WSR 01-15-022




[ Docket No. UT-990146, General Order No. R-480 -- Filed July 11, 2001, 9:17 a.m. ]

In the matter of amending, adopting, and repealing chapter 480-120 WAC, relating to telecommunications - operations.

1 STATUTORY OR OTHER AUTHORITY: The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission takes this action under Notice No. WSR 01-03-100, filed with the code reviser on January 19, 2001. The commission brings this proceeding pursuant to RCW 80.04.160 and 80.01.040.

2 STATEMENT OF COMPLIANCE: This proceeding complies with the Open Public Meetings Act (chapter 42.30 RCW), the Administrative Procedure Act (chapter 34.05 RCW), the State Register Act (chapter 34.08 RCW), the State Environmental Policy Act of 1971 (chapter 43.21C RCW), and the Regulatory Fairness Act (chapter 19.85 RCW).

3 DATE OF ADOPTION: The commission adopts this rule the date that this order is entered.

4 CONCISE STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND EFFECT OF THE RULE: RCW 34.05.325 requires that the commission prepare and provide to commenters a concise explanatory statement about an adopted rule. The statement must include the identification of the reasons for adopting the rule, a summary of the comments received regarding the proposed rule, and responses reflecting the commission's consideration of the comments.

5 The commission often includes a discussion of those matters in its rule adoption order. In addition, most rule-making proceedings involve extensive work by commission staff that includes summaries in memoranda of stakeholder comments, commission decisions, and staff recommendations in each of those areas.

6 In this docket, to avoid unnecessary duplication, the commission designates the discussion in this order as its concise explanatory statement, supplemented where not inconsistent by the staff memoranda presented at the adoption hearing and at the open meetings where the commission considered whether to begin a rule making and whether to propose adoption of specific language. Together, the documents provide a complete but concise explanation of the agency actions and its reasons for taking those actions.

7 REFERENCE TO AFFECTED RULES: This rule repeals, amends, or suspends the following sections of the Washington Administrative Code:

WAC 480-120-011 Application of rules, amends rule to state that the chapter is applicable to all telecommunications companies, and adds that the chapter is applicable to customers and applicants for service.

WAC 480-120-015 Exemptions from rules, new section to provide guidelines for evaluating requests for exemptions from rules.

WAC 480-120-016 Additional requirements, amends rule to state that additional or different requirements may be imposed, when lawful, in individual matters.

WAC 480-120-026 Tariffs and price lists, amended to include a cross-reference to chapter 480-80 WAC, Utilities general -- Tariffs, price lists, and contracts.

WAC 480-120-028 Registration, new section to cross-reference to chapter 480-121 WAC, Registration, competitive classification and price lists of telecommunications companies.

WAC 480-120-029 Accounting requirements for competitively classified companies, new section to define accounting requirements for competitively classified companies.

WAC 480-120-032 Expenditures for political or legislative activities, amended to clarify which expenditures may not be included in rates.

WAC 480-120-033 Reporting requirements for competitively classified companies, amended to define reporting requirements for competitively classified companies.

WAC 480-120-036 Finance -- Securities, affiliated interests, transfer of property, repealed, subject addressed in chapter 480-146 WAC.

WAC 480-120-076 Underground, 480-120-091 Farmer lines and 480-120-096 Grounded circuits, repealed, no longer applicable in today's environment.

WAC 480-120-136 Retention and preservation of records and reports and 480-120-530 Emergency services, amended to clarify language.

WAC 480-120-531 Emergency operation, new section to define and clarify industry emergency requirements.

WAC 480-120-545 Severability, new section to provide that if one section of the chapter is held invalid, the remainder of the chapter remains valid.

8 PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY AND ACTIONS THEREUNDER: The commission filed a preproposal statement of inquiry (CR-101) on April 15, 1999, as WSR 99-09-027.

