(1) The Florida Public Service Commission shall exercise over and in relation to telecommunications companies the powers conferred by this chapter.
(2) It is the legislative intent to give exclusive jurisdiction in all matters set forth in this chapter to the Florida Public Service Commission in regulating telecommunications companies, and such preemption shall supersede any local or special act or municipal charter where any conflict of authority may exist. However, the provisions of this chapter shall not affect the authority and powers granted in 1s. 166.231(9) or s. 337.401.
(3) Communications activities that are not regulated by the Florida Public Service Commission, including, but not limited to, VoIP, wireless, and broadband, are subject to this state’s generally applicable business regulation and deceptive trade practices and consumer protection laws, as enforced by the appropriate state authority or through actions in the judicial system. This chapter does not limit the availability to any party of any remedy or defense under state or federal antitrust laws. The Legislature finds that the competitive provision of telecommunications services, including local exchange telecommunications service, is in the public interest and will provide customers with freedom of choice, encourage the introduction of new telecommunications service, encourage technological innovation, and encourage investment in telecommunications infrastructure. The Legislature further finds that the transition from the monopoly provision of local exchange service to the competitive provision thereof will require appropriate regulatory oversight to protect consumers and provide for the development of fair and effective competition, but nothing in this chapter shall limit the availability to any party of any remedy under state or federal antitrust laws. The Legislature further finds that changes in regulations allowing increased competition in telecommunications services could provide the occasion for increases in the telecommunications workforce; therefore, it is in the public interest that competition in telecommunications services lead to a situation that enhances the high-technological skills and the economic status of the telecommunications workforce. The Legislature further finds that the provision of voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) free of unnecessary regulation, regardless of the provider, is in the public interest.
(4) The commission shall exercise its exclusive jurisdiction in order to:
(a) Protect the public health, safety, and welfare by ensuring that basic local telecommunications services are available to all consumers in the state at reasonable and affordable prices.
(b) Encourage competition through flexible regulatory treatment among providers of telecommunications services in order to ensure the availability of the widest possible range of consumer choice in the provision of all telecommunications services.
(c) Protect the public health, safety, and welfare by ensuring that monopoly services provided by telecommunications companies continue to be subject to effective price, rate, and service regulation.
(d) Promote competition by encouraging innovation and investment in telecommunications markets and by allowing a transitional period in which new and emerging technologies are subject to a reduced level of regulatory oversight.
(e) Encourage all providers of telecommunications services to introduce new or experimental telecommunications services free of unnecessary regulatory restraints.
(f) Eliminate any rules or regulations which will delay or impair the transition to competition.
(g) Ensure that all providers of telecommunications services are treated fairly, by preventing anticompetitive behavior and eliminating unnecessary regulatory restraint.
(h) Recognize the continuing emergence of a competitive telecommunications environment through the flexible regulatory treatment of competitive telecommunications services, where appropriate, if doing so does not reduce the availability of adequate basic local telecommunications service to all citizens of the state at reasonable and affordable prices, if competitive telecommunications services are not subsidized by monopoly telecommunications services, and if all monopoly services are available to all competitors on a nondiscriminatory basis.
(i) Continue its historical role as a surrogate for competition for monopoly services provided by local exchange telecommunications companies.