as introduced - 81st Legislature (1999 - 2000) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to telecommunications; modifying, 1.3 recodifying, reorganizing, and clarifying laws 1.4 relating to telecommunications; amending Minnesota 1.5 Statutes 1998, sections 16A.124, subdivision 8; 1.6 18.205; 115B.02, subdivision 14; 256.978, subdivision 1.7 2; 308A.210, subdivision 8; 325E.021; 325F.692, 1.8 subdivision 3; 325F.693, subdivision 2; 326.242, 1.9 subdivision 12; 326.2421, subdivision 2; 403.09; 1.10 403.11, subdivision 1; 412.014; and 609.892, 1.11 subdivision 1; Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, 1.12 sections 16B.465, subdivision 1; 221.031, subdivision 1.13 2; and 270B.14, subdivision 1; proposing coding for 1.14 new law as Minnesota Statutes, chapter 237A; repealing 1.15 Minnesota Statutes 1998, sections 237.01; 237.011; 1.16 237.02; 237.03; 237.035; 237.04; 237.05; 237.06; 1.17 237.065; 237.067; 237.068; 237.069; 237.07; 237.071; 1.18 237.072; 237.075; 237.076; 237.081; 237.082; 237.09; 1.19 237.10; 237.11; 237.115; 237.12; 237.121; 237.14; 1.20 237.15; 237.16; 237.162; 237.163; 237.164; 237.17; 1.21 237.18; 237.19; 237.20; 237.21; 237.22; 237.23; 1.22 237.231; 237.24; 237.25; 237.26; 237.27; 237.28; 1.23 237.295; 237.30; 237.33; 237.34; 237.35; 237.36; 1.24 237.37; 237.38; 237.39; 237.40; 237.44; 237.45; 1.25 237.46; 237.461, subdivision 1; 237.47; 237.49; 1.26 237.50; 237.51, subdivisions 1 and 5; 237.52; 237.53; 1.27 237.54; 237.55; 237.56; 237.57; 237.58; 237.59; 1.28 237.60; 237.61; 237.62; 237.625; 237.626; 237.63; 1.29 237.64; 237.65; 237.66; 237.661; 237.662; 237.663; 1.30 237.67; 237.68; 237.69; 237.70, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 1.31 5, 6, and 7; 237.701; 237.71; 237.711; 237.73; 237.74; 1.32 237.75; 237.76; 237.761; 237.762; 237.763; 237.764; 1.33 237.765; 237.766; 237.767; 237.768; 237.769; 237.770; 1.34 237.771; 237.772; 237.773; 237.774; 237.775; 237.79; 1.35 237.80; and 237.81; Minnesota Statutes 1999 1.36 Supplement, sections 237.036; 237.066; 237.461, 1.37 subdivisions 2, 3, and 4; 237.462; 237.51, subdivision 1.38 5a; 237.5799; and 237.70, subdivision 4a; Minnesota 1.39 Rules, parts 7810.0300; 7810.0400; 7810.0700; 1.40 7810.0800; 7810.0900; 7810.1200; 7810.1300; 7810.1500; 1.41 7810.1600; 7810.1700; 7810.1900; 7810.2000; 7810.2100; 1.42 7810.2200; 7810.2300; 7810.2400; 7810.2500; 7810.2600; 1.43 7810.2700; 7810.2800; 7810.3000; 7810.3100; 7810.3200; 1.44 7810.3300; 7810.3400; 7810.3500; 7810.3600; 7810.3700; 1.45 7810.3800; 7810.3900; 7810.4000; 7810.4200; 7810.4300; 1.46 7810.4400; 7810.4500; 7810.4600; 7810.4700; 7810.4800; 2.1 7810.5100; 7810.5500; 7810.5600; 7810.5700; 7810.6100; 2.2 7810.6200; 7810.6300; 7810.6400; 7810.6500; 7810.6600; 2.3 7810.6700; 7810.6800; 7810.6900; 7810.7000; 7810.7100; 2.4 7810.7200; 7810.7300; 7810.7400; 7810.7500; 7810.7600; 2.5 7810.7700; 7810.7800; 7810.7900; 7810.8000; 7810.8100; 2.6 7810.8200; 7810.8300; 7810.8400; 7810.8500; 7810.8600; 2.7 7810.8605; 7810.8610; 7810.8615; 7810.8620; 7810.8625; 2.8 7810.8630; 7810.8635; 7810.8640; 7810.8645; 7810.8650; 2.9 7810.8655; 7810.8660; 7810.8665; 7810.8670; 7810.8675; 2.10 7810.8680; 7810.8685; 7810.8690; 7810.8700; 7810.8705; 2.11 7810.8710; 7810.8715; 7810.8720; 7810.8725; 7810.8730; 2.12 7810.8735; 7810.8740; 7810.8745; 7810.8750; 7810.8755; 2.13 7810.8760; 7810.8800; 7810.8805; 7810.8810; 7810.8815; 2.14 7810.8900; 7810.8905; 7810.8910; 7810.8915; 7810.8920; 2.15 7810.8925; 7810.8930; 7810.8935; 7810.8940; 7813.0100; 2.16 7813.0200; 7813.0300; 7813.0400; 7813.0500; 7813.0600; 2.17 7813.0700; 7813.0800; 7813.0900; 7813.1000; 7813.1100; 2.18 7817.0100; 7817.0200; 7817.0300; 7817.0400; 7817.0500; 2.19 7817.0600; 7817.0700; 7817.0800; 7817.0900; 7817.1000; 2.20 7827.0100; 7827.0200; 7827.0300; 7827.0400; 7827.0500; 2.21 7827.0600; 7829.0100; 7829.0200; 7829.0300; 7829.0400; 2.22 7829.0500; 7829.0600; 7829.0700; 7829.0800; 7829.0900; 2.23 7829.1000; 7829.1100; 7829.1200; 7829.1300; 7829.1400; 2.24 7829.1500; 7829.1600; 7829.1700; 7829.1800; 7829.1900; 2.25 7829.2000; 7829.2100; 7829.2200; 7829.2300; 7829.2400; 2.26 7829.2500; 7829.2600; 7829.2700; 7829.2800; 7829.2900; 2.27 7829.3000; 7829.3100; 7829.3200; 7831.0100; 7831.0200; 2.28 7831.0300; 7831.0400; 7831.0500; 7831.0600; 7831.0700; 2.29 and 7831.0800. 2.30 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 2.31 ARTICLE 1 2.32 REGULATORY RESPONSIBILITIES 2.33 Section 1. [237A.01] [DEFINITIONS.] 2.34 Subdivision 1. [GENERALLY.] As used in this chapter, the 2.35 following terms have the meanings given. 2.36 Subd. 2. [AFFORDABILITY BENCHMARK IN AREAS SERVED BY LARGE 2.37 INCUMBENT PROVIDERS.] "Affordability benchmark in areas served 2.38 by large incumbent providers" means the highest residential and 2.39 business local service rate charged in Minnesota, not including 2.40 extended area service additives. [new] 2.41 Subd. 3. [AGENCY.] "Agency" means the public utilities 2.42 commission, department of commerce, or other state agency, or 2.43 combination of state agencies, that will provide streamlined 2.44 regulatory review as required by this chapter. [new] 2.45 Subd. 4. [CITY.] "City" means a statutory or home rule 2.46 charter city. [new] 2.47 Subd. 5. [DIGITAL DATA TRANSMISSION SERVICE.] "Digital 2.48 data transmission service" means any digital two-way interactive 2.49 that employs Internet protocols or provides transmission 2.50 functionality capable of transmission at 64 kilobits per second 3.1 or faster, and includes telecommunications services, enhanced 3.2 services, or information services that use digital subscriber 3.3 loop technology, asynchronous transfer mode, or packet, frame, 3.4 cell, or similar technology for transmissions. "Digital data 3.5 transmission service" does not include voice-grade services, 3.6 including specific price-regulated services and signaling system 3.7 7 services, that use the public, switched telecommunications 3.8 network circuit switching to connect customers. [new] 3.9 Subd. 6. [ESSENTIAL SERVICES.] "Essential services" means 3.10 the telecommunication services a local telecommunications 3.11 service provider is required to provide to be eligible for 3.12 federal universal support under Code of Federal Regulations, 3.13 title 47, section 54.101, subsection (a). [new] 3.14 Subd. 7. [EXCHANGE.] "Exchange" means an area approved by 3.15 the agency where the incumbent telecommunications provider 3.16 provides the administration of telecommunications services in a 3.17 specified area that usually embraces a city or town and its 3.18 environs. It uses one or more central offices together with the 3.19 associated facilities used in furnishing telecommunications 3.20 service within that area. [new] 3.21 Subd. 8. [EXTENDED AREA SERVICE.] "Extended area service" 3.22 is a mandatory or optional interexchange service provided by 3.23 local service providers and authorized by the agency by which a 3.24 customer of one exchange may call a customer in another exchange 3.25 without paying a toll fee or separate charge for the call. [new] 3.26 Subd. 9. [FEDERAL ACT.] "Federal act" means the federal 3.27 Telecommunications Act of 1996, Public Law Number 104-104. [new] 3.28 Subd. 10. [INCUMBENT TELECOMMUNICATIONS 3.29 PROVIDER.] "Incumbent telecommunications provider" means a 3.30 telecommunications service provider formerly known as a 3.31 telephone company under Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 237.01, 3.32 subdivision 2. [new] 3.33 Subd. 11. [INTEREXCHANGE SERVICE.] "Interexchange service" 3.34 means telecommunications service that originates in a local 3.35 calling area or exchange and terminates in another. [new] 3.36 Subd. 12. [INTERNET.] "Internet" means collectively the 4.1 myriad of computer and telecommunications facilities, including 4.2 equipment and operating software, that comprise the 4.3 interconnected worldwide network of networks that employ 4.4 transmission control protocol or Internet protocol, or any 4.5 predecessor or successor protocols or technologies, to 4.6 communicate information of all kinds by wire or wireless 4.7 transmission. [new] 4.8 Subd. 13. [LARGE INCUMBENT TELECOMMUNICATIONS 4.9 PROVIDER.] "Large incumbent telecommunications provider" means 4.10 an incumbent telecommunications provider with 50,000 or more 4.11 subscribers. [new] 4.12 Subd. 14. [LOCAL SERVICE PROVIDER.] "Local service 4.13 provider" means a telecommunications service provider of any 4.14 essential service. [new] 4.15 Subd. 15. [LOCAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE.] "Local 4.16 telecommunications service" means either service provided within 4.17 the exchange boundaries as indicated in maps kept on file at the 4.18 agency or comparable service provided through facilities by 4.19 which a subscriber can originate and terminate a 4.20 telecommunications service. [new] 4.21 Subd. 16. [RADIO COMMON CARRIER.] "Radio common carrier" 4.22 means a person, firm, association, or corporation that owns, 4.23 operates, or otherwise furnishes to the public any paging or 4.24 other mobile telecommunications service by means of the use of 4.25 radio signals and connection to a telephone network. [237.01, 4.26 subd 4] 4.27 Subd. 17. [SMALL INCUMBENT TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE 4.28 PROVIDER.] "Small incumbent telecommunications service provider" 4.29 means a telecommunications service provider organized and 4.30 operating under chapter 301 or 302A, or authorized to do 4.31 business in Minnesota under chapter 303, as of January 1, 1983, 4.32 and providing local exchange service to fewer than 50,000 4.33 subscribers within the state. [new] 4.34 Subd. 18. [SUPPORT AREA FOR LARGE INCUMBENT 4.35 PROVIDERS.] "Support area for large incumbent providers" means 4.36 an area defined as the targeted geographic area on which 5.1 universal service support is calculated and to which this 5.2 support is distributed. A support area must be smaller than a 5.3 wire center. [new] 5.4 Subd. 19. [TELECOMMUNICATIONS.] "Telecommunications" means 5.5 any transmission, whether by wire, wireless, or other means of 5.6 transmission between or among points specified by the user, of 5.7 information of the user's choosing, without change in the form 5.8 or content of the information as sent and received. [new] 5.9 Subd. 20. [TELECOMMUNICATIONS 5.10 SERVICE.] "Telecommunications service" means the offering of 5.11 telecommunications for a fee directly to the public, or to such 5.12 classes of users as to be effectively available directly to the 5.13 public, regardless of the facilities used and includes cable 5.14 communications, voice grade over internet protocol, and 5.15 telephone services. [new] 5.16 Subd. 21. [TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE 5.17 PROVIDER.] "Telecommunications service provider" means a person, 5.18 firm, association, or corporation authorized to furnish 5.19 telecommunications service, including local service. A 5.20 telecommunications service provider does not include entities 5.21 that derive more than 50 percent of their revenues from operator 5.22 services provided to transient locations such as hotels, motels, 5.23 and hospitals. [237.01, subd 6] 5.24 Subd. 22. [WIRE CENTER.] "Wire center" means the location 5.25 where the incumbent telecommunications provider terminates local 5.26 loops. [new] 5.27 Sec. 2. [237A.02] [AGENCY AUTHORITY AND LIMITATIONS.] 5.28 Subdivision 1. [AUTHORITY GENERALLY; LIMITATIONS.] The 5.29 agency's duties are limited to those provided in this act or as 5.30 expressly granted by the legislature. The agency does not have 5.31 any implied power, authority, or duties. Rulemaking authority 5.32 is limited to those matters specifically delegated by the 5.33 legislature. 5.34 Subd. 2. [INTERNET SERVICE.] The agency shall not regulate 5.35 or attempt to regulate the Internet, interactive computer 5.36 services, or digital data transmission services under this 6.1 chapter or chapter 216A or 216B. This subdivision does not 6.2 affect the authority of the agency to regulate any other 6.3 telecommunications service under this chapter or federal law. 6.4 This subdivision does not affect any duty or obligation of a 6.5 telephone company or telecommunications carrier imposed upon the 6.6 carrier by (1) section 237A.05, (2) section 251, paragraph (a), 6.7 (b), or (c) of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, or 6.8 (3) state laws regarding interconnection, collocation, resale, 6.9 or network unbundling with other companies or carriers. This 6.10 subdivision does not release a telephone company from any of its 6.11 obligations under an investment plan or digital broadband 6.12 service settlement approved by the public utilities commission 6.13 before May 1, 1999. 6.14 Subd. 3. [RESTRAINT OF TRADE REGULATION.] In addition to 6.15 any other basis for the application of sections 325D.01 to 6.16 325D.16, services exempt from regulation by the agency under 6.17 subdivision 2, are subject to regulation under sections 325D.01 6.18 to 325D.072, as if they were goods sold by a retailer and under 6.19 sections 325D.09 to 325D.16, as if they were the sale of 6.20 merchandise at retail. 6.21 Subd. 4. [PROMOTION ACTIVITIES.] (a) A local service 6.22 provider subject to rate of return regulation may promote the 6.23 use of its services by offering a waiver of part or all of a 6.24 recurring or a nonrecurring charge, a redemption coupon, or a 6.25 premium with the purchase of a service according to this 6.26 subdivision. Section 237A.06 does not apply to promotions under 6.27 this section, but the customer group to which the promotion is 6.28 available must be based on reasonable distinctions among 6.29 customers. No single promotion may be effective for longer than 6.30 90 days at a time. The service being promoted must have a price 6.31 that is above the incremental cost of the service, including 6.32 amortized cost of the promotion. A promotion may take effect 6.33 the day after the notice is filed with the agency. The notice 6.34 must identify customers to whom the promotion is available and 6.35 include cost information demonstrating that the revenue from the 6.36 service covers incremental cost, including cost of the 7.1 promotion. A local service provider that offers a promotion 7.2 under this section shall file a report on the promotion with the 7.3 agency within 90 days of the conclusion of the promotion. 7.4 [237.626, subd 2] 7.5 (b) A local service provider operating under an alternative 7.6 regulation plan or otherwise not subject to rate of return 7.7 regulation or a telecommunications service provider may promote 7.8 the use of its services in any reasonable manner. A promotion 7.9 may take effect the day after the notice is filed with the 7.10 agency. The notice must identify to customers to whom the 7.11 promotion is available and the time period the promotion will be 7.12 available and will automatically be deemed approved by the 7.13 agency unless the agency on its own motion, the agency, or 7.14 another person files a written objection to the promotion within 7.15 ten days. [237.626, subd 3] 7.16 (c) Paragraphs (a) and (b) do not apply to promotional 7.17 offerings or packages that include services not regulated under 7.18 chapter 237A. Revenues from regulated services may not be used 7.19 to subsidize unregulated services. [new] 7.20 Sec. 3. [237A.03] [TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE PROVIDER; 7.21 PERFORMANCE GUARANTY.] 7.22 A person has authority to provide telecommunications 7.23 services if the person furnishes to the agency a performance 7.24 guaranty in the form of a bond, letter of credit, certificate of 7.25 deposit, or other instrument approved by the agency in an amount 7.26 determined by the agency by rules as adequate to provide 7.27 compensation for damages resulting from the failure to meet 7.28 quality of service standards or to deliver promised services. 7.29 The agency may vary the amount furnished dependent on the type 7.30 of service offered or proposed to be offered. A person may not 7.31 provide or offer to provide telecommunications services if the 7.32 person is not in compliance with this section. The guaranty 7.33 amount must be proportional to the number of customers served or 7.34 proposed to be served. The guaranty amount must be adjusted to 7.35 reflect the number of customers served and renewed annually. 7.36 [new] 8.1 Sec. 4. [237A.04] [EXEMPTION; RATE OF RETURN REGULATION.] 8.2 Except as provided in sections 237A.16 to 237A.26, the 8.3 agency shall not regulate the earnings, prices, terms, and 8.4 conditions of any telecommunications service by a 8.5 telecommunications service provider operating in the state. 8.6 However, alternative form of regulation (AFOR) plans shall 8.7 remain in force and effective until expiration of their initial 8.8 term, for plans established under Minnesota Statutes 1998, 8.9 sections 237.762 to 237.722, or two years after an AFOR election 8.10 pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 237.773. [new] 8.11 Sec. 5. [237A.05] [FILING REQUIREMENTS.] 8.12 Every telecommunications service provider shall keep on 8.13 file with the agency a specific rate, toll, or charge for every 8.14 kind of service, together with all rules and classifications 8.15 used by it in the conduct of its business, including limitations 8.16 on liability. The filings are governed by chapter 13. All 8.17 telecommunications or service elements must be offered on a 8.18 nondiscriminatory basis. [237.07] 8.19 Sec. 6. [237A.06] [SERVICE DISCRIMINATION.] 8.20 Subdivision 1. [INTEREXCHANGE SERVICE DISCRIMINATION 8.21 PROHIBITED; PRACTICES, SERVICES, RATES.] No provider of 8.22 interexchange services may refuse to interconnect, directly or 8.23 indirectly, with any provider of local telecommunications 8.24 service in geographic areas in which the interexchange service 8.25 provider offers service, refuse to accept traffic originating 8.26 from customers of any provider of local telecommunications 8.27 service, or refuse to complete calls from its customers to 8.28 customers of any provider of local exchange service. Every 8.29 provider of interexchange services shall charge uniform rates 8.30 and charges on all interexchange routes and in all geographic 8.31 areas in the state where it offers the services. No provider of 8.32 interexchange services shall unreasonably limit its service 8.33 offerings to particular geographic areas unless facilities 8.34 necessary for the service are not available and cannot be made 8.35 available at reasonable costs. 8.36 Subd. 2. [WHOLESALE SERVICE DISCRIMINATION PROHIBITED; 9.1 PRACTICES, SERVICES, RATES.] No provider of telecommunications 9.2 service may offer any telecommunications service to any other 9.3 provider of telecommunications service upon rates, terms, or 9.4 conditions that are unreasonably discriminatory. 9.5 Subd. 3. [RETAIL SERVICE.] No telecommunications carrier 9.6 shall offer telecommunications service within the state upon 9.7 terms or rates that are unreasonably discriminatory. [237.74, 9.8 subd 2] 9.9 Sec. 7. [237A.07] [GEOGRAPHICALLY DEAVERAGED LOCAL 9.10 SERVICES.] 9.11 The prices, terms, or conditions for any local 9.12 telecommunications service, and the availability of any local 9.13 telecommunications service, may vary between geographic areas 9.14 based on zones within the service area of an incumbent 9.15 telecommunications provider that match the zones that the agency 9.16 has established for determining the price of unbundled network 9.17 elements for the incumbent telecommunications provider. [new] 9.18 Sec. 8. [237A.071] [EXISTING RATES DEEMED REASONABLE.] 