9 ADDITIONAL NOTICE AND ACTIVITY PURSUANT TO PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT: The statement advised interested persons that the commission was considering entering a rule making to review rules relating to regulated telephone companies for content and readability pursuant to Executive Order 97-02, with attention to the rules' need, effectiveness and efficiency; clarity, intent, and statutory authority, coordination, cost, and fairness. The statement also advised that the review would include consideration of whether substantive changes or additional rules are required for telecommunications regulation generally, and in concert with the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 and potential actions by the Washington legislature during its 1999 session. The commission also informed persons of the inquiry into this matter by providing notice of the subject and the CR-101 to all persons on the commission's list of persons requesting such information pursuant to RCW 34.05.320(3) and by sending notice to all registered telecom companies and the commission's list of telecommunications attorneys. Pursuant to the notice, the commission held rule-making workshops on March 9, April 11, April 18, and May 15, 2000. These workshops were attended by representatives of a diverse group of telecommunications companies and public counsel.

10 On November 7, 2000, the commission provided notice to interested persons of its intent to consider authorization of a CR-102 at its open meeting scheduled for November 29, 2000. The same notice included a questionnaire necessary for staff to prepare a small business economic impact statement (SBEIS), and the rules to be considered for advancement from draft to proposed rules.

11 Comments were received in November from Qwest, WITA, Public Counsel, Verizon, Sprint, and additional comments from Qwest. As a result of these comments, staff recommended that three rules be removed from the group that had been circulated for comment. The remaining rules were ones for which there was general consensus, and are the rules adopted by this order.

12 At the open meeting of November 29, 2001, only public counsel commented on the rules. Staff agreed to work with public counsel on its specific concerns and the commission authorized filing a CR-102.

13 NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE MAKING: The commission filed a notice of proposed rule making (CR-102) on January 19, 2001, at WSR 01-03-100. The commission scheduled this matter for oral comment and adoption under Notice No. WSR 01-03-100 at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 14, 2001, in the Commission's Hearing Room, Second Floor, Chandler Plaza Building, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA. The notice provided interested persons the opportunity to submit written comments to the commission.

14 MEETINGS OR WORKSHOPS; ORAL COMMENTS: No formal meetings or workshops were held on the proposed rules because there was a consensus on all but one rule. (But see paragraph 16, below.)

15 Written comments were received from WITA and Qwest. As a result of the comments, minor changes were made to the proposed rules.

16 Commission staff discussed with public counsel the concerns it identified at the November 29, 2000, open meeting. As a result of that discussion and the written comments from Qwest referenced above, staff decided not to propose any amendments to WAC 480-120-049 at this time.

17 RULE-MAKING HEARING: The rule proposal was considered for adoption, pursuant to the notice, at a rule-making hearing scheduled during the commission's regularly scheduled open meeting on March 14, 2001, before Chairwoman Marilyn Showalter and Commissioner Richard Hemstad. No comments were made at the adoption hearing.

18 SUGGESTIONS OR CHANGES THAT ARE REJECTED: The commission rejected WITA's suggested change for WAC 480-120-028 because it is inconsistent with RCW 80.36.350. The suggestion, however, did prompt an alteration to proposed WAC 480-120-028 to include a reference to the statutory requirement, this change has an effect similar to what WITA suggested.

19 COMMISSION ACTION: After considering all of the information regarding this proposal, the commission adopted the proposed rules, amendments, and repealers, with the changes described below.

20 CHANGES FROM PROPOSAL: The commission adopted the proposal with the following changes from the text noticed at WSR 01-03-100.

The phrase "price lists" was added to WAC 480-120-026 to provide a "pointer" to chapter 480-80 WAC. The modifier "telecommunications" was removed in several places where it appeared before "company" and "companies" because the rules apply to all telecommunications companies and the modifier was, therefore, redundant.

Proposed WAC 480-120-049 was not adopted.

21 STATEMENT OF ACTION; STATEMENT OF EFFECTIVE DATE: In reviewing the entire record, the commission determines that WAC 480-120-011, 480-120-015, 480-120-016, 480-120-026, 480-120-028, 480-120-029, 480-120-032, 480-120-033, 480-120-036, 480-120-076, 480-120-091, 480-120-096, 480-120-136, 480-120-530, 480-120-531, and 480-120-545, sections should be either repealed, amended, or adopted to read as set forth in Appendix A, as rules of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, to take effect pursuant to RCW 34.05.380(2) on the thirty-first day after filing with the code reviser.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 2, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 5, Amended 7, Repealed 4.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.



