If, under subsection B of § 56-265.4:4, a certificate of public convenience and necessity is issued to a new entrant to provide local exchange telephone service, the Commission shall at the same time adopt a form of regulation for the new entrant’s local exchange services and, upon application pursuant to § 56-235.5, for the incumbent local exchange telephone company, that does not regulate the earnings of either. In approving the form of regulation of the new entrant’s local exchange services, the Commission shall do so in a manner that is equitable to the new entrant and the incumbent local exchange telephone company and in the public interest. In determining the appropriate form of regulation for the new entrant, the Commission shall: (i) consider whether the form of regulation reasonably protects the affordability of basic local exchange telephone service, as such service is defined by the Commission, and reasonably assures the continuation of quality local exchange telephone service; and (ii) find that such action will not unreasonably prejudice or disadvantage any class of telephone company customers or telephone service providers, including the new entrant and incumbent local exchange telephone company, and is in the public interest. In approving the appropriate form of regulation for the new entrant, the Commission may take such action as it deems appropriate in the public interest, with due consideration being given to the competitiveness of the services, including deregulation and detariffing the services. Nothing in this section shall be construed to deprive the Commission of its power to modify the form of regulation, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, if it finds that competition or the potential for competition no longer effectively regulates the price of a service. Except as provided for in this section and in subsection B of § 56-265.4:4, no other provision of law relating to the regulation of rates, charges, and regulation of local exchange telephone services shall apply to the provision of such services by new entrants.
1995, cc. 22, 35, 187; 2001, c. 75.