Feed for /1997/statutes/statutes/196 PDF
196.215(5)(d)1.1. The commission shall use the information filed by a small telecommunications utility under s. 196.07 in the 3 most recent years to calculate average interest coverage ratio, average rate of return on common stock equity, average dividend payout and average net income after taxes.
196.215(5)(d)2. 2. The commission may adjust, for making a determination under this section, any salary, affiliated interest charge or depreciation expense that the commission determines to be unreasonable in calculating the rate of return on common stock equity of a small telecommunications utility. The commission may adjust, for making a determination under this section, a depreciation rate used by a small telecommunications utility only if that depreciation rate falls outside the range established under s. 196.09 (9) or has not otherwise been approved by the commission within the previous 24 months. If the commission adjusts for depreciation, it shall use the rate established under s. 196.09 (9) (a) that is closest to the rate used by the small telecommunications utility.
196.215(6) (6)
196.215(6)(a)(a) If consumers request that the commission investigate a small telecommunications utility's rates, tolls or charges under sub. (3) (cm), the commission shall dismiss the petition if any of the following financial conditions exists:
196.215(6)(a)1. 1. The small telecommunications utility has an average interest coverage ratio of less than 2.
196.215(6)(a)2. 2. The small telecommunications utility has an average rate of return on common stock equity within or below the small telecommunications utility's rate of return range.
196.215(6)(a)3. 3. If an equity-thin utility, the small telecommunications utility is building equity.
196.215(6)(b) (b) Annually, if the commission does not dismiss a petition under par. (a), the commission shall proceed under s. 196.20 (5). Rates, tolls or charges established by the commission under this paragraph shall be in effect for at least 365 days.
196.215(6)(c) (c) Subsection (5) (a) to (d), as it relates to financial conditions under that subsection, applies to financial conditions under this subsection.
196.215(6)(d)1.1. If consumers petition the commission under sub. (3) (a), the small telecommunications utility may implement the proposed rate increase as published in the notice under s. 196.213, subject to refund. The commission shall proceed under s. 196.20 (5).
196.215(6)(d)2. 2. If consumers request that the commission investigate a small telecommunications utility's proposed rate increase under sub. (3) (a), the small telecommunications utility may withdraw the proposed rate increase within 10 days after the commission notifies the small telecommunications utility that the commission will investigate the proposed rate by notifying the commission and each of the consumers to whom the small telecommunications utility has provided notice of the proposed rate increase. A small telecommunications utility that withdraws a proposed rate increase under this subdivision may not propose a rate increase for the same service for 365 days from the date on which the small telecommunications utility mails the notice of withdrawal of the proposed rate increase.
196.215(7) (7)
196.215(7)(a)(a) The commission on its own motion may, under s. 196.20 (5), investigate, determine and order rates, tolls or charges of a small telecommunications utility if at least 3 of the following conditions exist:
196.215(7)(a)1. 1. The small telecommunications utility's basic single-party residential flat rate exceeds the monthly rate under par. (b) or, if the small telecommunications utility does not use a basic single-party residential flat rate, the small telecommunications utility's rate for that service exceeds a rate established by the commission that is equivalent to the monthly rate under par. (b).
196.215(7)(a)2. 2. The small telecommunications utility has an average interest coverage ratio of more than 2.
196.215(7)(a)3. 3. The small telecommunications utility has an average rate of return on common stock equity above the rate of return range.
196.215(7)(a)4. 4. If an equity-thin utility, the small telecommunications utility is not building equity.
196.215(7)(b)1.1. Beginning on September 1, 1994, and ending on December 31, 1997, the basic single-party residential flat rate shall be the weighted average basic single-party residential monthly rate for all telecommunications utilities in this state as of December 31, 1993, which includes average local usage charges, touch-tone charges and extended area service charges but does not include extended community calling usage charges. Beginning on January 1, 1998, the basic single-party residential flat rate shall be the weighted average basic single-party residential monthly rate for all telecommunications utilities in this state, which includes average local usage charges, touch-tone charges and extended area service charges but does not include extended community calling usage charges, subject to adjustment under subd. 2.
196.215(7)(b)2. 2. Beginning in 1998 and thereafter annually, no later than March 31, the commission shall issue an order adjusting the basic single-party residential flat rate using information from the previous calendar year. The order shall take effect on April 1 immediately following the order. The commission may issue the order without a hearing.