9.19 The prices, terms, or conditions for all telecommunications 9.20 service currently offered are deemed reasonable, as are any 9.21 other costs that must be recovered resulting from any state, 9.22 federal, or other mandated service, facility, or capability. 9.23 [new] 9.24 Sec. 9. [237A.08] [NEWLY DEPLOYED SERVICES.] 9.25 A telecommunications service provider may establish or 9.26 change prices, terms, or conditions for any new 9.27 telecommunications service or withdraw or terminate the offering 9.28 of any new telecommunications service by filing an informational 9.29 price list with the agency one business day before the effective 9.30 date sought by the telecommunications service provider. The 9.31 agency shall not otherwise regulate any new telecommunications 9.32 service not previously offered to customers by the 9.33 telecommunications service provider in a particular exchange or 9.34 geographic area served by that provider. [new] 9.35 Sec. 10. [237A.09] [SERVICE PARITY.] 9.36 Any telecommunications service provider offering essential 10.1 services in an exchange shall offer essential services to any 10.2 residence or business local telecommunications service customer 10.3 in that exchange, and provide the requested service at the 10.4 service price contained in the telecommunications carrier's 10.5 price list. 10.6 Sec. 11. [237A.10] [SERVICE ON INDIVIDUAL CONTRACT BASIS.] 10.7 (a) A telecommunications service provider may offer any 10.8 telecommunications service on an individual contract basis to a 10.9 specific customer or group of customers upon the filing of a 10.10 notice with the agency. The notice shall describe the 10.11 telecommunications service or services to be offered, the 10.12 customer to be served, the price of the service or services to 10.13 be offered, and an affidavit from a representative of the 10.14 telecommunications service provider attesting that the prices of 10.15 the telecommunications service or services included in the 10.16 contract cover their costs. 10.17 (b) The customer name and location shall, upon request of 10.18 the applicant telecommunications service provider, be maintained 10.19 as confidential information for review only by the agency. The 10.20 agency shall maintain a public file containing the 10.21 nonconfidential information included in the notice. [new] 10.22 Sec. 12. [237A.11] [PACKAGES OF SERVICES.] 10.23 A telecommunications service provider may establish or 10.24 change the prices, terms, or conditions for any package of 10.25 service, special incentive, discount, temporary price waiver, or 10.26 other promotion, or withdraw or terminate the offering of a 10.27 package of services, special incentive, discount, temporary 10.28 price waiver, or other promotion by filing an informational 10.29 price list with the agency one business day before the effective 10.30 date sought by the telecommunications service provider. [new] 10.31 Sec. 13. [237A.12] [EXTENDED AREA SERVICE.] 10.32 Subdivision 1. [TWO-WAY MANDATORY EAS PETITION.] No 10.33 two-way mandatory extended area service (EAS) petitions may be 10.34 approved by the agency after the effective date of this act. 10.35 Subd. 2. [TASK FORCE.] The agency shall create a task 10.36 force representing the affected telecommunications industry to 11.1 review and study the current policies and practices relating to 11.2 extended area service. The study shall include an assessment of 11.3 existing EAS routes and calling scopes throughout the state in 11.4 light of market conditions and competitive alternatives. The 11.5 agency shall appoint members of the task force no later than 45 11.6 days after the effective date of this act. At the first 11.7 meeting, the task force shall choose a chairman from those 11.8 appointed. The agency shall provide necessary support functions 11.9 to the task force. 11.10 Subd. 3. [TASK FORCE REPORT.] The task force shall submit 11.11 a report to the agency containing recommendations that shall 11.12 address the following: 11.13 (1) allowing telecommunications service providers on a 11.14 mutually acceptable basis an option based on market conditions 11.15 and available competitive alternatives to its customers to 11.16 discontinue or modify any existing EAS route after two years 11.17 from the effective date of this act; 11.18 (2) compensation issues among the telecommunications 11.19 service providers; and 11.20 (3) a revenue requirement provision for discontinued routes 11.21 for a specified period of time. 11.22 Subd. 4. [ONE-WAY EXTENDED AREA SERVICE.] (a) Optional 11.23 one-way extended area service calling plans may be offered by 11.24 telecommunications service providers. 11.25 (b) Telecommunications service providers subject to 11.26 alternative form of regulation plans through the effective date 11.27 of this act are granted the authority to provide optional 11.28 one-way extended area service calling plans in the same manner 11.29 as granted to all other carriers in paragraph (a). [new] 11.30 Sec. 14. [237A.13] [RATES FOR SCHOOL OR PURCHASING 11.31 COOPERATIVE.] 11.32 Subdivision 1. [BASIC SERVICE; FLAT RATE.] Each local 11.33 service provider that provides local telecommunications service 11.34 in a service area that includes a school that has classes within 11.35 the range from kindergarten through grade 12 shall provide, upon 11.36 request, additional service to the school that is sufficient to 12.1 ensure access to basic telecommunications service from each 12.2 classroom and other areas within the school, as determined by 12.3 the school board. Each company shall set a flat rate for this 12.4 additional service that is less than the company's flat rate for 12.5 an access line for a business and the same as or greater than 12.6 the company's flat rate for an access line for a residence in 12.7 the same local exchange. When a company's flat rates for 12.8 businesses and residences are the same, the company shall use 12.9 the residential rate for service to schools under this section. 12.10 The rate required under this section is available only for a 12.11 school that installs additional service that includes access to 12.12 basic telephone service from each classroom and other areas 12.13 within the school, as determined by the school board. 12.14 Subd. 2. [BASIC AND ADVANCED TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE; 12.15 REDUCED RATE.] (a) Notwithstanding sections 237A.06 and 237A.07, 12.16 each local service provider that provides local 12.17 telecommunications service in a service area that includes a 12.18 school that has classes within the range from kindergarten 12.19 through grade 12, a public library, or a telecommunication 12.20 services purchasing cooperative may provide, upon request, basic 12.21 and advanced telecommunication services at reduced or no cost to 12.22 that school, library, or may provide, upon request, advanced 12.23 telecommunication services purchasing cooperative. For purposes 12.24 of this section, a "telecommunication services purchasing 12.25 cooperative" means a cooperative organized under section 12.26 308A.210. A school or library receiving telecommunications 12.27 services at reduced or no cost may not resell or sublease the 12.28 discounted services. No members of a telecommunication services 12.29 purchasing cooperative may resell or sublease the discounted 12.30 services. A purchasing cooperative is not required to negotiate 12.31 or provide a uniform rate for its members. Telecommunications 12.32 services must be provided in accordance with the federal act, 12.33 and the regulations of the Federal Communications Commission 12.34 adopted under the federal act. 12.35 (b) An agent that provides telecommunications services to a 12.36 school or library may request the favorable rate on behalf of 13.1 and for the exclusive benefit of the school or library. The 13.2 school or library must authorize the agent to make the request 13.3 of the local service provider. The local service provider is 13.4 not required to offer the same price discount to the agent that 13.5 it would offer to the school district or library. An agent that 13.6 receives a price discount for telecommunications services on 13.7 behalf of a school or library may only resell or sublease the 13.8 discounted services to that school or library. 13.9 (c) For the purposes of this subdivision, "school" includes 13.10 a public school as defined in section 120A.05, and a nonpublic 13.11 school and church or religious organization school that provides 13.12 instruction in compliance with sections 120A.22, 120A.24, and 13.13 120A.41. [237.065] 13.14 Sec. 15. [237A.14] [STATE GOVERNMENT PRICING PLANS.] 13.15 Subdivision 1. [PURPOSE.] A state government 13.16 telecommunications pricing plan is authorized and found to be in 13.17 the public interest as it will (1) provide and assure 13.18 availability of high quality, technologically advanced 13.19 telecommunications services at a reasonable cost to the state 13.20 and (2) further the state telecommunications goals as set forth 13.21 in section 237.011. 13.22 Subd. 2. [PROGRAM PARTICIPATION.] A state government 13.23 telecommunications pricing plan may be available to serve 13.24 individually or collectively: state agencies; educational 13.25 institutions, including public schools complying with section 13.26 120A.05, subdivisions 9, 11, 13, or 17, and nonpublic schools 13.27 complying with sections 120A.22, 120A.24, and 120A.41; private 13.28 colleges; public corporations; and political subdivisions of the 13.29 state. Plans must be available to carry out the commissioner of 13.30 administration's duties under sections 16B.46 and 16B.465, and 13.31 also be available to those entities not using the commissioner 13.32 of administration for contracting for telecommunications 13.33 services. 13.34 Subd. 3. [RATES.] Notwithstanding sections 237A.06 and 13.35 237A.07, a telecommunications service provider may, individually 13.36 or in cooperation with other telecommunications service 14.1 providers, develop and offer basic or advanced 14.2 telecommunications services at discounted or reduced rates as a 14.3 state government telecommunications pricing plan. Any 14.4 telecommunications services provided under any state government 14.5 telecommunications pricing plan must be used exclusively by 14.6 those entities described in subdivision 2, subject to the plan 14.7 solely for their own use and not be made available to any other 14.8 entities by resale, sublease, or in any other way. 14.9 Subd. 4. [APPLICABILITY TO OTHER CUSTOMERS.] A 14.10 telecommunications service provider providing telecommunications 14.11 services under a state government telecommunications pricing 14.12 plan is not required to provide any other person or entity those 14.13 services at the rates made available to the state. 14.14 Subd. 5. [AGENCY REVIEW.] The terms and conditions of any 14.15 state government telecommunications pricing plan must be 14.16 submitted to the agency for its review and approval within 90 14.17 days before implementation to: 14.18 (1) ensure that the terms and conditions benefit the state 14.19 and not any private entity; 14.20 (2) ensure that the rates for any telecommunications 14.21 service in any state government telecommunications pricing plan 14.22 are at or below any applicable tariffed rates; and 14.23 (3) ensure that the state telecommunications pricing plan 14.24 meets the requirements of this section and is in the public 14.25 interest. 14.26 The agency shall reject any state government telecommunications 14.27 pricing plan that does not meet these criteria. [237.066] 14.28 Sec. 16. [237A.15] [MUNICIPAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS 14.29 SERVICES.] 14.30 (a) Any municipality has the right to own and operate a 14.31 local service provider within its own borders. Furthermore, 14.32 that municipality must be considered a telecommunications 14.33 service provider subject to the specific provisions governing 14.34 all telecommunications service providers. It may (1) construct 14.35 the plant, (2) purchase an existing plant by agreement with the 14.36 owner, or (3) if it cannot agree with the owner on price, 15.1 acquire an existing plant by condemnation. However, 15.2 municipality is authorized to construct or purchase a plant or 15.3 proceed to acquire an existing plant by condemnation only when 15.4 authorized by a majority of the electors voting upon the 15.5 proposition at a general election or a special election called 15.6 for that purpose. In addition, if the proposal is to construct 15.7 a new exchange where an exchange already exists, it is 15.8 authorized to do so only when 65 percent of those voting vote in 15.9 favor of the undertaking. 15.10 (b) A municipality that owns and operates a local service 15.11 provider may enter into a joint venture as a partner or 15.12 shareholder with a telecommunications service provider to 15.13 provide telecommunications services within its service area. 15.14 [237.19] 15.15 ARTICLE 2 15.16 CONSUMER PROTECTION 15.17 Section 1. [237A.16] [SERVICE QUALITY AND CONSUMER 15.18 PROTECTION RULES.] 15.19 The following rules apply to all essential services: 15.20 Minnesota Rules, chapters 1215, 7811, 7812, and 7819, and parts 15.21 7810.0100, 7810.0200, 7810.0500, 7810.0600, 7810.1000, 15.22 7810.1100, 7810.1400, 7810.1800, 7810.2900, 7810.4100, 15.23 7810.4900, 7810.5000, 7810.5200, 7810.5300, 7810.5400, 15.24 7810.5800, 7810.5900, and 7810.6000. Within one year the agency 15.25 shall review and revise these quality of service rules for 15.26 essential services to be consistent with current technology, 15.27 reasonable customer expectations, and this chapter. The agency 15.28 shall also implement rules creating uniform minimum retail 15.29 service quality standards that supersede all existing service 15.30 quality requirements, whether in rule or agreement, and that 15.31 will apply in a nondiscriminatory manner to all 15.32 telecommunications service providers providing retail local 15.33 telecommunications services in competitive zones. The service 15.34 quality standards adopted by the agency must apply to 15.35 installation of service, restoration or repair of service, 15.36 exchange access held orders, and dial tone access speed, and be 16.1 consistent with service quality standards used in competitive 16.2 markets. [new] 16.3 Sec. 2. [237A.17] [DISCLOSURE OF LOCAL SERVICE OPTIONS.] 16.4 Subdivision 1. [NOTICE TO LOCAL RESIDENTIAL 16.5 CUSTOMERS.] When a customer requests service or requests a 16.6 change of service, a telecommunications service provider shall 16.7 provide the customer, in a form convenient to the customer, the 16.8 price of all service options available to that customer. 16.9 Subd. 2. [NOTICE TO CUSTOMER; RIGHT TO REQUIRE PRIOR 16.10 AUTHORIZATION.] Each residential and commercial interexchange 16.11 service customer may elect to require that the 16.12 telecommunications service provider serving the customer receive 16.13 authorization from the customer before a request to serve that 16.14 customer from a different interexchange service provider than 16.15 the provider currently serving the customer is processed. 16.16 Subd. 3. [TIMING OF NOTICE; NEW CUSTOMER.] For new 16.17 installations, a telecommunications service provider shall 16.18 notify a residential or commercial customer of the right 16.19 described in subdivision 2 when the customer initially requests 16.20 local telecommunications service. A customer notification of 16.21 the rights set forth in this section must be provided utilizing 16.22 uniform, competitively neutral language. The form, content, and 16.23 style of the authorization must be consistent with federal law 16.24 and regulation, and use language provided and approved by the 16.25 agency. 16.26 Subd. 4. [CHANGE OF ELECTION.] A customer may change the 16.27 election under subdivision 2 at any time by notifying the 16.28 telecommunications service provider of that decision. 16.29 Subd. 5. [CALL BLOCKING.] A telecommunications service 16.30 provider, when a residential customer initially requests 16.31 service, shall advise each residential customer of the 16.32 availability of all blocking options including 900 number 16.33 blocking and international long-distance blocking. 16.34 Subd. 6. [DISCLOSURE OF ETC SERVICES.] A 16.35 telecommunications service provider, when operating as an 16.36 eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC), is required to 17.1 provide accurate, complete, and timely disclosure of ETC 17.2 services described in section 237A.23. [237.66] 17.3 Sec. 3. [237A.18] [ANTISLAMMING.] 17.4 Subdivision 1. [ANTISLAMMING DUTIES OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS 17.5 SERVICE PROVIDERS.] If a customer has elected to exercise the 17.6 right described in section 237A.13, the telecommunications 17.7 service provider serving the customer shall not process a 17.8 request to serve the customer by another long-distance telephone 17.9 company without prior authorization from the customer. If a 17.10 customer has not elected to exercise the right described in that 17.11 subdivision, the telecommunications service provider may process 17.12 a request to serve the customer by another telecommunications 17.13 service provider. 17.14 Subd. 2. [ANTISLAMMING DUTIES OF SOLICITING CARRIER.] (a) 17.15 An interexchange service provider may request that the local 17.16 telecommunications service provider serving a customer, process 17.17 a change in that customer's interexchange service provider, if 17.18 the customer has authorized the change either orally or in 17.19 writing signed by the customer. Before requesting a change in a 17.20 customer's interexchange service provider, the interexchange 17.21 service provider must confirm the following: 17.22 (1) the customer's identity with information unique to the 17.23 customer, unless the customer refused to provide identifying 17.24 information, then that fact should be noted; 17.25 (2) that the customer has been informed of the offering 17.26 made by the interexchange service provider; 17.27 (3) that the customer understands that the customer is 17.28 being requested to change; 17.29 (4) that the customer has the authority to authorize the 17.30 change; and 17.31 (5) that the customer agrees to the change. 17.32 (b) After requesting the change in the interexchange 17.33 service provider, the provider shall: (1) notify the customer 17.34 in writing that the request has been processed and (2) be able 17.35 to produce, upon complaint by the customer, evidence that the 17.36 provider verified the authorization by the customer to change 18.1 the customer's interexchange service provider. If the provider 18.2 used a negative checkoff verification procedure, as defined in 18.3 subdivision 4, paragraph (c), the evidence must include a tape 18.4 recording of the initial oral authorization. 18.5 Subd. 3. [CUSTOMER REMEDY FOR SLAMMING.] If the 18.6 interexchange service provider is not able to present, upon 18.7 complaint by the customer, evidence that complies with 18.8 subdivision 2, paragraph (b), clause (2), the change to the 18.9 service of the provider is deemed to be unauthorized from the 18.10 date the provider requested the change. In that event, the 18.11 provider shall (1) bear all costs of immediately returning the 18.12 customer to the service of the customer's original service 18.13 provider and (2) bear all costs of serving that customer during 18.14 the period of unauthorized service. 