November 19, 2018
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The Florida Statutes

The 2010 Florida Statutes(including Special Session A)

Title XXVII
RAILROADS AND OTHER REGULATED UTILITIES
Chapter 364
TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES
View Entire Chapter
CHAPTER 364
CHAPTER 364
TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES
PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
(ss. 364.01-364.503)
PART II
EDUCATION FACILITIES INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT
(ss. 364.506-364.516)
PART III
TELECOMMUNICATIONS CONSUMER PROTECTION
(ss. 364.601-364.604)
PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
364.01 Powers of commission, legislative intent.
364.011 Exemptions from commission jurisdiction.
364.012 Consistency with federal law.
364.013 Emerging and advanced services.
364.0135 Promotion of broadband deployment.
364.015 Injunctive relief.
364.016 Travel costs.
364.02 Definitions.
364.025 Universal service.
364.0251 Competitive providers of local service; implementation of consumer information program required.
364.0252 Expansion of consumer information programs; customer assistance; rulemaking authority.
364.0361 Local government authority; nondiscriminatory exercise.
364.04 Schedules of rates, tolls, rentals, and charges; filing; public inspection.
364.051 Price regulation.
364.052 Regulatory methods for small local exchange telecommunications companies.
364.057 Experimental and transitional rates and services.
364.058 Limited proceedings.
364.059 Procedures for seeking stay; benchmark; criteria.
364.06 Joint rates, tolls, contracts, or charges.
364.063 Rate adjustment orders.
364.07 Joint contracts; intrastate interexchange service contracts.
364.08 Unlawful to charge other than schedule rates or charges; free service and reduced rates prohibited.
364.10 Undue advantage to person or locality prohibited; Lifeline service.
364.105 Discounted rate for basic service for former Lifeline subscribers.
364.107 Public records exemption; Lifeline Assistance Plan participants.
364.15 Compelling repairs, improvements, changes, additions, or extensions.
364.16 Connection of lines and transfers; local interconnection; telephone number portability.
364.161 Unbundling and resale.
364.162 Negotiated prices for interconnection and for the resale of services and facilities; commission rate setting.
364.163 Network access services.
364.183 Access to company records.
364.185 Investigations and inspections; power of commission.
364.19 Telecommunications service contracts; regulation by commission.
364.195 Termination of telecommunications service contract by a servicemember.
364.24 Penalty for making telephone message or customer account information known.
364.245 Discontinuation of telecommunications service used for unlawful purpose.
364.27 Powers and duties as to interstate rates, fares, charges, classifications, or rules of practice.
364.285 Penalties.
364.30 Telecommunications companies; points of connection.
364.32 Definitions applicable to ss. 364.33, 364.337, 364.345 and 364.37.
364.33 Certificate of necessity prerequisite to construction, operation, or control of telecommunications facilities.
364.335 Application for certificate.
364.336 Regulatory assessment fees.
364.337 Competitive local exchange telecommunications companies; intrastate interexchange telecommunications services; certification.
364.3375 Pay telephone service providers.
364.3376 Operator services.
364.3381 Cross-subsidization.
364.3382 Disclosure.
364.339 Shared tenant service; regulation by commission; certification; limitation as to designated carriers.
364.345 Certificates; territory served; transfer.
364.37 Controversy concerning territory to be served; powers of commission.
364.381 Judicial review.
364.385 Saving clauses.
364.386 Reports to the Legislature.
364.501 Telecommunications company underground excavation damage prevention.
364.503 Merger or acquisition.
364.01 Powers of commission, legislative intent.
(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.
History.ss. 1-4, ch. 6186, 1911; ss. 1-6, ch. 6187, 1911; s. 1, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4393; CGL 6357; s. 1, ch. 63-279; s. 1, ch. 65-52; s. 1, ch. 67-541; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 1, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; s. 25, ch. 83-218; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 1, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 5, ch. 95-403; s. 2, ch. 2003-32; s. 10, ch. 2005-132.
1Note.Repealed by s. 38, ch. 2000-260.
364.011 Exemptions from commission jurisdiction.The following services are exempt from oversight by the commission, except to the extent delineated in this chapter or specifically authorized by federal law:
(1) Intrastate interexchange telecommunications services.
(2) Broadband services, regardless of the provider, platform, or protocol.
(3) VoIP.
(4) Wireless telecommunications, including commercial mobile radio service providers.
History.s. 11, ch. 2005-132.
364.012 Consistency with federal law.
(1) In order to promote commission coordination with federal policymakers and regulatory agencies, the commission shall maintain continuous liaisons with appropriate federal agencies whose policy decisions and rulemaking authority affect those telecommunications companies over which the commission has jurisdiction. The commission is encouraged to participate in the proceedings of federal agencies in cases in which the state’s consumers may be affected and to convey the commission’s policy positions and information requirements in order to achieve greater efficiency in regulation.
(2) This chapter does not limit or modify the duties of a local exchange carrier to provide unbundled access to network elements or the commission’s authority to arbitrate and enforce interconnection agreements to the extent that those elements are required under 47 U.S.C. ss. 251 and 252, and under any regulations issued by the Federal Communications Commission at rates determined in accordance with the standards established by the Federal Communications Commission pursuant to 47 C.F.R. ss. 51.503-51.513, inclusive of any successor regulation or successor forbearance of regulation.
History.s. 12, ch. 2005-132.
364.013 Emerging and advanced services.Broadband service and the provision of voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) are exempt from commission jurisdiction and shall be free of state regulation, except as delineated in this chapter, regardless of the provider, platform, or protocol. Notwithstanding the exemptions in this chapter, a competitive local exchange telecommunications company is entitled to interconnection with a local exchange telecommunications company to transmit and route voice traffic between both the competitive local exchange telecommunications company and the local exchange telecommunications company regardless of the technology by which the voice traffic is originated by and terminated to an end user. The commission shall afford such competitive local exchange telecommunications company all substantive and procedural rights available to such companies regarding interconnection under the law.
History.s. 13, ch. 2005-132; s. 3, ch. 2009-226.
364.0135 Promotion of broadband deployment.
(1) The Legislature finds that broadband Internet service is critical to the economic development of the state and is beneficial for libraries, schools, colleges and universities, health care providers, and community organizations. The Legislature further finds that barriers exist to the statewide deployment of broadband Internet service, especially in rural, unserved, or underserved communities. The Legislature therefore intends to promote the efficient and effective deployment of broadband Internet service throughout the state through a coordinated statewide effort.
(2) The Department of Management Services is authorized to work collaboratively with, and to receive staffing support and other resources from, Enterprise Florida, Inc., state agencies, local governments, private businesses, and community organizations to:
(a) Conduct a needs assessment of broadband Internet service in collaboration with communications service providers, including, but not limited to, wireless and wireline Internet service providers, to develop geographical information system maps at the census tract level that will:
1. Identify geographic gaps in broadband services, including areas unserved by any broadband provider and areas served by a single broadband provider;
2. Identify the download and upload transmission speeds made available to businesses and individuals in the state, at the census tract level of detail, using data rate benchmarks for broadband service used by the Federal Communications Commission to reflect different speed tiers; and
3. Provide a baseline assessment of statewide broadband deployment in terms of percentage of households with broadband availability.
(b) Create a strategic plan that has goals and strategies for increasing the use of broadband Internet service in the state.
(c) Build and facilitate local technology planning teams or partnerships with members representing cross-sections of the community, which may include, but are not limited to, representatives from the following organizations and industries: libraries, K-12 education, colleges and universities, local health care providers, private businesses, community organizations, economic development organizations, local governments, tourism, parks and recreation, and agriculture.
(d) Encourage the use of broadband Internet service, especially in the rural, unserved, and underserved communities of the state through grant programs having effective strategies to facilitate the statewide deployment of broadband Internet service. For any grants to be awarded, priority must be given to projects that:
1. Provide access to broadband education, awareness, training, access, equipment, and support to libraries, schools, colleges and universities, health care providers, and community support organizations.
2. Encourage investments in primarily unserved areas to give consumers a choice of more than one broadband Internet service provider.
3. Work toward establishing affordable and sustainable broadband Internet service in unserved areas of the state.
4. Facilitate the development of applications, programs, and services, including, but not limited to, telework, telemedicine, and e-learning to increase the usage of, and demand for, broadband Internet service in the state.
(3) The department may apply for and accept federal funds for purposes of this section, as well as gifts and donations from individuals, foundations, and private organizations.
(4) The department is authorized to enter into contracts necessary or useful to carry out the purposes of this section.
(5) The department is authorized to establish any committee or workgroup to administer and carry out the purposes of this section.
(6) The department is authorized to adopt rules necessary to carry out the purposes of this section, including, without limitation, the authority to establish definitions of terms pertinent to this section.
History.s. 2, ch. 2009-226.
364.015 Injunctive relief.The Legislature finds that violations of commission orders or rules, in connection with the impairment of a telecommunications company’s operations or service, constitute irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law. The commission is authorized to seek relief in circuit court including temporary and permanent injunctions, restraining orders, or any other appropriate order. Such remedies shall be in addition to and supplementary to any other remedies available for enforcement of agency action under s. 120.69 or the provisions of this chapter. The commission shall establish procedures implementing this section by rule.
History.s. 1, ch. 93-35.
364.016 Travel costs.The commission has the authority to assess a telecommunications company for reasonable travel costs associated with reviewing the records of the telecommunications company and its affiliates when such records are kept out of state. The telecommunications company may bring the records back into the state for review.
History.s. 2, ch. 93-35.
364.02 Definitions.As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) “Basic local telecommunications service” means voice-grade, single-line, flat-rate residential local exchange service that provides dial tone, local usage necessary to place unlimited calls within a local exchange area, dual tone multifrequency dialing, and access to the following: emergency services such as “911,” all locally available interexchange companies, directory assistance, operator services, relay services, and an alphabetical directory listing. For a local exchange telecommunications company, the term includes any extended area service routes, and extended calling service in existence or ordered by the commission on or before July 1, 1995.
(2) “Broadband service” means any service that consists of or includes the offering of the capability to transmit or receive information at a rate that is not less than 200 kilobits per second and either:
(a) Is used to provide access to the Internet; or
(b) Provides computer processing, information storage, information content, or protocol conversion in combination with the service.

The definition of broadband service does not include any intrastate telecommunications services that have been tariffed with the commission on or before January 1, 2005.

(3) “Commercial mobile radio service provider” means a commercial mobile radio service provider as defined by and pursuant to 47 U.S.C. ss. 153(27) and 332(d).
(4) “Commission” means the Florida Public Service Commission.
(5) “Competitive local exchange telecommunications company” means any company certificated by the commission to provide local exchange telecommunications services in this state on or after July 1, 1995.
(6) “Corporation” includes a corporation, company, association, or joint stock association.
(7) “Intrastate interexchange telecommunications company” means any entity that provides intrastate interexchange telecommunications services.
(8) “Local exchange telecommunications company” means any company certificated by the commission to provide local exchange telecommunications service in this state on or before June 30, 1995.
(9) “Monopoly service” means a telecommunications service for which there is no effective competition, either in fact or by operation of law.
(10) “Nonbasic service” means any telecommunications service provided by a local exchange telecommunications company other than a basic local telecommunications service, a local interconnection arrangement described in s. 364.16, or a network access service described in s. 364.163. Any combination of basic service along with a nonbasic service or an unregulated service is nonbasic service.
(11) “Operator service” includes, but is not limited to, billing or completion of third-party, person-to-person, collect, or calling card or credit card calls through the use of a live operator or automated equipment.
(12) “Operator service provider” means a person who furnishes operator service through a call aggregator.
(13) “Service” is to be construed in its broadest and most inclusive sense. The term “service” does not include broadband service or voice-over-Internet protocol service for purposes of regulation by the commission. Nothing herein shall affect the rights and obligations of any entity related to the payment of switched network access rates or other intercarrier compensation, if any, related to voice-over-Internet protocol service. Notwithstanding s. 364.013, and the exemption of services pursuant to this subsection, the commission may arbitrate, enforce, or approve interconnection agreements, and resolve disputes as provided by 47 U.S.C. ss. 251 and 252, or any other applicable federal law or regulation. With respect to the services exempted in this subsection, regardless of the technology, the duties of a local exchange telecommunications company are only those that the company is obligated to extend or provide under applicable federal law and regulations.
