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Senate Bill 0245

Senate Bill 0245

ARCHIVE (2006)

Latest Information

DIGEST OF SB 245 (Updated February 13, 2006 3:37 pm - DI 92)

Telecommunications. Establishes the accessible electronic information service fund. Prohibits the utility consumer counselor from engaging in another occupation that would conflict with the duties of the office. (Current law prohibits the counselor from engaging in any other occupation.) Specifies that a person that transmits communications through Internet Protocol enabled services is not a public utility. Prohibits the IURC from exercising jurisdiction over: (1) advanced and broadband services; and (2) information services. Specifies that the IURC shall not exercise jurisdiction over commercial mobile service. Prohibits, after March 27, 2006, the IURC from exercising jurisdiction over nonbasic telecommunications service. Specifies that "basic telecommunications service" does not include functionally equivalent service provided by a person that transmits communications through Internet Protocol enabled services. Provides that during the period beginning March 28, 2006, and ending June 30, 2009, a provider may increase the flat monthly rate for basic telecommunications service: (1) not more than once; and (2) by not more than $1; every 12 months. Provides that not later than 18 months after a provider's first rate increase in a local exchange area, the provider must offer broadband service to at least 50% of households in the local exchange area. Requires an incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) to continue to offer a flat monthly rate for unlimited local calling in exchange areas in which the provider offers basic telecommunications service on March 27, 2006. Provides that after June 30, 2009, a provider that offers basic telecommunications service in Indiana: (1) must offer a flat monthly rate for unlimited local calling in each exchange area in which the provider offers basic telecommunications service; and (2) may not offer any service plan that includes measured local service. Prohibits, after June 30, 2009, the IURC from exercising jurisdiction over basic telecommunications service. Makes conforming changes to the laws concerning rural telephone cooperatives. Prohibits the IURC from exceeding the authority delegated to it under federal law with respect to: (1) interconnection; (2) the resale of telecommunications service; and (3) unbundled network elements. Requires the IURC to biennially identify and eliminate telecommunications regulations that are no longer necessary in the public interest or for the protection of consumers. Preserves the IURC's duties with respect to: (1) dual party relay services; (2) the 211 dialing code; (3) slamming and cramming laws; (4) universal service; (5) certificates of territorial authority; (6) mediating or arbitrating disputes between providers; (7) interconnection agreements; and (8) rates charged by an ILEC to a pay phone service provider. Allows the IURC to require communications service providers, other than commercial mobile service providers, to report annually, or more frequently at the option of the provider, information on: (1) service quality and performance; (2) the provider's dark fiber in Indiana; and (3) the types of communications service offered by the provider and the areas in Indiana in which those services are offered. Requires the IURC to adopt rules requiring a telecommunications service provider, whenever the provider communicates with a residential customer about changing the customer's basic telecommunications service to nonbasic telecommunications service, to notify the customer of: (1) the option of basic telecommunications service; and (2) any regulatory protections the customer would forego by switching to nonbasic telecommunications service. Provides that if a customer switches to another telecommunications services provider, the initial provider may contact the customer to confirm that the customer has made the decision to change to the other provider. Prohibits a provider from refusing to transfer a local exchange service customer to another provider on the same terms and conditions that the provider receives from any other provider. Exempts commercial mobile service providers from certain reporting requirements, while requiring commercial mobile service providers to provide the IURC certain customer service contact information. Allows the IURC to revoke a certificate of territorial authority issued to a communications service provider if the provider fails or refuses to comply with the reporting requirements. Allows the IURC to: (1) order certain equitable remedies; and (2) impose a civil penalty of not more than $10,000; if a telecommunications service provider or video service provider violates the enforcement law or a lawful order of the IURC. Allows a provider of last resort to meet its obligations using any available technology. After June 30, 2009, requires a communications service provider to obtain a certificate of territorial authority from the IURC before offering communications service in Indiana. Requires the IURC to issue a certificate not later than 30 days after receiving a complete and accurate application from a provider. Provides that the IURC may not require a provider to file a tariff as a condition of receiving a certificate. Allows the IURC to condition the issuance of a certificate on a provider's agreement to provide advance notice to customers of changes in rates or services. Provides that a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued to an REMC may serve as a certificate of territorial authority for communications service provided by the REMC, subject to the IURC's right to require the REMC to provide certain information about the communications services provided. Prohibits a communications service provider from entering into an agreement after March 27, 2006, that requires any person to restrict or limit the ability of another provider to obtain: (1) easements or rights-of-way; or (2) access to real property. Provides that the IURC may not require a provider to provide communications service to occupants of multitenant nonresidential real estate if the owner, operator, or developer of the property does any of the following to benefit another provider: (1) Permits only one provider to install communications facilities or equipment on the premises. (2) Accepts incentives from a provider in exchange for allowing the provider the exclusive right to provide service to the premises. (3) Collects charges from occupants for communications service. (4) Enters into a prohibited agreement with a provider. Provides that the Indiana finance authority shall determine underserved areas within Indiana for purposes of the Indiana broadband development program. Provides that after June 30, 2006, the IURC is the sole franchising authority for the provision of video service in Indiana. Preserves the manner of determining gross revenue and franchise fee percentages set forth in existing local franchises. Prohibits the IURC from requiring a multichannel video programming distributor to pay any fee or charge, other than a franchise fee paid to a local unit, as a condition of receiving or holding a state certificate of franchise authority. Provides that the holder of a state issued franchise must comply with state and local laws governing the use of rights-of-way. Provides that such laws may not: (1) discriminate against a provider based on the technology used to deliver service; or (2) allow a video service system owned or operated by a local unit to use rights-of-way on more favorable terms. Prohibits the IURC from requiring a provider to satisfy any build-out requirements. Allows the holder of a local franchise on June 30, 2006, to: (1) continue providing service under the local franchise until the local franchise expires; or (2) terminate the local franchise and apply to the IURC for a state issued franchise. Provides that a provider that terminates a local franchise remains subject to any obligations owed to a private person under the franchise until the time the terminated franchise would ordinarily expire. Prescribes requirements concerning public, educational, and governmental channel capacity and financial support. Provides that a video service provider that elects to terminate a local franchise is required to continue providing institutional network capacity and video service to community public buildings until January 1, 2009, or until the terminated local franchise would have expired, whichever is later. Prohibits a provider from denying access to video service to any group of potential subscribers based on income. Requires the IURC to adopt rules to establish the Indiana Lifeline assistance program to provide reduced charges for basic telecommunications service for eligible customers. Requires the IURC to collect, on at least an annual basis, certain data concerning the build out of video service infrastructure in each metropolitan statistical area in Indiana during the period beginning July 1, 2006, and ending June 30, 2010. Requires the IURC to include the data collected in the IURC's report to the regulatory flexibility committee due July 1, 2010. Repeals superseded statutes.
    Current Status:
    Out of Committee 2nd House
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