18.15 Subd. 4. [VERIFICATION PROCEDURES; EVIDENCE OF 18.16 AUTHORIZATION.] (a) Customer authorization for a change in the 18.17 customer's interexchange service provider may be verified using 18.18 a verification procedure that complies with federal law or 18.19 regulation. Except as provided in paragraph (b), the 18.20 requirement that the telecommunications service provider be able 18.21 to produce evidence of customer authorization is satisfied if 18.22 the telecommunications service provider uses a federally 18.23 authorized verification procedure. 18.24 (b) If federal law or regulation authorizes a 18.25 telecommunications service provider to use a negative check-off 18.26 verification procedure, and the telecommunications service 18.27 provider does so, the telecommunications service provider must 18.28 be able to produce a tape recording of the initial oral 18.29 authorization by the customer to change interexchange service 18.30 providers as evidence of the authorization. The initial oral 18.31 authorization must include confirmation of the items listed in 18.32 subdivision 2, paragraph (a). 18.33 (c) "Negative check-off" means a verification procedure 18.34 that consists of (1) an initial oral authorization by the 18.35 customer to change the interexchange service provider and (2) a 18.36 mailing to the customer by the soliciting interexchange service 19.1 provider regarding the change in service providers that informs 19.2 the customer that if the customer fails to cancel the change in 19.3 service providers, the change will be deemed authorized and 19.4 verified. [237.661] 19.5 Sec. 4. [237A.19] [NOTICE AND DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS OF 19.6 INTEREXCHANGE SERVICE PROVIDERS.] 19.7 Subdivision 1. [INFORMATION REQUIRED.] When contacted by a 19.8 customer regarding the purchase of interexchange 19.9 telecommunications services, or when soliciting customers via 19.10 mail or telephone, an interexchange service provider shall 19.11 provide the customer with the following information, if the 19.12 service is being offered to the customer, about the service 19.13 offering either orally or in writing: 19.14 (1) the price or range of prices of interstate message toll 19.15 service accessed by dialing "1+" or "10-xxx," including any 19.16 difference in prices for evening, night, or weekend calls; 19.17 (2) the price or range of prices of intrastate interLATA 19.18 message toll service accessed by dialing "1+" or "10-xxx," 19.19 including any difference in prices for evening, night, or 19.20 weekend calls; 19.21 (3) the price or range of prices of intrastate intraLATA 19.22 message toll service accessed by dialing "1+" or "10-xxx," 19.23 including any difference in prices for evening, night, or 19.24 weekend; 19.25 (4) any minimum volume requirements, fixed flat fees, 19.26 service charges, surcharges, termination charges, or other 19.27 non-service-specific charges, including the fact that the 19.28 provider of local telecommunications services may charge a 19.29 one-time fee for changing carriers; and 19.30 (5) any special promotional rate or promotional offering 19.31 related to the services or prices described in clauses (1) to 19.32 (4), including any limitations or restrictions on the 19.33 promotional rates or offerings. 19.34 Subd. 2. [PRICE, TERMS, AND RESTRICTIONS IN WRITING.] (a) 19.35 If a customer agrees to purchase telecommunications services 19.36 from the interexchange service provider on a presubscription 20.1 basis, the provider shall send the customer written information 20.2 regarding services subscribed to, containing: 20.3 (1) the information regarding prices and charges described 20.4 in subdivision 1, clauses (1) to (5); 20.5 (2) the price for calls placed with a calling card issued 20.6 to the customer by the provider and any surcharge for placing 20.7 calls with a calling card; 20.8 (3) the price for calls charged to the customer when a 20.9 personal "1-800" number for interexchange services issued to the 20.10 customer by the provider is used; and 20.11 (4) the price of directory assistance calls. 20.12 (b) This written information must be sent to the customer 20.13 within seven business days from the date of the verification of 20.14 the customer's authorization, unless federal law or regulation 20.15 requires notice to be sent by an earlier date. 20.16 Subd. 3. [FILED TARIFF NO DEFENSE.] That an interexchange 20.17 service provider has intrastate tariffs or price lists for the 20.18 services listed in subdivisions 1 and 2 on file with the agency 20.19 is not a defense to any action brought for failure to disclose 20.20 intrastate prices for which disclosure is required under this 20.21 section. [237.662] 20.22 Sec. 5. [237A.20] [LOADING.] 20.23 (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) or (c), a 20.24 telecommunications service provider or an interexchange service 20.25 provider providing local telecommunications service shall not 20.26 charge a service subscriber, as defined in section 325F.692, for 20.27 a telephone or telecommunications service that is not required 20.28 by the agency to be offered and for which the subscriber did not 20.29 explicitly contract. 20.30 (b) If a charge is assessed on a per-use basis for a 20.31 service described in paragraph (a), the charge must be applied 20.32 as a credit to the subscriber's next monthly bill, if the 20.33 subscriber notifies the interexchange service provider or 20.34 telecommunications services provider that the subscriber did not 20.35 utilize the service or did not authorize the utilization of the 20.36 service. 21.1 (c) An interexchange service provider or telecommunications 21.2 service provider that receives a notification from a telephone 21.3 service subscriber under paragraph (b) shall inform the 21.4 subscriber of the ability to block the services from future use 21.5 by the subscriber, and shall block the services from future use 21.6 by the subscriber, if the subscriber so requests. If a 21.7 subscriber requests that the telecommunications service provider 21.8 or interexchange service provider not block the service or later 21.9 requests to have the block lifted, the subscriber is responsible 21.10 for charges caused by the future utilization of that service. 21.11 The telecommunications service provider or long distance 21.12 telephone company shall not charge a recurring fee for blocking 21.13 the service. [237.663] 21.14 ARTICLE 3 21.15 MINNESOTA UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND 21.16 Section 1. [237A.21] [UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND PURPOSE AND 21.17 PRINCIPLES.] 21.18 Subdivision 1. [PURPOSE.] The purpose of sections 237A.21 21.19 to 237A.26 is to authorize the agency to establish a funding 21.20 mechanism according to section 254 of the federal act consistent 21.21 with this chapter. 21.22 Subd. 2. [PRINCIPLES.] The principles of the Minnesota 21.23 universal service fund (MUSF) are to preserve and advance 21.24 universal service, including: 21.25 (1) maintaining availability of quality, basic 21.26 telecommunications service in high-cost locations of the state 21.27 at just, reasonable, and affordable rates; 21.28 (2) providing consumers in rural and high-cost areas with 21.29 access to telecommunications services, including interexchange 21.30 services, that are reasonably comparable to those services 21.31 provided in urban areas at rates that are reasonably comparable 21.32 to rates charged for similar services in urban areas; 21.33 (3) requiring all providers of telecommunications services 21.34 within the state to make equitable and nondiscriminatory 21.35 contributions to the preservation and advancement of universal 21.36 service; and 22.1 (4) providing specific, predictable, and sufficient support 22.2 for all access lines, to be targeted to high-cost areas in a 22.3 competitively and technologically neutral manner. 22.4 Subd. 3. [TRIENNIAL REPORT TO LEGISLATURE.] (a) Every 22.5 three years the agency shall review and report to the 22.6 legislature the extent to which additional telecommunications 22.7 services: 22.8 (1) are essential to education, public health, or public 22.9 safety; 22.10 (2) have, through the operation of market choices by 22.11 customers, been subscribed to by a substantial majority of 22.12 residential customers; 22.13 (3) are being deployed in public telecommunications 22.14 networks by telecommunications carriers; and 22.15 (4) are consistent with the public interest, convenience, 22.16 and necessity. 22.17 (b) Additional services or functionalities may not be added 22.18 to the list of services and functionalities supported by the 22.19 MUSF except by amendment to section 237A.24 or by addition to 22.20 the services or functionalities supported by the federal 22.21 universal service fund. 22.22 Sec. 2. [237A.22] [UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND ADMINISTRATION.] 22.23 Subdivision 1. [ADMINISTRATOR.] (a) The Minnesota 22.24 universal service fund (MUSF) must be administered by a neutral 22.25 third-party administrator chosen by the agency among third-party 22.26 administrators capable of administering universal service 22.27 support in the telecommunications industry. 22.28 (b) The administrator has the following administrative 22.29 responsibilities: 22.30 (1) collecting and receiving contributions; 22.31 (2) calculating and disbursing the MUSF support amounts as 22.32 provided herein; 22.33 (3) managing daily operations and affairs of the MUSF; 22.34 (4) investing amounts collected under this section in 22.35 secure short-term, secured debt instruments; 22.36 (5) conducting periodic audits of contributors; 23.1 (6) conducting periodic audits of the MUSF; 23.2 (7) reviewing requests for reimbursements; 23.3 (8) verifying that all recipients are complying with 23.4 eligibility requirements; 23.5 (9) notifying the agency of noncompliance by either 23.6 contributors or recipients of funding; and 23.7 (10) preparing and submitting periodic reports to the 23.8 agency regarding MUSF administration and operation. [new] 23.9 Subd. 2. [AGENCY DUTIES.] (a) The agency shall establish 23.10 and require contributions to the MUSF, to be funded by all 23.11 telecommunications service providers as set forth in Code of 23.12 Federal Regulations, title 47, section 54.706. Contributions to 23.13 the MUSF must be based on intrastate end-user telecommunications 23.14 revenues provided to a service address in the state of 23.15 Minnesota, which must be reported to the administrator on a 23.16 quarterly basis. [237.16, subd 9] 23.17 (b) After notice to recipients and contributors and an 23.18 opportunity for comment, the agency shall annually determine the 23.19 estimated MUSF size and the administrator shall notify carriers 23.20 of their obligations to the MUSF, which must be remitted to the 23.21 administrator on a monthly basis. [new] 23.22 Subd. 3. [COLLECTING SURCHARGE.] The surcharge must be 23.23 collected from the retail customers by providers as a monthly, 23.24 identifiable line item on the bill. 23.25 Subd. 4. [FUNDS DISBURSED; REPORTS.] (a) The administrator 23.26 shall disburse funds monthly to eligible telecommunications 23.27 carriers, as described in section 237A.23. 23.28 (b) The administrator may require annual or quarterly 23.29 reports from contributors to the fund or recipients of the 23.30 MUSF. Monthly reports may not be required. 23.31 Sec. 3. [237A.23] [ELIGIBLE TELECOMMUNICATIONS CARRIER.] 23.32 Subdivision 1. [REQUIREMENTS AND STANDARDS.] (a) No 23.33 carrier is an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) eligible 23.34 to receive funding from the Minnesota universal service fund 23.35 (MUSF) unless it meets all of the requirements listed in this 23.36 subdivision. 24.1 (b) It must satisfy all of the local service requirements 24.2 and standards of Minnesota Rules, chapter 7811. 24.3 (c) It must be currently offering a package of all the 24.4 services listed in clauses (1) to (6) and only these services: 24.5 (1) single party voice-grade service and touch-tone 24.6 capability with unlimited local usage; 24.7 (2) 911 or enhanced 911 access; 24.8 (3) 1 + intraLATA and interLATA presubscription and 24.9 code-specific equal access to interexchange carriers subscribing 24.10 to its switched access service; 24.11 (4) toll blocking or limitation capability without 24.12 recurring monthly charges; 24.13 (5) telecommunications relay service capability or access 24.14 necessary to comply with state rules and federal regulations; 24.15 and 24.16 (6) any other service supported by federal universal 24.17 support mechanisms pursuant to Code of Federal Regulations, 24.18 title 47, section 54.101, paragraph (a). 24.19 (d) It advertises in media of general distribution that it 24.20 offers a package described in paragraph (c) throughout its 24.21 proposed service territory. 24.22 (e) Its package described in paragraph (c): 24.23 (1) is substitutable for landline service; 24.24 (2) is subject to agency oversight; and 24.25 (3) complies with all applicable quality of service 24.26 standards of the agency. 24.27 Subd. 2. [DUTY TO PROVIDE NEW SERVICE.] (a) An ETC has the 24.28 duty to provide services to all customers in its service area 24.29 upon request, including the obligation to build facilities to 24.30 requesting customers located where there are no facilities. 24.31 (b) If an ETC receives a customer request for service in 24.32 its service area and that ETC lacks facilities to serve the 24.33 customer, but another ETC does have facilities in place to serve 24.34 the customer, the ETC receiving the request must serve the 24.35 customer, and the ETC that has the in-place facilities has a 24.36 duty to provide interconnection, services for resale at a 25.1 wholesale, avoided cost discount, and unbundled network elements 25.2 at their forward-looking economic cost to the ETC obliged to 25.3 serve the customer. 25.4 Subd. 3. [UNIVERSAL SERVICE SUPPORT.] (a) So long as an 25.5 ETC satisfies the obligations of this section, it may obtain 25.6 MUSF support for universal service packages that are not 25.7 unbundled. For the purposes of this section, "packages that are 25.8 not unbundled" refers to packages that contain services beyond 25.9 those required by subdivision 1, paragraph (a), so long as all 25.10 services required by subdivision 1 are included in all universal 25.11 service packages. 25.12 Subd. 4. [NO SUPPORT FOR GOVERNMENTAL UNITS.] (a) Funds 25.13 from the MUSF are not available to the state of Minnesota or its 25.14 political subdivisions or its departments or agencies or any 25.15 network or telecommunications system that it operates, manages, 25.16 or controls. 25.17 (b) Funds from the MUSF may be made available to incumbent 25.18 municipal telephone companies and those that comply with section 25.19 237A.15. 25.20 Subd. 5. [ANNUAL ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION.] The agency 25.21 shall require annual verification from each ETC that it 25.22 continues to meet the requirements of paragraph (a). 25.23 Subd. 6. [RELINQUISHING DESIGNATION AS ETC.] The agency 25.24 shall permit an ETC to relinquish its designation as an ETC and 25.25 a carrier of last resort in any area served by more than one 25.26 ETC, within one year of advance notice to the agency. Prior to 25.27 permitting a telecommunications carrier designated as an ETC to 25.28 cease providing universal service under this subdivision, the 25.29 agency shall require any remaining ETC to ensure that all 25.30 customers served by the relinquishing ETC will continue to be 25.31 served, and shall require sufficient notice to permit the 25.32 purchase or construction of adequate facilities by the remaining 25.33 ETC. The agency shall establish a time, not to exceed one year, 25.34 after the ETC provides notice of relinquishment to the agency 25.35 under this subdivision, within which the purchase or 25.36 construction must be completed. 26.1 Sec. 4. [237A.24] [SERVICES SUPPORTED BY THE MUSF.] 26.2 (a) Minnesota universal service fund (MUSF) shall support 26.3 the following services or functionalities: 26.4 (1) single party voice-grade service and touch-tone 26.5 capability with unlimited local usage; 26.6 (2) 911 or enhanced 911 access; 26.7 (3) 1 + intraLATA and interLATA presubscription and 26.8 code-specific equal access to interexchange carriers subscribing 26.9 to its switched access service; 26.10 (4) toll blocking or limitation capability without 26.11 recurring monthly charges; 26.12 (5) telecommunications relay service capability or access 26.13 necessary to comply with state rules and federal regulations; 26.14 and 26.15 (6) any other services supported by federal universal 26.16 support mechanisms pursuant to Code of Federal Regulations, 26.17 title 47, section 54.101, paragraph (a). 26.18 (b) Pursuant to section 237A.21, subdivision 3, paragraph 26.19 (b), except for additional services or functionalities to be 26.20 supported by the federal universal service fund, only the 26.21 legislature may review and expand the definition of services and 26.22 functionalities to be supported by the MUSF. The costs of any 26.23 additional requirements imposed by the legislature must be 26.24 recovered from the MUSF. 26.25 Sec. 5. [237A.25] [ETC SERVICES IN AREAS SERVED BY LARGE 26.26 INCUMBENT PROVIDERS.] 26.27 Subdivision 1. [REQUIREMENTS FOR ETC DESIGNATION.] A 26.28 carrier may be designated an eligible telecommunications carrier 26.29 (ETC) in an area served by a large incumbent provider only if it 26.30 is capable of providing, and will provide, the package under 26.31 section 237A.24, paragraph (a), clause (1), at a price no higher 26.32 than the affordability benchmark in areas served by large 26.33 incumbent providers upon being designated an ETC, and any 26.34 revisions of its rates will meet that affordability benchmark. 26.35 Subd. 2. [DETERMINING PER-LINE MUSF SUPPORT.] The per-line 26.36 Minnesota universal service fund (MUSF) support must be 27.1 determined based upon the difference between a Minnesota 27.2 forward-looking economic cost per line for the support area and 27.3 the affordability benchmark in areas served by large incumbent 27.4 providers, reduced by the amount of any net federal universal 27.5 support received, if any, to cover intrastate costs. 27.6 Subd. 3. [AMOUNTS RECOVERABLE FROM MUSF.] Amounts 27.7 recovered from the MUSF must include: 27.8 (1) any transitional revenue shortfall resulting from 27.9 access charge restructuring; 27.10 (2) any cost shifts resulting from changes in the Federal 27.11 Communications Commission's regulation of services supported by 27.12 the federal universal service fund, including those resulting 27.13 from number portability; and 27.14 (3) any other costs resulting from any state, federal, or 27.15 other mandated basic local services, facilities, and advanced 27.16 capabilities required of the ETC. 27.17 Subd. 4. [TARGETED HIGH-COST AREAS.] The support per line 27.18 must be targeted to the high-cost areas and correspond to the 27.19 support areas within the wire center. 27.20 Subd. 5. [RECOVERY FOR NEW INVESTMENT.] Full up-front 27.21 recovery must be allowed for new investment to meet universal 27.22 service obligations in unserved areas. 27.23 Subd. 6. [RECEIPTS OFFSET.] Receipts from the MUSF will be 27.24 offset by revenue-neutral alterations to rates providing 27.25 implicit support. 27.26 Subd. 7. [SUPPORT FOR USE OF FACILITIES.] (a) A 27.27 competitive ETC using only its own facilities shall receive MUSF 27.28 support to the extent that the competitive ETC captures a large 27.29 incumbent provider's subscriber lines or services new subscriber 27.30 lines in the large incumbent provider's service area. 27.31 (b) MUSF support attributable to facilities or elements 27.32 used in providing the universal service must be paid to the 27.33 owner of the facilities or elements and applied as a credit to 27.34 reduce the rates paid by another provider for use of those 27.35 facilities or elements. 