23 WAC 480-120-036, 480-120-076, 480-120-091 and 480-120-096, are repealed. WAC 480-120-015, 480-120-028, 480-120-029, 480-120-531 and 480-120-545, are adopted. And WAC 480-120-011, 480-120-016, 480-120-026, 480-120-032, 480-120-033, 480-120-136 and 480-120-530, sections are amended to read as set forth in Appendix A, as rules of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, to take effect on the thirty-first day after the date of filing with the code reviser pursuant to RCW 34.05.380(2).

24 This order and the rule set out below, after being recorded in the register of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, shall be forwarded to the code reviser for filing pursuant to chapters 80.01 and 34.05 RCW and chapter 1-21 WAC.

DATED at Olympia, Washington, this 5th day of July, 2001.

Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission

Marilyn Showalter, Chairwoman

Richard Hemstad, Commissioner


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order R-242, filed 11/7/85)

WAC 480-120-011   Application of rules.   ((These)) (1) The rules ((and regulations shall govern the furnishing of intrastate telecommunications service and facilities to the public by telecommunications companies)) in this chapter apply to any company that is subject to the jurisdiction of the commission((, such public service company hereinafter referred to as "utility." The purpose of these rules is to set forth reasonable service standards to the end that modern, adequate, efficient and sufficient telecommunications service will be rendered to the public)) under RCW 80.04.010 and chapter 80.36 RCW.

(2) The effective tariff provisions filed by ((utilities)) companies shall conform to these rules. ((In event of)) The commission's acceptance of a tariff ((which is in conflict)) that conflicts with these rules((, such acceptance will not be deemed)) does not constitute a waiver of these rules. Tariffs ((which are in)) that conflict with these rules are ((hereby)) superseded by these rules unless the commission authorizes the deviation in writing.

((Cases of erroneous or doubtful interpretation of these rules by a utility or subscriber are subject to appeal to the commission by any interested and proper party affected.

Upon proper showing of any utility, the commission may waive or modify, as to that utility, the provisions of any rules herein, except when such provisions are fixed by statute.)) (3) Any affected person may ask the commission to review the interpretation of these rules by a customer by posing an informal complaint under WAC 480-09-150, Informal complaints, or by filing a formal complaint under WAC 480-09-420, Pleading and briefs -- Application for authority -- Protests.

No deviation ((of)) from these rules ((will be)) is permitted without written authorization by the commission. Violation((s)) will be subject to ((the)) penalty provisions of chapter 80.04 RCW.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040 and 1985 c 450. 85-23-001 (Order R-242, Cause No. U-85-56), 480-120-011, filed 11/7/85; Order R-25, 480-120-011, filed 5/5/71. Formerly WAC 480-120-010.]

WAC 480-120-015   Exemptions from rules.   (1) The commission may grant an exemption from the provisions of any rule in this chapter, if consistent with the public interest, the purposes underlying regulation and applicable statutes.

(2) To request a rule exemption, a person must file with the commission a written request identifying the rule for which an exemption is sought, giving a full explanation of the reason for requesting the exemption.

(3) The commission will assign the request a docket number, if it does not arise in an existing docket, and will schedule the request for consideration at one of its regularly scheduled open meetings or, if appropriate under chapter 34.05 RCW, in an adjudication. The commission will notify the person requesting the exemption, and other interested persons, of the date of the hearing or open meeting when the commission will consider the request.

(4) In determining whether to grant the request, the commission may consider whether application of the rule would impose undue hardship on the requesting person, of a degree or a kind different from hardships imposed on other similarly situated persons, and whether the effect of applying the rule would be contrary to the purposes of the rule.

(5) The commission will enter an order granting or denying the request, or setting it for hearing, pursuant to chapter 480-09 WAC.


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order R-25, filed 5/5/71)

WAC 480-120-016   ((Saving clause.)) Additional requirements.   ((The adoption of these rules shall in no way preclude the commission from altering or amending the same, in whole or in part, or from requiring any other or additional service, equipment, facility or standards, not otherwise herein provided for, either upon complaint or upon its own motion, or upon the application of any party, and further, these rules shall in no way relieve any utility from any of its duties under the laws of the state of Washington.)) (1) These rules do not relieve any company from any of its duties and obligations under the laws of the state of Washington.

