Substitute Senate Bill No. 1299

Public Act No. 99-222

An Act Concerning Competition in the Telecommunications Industry.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 16-1 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Terms used in this title and in chapters 244, 244a, 244b, 245, 245a and 245b* shall be construed as follows, unless another meaning is expressed or is clearly apparent from the language or context:

(1) "Authority" means the Public Utilities Control Authority and "department" means the Department of Public Utility Control;

(2) "Commissioner" means a member of said authority;

(3) "Commissioner of Transportation" means the Commissioner of Transportation appointed under section 13b-3;

(4) "Public service company" includes electric, electric distribution, gas, telephone, telegraph, pipeline, sewage, water and community antenna television companies, owning, leasing, maintaining, operating, managing or controlling plants or parts of plants or equipment, and all express companies having special privileges on railroads within this state, but shall not include telegraph company functions concerning intrastate money order service, towns, cities, boroughs, any municipal corporation or department thereof, whether separately incorporated or not, a private power producer, as defined in section 16-243b or an exempt wholesale generator, as defined in 15 USC 79z-5a;

(5) "Plant" includes all real estate, buildings, tracks, pipes, mains, poles, wires and other fixed or stationary construction and equipment, wherever located, used in the conduct of the business of the company;

(6) "Railroad company" includes every corporation, company, association, joint stock association, partnership or person, or lessee thereof, owning, leasing, maintaining, operating, managing or controlling any railroad, or any cars or other equipment employed thereon or in connection therewith, for public or general use within this state;

(7) "Street railway company" includes every corporation, company, association, joint stock association, partnership or person, or lessee thereof, owning, leasing, maintaining, operating, managing or controlling any street railway, or any cars or other equipment employed thereon or in connection therewith, for public or general use within this state;

(8) "Electric company" includes, until an electric company has been unbundled in accordance with the provisions of section 16-244e, every corporation, company, association, joint stock association, partnership or person, or lessee thereof, owning, leasing, maintaining, operating, managing or controlling poles, wires, conduits or other fixtures, along public highways or streets, for the transmission or distribution of electric current for sale for light, heat or power within this state, or, engaged in generating electricity to be so transmitted or distributed for such purpose, but shall not include (A) a private power producer, as defined in section 16-243b, (B) an exempt wholesale generator, as defined in 15 USC 79z-5a, (C) a municipal electric utility established under chapter 101, (D) a municipal electric energy cooperative established under chapter 101a, (E) an electric cooperative established under chapter 597, or (F) any other electric utility owned, leased, maintained, operated, managed or controlled by any unit of local government under any general statute or any public or special act;

(9) "Gas company" includes every corporation, company, association, joint stock association, partnership or person, or lessee thereof, owning, leasing, maintaining, operating, managing or controlling mains, pipes or other fixtures, in public highways or streets, for the transmission or distribution of gas for sale for heat or power within this state, or engaged in the manufacture of gas to be so transmitted or distributed for such purpose, but shall not include a municipal gas utility established under chapter 101 or any other gas utility owned, leased, maintained, operated, managed or controlled by any unit of local government under any general statute or any public or special act;

(10) "Water company" includes every corporation, company, association, joint stock association, partnership or person, or lessee thereof, owning, leasing, maintaining, operating, managing or controlling any pond, lake, reservoir, stream, well or distributing plant or system employed for the purpose of supplying water to fifty or more consumers. A water company does not include homeowners, condominium associations providing water only to their members, homeowners associations providing water to customers at least eighty per cent of whom are members of such associations, a municipal waterworks system established under chapter 102, a district, metropolitan district, municipal district or special services district established under chapter 105, chapter 105a or any other general statute or any public or special act which is authorized to supply water, or any other waterworks system owned, leased, maintained, operated, managed, or controlled by any unit of local government under any general statute or any public or special act;

(11) "Consumer" means any private dwelling, boardinghouse, apartment, store, office building, institution, mechanical or manufacturing establishment or other place of business or industry to which water is supplied by a water company;

(12) "Sewage company" includes every corporation, company, association, joint stock association, partnership or person, or lessee thereof, owning, leasing, maintaining, operating, managing or controlling, for general use in any town, city or borough, or portion thereof, in this state, sewage disposal facilities which discharge treated effluent into any waterway of this state;

(13) "Pipeline company" includes every corporation, company, association, joint stock association, partnership or person, or lessee thereof, owning, leasing, maintaining, operating, managing or controlling mains, pipes or other fixtures through, over, across or under any public land, water, parkways, highways, parks or public grounds for the transportation, transmission or distribution of petroleum products for hire within this state;

(14) "Community antenna television company" includes every corporation, company, association, joint stock association, partnership or person, or lessee thereof, owning, leasing, maintaining, operating, managing or controlling a community antenna television system, in, under or over any public street or highway, for the purpose of providing community antenna television service for hire and shall include any municipality which owns or operates one or more plants for the manufacture or distribution of electricity pursuant to section 7-213 or any special act and seeks to obtain or obtains a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct or operate a community antenna television system pursuant to section 16-331;

(15) "Community antenna television service" means (1) the one-way transmission to subscribers of video programming or information that a community antenna television company makes available to all subscribers generally, and subscriber interaction, if any, which is required for the selection of such video programming or information and (2) noncable communications service;

(16) "Community antenna television system" means a facility, consisting of a set of closed transmission paths and associated signal generation, reception and control equipment that is designed to provide community antenna television service which includes video programming and which is provided in, under or over any public street or highway, for hire, to multiple subscribers within a franchise, but such term does not include (1) a facility that serves only to retransmit the television signals of one or more television broadcast stations; (2) a facility that serves only subscribers in one or more multiple unit dwellings under common ownership, control or management, unless such facility is located in, under or over a public street or highway; (3) a facility of a common carrier which is subject, in whole or in part, to the provisions of Subchapter II of Chapter 5 of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 USC 201 et seq., as amended, except that such facility shall be considered a community antenna television system and the carrier shall be considered a public service company to the extent such facility is used in the transmission of video programming directly to subscribers; or (4) a facility of an electric company which is used solely for operating its electric company systems;

