2014 Arkansas Code
Title 23 - Public Utilities and Regulated Industries
Subtitle 1 - Public Utilities And Carriers
Chapter 17 - Telephone and Telegraph Companies
Subchapter 4 - Telecommunications Regulatory Reform
§ 23-17-411 - Regulatory reform.

AR Code § 23-17-411 (2014) What's This?

(a) Regarding the earnings, rates of return, or rate-base calculation of any electing company, any incumbent local exchange carrier that has filed notice in accordance with § 23-17-412, or any competing local exchange carrier, and provided that all such companies and carriers otherwise comply with the applicable ratemaking provisions of this subchapter, the Arkansas Public Service Commission shall not:

(1) Require the filing of any financial report, statement, or other document for the purpose of reviewing, monitoring, or regulating rate base, earnings, or rates of return; or

(2) Conduct any investigation of rate base, earnings, or rates of return.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of this subchapter, a rate group reclassification of an exchange from one (1) rate group to another occurring as a result of access line growth or loss of exchange access arrangements shall be allowed by the commission on request of a local exchange carrier.

(c) Consistent with the policy of telecommunications competition that is implemented with this subchapter, other than the commission's promulgation of rules and regulations required by this subchapter, the commission shall promulgate no new rule or regulation that increases regulatory burdens on telecommunications service providers, except upon a showing that the benefits of such rule or regulation are clear and demonstrable and substantially exceed the cost of compliance by the affected telecommunications service providers.

(d) Not later than one hundred eighty (180) days after February 4, 1997, the commission shall conduct a rule-making proceeding to identify and repeal all rules and regulations relating to the provision of telecommunications service which are inconsistent with, have been rendered unnecessary by, or have been superseded by either this subchapter or the federal act.

(e) Not later than one hundred eighty (180) days after February 4, 1997, the commission shall revise its rules so that they apply, except as expressly provided in this subchapter, equally to all providers of basic local exchange service. All future rule changes promulgated by the commission shall apply equally to all providers of basic local exchange service.

(f) (1) In order to eliminate outdated, unnecessary, and burdensome laws and regulations, electing companies, incumbent local exchange carriers filing notice under § 23-17-412, and competing local exchange carriers shall not be subject to the requirements of §§ 23-2-304(a)(1), (7), and (8), 23-2-306, 23-2-307, 23-3-101 -- 23-3-107, 23-3-112, 23-3-114, 23-3-118, 23-3-119(a)(2), 23-3-201, 23-3-206, 23-3-301 -- 23-3-316, 23-4-101 -- 23-4-104, 23-4-107, 23-4-109, 23-4-110, 23-4-201(d), 23-4-401 -- 23-4-405, 23-4-407 -- 23-4-419, and 23-17-113, or the commission's rules and regulations implementing the statutes.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the commission shall have no jurisdiction to impose any quality of service rules and standards or reporting, including without limitation the commission's telecommunications providers rules, on any telecommunications provider in any exchange in which an electing company is authorized under § 23-17-407(d) to determine the rates for basic local exchange service and switched-access services under § 23-17-408(c).

(3) If an electing company that is authorized under § 23-17-407(d) to determine the rates for basic local exchange service and switched-access services under § 23-17-408(c), a competing local exchange carrier, or an interexchange carrier posts on a publicly accessible Internet website its generally available prices and terms of service for telecommunications services, the electing company, competing local exchange carrier, or interexchange carrier is not required to file or maintain with the commission any tariff or price list setting forth the rates, rentals, charges, privileges, facilities, rules, regulations, or forms of contract for telecommunications services.

(4) An electing company that is authorized under § 23-17-407(d) to determine the rates for basic local exchange service and switched-access services under § 23-17-408(c) may elect to be exempt from any requirement to offer a calling plan under § 23-17-120.

(g) (1) Except as provided in this subchapter with respect to universal services, the commission does not have jurisdiction to regulate:

(A) Commercial mobile services or commercial mobile service providers;

(B) Voice over Internet Protocol services; or

(C) Voice over Internet Protocol providers.

(2) This subsection does not apply to:

(A) The provisions of this subchapter concerning universal services;

(B) An entity's obligations under sections 251 and 252 of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.; or

(C) A right granted to an entity by sections 251 and 252 of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.

(h) The commission shall establish reasonable cost proxies, which rural telephone companies, excluding tier one companies, may use without producing company-specific cost studies, when cost studies would otherwise be required. Use of these proxies or the adoption of approved rates of nonrural telephone companies by rural telephone companies, excluding tier one companies, shall be deemed adequate proof of such rural telephone company costs.

(i) The commission may reclassify an incumbent local exchange carrier as a tier one company or a non-tier one company only upon petition by the incumbent local exchange carrier in connection with an increase or decrease in the number of the carrier's access lines in the state.

(j) (1) The unauthorized change of a customer's service to another telecommunications service provider is prohibited.

(2) To protect customers from any unauthorized changes in their choice of telecommunications service providers, no local exchange carrier shall honor a request by any person other than the customer to change the provider of intrastate long distance or local exchange service to the customer in the state, except:

(A) Where the request is placed by a local or long distance company that has provided to the local exchange carrier a letter of agency containing clear and conspicuous disclosure of the change signed by the customer authorizing the change;

(B) Where the customer affected by the change calls a toll-free number established by the company requesting the change to confirm the request for the change made in response to a contact initiated by the local exchange or long distance company requesting the change; or

(C) Where the commission otherwise expressly authorizes.

(3) Any telecommunications carrier that violates the verification procedures described in this subsection and collects charges for telecommunications services from the customer shall be liable to the carrier previously selected by the customer in an amount equal to all charges paid by the subscriber after the violation in accordance with the procedures that the commission may prescribe.

(4) The commission is also authorized to impose civil penalties, not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) for any such violation.

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