(2) The commission retains the authority to impose additional or different requirements on any company in appropriate circumstances, consistent with the requirements of law.

[Order R-25, 480-120-016, filed 5/5/71. Formerly WAC 480-120-020.]

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order R-25, filed 5/5/71)

WAC 480-120-026   Tariffs and price lists.   ((Rate schedules, and rules and regulations governing services of a utility shall be published in accordance with chapter 480-80 WAC - Utilities general -- Tariffs.)) Companies must file tariffs and price lists in accordance with chapter 480-80 WAC, Utilities general -- Tariffs, price lists, and contracts.

[Order R-25, 480-120-026, filed 5/5/71. Formerly WAC 480-120-040.]

WAC 480-120-028   Registration.   Companies must file registration applications as required by RCW 80.36.350 and in accordance with chapter 480-121 WAC, Registration, competitive classification and price lists of telecommunications companies.


WAC 480-120-029   Accounting requirements for competitively classified companies.   Competitively classified companies must keep accounts using generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), or any other accounting method acceptable to the commission. In addition, the accounts must allow for identification of revenues for Washington intrastate operations subject to commission jurisdiction.


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order R-251, filed 2/5/86)

WAC 480-120-032   ((Accounting -- Political information and political education activities.)) Expenditures for political or legislative activities.   (((1) As used in this rule the term "political information and political education activities" includes, but is not limited to, newsletters, employee seminars, public meetings, advertising, employee or customer notices or mailings, or other forms of communication which (a) encourage support of or opposition to legislation, candidates for public office, or office holders; (b) solicit support for political action committees; (c) gather data for political mailing lists; or (d) solicit political contributions or recruit political volunteers.

(2) In addition to accounting for lobbying and other political expenses in accordance with the applicable system of accounts, every public service company incurring any direct or indirect expense associated with or in furtherance of any political information or political education activity, shall account for such costs separately in a nonoperating expense account. No such expense shall be permitted for ratemaking purposes.)) (1) The commission will not allow either direct or indirect expenditures for political or legislative activities for rate-making purposes.

(2) For purposes of this rule political or legislative activities include, but are not limited to:

(a) Encouraging support or opposition to ballot measures, legislation, candidates for a public office, or current public office holders;

(b) Soliciting support for or contributing to political action committees;

(c) Gathering data for mailing lists that are generated for the purposes of encouraging support for or opposition to ballot measures, legislation, candidates for public office, or current office holders, or encouraging support for or contributions to political action committees;

(d) Soliciting contributions or recruiting volunteers to assist in the activities set forth in (a) through (c) of this subsection.

(3) Political or legislative activities do not include activities directly related to appearances before regulatory or local governmental bodies necessary for the utility's operations.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040. 86-04-072 (Order R-251, Cause No. U-85-78), 480-120-032, filed 2/5/86.]

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order R-313, filed 12/15/89, effective 1/15/90)

WAC 480-120-033   ((Accounting and)) Reporting requirements for ((competitive telecommunications)) competitively classified companies.   ((Competitive telecommunications companies shall, at a minimum, keep accounts according to generally accepted accounting principles and file annually, on a form prescribed by the commission, a certified consolidated financial statement which specifies revenues from intrastate operations. This annual report is due by May 1st of the succeeding year. Competitive telecommunications companies shall also make available, at the time and place the commission may designate, such accounting records as the commission may request. Such companies shall also keep on file at the commission current price lists and service standards.)) The commission will distribute an annual report form including a regulatory fee form. A competitively classified company must:

(1) Complete both forms, file them with the commission, and pay its regulatory fee, no later than May 1st of each year;

(2) Provide total number of access lines as required on the annual report form;

(3) Provide income statement and balance sheet for total company; and

(4) Provide revenues for Washington and Washington intrastate operations subject to commission jurisdiction.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040. 90-01-058 (Order R-313, Docket No. U-89-3099-R), 480-120-033, filed 12/15/89, effective 1/15/90; 86-14-049 (Order R-247, Cause No. U-86-31), 480-120-033, filed 6/27/86.]

