2016 Code of Alabama
Title 37 - PUBLIC UTILITIES AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.
Chapter 2A - COMMUNICATIONS REFORM ACT OF 2005.
Section 37-2A-8 - Provision of basic telephone service and optional telephone features.

AL Code § 37-2A-8 (2016) What's This?
Section 37-2A-8Provision of basic telephone service and optional telephone features.

(a)(1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, an entity that is not an incumbent local exchange carrier shall not be obligated to tariff or otherwise provide basic telephone service. An incumbent local exchange carrier shall provide, upon reasonable request, basic telephone service to the premises of a permanent residence within its franchised service territory, if the costs, including, but not limited to costs of facilities, rights-of-way, and equipment, of providing basic telephone service to the requesting party does not exceed eight thousand dollars ($8,000).

(2) If the cost exceeds eight thousand dollars ($8,000), as provided in subdivision (1), an incumbent local exchange carrier may not deny service on the basis of cost so long as sufficient funds to provide that service are available from the Alabama portion of the applicable federal universal service fund program.

(3) An incumbent local exchange carrier obligated by this section to serve as the carrier of last resort is relieved of that obligation and shall not be obligated to provide basic telephone service to any occupants of real property if the owner or developer of the real property, or a person acting on behalf of the owner or developer of real property, engages in any of the following acts:

a. Permits an alternative communications service provider to install its facilities or equipment used to provide communications services based on a condition of exclusion of the incumbent local exchange carrier during the construction phase of the real property.

b. Accepts or agrees to accept incentives or rewards from an alternative communications services provider that are contingent upon the provision of any or all local communications services by one or more alternative communications services providers to the exclusion of the incumbent local exchange carrier.

c. Collects from the occupants or residents of the real property mandatory charges for the provision of any local communications services provided by an alternative communications services provider to the occupants or residents in any manner, including, but not limited to, collection through rent, fees, or dues.

d. Prohibits an incumbent local exchange carrier from providing the full range of its communications services, including video services, to the premises of potential customers.

(4) If the alternative communications services provider in paragraphs a. through c. of subdivision (3) goes out of business and is unable to provide service to the property and there is no other provider willing or able to provide, or actually providing voice service to the property, then the incumbent local exchange carrier, subject to the limitations in subdivisions (1) and (2), shall provide voice service to the property utilizing any available technology through any affiliated companies, provided the incumbent local exchange carrier has reasonable access to the property.

(5)a. Notwithstanding subdivisions (1), (2), (3), and (4), on July 1, 2012, an incumbent local exchange carrier is relieved of its obligation to provide basic telephone service unless the incumbent local exchange carrier elects to retain the obligation and notifies the Public Service Commission not later than July 31, 2012.

b. An incumbent local exchange carrier that elects to retain the obligation to provide basic telephone service pursuant to paragraph a. and files a notice with the Public Service Commission on or before December 1 of any year, shall be relieved of the obligation on January 1 of any subsequent year.

(6) The relief specified in subdivision (5) does not affect an incumbent local exchange carrier's obligations under federal law.

(7) [This subdivision is repealed January 1, 2014.] a. If the premises of a permanent residence in existence on July 1, 2012, is within an incumbent local exchange carrier's franchised service territory and the residence is unable to receive voice service from any provider through any voice technology, the owner of the permanent residence or a tenant may file a request for service with the commission. Following investigation by the commission, if the commission determines that a reasonable request for service has been made and that no voice service is available to the premises of the permanent residence, the commission may determine whether an incumbent local exchange carrier is best able to provide voice service to the residence and may order the carrier to provide voice service to the residence. Alternatively, the commission may conduct a competitive procurement process to identify a willing provider of voice service to provide voice service at the requesting residence. In either case, the incumbent local exchange carrier or willing provider of voice service may utilize any voice technology or service arrangement to provide voice service. The commission shall issue a final order disposing of any request within 90 days of the filing of the request.

b. This subdivision and any obligations created pursuant to it shall be repealed on January 1, 2014.

(b)(1) Beginning February 1, 2007, the retail price for basic telephone service to be offered by incumbent local exchange carriers shall not exceed the highest price charged by the incumbent local exchange carrier on January 31, 2007.

(2)a. Beginning January 1, 2008, and every succeeding January 1 through December 31, 2010, the retail rates for basic telephone service may not be increased by the incumbent local exchange carrier to exceed the rates of the previous year as of January 1, plus any increase in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

b. Beginning August 1, 2009, 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 retail telecommunications services provided to businesses or government entities, except as provided in Section 37-2A-11(b)(6).

c. Beginning January 1, 2011, 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 basic telephone service.

(3)a. Each optional telephone feature in a bundled offering must be available on a stand-alone basis under a tariff on file with the commission. If a bundled offering is offered by a local exchange carrier, the carrier shall have a basic telephone service tariffed offering for residential customers on file with the commission.

b. Beginning January 1, 2008, and through December 31, 2010, increases in tariffed rates for optional telephone features may not exceed five percent per optional telephone feature per year.

c. Through December 31, 2010, a residential bundled offering that consists solely of basic telephone service and optional telephone features must be priced at or below the sum of the tariffed price of basic telephone service and the tariffed price of the associated optional telephone features.

d. Beginning January 1, 2011, 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 optional telephone features.

(Act 2005-110, p. 163, §1; Act 2009-461, p. 810, §1; Act 2011-622, p. 1436, §1; Act 2012-181, p. 285, §1.)

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