A. The Commission, in resolving issues and cases concerning local exchange telephone service under the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-104), this title, or both, shall, consistent with federal and state laws, consider it in the public interest to, as appropriate, (i) treat all providers of local exchange telephone services in an equitable fashion and without undue discrimination and, to the greatest extent possible, apply the same rules to all providers of local exchange telephone services; (ii) promote competitive product offerings, investments, and innovations from all providers of local exchange telephone services in all areas of the Commonwealth; and (iii) reduce or eliminate any requirement to price retail and wholesale products and services at levels that do not permit providers of local exchange telephone services to recover their costs of those products and services.
1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Commission shall (i) for incumbent local exchange carriers serving more than 15,000 access lines in its incumbent territory, establish a schedule that eliminates the carrier common line charge element of intrastate carrier switched access charges no later than July 1, 2013, provided that (a) any such carrier that directly receives no later than April 1, 2010, a Broadband Initiatives Program grant and loan for use in the Commonwealth from the Rural Utilities Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5) shall be considered under clause (ii), and (b) any such carrier that has not been the subject of a Commission proceeding to investigate its carrier common line charge may apply to the Commission for an opportunity to be heard as to why it is in the public interest and why it will not unreasonably prejudice or disadvantage telephone customers throughout the Commonwealth to extend the deadline for the elimination of its carrier common line charge to a date determined by the Commission, but in no case later than July 1, 2014; and (ii) for incumbent local exchange carriers with 15,000 or fewer access lines in its incumbent territory, determine, no later than July 1, 2011, and after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, a schedule for the elimination of the carrier common line charge element of intrastate carrier switched access charges in a manner to be determined by the Commission.
2. The Commission shall permit any incumbent local exchange carrier to increase its retail rates to recover a reasonable amount of carrier common line charge revenue lost due to the reductions required in subdivision 1.
2004, c. 151; 2010, c. 748; 2013, c. 26.