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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 3146

as introduced - 82nd Legislature (2001 - 2002) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

  1.1                          A bill for an act 
  1.2             relating to telecommunications; defining certain 
  1.3             terms; promoting competition within local exchange 
  1.4             marketplace; providing standards of conduct applicable 
  1.5             to telecommunications service providers and their 
  1.6             affiliates, including incumbent local exchange 
  1.7             carriers and competitive local exchange carriers; 
  1.8             requiring consent to use private customer's 
  1.9             information for marketing purposes by 
  1.10            telecommunications service providers; promoting 
  1.11            improved customer service; creating standards of 
  1.12            conduct and required practices governing the relations 
  1.13            between telecommunications service providers and their 
  1.14            customers; providing criteria for structural 
  1.15            separation of retail and wholesale activities of large 
  1.16            incumbent local exchange carriers into affiliated 
  1.17            companies for violations of standards of conduct; 
  1.18            making clarifying and technical changes; amending 
  1.19            Minnesota Statutes 2000, sections 237.01, by adding 
  1.20            subdivisions; 237.035; 237.09, subdivision 2; 237.462, 
  1.21            subdivisions 1, 2, 11, 12; 237.66; 237.661; 237.771; 
  1.22            325F.693; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota 
  1.23            Statutes, chapter 237; repealing Minnesota Statutes 
  1.24            2000, section 237.121. 
  1.26     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  1.27  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  1.28     Subd. 7.  [AFFILIATE.] "Affiliate" means an individual, 
  1.29  political, or corporate person or other legal entity, however 
  1.30  organized, that directly or indirectly owns or controls, is 
  1.31  owned or controlled by, or is under common ownership or control 
  1.32  with another person or entity. 
  1.33     Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  1.34  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  1.35     Subd. 8.  [BASIC LOCAL TELEPHONE SERVICE.] "Basic local 
  2.1   telephone service means: 
  2.2      (1) single-party, voice-grade service and touch-tone 
  2.3   capability; 
  2.4      (2) 911 or enhanced 911 access; 
  2.5      (3) 1 + intraLATA and interLATA presubscription and 
  2.6   code-specific equal access to interexchange carriers subscribing 
  2.7   to its switched access service; 
  2.8      (4) access to directory assistance, directory listings, and 
  2.9   operator services; 
  2.10     (5) toll and information service-blocking capability 
  2.11  without recurring monthly charges; 
  2.12     (6) one white pages directory per year except when an offer 
  2.13  is made and explicitly refused by the customer; 
  2.14     (7) a white pages and directory assistance listing, or upon 
  2.15  customer request, a private listing that allows the customer to 
  2.16  have an unlisted or unpublished telephone number; 
  2.17     (8) call-tracing capability; 
  2.18     (9) call-blocking capability; 
  2.19     (10) telecommunications relay service capability or access 
  2.20  necessary to comply with state and federal regulations; and 
  2.21     (11) any other services or terms determined by the 
  2.22  commission to be integral to the basic communications, health, 
  2.23  privacy, or safety needs of customers. 
  2.24     Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  2.25  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  2.26     Subd. 9.  [COMMISSION.] "Commission" means the public 
  2.27  utilities commission. 
  2.28     Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  2.29  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  2.31  "Competitive local exchange carrier," or "CLEC" means: 
  2.32     (1) a telecommunications service provider that is certified 
  2.33  by the commission to provide local telephone service; or 
  2.34     (2) a telephone company to the extent it provides local 
  2.35  telephone service in an exchange area for which neither the 
  2.36  company nor any of its predecessors was certified on August 1, 
  3.1   1995. 
  3.2      (b) This subdivision does not exempt a telephone company, 
  3.3   as defined in subdivision 2, from the applicable requirements of 
  3.4   this chapter, including rate of return regulation or earnings 
  3.5   investigations under section 237.075 or 237.081, and 
  3.6   depreciation requirements under section 237.22.  
  3.7      Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  3.8   amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  3.9      Subd. 11.  [COST.] "Cost" means the total service long-run 
  3.10  incremental cost as defined in section 237.772, subdivision 1. 
  3.11     Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  3.12  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  3.13     Subd. 12.  [DEPARTMENT.] "Department" means the department 
  3.14  of commerce. 
  3.15     Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  3.16  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  3.17     Subd. 13.  [END USER.] "End user" means a person 
  3.18  requesting, receiving, or using telecommunications service on a 
  3.19  retail basis, regardless of whether that person is a customer. 
  3.20     Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  3.21  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  3.23  ILEC.] "Incumbent local exchange carrier" or "ILEC" means a 
  3.24  telephone company to the extent it is providing any local 
  3.25  telephone service in an exchange area for which either it or one 
  3.26  of its predecessors was certified to provide local service on 
  3.27  August 1, 1995. 
  3.28     Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  3.29  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  3.30     Subd. 16.  [INTERLATA SERVICE.] "InterLATA service" means 
  3.31  telecommunications between a point located in a local access and 
  3.32  transport area (LATA) and a point located outside that LATA. 
  3.33     Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  3.34  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  3.35     Subd. 17.  [INTRALATA SERVICE.] "IntraLATA service" means 
  3.36  telecommunications between a point located in a local access and 
  4.1   transport area (LATA) and another point also located in that 
  4.2   LATA. 
  4.3      Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  4.4   amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  4.5      Subd. 18.  [LOCAL CALLING AREA.] "Local calling area" means 
  4.6   the area within which calls originate and terminate without a 
  4.7   toll charge. 
  4.8      Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  4.9   amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  4.10     Subd. 19.  [LOCAL TELEPHONE SERVICE.] (a) "Local telephone 
  4.11  service" includes: 
  4.12     (1) basic local telephone service within a local calling 
  4.13  area; 
  4.14     (2) any related ancillary or enhanced services such as 
  4.15  voice messaging, caller identification, and call waiting; and 
  4.16     (3) any other non-long-distance telecommunications service 
  4.17  under the jurisdiction of the commission, including high-speed 
  4.18  data transport.  
  4.19     (b) "Local telephone service" does not include mobile 
  4.20  service or cellular service. 
  4.21     Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  4.22  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  4.23     Subd. 20.  [LOCAL TELEPHONE SERVICE PROVIDER.] "Local 
  4.24  telephone service provider" means any person who provides local 
  4.25  telephone service pursuant to a certificate of authority granted 
  4.26  by the commission, and may also provide other telecommunications 
  4.27  services.  A local telephone service provider includes both 
  4.28  incumbent local exchange carriers and competitive local exchange 
  4.29  carriers. 
  4.30     Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  4.31  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  4.32     Subd. 21.  [LONG-DISTANCE SERVICE.] "Long-distance service" 
  4.33  means telecommunications service connecting calls to exchanges 
  4.34  outside the caller's local calling area for which a toll charge 
  4.35  generally applies. 
