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Pennsylvania Code



Subchapter H. INTEREXCHANGE TELECOMMUNICATIONS CARRIERS


Sec.


63.101.    Statement of purpose and policy.
63.102.    Definitions.
63.103.    Jurisdiction of interexchange reseller carriers.
63.104.    Disclosure requirements for competitive services.
63.105.    Reclassification of services.
63.106.    Noncompetitive services and tariffs.
63.107.    Applications for authority.
63.108.    Reporting requirements.
63.109.    Enforcement.

Authority

   The provisions of this Subchapter H issued under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  501 and 3009(d), unless otherwise noted; amended under 66 Pa.C.S §  3018.

Source

   The provisions of this Subchapter H adopted July 3, 1997, effective July 5, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 3217, unless otherwise noted; amended January 25, 2008, effective January 26, 2008, 38 Pa.B. 488. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (246484) to (246485) and (232271) to (232276).

§ 63.101. Statement of purpose and policy.

 On December 1, 2004, the General Assembly enacted Chapter 30 of the code (relating to alternative form of regulation of telecommunications services), which provided for the regulatory reform of the telephone industry in this Commonwealth. Sections 3018 and 3019(b) of the code (relating to interexchange telecommunications carriers; and additional powers and duties) have significant effect on the future regulation by the Commission of intraState interexchange telecommunications carriers, which include interexchange resellers. The purpose of this subchapter is to codify the application of Chapter 30 of the code to intraState, interexchange telecommunications carriers and to codify the modification of procedures to address the application of Chapter 30 of the code.

§ 63.102. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Clear and conspicuous manner—Information that is legible, stated in plain language and printed in 10-point type or larger.

   Code—The Public Utility Code. (66 Pa.C.S. § §  101—3316).

   Competitive services—Interexchange services other than noncompetitive services.

   Interexchange facilities-based carrier—A person or entity whose facilities carry intraState interexchange service on a wholesale or retail basis through line, wire, cable, microwave, radio wave, satellite or other analogous facilities owned or operated by it.

   Interexchange reseller carrier—A person or entity which directly or indirectly acquires intraState interexchange service capacity and establishes rates to sell interexchange service through the use of technology to a residential or nonresidential subscriber or consumer.

   Interexchange services—The transmission of interLATA or intraLATA toll messages or data outside the local calling area.

   Interexchange telecommunications carrier

     (i)   A public utility, including both interexchange reseller carrier and interexchange facilities-based carrier, as those terms are defined in this section, authorized by the Commission to provide intraState interexchange service on a wholesale or retail basis.

     (ii)   The term does not include a local exchange telecommunications company authorized by the Commission to provide intraState, interexchange services.

   Noncompetitive services—The term only includes those interexchange services or business activities that have been determined expressly by the Commission to be noncompetitive under §  63.105 (relating to reclassification of services).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  63.106 (relating to noncompetitive services and tariffs); and 52 Pa. Code §  63.108 (relating to reporting requirements).

§ 63.103. Jurisdiction of interexchange reseller carriers.

 Under the definition of ‘‘public utility’’ in section 102 of the code (relating to definitions), a person or corporation now or hereafter owning or operating in this Commonwealth equipment or facilities for transmitting intraState interexchange services is subject to Commission jurisdiction as a public utility. Interexchange reseller carriers operate equipment or facilities utilized for the transmission of interexchange services and therefore, under the statutory definition of ‘‘public utility,’’ are jurisdictional.

§ 63.104. Disclosure requirements for competitive services.

 (a)  All services, new or existing, offered by interexchange telecommunications carriers are deemed competitive.

 (b)  An interexchange telecommunications carrier may maintain tariffs and file tariff supplements with the Commission that set forth the rates, charges and service description information relating to each of its tariffed competitive services. If an interexchange telecommunications carrier files a tariff or a tariff supplement with the Commission for its competitive services, it shall become effective on 1-day’s notice.

 (c)  If an interexchange telecommunications carrier chooses to detariff its competitive services, it shall make available for public inspection information concerning the rates, charges, terms and conditions for its competitive services in an easily accessible and clear and conspicuous manner at the following locations:

   (1)  At the interexchange telecommunications carrier’s principal office, if it is located within this Commonwealth, or at any local business office of the utility during regular business hours.

   (2)  At the web site of the interexchange telecommunications carrier. An interexchange telecommunications carrier has the flexibility to structure and present information concerning the rates, charges, terms and conditions for its competitive services on its internet web site in any manner that it chooses, as long as the information is easily accessible to the public.

 (d)  An interexchange telecommunications carrier shall update information concerning changes in rates, charges, terms and conditions for its detariffed competitive services either at its principal office or any local business office within 5 days and on its Internet web site no later than 48 hours after the effective date of the change so it provides the current information concerning service offerings.

 (e)  An interexchange telecommunications carrier that chooses to detariff its competitive services shall disclose to customers their right to request information concerning the rates, charges, terms and conditions for its competitive services and shall provide contact information for this purpose.

