SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL NO. 1756
AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE
C 282 L 89
State of Washington 51st Legislature 1989 Regular Session
By House Committee on Energy & Utilities (originally sponsored by Representatives Sprenkle, S. Wilson, Rector, Fuhrman, Hargrove, K. Wilson, Haugen, Jacobsen and Scott)
Read first time 2/24/89.
AN ACT Relating to the provision of extended area service by telecommunications companies; adding new sections to chapter 80.36 RCW; creating new sections; and making an appropriation.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. Universal telephone service for the people of the state of Washington is a policy goal of the legislature and has been enacted previously into Washington law. Access to universal and affordable telephone service enhances the economic and social well-being of Washington citizens.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. As used in section 3 of this act, "extended area service" means the ability to call from one exchange to another exchange without incurring a toll charge.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. Any business, resident, or community may petition for and shall receive extended area service within the service territory of the local exchange company that provides service to the petitioner under the following conditions:
(1) Any customer, business or residential, interested in obtaining extended area service in their community must collect and submit to the commission the signatures of a representative majority of affected customers in the community. A "representative majority" for purposes of this section consists of fifteen percent of the access lines in that community;
(2) After receipt of the signatures, the commission shall authorize a study to be conducted by the affected local exchange company in order to determine whether a community of interest exists for the implementation of extended area service. For purposes of this section a community of interest shall be found if the average number of calls per customer per month from the area petitioning for extended area service to the area to which extended area service will be implemented is at least five;
(3) If a community of interest exists, the commission shall then calculate any increased rate that would be applied to the area which would have extended area service granted to it. This rate shall be based on the charges to a rate group having the same or similar calling capability as set forth in the tariffs of the local exchange telecommunications company involved;
(4) The affected telecommunications company shall be given the opportunity to propose an alternative plan that might be priced differently and that plan shall be included in the poll of subscribers as an alternative under subsection (5) of this section;
(5) After determining the amount of any additional rate, the commission shall notify the subscribers who will be affected by the increased rate and conduct a poll of those subscribers. If a simple majority votes its approval the commission shall order extended area service; and
(6) Any extended area service program adopted pursuant to this section shall be considered experimental and not binding on the commission in subsequent extended area service proceedings. If an extended area service program adopted pursuant to this section results in a revenue deficiency for a local exchange company, the commission shall allocate the resulting revenue requirement in a manner which produces fair, just and reasonable rates for all classes of customers.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. The pilot program specified in sections 2 and 3 of this act applies only to extended area service petitions which meet the conditions under section 3 of this act, and have been filed with the commission by January 1, 1989. Any petitions for extended area service filed after January 1, 1989, shall be addressed under terms and conditions determined by the commission. By December 1, 1990, the commission shall submit to the energy and utilities committees of the house of representatives and the senate a report on extended area service. The report shall include:
(1) The status of any experimental, pilot program which provides extended area service developed under this section, and whether such an experimental, pilot program approach should continue to be made available;
(2) The status of all extended area service petitions pending at the commission;
(3) Commission action on the recommendations of the local extended calling advisory committee; and
(4) Commission recommendations for any other legislation addressing the issue of extended area service.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. The extended area service program under sections 2 through 5 of this act shall expire on December 1, 1990, except for any extended area service obtained by any business residence or community and put in place under section 3 of this act.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. The utilities and transportation commission shall study the feasibility of the elimination, by January 1, 1992, of multiparty lines and mileage charges in all telephone exchanges throughout the state and the relationship between mileage charges and extended area service. The study shall include recommendations as to methods to equitably share the costs of any such program, any recommendations for legislative action, and an analysis of technological changes which may alter the telecommunications network in the next decade. The utilities and transportation commission shall report the results of the study to the energy and utilities committees of the house of representatives and the senate by December 1, 1989.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. The sum of forty-five thousand dollars, or as much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated for the biennium ending June 30, 1991, from the public service revolving fund to the utilities and transportation commission for the purposes of section 6 of this act.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 8. Sections 2, 3 and 6 of this act are each added to chapter 80.36 RCW.