  4.36     Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  5.1   amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  5.2      Subd. 22.  [NETWORK ELEMENT.] "Network element" means a 
  5.3   functional capability of a network, disaggregated from other 
  5.4   network capabilities and made available to other carriers and 
  5.5   end users separately from all other network capabilities.  
  5.6   Network elements include, but are not limited to, the local 
  5.7   loop, switching functions, ports, and trunks. 
  5.8      Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  5.9   amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  5.10     Subd. 23.  [OWN.] "Own" means to own an equity interest, or 
  5.11  the equivalent of an equity interest, of more than five percent. 
  5.12     Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  5.13  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  5.14     Subd. 24.  [PERSON.] "Person" means any individual, 
  5.15  trustee, partnership, municipality, association, corporation, or 
  5.16  other legal entity, however organized. 
  5.17     Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  5.18  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  5.19     Subd. 25.  [PRIVATE CUSTOMER INFORMATION.] "Private 
  5.20  customer information" means: 
  5.21     (1) information that relates to the quantity, technical 
  5.22  configuration, type, origination, destination, and amount of use 
  5.23  of a service that a telecommunications service provider has 
  5.24  provided to a customer, and that is made available to the 
  5.25  provider by the customer solely by virtue of the 
  5.26  customer-provider relationship; and 
  5.27     (2) information contained in bills pertaining to service 
  5.28  received by a customer of a telecommunications service provider. 
  5.29  Private customer information includes the telephone numbers of 
  5.30  persons with unlisted and unpublished telephone numbers, but 
  5.31  does not include subscriber list information.  Private customer 
  5.32  information includes the telephone numbers and names of persons 
  5.33  called by the customer and who call the customer. 
  5.34     Sec. 19.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  5.35  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  5.36     Subd. 27.  [RATES, TERMS, AND CONDITIONS.] "Rates, terms, 
  6.1   and conditions" include all prices for services and all terms, 
  6.2   conditions, requirements, or policies relating to the service, 
  6.3   whether or not included in a tariff filed with the commission. 
  6.4      Sec. 20.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  6.5   amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  6.6      Subd. 28.  [RETAIL AFFILIATE.] "Retail affiliate" means a 
  6.7   local telephone service provider created by the structural 
  6.8   separation of the incumbent local exchange carrier required 
  6.9   under section 34 to provide retail local telephone service. 
  6.10     Sec. 21.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  6.11  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  6.12     Subd. 29.  [RETAIL OPERATIONS.] "Retail operations" means 
  6.13  the provision, by the retail affiliate of an incumbent local 
  6.14  exchange carrier, of local telephone service to end users. 
  6.15     Sec. 22.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  6.16  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  6.17     Subd. 30.  [SUBSCRIBER LIST INFORMATION.] "Subscriber list 
  6.18  information" means any information: 
  6.19     (1) identifying the listed names of subscribers of a 
  6.20  carrier and the subscribers' telephone numbers, addresses, or 
  6.21  primary advertising classifications, as those classifications 
  6.22  are assigned at the time of the establishment of the service, or 
  6.23  any combination of listed names, numbers, addresses, or 
  6.24  classifications; and 
  6.25     (2) that the carrier or an affiliate has published, caused 
  6.26  to be published, or accepted for publication in any directory 
  6.27  format. 
  6.28     Sec. 23.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  6.29  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  6.30     Subd. 31.  [TELECOMMUNICATIONS.] "Telecommunications" means 
  6.31  any transmission, between or among points specified by the user, 
  6.32  of information of the user's choosing, without change in the 
  6.33  form or content of the information as sent and received.  
  6.34     Sec. 24.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  6.35  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  6.36     Subd. 33.  [TELECOMMUNICATIONS 
  7.1   SERVICE.] "Telecommunications service" means the offering of 
  7.2   telecommunications for a fee directly to the public, or to such 
  7.3   classes of users as to be effectively available directly to the 
  7.4   public, regardless of the facilities used, and includes 
  7.5   high-speed data transport. 
  7.6      Sec. 25.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  7.7   amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  7.9   PROVIDER.] "Telecommunications service provider" means any 
  7.10  provider of local telephone service or long-distance service 
  7.11  subject to the jurisdiction of the commission, except that 
  7.12  telecommunications service provider does not include radio 
  7.13  common carriers or any other providers of cellular or mobile 
  7.14  service.  A telecommunications service provider does not include 
  7.15  persons that derive more than 50 percent of their revenues from 
  7.16  operator services provided to transient locations such as 
  7.17  hotels, motels, and hospitals.  In addition, telecommunications 
  7.18  service provider does not include persons that provide 
  7.19  centralized equal access. 
  7.20     Sec. 26.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  7.21  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  7.22     Subd. 36.  [WHOLESALE AFFILIATE.] "Wholesale affiliate" 
  7.23  means a wholesale local telephone service provider created by 
  7.24  the structural separation of the incumbent local exchange 
  7.25  carrier required under section 34 to own and operate all network 
  7.26  facilities of the incumbent local exchange carrier as it existed 
  7.27  before the effective date of structural separation. 
  7.28     Sec. 27.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.01, is 
  7.29  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
  7.30     Subd. 37.  [WHOLESALE CUSTOMER.] "Wholesale customer" means 
  7.31  a person who purchases telecommunications services or related 
  7.32  enhanced services from an incumbent local exchange carrier for 
  7.33  purposes of providing retail telecommunications services to end 
  7.34  use customers. 
  7.35     Sec. 28.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.035, is 
  7.36  amended to read: 
  8.2      (a) Telecommunications carriers are subject to regulation 
  8.3   under this chapter only to the extent required under paragraphs 
  8.4   (b) to (e). 
  8.5      (b) Telecommunications carriers shall comply with sections 
  8.6   237.121 237.651, 237.652, 237.654, 237.655, 237.657, 237.659, 
  8.7   and 237.74. 
  8.8      (c) Telecommunications carriers shall comply with section 
  8.9   237.16, subdivisions 8 and 9. 
  8.10     (d) To the extent a telecommunications carrier offers local 
  8.11  service, it shall obtain a certificate under section 237.16 for 
  8.12  that local service. 
  8.13     (e) In addition, a telecommunications carrier's local 
  8.14  service is subject to this chapter except that: 
  8.15     (1) a telecommunications carrier is not subject to 
  8.16  rate-of-return or earnings investigations under section 237.075 
  8.17  or 237.081; and 
  8.18     (2) a telecommunications carrier is not subject to section 
  8.19  237.22. 
  8.20     Sec. 29.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.09, 
  8.21  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
  8.22     Subd. 2.  [PARTICULAR SERVICES.] (a) A telephone company 
  8.23  that offers or provides a service or services, service elements, 
  8.24  features, or functionalities on a separate, stand-alone basis to 
  8.25  any customer shall provide that service, service element, 
  8.26  feature, or functionality pursuant to tariff to all similarly 
  8.27  situated persons, including all telecommunications carriers and 
  8.28  competitors.  To the extent prohibited by law, the Federal 
  8.29  Communications Commission, or the public utilities commission, a 
  8.30  telephone company shall not give preference or discriminate in 
  8.31  providing services, products, or facilities to an affiliate or 
  8.32  to its own or an affiliate's retail department that sells to 
  8.33  consumers. 
