications Act of 1996," 110 Stat. 56, 47 U.S.C. 151 et seq., as amended.
Sec. 4927.071. (A) As used in this section:
(1) "Exchange area" has the same meaning as in section 4927.12 of the Revised Code.
(2) "Fully competitive incumbent local exchange carrier" has the same meaning as in section 4927.07 of the Revised Code.
(B) Not later than one hundred twenty days after the effective date of this section, the public utilities commission may adopt a rule that addresses situations in which a fully competitive incumbent local exchange carrier provides notice of the withdrawal of basic local exchange service and no other comparable service is available at one or more customer locations in the exchange area where the service is to be withdrawn. The commission shall establish a competitively and technologically neutral process by which such service may be provided to those customer locations. In doing so, the commission shall rely on the national broadband plan and the connect America fund adopted by the federal communications commission in determining the availability of comparable service and the funding for that service. The commission shall not adopt a funding mechanism for this process or service and shall not order any carrier to provide such service involuntarily to those customer locations.
Sec. 4927.08.  (A) A Except as provided in section 4927.10 of the Revised Code, a telephone company providing basic local exchange service shall conduct its operations so as to ensure that the service is available, adequate, and reliable, consistent with applicable industry standards.
(B) The public utilities commission shall adopt rules prescribing the following standards for the provision of basic local exchange service, and shall adopt no other rules regarding that service except as expressly authorized in this chapter:
(1) Basic local exchange service shall be installed within five business days of the receipt by a telephone company of a completed application for that service.
(2) A basic local exchange service outage or service-affecting problem shall be repaired within seventy-two hours after it is reported to the telephone company, and the telephone company shall make reasonable efforts to repair a basic local exchange service outage within twenty-four hours, excluding Sundays and legal holidays, after the outage is reported to the telephone company.
(3)(a) Except as provided in division (B)(3)(b) of this section, if a basic local exchange service outage is reported to the telephone company and lasts more than seventy-two hours, the telephone company shall credit every affected customer, of which the telephone company is aware, in the amount of one month's charges for basic local exchange service.
(b) If the outage is caused by a customer, the telephone company may elect not to credit that customer.
(4) No telephone company shall establish a due date earlier than fourteen consecutive days after the date the bill is postmarked for a bill for basic local exchange service provided to end users.
(5) A telephone company may disconnect basic local exchange service for nonpayment of any amount past due on a billed account not earlier than fourteen days after the due date of the customer's bill, provided that the customer is given notice of the disconnection seven days before the disconnection.
(6) A telephone company may require a deposit, not to exceed two hundred thirty per cent of a reasonable estimate of one month's service charges, for the installation of basic local exchange service for any person that it determines, in its discretion, is not creditworthy.
(7) A telephone company shall, unless prevented from doing so by circumstances beyond the telephone company's control or unless the customer requests otherwise, reconnect a customer whose basic local exchange service was disconnected for nonpayment of past due charges not later than one business day after the day the earlier of the following occurs:
(a) The receipt by the telephone company of the full amount of past due charges;
(b) The receipt by the telephone company of the first payment under a mutually agreed-upon payment arrangement.
(C) The rules described in division (B) of this section shall provide for a waiver of the standards described in that division in circumstances determined appropriate by the commission.
Sec. 4927.10.  (A) As used in this section:
(1) "Exchange area" has the same meaning as in section 4927.12 of the Revised Code.
(2) "Fully competitive incumbent local exchange carrier" has the same meaning as in section 4927.07 of the Revised Code.
(B) On the applicable date for each exchange area as prescribed in division (C)(2) of section 4927.07 of the Revised Code, whether or not basic local exchange service is withdrawn pursuant to that division:
(1) Section 4927.08 of the Revised Code and any rules adopted under that section do not apply to a fully competitive incumbent local exchange carrier, or to any other telephone company to the extent that the telephone company provides basic local exchange service in the same exchange area of the fully competitive incumbent local exchange carrier.
(2) Section 4927.11 of the Revised Code and any rules adopted under that section do not apply to a fully competitive incumbent local exchange carrier.