(14) “Telecommunications company” includes every corporation, partnership, and person and their lessees, trustees, or receivers appointed by any court whatsoever, and every political subdivision in the state, offering two-way telecommunications service to the public for hire within this state by the use of a telecommunications facility. The term “telecommunications company” does not include:
(a) An entity that provides a telecommunications facility exclusively to a certificated telecommunications company;
(b) An entity that provides a telecommunications facility exclusively to a company which is excluded from the definition of a telecommunications company under this subsection;
(c) A commercial mobile radio service provider;
(d) A facsimile transmission service;
(e) A private computer data network company not offering service to the public for hire;
(f) A cable television company providing cable service as defined in 47 U.S.C. s. 522; or
(g) An intrastate interexchange telecommunications company.

However, each commercial mobile radio service provider and each intrastate interexchange telecommunications company shall continue to be liable for any taxes imposed under chapters 202, 203, and 212 and any fees assessed under s. 364.025. Each intrastate interexchange telecommunications company shall continue to be subject to ss. 364.04, 364.10(3)(a) and (d), 364.163, 364.285, 364.336, 364.501, 364.603, and 364.604, shall provide the commission with the current information as the commission deems necessary to contact and communicate with the company, and shall continue to pay intrastate switched network access rates or other intercarrier compensation to the local exchange telecommunications company or the competitive local exchange telecommunications company for the origination and termination of interexchange telecommunications service.

(15) “Telecommunications facility” includes real estate, easements, apparatus, property, and routes used and operated to provide two-way telecommunications service to the public for hire within this state.
(16) “VoIP” means the voice-over-Internet protocol as that term is defined in federal law.
History.s. 2, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4394; CGL 6358; s. 1, ch. 63-279; s. 1, ch. 65-52; s. 1, ch. 65-451; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; s. 1, ch. 84-215; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 2, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 6, ch. 95-403; s. 12, ch. 98-277; s. 3, ch. 2003-32; s. 14, ch. 2005-132; s. 2, ch. 2005-171; s. 73, ch. 2008-4; s. 4, ch. 2009-226.
364.025 Universal service.
(1) For the purposes of this section, the term “universal service” means an evolving level of access to telecommunications services that, taking into account advances in technologies, services, and market demand for essential services, the commission determines should be provided at just, reasonable, and affordable rates to customers, including those in rural, economically disadvantaged, and high-cost areas. It is the intent of the Legislature that universal service objectives be maintained after the local exchange market is opened to competitively provided services. It is also the intent of the Legislature that during this transition period the ubiquitous nature of the local exchange telecommunications companies be used to satisfy these objectives. Until January 1, 2009, each local exchange telecommunications company shall be required to furnish basic local exchange telecommunications service within a reasonable time period to any person requesting such service within the company’s service territory.
(2) The Legislature finds that each telecommunications company should contribute its fair share to the support of the universal service objectives and carrier-of-last-resort obligations. For a transitional period not to exceed January 1, 2009, the interim mechanism for maintaining universal service objectives and funding carrier-of-last-resort obligations shall be established by the commission, pending the implementation of a permanent mechanism. The interim mechanism shall be applied in a manner that ensures that each competitive local exchange telecommunications company contributes its fair share to the support of universal service and carrier-of-last-resort obligations. The interim mechanism applied to each competitive local exchange telecommunications company shall reflect a fair share of the local exchange telecommunications company’s recovery of investments made in fulfilling its carrier-of-last-resort obligations, and the maintenance of universal service objectives. The commission shall ensure that the interim mechanism does not impede the development of residential consumer choice or create an unreasonable barrier to competition. In reaching its determination, the commission shall not inquire into or consider any factor that is inconsistent with s. 364.051(1). The costs and expenses of any government program or project required in part II of this chapter shall not be recovered under this section.
(3) If any party, prior to January 1, 2009, believes that circumstances have changed substantially to warrant a change in the interim mechanism, that party may petition the commission for a change, but the commission shall grant such petition only after an opportunity for a hearing and a compelling showing of changed circumstances, including that the provider’s customer population includes as many residential as business customers. The commission shall act on any such petition within 120 days.
(4)(a) Prior to January 1, 2009, the Legislature shall establish a permanent universal service mechanism upon the effective date of which any interim recovery mechanism for universal service objectives or carrier-of-last-resort obligations imposed on competitive local exchange telecommunications companies shall terminate.
(b) To assist the Legislature in establishing a permanent universal service mechanism, the commission, by February 15, 1999, shall determine and report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives the total forward-looking cost, based upon the most recent commercially available technology and equipment and generally accepted design and placement principles, of providing basic local telecommunications service on a basis no greater than a wire center basis using a cost proxy model to be selected by the commission after notice and opportunity for hearing.
(c) In determining the cost of providing basic local telecommunications service for small local exchange telecommunications companies, which serve less than 100,000 access lines, the commission shall not be required to use the cost proxy model selected pursuant to paragraph (b) until a mechanism is implemented by the Federal Government for small companies, but no sooner than January 1, 2001. The commission shall calculate a small local exchange telecommunications company’s cost of providing basic local telecommunications services based on one of the following options:
1. A different proxy model; or
2. A fully distributed allocation of embedded costs, identifying high-cost areas within the local exchange area the company serves and including all embedded investments and expenses incurred by the company in the provision of universal service. Such calculations may be made using fully distributed costs consistent with 47 C.F.R. parts 32, 36, and 64. The geographic basis for the calculations shall be no smaller than a census block group.
(5) After January 1, 2001, a competitive local exchange telecommunications company may petition the commission to become the universal service provider and carrier of last resort in areas requested to be served by that competitive local exchange telecommunications company. Upon petition of a competitive local exchange telecommunications company, the commission shall have 120 days to vote on granting in whole or in part or denying the petition of the competitive local exchange company. The commission may establish the competitive local exchange telecommunications company as the universal service provider and carrier of last resort, provided that the commission first determines that the competitive local exchange telecommunications company will provide high-quality, reliable service. In the order establishing the competitive local exchange telecommunications company as the universal service provider and carrier of last resort, the commission shall set the period of time in which such company must meet those objectives and obligations.
(6)(a) For purposes of this subsection:
1. “Owner or developer” means the owner or developer of a multitenant business or residential property, any condominium association or homeowners’ association thereof, or any other person or entity having ownership in or control over the property.
2. “Communications service provider” means any person or entity providing communications services, any person or entity allowing another person or entity to use its communications facilities to provide communications services, or any person or entity securing rights to select communications service providers for a property owner or developer.
3. “Communications service” means voice service or voice replacement service through the use of any technology.
(b) A local exchange telecommunications company obligated by this section to serve as the carrier of last resort is not obligated to provide basic local telecommunications service to any customers in a multitenant business or residential property, including, but not limited to, apartments, condominiums, subdivisions, office buildings, or office parks, when the owner or developer thereof:
1. Permits only one communications service provider to install its communications service-related facilities or equipment, to the exclusion of the local exchange telecommunications company, during the construction phase of the property;
2. Accepts or agrees to accept incentives or rewards from a communications service provider that are contingent upon the provision of any or all communications services by one or more communications service providers to the exclusion of the local exchange telecommunications company;
3. Collects from the occupants or residents of the property charges for the provision of any communications service, provided by a communications service provider other than the local exchange telecommunications company, to the occupants or residents in any manner, including, but not limited to, collection through rent, fees, or dues; or
4. Enters into an agreement with the communications service provider which grants incentives or rewards to such owner or developer contingent upon restriction or limitation of the local exchange telecommunications company’s access to the property.
(c) The local exchange telecommunications company relieved of its carrier-of-last-resort obligation to provide basic local telecommunications service to the occupants or residents of a multitenant business or residential property pursuant to paragraph (b) shall notify the commission of that fact in a timely manner.
(d) A local exchange telecommunications company that is not automatically relieved of its carrier-of-last-resort obligation pursuant to subparagraphs (b)1.-4. may seek a waiver of its carrier-of-last-resort obligation from the commission for good cause shown based on the facts and circumstances of provision of service to the multitenant business or residential property. Upon petition for such relief, notice shall be given by the company at the same time to the relevant building owner or developer. The commission shall have 90 days to act on the petition. The commission shall implement this paragraph through rulemaking.
(e) If all conditions described in subparagraphs (b)1.-4. cease to exist at a property, the owner or developer requests in writing that the local exchange telecommunications company make service available to customers at the property and confirms in writing that all conditions described in subparagraphs (b)1.-4. have ceased to exist at the property, and the owner or developer has not arranged and does not intend to arrange with another communications service provider to make communications service available to customers at the property, the carrier-of-last-resort obligation under this section shall again apply to the local exchange telecommunications company at the property; however, the local exchange telecommunications company may require that the owner or developer pay to the company in advance a reasonable fee to recover costs that exceed the costs that would have been incurred to construct or acquire facilities to serve customers at the property initially, and the company shall have a reasonable period of time following the request from the owner or developer to make arrangements for service availability. If any conditions described in subparagraphs (b)1.-4. again exist at the property, paragraph (b) shall again apply.
(f) This subsection does not affect the limitations on the jurisdiction of the commission imposed by s. 364.011 or s. 364.013.
History.s. 7, ch. 95-403; s. 18, ch. 97-100; s. 1, ch. 98-277; s. 1, ch. 99-354; s. 1, ch. 2000-289; s. 2, ch. 2000-334; s. 4, ch. 2003-32; s. 2, ch. 2006-80; s. 2, ch. 2010-38.
364.0251 Competitive providers of local service; implementation of consumer information program required.By January 1, 1996, the commission shall implement a consumer information program to inform subscribers of the possibility under the law of competitive providers of local exchange telecommunications services, their rights as customers of these alternative providers, the commission’s regulatory authority over the alternative providers, and any other information the commission deems appropriate. The commission may, pursuant to this program, require all companies providing local exchange telecommunications services to provide such information in the form of a bill insert.
History.s. 32, ch. 95-403.
364.0252 Expansion of consumer information programs; customer assistance; rulemaking authority.The Florida Public Service Commission shall expand its current consumer information program to inform consumers of their rights as customers of competitive telecommunications services and shall assist customers in resolving any billing and service disputes that customers are unable to resolve directly with the company. The commission may, pursuant to this program, require all telecommunications companies providing local or long distance telecommunications services to develop and provide information to customers. The commission may specify by rule the types of information to be developed and the manner by which the information will be provided to the customers. The Florida Public Service Commission shall undertake a comprehensive and ongoing effort to inform consumers regarding how to protect themselves in a competitive telecommunications market. Of specific concern are informing consumers concerning the availability of the Lifeline and Link-Up Programs for low-income households and alerting consumers to how they can avoid having their service changed or unauthorized charges added to their telephone bills.
History.s. 6, ch. 98-277; s. 3, ch. 99-354.
364.0361 Local government authority; nondiscriminatory exercise.A local government shall treat each telecommunications company in a nondiscriminatory manner when exercising its authority to grant franchises to a telecommunications company or to otherwise establish conditions or compensation for the use of rights-of-way or other public property by a telecommunications company. A local government may not directly or indirectly regulate the terms and conditions, including, but not limited to, the operating systems, qualifications, services, service quality, service territory, and prices, applicable to or in connection with the provision of any voice-over-Internet protocol, regardless of the platform, provider, or protocol, broadband or information service. This section does not relieve a provider from any obligations under s. 337.401.
History.s. 33, ch. 95-403; s. 5, ch. 2003-32; s. 15, ch. 2005-132; s. 9 ch. 2007-29.
364.04 Schedules of rates, tolls, rentals, and charges; filing; public inspection.
(1) Every telecommunications company shall publish through electronic or physical media schedules showing the rates, tolls, rentals, and charges of that company for service to be performed within the state. A telecommunications company may, as an option, file the published schedules with the commission or publish its schedules through other reasonably publicly accessible means, including on a website. A telecommunications company that does not file its schedules with the commission shall inform its customers where a customer may view the telecommunications company’s schedules.
(2) The schedules shall plainly state the places telecommunications service will be rendered and shall also state separately all charges and all privileges or facilities granted or allowed and any rules or regulations or forms of contract which may in anywise change, affect, or determine any of the aggregate of the rates, tolls, rentals, or charges for the service rendered.
History.s. 4, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4396; CGL 6360; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 4, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 7, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 5, ch. 2009-226.
364.051 Price regulation.
(1) APPLICATION TO LOCAL EXCHANGE TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES.Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, all local exchange telecommunications companies are subject to the price regulation described in this section. Each company subject to this section is exempt from the requirements of s. 364.19.
(2) BASIC LOCAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE.There shall be a flat-rate pricing option for basic local telecommunications service, and mandatory measured service for basic local telecommunications service shall not be imposed.