  8.34     (b) For purposes of establishing an appropriate rate or 
  8.35  price floor for a rate for a telephone service, a telephone 
  8.36  company shall impute, on a service-by-service basis, into the 
  9.1   rate or price for that service, the tariffed rate or price for 
  9.2   the same services, service elements, or network functions that 
  9.3   the company provides to others who use it to provide a service 
  9.4   that competes with the telephone service offered by the 
  9.5   company.  A company is not required to impute a rate or price 
  9.6   under this paragraph if it demonstrates to the commission, in an 
  9.7   expedited proceeding under section 237.61, that: 
  9.8      (1) the competitor can obtain substantially equivalent 
  9.9   services, service elements, or network functions within the 
  9.10  relevant market or geographic area on reasonably comparable 
  9.11  terms and conditions through self-provision or from a provider 
  9.12  other than the telephone company; or 
  9.13     (2) application of the imputation requirement otherwise 
  9.14  would be inconsistent with the public interest. 
  9.15     Sec. 30.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.462, 
  9.16  subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
  9.17     Subdivision 1.  [AUTHORITY TO ISSUE PENALTY ORDERS.] After 
  9.18  a proceeding under section 237.081, the commission may issue an 
  9.19  order administratively assessing monetary penalties for knowing 
  9.20  and intentional violations of: 
  9.21     (1) sections 237.09, 237.121, and 237.16, 237.651, 237.652, 
  9.22  237.654, 237.655, 237.657, and 237.659, and any rules adopted 
  9.23  under those sections; 
  9.24     (2) any standards, limitations, or conditions established 
  9.25  in a commission order pursuant to sections 237.09, 237.121, and 
  9.26  237.16, 237.651, 237.652, 237.654, 237.655, 237.657, and 
  9.27  237.659; 
  9.28     (3) an approved interconnection agreement if the violation 
  9.29  is material; and 
  9.30     (4) any duty or obligation of a telephone company, a 
  9.31  telecommunications carrier, or a telecommunications service 
  9.32  provider imposed upon such telephone company, telecommunications 
  9.33  carrier, or the telecommunications service provider by section 
  9.34  251, paragraph (a), (b), or (c) of the Telecommunications Act of 
  9.35  1996 that relates to service provided in the state.  The penalty 
  9.36  order must be issued as provided in this section. 
 10.1      Sec. 31.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.462, 
 10.2   subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
 10.3      Subd. 2.  [AMOUNT OF PENALTY; CONSIDERATIONS.] (a) The 
 10.4   commission may issue an order assessing a penalty of between 
 10.5   $100 and $10,000 not more than $55,000 per day for each 
 10.6   violation.  
 10.7      (b) In determining the amount of a penalty, the commission 
 10.8   shall consider: 
 10.9      (1) the willfulness or intent of the violation; 
 10.10     (2) the gravity of the violation, including the harm to 
 10.11  customers or competitors; 
 10.12     (3) the history of past violations, including the gravity 
 10.13  of past violations, similarity of previous violations to the 
 10.14  current violation to be penalized, number of previous 
 10.15  violations, the response of the person to the most recent 
 10.16  previous violation identified, and the time lapsed since the 
 10.17  last violation; 
 10.18     (4) the number of violations; 
 10.19     (5) the economic benefit gained by the person committing 
 10.20  the violation; 
 10.21     (6) any corrective action taken or planned by the person 
 10.22  committing the violation; 
 10.23     (7) the annual revenue and assets of the company committing 
 10.24  the violation, including the assets and revenue of any 
 10.25  affiliates that have 50 percent or more common ownership or that 
 10.26  own more than 50 percent of the company; 
 10.27     (8) the financial ability of the company, including any 
 10.28  affiliates that have 50 percent or more common ownership or that 
 10.29  own more than 50 percent of the company, to pay the penalty; and 
 10.30     (9) other factors that justice may require, as determined 
 10.31  by the commission.  The commission shall specifically identify 
 10.32  any additional factors in the commission's order. 
 10.33     Sec. 32.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.462, 
 10.34  subdivision 11, is amended to read: 
 10.35     Subd. 11.  [PRIVATE REMEDIES.] Nothing in this section 
 10.36  affects the ability of a telephone company, telecommunications 
 11.1   service provider, telecommunications carrier, or subscriber to 
 11.2   bring a private cause of action in court against a provider 
 11.3   of local exchange telephone any telecommunications service based 
 11.4   on conduct for which a penalty is imposed under this section. 
 11.5      Sec. 33.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.462, 
 11.6   subdivision 12, is amended to read: 
 11.7      Subd. 12.  [APPLICATION.] This section applies to any 
 11.8   telecommunications service provider, telephone company, or 
 11.9   telecommunications carrier that offers local exchange telephone 
 11.10  service within the service territory of a telephone company with 
 11.11  50,000 subscribers or more, regardless of where the violation 
 11.12  occurs.  
 11.13     Sec. 34.  [237.465] [STRUCTURAL SEPARATION.] 
 11.14     Subdivision 1.  [FINDING FOR STRUCTURAL SEPARATION.] The 
 11.15  commission shall order structural separation if it finds that 
 11.16  anticompetitive or discriminatory conduct of an incumbent local 
 11.17  exchange carrier, including the unlawful exercise of market 
 11.18  power, is an unreasonable barrier to the development of an 
 11.19  effectively competitive retail local telephone service market. 
 11.21  PROCEDURES.] (a) Upon issuance of a commission order for 
 11.22  structural separation, an incumbent local exchange carrier shall 
 11.23  structurally separate its retail operations from its wholesale 
 11.24  operations by creating a retail affiliate and a wholesale 
 11.25  affiliate.  The retail affiliate and the wholesale affiliate 
 11.26  shall conduct their respective operations in accordance with 
 11.27  paragraphs (b) to (i). 
 11.28     (b) The retail affiliate shall operate and be regulated 
 11.29  either as a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) or as a 
 11.30  telephone company, whichever the commission determines is in the 
 11.31  public interest. 
 11.32     (c) The wholesale affiliate shall own and operate all 
 11.33  network facilities of the incumbent local exchange carrier 
 11.34  (ILEC) as it existed before the effective date of the structural 
 11.35  separation. 
 11.36     (d) The wholesale affiliate is prohibited from providing 
 12.1   retail service to customers in Minnesota, and shall operate 
 12.2   completely independently from the retail affiliate.  The retail 
 12.3   affiliate shall not own or control, jointly with the wholesale 
 12.4   affiliate or otherwise, any of the network facilities of the 
 12.5   ILEC or the land, buildings, poles, conduits, or rights-of-way 
 12.6   on or in which the network facilities are located. 
