PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION
[52 PA. CODE CH. 63]
Interexchange Reseller Location Surcharges
Commissioners Present: John M. Quain, Chairperson; Robert K. Bloom, Vice Chairperson; David W. Rolka; Nora Mead Brownell; Aaron Wilson, Jr.
[28 Pa.B. 3059]
Public Meeting held
June 18, 1998
Rulemaking Regarding Interexchange Reseller Location Surcharges; 52 Pa. Code § 63.112; Doc. No. L-00960117
By the Commission:
On November 27, 1991, the Commission entered a final order promulgating regulations which declared jurisdiction over interexchange (IXC) resellers and established procedures governing these IXC resellers. These regulations became effective on April 4, 1992, and are codified in 52 Pa. Code §§ 63.111--63.118. These regulations imposed a price cap on the rates resellers can charge, but it permitted them to assess a location surcharge for the use of a reseller's pay telephone.
One reseller type is the operator service provider (OSP), which provides service to pay telephones so that the transient public can assess IXC service. After the reseller regulations became effective, the Commission found that some OSPs were engaging in ''price gouging'' by charging excessive location surcharges to aggregator telephone users. An aggregator telephone is one which is made available to the transient public, such as coin operated telephones, credit card telephones and telephones located in hotels, hospitals and universities.
Thus, by order entered April 30, 1996, at the above-captioned Docket No., the Commission initiated a proposed rulemaking under 52 Pa. Code § 63.112a to amend the reseller regulations to establish a $1 cap on the location surcharge for aggregator telephones. This proposed rulemaking received Attorney General approval on June 21, 1996, was submitted into the regulatory process on August 9, 1996, and was published for comment at 26 Pa.B. 4097 (August 24, 1996).
On September 20, 1996 and November 8, 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released two orders which effectively preempted any state regulation of coin operated telephone rates. These orders were the Implementation of the Pay Telephone Reclassification and Compensation Provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Report and Order and Reconsideration Order, at CC Docket Nos. 69-128 and 91-35 (for both documents). In these orders, the FCC stated that carriers providing service to coin operated telephones shall have the ability to set their own rates.
As a result of these FCC orders, the portion of the proposed rulemaking which establishes a $1 surcharge cap on coin operated aggregator telephones is in direct contradiction with pertinent FCC mandates. Therefore, the Commission's regulation of aggregator telephone rates is now limited to noncoin operated aggregator telephones such as those found in hotels, hospitals and other public locations. To accommodate this limitation, the instant rulemaking requires revisions which, under the Pennsylvania regulatory process, necessitates a withdrawal.
In light of the foregoing, the Commission is withdrawing the above-captioned proposed rulemaking. Therefore,
It Is Ordered That:
1. The proposed rulemaking, Rulemaking Regarding Interexchange Reseller Location Surcharges, at Docket No. L-00960117, is withdrawn and closed.
2. A copy of the Order shall be forwarded to the Pennsylvania Bulletin for publication.
JAMES J. MCNULTY,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 98-1060. Filed for public inspection July 2, 1998, 9:00 a.m.]
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