(3) If it is determined that the level of competition justifies the elimination of price caps in an exchange served by a local exchange telecommunications company with less than 3 million basic local telecommunications service access lines in service, or at the end of 5 years for any local exchange telecommunications company, the local exchange telecommunications company may thereafter on 30 days’ notice adjust its basic service revenues once in any 12-month period in an amount not to exceed the change in inflation less 1 percent. Inflation shall be measured by the changes in the Gross Domestic Product Fixed 1987 Weights Price Index, or successor fixed weight price index, published in the Survey of Current Business or a publication, by the United States Department of Commerce. In the event any local exchange telecommunications company, after January 1, 2001, believes that the level of competition justifies the elimination of any form of price regulation, the company may petition the Legislature.
(4)(a) Notwithstanding subsection (2), any local exchange telecommunications company that believes circumstances have changed substantially to justify any increase in the rates for basic local telecommunications services may petition the commission for a rate increase, but the commission shall grant the petition only after an opportunity for a hearing and a compelling showing of changed circumstances. The costs and expenses of any government program or project required in part II may not be recovered under this subsection unless the costs and expenses are incurred in the absence of a bid and subject to carrier-of-last-resort obligations as provided for in part II. The commission shall act upon the petition within 120 days after its filing.
(b) For purposes of this section, evidence of damage occurring to the lines, plants, or facilities of a local exchange telecommunications company, which damage is the result of a tropical system occurring after June 1, 2005, and named by the National Hurricane Center, constitutes a compelling showing of changed circumstances.
1. A company may file a petition to recover its intrastate costs and expenses relating to repairing, restoring, or replacing the lines, plants, or facilities damaged by a named tropical system.
2. The commission shall verify the intrastate costs and expenses submitted by the company in support of its petition.
3. The company must show and the commission shall determine whether the intrastate costs and expenses are reasonable under the circumstances for the named tropical system.
4. A company having a storm-reserve fund may recover tropical-system-related costs and expenses from its customers only in excess of any amount available in the storm-reserve fund.
5. The commission may determine the amount of any increase that the company may charge its customers, but the charge per line item may not exceed 50 cents per month per customer line for a period of not more than 12 months.
6. The commission may order the company to add an equal line-item charge per access line to the billing statement of the company’s retail basic local telecommunications service customers, its retail nonbasic telecommunications service customers, and, to the extent the commission determines appropriate, its wholesale loop unbundled network element customers. At the end of the collection period, the commission shall verify that the collected amount does not exceed the amount authorized by the order. If collections exceed the ordered amount, the commission shall order the company to refund the excess.
7. In order to qualify for filing a petition under this paragraph, a company with 1 million or more access lines, but fewer than 3 million access lines, must have tropical-system-related costs and expenses exceeding $1.5 million, and a company with 3 million or more access lines must have tropical-system-related costs and expenses of $5 million or more. A company with fewer than 1 million access lines is not required to meet a minimum damage threshold in order to qualify to file a petition under this paragraph.
8. A company may file only one petition for storm recovery in any 12-month period for the previous storm season, but the application may cover damages from more than one named tropical system.
(5) NONBASIC SERVICES.Price regulation of nonbasic services shall consist of the following:
(a) Each company subject to this section may set or change, on 1 day’s notice, the rate for each of its nonbasic services. The price increase for any nonbasic service category shall not exceed 6 percent within a 12-month period until there is another provider providing local telecommunications service in an exchange area at which time the price for any nonbasic service category may be increased in an amount not to exceed 10 percent within a 12-month period, and the rate shall be presumptively valid. However, the price for any service that was treated as basic service before July 1, 2009, may not be increased by more than the amount allowed for basic service as provided in subsections (2) and (3). There shall be a flat-rate pricing option for multi-line business local exchange service, and mandatory measured service for multi-line business local exchange service shall not be imposed. This chapter does not prevent the local exchange telecommunications company from meeting offerings by any competitive provider of the same, or functionally equivalent, nonbasic services in a specific geographic market or to a specific customer by deaveraging the price of any nonbasic service, packaging nonbasic services together or with basic services, using volume discounts and term discounts, and offering individual contracts. However, the local exchange telecommunications company may not engage in any anticompetitive act or practice or unreasonably discriminate among similarly situated customers.
(b) The commission has continuing regulatory oversight of nonbasic services for purposes of preventing cross-subsidization of nonbasic services with revenues from basic services, and ensuring that all providers are treated fairly in the telecommunications market. The price charged to a consumer for a nonbasic service shall cover the direct costs of providing the service. The cost standard for determining cross-subsidization is whether the total revenue from a nonbasic service is less than the total long-run incremental cost of the service. Total long-run incremental cost means service-specific volume and nonvolume-sensitive costs.
History.s. 9, ch. 95-403; s. 8, ch. 98-277; s. 3, ch. 2000-334; s. 6, ch. 2003-32; s. 28, ch. 2005-132; s. 1, ch. 2006-80; s. 10, ch. 2007-29; s. 34, ch. 2009-21; s. 6, ch. 2009-226; s. 3, ch. 2010-38.
364.052 Regulatory methods for small local exchange telecommunications companies.
(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.
History.s. 10, ch. 95-403; s. 4, ch. 2000-334; s. 7, ch. 2003-32; s. 4, ch. 2010-38.
364.057 Experimental and transitional rates and services.
(1) The commission is authorized to approve rates it determines to be in the public interest on an experimental or transitional basis for any telecommunications company to test marketing strategies. The application of such rates may be for limited geographic areas and shall be for a limited period of time specified at the time of approval of such rates.
(2) The commission is authorized to approve the geographic area used in testing experimental rates and shall specify in the order setting those rates the area affected. The commission may extend the period designated for the test if it determines that further testing is necessary to fully evaluate the effectiveness of such experimental rates.
History.s. 10, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 10, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 11, ch. 95-403; s. 5, ch. 2000-334.
364.058 Limited proceedings.
(1) Upon petition or its own motion, the commission may conduct a limited or expedited proceeding to consider and act upon any matter within its jurisdiction.
(2) The commission shall determine the issues to be considered during such a proceeding and may grant or deny any request to expand the scope of the proceeding to include other matters.
(3) The commission shall implement an expedited process to facilitate the quick resolution of disputes between telecommunications companies. The process implemented by the commission shall, to the greatest extent feasible, minimize the time necessary to reach a decision on a dispute. The commission may limit the use of the expedited process based on the number of parties, the number of issues, or the complexity of the issues. For any proceeding conducted pursuant to the expedited process, the commission shall make its determination within 120 days after a petition is filed or a motion is made. The commission shall adopt rules to implement this subsection.
History.ss. 11, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 12, ch. 95-403; s. 8, ch. 2003-32.
364.059 Procedures for seeking stay; benchmark; criteria.
(1) If a local exchange telecommunications company has elected, pursuant to 1s. 364.051(6), to have its basic local telecommunications services treated the same as its nonbasic services, the following procedures shall be available:
(a) Any petition filed by a substantially interested party against a local exchange telecommunications company seeking a stay of the effective date of a price reduction for a basic local telecommunications service, alleging an anticompetitive price reduction pursuant to s. 364.051(5), s. 364.08, s. 364.10, or s. 364.3381, shall be resolved by the commission pursuant to this section and by an order issued within 45 days after the date the petition is filed.
(b) The petitioner shall provide such showing as is required by law for a temporary injunction, and the local exchange telecommunications company shall have 7 days within which to respond to the petition.
(c) This section does not prevent the local exchange telecommunications company from raising any affirmative defenses provided by law.
(d) A stay may not be granted until the commission has voted on the petition after an opportunity for oral argument.
(e) If the commission grants a stay, the stay may not exceed 45 days, and the commission shall make a determination on the merits within the 45-day period, unless the commission extends this time period, not to exceed 15 days, based on a delay in the availability of relevant cost studies and supporting documents.
(f) If the commission denies a stay, this section does not prevent the petitioner from filing allegations of anticompetitive price reductions as otherwise provided by law.
(g) The petitioner shall have the burden of proof that a statutory violation has occurred, but the commission and the petitioner shall have access, pursuant to s. 364.183, to the local exchange telecommunications company’s relevant cost studies and supporting documents.
(h) The commission shall reject any petition within 15 days after filing if the local exchange telecommunications company challenges the petition and the commission determines that the petition on its face alleges the same violations and the same facts that have previously been resolved against the petitioner.
(2) For purposes of carrying out the procedures set forth in subsection (1), the commission shall establish an objective benchmark, such as a price or cost floor, by which the commission may determine whether a requested stay of a basic local telecommunications service price reduction is warranted. Such a benchmark must be based upon generally accepted economic costing and pricing principles and judicial or regulatory costing and pricing precedent. The commission shall also establish the criteria for determining on the merits whether the basic local telecommunications service price reduction is in fact anticompetitive. Such criteria must be based upon generally accepted economic competitive costing and pricing principles and judicial or regulatory precedent for detecting the presence of anticompetitive pricing. However, the commission may not establish benchmarks or criteria that are inconsistent with or interfere with the competitive pricing conduct permitted by existing law. The commission shall establish the benchmark and criteria by rule, which rule adoption proceeding shall commence no earlier than January 1, 2005, and a final order shall issue within 120 days after commencement. Such benchmarks and criteria must be available when subsection (1) becomes effective. If 2s. 364.164(8) becomes operative, the commission shall immediately commence establishment of the benchmark and criteria required for the procedures set forth in subsection (1) and this subsection, but nothing herein shall prevent or delay a local exchange telecommunications company from making and implementing the election provided for in 1s. 364.051(6).
History.s. 9, ch. 2003-32; s. 17, ch. 2009-226.
1Note.Repealed by s. 10, ch. 2007-29.
2Note.Repealed by s. 14, ch. 2007-29.
364.06 Joint rates, tolls, contracts, or charges.The names of the several companies which are parties to any joint rates, tolls, contracts, or charges of telecommunications companies for services to be rendered shall be specified therein, and each of the parties thereto, other than the one filing the same, shall file with the commission such evidence of concurrence therein or acceptance thereof as may be required or approved by the commission. When such evidence of concurrence or acceptance is filed, it shall not be necessary for the companies filing the same to also file copies of the tariff in which they are named as parties.
History.s. 6, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4398; CGL 6362; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 7, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 12, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
364.063 Rate adjustment orders.Any order issued by the Florida Public Service Commission adjusting general increases or reductions of the rates of a telecommunications company shall be reduced to writing, including any dissenting or concurring opinions, within 20 days after the official vote of the commission. Within such 20-day period, the commission shall also mail a copy of the order to the clerk of the circuit court of each county in which customers are served who are affected by the rate adjustment, which copy shall be kept on file and made available to the public. The commission shall notify all parties of record in the proceeding of the date of such mailing. Such an order shall not be considered rendered for purposes of appeal, rehearing, or judicial review until the order is signed and dated by the commission’s designee. This provision shall not delay the effective date of the order.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-137; s. 2, ch. 81-318; s. 26, ch. 83-216; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 13, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 5, ch. 2010-38.
364.07 Joint contracts; intrastate interexchange service contracts.
(1) Every telecommunications company shall file with the commission, as and when required by it, a copy of any contract, agreement, or arrangement in writing with any other telecommunications company, or with any other corporation, association, or person relating in any way to the construction, maintenance, or use of a telecommunications facility or service by, or rates and charges over and upon, any such telecommunications facility.
(2) The commission is authorized to review contracts for joint provision of intrastate interexchange service and may disapprove any such contract if such contract is detrimental to the public interest. The commission may also require the filing of all necessary reports and information pertinent to joint provision contracts. The commission is also authorized to adjudicate disputes among telecommunications companies regarding such contracts or the enforcement thereof. In such disputes, the commission may assess interest at a rate it shall determine.
History.s. 7, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4399; CGL 6363; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 8, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; s. 3, ch. 83-73; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 14, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
364.08 Unlawful to charge other than schedule rates or charges; free service and reduced rates prohibited.
(1) A telecommunications company may not charge, demand, collect, or receive for any service rendered or to be rendered any compensation other than the charge applicable to such service as specified in its schedule on file or otherwise published and in effect at that time. A telecommunications company may not extend to any person any advantage of contract or agreement or the benefit of any rule or regulation or any privilege or facility not regularly and uniformly extended to all persons under like circumstances for like or substantially similar service.
(2) A telecommunications company subject to this chapter may provide employee concessions without approval by the commission.
History.s. 8, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4400; CGL 6364; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 9, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 15, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 7, ch. 2009-226.
364.10 Undue advantage to person or locality prohibited; Lifeline service.
(1) A telecommunications company may not make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any person or locality or subject any particular person or locality to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in any respect whatsoever.