27.36 Subd. 8. [NEW LEVELS OF SERVICES.] Payments from the MUSF 28.1 must include amounts sufficient to provide funding for the costs 28.2 of providing new levels of services that may be required by 28.3 federal or state law, rule, or order, less amounts received from 28.4 other sources that are related to the new levels of service. 28.5 Subd. 9. [MUSF SUPPORT DISTRIBUTION.] The MUSF support 28.6 must be distributed to the ETC. 28.7 Sec. 6. [237A.26] [ETC SERVICES IN AREAS SERVED BY SMALL 28.8 INCUMBENT PROVIDERS.] 28.9 Subdivision 1. [REQUIREMENT FOR ETC DESIGNATION.] The 28.10 agency shall not designate any carrier an eligible 28.11 telecommunications carrier (ETC) to receive Minnesota universal 28.12 service fund (MUSF) funding for an area served by a small 28.13 incumbent provider unless the carrier currently makes the 28.14 required services available to customers throughout all areas 28.15 within the state in which local service is provided by the small 28.16 incumbent provider. 28.17 Subd. 2. [PUBLIC INTEREST DETERMINATION.] Before 28.18 authorizing an additional carrier an ETC to receive MUSF funding 28.19 in an area served by a small incumbent provider, the agency 28.20 shall find that the authorization is in the public interest. 28.21 Before making this finding, the agency shall consider and make 28.22 specific findings with respect to: 28.23 (1) the price to be charged by the additional carrier and 28.24 whether that price meets the goal of affordability; 28.25 (2) the amount and cost of the additional MUSF funding that 28.26 may be provided to the additional carrier in relation to the 28.27 benefit of providing an additional source of universal service; 28.28 (3) the quality of service to be provided by the additional 28.29 carrier, including whether that service will provide advanced 28.30 and telecommunications and information services; and 28.31 (4) whether the proposed service would be a suitable 28.32 substitute for the small incumbent provider's universal service 28.33 offering. 28.34 Subd. 3. [SERVICE CESSATION; APPROVAL REQUIRED.] No 28.35 carrier authorized to receive MUSF funding in an area served by 28.36 a small incumbent provider may withdraw from providing service 29.1 to any part of that area without prior approval from the agency. 29.2 Subd. 4. [BASIS FOR FUNDING.] (a) MUSF funding for a small 29.3 incumbent provider must be based on the difference between that 29.4 small incumbent provider's per access line cost of providing 29.5 universal service and 115 percent of the statewide average per 29.6 access line cost of providing universal service, determined by 29.7 calculations comparable to the calculations used to determine 29.8 federal universal service funding levels. These amounts must be 29.9 reduced by any amounts received from the federal universal 29.10 service fund for the access line costs. 29.11 (b) MUSF funding for a small incumbent provider must also 29.12 include revenue shortfalls resulting from access charge 29.13 reductions required by the agency. These shortfalls must be 29.14 reduced in equal proportions during a five-year transitional 29.15 period. 29.16 (c) MUSF funding must include amounts equal to reductions 29.17 in federal universal service funding resulting from transfers of 29.18 costs and universal service funding responsibility from the 29.19 interstate to state jurisdiction, including local loop costs, 29.20 additional switching costs reflected in dial equipment minute 29.21 weighting, and long-term support not otherwise reflected in the 29.22 per access line cost of providing universal service. These 29.23 amounts must be reduced in equal proportions during a five-year 29.24 transitional period. 29.25 (d) MUSF funding must include amounts sufficient to provide 29.26 funding for the costs of providing new levels of services that 29.27 may be required by federal or state law, rule, or order, less 29.28 amount received from other sources that are related to the new 29.29 levels of service. 29.30 (e) If the agency adopts a theoretical cost model for 29.31 determining universal service costs, MUSF funding must include 29.32 an amount equal to the difference between the provider's 29.33 embedded, historic costs and the provider's costs determined 29.34 using the theoretical cost model, determined at the time that 29.35 the theoretical cost model was adopted. This amount must be 29.36 amortized over a period of five years. 30.1 (f) In order to achieve the universal service principles of 30.2 predictability and sufficiency of funding for investments needed 30.3 to maintain universal service availability and to provide access 30.4 to advanced telecommunications and information services for all 30.5 customers in rural and high-cost areas, MUSF funding provided to 30.6 a small incumbent provider must be: 30.7 (1) based on the total number of universal service lines 30.8 within the area for which the small incumbent provider is 30.9 required to make facilities available as a carrier of last 30.10 resort and must not be reduced as the result of universal 30.11 service funding provided to an additional ETC; and 30.12 (2) paid directly to the small incumbent provider. 30.13 (g) MUSF funding for any additional ETC in an area served 30.14 by a small incumbent provider must be based on the number of 30.15 access lines served by that ETC in that area. Funding per line 30.16 must equal the funding received by the small incumbent provider 30.17 for the line, not including amounts paid to the small incumbent 30.18 provider under paragraphs (a) through (e). 30.19 Subd. 5. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] The MUSF for areas served by a 30.20 small incumbent provider becomes effective on the earliest of: 30.21 (1) the effective date on which responsibility for any 30.22 existing federal universal service funding is transferred from 30.23 the interstate jurisdiction to the intrastate jurisdiction by 30.24 order of the Federal Communications Commission; 30.25 (2) the effective date of any event listed in paragraphs 30.26 (a) through (e); or 30.27 (3) January 1, 2002. 30.28 ARTICLE 4 30.29 RIGHT-OF-WAY 30.30 Section 1. [237A.27] [PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY; DEFINITIONS.] 30.31 Subdivision 1. [GENERALLY.] The terms used in this section 30.32 and section 237A.28 have the meanings given them in this section. 30.33 Subd. 2. [LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT.] "Local government unit" 30.34 means a county, home rule charter or statutory city, or town. 30.35 Subd. 3. [PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY.] "Public right-of-way" 30.36 means the area on, below, or above a public roadway, highway, 31.1 street, cartway, bicycle lane, and public sidewalk in which the 31.2 local government unit has an interest, including other dedicated 31.3 rights-of-way for travel purposes and utility easements of local 31.4 government units. A public right-of-way does not include the 31.5 airwaves above a public right-of-way with regard to cellular or 31.6 other nonwire telecommunications or broadcast service. 31.7 Subd. 4. [TELECOMMUNICATIONS RIGHT-OF-WAY USER.] 31.8 "Telecommunications right-of-way user" means a person owning or 31.9 controlling a facility in the public right-of-way, or seeking to 31.10 own or control a facility in the public right-of-way, that is 31.11 used or is intended to be used for transporting 31.12 telecommunications or other voice or data information. 31.13 Telecommunications activities related to providing natural gas 31.14 or electric energy services, whether provided by a public 31.15 utility as defined in section 216B.02, a municipality, a 31.16 municipal gas or power agency organized under chapter 453 or 31.17 453A, or a cooperative electric association organized under 31.18 chapter 308A, are not telecommunications right-of-way users for 31.19 the purposes of this section and section 237A.28. 31.20 Subd. 5. [EXCAVATE.] "Excavate" means to dig into or in 31.21 any way remove, physically disturb, or penetrate a part of a 31.22 public right-of-way. 31.23 Subd. 6. [OBSTRUCT.] "Obstruct" means to place a tangible 31.24 object in a public right-of-way so as to hinder free and open 31.25 passage over that or any part of the right-of-way. 31.26 Subd. 7. [RIGHT-OF-WAY PERMIT.] "Right-of-way permit" 31.27 means a permit to perform work in a public right-of-way, whether 31.28 to excavate or obstruct the right-of-way. 31.29 Subd. 8. [MANAGE THE PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY.] "Manage the 31.30 public right-of-way" means the authority of a local government 31.31 unit to do any or all of the following: 31.32 (1) require registration; 31.33 (2) require construction performance bonds and insurance 31.34 coverage; 31.35 (3) establish installation and construction standards; 31.36 (4) establish and define location and relocation 32.1 requirements for equipment and facilities; 32.2 (5) establish coordination and timing requirements; 32.3 (6) require telecommunications right-of-way users to 32.4 submit, for right-of-way projects commenced after May 10, 1997, 32.5 whether initiated by a local government unit or any 32.6 telecommunications right-of-way user, project data reasonably 32.7 necessary to allow the local government unit to develop a 32.8 right-of-way mapping system, such as a geographical information 32.9 mapping system; 32.10 (7) require telecommunication right-of-way users to submit, 32.11 upon request of a local government unit, existing data on the 32.12 location of the user's facilities occupying the public 32.13 right-of-way within the local government unit, which may be 32.14 submitted in the form maintained by the user and in a reasonable 32.15 time after receipt of the request based on the amount of data 32.16 requested; 32.17 (8) establish right-of-way permitting requirements for 32.18 street excavation and obstruction; 32.19 (9) establish removal requirements for abandoned equipment 32.20 or facilities, if required in conjunction with other 32.21 right-of-way repair, excavation, or construction; and 32.22 (10) impose reasonable penalties for unreasonable delays in 32.23 construction. 32.24 Subd. 9. [MANAGEMENT COSTS OR RIGHTS-OF-WAY MANAGEMENT 32.25 COSTS.] "Management costs" or "rights-of-way management costs" 32.26 means the actual costs a local government unit incurs in 32.27 managing its public rights-of-way, and includes such costs, if 32.28 incurred, as those associated with registering applicants; 32.29 issuing, processing, and verifying right-of-way permit 32.30 applications; inspecting job sites and restoration projects; 32.31 maintaining, supporting, protecting, or moving user equipment 32.32 during public right-of-way work; determining the adequacy of 32.33 right-of-way restoration; restoring work inadequately performed 32.34 after providing notice and the opportunity to correct the work; 32.35 and revoking right-of-way permits. Management costs do not 32.36 include payment by a telecommunications right-of-way user for 33.1 the use of the public right-of-way, the fees and cost of 33.2 litigation relating to the interpretation of this section or 33.3 section 237A.28 or any ordinance enacted under those sections, 33.4 or the local unit of government's fees and costs related to 33.5 appeals taken pursuant to section 237A.28, subdivision 5. 33.6 [237.162] 33.7 Sec. 2. [237A.28] [USE AND REGULATION OF PUBLIC 33.8 RIGHT-OF-WAY.] 33.9 Subdivision 1. [LEGISLATIVE FINDING.] The legislature 33.10 finds, and establishes the principle that, it is in the state's 33.11 interest that the use and regulation of public rights-of-way be 33.12 carried on in a fair, efficient, competitively neutral, and 33.13 substantially uniform manner, while recognizing such regulation 33.14 must reflect the distinct engineering, construction, operation, 33.15 maintenance, and public and worker safety requirements, and 33.16 standards applicable to various users of public rights-of-way. 33.17 Because of the potential for installation by telecommunications 33.18 service providers of multiple and competing facilities within 33.19 the public rights-of-way, the legislature finds it is necessary 33.20 to enact the provisions of this section and section 237A.29 to 33.21 specifically authorize local government units to regulate the 33.22 use of public rights-of-way by telecommunications right-of-way 33.23 users. 33.24 Subd. 2. [GENERALLY.] (a) Subject to this section, a 33.25 telecommunications right-of-way user authorized to do business 33.26 under the laws of this state or by license of the Federal 33.27 Communications Commission may construct, maintain, and operate 33.28 conduit, cable, switches, and related appurtenances and 33.29 facilities along, across, upon, above, and under any public 33.30 right-of-way. 33.31 (b) Subject to this section, a local government unit has 33.32 the authority to manage its public rights-of-way and to recover 33.33 its rights-of-way management costs. The authority defined in 33.34 this section may be exercised at the option of the local 33.35 government unit. The exercise of this authority is not mandated 33.36 under this section. A local government unit may, by ordinance: 34.1 (1) require a telecommunications right-of-way user seeking 34.2 to excavate or obstruct a public right-of-way for the purpose of 34.3 providing telecommunications services to obtain a right-of-way 34.4 permit to do so and to impose permit conditions consistent with 34.5 the local government unit's management of the right-of-way; 34.6 (2) require a telecommunications right-of-way user using, 34.7 occupying, or seeking to use or occupy a public right-of-way for 34.8 the purpose of providing telecommunications services to register 34.9 with the local government unit by providing the local government 34.10 unit with the following information: 34.11 (i) the applicant's name, gopher state one-call 34.12 registration number under section 216D.03, address, and 34.13 telephone and facsimile numbers; 34.14 (ii) the name, address, and telephone and facsimile numbers 34.15 of the applicant's local representative; 34.16 (iii) proof of adequate insurance; and 34.17 (iv) other information deemed reasonably necessary by the 34.18 local government unit for the efficient administration of the 34.19 public right-of-way; and 34.20 (3) require telecommunications right-of-way users to submit 34.21 to the local government unit plans for construction and major 34.22 maintenance that provide reasonable notice to the local 34.23 government unit of projects that the telecommunications 34.24 right-of-way user expects to undertake that may require 34.25 excavation and obstruction of public rights-of-way. 34.26 (c) A local government unit may also require a 34.27 telecommunications right-of-way user that is registered with the 34.28 local government unit pursuant to paragraph (b), clause (2), to 34.29 periodically update the information in its registration 34.30 application. 34.31 Subd. 3. [RESTORATION.] (a) A telecommunications 34.32 right-of-way user, after an excavation of a public right-of-way, 34.33 shall provide for restoration of the right-of-way and 34.34 surrounding areas, including the pavement and its foundation, in 34.35 the same condition that existed before the excavation. Local 34.36 government units that choose to perform their own surface 35.1 restoration required as a result of the excavation may require 35.2 telecommunications right-of-way users to reimburse the 35.3 reasonable costs of that surface restoration. Restoration of 35.4 the public right-of-way must be completed within the dates 35.5 specified in the right-of-way permit, unless the permittee 35.6 obtains a waiver or a new or amended right-of-way permit. 35.7 (b) If a telecommunications right-of-way user elects not to 35.8 restore the public right-of-way, a local government unit may 35.9 impose a degradation fee in lieu of restoration to recover costs 35.10 associated with a decrease in the useful life of the public 35.11 right-of-way caused by the excavation of the right-of-way by a 35.12 telecommunications right-of-way user. 35.13 (c) A telecommunications right-of-way user that disturbs 35.14 uncultivated sod in the excavation or obstruction of a public 35.15 right-of-way shall plant grasses that are native to Minnesota 35.16 and, wherever practicable, that are of the local eco-type, as 35.17 part of the restoration required under this subdivision, unless 35.18 the owner of the real property over which the public 35.19 right-of-way traverses objects. In restoring the right-of-way, 35.20 the telecommunications right-of-way user shall consult with the 35.21 department of natural resources regarding the species of native 35.22 grasses that conform to the requirements of this paragraph. 35.23 Subd. 4. [PERMIT DENIAL OR REVOCATION.] (a) A local 35.24 government unit may deny any application for a right-of-way 35.25 permit if the telecommunications right-of-way user does not 35.26 comply with a provision of this section. 35.27 (b) A local government unit may deny an application for a 35.28 right-of-way permit if the local government unit determines that 35.29 the denial is necessary to protect the health, safety, and 35.30 welfare or when necessary to protect the public right-of-way and 35.31 its current use. 35.32 (c) A local government unit may revoke a right-of-way 35.33 permit granted to a telecommunications right-of-way user, with 35.34 or without fee refund, in the event of a substantial breach of 35.35 the terms and conditions of statute, ordinance, rule, or 35.36 regulation, or any material condition of the permit. A 36.1 substantial breach by a permittee includes, but is not limited 36.2 to, the following: 36.3 (1) a material violation of a provision of the right-of-way 36.4 permit; 36.5 (2) an evasion or attempt to evade any material provision 36.6 of the right-of-way permit, or the perpetration or attempt to 36.7 perpetrate any fraud or deceit upon the local government unit or 36.8 its citizens; 36.9 (3) a material misrepresentation of fact in the 36.10 right-of-way permit application; 36.11 (4) a failure to complete work in a timely manner, unless a 36.12 permit extension is obtained or unless the failure to complete 36.13 work is due to reasons beyond the permittee's control; and 36.14 (5) a failure to correct, in a timely manner, work that 36.15 does not conform to applicable standards, conditions, or codes 36.16 upon inspection and notification by the local government unit of 36.17 the faulty condition. 36.18 (d) Subject to this subdivision, a local government unit 36.19 may not deny an application for a right-of-way permit for 36.20 failure to include a project in a plan submitted to the local 36.21 government unit under subdivision 2, paragraph (b), clause (3), 36.22 when the telecommunications right-of-way user has used 36.23 commercially reasonable efforts to anticipate and plan for the 36.24 project. 36.25 (e) In no event may a local government unit unreasonably 36.26 withhold approval of an application for a right-of-way permit, 36.27 or unreasonably revoke a permit. 36.28 Subd. 5. [APPEAL.] A telecommunications right-of-way user 36.29 that: 36.30 (1) has been denied registration; 36.31 (2) has been denied a right-of-way permit; 36.32 (3) has had its right-of-way permit revoked; or 36.33 (4) believes that the fees imposed on the user by the local 36.34 government unit do not conform to the requirements of 36.35 subdivision 6, may have the denial, revocation, or fee 36.36 imposition reviewed, upon written request, by the governing body 37.1 of the local government unit. 37.2 The governing body of the local government unit shall act on a 37.3 timely written request at its next regularly scheduled meeting. 