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order R-343, filed 4/15/91, effective 5/16/91)

WAC 480-120-136   Retention and preservation of records and reports.   (((1) "Volume X, Part 42, Preservation of Records of Communication Common Carriers" adopted and published by the FCC effective January 1, 1991, is hereby prescribed as the preservation of records requirements of telephone utilities in the state of Washington.

(2) All records and reports required by these rules shall be retained on file in the office of the utility or in such other place as may be approved by the commission, for such time as is specifically provided in paragraph (1) and where no time is specified, for a period of three years.

(3) No records shall be destroyed prior to the expiration of such time or period specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) above, except by prior written permission of this commission.)) (1) Companies must keep all records and reports required by these rules or commission order for three years unless otherwise specified in subsection (2) of this section. No records may be destroyed before the expiration of three years or the time specified in subsection (2) of this section, whichever is applicable.

(2) Companies must adhere to the retention requirements of Title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 42, Preservation of Records of Communication Common Carriers published by the Federal Communications Commission. The effective date is stated in WAC 480-120-999.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040. 91-09-039 (Order R-343, Docket No. UT-901585), 480-120-136, filed 4/15/91, effective 5/16/91; Order R-25, 480-120-136, filed 5/5/71. Formerly WAC 480-120-080 and 480-120-190.]

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order R-428, filed 4/6/95, effective 5/7/95)

WAC 480-120-530   Emergency services.   (1) At least once every twenty-four hours, each local exchange company and each interexchange ((telecommunications)) company owning, operating, or maintaining any portion of any dedicated 911 circuit ((shall)) must manually test, for continuity ((such)), the portion of the 911 circuit which it owns, operates, or maintains((; provided, however, that the foregoing requirement shall)). This section does not apply to any dedicated 911 circuit, or portion thereof, ((with respect to which)) if either (a), (b), or (c) of this subsection((, or any combination thereof,)) is satisfied:

(a) The circuit is carried by a transmission system (e.g., T-1 carrier) that is equipped with one or more alarms to detect loss of signal continuity; ((or))

(b) The circuit is equipped with one or more alarms to detect loss of signal continuity; or

(c) The circuit is automatically tested for signal continuity at least once every twenty-four hours.

(2) Any dedicated 911 circuit found to be defective ((shall)) must be immediately reported to the primary public safety answering point (PSAP) manager, and repairs ((shall)) must be undertaken promptly and pursued diligently by the ((telecommunications)) company ((which)) that has responsibility for operating ((and/)) or maintaining the circuit, or both. ((Nothing in this section shall be construed to require any telecommunications company)) Companies are not required to ((test or)) repair any portion of any dedicated 911 circuit ((which is)) that they do not ((owned, operated,)) own, operate, or ((otherwise maintained by it)) maintain.

(((2) Each local exchange company shall develop and institute by April 1, 1993, a circuit identification and protection program for dedicated 911 circuits. The program shall be fully implemented by July 1994. This program shall)) (3) Each company must ensure that all dedicated 911 circuits and associated electronic equipment serving governmental emergency response agencies are clearly identified ((as such)) in ((every)) the central office and the remote switch.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040. 95-09-002 (Order R-428, Docket No. UT-941292), 480-120-530, filed 4/6/95, effective 5/7/95; 93-06-055 (Order R-384, Docket No. UT-921192), 480-120-530, filed 2/26/93, effective 3/29/93.]

WAC 480-120-531   Emergency operation.   (1) All companies must maintain, revise, and provide to the commission the following:

(a) The titles and telephone numbers of the company's disaster services coordinator and alternates; and

(b) Upon request of the commission, the company's current plans for emergency operation, including current plans for recovery of service to governmental disaster recovery response agencies within the state of Washington.

(2) For coordination of disaster response and recovery operations, each company must maintain on file with the Washington state emergency management division the titles and telephone numbers of the managers of the company's:

(a) Local network operations center;

(b) Regional network operations center; or

(c) Emergency operations center.


WAC 480-120-545   Severability.   If any provision of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the chapter or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.



     The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
WAC 480-120-036 Finance -- Securities, affiliated interests, transfer of property.
WAC 480-120-076 Underground.
WAC 480-120-091 Farmer lines.
WAC 480-120-096 Grounded circuits.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office