(2)(a) The prohibitions of subsection (1) notwithstanding, an eligible telecommunications carrier shall provide a Lifeline Assistance Plan to qualified residential subscribers, as defined in a commission-approved tariff or price list, and a preferential rate to eligible facilities as provided for in part II. For the purposes of this section, the term “eligible telecommunications carrier” means a telecommunications company, as defined by s. 364.02, which is designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier by the commission pursuant to 47 C.F.R. s. 54.201.
(b) An eligible telecommunications carrier shall offer a consumer who applies for or receives Lifeline service the option of blocking all toll calls or, if technically capable, placing a limit on the number of toll calls a consumer can make. The eligible telecommunications carrier may not charge the consumer an administrative charge or other additional fee for blocking the service.
(c) An eligible telecommunications carrier may not collect a service deposit in order to initiate Lifeline service if the qualifying low-income consumer voluntarily elects toll blocking or toll limitation. If the qualifying low-income consumer elects not to place toll blocking on the line, an eligible telecommunications carrier may charge a service deposit.
(d) An eligible telecommunications carrier may not charge Lifeline subscribers a monthly number-portability charge.
(e)1. An eligible telecommunications carrier must notify a Lifeline subscriber of impending termination of Lifeline service if the company has a reasonable basis for believing that the subscriber no longer qualifies. Notification of pending termination must be in the form of a letter that is separate from the subscriber’s bill.
2. An eligible telecommunications carrier shall allow a subscriber 60 days following the date of the pending termination letter to demonstrate continued eligibility. The subscriber must present proof of continued eligibility. An eligible telecommunications carrier may transfer a subscriber off of Lifeline service, pursuant to its tariff, if the subscriber fails to demonstrate continued eligibility.
3. The commission shall establish procedures for such notification and termination.
(f) An eligible telecommunications carrier shall timely credit a consumer’s bill with the Lifeline Assistance credit as soon as practicable, but no later than 60 days following receipt of notice of eligibility from the Office of Public Counsel or proof of eligibility from the consumer.
(3)(a) Each local exchange telecommunications company that has more than 1 million access lines and that is designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier shall, and any commercial mobile radio service provider designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier pursuant to 47 U.S.C. s. 214(e) may, upon filing a notice of election to do so with the commission, provide Lifeline service to any otherwise eligible customer or potential customer who meets an income eligibility test at 150 percent or less of the federal poverty income guidelines for Lifeline customers. Such a test for eligibility must augment, rather than replace, the eligibility standards established by federal law and based on participation in certain low-income assistance programs. Each intrastate interexchange telecommunications company shall file or publish a schedule providing at a minimum the intrastate interexchange telecommunications carrier’s current Lifeline benefits and exemptions to Lifeline customers who meet the income eligibility test set forth in this subsection. The Office of Public Counsel shall certify and maintain claims submitted by a customer for eligibility under the income test authorized by this subsection.
(b) Each eligible telecommunications carrier subject to this subsection shall provide to each state and federal agency providing benefits to persons eligible for Lifeline service applications, brochures, pamphlets, or other materials that inform the persons of their eligibility for Lifeline, and each state agency providing the benefits shall furnish the materials to affected persons at the time they apply for benefits.
(c) Any local exchange telecommunications company customer receiving Lifeline benefits shall not be subject to any residential basic local telecommunications service rate increases authorized by 1s. 364.164 until the local exchange telecommunications company reaches parity as defined in 1s. 364.164(5) or until the customer no longer qualifies for the Lifeline benefits established by this section or s. 364.105, or unless otherwise determined by the commission upon petition by a local exchange telecommunications company.
(d) An eligible telecommunications carrier may not discontinue basic local exchange telephone service to a subscriber who receives Lifeline service because of nonpayment by the subscriber of charges for nonbasic services billed by the telecommunications company, including long-distance service. A subscriber who receives Lifeline service shall pay all applicable basic local exchange service fees, including the subscriber line charge, E-911, telephone relay system charges, and applicable state and federal taxes.
(e) An eligible telecommunications carrier may not refuse to connect, reconnect, or provide Lifeline service because of unpaid toll charges or nonbasic charges other than basic local exchange service.
(f) An eligible telecommunications carrier may require that payment arrangements be made for outstanding debt associated with basic local exchange service, subscriber line charges, E-911, telephone relay system charges, and applicable state and federal taxes.
(g) An eligible telecommunications carrier may block a Lifeline service subscriber’s access to all long-distance service, except for toll-free numbers, and may block the ability to accept collect calls when the subscriber owes an outstanding amount for long-distance service or amounts resulting from collect calls. However, the eligible telecommunications carrier may not impose a charge for blocking long-distance service. The eligible telecommunications carrier shall remove the block at the request of the subscriber without additional cost to the subscriber upon payment of the outstanding amount. An eligible telecommunications carrier may charge a service deposit before removing the block.
(h)1. By December 31, 2010, each state agency that provides benefits to persons eligible for Lifeline service shall undertake, in cooperation with the Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Education, the commission, the Office of Public Counsel, and telecommunications companies designated eligible telecommunications carriers providing Lifeline services, the development of procedures to promote Lifeline participation. The departments, the commission, and the Office of Public Counsel may exchange sufficient information with the appropriate eligible telecommunications carriers and any commercial mobile radio service provider electing to provide Lifeline service under paragraph (a), such as a person’s name, date of birth, service address, and telephone number, so that the carriers can identify and enroll an eligible person in the Lifeline and Link-Up programs. The information remains confidential pursuant to s. 364.107 and may only be used for purposes of determining eligibility and enrollment in the Lifeline and Link-Up programs.
2. If any state agency determines that a person is eligible for Lifeline services, the agency shall immediately forward the information to the commission to ensure that the person is automatically enrolled in the program with the appropriate eligible telecommunications carrier. The state agency shall include an option for an eligible customer to choose not to subscribe to the Lifeline service. The Public Service Commission and the Department of Children and Family Services shall, no later than December 31, 2007, adopt rules creating procedures to automatically enroll eligible customers in Lifeline service.
3. By December 31, 2010, the commission, the Department of Children and Family Services, the Office of Public Counsel, and each eligible telecommunications carrier offering Lifeline and Link-Up services shall convene a Lifeline Workgroup to discuss how the eligible subscriber information in subparagraph 1. will be shared, the obligations of each party with respect to the use of that information, and the procedures to be implemented to increase enrollment and verify eligibility in these programs.
(i) The commission shall report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by December 31 each year on the number of customers who are subscribing to Lifeline service and the effectiveness of any procedures to promote participation.
(j) The commission shall adopt rules to administer this section.
History.s. 10, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4402; CGL 6366; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 12, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 17, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 13, ch. 95-403; s. 10, ch. 2003-32; s. 16, ch. 2005-132; s. 11, ch. 2007-29; s. 9, ch. 2009-226; s. 1, ch. 2010-190.
1Note.Repealed by s. 14, ch. 2007-29.
364.105 Discounted rate for basic service for former Lifeline subscribers.Each local exchange telecommunications company shall offer discounted residential basic local telecommunications service at 70 percent of the residential local telecommunications service rate for any Lifeline subscriber who no longer qualifies for Lifeline. A Lifeline subscriber who requests such service shall receive the discounted price for a period of 1 year after the date the subscriber ceases to be qualified for Lifeline. In no event shall this preclude the offering of any other discounted services which comply with ss. 364.08 and 364.10.
History.s. 3, ch. 98-277; s. 18, ch. 2009-226.
364.107 Public records exemption; Lifeline Assistance Plan participants.
(1) Personal identifying information of a participant in a telecommunications carrier’s Lifeline Assistance Plan under s. 364.10 held by the Public Service Commission is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(2) Information made confidential and exempt under subsection (1) may be released to the applicable telecommunications carrier for purposes directly connected with eligibility for, verification related to, or auditing of a Lifeline Assistance Plan.
(3)(a) An officer or employee of a telecommunications carrier shall not intentionally disclose information made confidential and exempt under subsection (1), except as:
1. Authorized by the customer;
2. Necessary for billing purposes;
3. Required by subpoena, court order, or other process of court;
4. Necessary to disclose to an agency as defined in s. 119.011 or a governmental entity for purposes directly connected with implementing service for, or verifying eligibility of, a participant in a Lifeline Assistance Plan or auditing a Lifeline Assistance Plan; or
5. Otherwise authorized by law.
(b) Nothing in this section precludes a telecommunications carrier from disclosing information made confidential and exempt under subsection (1) to the extent such information is otherwise publicly available or from disclosing to a customer his or her own account record through telephonic means.
(c) Any officer or employee of a telecommunications carrier who intentionally discloses information in violation of paragraph (a) commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(4) This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2012, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-247.
364.15 Compelling repairs, improvements, changes, additions, or extensions.Whenever the commission finds, on its own motion or upon complaint, that repairs or improvements to, or changes in, any telecommunications facility ought reasonably to be made, or that any additions or extensions should reasonably be made to any telecommunications facility, in order to promote the security or convenience of the public or employees or in order to secure adequate service or facilities for basic local telecommunications services consistent with the requirements set forth in this chapter, the commission shall make and serve an order directing that such repairs, improvements, changes, additions, or extensions be made in the manner to be specified in the order. This section authorizes the commission to impose only those requirements that it is otherwise authorized to impose under this chapter.
History.s. 16, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4408; CGL 6372; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 53, ch. 78-95; ss. 15, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 19, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 10, ch. 2009-226.
364.16 Connection of lines and transfers; local interconnection; telephone number portability.
(1) Whenever the commission finds that connections between any two or more local exchange telecommunications companies, whose lines form a continuous line of communication or could be made to do so by the construction and maintenance of suitable connections at common points, can reasonably be made and efficient service obtained, and that such connections are necessary, the commission may require such connections to be made, may require that telecommunications services be transferred, and may prescribe through lines and joint rates and charges to be made, used, observed, and in force in the future and fix the rates and charges by order to be served upon the company or companies affected.
(2) Each competitive local exchange telecommunications company shall provide access to, and interconnection with, its telecommunications services to any other provider of local exchange telecommunications services requesting such access and interconnection at nondiscriminatory prices, terms, and conditions. If the parties are unable to negotiate mutually acceptable prices, terms, and conditions after 60 days, either party may petition the commission and the commission shall have 120 days to make a determination after proceeding as required by s. 364.162(2) pertaining to interconnection services.
(3) Each local exchange telecommunications company shall provide access to, and interconnection with, its telecommunications facilities to any other provider of local exchange telecommunications services requesting such access and interconnection at nondiscriminatory prices, rates, terms, and conditions established by the procedures set forth in s. 364.162.
(a) No local exchange telecommunications company or competitive local exchange telecommunications company shall knowingly deliver traffic, for which terminating access service charges would otherwise apply, through a local interconnection arrangement without paying the appropriate charges for such terminating access service.
(b) Any party with a substantial interest may petition the commission for an investigation of any suspected violation of paragraph (a). In the event any certificated local exchange service provider knowingly violates paragraph (a), the commission shall have jurisdiction to arbitrate bona fide complaints arising from the requirements of this subsection and shall, upon such complaint, have access to all relevant customer records and accounts of any telecommunications company.
(4) In order to assure that consumers have access to different local exchange service providers without being disadvantaged, deterred, or inconvenienced by having to give up the consumer’s existing local telephone number, all providers of local exchange services must have access to local telephone numbering resources and assignments on equitable terms that include a recognition of the scarcity of such resources and are in accordance with national assignment guidelines. Each local exchange provider, except small local exchange telecommunications companies under rate of return regulation, shall provide a temporary means of achieving telephone number portability. The parties, under the direction of the commission, shall set up a number portability standards group by no later than September 1, 1995, for the purposes of investigation and development of appropriate parameters, costs, and standards for number portability. If the parties are unable to successfully negotiate the prices, terms, and conditions of a temporary number portability solution, the commission shall establish a temporary number portability solution by no later than January 1, 1996. Each local exchange service provider shall make necessary modifications to allow permanent portability of local telephone numbers between certificated providers of local exchange service as soon as reasonably possible after the development of national standards. The parties shall negotiate the prices, terms, and conditions for permanent telephone number portability arrangements. In the event the parties are unable to satisfactorily negotiate the prices, terms, and conditions, either party may petition the commission and the commission shall, after opportunity for a hearing, set the rates, terms, and conditions. The prices and rates shall not be below cost. Number portability between different certificated providers of local exchange service at the same location shall be provided temporarily no later than January 1, 1996.
