2016 Code of Alabama
Title 37 - PUBLIC UTILITIES AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.
Chapter 2A - COMMUNICATIONS REFORM ACT OF 2005.
Section 37-2A-4 - Jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission.

AL Code § 37-2A-4 (2016) What's This?
Section 37-2A-4Jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission.

(a) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the commission shall not have any jurisdiction, right, power, authority, or duty to regulate, supervise, control, oversee, or monitor, directly or indirectly, the rates, charges, classifications, provision, or any aspect of broadband service, broadband enabled services, VoIP services, or information services.

(b)(1) The commission may require incumbent local exchange carriers to unbundle their networks, but the commission shall not require the carriers to unbundle in a manner that exceeds in degree or differs in kind from the unbundling requirements of the Federal Communications Commission.

(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to:

a. Affect any entity's obligations under 47 U.S.C. Sections 251 and 252 or a right granted to an entity by these sections.

b. Affect any applicable wholesale tariff.

c. Grant, modify, or affect the authority of the commission to implement, carry out, or enforce the rights or obligations provided by 47 U.S.C. Sections 251 and 252, or of an applicable wholesale tariff or law, regulation, or order related to wholesale rights, duties, and obligations, consistent with federal law and Federal Communications Commission requirements, through arbitration proceedings or other available mechanisms and procedures.

(c) Once a telecommunications service, a bundled offering, or a contract offering is no longer subject to the general jurisdiction of the commission as prescribed below, the commission shall nevertheless retain exclusive complaint jurisdiction for the telecommunications services provided, either as stand-alone services or as part of a bundled offering or contract offering, for complaints arising out of any of the following:

(1) Inaccurate billing for telecommunications services.

(2) Billing of telecommunications services not ordered by or on behalf of the customer.

(3) The establishment or disruption of telecommunications service.

The commission may only interpret and enforce the terms and conditions of the underlying agreements or contracts for telecommunications services. The commission shall not have the power to set the agreement aside or alter its terms or conditions, either directly or indirectly. No person or entity other than the customer and his or her representative, the carrier, and the Attorney General may participate in these complaint proceedings before the commission. The jurisdiction of the commission with respect to these retail issues shall extend to formal and informal complaints and may include the resolution thereof through alternative dispute resolution procedures including mediation with any mediator to be chosen by the commission. With respect to retail billing requirements, after August 1, 2005, the commission shall enforce only the Truth in Billing regulations prescribed by the Federal Communications Commission and those rules developed by the commission to support Truth in Billing requirements as authorized by the Federal Communications Commission.

(4) The provision of call blocking of number delivery and line blocking of number delivery in order to protect the confidentiality of victims of domestic violence, domestic violence shelters, or affiliated professionals certified by the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence to be in need of blocking.

(d) Beginning August 1, 2006, the commission shall not have any jurisdiction, right, power, authority, or duty to regulate, supervise, control, oversee, or monitor, directly or indirectly, the costs, rates, charges, terms, or conditions for any new bundled offering or the number or types of communications services that comprise a new bundled offering, but may continue to regulate, supervise, control, oversee, or monitor existing bundled offerings.

(e) Beginning August 1, 2006, the commission shall not have any jurisdiction, right, power, authority, or duty to regulate, supervise, control, oversee, or monitor, directly or indirectly, the costs, rates, charges, terms, or conditions of any new contract offering, but it shall retain jurisdiction over existing contract offerings for the duration of the existing contract offering, unless otherwise agreed to by the affected customer.

(f) Beginning February 1, 2007, the commission shall exercise its jurisdiction, right, power, authority, or duty to regulate, supervise, control, oversee, and monitor basic telephone service and optional telephone features as prescribed in Section 37-2A-8.

(g) Beginning February 1, 2007, the commission shall not have any jurisdiction, right, power, authority, or duty to regulate, supervise, control, oversee, or monitor, directly or indirectly, any retail telecommunications services and any existing bundled offering, except as provided in subsections (e) and (f) and Section 37-2A-7, nor shall it have any jurisdiction, right, power, authority, or duty to regulate, supervise, control, oversee, or monitor, directly or indirectly, the facilities used to provide such retail telecommunications services or bundled offerings.

(h) Tariffs for the services remaining subject to the commission's jurisdiction under subsections (d) and (e) shall remain valid and in effect until (1) the date on which the commission's jurisdiction ceases as contemplated in subsection (g), and (2) until the last existing contract offering has expired or has been replaced by a new contract offering, respectively. The relevant carrier shall notify the commission in writing of the expiration or replacement of the last existing contract offering, identifying the expiration date for the relevant tariffs, after which date the tariffs shall be null and void and of no further force or effect. Except as set forth above, the tariffs for those services no longer subject to the commission's authority pursuant to subsection (g) shall be null and void and of no further force or effect from and after the date on which such jurisdiction ceases.

(i) The commission shall not impose or establish information or reporting requirements or a uniform system of accounts on any carrier that is subject to this chapter that exceeds in degree or differs in kind from the requirements of the Federal Communications Commission.

(j) Prior to January 1, 2006, each person, corporation, or other entity that provides telephone service in this state shall file a plan with the commission setting forth in detail how such person, corporation, or other entity will protect the confidentiality of the address or location of family violence shelters, as defined in Section 30-6-1, in this state. The persons, corporations, and other entities shall update the plans at least every 24 months. The original and updated plans shall be approved by the commission within a reasonable time upon a determination that the plans are reasonably effective in identifying the family violence shelters in the state and in maintaining the confidentiality of the location and address of family violence shelters. If the commission determines that a plan is inadequate, it shall state the basis on which the plan was determined to be inadequate and shall allow the person, corporation, or other entity filing the plan a period of not more than 30 days to file a revised plan that is acceptable to the commission. The plans shall not be open to examination by the public. Within three days of filing original plans or updates with the commission, each person, corporation, or other entity subject to this subsection shall submit a copy of all original plans, updated plans, and revised plans to the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which is authorized to provide comments concerning the plans to the commission in order to aid in review and approval of the plans. The filing or approval of the plans shall not in any manner be a defense to any action or complaint.

(k) After February 25, 2014, subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (c) shall not apply to retail telecommunications services offered by telecommunications carriers operating pursuant to this chapter, if the carrier files a written election with the commission to be removed from the commission's complaint and dispute jurisdiction as provided in such subdivisions. Such election shall be effective immediately upon filing, and may be changed by the carrier no more than once a year.

(Act 2005-110, p. 163, §1; Act 2009-461, p. 810, §1; Act 2014-82, p. 129, §1.)

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