 (f)  This section supersedes Chapter 53 (relating to tariffs for noncommon carriers) to the extent that Chapter 53 is inconsistent with this section.

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  63.107 (relating to applications for authority).

§ 63.105. Reclassification of services.

 (a)  The Commission has authority, under section 3018(c) of the code (relating to interexchange telecommunications carriers), after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, to reclassify the services of an interexchange telecommunications carrier as a noncompetitive service.

 (b)  The Commission will review whether a competitive service should be reclassified as a noncompetitive service within the scope of a Commission investigation conducted under section 331(a) of the code (relating to powers of commission and administrative law judges), or upon consideration of a complaint filed under section 701 of the code (relating to complaints). The notice to the interexchange telecommunications carrier may contain the information deemed relevant by the Commission in holding a reclassification proceeding.

 (c)  When reviewing whether a service should be reclassified, the Commission will consider all relevant information submitted to it, including the following factors:

   (1)  The ease of entry by potential competitors into the market for the specific service at issue.

   (2)  The presence of other existing interexchange telecommunications carriers in the market for the specific service at issue.

   (3)  The ability of other interexchange telecommunications carriers to offer the service at competitive prices, terms and conditions.

   (4)  The availability of like or substitute service alternatives in the relevant geographic area for the service at issue.

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  63.102 (relating to definitions).

§ 63.106. Noncompetitive services and tariffs.

 (a)  A noncompetitive service, as defined in §  63.102 (relating to definitions), offered by an interexchange telecommunications carrier shall be included in a tariff filed in compliance with sections 1302 and 1303 of the code (relating to tariffs; filing and inspection; and adherence to tariffs).

 (b)  Modifications to the rates, terms or conditions of the noncompetitive service set forth in the interexchange carrier’s tariff shall be implemented through the filing of a tariff supplement and verified supporting documentation. The interexchange telecommunications carrier shall serve the tariff supplement on the Office of Consumer Advocate, the Office of Small Business Advocate and the Commission’s Office of Trial Staff. The interexchange telecommunications carrier shall provide notice to the customer of the proposed change to the noncompetitive service 45 days prior to the filing of the tariff supplement with the Commission.

 (c)  The tariff supplement and verified supporting documentation must contain the following information:

   (1)  An indication on each page of the tariff supplement that the page pertains to the noncompetitive service.

   (2)  A description of the noncompetitive service.

   (3)  The rates proposed for the noncompetitive service.

   (4)  Supporting data justifying the proposed rates for the noncompetitive service.

   (5)  An executive overview summarizing the reason for the filing which includes relevant information regarding the safety, adequacy, reliability and privacy considerations related to the proposed service.

   (6)  Other reasonable justification or any relevant data that is requested by the Commission after its initial review.

 (d)  The interexchange telecommunications carrier is not required to submit cost justification, cost-of-service or revenue data relating to the proposed change as directed in subsection (c)(4) if one of the following applies:

   (1)  The proposed change does not purport to increase an existing rate or surcharge.

   (2)  The proposed change to the noncompetitive service is designed to make the rates, terms or conditions for that service comparable to the rates, terms and conditions that have been approved by several other state commissions.

 (e)  The noncompetitive service tariff supplement shall be filed to become effective on 16-days’ notice by the interexchange telecommunications carrier.

 (f)  Review of noncompetitive service tariff supplements shall be conducted consistent with the following procedures:

   (1)  Within 14 days of the date of filing of the tariff supplement with the Commission, the Commission will issue a notice allowing the tariff supplement to become effective or issue a report that explains why the tariff supplement may not become effective without modification. The report must identify modifications which would eliminate inadequacies in the tariff supplement. The Commission will deliver or transmit the notice or report to the filing interexchange telecommunications carrier at the time of issuance.

   (2)  When the Commission issues a notice allowing the tariff supplement to go into effect, the tariff supplement shall become effective, without modification, 16 days after the filing date. If the Commission does not issue a notice or report on the tariff supplement within the 14-day period, the tariff supplement will go into effect by operation of law at the end of the 16-days’ notice period.

   (3)  When the Commission prohibits a tariff supplement from going into effect and issues a report addressing the inadequacies in the tariff supplement, the tariff supplement shall be suspended pending consideration of the tariff supplement under paragraphs (4) and (5).

   (4)  The filing interexchange telecommunications carrier may file a response to the suspension of the carrier’s tariff supplement. The response shall be filed within 7 days of the issuance of the report.

   (5)  In the alternative, the interexchange telecommunications carrier may withdraw the tariff supplement and file a new tariff supplement which adopts the modifications addressed in the report or which reflects a version of the tariff supplement that has been agreed to by the carrier and the Commission. When a modified tariff supplement is filed, the modified tariff supplement shall become effective on 1-day’s notice.

 (g)  An interexchange telecommunications carrier requesting rate decreases for its existing noncompetitive services shall be permitted to put them into effect at the end of the specified 16-day notice period without further review or approval by the Commission.