 12.7      (e) All transactions and agreements between the retail 
 12.8   affiliate and the wholesale affiliate must be at arms' length, 
 12.9   must be reduced to writing, must be available for public 
 12.10  inspection, and do not take effect until approved by the 
 12.11  commission. 
 12.12     (f) The retail and wholesale affiliate:  
 12.13     (1) shall maintain separate books, records, and accounts; 
 12.14     (2) must have separate officers, directors, and employees; 
 12.15  and 
 12.16     (3) shall operate in separate office locations, subject to 
 12.17  an appropriate colocation agreement or agreements approved by 
 12.18  the commission pursuant to this section. 
 12.19     (g) The wholesale affiliate shall not discriminate in favor 
 12.20  of the retail affiliate, and the retail affiliate may not 
 12.21  discriminate in favor of the wholesale affiliate. 
 12.22     (h) The wholesale affiliate shall offer service and network 
 12.23  elements both on a bundled and unbundled basis. 
 12.24     (i) The wholesale affiliate shall make all products, 
 12.25  services, and service functions, including network elements, 
 12.26  facilities, interfaces, and systems, available to each CLEC at 
 12.27  the prices, terms, and conditions at which they are available to 
 12.28  the retail affiliate.  The wholesale affiliate shall make all 
 12.29  those products, services, and service functions available to an 
 12.30  affiliated or unaffiliated CLEC only through a tariff or an 
 12.31  interconnection agreement approved by the commission. 
 12.32     (j) The wholesale affiliate is subject to rate of return 
 12.33  regulation and is prohibited from implementing or operating 
 12.34  under an alternative form of regulation. 
 12.35     (k) The wholesale affiliate shall provide adequate service 
 12.36  at reasonable rates and in accordance with any terms and 
 13.1   conditions established by the commission. 
 13.3   commission shall adopt: 
 13.4      (1) procedures for reviewing transactions between the 
 13.5   retail affiliate and the wholesale affiliate; 
 13.6      (2) enforcement measures for violations under this section, 
 13.7   including auditing requirements; and 
 13.8      (3) any other rule, requirement, or order necessary or 
 13.9   appropriate for implementing this section. 
 13.10     Subd. 4.  [STANDARDS OF CONDUCT.] As part of its 
 13.11  proceedings to implement this section, the commission, after 
 13.12  providing all interested parties a full opportunity to submit 
 13.13  proposals, offer comments, and participate in hearings, shall, 
 13.14  by order or rule, establish standards of conduct, in accordance 
 13.15  with this section, governing the relationship between the retail 
 13.16  affiliate and the wholesale affiliate.  These standards must 
 13.17  comply with the requirements under section 237.651 and ensure: 
 13.18     (1) the retail affiliate is not given any preference or 
 13.19  advantage in its relationship with the wholesale affiliate; 
 13.20     (2) all services provided by the wholesale affiliate to the 
 13.21  retail affiliate are provided in a nondiscriminatory manner as 
 13.22  required under this section and other applicable law; 
 13.23     (3) no discrimination against or preferential treatment for 
 13.24  any new entrant in the local exchange marketplace, or of the 
 13.25  retail affiliate, by the wholesale affiliate or any other 
 13.26  affiliate of the ILEC; 
 13.27     (4) no disclosure or preferential sharing of any 
 13.28  confidential information between the retail and wholesale 
 13.29  affiliates of the ILEC; 
 13.30     (5) adequate rules prohibiting cross-subsidization of the 
 13.31  retail operation of the ILEC by the wholesale operation of the 
 13.32  ILEC, or vice versa; 
 13.33     (6) maintenance of separate books and records by the retail 
 13.34  and wholesale operations of the ILEC; 
 13.35     (7) sufficient physical and operational separation to 
 13.36  accomplish the requirements of this section; 
 14.1      (8) an informal dispute resolution procedure; and 
 14.2      (9) a procedure for monitoring and enforcing compliance 
 14.3   with the standards of conduct, together with a system of 
 14.4   penalties for noncompliance, consistent with existing commission 
 14.5   rules. 
 14.6      Subd. 5.  [LIMITATION.] In adopting standards of conduct 
 14.7   under this section, the commission may not prohibit the retail 
 14.8   and wholesale operations of an ILEC from using or sharing 
 14.9   similar corporate names, trademarks, trade dress, or service 
 14.10  marks. 
 14.11     Subd. 6.  [FURTHER PROCEEDINGS IF NEEDED.] Subsequent to 
 14.12  developing standards of conduct in accordance with this section, 
 14.13  the commission shall conduct further proceedings as it deems 
 14.14  necessary to implement and enforce those standards.  As part of 
 14.15  these proceedings, the commission may, in its discretion, apply 
 14.16  additional standards of conduct applicable to the marketing 
 14.17  activities of the retail affiliate. 
 14.18     Subd. 7.  [APPLICABILITY.] This section applies only to 
 14.19  incumbent local exchange carriers providing service to 1,000,000 
 14.20  access lines in the state. 
 14.21     Sec. 35.  [237.651] [INCUMBENT LOCAL EXCHANGE CARRIER 
 14.23     An incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) providing local 
 14.24  telephone service to more than 1,000,000 access lines in the 
 14.25  state shall only provide services other than local telephone 
 14.26  service through a separate affiliate.  An ILEC subject to this 
 14.27  section must meet the following conditions: 
 14.28     (1) there must be a complete separation of accounts, 
 14.29  functions, information, operations, and personnel between the 
 14.30  ILEC and its affiliates; 
 14.31     (2) the ILEC shall adopt internal standards of conduct, 
 14.32  which must be filed with the commission for approval, to ensure 
 14.33  that proprietary and confidential competitor information is not 
 14.34  improperly shared; 
 14.35     (3) the ILEC shall not give preference or discriminate in 
 14.36  providing services, products, or facilities to its affiliate; 
 15.1   and 
 15.2      (4) the ILEC shall establish complaint procedures to detect 
 15.3   abuse of its relationship with its affiliates, which must be 
 15.4   filed with the commission for approval.  Resort to the complaint 
 15.5   procedures provided under this clause is voluntary on the part 
 15.6   of complainants, and filing a complaint with an ILEC does not 
 15.7   preclude the filing of a complaint directly with the commission. 
 15.8      Sec. 36.  [237.652] [PROHIBITED SUBSIDIES AND PREFERENCES 
 15.10     A local telephone service provider shall not: 
 15.11     (1) use revenue derived from local telephone service to 
 15.12  subsidize nonlocal services; and 
 15.13     (2) represent to a customer that a customer might receive 
 15.14  better local telephone service if the customer purchases other 
 15.15  products or telecommunications services from it or a related 
 15.16  entity. 
 15.17     Sec. 37.  [237.654] [STANDARDS OF CONDUCT FOR 
 15.20  ILEC.] (a) The commission, by order or rule, shall adopt 
 15.21  wholesale service quality standards that establish minimum fixed 
 15.22  levels of wholesale service quality that an incumbent local 
 15.23  exchange carrier (ILEC) with more than 1,000,000 access lines 
 15.24  shall provide to competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs).  
