(1) For purposes of this section, a small local exchange telecommunications company is a local exchange telecommunications company certificated by the commission prior to July 1, 1995, which has fewer than 100,000 access lines in service on that date.
(2) The commission shall adopt, by rule, streamlined procedures for regulating companies subject to this section. These procedures shall minimize the burdens of regulation with regard to audits, investigations, service standards, cost studies, reports, and other matters, and the commission shall establish, by rule, only those procedures that are cost-justified and are in the public interest so that universal service may be promoted. Upon petition filed in this rulemaking proceeding, the commission shall review and may approve any regulations unique to the specific circumstances of a company subject to this section.
(3) A company subject to this section may at any time after January 1, 1996, elect to be regulated pursuant to s. 364.051. If such a company so elects or provides cable television programming services directly or as video dial tone applications authorized under 47 U.S.C. s. 214, except as provided for in compliance with part II of this chapter, a certificated competitive local exchange company may provide local exchange telecommunications services within the territory of the electing company.
(4) Any competitive local exchange telecommunications company competing within the territory of any small local exchange telecommunications company must do so on an exchange-wide basis for the provision of flat-rated, switched residential and business local exchange telecommunications services in all exchanges in which they elect to serve, unless the commission determines otherwise. The competitive local exchange telecommunications company may petition and the commission has the authority to determine that it is in the public interest for a competitive local exchange telecommunications company to service a geographic territory that is less than an entire exchange.
(5) Any company subject to this section shall continue to function as the universal service provider and carrier of last resort in the territory in which such company was certificated to provide service on July 1, 1995; provided, however, that after January 1, 2001, such company shall only be required to act as the universal service provider and carrier of last resort if the commission finds that it is economically feasible for such company to remain the universal service provider and carrier of last resort. If the commission finds that it is not economically feasible for a small local exchange telecommunications company to remain the carrier of last resort, the commission shall establish a funding mechanism to permit such company to fulfill its obligations as the carrier of last resort.
(6) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this act, no local exchange telecommunications company subject to this section will be required to resell any tariffed, flat-rated, switched residential or business services while the price caps for either basic local telecommunications services or nonbasic services remain in place.