 (h)  An interexchange telecommunications carrier requesting changes in the terms and conditions of its existing noncompetitive services, when the changes do not result in any rate changes, shall be permitted to put them into effect at the end of the specified 16-day notice period without further review or approval by the Commission.

 (i)  This section supersedes Chapter 53 (relating to tariffs for noncommon carriers) to the extent that Chapter 53 is inconsistent with this section.

§ 63.107. Applications for authority.

 (a)  An applicant shall specifically indicate in the application for authority to commence service that it is requesting authorization to provide interexchange services to the public and comply with §  3.551 (relating to official forms).

 (b)  If an applicant is offering noncompetitive services to the public, it shall attach a proposed tariff to its application containing the proposed rates of the noncompetitive services and the rules and policies under which the interexchange telecommunications carrier intends to provide its service. Rates for noncompetitive services provided for in the proposed tariff may not exceed the reasonable charge for a noncompetitive interexchange call.

 (c)  In addition to review of the general evidentiary criteria applicable to interexchange telecommunications carrier application proceedings, the Commission will review the proposed tariff to determine if it complies with subsection (b). The Commission will grant applications only upon a finding that the proposed tariff complies with subsection (b). If the proposed tariff contains rates for noncompetitive services that do not exceed the reasonable charge for a noncompetitive interexchange call, the Commission will presume that the rates for the noncompetitive services are just and reasonable.

 (d)  Upon the grant of an application for authority to commence interexchange service, the applicant proposing to offer noncompetitive services shall file an initial tariff with the Commission for its noncompetitive services only. The initial tariff must contain the same rates, rules and policies for the noncompetitive services as set forth in the proposed tariff reviewed by the Commission. The initial tariff must become effective immediately upon filing. Initial tariffs must comply with § §  53.1—53.10 and 53.21—53.26 (relating to filing regulations; and form and content of tariffs).

 (e)  Upon the grant of an application for authority to commence interexchange service, a new interexchange telecommunications carrier may file or maintain with the Commission tariffs containing the rates, terms and conditions for its competitive services. If the new interexchange telecommunications carrier files a tariff with the Commission, the tariff shall become effective on 1-day’s notice.

 (f)  If a new interexchange telecommunications carrier chooses to detariff its competitive services, the information regarding the rates, terms and conditions for its competitive services shall be made available at the public disclosure locations established in §  63.104(c) (relating to disclosure requirements for competitive services). The new carrier shall post the information at the public disclosure locations within 48 hours of the date that its application to commence interexchange service has been approved by the Commission.

 (g)  This section supersedes Chapter 53 (relating to tariffs for noncommon carriers) to the extent that Chapter 53 is inconsistent with this section.

§ 63.108. Reporting requirements.

 (a)  Interexchange telecommunications carriers shall file affiliated interest and affiliated transaction agreements with the Commission unless the agreements involve services declared to be competitive. The filings constitute notice to the Commission only. The Commission may use the filings to audit the accounting and reporting systems of interexchange telecommunications carriers for transactions with their affiliates.

 (b)  On or before May 31 of a calendar year, a certificated interexchange telecommunications carrier, as defined in §  63.102 (relating to definitions), shall file with the Commission an annual report for the preceding calendar year. The annual report shall be filed with the Commission’s Bureau of Fixed Utility Services.

 (c)  The annual report must contain aggregate total revenue and traffic volume data measured in minutes of use for the carrier’s intraState operations during the preceding calendar year.

 (d)  The interexchange telecommunications carrier shall provide disaggregated information in its annual report if it is technologically feasible for the interexchange telecommunications carrier to collect the data. Some examples of the information that shall be disaggregated in the carrier’s major service categories are:

   (1)  Message toll service (MTS) and associated services including operator assisted and calling card services.

   (2)  Services corresponding to outbound Wide Area Telecommunications Services (WATS).

   (3)  Services corresponding to inbound WATS or ‘‘800’’ type services.

   (4)  Private line or dedicated communication path services.

   (5)  Dedicated network type services, including virtual network type services.

§ 63.109. Enforcement.

 (a)  For the purpose of enforcement of consumer complaints regarding competitive services, the Commission will have jurisdiction to enforce consumer complaints that involve violations of the applicable public notice requirements established in this subchapter. The Commission will have jurisdiction to enforce consumer complaints regarding the provisioning of service by interexchange telecommunications carriers, including customer privacy, ordering, installation, restoration and disconnection, as well as the quality of service issues. Other consumer complaints, including those complaints involving violations that fall under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (73 P. S. § §  201-1—209-9.3), will be referred by the Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Services to the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

 (b)  For the purpose of enforcement of consumer complaints related to noncompetitive services, the Commission will utilize the dispute and informal complaint procedures prescribed for residential billing disputes under Chapter 64 (relating to standards and billing practices for residential telephone service). The Bureau of Consumer Services will have primary jurisdiction over informal complaints arising under this subchapter for designated noncompetitive services.



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