(17) "Video programming" means programming provided by, or generally considered comparable to programming provided by, a television broadcast station;

(18) "Noncable communications service" means any telecommunications service, as defined in section 16-247a, as amended by this act, and which is not included in the definition of "cable service" in the Communications Act of 1934, 47 USC 522, as amended. Nothing in this definition shall be construed to affect service which is both authorized and preempted pursuant to federal law;

(19) "Public service motor vehicle" includes all motor vehicles used for the transportation of passengers for hire;

(20) "Motor bus" includes any public service motor vehicle operated in whole or in part upon any street or highway, by indiscriminately receiving or discharging passengers, or operated on a regular route or over any portion thereof, or operated between fixed termini, and any public service motor vehicle operated over highways within this state between points outside this state or between points within this state and points outside this state;

(21) "Cogeneration technology" means the use for the generation of electricity of exhaust steam, waste steam, heat or resultant energy from an industrial, commercial or manufacturing plant or process, or the use of exhaust steam, waste steam or heat from a thermal power plant for an industrial, commercial or manufacturing plant or process, but shall not include steam or heat developed solely for electrical power generation;

(22) "Renewable fuel resources" means energy sources described in subdivisions (26) and (27) of this subsection;

(23) "Telephone company" means a telecommunications company that provides one or more noncompetitive or emerging competitive services, as defined in section 16-247a, as amended by this act;

(24) "Domestic telephone company" includes any telephone company which has been chartered by or organized or constituted within or under the laws of this state;

(25) "Telecommunications company" means a corporation, limited liability company, company, association, joint stock association, partnership or person, or a lessee thereof, which provides telecommunications service, as defined in section 16-247a, as amended by this act, within the state, but shall not mean a person, firm, corporation, limited liability company, company, association, joint stock association or partnership, or a lessee thereof, which provides only (A) private telecommunications service, as defined in section 16-247a, as amended by this act, (B) the one-way transmission of video programming or other programming services to subscribers, (C) subscriber interaction, if any, which is required for the selection of such video programming or other programming services, (D) the two-way transmission of educational or instructional programming to a public or private elementary or secondary school, or a public or independent institution of higher education, as required by the department pursuant to a community antenna television company franchise agreement, or provided pursuant to a contract with such a school or institution which contract has been filed with the department, or (E) a combination of the services set forth in subparagraphs (B) to (D), inclusive, of this subdivision;

(26) "Class I renewable energy source" means energy derived from solar power; wind power; a fuel cell; methane gas from landfills; or a biomass facility, provided such facility begins operating on or after July 1, 1998, and such biomass is cultivated and harvested in a sustainable manner;

(27) "Class II renewable energy source" means energy derived from a trash-to-energy facility; or a biomass facility that does not meet the criteria for a class I renewable energy source or a hydropower facility, provided such facility has a license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, has been exempted from such licensure, is the subject of a license application or notice of intent to seek a license from said commission, has been found by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection to be operating in compliance with the federal Clean Water Act, or has been found by the Canadian environmental assessment agency to be operating in compliance with said agency's resource objectives;

(28) "Electric distribution services" means the owning, leasing, maintaining, operating, managing or controlling of poles, wires, conduits or other fixtures along public highways or streets, for the distribution of electricity, or electric distribution-related services;

(29) "Electric distribution company" or "distribution company" means any person providing electric transmission or distribution services within the state, including an electric company, subject to subparagraph (F) of this subdivision, but does not include: (A) A private power producer, as defined in section 16-243b; (B) a municipal electric utility established under chapter 101, other than a participating municipal electric utility; (C) a municipal electric energy cooperative established under chapter 101a; (D) an electric cooperative established under chapter 597; (E) any other electric utility owned, leased, maintained, operated, managed or controlled by any unit of local government under any general statute or special act; (F) after an electric company has been unbundled in accordance with the provisions of section 16-244e, a generation entity or affiliate of the former electric company; or (G) an electric supplier;

(30) "Electric supplier" means any person, including an electric aggregator or participating municipal electric utility that is licensed by the Department of Public Utility Control in accordance with section 16-245, that provides electric generation services to end use customers in the state using the transmission or distribution facilities of an electric distribution company, regardless of whether or not such person takes title to such generation services, but does not include: (A) A municipal electric utility established under chapter 101, other than a participating municipal electric utility; (B) a municipal electric energy cooperative established under chapter 101a; (C) an electric cooperative established under chapter 597; (D) any other electric utility owned, leased, maintained, operated, managed or controlled by any unit of local government under any general statute or special act; or (E) an electric distribution company in its provision of electric generation services in accordance with subsection (a) or, prior to January 1, 2004, subsection (c) of section 16-244c;

(31) "Electric aggregator" means (A) a person or municipality that gathers together electric customers for the purpose of negotiating the purchase of electric generation services from an electric supplier or (B) the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, if it gathers together electric customers for the purpose of negotiating the purchase of electric generation services from an electric supplier, provided such person, municipality or authority is not engaged in the purchase or resale of electric generation services, and provided further such customers contract for electric generation services directly with an electric supplier, and may include an electric cooperative established pursuant to chapter 597;

(32) "Electric generation services" means electric energy, electric capacity or generation-related services;

(33) "Electric transmission services" means electric transmission or transmission-related services;

(34) "Generation entity or affiliate" means a corporate affiliate or, as provided in subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of section 16-244e, a separate division of an electric company after unbundling has occurred pursuant to section 16-244e, that provides electric generation services;

(35) "Participating municipal electric utility" means a municipal electric utility established under chapter 101 or any other electric utility owned, leased, maintained, operated, managed or controlled by any unit of local government under any general statute or any public or special act, that is authorized by the department in accordance with section 16-245c to provide electric generation services to end use customers outside its service area, as defined in section 16-245c;

(36) "Person" means an individual, business, firm, corporation, association, joint stock association, trust, partnership or limited liability company; [and]

(37) "Regional independent system operator" means the "ISO - New England, Inc.", or its successor organization as approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and

(38) "Certified telecommunications provider" means a person certified by the department to provide intrastate telecommunications services, as defined in section 16-247a, as amended by this act, pursuant to sections 16-247f to 16-247h, inclusive, as amended by this act.