37.4 A decision by the governing body affirming the denial, 37.5 revocation, or fee imposition must be in writing and supported 37.6 by written findings establishing the reasonableness of the 37.7 decision. 37.8 Subd. 6. [FEES.] (a) A local government unit may recover 37.9 its right-of-way management costs by imposing a fee for 37.10 registration, a fee for each right-of-way permit, or, when 37.11 appropriate, a fee applicable to a particular telecommunications 37.12 right-of-way user when that user causes the local government 37.13 unit to incur costs as a result of actions or inactions of that 37.14 user. A local government unit may not recover from a 37.15 telecommunications right-of-way user costs caused by another 37.16 entity's activity in the right-of-way. 37.17 (b) Fees, or other right-of-way obligations, imposed by a 37.18 local government unit on telecommunications right-of-way users 37.19 under this section must be: 37.20 (1) based on the actual costs incurred by the local 37.21 government unit in managing the public right-of-way; 37.22 (2) based on an allocation among all users of the public 37.23 right-of-way, including the local government unit itself, which 37.24 shall reflect the proportionate costs imposed on the local 37.25 government unit by each of the various types of uses of the 37.26 public rights-of-way; 37.27 (3) imposed on a competitively neutral basis; and 37.28 (4) imposed in a manner so that above-ground uses of public 37.29 rights-of-way do not bear costs incurred by the local government 37.30 unit to regulate underground uses of public rights-of-way. 37.31 (c) The rights, duties, and obligations regarding the use 37.32 of the public right-of-way imposed under this section must be 37.33 applied to all users of the public right-of-way, including the 37.34 local government unit, while recognizing those regulations must 37.35 reflect the distinct engineering, construction, operation, 37.36 maintenance, and public and worker safety requirements, and 38.1 standards applicable to various users of the public 38.2 rights-of-way. For users subject to the franchising authority 38.3 of a local government unit, to the extent those rights, duties, 38.4 and obligations are addressed in the terms of an applicable 38.5 franchise agreement, the terms of the franchise prevail over any 38.6 conflicting provision in an ordinance. 38.7 Subd. 7. [ADDITIONAL RIGHT-OF-WAY PROVISIONS.] (a) In 38.8 managing the public rights-of-way and in imposing fees under 38.9 this section, no local government unit may: 38.10 (1) unlawfully discriminate among telecommunications 38.11 right-of-way users; 38.12 (2) grant a preference to any telecommunications 38.13 right-of-way user; 38.14 (3) create or erect any unreasonable requirement for entry 38.15 to the public rights-of-way by telecommunications right-of-way 38.16 users; or 38.17 (4) require a telecommunications right-of-way user to 38.18 obtain a franchise or pay for the use of the right-of-way. 38.19 (b) A telecommunications right-of-way user need not apply 38.20 for or obtain right-of-way permits for facilities that are 38.21 located in public rights-of-way on May 10, 1997, for which the 38.22 user has obtained the required consent of the local government 38.23 unit, or that are otherwise lawfully occupying the public 38.24 right-of-way. However, the telecommunications right-of-way user 38.25 may be required to register and to obtain a right-of-way permit 38.26 for an excavation or obstruction of existing facilities within 38.27 the public right-of-way after May 10, 1997. 38.28 (c) Data and documents exchanged between a local government 38.29 unit and a telecommunications right-of-way user are subject to 38.30 the terms of chapter 13. A local government unit not complying 38.31 with this paragraph is subject to the penalties set forth in 38.32 section 13.08. 38.33 (d) A local government unit may not collect a fee imposed 38.34 under this section through the provision of in-kind services by 38.35 a telecommunications right-of-way user, nor may a local 38.36 government unit require the provision of in-kind services as a 39.1 condition of consent to use the local government unit's public 39.2 right-of-way. 39.3 Subd. 8. [UNIFORM STATEWIDE STANDARDS.] (a) To ensure the 39.4 safe and convenient use of public rights-of-way in the state, 39.5 the agency shall develop and adopt statewide construction 39.6 standards for the purposes of achieving substantial statewide 39.7 uniformity in construction standards where appropriate, 39.8 providing competitive neutrality among telecommunications 39.9 right-of-way users, and permitting efficient use of technology. 39.10 The standards must govern: 39.11 (1) the terms and conditions of right-of-way construction, 39.12 excavation, maintenance, and repair; and 39.13 (2) the terms and conditions under which telecommunications 39.14 facilities and equipment are placed in the public right-of-way. 39.15 (b) The agency is authorized to review, upon complaint by 39.16 an aggrieved telecommunications right-of-way user, a decision or 39.17 regulation by a local government unit that is alleged to violate 39.18 a statewide standard. 39.19 (c) A local unit of government may not adopt an ordinance 39.20 or other regulation that conflicts with a standard adopted by 39.21 the agency for the purposes described in paragraph (a). 39.22 [237.163] 39.23 Sec. 3. [237A.29] [SCOPE.] 39.24 To the extent they regulate telecommunications right-of-way 39.25 users, sections 237A.28 and 237A.29 supersede sections 222.37, 39.26 300.03, and 300.04, and any ordinance, regulation, or rule to 39.27 the contrary. [new] 39.28 Sec. 4. [237A.30] [WIRE CROSSING OR PARALLELING UTILITY 39.29 LINE; RULES.] 39.30 (a) The agency shall determine and adopt reasonable rules 39.31 covering the maintenance and operation, also the nature, 39.32 location, and character of the construction to be used, where 39.33 telecommunication, electric light, power, or other electric 39.34 wires of any kind, or any natural gas pipelines, cross or more 39.35 or less parallel the lines of any railroad, interurban railway, 39.36 or any other similar public service corporation. To this end, 40.1 the agency shall formulate and from time to time, issue general 40.2 rules covering each class of construction, maintenance, and 40.3 operation of electric wire or natural gas pipeline crossing or 40.4 paralleling the railroad, railway, or similar public service 40.5 corporation, under the various conditions existing. The agency, 40.6 upon the complaint of any person, railroad, interurban railway, 40.7 municipal utility, cooperative electric association, or other 40.8 public utility claiming to be injuriously affected or subjected 40.9 to hazard by crossing or paralleling lines constructed or about 40.10 to be constructed, shall, after a hearing, make an order and 40.11 prescribe terms and conditions for constructing, maintaining, 40.12 and operating the lines in question as may be just and 40.13 reasonable. 40.14 (b) Upon request of a municipal utility, electric 40.15 cooperative association, or public utility, the agency may 40.16 determine the just and reasonable charge that a railroad, or 40.17 owner of an abandoned railroad right-of-way, can prescribe for a 40.18 new or existing crossing of a railroad right-of-way by an 40.19 electric or gas line, based on the diminution in value caused by 40.20 the crossing of the right-of-way by the electric or gas line. 40.21 This section does not eliminate the right of a public utility, 40.22 municipal utility, or electric cooperative association to have 40.23 any of these issues determined pursuant to an eminent domain 40.24 proceeding commenced under chapter 117. Unless the railroad, or 40.25 owner of an abandoned railroad right-of-way, asserts in writing 40.26 that the proposed crossing is a serious threat to the safe 40.27 operations of the railroad or to the current use of the railroad 40.28 right-of-way, a crossing can be constructed following filing of 40.29 the requested action with the agency, pending review of the 40.30 requested action by the agency. 40.31 (c) The agency shall assess the cost of reviewing the 40.32 requested action, and of determining a just and reasonable 40.33 charge, equally among the parties. 40.34 (d) The agency shall enforce this section and, for that 40.35 purpose, may cause the removal or reconstruction of the 40.36 telecommunications, electric light, power, or other electric 41.1 wires crossing or paralleling other lines and not in accordance 41.2 with the orders and rules issued by the agency. [237.04] 41.3 ARTICLE 5 41.4 WHOLESALE/INTERCONNECTION 41.5 Section 1. [237A.31] [GENERAL RULE.] 41.6 For a reasonable compensation, every telecommunications 41.7 service provider shall permit physical connections to be made 41.8 between a telecommunications line or facility. [new] 41.9 Sec. 2. [237A.32] [EXTENSION OF INTEREXCHANGE FACILITY.] 41.10 (a) In order to promote the development of competitive 41.11 interexchange services and facilities, an interexchange facility 41.12 may be extended to meet and interconnect with the facility of 41.13 another telecommunications service provider under this section. 41.14 (b) The interexchange facility must be: 41.15 (1) owned by a telecommunications service provider or an 41.16 affiliate; and 41.17 (2) used to provide service to customers located in areas 41.18 for which it has been previously certified to provide local 41.19 telecommunications service. 41.20 (c) If the requirements of paragraph (b) are satisfied, the 41.21 interconnection may be made (1) regardless whether at a point 41.22 inside or outside of the provider's territories, (2) without 41.23 further proceeding, order, or determination of current or future 41.24 public convenience and necessity, and (3) upon mutual consent 41.25 with the other telecommunications service provider whose 41.26 facilities will be met and interconnected. 41.27 (d) Written notice of the extension and interconnection 41.28 must be provided to the agency within 30 days after completion. 41.29 The written notice must be served on all incumbent 41.30 telecommunications service providers certified before January 1, 41.31 1998, in all areas where the facilities are located. [new] 41.32 Sec. 3. [237A.33] [PRICE FOR INTERCONNECTION OR NETWORK 41.33 ELEMENT.] 41.34 For telecommunications service providers, the prices for 41.35 interconnection or network elements to be established by the 41.36 agency in a pending or future proceeding must be based on a 42.1 forward-looking economic cost methodology that includes, but is 42.2 not limited to, consideration of the following: 42.3 (1) the use of the most efficient telecommunications 42.4 technology currently available and the least-cost network 42.5 configuration, given the existing location of the incumbent 42.6 telecommunications provider wire centers; 42.7 (2) the number of access lines used to provide local 42.8 telecommunications service; 42.9 (3) actual loop lengths of the provider; 42.10 (4) forward-looking depreciation rates and cost of capital; 42.11 (5) a reasonable allocation of forward-looking joint and 42.12 common costs; and 42.13 (6) Minnesota tax rates, Minnesota facility placement 42.14 requirements, Minnesota topography, and Minnesota climate. [new] 42.15 Sec. 4. [237A.34] [APPROVAL OF INTERCONNECTION 42.16 AGREEMENTS.] 42.17 Interconnection agreements and wholesale arrangements and 42.18 disputes negotiated and agreed to by parties must be approved by 42.19 the agency within 30 days of the ... unless they violate this 42.20 chapter or an agency rule. [new] 42.21 Sec. 5. [237A.35] [DEAVERAGING WHOLESALE SERVICES.] 42.22 Deaveraging of wholesale local services or network elements 42.23 is not permitted prior to the deaveraging of local retail rates 42.24 and the establishment of a Minnesota universal service fund. 42.25 [new] 42.26 ARTICLE 6 42.27 COMPETITIVE ZONES 42.28 Section 1. [237A.36] [COMPETITIVE ZONES.] 42.29 Subdivision 1. [APPLICABILITY.] Any time before January 1, 42.30 2004, a telecommunications service provider may apply for an 42.31 agency declaration that a competitive zone exists with respect 42.32 to a specific telecommunications service or services offered in 42.33 an exchange with respect to all local telecommunications 42.34 services offered in an exchange. If the agency grants the 42.35 application for a competitive zone, then retail prices, terms 42.36 and conditions for any local telecommunications service, and the 43.1 availability of any local telecommunications service may vary 43.2 between the affected exchange and other geographic areas and 43.3 applies immediately to all telecommunications service providers 43.4 offering the same or similar telecommunications services in the 43.5 competitive zone. 43.6 Subd. 2. [REQUIREMENTS TO FIND COMPETITIVE ZONE 43.7 EXISTS.] (a) The agency shall find a competitive zone exists 43.8 with respect to services offered in an exchange with respect to 43.9 all local telecommunications services offered in an exchange 43.10 upon the showing of: 43.11 (1) one or more certified telecommunications service 43.12 providers providing local telecommunications service in an 43.13 exchange in competition with the incumbent telecommunications 43.14 provider; and 43.15 (2) the availability of local number portability. 43.16 (b) Furthermore, one of the following three factors must be 43.17 satisfied: 43.18 (1) In the area, there is either (i) physical or virtual 43.19 collocation in a wire center of one or more telecommunications 43.20 service providers providing competing local telecommunications 43.21 services, or (ii) a telecommunications service provider or 43.22 providers uses facilities other than those of the incumbent 43.23 telecommunications provider to provide local telecommunications 43.24 services and those facilities pass the locations of at least 50 43.25 percent of the homes or businesses in a particular exchange 43.26 depending on the scope of the competitive zone sought. 43.27 (2) The agency finds that a competitive zone exists with 43.28 respect to a specific telecommunications service upon a showing 43.29 that a similar or substitutable service is available from 43.30 another service provider to 50 percent of the customers 43.31 subscribing to the service. 43.32 (3) The presence of one or more eligible telecommunications 43.33 providers (ETC), which has the meaning given "eligible 43.34 telecommunications carrier" in United States Code, title 47, 43.35 section 214, has been designated in addition to the incumbent 43.36 telecommunications carrier providing local telecommunications 44.1 service in a particular exchange, wire center, or other 44.2 geographic area. The agency shall issue an order allocating 44.3 responsibility within 60 days of ETC designation. 44.4 (c) For purposes of this section, facilities "pass" a home 44.5 or business if the alternative facilities are located within 44.6 1,000 feet of a home, business, or building housing multitenant 44.7 residential or business customers. 44.8 Subd. 3. [APPLICATION TO ESTABLISH COMPETITIVE ZONE.] A 44.9 telecommunications service provider requesting the establishment 44.10 of a competitive zone shall file an application and a supporting 44.11 affidavit presenting specific facts that demonstrate that the 44.12 objective criteria set forth in subdivision 2 have been 44.13 satisfied. 44.14 Subd. 4. [ORDER; OBJECTION; NOTICE AND OPPORTUNITY FOR 44.15 HEARING.] Unless an interested person objects within 45 days of 44.16 the filing of an application for a competitive zone, the agency 44.17 shall issue an order authorizing the creation of a competitive 44.18 zone within 60 days after the filing of an application for a 44.19 competitive zone. An interested party objecting to the creation 44.20 of a competitive zone must file a formal objection and 44.21 supporting affidavit within 45 days after the filing of an 44.22 application for a competitive zone. The objecting party bears 44.23 the burden of showing specific facts demonstrating that the 44.24 telecommunications service provider requesting the creation of a 44.25 competitive zone has not satisfied the objective criteria set 44.26 forth in subdivision 2. After notice and the opportunity for 44.27 hearing, the agency shall issue an order resolving any 44.28 objections related to the creation of a competitive zone within 44.29 45 days after the filing of an objection. 44.30 Subd. 5. [REGULATORY SCOPE.] Upon the granting of an 44.31 application for a competitive zone with respect to specific 44.32 telecommunications services offered in an exchange or with 44.33 respect to all local telecommunications services offered in an 44.34 exchange, the provisions of section 237A.04 shall apply. [new] 44.35 ARTICLE 7 44.36 TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANCE 45.1 Section 1. [237A.49] [COMBINED LOCAL ACCESS SURCHARGE.] 45.2 Each local telephone company shall collect from each 45.3 subscriber an amount per telephone access line representing the 45.4 total of the surcharges required under sections 237A.52, 45.5 237A.58, and 403.11. Amounts collected must be remitted to the 45.6 department of administration in the manner prescribed in section 45.7 403.11. The department of administration shall divide the 45.8 amounts received proportional to the individual surcharges and 45.9 deposit them in the appropriate accounts. A company or the 45.10 billing agent for a company shall list the surcharges as one 45.11 amount on a billing statement sent to a subscriber. [237.49] 45.12 Sec. 2. [237A.50] [DEFINITIONS.] 45.13 Subdivision 1. [SCOPE.] The terms used in sections 237A.50 45.14 to 237A.56 have the meanings given them in this section. 45.15 Subd. 2. [COMMUNICATION IMPAIRED.] "Communication 45.16 impaired" means certified as deaf, severely hearing impaired, 45.17 hard-of-hearing, speech impaired, deaf and blind, or mobility 45.18 impaired if the mobility impairment significantly impedes the 45.19 ability to use standard customer premises equipment. 45.20 Subd. 3. [COMMUNICATION DEVICE.] "Communication device" 45.21 means a device that when connected to a telephone enables a 45.22 communication-impaired person to communicate with another person 45.23 utilizing the telephone system. A communication device includes 45.24 a ring signaler, an amplification device, a telephone device for 45.25 the deaf, a Brailling device for use with a telephone, and any 45.26 other device the department of human services deems necessary. 45.27 Subd. 4. [DEAF.] "Deaf" means a hearing impairment of such 45.28 severity that the individual must depend primarily upon visual 45.29 communication such as writing, lip reading, manual 45.30 communication, and gestures. 45.31 Subd. 5. [EXCHANGE.] "Exchange" means a unit area 45.32 established and described by the tariff of a telephone company 45.33 for the administration of telephone service in a specified 45.34 geographical area, usually embracing a city, town, or village 45.35 and its environs, and served by one or more central offices, 45.36 together with associated facilities used in providing service 46.1 within that area. 46.2 Subd. 6. [FUND.] "Fund" means the telecommunication access 46.3 for communication-impaired persons fund established in section 46.4 237A.52. 46.5 Subd. 7. [HARD-OF-HEARING.] "Hard-of-hearing" means a 46.6 hearing impairment resulting in a functional loss, but not to 46.7 the extent that the individual must depend primarily upon visual 46.8 communication. 46.9 Subd. 8. [INTEREXCHANGE SERVICE.] "Interexchange service" 46.10 means telephone service between points in two or more exchanges. 