 15.25  The commission shall adopt self-executing penalty provisions as 
 15.26  part of the wholesale service quality standards established 
 15.27  according to this paragraph. 
 15.28     (b) An ILEC with more than 1,000,000 access lines in the 
 15.29  state shall: 
 15.30     (1) provide service to CLECs that meets any applicable 
 15.31  minimum fixed wholesale service quality requirements or 
 15.32  standards established by the commission; 
 15.33     (2) ensure that a CLEC receives service, network elements, 
 15.34  and interconnection at least at parity with the services, 
 15.35  network elements, or interconnection the ILEC provides to itself 
 15.36  or to any subsidiary, affiliate, or other party; and 
 16.1      (3) provide access to information on networks and 
 16.2   facilities on a nondiscriminatory basis to itself, its 
 16.3   affiliates, and CLECs.  
 16.4   The parity requirement in clause (2) is in addition to, not a 
 16.5   substitute for, the requirement in clause (1) to meet any 
 16.6   minimum fixed wholesale service quality standards established by 
 16.7   the commission pursuant to paragraph (a). 
 16.8      Subd. 2.  [PROHIBITED PRACTICES BY ILEC.] (a) An incumbent 
 16.9   local exchange provider (ILEC) shall not: 
 16.10     (1) unreasonably deny the request of another provider for 
 16.11  information regarding the technical design and features, 
 16.12  geographic coverage, and traffic capabilities of the local 
 16.13  exchange network; 
 16.14     (2) upon request, unreasonably fail to disclose in a timely 
 16.15  and uniform manner information necessary for the design of 
 16.16  equipment and services that will meet the specifications for 
 16.17  interconnection; 
 16.18     (3) unreasonably delay access in connecting another 
 16.19  telecommunications service provider to the local exchange 
 16.20  network; 
 16.21     (4) unreasonably refuse or delay access to or provision of 
 16.22  operation support systems or other provisioning systems to 
 16.23  another telecommunications service provider or provide inferior 
 16.24  operation support systems or other provisioning systems to 
 16.25  another telecommunications service provider; 
 16.26     (5) unreasonably fail to offer network elements that the 
 16.27  commission or the Federal Communications Commission has 
 16.28  determined must be offered on an unbundled basis to another 
 16.29  telecommunications service provider in a manner consistent with 
 16.30  the commission's or Federal Communications Commission's orders 
 16.31  or rules requiring such offerings; 
 16.32     (6) unreasonably refuse to provide a service, product, or 
 16.33  facility to a telecommunications service provider in accordance 
 16.34  with applicable tariffs, price lists, or contracts, or with the 
 16.35  commission's rules and orders; 
 16.36     (7) provide telecommunications service to a person acting 
 17.1   as a telecommunications service provider if the commission has 
 17.2   ordered service to be discontinued to that person; or 
 17.3      (8) impose unreasonable or discriminatory restrictions on 
 17.4   the resale of its service, provided that: 
 17.5      (i) it may require that residential service may not be 
 17.6   resold as a different class of service; and 
 17.7      (ii) the commission may prohibit resale of services it has 
 17.8   approved for provision for not-for-profit entities at rates less 
 17.9   than those offered to the general public. 
 17.11  SERVICE PROVIDER.] A telecommunications service provider shall 
 17.12  not impede the development of competition in any 
 17.13  telecommunications service market.  Impediments to the 
 17.14  development of competition include, but are not limited to: 
 17.15     (1) unreasonably refusing or delaying interconnections or 
 17.16  providing inferior connections to another telecommunications 
 17.17  service provider; 
 17.18     (2) unreasonably refusing or delaying access by any person 
 17.19  to another telecommunications service provider; 
 17.20     (3) unreasonably acting or failing to act in a manner that 
 17.21  has a substantial adverse effect on the ability of another 
 17.22  telecommunications service provider to provide service to its 
 17.23  customers; and 
 17.24     (4) violating the terms of or delaying implementation of an 
 17.25  interconnection agreement entered into pursuant to section 252 
 17.26  of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 in a manner that 
 17.27  unreasonably delays, increases the cost, or impedes the 
 17.28  availability of telecommunications services to consumers. 
 17.29     Sec. 38.  [237.655] [CONFIDENTIALITY OF CUSTOMER DATA.] 
 17.30     Subdivision 1.  [NOTICE AND CONSENT.] (a) A 
 17.31  telecommunications service provider shall not (1) use private 
 17.32  customer information for its own purposes without the customer's 
 17.33  prior express consent or (2) provide access to or disclose 
 17.34  private customer information to other persons, including 
 17.35  affiliates of the telecommunications service provider, without 
 17.36  the customer's prior express consent. 
 18.1      (b) Prior to any solicitation for customer consent, a 
 18.2   telecommunications service provider shall provide a onetime 
 18.3   notification to the customer of the customer's right to restrict 
 18.4   the use of, disclosure of, and access to the customer's private 
 18.5   information.  The notification must (1) specify the types of 
 18.6   information that constitute private customer information, 
 18.7   describe the purposes for which the private customer information 
 18.8   will be used, and specify the entities that will receive the 
 18.9   private customer information if consent is given by the 
 18.10  customer, and (2) clearly state that a denial will not affect 
 18.11  the provision of any services to which the customer subscribes. 
 18.12     (c) A telecommunications service provider who receives a 
 18.13  customer's prior express consent to use, provide access to, or 
 18.14  disclose private customer information shall send annual 
 18.15  notifications to the customer advising of the precise steps the 
 18.16  customer may take to withdraw consent. 
 18.17     (d) For purposes of this subdivision, "consent" means 
 18.18  express oral or written consent.  A telecommunications service 
 18.19  provider must maintain records of express consent until the 
 18.20  consent is withdrawn. 
 18.21     Subd. 2.  [EXCEPTIONS.] (a) This section does not prohibit 
 18.22  a telecommunications service provider from using, providing 
 18.23  access to, or disclosing private customer information without 
 18.24  the customer's express consent: 
 18.25     (1) if required by law, court order, subpoena, or civil 
 18.26  investigative demand; 
 18.27     (2) when necessary to provide the telecommunications 
 18.28  service from which the information is derived, including 
 18.29  services necessary to, or used in, providing the 
 18.30  telecommunications service, including publishing directories; 
 18.31     (3) to bill and collect for the telecommunications service 
 18.32  subscribed to; 
 18.33     (4) to protect the rights and property of the provider or 
 18.34  to protect from fraudulent abuse or unlawful use of, or 
 18.35  subscription to, such services; 
 18.36     (5) to provide any inbound telemarketing, referral, or 
 19.1   administrative services to the customer for the duration of the 
 19.2   call if the call was initiated by the customer and the customer 
 19.3   approves of the use of the information to provide the service; 
 19.4      (6) to provide call-location information concerning the 
 19.5   user of a commercial mobile service: 
 19.6      (i) to a public safety answering point, to an emergency 
 19.7   medical service provider or emergency dispatch provider, to a 
 19.8   public safety, fire service, or law enforcement official, or to 
 19.9   a hospital emergency or trauma care facility, in order to 
 19.10  respond to the user's call for emergency services; 
 19.11     (ii) to inform the user's legal guardian or members of the 
 19.12  user's immediate family of the user's location in an emergency 
 19.13  situation that involves the risk of death or serious physical 
 19.14  harm; or 
 19.15     (iii) to providers of information or database management 
 19.16  services solely for purposes of assisting in the delivery of 
 19.17  emergency services in response to an emergency; or 
 19.18     (7) when requested by a competitive local exchange carrier 
 19.19  (CLEC) who has received express prior consent from the customer 
 19.20  but only for purposes of providing the information to a CLEC 
 19.21  that is needed by the CLEC for marketing or order-processing 
 19.22  purposes. 