Sec. 2. Section 16-247a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Due to the following: Affordable, high quality telecommunications services that meet the needs of individuals and businesses in the state are necessary and vital to the welfare and development of our society; the efficient provision of modern telecommunications services by multiple providers will promote economic development in the state; expanded employment opportunities for residents of the state in the provision of telecommunications services benefit the society and economy of the state; and advanced telecommunications services enhance the delivery of services by public and not-for-profit institutions, it is, therefore, the goal of the state to (1) ensure the universal availability and accessibility of high quality, affordable telecommunications services to all residents and businesses in the state, (2) promote the development of effective competition as a means of providing customers with the widest possible choice of services, (3) utilize forms of regulation commensurate with the level of competition in the relevant telecommunications service market, (4) facilitate the efficient development and deployment of an advanced telecommunications infrastructure, including open networks with maximum interoperability and interconnectivity, (5) encourage shared use of existing facilities and cooperative development of new facilities where legally possible, and technically and economically feasible, and (6) ensure that providers of telecommunications services in the state provide high quality customer service and high quality technical service. The department shall implement the provisions of this section, sections 16-1, 16-18a, 16-19, 16-19e, 16-22, 16-247b, 16-247c, 16-247e to 16-247i, inclusive, as amended by this act, and 16-247k and subsection (e) of section 16-331 in accordance with these goals.

(b) As used in sections 16-247a to 16-247c, inclusive, 16-247e to 16-247i, inclusive, as amended by this act, [and] 16-247k, and sections 3, 4, 6 to 9, inclusive, and section 19 of this act:

(1) "Affiliate" means a person, firm or corporation which, with another person, firm or corporation, is under the common control of the same parent firm or corporation.

(2) "Competitive service" means (A) a telecommunications service deemed competitive in accordance with the provisions of section 16-247f, as amended by this act, (B) a telecommunications service reclassified by the department as competitive in accordance with the provisions of section 16-247f, as amended by this act, or (C) a new telecommunications service provided under a competitive service tariff accepted by the department, in accordance with the provisions of section 16-247f, as amended by this act, provided the department has not subsequently reclassified the service set forth in subparagraph (A), (B) or (C) of this subdivision as noncompetitive pursuant to section 16-247f, as amended by this act.

(3) "Emerging competitive service" means (A) a telecommunications service reclassified as emerging competitive in accordance with the provisions of section 16-247f, as amended by this act, or (B) a new telecommunications service provided under an emerging competitive service tariff accepted by the department, in accordance with the provisions of section 16-247f, as amended by this act, or of a plan for an alternative form of regulation approved pursuant to section 16-247k, provided the department has not subsequently reclassified the service set forth in subparagraph (A) or (B) of this subdivision as competitive or noncompetitive pursuant to section 16-247f, as amended by this act.

(4) "Noncompetitive service" means (A) a telecommunications service deemed noncompetitive in accordance with the provisions of section 16-247f, as amended by this act, (B) a telecommunications service reclassified by the department as noncompetitive in accordance with the provisions of section 16-247f, as amended by this act, or (C) a new telecommunications service provided under a noncompetitive service tariff accepted by the department, in accordance with the provisions of section 16-19, and any applicable regulations, or of a plan for an alternative form of regulation approved pursuant to section 16-247k, provided the department has not subsequently reclassified the service set forth in subparagraph (A), (B) or (C) of this subdivision as competitive or emerging competitive pursuant to section 16-247f, as amended by this act.

(5) "Private telecommunications service" means any telecommunications service which is not provided for public hire as a common carrier service and is utilized solely for the telecommunications needs of the person [, firm or corporation which] that controls such service and any subsidiary or affiliate thereof, except for telecommunications service which enables two entities other than such person, [firm, corporation,] subsidiary or affiliate to communicate with each other.

(6) "Telecommunications service" means any transmission in one or more geographic areas (A) between or among points specified by the user, (B) of information of the user's choosing, (C) without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received, (D) by means of electromagnetic transmission, including but not limited to, fiber optics, microwave and satellite, (E) with or without benefit of any closed transmission medium and (F) including all instrumentalities, facilities, apparatus and services, except customer premises equipment, which are used for the collection, storage, forwarding, switching and delivery of such information and are essential to the transmission.

(7) "Network elements" means "network elements", as defined in 47 USC 153(a)(29).

Sec. 3. (NEW) (a) On and after July 1, 2001, a telephone company may apply to the Department of Public Utility Control to withdraw from the retail provision of a telecommunications service, provided such telecommunications service has been deemed competitive pursuant to section 16-247f of the general statutes, as amended by this act, prior to the date such application is submitted. Any such application shall specify (1) the service that the telephone company no longer wishes to provide, (2) the geographic area or areas in which the telephone company proposes to no longer provide the service, and (3) the number of customers of the telephone company that will be affected by the proposed withdrawal and a discussion of ways to mitigate such impact.