Sec. 4927.11. (A) Except as otherwise provided in this section and section 4927.10 of the Revised Code, an incumbent local exchange carrier shall provide basic local exchange service to all persons or entities in its service area requesting that service, and that service shall be provided on a reasonable and nondiscriminatory basis.
(B)(1) An incumbent local exchange carrier is not obligated to construct facilities and provide basic local exchange service, or any other telecommunications service, to the occupants of multitenant real estate, including, but not limited to, apartments, condominiums, subdivisions, office buildings, or office parks, if the owner, operator, or developer of the multitenant real estate does any of the following to the benefit of any other telecommunications service provider:
(a) Permits only one provider of telecommunications service to install the company's facilities or equipment during the construction or development phase of the multitenant real estate;
(b) Accepts or agrees to accept incentives or rewards that are offered by a telecommunications service provider to the owner, operator, developer, or occupants of the multitenant real estate and are contingent on the provision of telecommunications service by that provider to the occupants, to the exclusion of services provided by other telecommunications service providers;
(c) Collects from the occupants of the multitenant real estate any charges for the provision of telecommunications service to the occupants, including charges collected through rents, fees, or dues.
(2) A carrier not obligated to construct facilities and provide basic local exchange service pursuant to division (B)(1) of this section shall notify the public utilities commission of that fact within one hundred twenty days of receiving knowledge thereof.
(3) The commission by rule may establish a process for determining a necessary successor telephone company to provide service to real estate described in division (B)(1) of this section when the circumstances described in that division cease to exist.
(4) An incumbent local exchange carrier that receives a request from any person or entity to provide service under the circumstances described in division (B)(1) of this section shall, within fifteen days of such receipt, provide notice to the person or entity specifying whether the carrier will provide the requested service. If the carrier provides notice that it will not serve the person or entity, the notice shall describe the person's or entity's right to file a complaint with the commission under section 4927.21 of the Revised Code within thirty days after receipt of the notice. In resolving any such complaint, the commission's determination shall be limited to whether any circumstance described in divisions (B)(1)(a) to (c) of this section exists. Upon a finding by the commission that such a circumstance exists, the complaint shall be dismissed. Upon a finding that such circumstances do not exist, the person's or entity's sole remedy shall be provision by the carrier of the requested service within a reasonable time.
(C) An incumbent local exchange carrier may apply to the commission for a waiver from compliance with division (A) of this section. The application shall include, at a minimum, the reason for the requested waiver, the number of persons or entities who would be impacted by the waiver, and the alternatives that would be available to those persons or entities if the waiver were granted. The incumbent local exchange carrier applying for the waiver shall publish notice of the waiver application one time in a newspaper of general circulation throughout the service area identified in the application and shall provide additional notice to affected persons or entities as required by the commission in rules adopted under this division. The commission's rules shall define "affected" for purposes of this division. The commission shall afford such persons or entities a reasonable opportunity to comment to the commission on the application. This opportunity shall include a public hearing conducted in accordance with rules adopted under this division and conducted in the service area identified in the application. After a reasonable opportunity to comment has been provided, but not later than one hundred twenty days after the application is filed, the commission either shall issue an order granting the waiver if, upon investigation, it finds the waiver to be just, reasonable, and not contrary to the public interest, and that the applicant demonstrates a financial hardship or an unusual technical limitation, or shall issue an order denying the waiver based on a failure to meet those standards and specifying the reasons for the denial. The commission shall adopt rules to implement division (C) of this section.
Sec. 4927.12.  (A) As used in this section, "exchange area" means a geographical service area established by an incumbent local exchange carrier and approved by the public utilities commission.
(B) Subject to divisions (C), (D), and (E) of this section, and upon not less than thirty days' notice to the public utilities commission and to affected customers, an incumbent local exchange carrier may alter its rates for basic local exchange service.
(C) In addition to the requirements of division (B) of this section, all of the following apply to any upward alteration of rates for basic local exchange service made under that division:
(1) If the incumbent local exchange carrier, within twelve months prior to the effective date of this section September 13, 2010, increased the carrier's rates for basic local exchange service for an exchange area, both of the following apply:
(a) The incumbent local exchange carrier may not alter the carrier's rates for basic local exchange service for the exchange area upward by any amount during the period that ends twelve months after the date of the last increase of the rates for basic local exchange service.