 19.23     (b) For purposes of this section, the provision of a 
 19.24  telecommunications service does not include marketing of similar 
 19.25  telecommunications services. 
 19.26     Sec. 39.  [237.657] [RETAIL CUSTOMER SERVICE REQUIREMENTS.] 
 19.27     Subdivision 1.  [LEGISLATIVE INTENT; SERVICE QUALITY 
 19.28  STANDARDS.] It is the intent of the legislature that every 
 19.29  telecommunications service provider meet minimum service quality 
 19.30  standards in providing telecommunications services on a 
 19.31  nondiscriminatory basis to all customers. 
 19.32     Subd. 2.  [CONSUMER PROTECTION.] Telecommunications service 
 19.33  providers shall: 
 19.34     (1) not engage in fraudulent, unfair, misleading, 
 19.35  deceptive, unconscionable, or anticompetitive practices; 
 19.36     (2) provide accurate bills, presented in a clear, readable 
 20.1   format and in easy-to-understand language; 
 20.2      (3) not unreasonably impair the speed, quality, or 
 20.3   efficiency of services, products, or facilities offered to a 
 20.4   consumer under a tariff, contract, or price list; 
 20.5      (4) provide a service, product, or facility to a consumer 
 20.6   only in accordance with applicable tariffs, price lists, or 
 20.7   contracts or with the commission's orders and rules; and 
 20.8      (5) not violate a provision of section 325F.693, with 
 20.9   regard to any of the services provided by the company or owner. 
 20.11  COMPLAINTS.] A consumer complaint submitted to a 
 20.12  telecommunications service provider must be concluded by the 
 20.13  telecommunications service provider as expeditiously as possible 
 20.14  consistent with the rights of the parties to the complaint to 
 20.15  the due process of law and protection of the public interest.  
 20.16  Telecommunications service providers shall: 
 20.17     (1) provide for impartial and prompt resolution of customer 
 20.18  disputes, including disputes related to unauthorized charges and 
 20.19  switching of service; 
 20.20     (2) provide a sufficient number of knowledgeable customer 
 20.21  representatives to deliver adequate customer service in a timely 
 20.22  manner; and 
 20.23     (3) make a supervisor promptly available to speak to a 
 20.24  customer upon customer request. 
 20.25     Subd. 4.  [RATES, TERMS, AND 
 20.26  CONDITIONS.] Telecommunications service providers shall comply 
 20.27  with the following customer protection standards: 
 20.28     (a) A telecommunications service provider shall make 
 20.29  accurate price comparisons in all marketing and advertising 
 20.30  materials and sales calls.  When comparing prices with a 
 20.31  competitor's services or products, a telecommunications service 
 20.32  provider shall consistently include the company's own taxes or 
 20.33  fees where taxes or fees have been included in the price quoted 
 20.34  for the competitor's services or products. 
 20.35     (b) A telecommunications service provider shall provide 
 20.36  written notice of a price increase, substantial change in a term 
 21.1   or condition of service, or a discontinuation of a service other 
 21.2   than basic local service prior to any such changes for all 
 21.3   categories of services provided by the telecommunications 
 21.4   service provider.  The notice must be received by customers 20 
 21.5   days in advance of the changes and must be in the form of either 
 21.6   a direct mailing or bill insert.  A new service, price decrease, 
 21.7   promotion, or insubstantial change in the terms or conditions of 
 21.8   a service may take effect immediately upon filing.  This 
 21.9   provision applies only to the extent no other section of this 
 21.10  chapter sets forth notice requirements applicable to the 
 21.11  proposed price increase, price decrease, or other change in 
 21.12  service terms and conditions including the introduction of a new 
 21.13  service.  This provision does not affect the notification 
 21.14  requirements for permissible service disconnections in Minnesota 
 21.15  Rules, parts 7810.1800 and 7810.1900. 
 21.16     (c) A telecommunications service provider shall not offer 
 21.17  telecommunications services, other than basic local service, at 
 21.18  below-cost rates or prices. 
 21.19     Subd. 5.  [DISCONTINUATION OF LOCAL SERVICE.] A local 
 21.20  telephone service provider shall not withdraw from a service 
 21.21  area unless another local telephone service provider certified 
 21.22  for that area will be able to provide basic local telephone 
 21.23  service to the exiting provider's customers immediately upon the 
 21.24  date the exiting provider discontinues service.  A local 
 21.25  telephone service provider shall not withdraw from its area 
 21.26  until at least 60 days after it has given written notice to the 
 21.27  commission, department, office of the attorney 
 21.28  general-residential utilities division, and its customers.  This 
 21.29  provision does not affect the notification requirements for 
 21.30  permissible service disconnections in Minnesota Rules, parts 
 21.31  7810.1800 and 7810.1900. 
 21.32     Subd. 6.  [DISCONNECTION OF LOCAL SERVICE.] A local 
 21.33  telephone service provider shall not disconnect a customer's 
 21.34  basic local telephone service for nonpayment of any service 
 21.35  other than basic local telephone service. 
 22.1   AND ORDERS.] The requirements in this section are in addition to 
 22.2   any other applicable laws, rules, and commission agreements or 
 22.3   orders relating to service quality existing on the effective 
 22.4   date of this section, except that the notice requirements do not 
 22.5   replace more specific applicable notice requirements, as 
 22.6   provided in subdivision 4.  To the extent additional or stricter 
 22.7   requirements are imposed on a local telephone service provider 
 22.8   under an applicable alternative form of regulation plan or any 
 22.9   other commission order, the additional or stricter requirements 
 22.10  apply.  This section does not preclude a telecommunications 
 22.11  service provider from offering discounts or rates specifically 
 22.12  authorized in other sections of this chapter. 