(b) In considering any application by a telephone company pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the department shall consider (1) the impact the proposed withdrawal will have on the goals set forth in section 16-247a of the general statutes, as amended by this act, (2) the impact the proposed withdrawal will have on the financial, managerial and technical ability of the telephone company to provide other retail and wholesale telecommunications services and the quality of such services, (3) the impact the proposed withdrawal will have on the rates paid by retail customers for the service that the telephone company no longer wishes to provide at retail, (4) the impact the proposed withdrawal will have on the retail availability of such service, and (5) the impact the proposed withdrawal will have on the ability of certified telecommunications providers to provide a functionally equivalent service at retail. The department shall not approve any such application for withdrawal unless it finds that such withdrawal (A) is consistent with the goals set forth in section 16-247a of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and (B) is not contrary to the public interest. The department shall not approve any such application or authorize the withdrawal of a telephone company from the provision of a telecommunications service at retail unless the service that the telephone company no longer wishes to provide has been deemed competitive pursuant to section 16-247f of the general statutes. The department, in approving any such application, shall develop a method to allow customers receiving such service from the telephone company to choose a new provider of such service, provided the department shall not order the allocation or assignment of any customer.

(c) Any proceeding conducted pursuant to this section shall be considered a contested case, as defined in section 4-166 of the general statutes.

(d) The provisions of this section shall not (1) preclude the withdrawal of a competitive or an emerging competitive tariff pursuant to section 16-247f of the general statutes, (2) preclude a telephone company from withdrawing a noncompetitive service in the normal course of business, or (3) apply to any certified telecommunications provider or any telephone company serving fewer than seventy-five thousand customers.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (a) The department shall (1) not later than September 1, 1999, require each telephone company serving seventy-five thousand or more retail customers to release complete and usable specifications and business rules relating to the interface into its operations support systems for unbundled network elements and combinations thereof and any changes to the interface must be in accordance with industry standards and consistent with change management principles, (2) not later than November 1, 2000, certify that any such telephone company's operations support systems interface associated with network elements and combinations thereof are fully functional at commercial volumes, (3) not later than April 1, 2000, establish standards pursuant to section 7 of this act, and (4) not later than July 1, 2000, determine the rates for such unbundled network elements and combinations thereof, pursuant to section 5 of this act. If a ruling of the Federal Communications Commission pursuant to 47 USC 251(c)(3) or 47 USC 251(d)(2) necessitates a subsequent change in such rates, the department shall redetermine such rates no more than two hundred seventy days after such ruling is issued.

(b) Upon petition by any telephone company serving fewer than seventy-five thousand retail customers, the department shall conduct a proceeding to certify that such telephone company's operations support systems interface associated with network elements and combinations thereof are fully functional at commercial volumes.

Sec. 5. Section 16-247b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) On petition or its own motion, the department shall initiate a proceeding to unbundle [the noncompetitive and emerging competitive functions of a telecommunications company's local telecommunications network] a telephone company's network, services and functions that are used to provide telecommunications services and which the department determines, after notice and hearing, are [reasonably capable of being tariffed and offered as separate services. Such unbundled functions] in the public interest, are consistent with federal law and are technically feasible of being tariffed and offered separately or in combinations. Any telecommunications services, functions and unbundled network elements and any combination thereof shall be offered under tariff at rates, terms and conditions that do not unreasonably discriminate among actual and potential users and actual and potential providers of such local network services.

(b) Each telephone company shall provide reasonable nondiscriminatory access and pricing to all [equipment, facilities and services] telecommunications services, functions and unbundled network elements and any combination thereof necessary to provide telecommunications services to customers. The department shall determine the rates that a telephone company charges for [equipment, facilities and services which] telecommunications services, functions and unbundled network elements and any combination thereof, that are necessary for the provision of telecommunications services. The rates for interconnection and unbundled network elements and any combination thereof shall be based on their respective forward looking long-run incremental costs, and shall be consistent with the provisions of 47 USC 252(d).

(c) (1) The rate that a telephone company charges for a competitive or emerging competitive telecommunications service shall not be less than the sum of [(1)] (A) the rate charged to another telecommunications company for a noncompetitive or emerging competitive local network service function used by that company to provide a competing telecommunications service and [(2)] (B) the applicable incremental costs of the telephone company.

(2) On and after the date the department certifies a telephone company's operations support systems interface pursuant to section 4 of this act, the department shall, upon petition, conduct a contested case proceeding to consider whether modification or removal of the pricing standard set forth in subdivision (1) of this subsection for a telecommunications service deemed competitive pursuant to section 16-247f is appropriate. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, if the department determines that such a modification or removal is appropriate and is consistent with the goals set forth in section 16-247a, the department shall so modify or remove said pricing standard for such telecommunications service.

(3) Prior to the date that the department certifies a telephone company's operations support systems interface pursuant to section 4 of this act, the department may, upon petition, conduct a contested case proceeding to consider whether modification or removal of the pricing standard set forth in subdivision (1) of this subsection for a telecommunications service deemed competitive pursuant to section 16-247f, as amended by this act, is appropriate. Any petition filed pursuant to this subdivision shall specify the geographic area in which the applicant proposes to modify or remove such pricing standard. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, if the department determines that such modification or removal is appropriate, is consistent with the goals set forth in section 16-247a, as amended by this act, and facilities-based competition exists in the relevant geographic area, the department shall so modify or remove said pricing standard for such telecommunications service. In determining whether facilities-based competition exists in the relevant geographic area, the department shall consider:

(A) The number, size and geographic distribution of other providers of service;

(B) The availability of functionally equivalent services in the relevant geographic area at competitive rates, terms and conditions;

(C) The financial viability of each company providing functionally equivalent services in the relevant geographic market;

(D) The existence of barriers to entry into, or exit from, the relevant geographic market;

(E) Other indicators of market power that the department deems relevant, which may include, but not be limited to, market penetration and the extent to which the applicant can sustain the price for the service above the cost to the company of providing the service in the relevant geographic area;

(F) The extent to which other telecommunications companies must rely upon the noncompetitive services of the applicant to provide their telecommunications services and carrier access rates charged by the applicant;

(G) Other factors that may affect competition; and

(H) Other factors that may affect the public interest.