46.11 Subd. 9. [INTER-LATA INTEREXCHANGE SERVICE.] "Inter-LATA 46.12 interexchange service" means interexchange service originating 46.13 and terminating in different LATAs. 46.14 Subd. 10. [LOCAL ACCESS AND TRANSPORT AREA.] "Local access 46.15 and transport area (LATA)" means a geographical area designated 46.16 by the Modification of Final Judgment in U.S. v. Western 46.17 Electric Co., Inc., 552 F. Supp. 131 (D.D.C. 1982), including 46.18 modifications in effect on July 1, 1987. 46.19 Subd. 11. [LOCAL EXCHANGE SERVICE.] "Local exchange 46.20 service" means telephone service between points within an 46.21 exchange. 46.22 Subd. 12. [TELECOMMUNICATION RELAY SERVICE.] 46.23 "Telecommunication relay service" means a central statewide 46.24 service through which a communication-impaired person, using a 46.25 communication device, may send and receive messages to and from 46.26 a non-communication-impaired person whose telephone is not 46.27 equipped with a communication device and through which a 46.28 non-communication-impaired person may, by using voice 46.29 communication, send and receive messages to and from a 46.30 communication-impaired person. [237.50] 46.31 Sec. 3. [237A.51] [TACIP PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION.] 46.32 Subdivision 1. [CREATION.] The department of commerce 46.33 shall administer through interagency agreement with the 46.34 department of human services a program to distribute 46.35 communication devices to eligible communication-impaired persons 46.36 and contract with a local consumer group that serves 47.1 communication-impaired persons to create and maintain a 47.2 telecommunication relay service. For purposes of sections 47.3 237A.51 to 237A.56, the department of commerce and any 47.4 organization with which it contracts pursuant to this section or 47.5 section 237A.51, subdivision 2, are not telecommunications 47.6 service providers as defined in section 237A.01. 47.7 Subd. 2. [DEPARTMENT DUTIES.] In addition to any duties 47.8 specified elsewhere in sections 237A.51 to 237A.56, the 47.9 department of public service shall: 47.10 (1) prepare the reports required by section 237A.55; 47.11 (2) administer the fund created in section 237A.52; and 47.12 (3) adopt rules under chapter 14 to implement sections 47.13 237A.50 to 237A.56. 47.14 Subd. 3. [DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES DUTIES.] (a) In 47.15 addition to any duties specified elsewhere in sections 237A.51 47.16 to 237A.56, the department of human services shall: 47.17 (1) define economic hardship, special needs, and household 47.18 criteria so as to determine the priority of eligible applicants 47.19 for initial distribution of devices and to determine 47.20 circumstances necessitating provision of more than one 47.21 communication device per household; 47.22 (2) establish a method to verify eligibility requirements; 47.23 (3) establish specifications for communication devices to 47.24 be purchased under section 237A.53, subdivision 3; and 47.25 (4) inform the public and specifically the community of 47.26 communication-impaired persons of the program. 47.27 (b) The department may establish an advisory board to 47.28 advise the department in carrying out the duties specified in 47.29 this section and to advise the department of commerce in 47.30 carrying out its duties under section 237A.54. If so 47.31 established, the advisory board must include, at a minimum, the 47.32 following communication-impaired persons: 47.33 (1) at least one member who is deaf; 47.34 (2) at least one member who is speech impaired; 47.35 (3) at least one member who is mobility impaired; and 47.36 (4) at least one member who is hard-of-hearing. 48.1 (c) The membership terms, compensation, and removal of 48.2 members and the filling of membership vacancies are governed by 48.3 section 15.059. Advisory board meetings shall be held at the 48.4 discretion of the commissioner. [237A.51] 48.5 Sec. 4. [237A.52] [TACIP FUND.] 48.6 Subdivision 1. [FUND ESTABLISHED.] A telecommunication 48.7 access for communication-impaired persons fund is established as 48.8 an account in the state treasury. Earnings, such as interest, 48.9 dividends, and any other earnings arising from fund assets, must 48.10 be credited to the fund. 48.11 Subd. 2. [ASSESSMENT.] The department of commerce shall 48.12 annually recommend to the public utilities commission an 48.13 adequate and appropriate surcharge and budget to implement 48.14 sections 237A.50 to 237A.56. The commission shall review the 48.15 budget for reasonableness and may modify the budget to the 48.16 extent it is unreasonable. The commission shall annually 48.17 determine the funding mechanism to be used within 60 days of 48.18 receipt of the recommendation of the department and shall order 48.19 the imposition of surcharges effective on the earliest 48.20 practicable date. The commission shall establish a monthly 48.21 charge no greater than 20 cents for each customer access line, 48.22 including trunk equivalents as designated by the commission 48.23 pursuant to section 403.11, subdivision 1. 48.24 Subd. 3. [COLLECTION.] Every telephone company or 48.25 communications carrier that provides service capable of 48.26 originating in this state a telecommunications relay call, 48.27 including cellular communications and other nonwire access 48.28 services, shall collect the charges established by the 48.29 commission under subdivision 2 and transfer amounts collected to 48.30 the commissioner of administration in the same manner as 48.31 provided in section 403.11, subdivision 1, paragraph (c). The 48.32 commissioner of administration shall deposit the receipts in the 48.33 fund established in subdivision 1. 48.34 Subd. 4. [APPROPRIATION.] Money in the fund is 48.35 appropriated to the department of commerce to implement sections 48.36 237A.51 to 237A.56. 49.1 Subd. 5. [EXPENDITURES.] (a) Money in the fund may only be 49.2 used for: 49.3 (1) expenses of the department of commerce, including 49.4 personnel cost, public relations, advisory board members' 49.5 expenses, preparation of reports, and other reasonable expenses 49.6 not to exceed ten percent of total program expenditures; 49.7 (2) reimbursing the commissioner of human services for 49.8 purchases made or services provided pursuant to section 237A.53; 49.9 (3) reimbursing telecommunications service providers for 49.10 purchases made or services provided under section 237A.53, 49.11 subdivision 5; and 49.12 (4) contracting for establishment and operation of the 49.13 telecommunication relay service required by section 237A.54. 49.14 (b) All costs directly associated with establishing the 49.15 program, purchasing and distributing communication devices, and 49.16 establishing and operating the telecommunication relay service 49.17 are either reimbursable or directly payable from the fund after 49.18 authorization by the department of commerce. 49.19 (c) The department shall contract with the message relay 49.20 service operator to indemnify the local exchange carriers of the 49.21 relay service for any fines imposed by the Federal 49.22 Communications Commission related to the failure of the relay 49.23 service to comply with federal service standards. 49.24 (d) Notwithstanding section 16A.41, the department may 49.25 advance money to the contractor of the telecommunication relay 49.26 service if the contractor establishes to the department's 49.27 satisfaction that the advance payment is necessary for the 49.28 operation of the service. The advance payment may be used only 49.29 for working capital reserve for the operation of the service. 49.30 The advance payment must be offset or repaid by the end of the 49.31 contract fiscal year together with interest accrued from the 49.32 date of payment. [237.52] 49.33 Sec. 5. [237A.53] [COMMUNICATION DEVICE.] 49.34 Subdivision 1. [APPLICATION.] A person applying for a 49.35 communication device under this section shall apply to the 49.36 program administrator on a form prescribed by the department of 50.1 commerce. 50.2 Subd. 2. [ELIGIBILITY.] To be eligible to obtain a 50.3 communication device under this section, a person must be: 50.4 (1) able to benefit from and use the equipment for its 50.5 intended purpose; 50.6 (2) communication impaired; 50.7 (3) a resident of the state; 50.8 (4) a resident in a household that has a median income at 50.9 or below the applicable median household income in the state, 50.10 except a deaf and blind person applying for a telebraille unit 50.11 may reside in a household that has a median income no more than 50.12 150 percent of the applicable median household income in the 50.13 state; and 50.14 (5) either (i) a resident in a household that has telephone 50.15 service or that has made application for service and has been 50.16 assigned a telephone number, or (ii) a resident in a residential 50.17 care facility, such as a nursing home or group home, where 50.18 telephone service is not included as part of overall service 50.19 provision. 50.20 Subd. 3. [DISTRIBUTION.] The commissioner of human 50.21 services shall purchase and distribute a sufficient number of 50.22 communication devices so that each eligible household receives 50.23 an appropriate device. The commissioner of human services shall 50.24 distribute the devices to eligible households in each service 50.25 area free of charge as determined under section 237A.51, 50.26 subdivision 3. 50.27 Subd. 4. [TRAINING; MAINTENANCE.] The commissioner of 50.28 human services shall maintain the communication devices until 50.29 the warranty period expires, and provide training, without 50.30 charge, to first-time users of the devices. 50.31 Subd. 5. [WIRING INSTALLATION.] If a 50.32 communication-impaired person is not served by telephone service 50.33 and is subject to economic hardship as determined by the 50.34 department of human services, the telecommunications service 50.35 provider providing local service, at the direction of the 50.36 administrator of the program, shall install necessary outside 51.1 wiring without charge to the household. 51.2 Subd. 6. [OWNERSHIP.] Communication devices purchased 51.3 under subdivision 3 become the property of the state of 51.4 Minnesota. 51.5 Subd. 7. [STANDARDS.] The communication devices 51.6 distributed under this section must comply with the electronic 51.7 industries association standards and approved by the Federal 51.8 Communications Commission. The commissioner of human services 51.9 shall provide each eligible person a choice of several models of 51.10 devices, the retail value of which may not exceed $600 for a 51.11 communication device for the deaf, and a retail value of $7,000 51.12 for a telebraille device, or an amount authorized by the 51.13 department of human services for a telephone device for the deaf 51.14 with auxiliary equipment. [237.53] 51.15 Sec. 6. [237A.54] [TELECOMMUNICATION RELAY SERVICE.] 51.16 (a) The department of commerce shall contract with a local 51.17 consumer organization that serves communication-impaired persons 51.18 for operation and maintenance of the telecommunication relay 51.19 system. The department may contract with other than a local 51.20 consumer organization if no local consumer organization is 51.21 available to enter into or perform a reasonable contract or the 51.22 only available consumer organization fails to comply with terms 51.23 of a contract. 51.24 (b) The operator of the system shall keep all messages 51.25 confidential, shall train personnel in the unique needs of 51.26 communication-impaired people, and shall inform 51.27 communication-impaired persons and the public of the 51.28 availability and use of the system. 51.29 (c) The operator shall not relay a message unless it 51.30 originates or terminates through a communication device for the 51.31 deaf or a Brailling device for use with a telephone. [237.54] 51.32 Sec. 7. [237A.55] [ANNUAL REPORT ON COMMUNICATION ACCESS.] 51.33 The department of commerce shall prepare a report for 51.34 presentation to the commission by January 31 of each year. Each 51.35 report must review the accessibility of the telephone system to 51.36 communication-impaired persons, review the ability of 52.1 non-communication-impaired persons to communicate with 52.2 communication-impaired persons via the telephone system, 52.3 describe services provided, account for money received and 52.4 disbursed annually for each aspect of the program to date, and 52.5 include predicted future operation. [237.55] 52.6 Sec. 8. [237A.56] [ADEQUATE SERVICE ENFORCEMENT.] 52.7 The services required to be provided under sections 237A.50 52.8 to 237A.55 may be enforced under section 237A.33 upon a 52.9 complaint of at least two communication-impaired persons within 52.10 the service area of any one telephone company. However, if only 52.11 one person within the service area of a company is receiving 52.12 service under sections 237A.50 to 237A.55, the commission may 52.13 proceed upon a complaint from that person. [237.56] 52.14 Sec. 9. [237A.59] [TELEPHONE ASSISTANCE PLAN; 52.15 DEFINITIONS.] 52.16 Subdivision 1. [SCOPE.] The terms used in sections 237A.57 52.17 to 237A.61 have the meanings given them in this section. 52.18 Subd. 2. [COMMISSION.] "Commission" means the Minnesota 52.19 public utilities commission. 52.20 Subd. 3. [DEPARTMENT.] "Department" means the Minnesota 52.21 department of commerce. 52.22 Subd. 4. [TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICE 52.23 PROVIDER.] "Telecommunication service provider" has the meanings 52.24 given it in section 237A.01, that provides local exchange 52.25 telephone service. 52.26 Subd. 5. [ACCESS LINE.] "Access line" means telephone 52.27 company-owned facilities furnished to permit switched access to 52.28 the telecommunications network that extend from a central office 52.29 to the demarcation point on the property where the subscriber is 52.30 served. The term includes access lines provided to residential 52.31 and business subscribers, includes centrex access lines on a 52.32 trunk-equivalent basis, but does not include private nonswitched 52.33 or wide area telephone service access lines. 52.34 Subd. 6. [FEDERAL MATCHING PLAN.] "Federal matching plan" 52.35 means any telephone assistance plan formulated by the Federal 52.36 Communications Commission that provides federal assistance to 53.1 local telephone subscribers. 53.2 Subd. 7. [TELEPHONE ASSISTANCE PLAN.] "Telephone 53.3 assistance plan" means the plan to be adopted by the commission 53.4 and to be jointly administered by the commission, the department 53.5 of human services, and the telecommunications service providers, 53.6 as required by sections 237A.59 to 237A.63. 53.7 Subd. 8. [INCOME.] For purposes of sections 237A.59 to 53.8 237A.63, income has the meaning given it in section 290A.03, 53.9 subdivision 3. 53.10 Subd. 9. [DISABLED.] "Disabled" has the meaning given it 53.11 in section 363.01, subdivision 13. 53.12 Subd. 10. [FUND.] "Fund" means the telephone assistance 53.13 fund established in section 237A.61. [237.69] 53.14 Sec. 10. [237A.60] [DEVELOPMENT OF TELEPHONE ASSISTANCE 53.15 PLAN.] 53.16 Subdivision 1. [COMMISSION RESPONSIBILITY.] The commission 53.17 shall develop a telephone assistance plan under this section. 53.18 Subd. 2. [SCOPE.] The telephone assistance plan must be 53.19 statewide and apply to telecommunications service providers that 53.20 provide local exchange service in Minnesota. 53.21 Subd. 3. [FEDERAL MATCHING PLAN.] The telephone assistance 53.22 plan must contain adequate provisions to enable 53.23 telecommunications service providers to qualify for waiver of 53.24 the federal interstate access charge and to enable eligible 53.25 subscribers to take advantage of the federal matching plan. 53.26 Subd. 4. [HOUSEHOLD ELIGIBILITY FOR CREDIT.] (a) The 53.27 telephone assistance program must provide telephone assistance 53.28 credit for a residential household in Minnesota that meets each 53.29 of the criteria listed in paragraphs (b) to (d). 53.30 (b) A member of the household: 53.31 (1) subscribes to local exchange service; and 53.32 (2) is either disabled or is 65 years of age or older. 53.33 (c) The income of the household is 150 percent or less of 53.34 federal poverty guidelines or the household is currently 53.35 eligible for: 53.36 (1) the Minnesota family investment program; 54.1 (2) medical assistance; 54.2 (3) general assistance; 54.3 (4) Minnesota supplemental aid; 54.4 (5) food stamps; 54.5 (6) refugee cash assistance or refugee medical assistance; 54.6 (7) energy assistance; or 54.7 (8) supplemental security income. 54.8 (d) The household has been certified as eligible for 54.9 telephone assistance plan credits. 54.10 Subd. 5. [NATURE AND EXTENT OF CREDITS.] The telephone 54.11 assistance plan may provide for telephone assistance credits to 54.12 eligible households up to the amounts available under the 54.13 federal matching plan. However, the credits available under the 54.14 telephone assistance plan may not exceed: 54.15 (1) more than 50 percent of the local exchange rate charged 54.16 for the local exchange service provided to the household by that 54.17 household's telecommunications service provider; and 54.18 (2) the level of credits that can actually be funded in 54.19 accordance with the limitations contained in subdivision 6. 54.20 Subd. 6. [FUNDING.] The commission shall provide for the 54.21 funding of the telephone assistance plan by assessing a uniform 54.22 recurring monthly surcharge, not to exceed ten cents per access 54.23 line, applicable to all classes and grades of access lines 54.24 provided by each telephone company in the state. 54.25 Subd. 7. [ADMINISTRATION.] (a) The telephone assistance 54.26 plan must be administered jointly by the commission, the 54.27 department of human services, and the telecommunications service 54.28 providers in accordance with the following guidelines: 54.29 (b) The commission and the department of human services 54.30 shall develop an application form that must be completed by the 54.31 subscriber for the purpose of certifying eligibility for 54.32 telephone assistance plan credits to the department of human 54.33 services. The application must contain the applicant's social 54.34 security number. Applicants who refuse to provide a social 54.35 security number will be denied telephone assistance plan 54.36 credits. The application form must include provisions for the 55.1 applicant to show the name of the applicant's telecommunication 55.2 service provider. The application must also advise the 55.3 applicant to submit the required proof of age or disability and 55.4 proof of income and must provide examples of acceptable proof. 55.5 The application must state that failure to submit proof with the 55.6 application will result in the applicant being found 55.7 ineligible. Each telephone company shall annually mail a notice 55.8 of the availability of the telephone assistance plan to each 55.9 residential subscriber in a regular billing and shall mail the 55.10 application form to customers when requested. The notice must 55.11 state the following: 55.12 YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR ASSISTANCE IN PAYING YOUR TELEPHONE 55.13 BILL IF YOU ARE 65 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER OR ARE DISABLED AND IF 55.14 YOU MEET CERTAIN HOUSEHOLD INCOME LIMITS. FOR MORE INFORMATION 55.15 OR AN APPLICATION FORM PLEASE CONTACT ......... 55.16 (c) The department of human services shall determine the 55.17 eligibility for telephone assistance plan credits at least 55.18 annually according to the criteria contained in subdivision 4. 