 22.14  BILLS.] 
 22.15     Subdivision 1.  [REQUIREMENTS.] Bills containing charges 
 22.16  for residential telecommunications services must be clearly 
 22.17  organized, and must comply with the following requirements: 
 22.18     (a) Charges for basic local service must be listed 
 22.19  separately and appear before other monthly charges.  Where a 
 22.20  bill contains charges for basic local service, in addition to 
 22.21  other telecommunications service charges, the bill must 
 22.22  distinguish between charges for which nonpayment will result in 
 22.23  disconnection of basic local telephone service, and charges for 
 22.24  which nonpayment will not result in disconnection.  The 
 22.25  telecommunications service provider shall explain this 
 22.26  distinction to the customer, and shall clearly and conspicuously 
 22.27  identify on the bill the amount to be paid to avoid 
 22.28  disconnection of basic local service. 
 22.29     (b) If new charges for two or more telecommunications 
 22.30  services appear on the same bill, the charges must be separated 
 22.31  by service provider.  Any previous balance appearing on the bill 
 22.32  must be separated by service provider.  The bill may contain a 
 22.33  total amount due as long as the charges are also separated as 
 22.34  required by this paragraph. 
 22.35     (c) Any bill containing long-distance charges must provide 
 22.36  clear and conspicuous notification of the customer's choice of a 
 23.1   presubscribed interexchange carrier (PIC) for interLATA service 
 23.2   and the customer's choice of a PIC for intraLATA service.  Where 
 23.3   the customer has affirmatively chosen not to have a PIC for 
 23.4   interLATA service or intraLATA service, the bill must indicate 
 23.5   that choice. 
 23.6      (d) The bill must provide clear and conspicuous 
 23.7   notification of any change in the customer's telecommunications 
 23.8   service provider, including notification to the customer that a 
 23.9   new provider has begun providing service. 
 23.10     (e) Charges contained on telecommunications service bills 
 23.11  must be accompanied by a brief, nonmisleading, plain language 
 23.12  description of the service or services rendered and the charges 
 23.13  for those services.  The description must be sufficiently clear 
 23.14  in presentation and specific enough in content so that a 
 23.15  reasonable customer can accurately determine that the services 
 23.16  billed correspond to those that have been requested and received.
 23.17     (f) The bill must include any applicable surcharges, fees, 
 23.18  or taxes as separate line items, and include a brief description 
 23.19  of each surcharge, fee, or tax. 
 23.20     (g) A telecommunications service bill must contain clear 
 23.21  and conspicuous disclosure of any information that the customer 
 23.22  may need to make inquiries about or contest charges on the 
 23.23  bill.  The name of the telecommunications service provider 
 23.24  associated with each charge, the name of the company authorized 
 23.25  to make immediate billing modifications and corrections, and a 
 23.26  toll-free number or numbers to reach the companies must be 
 23.27  clearly identified on the bill. 
 23.29  purposes of this section, "clear and conspicuous notification" 
 23.30  must be determined by the commission. 
 23.31     Subd. 3.  [RULES.] The commission may adopt rules 
 23.32  concerning the contents of residential telecommunications bills 
 23.33  that it determines necessary to aid in customers' comprehension 
 23.34  of their telecommunications service bills. 
 23.35     Sec. 41.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.66, is 
 23.36  amended to read: 
 24.2      Subdivision 1.  [NOTICE TO LOCAL RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS.] 
 24.3   A telephone company local telephone service provider, when a 
 24.4   residential customer initially requests service or requests a 
 24.5   change of service, and annually in the form of a bill insert, 
 24.6   shall advise each residential customer of the price of all 
 24.7   service options available to that customer.  The requirement of 
 24.8   an annual notice through a bill insert does not apply to 
 24.9   long-distance service. 
 24.11  AUTHORIZATION.] Each residential and commercial 
 24.12  telecommunications carrier customer may elect to require that 
 24.13  the telephone company local telephone service provider serving 
 24.14  the customer receive authorization from the customer before a 
 24.15  request to serve that customer from a different intrastate 
 24.16  telecommunications carrier service provider than the carrier 
 24.17  currently serving the customer is processed. 
 24.18     Subd. 1c.  [TIMING OF NOTICE; NEW CUSTOMER.] For new 
 24.19  installations, a telephone company local telephone service 
 24.20  provider shall notify a residential or commercial customer of 
 24.21  the right described in subdivision 1a when the customer 
 24.22  initially requests intraexchange basic local telephone service 
 24.23  or long-distance service.  Any customer notification of the 
 24.24  rights set forth in this section shall must be provided 
 24.25  utilizing uniform, competitively neutral language and the form, 
 24.26  content, and style of the authorization shall must be consistent 
 24.27  with federal law and regulation and shall use language provided 
 24.28  and approved by the public utilities commission.  
 24.29     Subd. 1d.  [CHANGE OF ELECTION.] A customer may change the 
 24.30  election under subdivision 1a at any time by notifying the 
 24.31  telephone company local telephone service provider of that 
 24.32  decision.  No separate charge may be imposed on the customer for 
 24.33  electing to exercise the right described in subdivision 1a or to 
 24.34  change that election, but a telephone company local telephone 
 24.35  service provider may recover in rates the reasonable costs of 
 24.36  administering the election. 
 25.1      Subd. 2.  [FILING; EXEMPTIONS.] Copies of both the written 
 25.2   notices and information provided to customer service 
 25.3   representatives concerning the disclosure required under 
 25.4   subdivision 1 must be filed once every 12 months with the 
 25.5   commission and the department.  Independent telephone companies, 
 25.6   municipalities, and cooperative telephone associations are 
 25.7   exempt from the requirements of this subdivision unless 
 25.8   otherwise ordered by the commission.  
 25.9      Subd. 2a.  [CALL BLOCKING.] A telephone company local 
 25.10  telephone service provider, when a residential customer 
 25.11  initially requests service, shall advise each residential 
 25.12  customer of the availability of all blocking options including 
 25.13  900 number blocking and international long-distance blocking. 
 25.14     Subd. 3.  [ENFORCEMENT.] If, after an expedited procedure 
 25.15  conducted under section 237.61, the commission finds that 
 25.16  a telephone company local telephone service provider is failing 
 25.17  to provide disclosure as required under subdivision 1, or the 
 25.18  notification required under subdivision 1c, it shall order the 
 25.19  company to take corrective action as necessary. 
 25.20     Sec. 42.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.661, is 
 25.21  amended to read: 
 25.22     237.661 [ANTISLAMMING.] 
 25.25  elected to exercise the right described in section 237.66, 
 25.26  subdivision 1a, the telephone company local telephone service 
 25.27  provider serving the customer shall not process a request to 
 25.28  serve the customer by another telecommunications carrier service 
 25.29  provider without prior authorization from the customer.  If a 
 25.30  customer has not elected to exercise the right described in that 
 25.31  subdivision, the company local telephone service provider may 
 25.32  process a request to serve the customer by another 
 25.33  telecommunications carrier service provider. 