[(c)] (d) A telephone company shall not use the revenues, expenses, costs, assets, liabilities or other resources derived from or associated with providing a noncompetitive service to subsidize [its] the provision of competitive, emerging competitive or unregulated telecommunications services by such telephone company or any affiliate that is a certified telecommunications provider.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (a) The Department of Public Utility Control shall, after consultation with the Office of Consumer Counsel, retain a consultant for the purpose of overseeing the testing of a telephone company's interface into its operations support systems, as set forth in subsection (a) of section 4 of this act, and attempting to resolve expeditiously any disputes that arise among interested parties. The costs of the consultant shall be recovered from certified telecommunications providers and telephone companies using such operations support systems in the manner provided in section 16-49 of the general statutes. The contract with such consultant shall include provisions for the testing of operations support systems and shall require the consultant to recommend adequate performance standards and appropriate methodologies of operations support systems testing, that may include, but not limited to, the use of an artificial telecommunications provider, and to implement whatever testing methodology is selected for use. The department shall select a testing methodology through a process that provides an opportunity for input from any certified telecommunications provider that uses such operations support systems, the applicable telephone company and the Office of Consumer Counsel. Such a contract shall also provide for status reports as required by the department.

(b) If the consultant hired pursuant to subsection (a) of this section is unable to resolve a dispute, the consultant shall immediately notify the department and the dispute shall be subject to a compulsory arbitration proceeding to be conducted by the department. The department shall provide notice to ensure all parties are given the opportunity to participate in such arbitration proceeding. The consultant shall appear at any such arbitration proceeding and present the consultant's position. Any such arbitration hearing shall not be considered a contested case, as defined in section 4-166 of the general statutes. The decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding on all parties and shall be subject to judicial review and enforcement against all parties in the manner prescribed by chapter 909 of the general statutes.

Sec. 7. (NEW) (a) Not later than April 1, 2000, the Department of Public Utility Control shall, by regulations adopted pursuant to chapter 54 of the general statutes, establish quality-of-service standards that shall apply to all telephone companies and certified telecommunications providers and to all telecommunications services. Such standards shall include, but not be limited to, measures relating to customer trouble reports, service outages, installation appointments and repeat problems as well as timeliness in responding to complaints or reports. The department shall include with the quality of service standards methodologies for monitoring compliance with and enforcement of such standards. Such monitoring shall include input from employees of telephone companies and certified telecommunications providers, including members of collective bargaining units.

(b) Not later than April 1, 2000, the department shall, by regulations adopted pursuant to chapter 54 of the general statutes, establish comprehensive performance standards and performance based reporting requirements for functions provided by a telephone company to a certified telecommunications provider, including, but not limited to, telephone company performance relating to customer ordering, preordering, provisioning, billing, maintenance and repair. Such service standards shall be sufficiently comprehensive to ensure that a telephone company meets its obligations under 47 USC 251. Such regulations may also contain provisions the department deems necessary to prevent anticompetitive actions by any telephone company or certified telecommunications provider.

Sec. 8. (NEW) (a) Not later than January 1, 2000, the Department of Public Utility Control shall, in conjunction with the Office of Consumer Counsel, implement a comprehensive public education outreach program to educate customers about the implementation of competition among certified telecommunications providers, as defined in section 16-1 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, providing intrastate telecommunications services. The goals of the program shall be to maximize public information, minimize customer confusion and enable all customers to participate in a competitive environment. The program shall include, but not be limited to: (1) Dissemination of information through mass media, interactive approaches and written materials with the goal of reaching every telephone customer; (2) conduct of public forums in different geographical areas of the state to foster public input and provide opportunities for an exchange of questions and answers; (3) involvement of community-based organizations in developing messages and in devising and implementing education strategies; (4) targeted efforts to reach rural, low income, elderly, foreign language, disabled, ethnic minority and other traditionally underserved populations; and (5) periodic evaluations of the effectiveness of educational efforts. The department shall assign one individual within the department to coordinate the outreach program and oversee the education process. Reasonable costs incurred by the department to develop and implement the education outreach program shall be recovered from certified telecommunications providers and telephone companies other than telephone companies serving fewer than seventy-five thousand customers in the manner provided in section 16-49 of the general statutes.

(b) There shall be established a Consumer Education Advisory Council which shall advise the department on the development and implementation of the outreach program. Membership of the advisory council shall be established by the Office of Consumer Counsel not later than September 1, 2000, and shall include, but not be limited to, representatives of the Department of Public Utility Control, the Office of Consumer Counsel, the office of the Attorney General, the Office of Policy and Management, community and business organizations, consumer groups, including, but not limited to, a group that represents hardship cases, as defined in section 16-262c of the general statutes, as amended by this act, telephone companies and certified telecommunications providers. The advisory council shall determine the information to be distributed to customers as part of the education effort. The advisory council shall advise the outreach program coordinator on the methods of distributing information in accordance with subsection (a) of this section and the timing of such distribution. The advisory council shall meet on a regular basis and report to the outreach program coordinator as it deems appropriate.

Sec. 9. Section 16-247c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) No person [, firm or corporation] shall provide intrastate telecommunications services, except for private telecommunications service, commercial mobile telecommunications service to the extent regulated by the federal government and any service authorized under section 16-250a or a joint or shared user tariff approved by the Department of Public Utility Control, unless the person [, firm or corporation] (1) offered, promoted and provided intrastate telecommunications services on or before January 1, 1984, pursuant to a special charter or certificate of public convenience and necessity or (2) is [authorized] certified to provide intrastate telecommunications services by the Department of Public Utility Control pursuant to sections 16-247f to 16-247h, inclusive, as amended by this act.

