2020 Georgia Code
Title 46 - Public Utilities and Public Transportation
Chapter 5 - Telephone Service
Article 4 - Telecommunications and Competition Development
§ 46-5-166. Rates for Switched Access
- An electing company, as defined in paragraph (5) of Code Section 46-5-162, shall set rates on a basis that does not unreasonably discriminate between similarly situated customers; provided, however, that all such rates are subject to a complaint process for abuse of market position in accordance with rules to be promulgated by the commission.
- Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the rates for switched access by each Tier 1 local exchange company shall be no higher than the rates charged for interstate access by the same local exchange company. The rates for switched access shall be negotiated in good faith between the parties. In the event that the rates for switched access cannot be negotiated between the parties, any party may petition the commission to set reasonable rates, terms, or conditions for switched access. The commission shall render a final decision in any proceeding initiated pursuant to the provisions of this subsection no later than 60 days after the close of the record except that the commission, by order, may extend such period in any case in which it shall find that the complexity of the issues and the length of the record require an extension of such period, in which event the commission shall render a decision at the earliest date practicable. In no event shall the commission delay the rendering of a final decision in such proceeding beyond the earlier of 120 days after the close of the record or 180 days from the filing of the notice of petition for determination of rates for switched access that initiated the proceeding.
- Beginning January 1, 2011, and ending December 31, 2015, each Tier 2 local exchange company shall adjust in equal annual increments its intrastate switched access charges to parity with its similar interstate switched access rates. The commission shall have authority to govern the transition of Tier 2 local exchange company switched access rates to their corresponding interstate levels and the commission shall allow adjustment of basic local exchange services or universal access funds, as necessary to recover those revenues, based on calendar year 2008, lost through the concurrent reduction of the intrastate switched access rates. In the event that the rates for switched access cannot be negotiated in good faith between the parties, the commission shall determine the reasonable rates for switched access in accordance with the procedures provided in subsection (b) of this Code section. Any Tier 2 local exchange company that is an electing company may elect to become subject to rate of return regulation by certification to the commission of this election no later than December 31, 2010. A Tier 2 local exchange company making this election is prohibited from making a subsequent election to have the rates, terms, and conditions for its services determined pursuant to the alternative regulation described in subsection (b) of Code Section 46-5-165 prior to January 1, 2016.
- Beginning January 1, 2011, and ending December 31, 2020, each telecommunications company holding a certificate of authority or otherwise authorized to provide telecommunications services in this state other than a Tier 2 local exchange company shall adjust in equal annual increments its intrastate switched access charges to parity with its similar interstate switched access rates.
- In accordance with rules to be promulgated by the commission, any telecommunications company providing intrastate switched access services shall file tariffs with the commission for intrastate switched access services and other applicable services that state the terms and conditions of such services and the rates as established pursuant to this Code section.
- The commission shall review the intrastate switched access rates as set forth in subsections (c) and (d) of this Code section and shall report the results of its findings and any actions taken to the General Assembly by or before December 31, 2011. Thereafter, the commission shall include in its annual report to the General Assembly required under Code Section 46-5-174 the status of any intrastate switched access rate changes under this Code section.
(Code 1981, §46-5-166, enacted by Ga. L. 1995, p. 886, § 2; Ga. L. 2010, p. 1135, § 3/HB 168.)
The 2010 amendment, effective June 4, 2010, rewrote this Code section.Editor's notes.
- Ga. L. 2010, p. 1135, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "It is the intent of the General Assembly to:
"(1) Update and modernize Georgia's telecommunications laws to encourage competition and bring about lower prices and better services for the consumer;
"(2) Make Georgia a more attractive place for telecommunications investment and encourage the deployment of advanced technologies;
"(3) Create and preserve jobs for Georgia workers; and
"(4) Reduce the subsidies paid by Georgia consumers.
"It is not the intent of the General Assembly to impose any fee or other charge on Georgia consumers."
Ga. L. 2010, p. 1135, § 2, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall be known as and may be cited as the 'Telecom Jobs and Investment Act.'"
Construction of paragraph (f)(2).
- Where a Tier 2 local exchange company experiences the same access sales or a growth in access sales during the phase-down of rates into parity with interstate access rates, the mandate of paragraph (f)(2) is to calculate revenues lost by virtue of selling each intrastate switched access unit at the concurrently reduced rate; growth in access revenue is not calculated as an offset against such revenue lost by a company during the phase-down period. Georgia Pub. Serv. Comm'n v. Alltel Ga. Communications Corp., 230 Ga. App. 563, 497 S.E.2d 50 (1998).Order addressing disposition of overearnings authorized.
- Public Service Commission's determination that Tier 2 local exchange companies' return on equity earnings exceeded that authorized and its order for the application of over-earnings to reduce intrastate access rates did not violate either O.C.G.A. § 46-2-25(d), which prohibits rate-making orders with retroactive effect, or paragraph (f)(2) of O.C.G.A. § 46-5-166, regarding adjustments to intrastate access rates. Georgia PSC v. ALLTEL Ga. Communs. Corp., 244 Ga. App. 645, 536 S.E.2d 542 (2000).Universal support payments as taxable income.
- Because defendant local telephone company taxpayer's "universal service support" payment calculations for purposes of O.C.G.A. §§ 46-5-161,46-5-162(10)(B), and46-5-166(f)(2) were considered revenue and a revenue requirement of 11.25 percent, which factored into expenses, taxes, and return, the payments were not contribution to capital excluded from income under I.R.C. § 118, and plaintiff United States was entitled to summary judgment. United States v. Coastal Utils., Inc., 483 F. Supp. 2d 1232 (S.D. Ga. 2007), aff'd, 514 F.3d 1184 (11th Cir. 2008).