(5) When requested, each certificated telecommunications company shall provide access to any poles, conduits, rights-of-way, and like facilities that it owns or controls to any local exchange telecommunications company or competitive local exchange telecommunications company pursuant to reasonable rates and conditions mutually agreed to which do not discriminate between similarly situated companies.
History.s. 17, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4409; CGL 6373; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 16, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 20, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 14, ch. 95-403; s. 7, ch. 2000-334; s. 11, ch. 2003-32.
364.161 Unbundling and resale.
(1) Upon request, each local exchange telecommunications company shall unbundle all of its network features, functions, and capabilities, including access to signaling databases, systems and routing processes, and offer them to any other telecommunications provider requesting such features, functions or capabilities for resale to the extent technically and economically feasible. The parties shall negotiate the terms, conditions, and prices of any feasible unbundling request. If the parties cannot reach a satisfactory resolution within 60 days, either party may petition the commission to arbitrate the dispute and the commission shall make a determination within 120 days. In no event, however, shall the local exchange telecommunications company be required to offer such unbundled services, network features, functions or capabilities, or unbundled local loops at prices that are below cost. The prices, rates, terms, and conditions for the unbundled services shall be established by the procedure set forth in s. 364.162 and shall be equally applicable to both the local exchange telecommunications company and its affiliates in the provision of their own service, until such time as the local exchange telecommunications company petitions the commission and the commission determines otherwise, but in no event prior to July 1, 1999.
(2) Other than ensuring that the resale is of the same class of service, no local exchange telecommunications company may impose any restrictions on the resale of its services or facilities except those the commission may determine are reasonable. The local exchange telecommunications company’s currently tariffed, flat-rated, switched residential and business services shall not be required to be resold until the local exchange telecommunications company is permitted to provide inter-LATA services and video programming, but in no event before July 1, 1997. In no event shall the price of any service provided for resale be below cost.
(3) Only after a competitive local exchange telecommunications company has been determined to be a carrier of last resort shall such company, upon request by another telecommunications provider, be required, for purposes of resale, to unbundle its local exchange services, network features, functions and capabilities, including its local loop, to the extent such unbundling is technically and economically feasible. The parties shall negotiate the terms, conditions, and prices of any feasible unbundling request. If the parties cannot reach a satisfactory resolution within 60 days, either party may petition the commission to arbitrate the dispute and the commission shall make a determination within 120 days. The prices shall not be below cost.
(4) A local exchange telecommunications company shall provide unbundled network elements, services for resale, requested repairs, and necessary support services in a timely manner. The Public Service Commission shall maintain a file of all complaints by competitive local exchange telecommunications companies against local exchange telecommunications companies regarding timeliness and adequacy of service. This information, including how and when each complaint was resolved, shall be included with the commission’s annual report to the Legislature on competition.
History.s. 15, ch. 95-403; s. 9, ch. 98-277; s. 12, ch. 2003-32.
364.162 Negotiated prices for interconnection and for the resale of services and facilities; commission rate setting.
(1) A competitive local exchange telecommunications company shall have 60 days from the date it is certificated to negotiate with a local exchange telecommunications company mutually acceptable prices, terms, and conditions of interconnection and for the resale of services and facilities. If a negotiated price is not established after 60 days, either party may petition the commission to establish nondiscriminatory rates, terms, and conditions of interconnection and for the resale of services and facilities. The commission shall have 120 days to make a determination after proceeding as required by subsection (2). Whether set by negotiation or by the commission, interconnection and resale prices, rates, terms, and conditions shall be filed with the commission before their effective date. The commission shall have the authority to arbitrate any dispute regarding interpretation of interconnection or resale prices and terms and conditions.
(2) In the event that the commission receives a single petition relating to either interconnection or resale of services and facilities, it shall vote, within 120 days following such filing, to set nondiscriminatory rates, terms, and conditions, except that the rates shall not be below cost. If the commission receives one or more petitions relating to both interconnection and resale of services and facilities, the commission shall conduct separate proceedings for each and, within 120 days following such filing, make two separate determinations setting such nondiscriminatory rates, terms, and conditions, except that the rates shall not be below cost.
(3) In setting the local interconnection charge, the commission shall determine that the charge is sufficient to cover the cost of furnishing interconnection.
(4) The commission shall ensure that, if the rate it sets for a service or facility to be resold provides a discount below the tariff rate for such service or facility which appropriately reflects the local exchange telecommunications company’s avoidance of the expense and cost of marketing such service or facility to retail customers, such rate must not be below cost. The commission shall also ensure that this rate is not set so high that it would serve as a barrier to competition.
History.s. 16, ch. 95-403; s. 6, ch. 2000-334; s. 13, ch. 2003-32.
364.163 Network access services.For purposes of this section, the term “network access service” is defined as any service provided by a local exchange telecommunications company to a telecommunications company certificated under this chapter or licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to access the local exchange telecommunications network, excluding the local interconnection arrangements in s. 364.16 and the resale arrangements in s. 364.161. Each local exchange telecommunications company subject to s. 364.051 shall maintain tariffs with the commission containing the terms, conditions, and rates for each of its network access services. The switched network access service rates in effect immediately prior to July 1, 2007, shall be, and shall remain, capped at that level until July 1, 2010. An interexchange telecommunications company may not institute any intrastate connection fee or any similarly named fee.
History.s. 17, ch. 95-403; s. 4, ch. 98-277; s. 14, ch. 2003-32; s. 12, ch. 2007-29.
364.183 Access to company records.
(1) The commission shall have access to all records of a telecommunications company that are reasonably necessary for the disposition of matters within the commission’s jurisdiction. The commission shall also have access to those records of a local exchange telecommunications company’s affiliated companies, including its parent company, that are reasonably necessary for the disposition of any matter concerning an affiliated transaction or a claim of anticompetitive behavior including claims of cross-subsidization and predatory pricing. The commission may require a telecommunications company to file records, reports or other data directly related to matters within the commission’s jurisdiction in the form specified by the commission and may require such company to retain such information for a designated period of time. Upon request of the company or other person, any records received by the commission which are claimed by the company or other person to be proprietary confidential business information shall be kept confidential and shall be exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(2) Discovery in any docket or proceeding before the commission shall be in the manner provided for in Rule 1.280 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. Upon a showing by a company or other person and a finding by the commission that discovery will require the disclosure of proprietary confidential business information, the commission shall issue an appropriate protective order designating the manner for handling such information during the course of the proceeding and for protecting such information from disclosure outside the proceeding. Such proprietary confidential business information shall be exempt from s. 119.07(1). Any records provided pursuant to a discovery request for which proprietary confidential business information status is requested shall be treated by the commission and the Office of the Public Counsel and any other party subject to the public records law as confidential and shall be exempt from s. 119.07(1), pending a formal ruling on such request by the commission or the return of the records to the person providing the records. Any record which has been determined to be proprietary confidential business information and is not entered into the official record of the proceeding shall be returned to the person providing the record within 60 days after the final order, unless the final order is appealed. If the final order is appealed, any such record shall be returned within 30 days after the decision on appeal. The commission shall adopt the necessary rules to implement this subsection.
(3) The term “proprietary confidential business information” means information, regardless of form or characteristics, which is owned or controlled by the person or company, is intended to be and is treated by the person or company as private in that the disclosure of the information would cause harm to the ratepayers or the person’s or company’s business operations, and has not been disclosed unless disclosed pursuant to a statutory provision, an order of a court or administrative body, or private agreement that provides that the information will not be released to the public. The term includes, but is not limited to:
(a) Trade secrets.
(b) Internal auditing controls and reports of internal auditors.
(c) Security measures, systems, or procedures.
(d) Information concerning bids or other contractual data, the disclosure of which would impair the efforts of the company or its affiliates to contract for goods or services on favorable terms.
(e) Information relating to competitive interests, the disclosure of which would impair the competitive business of the provider of information.
(f) Employee personnel information unrelated to compensation, duties, qualifications, or responsibilities.
(4) Any finding by the commission that a record contains proprietary confidential business information is effective for a period set by the commission not to exceed 18 months, unless the commission finds, for good cause, that the protection from disclosure shall be for a specified longer period. The commission shall order the return of a record containing proprietary confidential business information when such record is no longer necessary for the commission to conduct its business. At that time, the commission shall order any other person holding such record to return it to the person providing the record. Any record containing proprietary confidential business information which has not been returned at the conclusion of the period set pursuant to this subsection shall no longer be exempt from s. 119.07(1) unless the telecommunications company or affected person shows, and the commission finds, that the record continues to contain proprietary confidential business information. Upon such finding, the commission may extend the period for confidential treatment for a period not to exceed 18 months unless the commission finds, for good cause, that the protection from disclosure shall be for a specified longer period. During commission consideration of an extension, the record in question remains exempt from s. 119.07(1). The commission shall adopt rules to implement this subsection, which shall include notice to the telecommunications company or affected person regarding the expiration of confidential treatment.
History.ss. 1, 5, ch. 82-51; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 23, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 18, ch. 95-403; s. 167, ch. 96-406.
364.185 Investigations and inspections; power of commission.The commission or its duly authorized representatives may during all reasonable hours enter upon any premises occupied by any telecommunications company and may set up and use thereon all necessary apparatus and appliances for the purpose of making investigations, inspections, examinations, and tests and exercising any power conferred by this chapter; however, the telecommunications company shall be notified of and be represented at the making of such investigations, inspections, examinations, and tests. The requirement to provide prior notification and representation shall not be applicable to the onsite field inspection of equipment used to provide telecommunications services to the transient public, including the facilities of call aggregators.
History.s. 26, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 24, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
364.19 Telecommunications service contracts; regulation by commission.The commission may regulate, by reasonable rules, the terms of telecommunications service contracts between telecommunications companies and their patrons.
History.s. 19, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4411; CGL 6375; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 19, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 25, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
364.195 Termination of telecommunications service contract by a servicemember.
(1) Any servicemember, as defined in s. 250.01, may terminate his or her telecommunications service contract by providing the telecommunications company with a written notice of termination, effective on the date specified in the notice, which date shall be at least 30 days after receipt of the notice by the telecommunications company, if any of the following criteria are met:
(a) The servicemember is required, pursuant to a permanent change of station orders, to move outside the area served by the telecommunications company or to an area where the type of telecommunications service being provided to the servicemember is not available from the telecommunications company;
(b) The servicemember is discharged or released from active duty or state active duty and will return from such duty to an area not served by the telecommunications company or where the type of telecommunications service contracted for is not available from the telecommunications company;
(c) The servicemember is released from active duty or state active duty after having entered into a contract for telecommunications service while on active duty or state active duty status and the telecommunications company does not provide telecommunications service or the same type of telecommunications service contracted for in the region of the servicemember’s home of record prior to entering active duty or state active duty;
(d) The servicemember receives military orders requiring him or her to move outside the continental United States; or
(e) The servicemember receives temporary duty orders, temporary change of station orders, or active duty or state active duty orders to an area not served by the telecommunications company or where the type of telecommunications service contracted for is not available from the telecommunications company, provided such orders are for a period exceeding 60 days.
(2) The written notice to the telecommunications company must be accompanied by either a copy of the official military orders or a written verification signed by the servicemember’s commanding officer.
(3) Upon termination of a contract under this section, the servicemember is liable for the amount due under the contract prorated to the effective date of the termination payable at such time as would have otherwise been required by the terms of the contract. The servicemember is not liable for any other fees due to the early termination of the contract as provided for in this section.
(4) The provisions of this section may not be waived or modified by the agreement of the parties under any circumstances.
History.s. 16, ch. 2003-72.
364.24 Penalty for making telephone message or customer account information known.
(1) Except as otherwise deemed by law, any officer or person in the employ of any telecommunications company, or any person in charge of any office, exchange, or place where messages or communications are sent, received, or heard by telephone, who shall disclose or make known to any person other than the person to whom the telephone message or communication is directed, or his or her duly authorized agent, partner, clerk, or some member of his or her family, any part of the contents or substance of any message or communication sent, received, or heard by him or her, by telephone, by reason of the position he or she occupies or fills, without consent of the person sending or receiving such message or communication, commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(2) Any officer or person in the employ of any telecommunications company shall not intentionally disclose customer account records except as authorized by the customer or as necessary for billing purposes, or required by subpoena, court order, other process of court, or as otherwise allowed by law. Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Nothing herein precludes disclosure of customers’ names, addresses, or telephone numbers to the extent they are otherwise publicly available. Nothing herein precludes a telecommunications company from making available to its customers a customer’s own customer account record through telephonic means.