(b) Each provider of intrastate telecommunications services, as defined in subsection (a) of this section, or any officer, agent or employee thereof, which the department finds has failed to obey or comply with any applicable order made or regulation adopted by the department pursuant to this section shall be fined, by order of the department, not more than [five] ten thousand dollars for each offense. Each distinct violation of any provision of this section or any such order or regulation shall be a separate offense and, in the case of a continued violation, each day thereof shall be deemed a separate offense. The department shall impose any such civil penalty in accordance with the procedure established in section 16-41, as amended by this act.

(c) The department shall not prohibit or restrict the competitive provision of intrastate telecommunications services offered by a [person, firm or corporation authorized to provide such service pursuant to this section,] certified telecommunications provider unless the department finds that the competitive provision of a telecommunications service would be contrary to the goals set forth in section 16-247a, or would not be in accordance with the provisions of section 16-247a [,] or 16-247b, this section, sections 16-247e to 16-247h, inclusive, as amended by this act, or section 16-247k.

Sec. 10. Section 16-247f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The department shall regulate the provision of telecommunications services in the state in a manner designed to foster competition and protect the public interest.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 16-19, a telecommunications service offered on or before July 1, 1994, by a certified telecommunications [company certified pursuant to section 16-247g,] provider and a wide area telephone service, "800" service, centrex service or digital centrex service offered by a telephone company shall be deemed a competitive service. Any other service offered by a telephone company on or before July 1, 1994, shall be deemed a noncompetitive service, provided such initial classification shall not be a factual finding that such service is noncompetitive.

(c) On petition, on its own motion, or in conjunction with a tariff investigation conducted pursuant to subsection (f) of this section, after notice and hearing, and within ninety days of receipt of a petition or its motion or within the time period set forth in subsection (f) of this section, as applicable, the department may reclassify a telecommunications service as competitive, emerging competitive or noncompetitive, in accordance with the degree of competition which exists for that service in the marketplace, provided (1) a competitive service shall not be reclassified as an emerging competitive service, (2) the department may extend the period (A) before the end of the ninety-day period and upon notifying all parties to the proceedings by thirty days, or (B) in accordance with the provisions of subsection (f) of this section, as applicable.

(d) In determining whether to reclassify a telecommunications service, the department shall consider:

(1) The number, size and geographic distribution of [other] certified telecommunications providers of the service, provided the department shall not reclassify any service as competitive if such service is available only from a telephone company or an affiliate of a telephone company that is a certified telecommunications provider;

(2) The availability of functionally equivalent services in the relevant geographic area at competitive rates, terms and conditions;

(3) The financial viability of each company providing a functionally equivalent service in the relevant market;

(4) The existence of barriers to entry into, or exit from, the relevant market;

(5) Other indicators of market power which the department deems relevant, which may include, but not be limited to, market penetration and the extent to which the provider of the service can sustain the price for the service above the cost to the company of providing that service;

(6) The extent to which other telecommunications companies must rely upon the service to provide their telecommunications services;

(7) Other factors that may affect competition; and

(8) Other factors that may affect the public interest.

(e) Each [person, firm or corporation certified pursuant to section 16-247g] certified telecommunications provider and each telephone company [, as defined in section 16-1,] shall file with the department a new or amended tariff for each competitive or emerging competitive intrastate telecommunications service authorized pursuant to section 16-247c, as amended by this act. A tariff for a competitive service shall be effective on [fourteen] five days' written notice to the department. A tariff for an emerging competitive service shall be effective on twenty-one days' written notice to the department. A tariff filing for a competitive or emerging competitive service shall include (1) rates and charges which may consist of a maximum rate and a minimum rate, (2) applicable terms and conditions, (3) a statement of how the tariff will benefit the public interest, and (4) any additional information required by the department. A telephone company filing a tariff pursuant to this section shall include in said tariff filing the information set forth in subdivisions (1) to (4), inclusive, of this subsection, a complete explanation of how the company is complying with the provisions of section 16-247b, as amended by this act, and, in a tariff filing which declares a new service to be competitive or emerging competitive, a statement addressing the considerations set forth in subsection (d) of this section. If the department approves a tariff which consists of a minimum rate and a maximum rate, the certified telecommunications provider or telephone company may amend its rates upon five days' written notice to the department and any notice to customers which the department may require, provided the amended rates are not greater than the approved maximum rate and not less than the approved minimum rate. A promotional offering for a previously approved competitive or emerging competitive tariffed service or a service deemed competitive pursuant to section 16-247f, as amended by this act, shall be effective on [five] three business days' written notice to the department.

(f) On petition or its own motion, the department may investigate a tariff or any portion of a tariff, which investigation may include a hearing. The department may suspend a tariff or any portion of a tariff during such investigation. Not later than seventy-five days after the effective date of the tariff, unless the party filing the tariff, all statutory parties to the proceeding and the department agree to a specific extension of time, the department shall issue its decision, including whether to approve, modify or deny the tariff. If the department determines that a tariff filed as a new service is, in fact, a reclassification of an existing service, the department shall review the tariff filing as a petition for reclassification in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section.

(g) The provisions of this section shall not prohibit the department from ordering different tariff filing procedures or effective dates for an emerging competitive service, pursuant to a plan for an alternative form of regulation of a telephone company approved by the department in accordance with the provisions of section 16-247k.