(b) In in no event may the incumbent local exchange carrier, during the any twelve-month period that begins immediately after the end date annual anniversary of the day of the period described in division (C)(1)(a) of this section, and during any subsequent twelve-month period that rate increase, alter the carrier's rates for basic local exchange service upward for the exchange area by more than the amount authorized for an annual increase in the rate for basic local exchange service by division (A) of rule 4901:1-4-11 of the Ohio Administrative Code as that rule existed on the effective date of this section September 13, 2010.
(2) If the incumbent local exchange carrier did not, within twelve months prior to the effective date of this section September 13, 2010, increase the carrier's rates for basic local exchange service for an exchange area, and if the commission has made a prior determination that the exchange area qualified for alternative regulation of basic local exchange service under Chapter 4901:1-4 of the Ohio Administrative Code as that chapter existed on the effective date of this section September 13, 2010, in no event may the incumbent local exchange carrier, during the twelve-month period that begins on the effective date of this section, and during any subsequent twelve-month period that begins on September 13 of any year, alter the carrier's rates for basic local exchange service upward for the exchange area by more than the amount described in division (C)(1)(b) of this section.
(3)(a) If the commission has not made a prior determination that the exchange area qualified for alternative regulation of basic local exchange service under Chapter 4901:1-4 of the Ohio Administrative Code as that chapter existed on the effective date of this section September 13, 2010, an incumbent local exchange carrier may not alter its rates for basic local exchange service upward for that exchange area unless the carrier first applies to the commission and the commission determines that the application demonstrates that two or more alternative providers offer, in the exchange area, competing service to the basic local exchange service offered by an incumbent local exchange carrier in the exchange area, regardless of the technology and facilities used by the alternative provider, the alternative provider's location, and the extent of the alternative provider's service area within the exchange area. An alternative provider includes a telephone company, including a wireless service provider, a telecommunications carrier, and a provider of internet protocol-enabled services, including voice over internet protocol.
(b) Upon the filing of an application under division (C)(3)(a) of this section, the commission shall be deemed to have found that the application meets the requirements of that division unless the commission, within thirty days after the filing of the application, issues an order finding that the requirements have not been met.
(c) In no event may an incumbent local exchange carrier that applies to the commission under division (C)(3)(a) of this section, during the twelve-month period that begins on the thirty-first day after the company files the application, and during any subsequent twelve-month period, alter the carrier's rates for basic local exchange service upward for the exchange area to which the application applies by more than the amount described in division (C)(1)(b) of this section.
(4) In no event may an incumbent local exchange carrier, before January 1, 2012, alter the carrier's rates for basic local exchange service upward for a customer receiving lifeline service under section 4927.13 of the Revised Code Divisions (C)(1) and (2), and division (C)(3)(c) of this section shall be applied separately to business and residential classes of service. Under those divisions, an incumbent local exchange carrier may alter rates for basic local exchange service upward multiple times in the same exchange area during a single twelve-month period described in those divisions, as long as the total amount of the upward alterations does not exceed the authorized amount described in those divisions.
(D) Except as provided in division (E) of this section, no banking of upward rate alterations made under division (B) of this section is permitted.
(E) At any time and upon not less than thirty days' notice to the commission and to affected customers, an incumbent local exchange carrier owned and operated exclusively by and solely for its customers may alter its rates for basic local exchange service by any amount.
(F) The rates, terms, and conditions for basic local exchange service and for installation and reconnection fees for basic local exchange service shall be tariffed in the manner prescribed by rule adopted by the commission.
Section 2.  That existing sections 4927.07, 4927.08, 4927.11, and 4927.12 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
Section 3.  Not later than one hundred twenty days after the effective date of this act, the Public Utilities Commission shall amend its rules to the extent necessary to bring them into conformity with this act.
Section 4. Nothing in sections 4927.07, 4927.071, 4927.08, 4927.10, 4927.11, and 4927.12 of the Revised Code as amended or enacted by this act is intended to affect any contractual obligation or any right or obligation under federal law or rules.
Please send questions and comments to the Webmaster.
© 2014 Legislative Information Systems | Disclaimer
Index of Legislative Web Sites