History.s. 1, ch. 5210, 1903; GS 3730; RGS 5755; CGL 7985; s. 273, ch. 71-136; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 20, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 26, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 548, ch. 95-148; s. 19, ch. 95-403; s. 4, ch. 99-354.
364.245 Discontinuation of telecommunications service used for unlawful purpose.
(1) A customer of a telecommunications company operating within the state may use telecommunications services only for lawful purposes.
(2) If a local, state, or federal law enforcement officer acting within the scope of the officer’s duties obtains evidence that telecommunications services are being used or have been used by a customer or by the employee or agent of the customer to violate state or federal law, the officer may apply to the circuit court of the county in which the suspected violation of state or federal law occurred for an order requiring the telecommunications company to discontinue service to the customer of the services. The court shall hold a hearing on the application as soon as possible, but no sooner than 48 hours after notice of the application for discontinuation of service is delivered to the address at which the telecommunications services are furnished or to the address to which bills for telecommunications services are mailed, according to the telecommunications company records. Notice must also be given to the registered agent for the service of process upon the telecommunications company at least 48 hours prior to the hearing. If the court finds clear and convincing evidence that the telecommunications services are being used or have been used to violate state or federal law, the court shall order the telecommunications company to discontinue such service immediately.
(3) Telecommunications service discontinued under this section may be reinstated only by court order, and call forwarding or message referrals, whether recorded or live, may not be provided until reinstatement of service is ordered by the court.
(4) A telecommunications company shall be held harmless from liability to any person in complying with any court order issued under this section.
History.s. 20, ch. 95-403; s. 8, ch. 2000-334.
364.27 Powers and duties as to interstate rates, fares, charges, classifications, or rules of practice.The commission shall investigate all interstate rates, fares, charges, classifications, or rules of practice in relation thereto, for or in relation to the transmission of messages or conversations, where any act relating to the transmission of messages or conversations takes place within this state, and when such rates, fares, charges, classifications, or rules of practice are, in the opinion of the commission, excessive or discriminatory or are levied or laid in violation of the Act of Congress entitled “The Communications Act of 1934,” and the acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto, or in conflict with the rulings, orders, or regulations of the Federal Communications Commission, the commission shall apply, by petition, to the Federal Communications Commission for relief and may present to the Federal Communications Commission all facts coming to its knowledge as to violation of the rulings, orders, or regulations of that commission or as to violations of the act to regulate commerce or acts amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto.
History.s. 25, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4417; CGL 6381; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 21, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 27, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
364.285 Penalties.
(1) The commission shall have the power to impose upon any entity subject to its jurisdiction under this chapter which is found to have refused to comply with or to have willfully violated any lawful rule or order of the commission or any provision of this chapter a penalty for each offense of not more than $25,000, which penalty shall be fixed, imposed, and collected by the commission; or the commission may, for any such violation, amend, suspend, or revoke any certificate issued by it. Each day that such refusal or violation continues constitutes a separate offense. Each penalty shall be a lien upon the real and personal property of the entity, enforceable by the commission as a statutory lien under chapter 85. Collected penalties shall be deposited in the General Revenue Fund unallocated.
(2) The commission may, at its discretion, institute in any court of competent jurisdiction a proceeding for injunctive relief to compel compliance with this chapter or any commission rule or to compel the accounting and refund of any moneys collected in violation of this chapter or commission rule.
History.ss. 4, 7, ch. 83-73; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 28, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
364.30 Telecommunications companies; points of connection.
(1) Any telecommunications company operating within the state subject to the provisions of this chapter, having more than one point of connection with or through any other telecommunications company, is hereby authorized and permitted to use and enjoy any of its points of connection on any call at any time such points of connection are not in use, and the company with which the call is initiated shall be the sole judge in each instance as to whether the convenience and necessity of its own subscribers, the facility with which the connection and call may be completed, and its financial welfare are best served by the routing selected by the company receiving any such individual call. Any telecommunications company having two or more points of connection with any other company may not be required by the connecting company to route all or any specific number of its calls through any one connection at the will of the connecting company.
(2) Any connecting telecommunications company refusing to give and make a connection with the company through which the call was initially placed, over any connecting point not in use, commits a violation of this section.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 22073, 1943; s. 1, ch. 63-279; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 53, ch. 78-95; ss. 22, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 29, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
364.32 Definitions applicable to ss. 364.33, 364.337, 364.345 and 364.37.As used in ss. 364.33, 364.337, 364.345 and 364.37:
(1) “Person” means:
(a) Any natural person, firm, association, county, municipality, corporation, business, trust, or partnership owning, leasing, or operating any facility used in the furnishing of public telecommunications service within this state; and
(b) A cooperative, nonprofit, membership corporation, or limited dividend or mutual association, now or hereafter created, with respect to that part or portion of its operations devoted to the furnishing of telecommunications service within this state.
(2) “Territory” means any area, whether within or without the boundaries of a municipality.
History.s. 9, ch. 28013, 1953; s. 24, ch. 57-1; s. 1, ch. 63-279; s. 1, ch. 65-52; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 24, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 30, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
364.33 Certificate of necessity prerequisite to construction, operation, or control of telecommunications facilities.Except for a transfer of a certificate of necessity from one person to another or to the parent or affiliate of a certificated person as provided in this section, a person may not begin the construction or operation of any telecommunications facility, or any extension thereof for the purpose of providing telecommunications services to the public, or acquire ownership or control thereof, in whatever manner, including the acquisition, transfer, or assignment of majority organizational control or controlling stock ownership, without prior approval. A certificate of necessity or control thereof may be transferred from a person holding a certificate, its parent or an affiliate to another person holding a certificate, its parent or an affiliate, and a person holding a certificate, its parent or an affiliate may acquire ownership or control of a telecommunications facility through the acquisition, transfer, or assignment of majority organizational control or controlling stock ownership of a person holding a certificate without prior approval of the commission by giving 60 days’ written notice of the transfer or change of control to the commission and affected customers. This section does not require approval by the commission prior to the construction, operation, or extension of a facility by a certificated company within its certificated area nor in any way limit the commission’s ability to review the prudence of such construction programs for ratemaking as provided under this chapter.
History.s. 1, ch. 28013, 1953; s. 1, ch. 63-279; s. 1, ch. 65-52; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; s. 5, ch. 83-73; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 31, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 11, ch. 2009-226.
364.335 Application for certificate.
(1) Each applicant for a certificate shall:
(a) Provide all information required by rule or order of the commission, which may include a detailed inquiry into the ability of the applicant to provide service, a detailed inquiry into the territory and facilities involved, and a detailed inquiry into the existence of service from other sources within geographical proximity to the territory applied for.
(b) File with the commission schedules showing all rates for service of every kind furnished by it and all rules and contracts relating to such service.
(c) File the application fee required by the commission in an amount not to exceed $500. Such fees shall be deposited in accordance with s. 350.113.
(d) Submit an affidavit that the applicant has caused notice of its application to be given to such persons and in such manner as may be prescribed by commission rule.
(2) If the commission grants the requested certificate, any person who would be substantially affected by the requested certification may, within 21 days after the granting of such certificate, file a written objection requesting a proceeding pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57. The commission may, on its own motion, institute a proceeding under ss. 120.569 and 120.57 to determine whether the grant of such certificate is in the public interest. The commission shall order such proceeding conducted in or near the territory applied for, if feasible. If any person requests a public hearing on the application, such hearing shall, if feasible, be held in or near the territory applied for, and the transcript of the public hearing and any material submitted at or prior to the hearing shall be considered part of the record of the application and any proceeding related to the application.
(3) The commission may grant a certificate, in whole or in part or with modifications in the public interest, but in no event granting authority greater than that requested in the application or amendments thereto and noticed under subsection (1); or it may deny a certificate. The commission may grant certificates for proposed telecommunications companies, or for the extension of an existing telecommunications company, without regard to whether such companies will be in competition with or duplicate the local exchange services provided by any other telecommunications company. The commission may also grant a certificate for a proposed telecommunications company, or for the extension of an existing telecommunications company, which will be providing either competitive or duplicative pay telephone service pursuant to the provisions of s. 364.3375, or private line service by a certified alternative access vendor pursuant to s. 364.337(6). Pay telephone service shall include that telephone service using telephones that are capable of accepting payment by specie, paper money, or credit cards.
(4) Except as provided in s. 364.33, revocation, suspension, transfer, or amendment of a certificate shall be subject to the provisions of this section; except that, when the commission initiates the action, the commission shall furnish notice to the appropriate local government and to the Public Counsel.
History.s. 27, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 3, 5, ch. 82-51; s. 6, ch. 83-73; s. 1, ch. 85-327; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 32, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 21, ch. 95-403; s. 93, ch. 96-410; s. 18, ch. 2005-132; s. 12, ch. 2009-226.
364.336 Regulatory assessment fees.Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, each telecommunications company licensed or operating under this chapter, for any part of the preceding 6-month period, shall pay to the commission, within 30 days following the end of each 6-month period, a fee that may not exceed 0.25 percent annually of its gross operating revenues derived from intrastate business, except, for purposes of this section and the fee specified in s. 350.113(3), any amount paid to another telecommunications company for the use of any telecommunications network shall be deducted from the gross operating revenue for purposes of computing the fee due. The commission shall by rule assess a minimum fee in an amount up to $1,000. The minimum amount may vary depending on the type of service provided by the telecommunications company, and shall, to the extent practicable, be related to the cost of regulating such type of company. Differences, if any, between the amount paid in any 6-month period and the amount actually determined by the commission to be due shall, upon motion by the commission, be immediately paid or refunded. Fees under this section may not be less than $50 annually. Such fees shall be deposited in accordance with s. 350.113. The commission may by rule establish criteria for payment of the regulatory assessment fee on an annual basis rather than on a semiannual basis.
History.ss. 33, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 22, ch. 95-403; s. 13, ch. 98-277; s. 19, ch. 2005-132.
364.337 Competitive local exchange telecommunications companies; intrastate interexchange telecommunications services; certification.
(1) Upon this act becoming a law, a party may file an application for a certificate as a competitive local exchange telecommunications company before January 1, 1996, and the commission shall conduct its review of the application and take all actions necessary to process the application. However, an application shall become effective no sooner than January 1, 1996. The commission shall grant a certificate of authority to provide competitive local exchange service upon a showing that the applicant has sufficient technical, financial, and managerial capability to provide such service in the geographic area proposed to be served. A competitive local exchange telecommunications company may not offer basic local telecommunications services within the territory served by a company subject to s. 364.052 prior to January 1, 2001, unless the small local exchange telecommunications company is regulated under s. 364.051 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. It is the intent of the Legislature that the commission act expeditiously to grant certificates of authority under this section and that the grant of certificates not be affected by the application of any criteria other than that specifically enumerated in this subsection.
(2) Rules adopted by the commission governing the provision of competitive local exchange telecommunications service shall be consistent with s. 364.01. The basic local telecommunications service provided by a competitive local exchange telecommunications company must include access to operator services, “911” services, and relay services for the hearing impaired. A competitive local exchange telecommunications company’s “911” service shall be provided at a level equivalent to that provided by the local exchange telecommunications company serving the same area. There shall be a flat-rate pricing option for basic local telecommunications services, and mandatory measured service for basic local telecommunications services shall not be imposed. A certificated competitive local exchange telecommunications company may petition the commission for a waiver of some or all of the requirements of this chapter, except ss. 364.16, 364.336, and subsections (1) and (5). The commission may grant such petition if determined to be in the public interest. Competitive local exchange telecommunications companies are not subject to the requirements of ss. 364.33 and 364.3381.
(3) The commission shall grant a certificate of authority to provide intrastate interexchange telecommunications service upon a showing that the applicant has sufficient technical, financial, and managerial capability to provide such service in the geographic area proposed to be served.
(4) Rules adopted by the commission governing the provision of intrastate interexchange telecommunications service must be consistent with s. 364.01. A certificated intrastate interexchange telecommunications company may petition the commission for a waiver for some or all of the requirements of this chapter, except s. 364.16, s. 364.335(3), or subsection (5). The commission may grant such petition if determined to be in the public interest. Intrastate interexchange telecommunications companies are not subject to the requirements of s. 364.3381.
(5) The commission shall have continuing regulatory oversight over the provision of basic local exchange telecommunications service provided by a certificated competitive local exchange telecommunications company or a certificated alternative access vendor for purposes of establishing reasonable service quality criteria, assuring resolution of service complaints, and ensuring the fair treatment of all telecommunications providers in the telecommunications marketplace.