Sec. 11. Section 16-247g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) (1) Any person [, firm or corporation] may apply to the department for an initial certificate of public convenience and necessity to offer and provide intrastate telecommunications services. Such application shall include such information as the department shall require, and any reasonable fees, not to exceed actual cost, the department may prescribe, in regulations adopted pursuant to chapter 54. The department may issue such certificate and may, as a precondition to certification, require any applicant to procure a performance bond sufficient to cover moneys due or to become due to other telecommunications companies for the provision of access to local telecommunications networks, to protect any advances or deposits it may collect from its customers if the department does not order that such advances or deposits be held in escrow or trust, and to otherwise protect customers. Following receipt of such application, the department may approve or deny the application after holding a hearing with notice to all interested parties.

(2) Any person [, firm or corporation] may object to a fee charged pursuant to this section by filing with the department, not later than thirty days after the fee was charged, a petition stating the amount of the fee charged to which it objects and the grounds upon which it claims such fee is excessive, erroneous, unlawful or invalid. Upon the request of the person [, firm or corporation] filing the petition, the department shall hold a hearing. After reviewing the petition and testimony, if any, the department shall issue its order in accordance with its findings. The person [, firm or corporation] shall pay the department the amount indicated in the order not later than thirty days after the date of the order.

(b) A [person, firm or corporation certified to offer and provide intrastate telecommunications services pursuant to this section] certified telecommunications provider may petition the department to expand the authority granted in its certificate of public convenience and necessity to the provision of a previously-authorized service in an additional service area or to the provision of a service not previously authorized, or to both. Such petition shall include such information as the department shall require by regulations adopted pursuant to chapter 54. The department may expand the authority granted in such a certificate and may, as a precondition to such expansion, require a petitioner to procure a performance bond sufficient to cover moneys due or to become due to other telecommunications companies for the provision of access to local telecommunications networks, to protect any advances or deposits it may collect from its customers if the department does not order that such advances or deposits be held in escrow or trust, and to otherwise protect customers. Following receipt of such petition, the department may, on petition or its own motion, hold a hearing with notice to all interested parties, after which the department may approve or deny the application.

(c) The department may certify an applicant [which] if the applicant: (1) Provides the information requested by the department pursuant to the provisions of sections 16-247f to 16-247h, inclusive, as amended by this act, and section 16-247j; (2) provides a performance bond or complies with escrow or trust requirements, if required by the department; (3) provides a fee, if required by this section; and (4) possesses and demonstrates adequate financial resources, managerial ability and technical competency to provide the proposed service.

(d) Any [person, firm or corporation certified to provide telecommunications services under this section,] certified telecommunications provider and any telephone company [providing such services] shall (1) maintain its accounts in such manner as the department shall require; (2) file financial reports at such times and in such form as the department shall prescribe; (3) file with the department such current descriptions of services and listings of rates and charges as it may require; (4) cooperate with the department in its investigations of consumer complaints [,] and comply with any resulting orders; [and] (5) comply with [such service] standards established pursuant to section 7 of this act; and (6) comply with additional requirements as the department shall prescribe by regulation.

(e) Except as provided in subsection (f) of this section, on or after July 1, 2001, each certified telecommunications provider shall, within a period of time the department determines is reasonable after said provider is certified, be obligated to serve a residential or business customer in its authorized area of operation who is seeking from said provider telecommunications services that are provided by said provider.

(f) Any community antenna television company that is a certified telecommunications provider or an affiliate of a community antenna television company that is a certified telecommunications provider and that provides telecommunications services shall be obligated to serve all residential and business customers seeking local exchange service in its entire franchise area in which said company provides community antenna television services pursuant to section 16-331. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the department shall not require any such company to provide local exchange service outside of its franchise area. If, however, any such company elects to provide local exchange service to customers outside its franchise area, such company shall be subject to all geographic service requirements established by the department.

[(e)] (g) Notwithstanding any decision of the department to allow the competitive provision of a telecommunications service or to grant a certificate pursuant to this section, the department, after holding a hearing with notice to all interested parties and determining that (1) continued competitive provision of a telecommunications service would be contrary to the goals set forth in section 16-247a, or would not be in accordance with the provisions of sections 16-247a to 16-247c, inclusive, section 16-247e [,] or 16-247f, this section, or section 16-247h, as amended by this act, or 16-247k, (2) a certified telecommunications provider [of the service] does not have adequate financial resources, managerial ability [,] or technical competency to provide the service, or (3) a certified telecommunications provider [of the service] has failed to comply with an applicable order made or regulation adopted by the department, may suspend or revoke the authorization to provide said telecommunications service or take any other action it deems appropriate. In determining whether to suspend or revoke such authorization, the department shall consider, without limitation, (A) the effect of such suspension or revocation on the customers of the telecommunications service, (B) the technical feasibility of suspending or revoking the authorized usage only on an intrastate basis, and (C) the financial impact of such suspension or revocation on the provider of the telecommunications service.

[(f)] (h) The department shall remit all fees collected under this section to the State Treasurer for deposit in the Consumer Counsel and Public Utility Control Fund established in section 16-48a.

[(g)] (i) On October [1, 1996, and annually thereafter] first, annually, the department shall submit to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy and technology a report of all fees collected pursuant to this section during the preceding fiscal year.

Sec. 12. Section 16-247h of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The department shall authorize any [person, firm or corporation certified pursuant to section 16-247g] certified telecommunications provider to install, maintain, operate, manage or control poles, wires, conduits or other fixtures under or over any public highway or street for the provision of telecommunications service authorized by section 16-247c, as amended by this act, if such installation, maintenance, operation, management or control is in the public interest, which includes but is not limited to, facilitating the efficient development and deployment of an advanced telecommunications infrastructure, facilitating maximum network interoperability and interconnectivity, and encouraging shared use of existing facilities and cooperative development of new facilities where legally possible and technically and economically feasible. The department shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, governing such use of the public right-of-way, including, without limitation, design and construction standards and specifications to protect the public safety and implement the purposes of the goals set forth in sections 16-247a to 16-247c, inclusive, 16-247e to 16-247g, inclusive, as amended by this act, this section and section 16-247j.

