House Bill No. 6681

Public Act No. 99-11

An Act Concerning the Telecommunications Relay Service Program.

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

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 16-247e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) In order to ensure the universal availability of affordable, high quality telecommunications services to all residents and businesses throughout the state regardless of income, disability or location, the department shall (1) periodically investigate and determine, after notice and hearing, local service options, including the definition and components of any basic telecommunications services, necessary to achieve universal service and meet customer needs; and (2) establish [a lifeline program] lifeline and telecommunications relay service programs funded by all telecommunications carriers that provide intrastate telecommunications services, as such terms are defined in 47 USC 153, as amended from time to time, sufficient to provide low-income households or individuals or speech and hearing impaired individuals with a level of telecommunications service or package of telecommunications services that supports participation in the economy and society of the state. The department shall apportion the funding for the lifeline [program] and telecommunications relay service programs among telecommunications carriers on an equitable basis based on the gross revenues of each telecommunications carrier that are generated in Connecticut, both interstate and intrastate. The lifeline [program] and telecommunications relay service programs shall be administered by an entity authorized, and subject to oversight, by the department. The department shall determine by order which customers qualify for the lifeline program. Recipients of lifeline funds shall use such funds to pay for telecommunications services provided by any telecommunications carrier.

Sec. 2. Not later than October 1, 1999, the department shall complete a proceeding to remove from generic wireless interconnection tariffs in effect on the effective date of this act any component to support telecommunications relay service funding and establish a separate assessment pursuant to subsection (a) of section 16-247e, as amended by section 1 of this act.

Sec. 3. This act shall take effect from its passage.

Approved May 12, 1999