SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5431
State of Washington 55th Legislature 1997 Regular Session
By Senate Committee on Energy & Utilities (originally sponsored by Senators Finkbeiner, Brown, Rossi, Strannigan and Long)
Read first time 02/20/97.
AN ACT Relating to mandatory measured telecommunications service; and amending RCW 80.04.130.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1. RCW 80.04.130 and 1993 c 311 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Whenever any public service company shall file with the commission any schedule, classification, rule or regulation, the effect of which is to change any rate, charge, rental or toll theretofore charged, the commission shall have power, either upon its own motion or upon complaint, upon notice, to enter upon a hearing concerning such proposed change and the reasonableness and justness thereof, and pending such hearing and the decision thereon the commission may suspend the operation of such rate, charge, rental or toll for a period not exceeding ten months from the time the same would otherwise go into effect, and after a full hearing the commission may make such order in reference thereto as would be provided in a hearing initiated after the same had become effective. The commission shall not suspend a tariff that makes a decrease in a rate, charge, rental, or toll filed by a telecommunications company pending investigation of the fairness, justness, and reasonableness of the decrease when the filing does not contain any offsetting increase to another rate, charge, rental, or toll and the filing company agrees to not file for an increase to any rate, charge, rental, or toll to recover the revenue deficit that results from the decrease for a period of one year. The filing company shall file with any decrease sufficient information as the commission by rule may require to demonstrate the decreased rate, charge, rental, or toll is above the long run incremental cost of the service. A tariff decrease that results in a rate that is below long run incremental cost, or is contrary to commission rule or order, or the requirements of this chapter, shall be rejected for filing and returned to the company. The commission may prescribe a different rate to be effective on the prospective date stated in its final order after its investigation, if it concludes based on the record that the originally filed and effective rate is unjust, unfair, or unreasonable.
For the purposes of this section, tariffs for the following telecommunications services, that temporarily waive or reduce charges for existing or new subscribers for a period not to exceed sixty days in order to promote the use of the services shall be considered tariffs that decrease rates, charges, rentals, or tolls:
(a) Custom calling service;
(b) Second access lines; or
(c) Other services the commission specifies by rule.
The commission may suspend any promotional tariff other than those listed in (a) through (c) of this subsection.
The commission may suspend the initial tariff filing of any water company removed from and later subject to commission jurisdiction because of the number of customers or the average annual gross revenue per customer provisions of RCW 80.04.010. The commission may allow temporary rates during the suspension period. These rates shall not exceed the rates charged when the company was last regulated. Upon a showing of good cause by the company, the commission may establish a different level of temporary rates.
(2) At any hearing involving any change in any schedule, classification, rule or regulation the effect of which is to increase any rate, charge, rental or toll theretofore charged, the burden of proof to show that such increase is just and reasonable shall be upon the public service company.
The implementation of mandatory local measured telecommunications service is a
major policy change in available telecommunications service. The commission
shall not accept for filing a price list, nor shall it accept for filing
or approve, prior to ((
June 1, 1998,)) July 1, 2002, a tariff
filed by a telecommunications company which imposes mandatory local measured
service on any customer or class of customers, except that, upon finding that
it is in the public interest, the commission may accept for filing a price
list or it may accept for filing and approve a tariff that imposes
mandatory measured service for a telecommunications company's extended area
service or foreign exchange service. This subsection does not apply to land,
air, or marine mobile service, or to pay telephone service, or to any service
which has been traditionally offered on a measured service basis.
(4) The implementation of Washington telephone assistance program service is a major policy change in available telecommunications service. The implementation of Washington telephone assistance program service will aid in achieving the stated goal of universal telephone service.
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