55.19 (d) An application may be made by the subscriber, the 55.20 subscriber's spouse, or a person authorized by the subscriber to 55.21 act on the subscriber's behalf. On completing the application 55.22 certifying that the statutory criteria for eligibility are 55.23 satisfied, the applicant must return the application to an 55.24 office of the department of human services specially designated 55.25 to process telephone assistance plan applications. On receiving 55.26 a completed application from an applicant, the department of 55.27 human services shall determine the applicant's eligibility or 55.28 ineligibility within 120 days. If the department fails to do 55.29 so, it shall within three working days provide written notice to 55.30 the applicant's telecommunications provider that the provider 55.31 shall provide telephone assistance plan credits against monthly 55.32 charges in the earliest possible month following receipt of the 55.33 written notice. The applicant must receive telephone assistance 55.34 plan credits until the earliest possible month following the 55.35 company's receipt of notice from the department that the 55.36 applicant is ineligible. 56.1 (e) If the department of human services determines that an 56.2 applicant is not eligible to receive telephone assistance plan 56.3 credits, it shall notify the applicant within ten working days 56.4 of that determination. 56.5 (f) Within ten working days of determining that an 56.6 applicant is eligible to receive telephone assistance plan 56.7 credits, the department of human services shall provide written 56.8 notification to the telecommunications service provider that 56.9 serves the applicant. The notice must include the applicant's 56.10 name, address, and telephone number. Each telecommunications 56.11 service provider shall provide telephone assistance plan credits 56.12 against monthly charges in the earliest possible month following 56.13 receipt of notice from the department of human services. 56.14 (g) By December 31 of each year, the department of human 56.15 services shall redetermine eligibility of each person receiving 56.16 telephone assistance plan credits, as required in paragraph (c). 56.17 The department of human services shall submit an annual report 56.18 to the commission by January 15 of each year showing that the 56.19 department has determined the eligibility for telephone 56.20 assistance plan credits of each person receiving the credits or 56.21 explaining why the determination has not been made and showing 56.22 how and when the determination will be completed. 56.23 (h) If the department of human services determines that a 56.24 current recipient of telephone assistance plan credits is not 56.25 eligible to receive the credits, it shall notify, in writing, 56.26 the recipient within ten working days and the telephone company 56.27 serving the recipient within 20 working days of the 56.28 determination. The notice must include the recipient's name, 56.29 address, and telephone number. 56.30 (i) Each telecommunications service provider shall remove 56.31 telephone assistance plan credits against monthly charges in the 56.32 earliest possible month following receipt of notice from the 56.33 department of human services. Each telecommunications service 56.34 provider that disconnects a subscriber receiving the telephone 56.35 assistance plan credit shall report the disconnection to the 56.36 department of human services. The reports must be submitted 57.1 monthly, identifying the subscribers disconnected. Providers 57.2 that do not disconnect a subscriber receiving the telephone 57.3 assistance plan credit are not required to report. 57.4 (j) If the telephone assistance plan credit is not itemized 57.5 on the subscriber's monthly charges bill for local telephone 57.6 service, the telecommunications service provider must notify the 57.7 subscriber of the approval for the telephone assistance plan 57.8 credit. 57.9 (k) The commission shall serve as the coordinator of the 57.10 telephone assistance plan and be reimbursed for its 57.11 administrative expenses from the surcharge revenue pool. As the 57.12 coordinator, the commission shall: 57.13 (1) establish a uniform statewide surcharge in accordance 57.14 with subdivision 6; 57.15 (2) establish a uniform statewide level of telephone 57.16 assistance plan credit that each telecommunications service 57.17 provider shall extend to each eligible household in its service 57.18 area; 57.19 (3) require each telecommunications service provider to 57.20 account to the commission on a periodic basis for surcharge 57.21 revenues collected by the provider, expenses incurred by the 57.22 provider, not to include expenses of collecting surcharges, and 57.23 credits extended by the provider under the telephone assistance 57.24 plan; 57.25 (4) require each provider to remit surcharge revenues to 57.26 the department of administration for deposit in the fund; and 57.27 (5) remit to each provider from the surcharge revenue pool 57.28 the amount necessary to compensate the provider for expenses, 57.29 not including expenses of collecting the surcharges, and 57.30 telephone assistance plan credits. When it appears that the 57.31 revenue generated by the maximum surcharge permitted under 57.32 subdivision 6 will be inadequate to fund any particular 57.33 established level of telephone assistance plan credits, the 57.34 commission shall reduce the credits to a level that can be 57.35 adequately funded by the maximum surcharge. Similarly, the 57.36 commission may increase the level of the telephone assistance 58.1 plan credit that is available or reduce the surcharge to a level 58.2 and for a period of time that will prevent an unreasonable 58.3 overcollection of surcharge revenues. 58.4 (l) Each telecommunications service provider shall maintain 58.5 adequate records of surcharge revenues, expenses, and credits 58.6 related to the telephone assistance plan and shall, as part of 58.7 its annual report or separately, provide the commission and the 58.8 department of commerce with a financial report of its experience 58.9 under the telephone assistance plan for the previous year. That 58.10 report must also be adequate to satisfy the reporting 58.11 requirements of the federal matching plan. 58.12 (m) The department of commerce shall investigate complaints 58.13 against telecommunications service providers with regard to the 58.14 telephone assistance plan and shall report the results of its 58.15 investigation to the commission. [237.70] 58.16 Sec. 11. [237A.61] [TELEPHONE ASSISTANCE FUND; 58.17 APPROPRIATION.] 58.18 Subdivision 1. [FUND CREATED; AUTHORIZED EXPENDITURES.] 58.19 The telephone assistance fund is created as a separate account 58.20 in the state treasury to consist of amounts received by the 58.21 department of administration representing the surcharge 58.22 authorized by section 237A.60, subdivision 6, and amounts earned 58.23 on the fund assets. Money in the fund may be used only for: 58.24 (1) reimbursement to telecommunications service providers 58.25 for expenses and credits allowed in section 237A.60, subdivision 58.26 7, paragraph (k), clause (5); 58.27 (2) reimbursement of the administrative expenses of the 58.28 department of human services to implement sections 237A.59 to 58.29 237A.62, not to exceed $314,000 annually; 58.30 (3) reimbursement of the administrative expenses of the 58.31 commission not to exceed $25,000 annually; and 58.32 (4) reimbursement of the statewide indirect cost of the 58.33 commission. 58.34 Subd. 2. [APPROPRIATION.] Money in the fund is 58.35 appropriated to the commission to be disbursed pursuant to 58.36 section 237A.60, subdivision 7. [237.701] 59.1 Sec. 12. [237A.62] [TAP RULES.] 59.2 The commission shall adopt rules under the Administrative 59.3 Procedure Act necessary or appropriate to establish the 59.4 telephone assistance plan in accordance with this chapter so 59.5 that the telephone assistance plan is effective as of January 1, 59.6 20.., or as soon after that date as Federal Communications 59.7 Commission approval of the telephone assistance plan is obtained. 59.8 [237.71] 59.9 Sec. 13. [237A.63] [TAP IMPLEMENTATION RULES.] 59.10 The commission may adopt rules to implement Laws 1988, 59.11 chapter 621, sections 1 to 16. [237.711] 59.12 ARTICLE 8 59.13 CONFORMING AMENDMENTS 59.14 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 16A.124, 59.15 subdivision 8, is amended to read: 59.16 Subd. 8. [APPLICABILITY.] Subdivisions 1 to 7 apply to all 59.17 agency purchases, leases, rentals, and contracts for services, 59.18 including construction and remodeling contracts, except for: 59.19 (1) purchases from or contracts for service with a public 59.20 utility as defined in section 216B.02 or a telephone company
as59.21 defined in section 237.01that has on file with the public 59.22 utilities commission an approved practice regarding late fees; 59.23 and 59.24 (2) provider billings to and contracts with the 59.25 commissioner of human services for health care services, which 59.26 are subject only to subdivisions 4a and 4b. 59.27 Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, section 59.28 16B.465, subdivision 1, is amended to read: 59.29 Subdivision 1. [POLICY.] (a) The state through its 59.30 departments and agencies shall seek ways to meet its 59.31 telecommunications needs in a manner that will help to promote 59.32 investment and growth of the private sector information 59.33 infrastructure throughout the state. 59.34 (b) The commissioner shall ensure that telecommunications 59.35 services are acquired in a manner that: 59.36 (1) promotes the availability of technologies with 60.1 statewide high-speed or advanced telecommunications capability 60.2 for both public and private customers in a reasonable and timely 60.3 fashion; 60.4 (2) enables the cost-effective provision of 60.5 telecommunications services to the entities identified in this 60.6 section; 60.7 (3) uses standards-based open, interoperable networks to 60.8 the extent practicable; 60.9 (4) promotes fair and open competition in the delivery of 60.10 telecommunications services; 60.11 (5) allows effective state information infrastructure 60.12 network management, responsiveness, and fault protection; 60.13 (6) provides networkwide security and confidentiality as 60.14 appropriate for promoting public safety, health, and welfare; 60.15 and 60.16 (7) meets performance standards that are reasonable and 60.17 necessary. 60.18 (c) The state may purchase, own, or lease customer premises 60.19 equipment. Customer premises equipment consists of terminal and 60.20 associated equipment and inside wire located at an end user's 60.21 premises and connected with communication channels at the point 60.22 established in a building or a complex to separate customer 60.23 equipment from the network. Customer premises equipment also 60.24 includes, but is not limited to, communications devices eligible 60.25 for distribution to communications impaired persons under 60.26 section 237.51, subdivision 1237A.51. 60.27 (d) This section does not prohibit the commissioner or 60.28 other governmental entity from owning, leasing, operating, and 60.29 staffing a network operation center that allows the commissioner 60.30 to test, troubleshoot, and maintain network operations. 60.31 Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 18.205, is 60.32 amended to read: 60.33 18.205 [PUBLIC UTILITY EASEMENTS.] 60.34 For property that is subject to a public utility easement, 60.35 the person controlling the surface of the land other than the 60.36 holder of the public utility easement is the person responsible 61.1 for control of grasshoppers under this chapter. For purposes of 61.2 this section, a "public utility easement" means an easement used 61.3 for the purpose of transmission, distribution, furnishing at 61.4 wholesale or retail natural or manufactured gas, or electric or 61.5 telephone service, by a public utility as defined in section 61.6 216B.02, subdivision 4, a cooperative electric association 61.7 organized under chapter 308A, a telephone company as defined in61.8 section 237.01, subdivisions 2 and 3, or a municipality 61.9 producing or furnishing gas, electric, or telephone service. 61.10 Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 115B.02, 61.11 subdivision 14, is amended to read: 61.12 Subd. 14. [PUBLIC UTILITY EASEMENT.] "Public utility 61.13 easement" means an easement used for the purposes of 61.14 transmission, distribution, or furnishing, at wholesale or 61.15 retail, natural or manufactured gas, or electric or telephone 61.16 service, by a public utility as defined in section 216B.02, 61.17 subdivision 4, a cooperative electric association organized 61.18 under the provisions of chapter 308A, a telephone company as61.19 defined in section 237.01, subdivisions 2 and 3, or a 61.20 municipality producing or furnishing gas, electric, or telephone 61.21 service. 61.22 Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, section 61.23 221.031, subdivision 2, is amended to read: 61.24 Subd. 2. [PRIVATE CARRIERS; OPERATING REQUIREMENTS, 61.25 EXEMPTIONS.] This subdivision applies to private carriers 61.26 engaged in intrastate commerce. 61.27 (a) Private carriers operating vehicles with a gross 61.28 vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds shall comply with 61.29 those federal regulations incorporated by reference in: 61.30 (1) section 221.0314, subdivisions 2 to 5, for driver 61.31 qualifications; 61.32 (2) section 221.0314, subdivision 9, for hours of service 61.33 of drivers; 61.34 (3) section 221.0314, subdivision 6, for driving of motor 61.35 vehicles; 61.36 (4) section 221.0314, subdivision 7, for parts and 62.1 accessories necessary for safe operation; and 62.2 (5) section 221.0314, subdivision 10, for inspection, 62.3 repair, and maintenance. 62.4 (b) The rules for hours of service of drivers do not apply 62.5 to private carriers who are (1) public utilities as defined in 62.6 section 216B.02, subdivision 4; (2) cooperative electric 62.7 associations organized under chapter 308A; (3) telephone 62.8 companies as defined in section 237.01, subdivision 2; or (4) 62.9 engaged in the transportation of construction materials, tools 62.10 and equipment from shop to job site or job site to job site, for 62.11 use by the private carrier in the new construction, remodeling, 62.12 or repair of buildings, structures or their appurtenances. 62.13 (c) The rules for driver qualifications and hours of 62.14 service of drivers do not apply to vehicles controlled by a 62.15 farmer and operated by a farmer or farm employee to transport 62.16 agricultural products, farm machinery, or supplies to or from a 62.17 farm if the vehicle is not used in the operations of a motor 62.18 carrier and not carrying hazardous materials of a type or 62.19 quantity that requires the vehicle to be marked or placarded in 62.20 accordance with section 221.033. 62.21 (d) The rules for driver qualifications do not apply to a 62.22 driver employed by a private carrier while operating a 62.23 lightweight vehicle. 62.24 Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 256.978, 62.25 subdivision 2, is amended to read: 62.26 Subd. 2. [ACCESS TO INFORMATION.] (a) A request for 62.27 information by the public authority responsible for child 62.28 support of this state or any other state may be made to: 62.29 (1) employers when there is reasonable cause to believe 62.30 that the subject of the inquiry is or was an employee or 62.31 independent contractor of the employer. Information to be 62.32 released by employers of employees is limited to place of 62.33 residence, employment status, wage or payment information, 62.34 benefit information, and social security number. Information to 62.35 be released by employers of independent contractors is limited 62.36 to place of residence or address, contract status, payment 63.1 information, benefit information, and social security number or 63.2 identification number; 63.3 (2) utility companies when there is reasonable cause to 63.4 believe that the subject of the inquiry is or was a retail 63.5 customer of the utility company. Customer information to be 63.6 released by utility companies is limited to place of residence, 63.7 home telephone, work telephone, source of income, employer and 63.8 place of employment, and social security number; 63.9 (3) insurance companies when there is reasonable cause to 63.10 believe that the subject of the inquiry is or was receiving 63.11 funds either in the form of a lump sum or periodic payments. 63.12 Information to be released by insurance companies is limited to 63.13 place of residence, home telephone, work telephone, employer, 63.14 social security number, and amounts and type of payments made to 63.15 the subject of the inquiry; 63.16 (4) labor organizations when there is reasonable cause to 63.17 believe that the subject of the inquiry is or was a member of 63.18 the labor association. Information to be released by labor 63.19 associations is limited to place of residence, home telephone, 63.20 work telephone, social security number, and current and past 63.21 employment information; and 63.22 (5) financial institutions when there is reasonable cause 63.23 to believe that the subject of the inquiry has or has had 63.24 accounts, stocks, loans, certificates of deposits, treasury 63.25 bills, life insurance policies, or other forms of financial 63.26 dealings with the institution. Information to be released by 63.27 the financial institution is limited to place of residence, home 63.28 telephone, work telephone, identifying information on the type 63.29 of financial relationships, social security number, current 63.30 value of financial relationships, and current indebtedness of 63.31 the subject with the financial institution. 63.32 (b) For purposes of this subdivision, utility companies 63.33 include telephone companies, radio common carriers, and 63.34 telecommunications carriersservice providers as defined in 63.35 section 237.01237A.01, and companies that provide electrical, 63.36 telephone, natural gas, propane gas, oil, coal, or cable 64.1 television services to retail customers. The term financial 64.2 institution includes banks, savings and loans, credit unions, 64.3 brokerage firms, mortgage companies, insurance companies, 64.4 benefit associations, safe deposit companies, money market 64.5 mutual funds, or similar entities authorized to do business in 64.6 the state. 64.7 Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, section 64.8 270B.14, subdivision 1, is amended to read: 64.9 Subdivision 1. [DISCLOSURE TO COMMISSIONER OF HUMAN 64.10 SERVICES.] (a) On the request of the commissioner of human 64.11 services, the commissioner shall disclose return information 64.12 regarding taxes imposed by chapter 290, and claims for refunds 64.13 under chapter 290A, to the extent provided in paragraph (b) and 64.14 for the purposes set forth in paragraph (c). 64.15 (b) Data that may be disclosed are limited to data relating 64.16 to the identity, whereabouts, employment, income, and property 64.17 of a person owing or alleged to be owing an obligation of child 64.18 support. 64.19 (c) The commissioner of human services may request data 64.20 only for the purposes of carrying out the child support 64.21 enforcement program and to assist in the location of parents who 64.22 have, or appear to have, deserted their children. Data received 64.23 may be used only as set forth in section 256.978. 64.24 (d) The commissioner shall provide the records and 64.25 information necessary to administer the supplemental housing 64.26 allowance to the commissioner of human services. 