(6)(a) The Legislature finds the provision of alternative access vendor services to be in the public interest, and the commission may authorize the provision of such service. For the purposes of this section, effective January 1, 1996, the term “alternative access vendor services” means the provision of private line service between an entity and facilities at another location, whether owned by the entity or an unaffiliated entity or access service between an end user and an interexchange carrier by other than a local exchange telecommunications company. For purposes of this chapter, the term “private line service” means any dedicated point-to-point or point-to-multipoint service for the transmission of any public telecommunications service.
(b) A person may not provide alternative access vendor services without first obtaining a certificate from the commission. Any certificated alternative access vendor as of the date this act becomes a law wishing to provide alternative local exchange telecommunications service in addition to the services authorized in its certificate may do so, effective January 1, 1996, upon furnishing written notice to the commission.
History.ss. 4, 5, ch. 82-51; s. 1, ch. 84-83; s. 30, ch. 85-81; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 34, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 23, ch. 95-403; s. 14, ch. 98-277; s. 16, ch. 2003-32; s. 6, ch. 2010-38.
364.3375 Pay telephone service providers.
(1)(a) No person shall provide pay telephone service without first obtaining from the commission a certificate of public convenience and necessity to provide such service, except that the certification provisions of this subsection do not apply to a local exchange telecommunications company providing pay telephone service.
(b) In granting such certificate the commission, if it finds that the action is consistent with the public interest, may exempt a pay telephone provider from some or all of the requirements of this chapter. However, the commission may exempt a pay telephone provider from this section only to prevent fraud or if it finds the exemption to be in the public interest.
(c) A certificate authorizes the pay telephone provider to provide services statewide and to provide access to both local and intrastate interexchange pay telephone service, except that the commission may limit the type of calls that can be handled.
(2) Each pay telephone station shall:
(a) Receive and permit coin-free access to the universal emergency telephone number “911” where operable or to a local exchange company toll operator.
(b) Receive and provide coin-free or coin-return access to local directory assistance and the telephone number of the person responsible for repair service.
(c) Designate a party responsible for processing refunds to customers.
(d) Be equipped with a legible sign, card, or plate of reasonable permanence which provides information determined by the commission, by rule, to adequately inform the end user.
(e) Be eligible to subscribe to flat-rate, single-line business local exchange services.
(3) Each pay telephone station which provides access to any interexchange telecommunications company shall provide access to all locally available interexchange telecommunications companies and shall provide for the completion of international telephone calls under terms and conditions as determined by the commission. The commission may grant limited waivers of this provision to pay telephone companies or operator service providers to prevent fraud or as otherwise determined in the public interest.
(4) A pay telephone provider may charge, as a maximum rate for local coin calls, a rate equivalent to the local coin rate of the local exchange telecommunications company.
(5) A pay telephone provider shall not obtain services from an operator service provider unless such operator service provider has obtained a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the commission pursuant to the provisions of s. 364.3376.
History.ss. 35, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 1, ch. 92-126; s. 24, ch. 95-403.
364.3376 Operator services.
(1)(a) A person may not provide operator services as defined in s. 364.02 without first obtaining from the commission a certificate of public convenience and necessity as an operator services provider.
(b) This section does not apply to operator services provided by a local exchange telecommunications company or by an intrastate interexchange telecommunications company, except as required by the commission in the public interest.
(2) All intrastate operator service providers are subject to the jurisdiction of the commission and shall render operator services pursuant to schedules in accordance with s. 364.04.
(3) Operator service providers shall:
(a) Require operators to:
1. Clearly identify the operator service provider to all end users before the call is made.
2. When requested, provide rate and service information.
3. When requested, provide the number to call for complaints and inquiries.
4. When requested, provide the procedure for reporting service difficulties and methods of obtaining refunds.
(b) Not intentionally charge for incompleted calls and provide full refund or credit for any misbilled or incomplete calls.
(c) Bill for services in accordance with their published schedules only at the rates set forth therein, and disclose their names on bills which include charges for services rendered.
(4) Each call aggregator shall post in the immediate vicinity of each telephone available to the public the name of the operator service provider, a toll-free customer service number, a statement that rate quotes are available upon request, and instructions on how the end user may access other operator service providers and such other information determined by the commission to be necessary in the public interest.
(5) Neither the operator service provider nor the call aggregator shall block or prevent an end user’s access to the end user’s operator service provider of choice, except that the commission shall grant limited waivers to operator service providers or call aggregators upon a showing that such waiver is in the public interest.
(6) The local exchange telecommunications company shall not disconnect local service for properly contested nonpayment of any operator services bill.
(7) The commission shall adopt and enforce requirements for the provision of services by operator services companies and call aggregators.
(8) Operator service providers and local exchange companies providing billing and collection services shall bill and collect only the rates and charges set forth in the applicable schedules.
(9) A local exchange telecommunications company may not perform billing and collection functions relating to regulated telecommunications services provided by an operator services provider unless the operator services provider has filed a statement with the local exchange telecommunications company signed by a corporate officer, or by another authorized person having personal knowledge, that all regulated telecommunications services to be billed will be rendered pursuant to applicable published schedules.
(10) The commission shall conduct an effective program of random, no-notice compliance investigations of the operator services providers and call aggregators operating within the state. When the commission finds a blocking violation, it shall determine whether the blocking is the responsibility of the call aggregator or the operator services provider and may fine the responsible party in accordance with s. 364.285. Upon the failure of the responsible party to correct a violation within a mandatory time limit established by the commission or upon a proven pattern of intentional blocking, the commission shall order the discontinuance of the call aggregator’s telephone service or revoke the operator services provider’s certificate, as applicable.
History.ss. 36, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 17, ch. 2003-32; s. 13, ch. 2009-226.
364.3381 Cross-subsidization.
(1) The price of a nonbasic telecommunications service provided by a local exchange telecommunications company shall not be below its cost by use of subsidization from rates paid by customers of basic services.
(2) A local exchange telecommunications company which offers both basic and nonbasic telecommunications services shall establish prices for such services that ensure that nonbasic telecommunications services are not subsidized by basic telecommunications services. The cost standard for determining cross-subsidization is whether the total revenue from a nonbasic service is less than the total long-run incremental cost of the service. Total long-run incremental cost means service-specific volume and nonvolume sensitive costs.
(3) The commission shall have continuing oversight jurisdiction over cross-subsidization, predatory pricing, or other similar anticompetitive behavior and may investigate, upon complaint or on its own motion, allegations of such practices.
History.ss. 38, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 26, ch. 95-403.
364.3382 Disclosure.A local exchange telecommunications company, when a residential customer initially requests service, shall advise each residential customer of the least-cost service available to that customer. Annually, the local exchange telecommunications company shall advise each residential customer of the price of each service option selected by that customer. The requirement of an annual notice does not apply to interexchange service.
History.ss. 39, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 14, ch. 2009-226.
364.339 Shared tenant service; regulation by commission; certification; limitation as to designated carriers.
(1) The commission shall have exclusive jurisdiction to authorize the provision of any shared tenant service which:
(a) Duplicates or competes with local service provided by an existing local exchange telecommunications company; and
(b) Effective January 1, 1996, is furnished through a common switching or billing arrangement to tenants by an entity other than an existing local exchange telecommunications company.
(2) No person shall provide shared tenant service without first obtaining from the commission a certificate of public convenience and necessity to provide such service. The commission shall grant certificates to telecommunications companies upon showings that the applicants have sufficient technical, financial, and managerial capabilities to provide shared tenant services. The commission may require such service to be offered and priced differently to residential and commercial tenants if deemed to be in the public interest.
(3)(a) Shared tenant services provided to government entities pursuant to this section are exempt from paragraph (1)(b), and the commission may exempt such entities from any certification requirements imposed by this chapter.
(b) As provided in subsection (4), the commission may authorize such service notwithstanding the provisions of s. 364.335. The commission may prescribe the type, extent, and conditions under which such service may be provided and may exempt such service, except appropriate certification, from commission regulation.
(4) In determining whether the actions authorized by subsections (1) and (2) are consistent with the public interest, the commission shall consider the following:
(a) The number of firms providing the service.
(b) The availability of the service from other firms or the local exchange telecommunications company.
(c) The quality of service available from alternative suppliers.
(d) The effect on telecommunications service rates charged to customers of the local telecommunications company.
(e) The geographic extent of the service to be provided.
(f) Any other factors which the commission deems relevant.
(5) The offering of shared tenant service shall not interfere with or preclude a residential or commercial tenant’s right to obtain direct access to the lines and services of the telecommunications company or the right of the telecommunications company to serve the residential or commercial tenant directly under the terms and conditions of the commission-approved tariffs.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 86-270; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 40, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 27, ch. 95-403; s. 15, ch. 98-277.
364.345 Certificates; territory served; transfer.
(1) Each telecommunications company shall provide adequate and efficient service to the territory described in its certificate within a reasonable time as prescribed in the commission order. If the telecommunications company fails or refuses to do so, for whatever reason, the commission, in addition to other powers provided by law, may amend the certificate to delete the territory not served or not properly served, or it may revoke the certificate. In addition, the commission, upon a finding that any telecommunications company significantly misrepresented its intention or ability to serve the territory in question, may take such action to impose a penalty upon the telecommunications company as is authorized by general law.
(2) Except as provided in s. 364.33, a telecommunications company may not sell, assign, or transfer its certificate or any portion thereof without:
(a) A determination by the commission that the proposed sale, assignment, or transfer is in the public interest; and
(b) The approval of the commission.
History.s. 28, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 41, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 15, ch. 2009-226.
364.37 Controversy concerning territory to be served; powers of commission.If any person in constructing or extending his or her telecommunications facility unreasonably interferes or is about to unreasonably interfere with any telecommunications facility or service of any other person, or if a controversy arises between any two or more persons with respect to the territory professed to be served by each, the commission, on its own initiative or on complaint of any person claiming to be adversely affected, may make such order and prescribe such terms and conditions with respect thereto as are just and reasonable.
History.s. 5, ch. 28013, 1953; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 53, ch. 78-95; s. 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 42, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 549, ch. 95-148.
364.381 Judicial review.As authorized by s. 3(b)(2), Art. V of the State Constitution, the Supreme Court shall review, upon petition, any action of the commission relating to rates or service of telecommunications companies. For purposes of judicial review, a telecommunications company is a telephone company within the meaning of s. 3(b)(2), Art. V of the State Constitution.
History.s. 30, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 43, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
364.385 Saving clauses.
(1) This act does not invalidate any certificate or cause to be unlawful any rate which has been previously approved and which is lawfully being charged and collected immediately prior to July 1, 1995. However, such rate may not be changed, and a certificate may not be modified, suspended, or revoked, on or after July 1, 1995, except in accordance with the provisions of this act.
(2) All applications for extended area service, routes, or extended calling service pending before the commission on March 1, 1995, shall be governed by the law as it existed prior to July 1, 1995. Upon the approval of the application, the extended area service, routes, or extended calling service shall be considered basic services and shall be regulated as provided in s. 364.051. Proceedings including judicial review pending on July 1, 1995, shall be governed by the law as it existed prior to the date on which this section becomes a law. No new proceedings governed by the law as it existed prior to July 1, 1995, shall be initiated after July 1, 1995. Any administrative adjudicatory proceeding which has not progressed to the stage of a hearing by July 1, 1995, may, with the consent of all parties and the commission, be conducted in accordance with the law as it existed prior to January 1, 1996.
(3) Florida Public Service Commission Order No. PSC 94-0172-FOF-TL shall remain in effect, and BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc., shall fully comply with that order unless modified by the Florida Public Service Commission pursuant to the terms of that order. The order may not be modified to extend beyond December 31, 1997, except that the Florida Public Service Commission shall retain jurisdiction and all parties shall retain their rights under the agreement after December 31, 1997, solely for the purpose of effectuating the provisions of the order applicable to periods prior to January 1, 1998. The depreciation rates approved by the Florida Public Service Commission and in effect as of December 31, 1994, shall be used to calculate the earnings available for sharing for periods prior to January 1, 1998.
(4) The rates and charges for basic local telecommunications service and network access service approved by the commission in accordance with the decisions set forth in Order Nos. PSC 03-1469-FOF-TL and PSC 04-0456-FOF-TL, and which are in effect immediately prior to July 1, 2007, shall remain in effect and such rates and charges may not be changed after the effective date of this act, except in accordance with the provisions of ss. 364.051 and 364.163.
History.s. 29, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 44, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 28, ch. 95-403; s. 13, ch. 2007-29; s. 7, ch. 2010-38.
364.386 Reports to the Legislature.
(1)(a) The commission shall submit to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the majority and minority leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives, on August 1, 2008, and on an annual basis thereafter, a report on the status of competition in the telecommunications industry and a detailed exposition of the following:
1. The overall impact of local exchange telecommunications competition on the continued availability of universal service.