Sec. 13. Subsection (a) of section 16-41 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Each public service company, its officers, agents and employees, each electric supplier [, as defined in section 16-1,] or person providing electric generation services without a license in violation of section 16-245, its officers, agents and employees, each certified telecommunications provider or person providing telecommunications services without authorization pursuant to sections 16-247f to 16-247h, inclusive, as amended by this act, its officers, agents and employees and each person, public agency or public utility, as defined in section 16-345, subject to the requirements of chapter 293, shall obey, observe and comply with all applicable provisions of this title and each applicable order made or applicable regulations adopted by the Department of Public Utility Control by virtue of this title so long as the same remains in force. Any such company, electric supplier, certified telecommunications provider, person, any officer, agent or employee thereof, [or any such person,] public agency or public utility which the department finds has failed to obey or comply with any such provision of this title, order or regulation shall be fined by order of the department in accordance with the penalty prescribed for the violated provision of this title or, if no penalty is prescribed, not more than [five] ten thousand dollars for each offense except that the penalty shall be a fine of not more than [twenty] forty thousand dollars for failure to comply with an order of the department made in accordance with the provisions of section 16-19 or 16-247k or within thirty days of such order or within any specific time period for compliance specified in such order. Each distinct violation of any such provision of this title, order or regulation shall be a separate offense and, in case of a continued violation, each day thereof shall be deemed a separate offense. Each such penalty and any interest charged pursuant to subsection (g) of section 16-49 shall be excluded from operating expenses for purposes of rate-making.

Sec. 14. Subsection (a) of section 16-262c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of the general statutes no electric, electric distribution, gas, telephone or water company, no electric supplier [, as defined in section 16-1] or certified telecommunications provider, and no municipal utility furnishing electric, gas, telephone or water service shall cause cessation of any such service by reason of delinquency in payment for such service (1) on any Friday, Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday or day before any legal holiday, provided such a company, electric supplier, certified telecommunications provider or municipal utility may cause cessation of such service to a nonresidential account on a Friday which is not a legal holiday or the day before a legal holiday when the business offices of the company, electric supplier, certified telecommunications provider or municipal utility are open to the public the succeeding Saturday, (2) at any time during which the business offices of said company, electric supplier, certified telecommunications provider or municipal utility are not open to the public, or (3) within one hour before the closing of the business offices of said company, electric supplier or municipal utility.

Sec. 15. Section 16-262i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Department of Public Utility Control shall adopt regulations necessary to carry out the purposes of sections 16-262c to 16-262h, inclusive, as amended by this act.

(b) The department may adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, setting forth the terms and conditions under which electric, electric distribution, gas, telephone and water companies, electric suppliers, certified telecommunications providers and municipal utilities furnishing electric, gas or water service may be prohibited from terminating service to a residential dwelling on account of nonpayment of a delinquent account in the name of the former spouse or spouse of the individual who occupies the dwelling, if the marriage of such individuals has been dissolved or annulled or such individuals are legally separated or have an action for dissolution or annulment of a marriage or for legal separation pending, pursuant to chapter 815j.

Sec. 16. Section 16-262h of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Nothing in sections 16-262c to 16-262i, inclusive, as amended by this act, shall be construed to prevent the occupant of such building from pursuing any other action or remedy at law or equity that it may have against the owner, agent, lessor, manager, company, electric supplier, certified telecommunications provider or municipal utility.

Sec. 17. Section 16-262j of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) No public service company and no electric supplier shall refuse to provide electric, gas or water service to a residential customer based on the financial inability of such customer to pay a security deposit for such service. The Department of Public Utility Control shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 to carry out the provisions of this subsection.

(b) No telephone company and no certified telecommunications provider shall refuse to provide telecommunications service to a candidate or a committee, as defined in section 9-333a, on the grounds that such candidate, such committee or the person acting on behalf of such committee has offered to pay the security deposit for such service with a credit card.

(c) Each public service company, certified telecommunications provider and electric supplier shall pay interest on any security deposit it receives from a customer at the average rate paid, as of December 30, 1992, on savings deposits by insured commercial banks as published in the Federal Reserve Board bulletin and rounded to the nearest one-tenth of one percentage point, except in no event shall the rate be less than one and one-half per cent. On and after January 1, 1994, the rate for each calendar year shall be not less than the deposit index as defined in subsection (d) of this section for that year and rounded to the nearest one-tenth of one percentage point, except in no event shall the rate be less than one and one-half per cent.

(d) The deposit index for each calendar year shall be equal to the average rate paid on savings deposits by insured commercial banks as last published in the Federal Reserve Board bulletin in November of the prior year. The Commissioner of Banking shall determine the deposit index for each calendar year and publish such deposit index in the Department of Banking news bulletin no later than December fifteenth of the prior year. For purposes of this section, "Federal Reserve Board bulletin" means the monthly survey of selected deposits published as a special supplement to the Federal Reserve Statistical Release Publication H.6 published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or, if such bulletin is superseded or becomes unavailable, a substantially similar index or publication.

Sec. 18. (NEW) No telephone company or certified telecommunications provider, as defined in section 16-1 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, shall refuse to provide telecommunications services to, or refuse to negotiate to provide such services to any customer because of age, race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, lawful source of income, disability or familial status. No telephone company or certified telecommunications provider shall decline to provide telecommunications services to a customer for the sole reason that the customer is located in an economically distressed geographic area or the customer qualifies for hardship status under section 16-262c of the general statutes, as amended by this act. No telephone company or certified telecommunications provider shall terminate or refuse to reinstate telecommunications services except in accordance with the provisions of title 16 of the general statutes.

Sec. 19. This act shall take effect from its passage.

Approved June 29, 1999

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