64.27 (e) At the request of the commissioner of human services, 64.28 the commissioner of revenue shall electronically match the 64.29 social security numbers and names of participants in the 64.30 telephone assistance plan operated under sections 237.69 to64.31 237.711237A.59 and 237A.63, with those of property tax refund 64.32 filers, and determine whether each participant's household 64.33 income is within the eligibility standards for the telephone 64.34 assistance plan. 64.35 (f) The commissioner may provide records and information 64.36 collected under sections 295.50 to 295.59 to the commissioner of 65.1 human services for purposes of the Medicaid Voluntary 65.2 Contribution and Provider-Specific Tax Amendments of 1991, 65.3 Public Law Number 102-234. Upon the written agreement by the 65.4 United States Department of Health and Human Services to 65.5 maintain the confidentiality of the data, the commissioner may 65.6 provide records and information collected under sections 295.50 65.7 to 295.59 to the Health Care Financing Administration section of 65.8 the United States Department of Health and Human Services for 65.9 purposes of meeting federal reporting requirements. 65.10 (g) The commissioner may provide records and information to 65.11 the commissioner of human services as necessary to administer 65.12 the early refund of refundable tax credits. 65.13 (h) The commissioner may disclose information to the 65.14 commissioner of human services necessary to verify income for 65.15 eligibility and premium payment under the MinnesotaCare program, 65.16 under section 256L.05, subdivision 2. 65.17 (i) The commissioner may disclose information to the 65.18 commissioner of human services necessary to verify whether 65.19 applicants or recipients for the Minnesota family investment 65.20 program, general assistance, food stamps, and Minnesota 65.21 supplemental aid program have claimed refundable tax credits 65.22 under chapter 290 and the property tax refund under chapter 65.23 290A, and the amounts of the credits. 65.24 Sec. 8. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 308A.210, 65.25 subdivision 8, is amended to read: 65.26 Subd. 8. [ADVANCED TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICE; DEFINED.] 65.27 "Advanced telecommunications service" includes any service that 65.28 would be classified as a flexibly priced service within the65.29 meaning of section 237.761, subdivision 4,or 65.30 non-price-regulated service within the meaning of section65.31 237.761, subdivision 4, provided that a service may be an 65.32 advanced telephone service whether or not the telephone company 65.33 has adopted an alternative rate plan within the meaning of65.34 section 237.76. 65.35 Sec. 9. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 325E.021, is 65.36 amended to read: 66.1 325E.021 [UTILITY DELINQUENCY CHARGES.] 66.2 A public utility as defined by section 216B.02, a 66.3 municipality or cooperative electric association, or telephone 66.4 company as defined by section 237.01shall, if that utility 66.5 adopts a policy of imposing a charge or fee upon delinquent 66.6 residential and farm accounts, provide that each billing shall 66.7 clearly state the terms and conditions of any penalty in the 66.8 form of the monthly percentage rate. 66.9 Sec. 10. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 325F.692, 66.10 subdivision 3, is amended to read: 66.11 Subd. 3. [BILLING; SEGREGATED CHARGES; NOTICE.] (a) A 66.12 telephone company or, independent telephone company, as defined66.13 in section 237.01,or any other entity that serves as the 66.14 billing agent for information service charges shall, to the 66.15 extent it has knowledge, list the charges for information 66.16 services separately from charges for local and long distance 66.17 telephone service charges on each telephone service subscriber's 66.18 billing statement, regardless of whether an information service 66.19 customer initiated a call to access the information service or 66.20 whether the information service provider initiated a call to the 66.21 customer to allow the customer access to the information 66.22 service. It is fraud under section 325F.69 to knowingly 66.23 identify information service charges as telephone charges. A 66.24 common carrier is liable for fraud under this subdivision only 66.25 if it knowingly participates in the misidentification. 66.26 (b) A bill or the portion of a telephone bill for 66.27 information services must contain the following language printed 66.28 in at least ten-point bold type or typewritten in capital 66.29 letters in a color or shade that readily contrasts with the 66.30 background: 66.31 "YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DISPUTE CHARGES FOR INFORMATION 66.32 SERVICE CALLS. AS A TELEPHONE SERVICE SUBSCRIBER, YOU ARE NOT 66.33 LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR INFORMATION SERVICE CHARGES INCURRED BY 66.34 MINORS OR VULNERABLE ADULTS WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT. NEITHER A 66.35 LONG DISTANCE COMPANY NOR YOUR LOCAL TELEPHONE COMPANY MAY 66.36 DISCONNECT YOUR SERVICE BECAUSE YOU REFUSE TO PAY AN INFORMATION 67.1 SERVICE CHARGE." 67.2 The notice required by this paragraph can be provided in 67.3 conjunction with other required notices. 67.4 Sec. 11. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 325F.693, 67.5 subdivision 2, is amended to read: 67.6 Subd. 2. [SLAMMING DEEMED CONSUMER FRAUD.] (a) It is fraud 67.7 under section 325F.69 to request a change in a telephone service 67.8 subscriber's local exchange or interexchange carrier without the 67.9 subscriber's verified consent. 67.10 (b) A telephone service subscriber may employ the remedies 67.11 provided in section 237.66237A.18 for violations of paragraph 67.12 (a). Section 8.31 may also be employed to remedy violations of 67.13 paragraph (a). 67.14 (c) For the purposes of paragraph (a): 67.15 (1) the consent of the telephone service subscriber may be 67.16 verified utilizing any method that is consistent with federal 67.17 law or regulation; 67.18 (2) compliance with applicable federal law and regulation, 67.19 or state law and rule, whichever is more stringent, is a 67.20 complete defense to an allegation of consumer fraud under 67.21 paragraph (a); and 67.22 (3) it is the responsibility of the company or carrier 67.23 requesting a change in a telephone service subscriber's company 67.24 or carrier to verify that the subscriber has authorized the 67.25 change. A telephone company or telecommunications carrier 67.26 providing local exchange service who has been requested by 67.27 another telephone company or telecommunications carrier to 67.28 process a change in a subscriber's carrier is only liable under 67.29 this section if it knowingly participates in processing a 67.30 requested change that is unauthorized. 67.31 (d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to change a 67.32 telephone company's or telecommunications carrier's obligations 67.33 under section 237.66237A.17. 67.34 Sec. 12. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 326.242, 67.35 subdivision 12, is amended to read: 67.36 Subd. 12. [EXEMPTIONS FROM LICENSING.] (a) A maintenance 68.1 electrician who is supervised by the responsible master 68.2 electrician for an electrical contractor who has contracted with 68.3 the maintenance electrician's employer to provide services for 68.4 which an electrical contractor's license is required or by a 68.5 master electrician or an electrical engineer registered with the 68.6 board and who is an employee of an employer and is engaged in 68.7 the maintenance ,and repair of electrical equipment, apparatus, 68.8 and facilities owned or leased by the employer, and performed 68.9 within the limits of property which isowned or leased and 68.10 operated and maintained by saidthe employer, shallis not be68.11 required to hold or obtain a license under sections 326.241 to 68.12 326.248 ; or. 68.13 (b) Employees of a licensed alarm and communication 68.14 contractor are not required to hold a license under sections 68.15 326.241 to 326.248 while performing work authorized to be 68.16 conducted by an alarm and communication contractor ; or. 68.17 (c) Employees of any electric, communications, or railway 68.18 utility ,or atelephone company as defined under section 237.0168.19 or its employees, or employees of any independent contractor 68.20 performing work on behalf of any suchthe utility or telephone 68.21 company, shallare not berequired to hold a license under 68.22 sections 326.241 to 326.248: 68.23 1.(1) while performing work on installations, materials, 68.24 or equipment which areowned or leased, and operated and 68.25 maintained by such, the utility or telephone company in the 68.26 exercise of its utility or telephone function, and whichthat: 68.27 (i) are used exclusively for the generation, 68.28 transformation, distribution, transmission, or metering of 68.29 electric current, orfor the operation of railway signals, or 68.30 for the transmission of intelligence, and do not have as a 68.31 principal function the consumption or use of electric current by 68.32 or for the benefit of any person other than suchthe utility or 68.33 telephone company , and; 68.34 (ii) are generally accessible only to employees of suchthe 68.35 utility or telephone company or persons acting under its control 68.36 or direction ,; and 69.1 (iii) are not on the load side of the meter; or69.2 2.(2) while performing work on installations, materials, 69.3 or equipment whichthat are a part of the street lighting 69.4 operations of suchthe utility; or 69.5 3.(3) while installing or performing work on outdoor area 69.6 lights whichthat are directly connected to a utility's 69.7 distribution system and located upon the utility's distribution 69.8 poles, and whichthat are generally accessible only to employees 69.9 of suchthe utility or persons acting under its control or 69.10 direction ; or. 69.11 (d) An owner shallis not berequired to hold or obtain a 69.12 license under sections 326.241 to 326.248. 69.13 Sec. 13. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 326.2421, 69.14 subdivision 2, is amended to read: 69.15 Subd. 2. [EXEMPTION.] Except as provided in subdivision 3, 69.16 no person licensed pursuant to subdivision 3 may be required to 69.17 obtain any authorization, permit, franchise, or license from, or 69.18 pay any fee, franchise tax, or other assessment to, any agency, 69.19 department, board, or political subdivision of the state as a 69.20 condition for performing any work described herein. The 69.21 requirements of this section shall not apply to telephone 69.22 companies as defined under section 237.01nor to their 69.23 employees, that are only engaged in the laying out, 69.24 installation, and repair of telephone systems. 69.25 Sec. 14. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 403.09, is 69.26 amended to read: 69.27 403.09 [ENFORCEMENT.] 69.28 (a) At the request of the department of administration, the 69.29 attorney general may commence proceedings in the district court 69.30 against any person or public or private body to enforce the 69.31 provisions of this chapter. 69.32 (b) At the request of the public utilities commission, the 69.33 attorney general may commence proceedings before the district 69.34 court pursuant to section 237.27, against any public utility 69.35 providing telephone service which refuses to comply with this 69.36 chapter. 70.1 Sec. 15. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 403.11, 70.2 subdivision 1, is amended to read: 70.3 Subdivision 1. [EMERGENCY TELEPHONE SERVICE FEE.] (a) Each 70.4 customer of a telephone company or communications carrier that 70.5 provides service capable of originating a 911 emergency 70.6 telephone call is assessed a fee to cover the costs of ongoing 70.7 maintenance and related improvements for trunking and central 70.8 office switching equipment for minimum 911 emergency telephone 70.9 service, plus administrative and staffing costs of the 70.10 department of administration related to managing the 911 70.11 emergency telephone service program. Recurring charges by a 70.12 public utility providing telephone service for updating the 70.13 information required by section 403.07, subdivision 3, must be 70.14 paid by the commissioner of administration if the utility is 70.15 included in an approved 911 plan and the charges have been 70.16 certified and approved under subdivision 3. The commissioner of 70.17 administration shall transfer an amount equal to two cents a 70.18 month from the fee assessed under this section on cellular and 70.19 other nonwire access services to the commissioner of public 70.20 safety for the purpose of offsetting the costs, including 70.21 administrative and staffing costs, incurred by the state patrol 70.22 division of the department of public safety in handling 911 70.23 emergency calls made from cellular phones. Money remaining in 70.24 the 911 emergency telephone service account after all other 70.25 obligations are paid must not cancel and is carried forward to 70.26 subsequent years and may be appropriated from time to time to 70.27 the commissioner of administration to provide financial 70.28 assistance to counties for the improvement of local emergency 70.29 telephone services. The improvements may include providing 70.30 access to minimum 911 service for telephone service subscribers 70.31 currently without access and upgrading existing 911 service to 70.32 include automatic number identification, local location 70.33 identification, automatic location identification, and other 70.34 improvements specified in revised county 911 plans approved by 70.35 the department. 70.36 (b) The fee may not be less than eight cents nor more than 71.1 30 cents a month for each customer access line or other basic 71.2 access service, including trunk equivalents as designated by the 71.3 public utilities commission for access charge purposes and 71.4 including cellular and other nonwire access services. The fee 71.5 must be the same for all customers. 71.6 (c) The fee must be collected by each company or carrier 71.7 providing service subject to the fee. Fees are payable to and 71.8 must be submitted to the commissioner of administration monthly 71.9 before the 25th of each month following the month of collection, 71.10 except that fees may be submitted quarterly if less than $250 a 71.11 month is due, or annually if less than $25 a month is due. 71.12 Receipts must be deposited in the state treasury and credited to 71.13 a 911 emergency telephone service account in the special revenue 71.14 fund. The money in the account may only be used for 911 71.15 telephone services as provided in paragraph (a). 71.16 (d) The commissioner of administration, with the approval 71.17 of the commissioner of finance, shall establish the amount of 71.18 the fee within the limits specified and inform the companies and 71.19 carriers of the amount to be collected. Companies and carriers 71.20 must be given a minimum of 45 days' notice of fee changes. 71.21 (e) This subdivision does not apply to customers of a 71.22 telecommunications carrier as defined in section 237.01,71.23 subdivision 6. 71.24 Sec. 16. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 412.014, is 71.25 amended to read: 71.26 412.014 [POWER TO OPERATE TELEPHONE LINES.] 71.27 Any statutory city heretofore or hereafter incorporated, in 71.28 the territory of which previous to such incorporation telephone 71.29 lines have been constructed and operated by a town as authorized 71.30 by sections 237.33 to 237.40before the effective date of this 71.31 act, is hereby authorized to continue to operate such telephone 71.32 lines and the city shall have all the powers granted to towns 71.33 and the council shall have all of the powers granted to boards 71.34 of supervisors under former Minnesota Statutes, sections 237.33 71.35 to 237.40. 71.36 Sec. 17. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 609.892, 72.1 subdivision 1, is amended to read: 72.2 Subdivision 1. [APPLICABILITY.] The definitions in this 72.3 section apply to sections 237.73,609.892 ,and 609.893. 72.4 Sec. 18. [REPEALER.] 72.5 (a) Minnesota Statutes 1998, sections 237.01; 237.011; 72.6 237.02; 237.03; 237.035; 237.04; 237.05; 237.06; 237.065; 72.7 237.067; 237.068; 237.069; 237.07; 237.071; 237.072; 237.075; 72.8 237.076; 237.081; 237.082; 237.09; 237.10; 237.11; 237.115; 72.9 237.12; 237.121; 237.14; 237.15; 237.16; 237.162; 237.163; 72.10 237.164; 237.17; 237.18; 237.19; 237.20; 237.21; 237.22; 237.23; 72.11 237.231; 237.24; 237.25; 237.26; 237.27; 237.28; 237.295; 72.12 237.30; 237.33; 237.34; 237.35; 237.36; 237.37; 237.38; 237.39; 72.13 237.40; 237.44; 237.45; 237.46; 237.461, subdivision 1; 237.47; 72.14 237.49; 237.50; 237.51, subdivisions 1 and 5; 237.52; 237.53; 72.15 237.54; 237.55; 237.56; 237.57; 237.58; 237.59; 237.60; 237.61; 72.16 237.62; 237.625; 237.626; 237.63; 237.64; 237.65; 237.66; 72.17 237.661; 237.662; 237.663; 237.67; 237.68; 237.69; 237.70, 72.18 subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7; 237.701; 237.71; 237.711; 72.19 237.73; 237.74; 237.75; 237.76; 237.761; 237.762; 237.763; 72.20 237.764; 237.765; 237.766; 237.767; 237.768; 237.769; 237.770; 72.21 237.771; 237.772; 237.773; 237.774; 237.775; 237.79; 237.80; and 72.22 237.81; and Minnesota Statutes 1999 Supplement, sections 72.23 237.036; 237.066; 237.461, subdivisions 2, 3, and 4; 237.462; 72.24 237.51, subdivision 5a; 237.5799; and 237.70, subdivision 4a, 72.25 are repealed. 72.26 (b) Minnesota Rules, parts 7810.0300; 7810.0400; 7810.0700; 72.27 7810.0800; 7810.0900; 7810.1200; 7810.1300; 7810.1500; 72.28 7810.1600; 7810.1700; 7810.1900; 7810.2000; 7810.2100; 72.29 7810.2200; 7810.2300; 7810.2400; 7810.2500; 7810.2600; 72.30 7810.2700; 7810.2800; 7810.3000; 7810.3100; 7810.3200; 72.31 7810.3300; 7810.3400; 7810.3500; 7810.3600; 7810.3700; 72.32 7810.3800; 7810.3900; 7810.4000; 7810.4200; 7810.4300; 72.33 7810.4400; 7810.4500; 7810.4600; 7810.4700; 7810.4800; 72.34 7810.5100; 7810.5500; 7810.5600; 7810.5700; 7810.6100; 72.35 7810.6200; 7810.6300; 7810.6400; 7810.6500; 7810.6600; 72.36 7810.6700; 7810.6800; 7810.6900; 7810.7000; 7810.7100; 73.1 7810.7200; 7810.7300; 7810.7400; 7810.7500; 7810.7600; 73.2 7810.7700; 7810.7800; 7810.7900; 7810.8000; 7810.8100; 73.3 7810.8200; 7810.8300; 7810.8400; 7810.8500; 7810.8600; 73.4 7810.8605; 7810.8610; 7810.8615; 7810.8620; 7810.8625; 73.5 7810.8630; 7810.8635; 7810.8640; 7810.8645; 7810.8650; 73.6 7810.8655; 7810.8660; 7810.8665; 7810.8670; 7810.8675; 73.7 7810.8680; 7810.8685; 7810.8690; 7810.8700; 7810.8705; 73.8 7810.8710; 7810.8715; 7810.8720; 7810.8725; 7810.8730; 73.9 7810.8735; 7810.8740; 7810.8745; 7810.8750; 7810.8755; 73.10 7810.8760; 7810.8800; 7810.8805; 7810.8810; 7810.8815; 73.11 7810.8900; 7810.8905; 7810.8910; 7810.8915; 7810.8920; 73.12 7810.8925; 7810.8930; 7810.8935; 7810.8940; 7813.0100; 73.13 7813.0200; 7813.0300; 7813.0400; 7813.0500; 7813.0600; 73.14 7813.0700; 7813.0800; 7813.0900; 7813.1000; 7813.1100; 73.15 7817.0100; 7817.0200; 7817.0300; 7817.0400; 7817.0500; 73.16 7817.0600; 7817.0700; 7817.0800; 7817.0900; 7817.1000; 73.17 7827.0100; 7827.0200; 7827.0300; 7827.0400; 7827.0500; 73.18 7827.0600; 7829.0100; 7829.0200; 7829.0300; 7829.0400; 73.19 7829.0500; 7829.0600; 7829.0700; 7829.0800; 7829.0900; 73.20 7829.1000; 7829.1100; 7829.1200; 7829.1300; 7829.1400; 73.21 7829.1500; 7829.1600; 7829.1700; 7829.1800; 7829.1900; 73.22 7829.2000; 7829.2100; 7829.2200; 7829.2300; 7829.2400; 73.23 7829.2500; 7829.2600; 7829.2700; 7829.2800; 7829.2900; 73.24 7829.3000; 7829.3100; 7829.3200; 7831.0100; 7831.0200; 73.25 7831.0300; 7831.0400; 7831.0500; 7831.0600; 7831.0700; and 73.26 7831.0800, are repealed.