2. The ability of competitive providers to make functionally equivalent local exchange services available to both residential and business customers at competitive rates, terms, and conditions.
3. The ability of consumers to obtain functionally equivalent services at comparable rates, terms, and conditions.
4. The overall impact of price regulation on the maintenance of reasonably affordable and reliable high-quality telecommunications services.
5. What additional services, if any, should be included in the definition of basic local telecommunications services, taking into account advances in technology and market demand.
6. Any other information and recommendations which may be in the public interest.
(b) The commission shall make an annual request to providers of local exchange telecommunications services on or before March 1, 2008, and on or before March 1 of each year thereafter, for the data it requires to complete the report. A provider of local exchange telecommunications services shall file its response with the commission on or before April 15, 2008, and on or before April 15 of each year thereafter.
(2) In lieu of the quantitative part of the information requested in the commission’s annual data request, a provider of local exchange telecommunications services may file the following:
(a) A copy of the FCC Form 477 filed with the Federal Communications Commission, which must identify Florida-specific access line data; and
(b) Provisioned Florida access line data identified by telephone exchange location.
(3) The Office of Public Counsel is also directed to submit a report on competition in the telecommunications industry and on how the price regulation provisions of s. 364.051 have benefited the ratepayers and consumers of this state and any other information and recommendations which may be in the public interest.
History.ss. 45, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 29, ch. 95-403; s. 1, ch. 2007-180.
364.501 Telecommunications company underground excavation damage prevention.All telecommunications companies with underground fiber optic facilities shall operate their own, or be a member of a, one-call cable location notification system providing telephone numbers which shall be called by excavating contractors and the general public for the purpose of notifying the telecommunications company of such person’s intent to engage in excavating or any other similar work. It is the purpose of this section to aid the public by preventing the interruption of telecommunications company services resulting from damage to telecommunications company underground facilities, including fiber optic facilities.
History.ss. 46, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
364.503 Merger or acquisition.
(1) Before any local exchange telecommunications company merges with or acquires an ownership interest of greater than 5 percent in a cable television company in the certificated local exchange in which the local exchange telecommunications company provides basic local telecommunications services within this state, the local exchange telecommunications company shall give the Florida Public Service Commission and the Department of Legal Affairs of the Office of the Attorney General 60 days’ notice of the proposed closing of the merger or acquisition.
(2) Before any cable television company providing cable service as defined in 47 U.S.C. s. 522 merges with or acquires an ownership interest of greater than 5 percent in a local exchange telecommunications company in an area serviced by the cable television company within this state, the cable television company shall give the Florida Public Service Commission and the Department of Legal Affairs of the Office of the Attorney General 60 days’ notice of the proposed closing of the merger or acquisition.
History.s. 30, ch. 95-403.
PART II
EDUCATION FACILITIES
INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT
364.506 Short title.
364.507 Legislative intent.
364.508 Definitions.
364.515 Infrastructure investment.
364.516 Penalties.
364.506 Short title.This part may be cited as the “Education Facilities Infrastructure Improvement Act.”
History.s. 31, ch. 95-403.
364.507 Legislative intent.
(1) The Legislature finds that it is in the interest of the state to assure its citizens access to advanced telecommunications services since such access will complement the provision of educational and health care services, thus enhancing the health, safety, and welfare of Floridians. The Legislature further finds that the network should be available to residents of rural, suburban, and urban areas so that all citizens may benefit.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that all local exchange telecommunications companies should be required to provide advanced telecommunications services to eligible facilities in the absence of a competitive bid to provide such services pursuant to 1s. 364.510(3). This obligation arises from the privileges granted such local exchange telecommunications companies under part I of this chapter.
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage competition among providers of telecommunications services to provide advanced telecommunications services, as such competition will accelerate the deployment of advanced telecommunications services for the improvement of public education and public health services in the state.
(4) It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage joint ventures between telecommunications companies, cable companies, and other providers where such joint ventures accelerate, improve, or otherwise assist eligible facilities in receiving advanced telecommunications services.
History.s. 31, ch. 95-403; s. 8, ch. 2010-38.
1Note.Repealed by s. 10, ch. 99-354.
364.508 Definitions.As used in this part:
(1) “Commission” means the Public Service Commission.
(2) “Network” means the Florida Distance Learning Network.
(3) “Telecommunications company” means any entity certified under this chapter to provide telecommunications service.
(4) “Cable company” means a cable television company providing cable service as defined in 47 U.S.C. s. 522.
(5) “Advanced telecommunications services” are defined as network-based or wireless services that provide additional communications capabilities enabling the use of applications such as distance learning, video conferencing, data communications, and access to Internet.
(6) “Plan” means the Education Facilities Infrastructure Improvement Plan, a document that includes a needs assessment report and identifies telecommunications companies’, cable companies’, and other providers’ present and projected deployment of technologies necessary for delivery of advanced telecommunications services to eligible facilities who request such services.
(7) “Eligible facilities” means all approved campuses and instructional centers of all public universities, public community colleges, career centers, public elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools, including school administrative offices, public libraries, teaching hospitals, the research institute described in s. 1004.43, and rural public hospitals as defined in s. 395.602. If no rural public hospital exists in a community, the public health clinic which is responsible for individuals before they can be transferred to a regional hospital shall be considered eligible.
History.s. 31, ch. 95-403; s. 972, ch. 2002-387; s. 29, ch. 2004-357.
364.515 Infrastructure investment.
(1) Advanced telecommunications services shall be provided to eligible facilities in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(2) In order to be eligible under this act, an eligible facility, or a group of eligible facilities based on geographic proximity, shall submit a technology-needs request to the Department of Management Services. The department shall review the technology-needs request to determine if it conforms to the standards outlined in the State Education Technology Committee’s plan. If the technology-needs request does not conform to the plan, then the department shall return the request to the eligible facility or group for modifications. After modification of a technology-needs request it can then be resubmitted by the eligible facility or a group of eligible facilities. A technology-needs request shall be submitted to the department no later than July 1, 1997. Nothing in this section shall prevent the Department of Management Services from grouping eligible facilities technology requests when such grouping would result in the most efficient method to deliver advanced telecommunications services.
(3) Once a technology-needs request or group request has been received and has been determined to meet the standards outlined in the plan, the Department of Management Services shall acquire advanced telecommunications services requested by an eligible facility or group of eligible facilities pursuant to chapter 287. The Department of Management Services shall establish specifications to acquire the advanced telecommunications infrastructure needed to provide advanced telecommunications services. The advanced telecommunications infrastructure used to provide such connections to the eligible facilities shall be provided at no cost in an amount not to exceed $20,000 per eligible facility. In those instances in which a competitive bid is not received, advanced telecommunications services to be provided over this communication infrastructure shall be priced below commercially available rates for comparable service and less than the statewide average of such services.
(4) Notwithstanding the requirements in subsection (3), in geographic areas where interconnection between entities is the most efficient method of providing advanced telecommunications services, the Department of Management Services may suggest, along with the commission, such interconnection arrangements.
(5) Any entity may submit a bid or proposal in response to the solicitation for services by the Department of Management Services. The Department of Management Services shall award a bid in conformity with chapter 287, and under no circumstances shall the bidder be required to install facilities until the eligible facility is ready to utilize the services. If no bids or proposals are received in response to a solicitation issued by the Department of Management Services, the Department of Management Services shall obtain the name and address from the commission of the carrier of last resort in the territory of the eligible facility and provide that carrier of last resort with a description of the advanced telecommunications services that must be provided. If no bids or proposals are submitted for the provision of advanced telecommunications services to an eligible facility, the telecommunications company serving as the carrier of last resort to such eligible facility shall provide the advanced telecommunications services.
(6) Advanced telecommunications services to be provided by the entity awarded the contract or, if no bid or proposal is received, the carrier of last resort shall be provided within 6 months or at such later date as the eligible facility may specify. In the event that a technology-needs request is received by July 1, 1997, but is requested not to be completed until after January 1, 1999, the Department of Management Services shall then issue a solicitation closer to the time the advanced telecommunications services are requested. The entities providing advanced telecommunications services pursuant to this chapter shall abide by the same terms and conditions as those eligible facilities requesting such services by January 1, 1999.
(7) Advanced telecommunications services provided pursuant to this part shall not be sold, resold, or otherwise transferred to an ineligible facility.
(8) Nothing in this part shall have an effect on advanced telecommunications services in operation as of the date this part is enacted.
(9) Nothing in this part shall preclude the Department of Management Services from combining an eligible facility with any grouping of qualified subscribers as defined in chapter 282, to create the most cost-effective and efficient access to network services.
History.s. 31, ch. 95-403; s. 96, ch. 98-279; s. 61, ch. 2000-152.
364.516 Penalties.In the event that the provision of advanced telecommunications services to a requesting eligible facility pursuant to s. 364.515(5) or (6) is not performed by the entity awarded the contract or by a carrier of last resort or within the date specified in the solicitation, except in those instances in which acts of God may have prevented the bidder from completing the contract, the eligible facility or the Department of Management Services may petition the commission for an order enforcing the requirements. The commission shall act upon such petition within 60 days and, in the event the commission finds that the entity that has been awarded the contract or the carrier of last resort has not performed as specified in this part, the commission shall order the entities to perform as required in the contract or by this part. In the event the entity fails to comply with the commission’s order within 60 days, the commission shall impose a fine on the bidding company or carrier of last resort of $25,000 per eligible facility specified in the contract. Any fines collected under this section shall be deposited in the General Revenue Fund to be allocated back to the specific requesting area where the eligible facility is located to implement advanced telecommunications services.
History.s. 31, ch. 95-403.
PART III
TELECOMMUNICATIONS CONSUMER PROTECTION
364.601 Short title.
364.602 Definitions.
364.603 Methodology for changing telecommunications provider.
364.604 Billing practices.
364.601 Short title.This part may be cited as the “Telecommunications Consumer Protection Act.”
History.s. 7, ch. 98-277.
364.602 Definitions.For purposes of this part:
(1) “Billing party” means any telecommunications company that bills an end user consumer on its own behalf or on behalf of an originating party.
(2) “Commission” means the Florida Public Service Commission.
(3) “Customer” means any residential subscriber to services provided by a telecommunications company.
(4) “Originating party” means any person, firm, corporation, or other entity, including a telecommunications company or a billing clearinghouse, that provides any telecommunications service or information service to a customer or bills a customer through a billing party, except the term “originating party” does not include any entity specifically exempted from the definition of “telecommunications company” as provided in s. 364.02(14).
(5) “Information service” means telephone calls made to 900 or 976 type services, but does not include Internet services.
History.s. 7, ch. 98-277; s. 25, ch. 2003-32; s. 25, ch. 2005-132.
364.603 Methodology for changing telecommunications provider.The commission shall adopt rules to prevent the unauthorized changing of a subscriber’s telecommunications service. Such rules shall be consistent with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, provide for specific verification methodologies, provide for the notification to subscribers of the ability to freeze the subscriber’s choice of carriers at no charge, allow for a subscriber’s change to be considered valid if verification was performed consistent with the commission’s rules, provide for remedies for violations of the rules, and allow for the imposition of other penalties available in this chapter. The commission shall resolve on an expedited basis any complaints of anticompetitive behavior concerning a local preferred carrier freeze. The telecommunications company that is asserting the existence of a local preferred carrier freeze, which is the subject of the complaint, shall have the burden of proving through competent evidence that the customer did in fact request the freeze.
History.s. 7, ch. 98-277; s. 16, ch. 2009-226.
364.604 Billing practices.
(1) Each billing party must clearly identify on its bill the name and toll-free number of the originating party; the telecommunications service or information service billed; and the specific charges, taxes, and fees associated with each telecommunications or information service. The originating party is responsible for providing the billing party with all required information. The toll-free number of the originating party or its agent must be answered by a customer service representative or a voice response unit. If the customer reaches a voice response unit, the originating party or its agent must initiate a response to a customer inquiry within 24 hours, excluding weekends and holidays.
(2) A customer shall not be liable for any charges for telecommunications or information services that the customer did not order or that were not provided to the customer.
(3) Every billing party shall provide a free blocking option to a customer to block 900 or 976 telephone calls.
(4) A billing party shall not disconnect a customer’s Lifeline local service if the charges, taxes, and fees applicable to basic local exchange telecommunications service are paid.
(5) Pursuant to s. 120.536, the commission may adopt rules to implement this section.
History.s. 7, ch. 98-277; s. 38, ch. 2005-2.
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