 25.36  telecommunications carrier service provider may request that the 
 26.1   telephone company serving a customer process a change in that 
 26.2   customer's long-distance provider or local service provider, if 
 26.3   the customer has authorized the change either orally or in 
 26.4   writing signed by the customer.  Prior to requesting a change in 
 26.5   a customer's long-distance service provider, the carrier 
 26.6   telecommunications service provider must confirm: 
 26.7      (1) the customer's identity with information unique to the 
 26.8   customer, unless the customer refused to provide identifying 
 26.9   information, then that fact should be noted; 
 26.10     (2) that the customer has been informed of the offering 
 26.11  made by the carrier telecommunications service provider; 
 26.12     (3) that the customer understands that the customer is 
 26.13  being requested to change telecommunication carriers 
 26.14  telecommunications service providers; 
 26.15     (4) that the customer has the authority to authorize the 
 26.16  change; and 
 26.17     (5) that the customer agrees to the change. 
 26.18     (b) After requesting the change in long-distance service 
 26.19  provider, the carrier telecommunications service provider must: 
 26.20     (1) notify the customer in writing that the request has 
 26.21  been processed; and 
 26.22     (2) be able to produce, upon complaint by the customer, 
 26.23  evidence that the carrier telecommunications service provider 
 26.24  verified the authorization by the customer to change the 
 26.25  customer's long-distance service provider.  If the carrier 
 26.26  telecommunications service provider used a negative check-off 
 26.27  verification procedure as defined in subdivision 4, paragraph 
 26.28  (c), the evidence must include a tape recording of the initial 
 26.29  oral authorization. 
 26.30     Subd. 3.  [PENALTY FOR SLAMMING.] If the carrier provider 
 26.31  is not able to present, upon complaint by the customer, evidence 
 26.32  that complies with subdivision 2, paragraph (b), clause (2), the 
 26.33  change to the service of the carrier provider is deemed to be 
 26.34  unauthorized from the date the carrier provider requested the 
 26.35  change.  In that event, the carrier provider shall: 
 26.36     (1) bear all costs of immediately returning the customer to 
 27.1   the service of the customer's original service provider; and 
 27.2      (2) bear all costs of serving that customer during the 
 27.3   period of unauthorized service. 
 27.5   AUTHORIZATION.] (a) Customer authorization for a change in the 
 27.6   customer's long-distance service provider may be verified using 
 27.7   a verification procedure that complies with federal law or 
 27.8   regulation.  Except as provided in paragraph (b), the 
 27.9   requirement that the carrier telecommunications service provider 
 27.10  be able to produce evidence of customer authorization is 
 27.11  satisfied if the carrier uses a federally authorized 
 27.12  verification procedure. 
 27.13     (b) If federal law or regulation authorizes a carrier 
 27.14  provider to use a negative check-off verification procedure, and 
 27.15  the carrier provider does so, the carrier provider must be able 
 27.16  to produce a tape recording of the initial oral authorization by 
 27.17  the customer to change long-distance service providers as 
 27.18  evidence of the authorization.  The initial oral authorization 
 27.19  must include confirmation of the items listed in subdivision 2, 
 27.20  paragraph (a). 
 27.21     (c) "Negative check-off" means a verification procedure 
 27.22  that consists of: 
 27.23     (1) an initial oral authorization by the customer to change 
 27.24  long-distance service providers; and 
 27.25     (2) a mailing to the customer by the soliciting 
 27.26  telecommunications carrier service provider regarding the change 
 27.27  in service providers that informs the customer that if the 
 27.28  customer fails to cancel the change in service providers, the 
 27.29  change will be deemed authorized and verified. 
 27.30     Sec. 43.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.771, is 
 27.31  amended to read: 
 27.32     237.771 [DISCRIMINATION.] 
 27.33     The rates of a telephone company under a an alternative 
 27.34  regulation plan must be the same in all geographic locations of 
 27.35  the state except for good cause.  A plan may contain provisions 
 27.36  that define good cause, including consideration of the ability 
 28.1   to respond to competition.  Sections 237.09, 237.121, 237.651, 
 28.2   237.652, 237.654, 237.655, 237.657, 237.659, and 237.60, 
 28.3   subdivision 3, apply to a telephone company under a plan. 
 28.4      Sec. 44.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 325F.693, is 
 28.5   amended to read: 
 28.7      Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] (a) For the purposes of this 
 28.8   section, a "telephone service subscriber" means a person who 
 28.9   contracts with a telephone company for telephone services or a 
 28.10  telecommunications company service provider for 
 28.11  telecommunications services. 
 28.12     (b) The definitions contained in chapter 237 apply to this 
 28.13  section. 
 28.14     Subd. 2.  [SLAMMING DEEMED CONSUMER FRAUD.] (a) It is fraud 
 28.15  under section 325F.69 to request a change in a telephone service 
 28.16  subscriber's local exchange or interexchange carrier without the 
 28.17  subscriber's verified consent.  
 28.18     (b) A telephone service subscriber may employ the remedies 
 28.19  provided in section 237.66 for violations of paragraph (a).  
 28.20  Section 8.31 may also be employed to remedy violations of 
 28.21  paragraph (a). 
 28.22     (c) For the purposes of paragraph (a): 
 28.23     (1) the consent of the telephone service subscriber may be 
 28.24  verified utilizing any method that is consistent with federal 
 28.25  law or regulation; 
 28.26     (2) compliance with applicable federal law and regulation, 
 28.27  or state law and rule, whichever is more stringent, is a 
 28.28  complete defense to an allegation of consumer fraud under 
 28.29  paragraph (a); and 
 28.30     (3) it is the responsibility of the company or 
 28.31  carrier telecommunications service provider requesting a change 
 28.32  in a telephone service subscriber's company or carrier provider 
 28.33  to verify that the subscriber has authorized the change.  
 28.34  A telephone company or telecommunications carrier providing 
 28.35  local exchange service local telephone service provider who has 
 28.36  been requested by another telephone company or 
 29.1   telecommunications carrier a telecommunications service provider 
 29.2   to process a change in a subscriber's carrier provider is only 
 29.3   liable under this section if it knowingly participates in 
 29.4   processing a requested change that is unauthorized. 
 29.5      Nothing in this section shall be construed to change a 
 29.6   telephone company's or telecommunications 
 29.7   carrier's telecommunications service provider's obligations 
 29.8   under section 237.66. 
 29.9      Sec. 45.  [REPEALER.] 
 29.10     Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.121, is repealed. 
 29.11     Sec. 46.  [INSTRUCTION TO REVISOR.] 
 29.12     The revisor of statutes shall renumber the subdivisions of 
 29.13  Minnesota Statutes, section 237.01, listed in column A with the 
 29.14  number listed in column B.  The revisor shall also make 
 29.15  necessary cross-reference changes consistent with the 
 29.16  renumbering. 
 29.17                Column A                  Column B
 29.18           237.01, subdivision 2     237.01, subdivision 35
 29.19           237.01, subdivision 3     237.01, subdivision 15
 29.20           237.01, subdivision 4     237.01, subdivision 26
 29.21           237.01, subdivision 6     237.01, subdivision 32
 29.22     Sec. 47.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
 29.23     This act is effective the day following final enactment.