196.215(7)(c) (c) If the commission does not make a determination regarding the financial conditions under par. (a) 2. to 4. by October 1 or within 180 days after a small telecommunications utility files the information required under s. 196.07, whichever is later, the commission may not on its own motion order that small telecommunications utility to change its rates, tolls or charges under par. (a).
196.215(7)(d) (d) Rates, tolls or charges established by the commission under this subsection shall be in effect for at least 365 days.
196.215(7)(e) (e) Subsection (5) (a) to (d), as it relates to financial conditions under that subsection, applies to financial conditions under this subsection.
196.215(8) (8) If the amount of a small telecommunications utility's federal or state taxes decreases due to a decrease in tax rates, the decrease shall be reflected in rates, tolls or charges unless the small telecommunications utility files adequate information with the commission regarding why a decrease should not be reflected in rates, tolls or charges. The proposed method of implementing the decrease shall be submitted to the commission before the effective date of the tax rate decrease, or as soon as practicable after that effective date. The commission may deny or modify the proposed method if the commission determines that the method is not fair and reasonable. The commission shall review any information that a small telecommunications utility submits to support its position that rates, tolls or charges should not reflect the decrease and determine, based on all information available to the commission, whether a decrease in rates, tolls or charges should be implemented and the extent of any decrease. Any decrease under this subsection shall take effect on the effective date of the tax rate decrease. The commission may issue an order, without a hearing, requiring a small telecommunications utility to refund to consumers excess rates, tolls or charges paid by consumers if a decrease under this section is implemented after the effective date of the tax rate decrease.
196.215(9) (9) This section does not limit the commission's authority to regulate the capital structure of a small telecommunications utility.
196.215 History History: 1985 a. 297; 1989 a. 344; 1993 a. 496; 1997 a. 218.
196.216 196.216 Small telecommunications utilities as small businesses. A small telecommunications utility is a small business for the purposes of s. 227.114.
196.216 History History: 1985 a. 297; 1987 a. 403 s. 256.
196.217 196.217 Average toll rates.
196.217(1)(1)Different rates restricted. A telecommunications utility may not charge different rates for residential basic message telecommunications service, business basic message telecommunications service, or single-line wide-area telecommunications service on routes of similar distances within this state, unless authorized by the commission. This subsection does not prohibit volume or term discounts, discounts in promotional offerings, differences in the rates for intralata and interlata services of similar distances, the provision of optional toll calling plans to selected exchanges or customers or the passing through of any state or local taxes in the specific geographic area from which the tax originates.
196.217(2) (2)Toll services. Notwithstanding sub. (1), a telecommunications utility may charge prices for toll services under contract that are unique to a particular customer or group of customers if differences in the cost of providing a service or a service element justify a different price for a particular customer or group of customers, or if market conditions require individual pricing.
196.217(3) (3)Averaged rates. Notwithstanding subs. (1) and (2), an intralata toll provider shall offer all optional toll calling plans on a statewide basis at geographically averaged rates until the provider deploys intralata dial-1 presubscription, except that an optional toll call plan need not be offered where deployment of that offering would not be economically or technically feasible.
196.217 History History: 1993 a. 496.
196.218 196.218 Universal service fund.
196.218(1) (1)Definitions. In this section:
196.218(1)(a) (a) "Board" means the technology for educational achievement in Wisconsin board.
196.218(1)(b) (b) "Department" means the department of administration.
196.218(1)(bm) (bm) "Local exchange service" means basic local exchange service or business access line and usage service.
196.218(1)(c) (c) "Universal service" includes the availability of a basic set of essential telecommunications services and access to advanced service capabilities of a modern telecommunications infrastructure anywhere in this state.
196.218(1)(d) (d) "Universal service fund" means the trust fund established under s. 25.95.
196.218(2) (2)Fund administration. The commission shall do all of the following:
196.218(2)(c) (c) Contract for the administration of the universal service fund.
196.218(2)(d) (d) Obtain an annual independent audit of the universal service fund.
196.218(3) (3)Contributions to the fund.
196.218(3)(a)1.1. Except as provided in par. (b), the commission shall require all telecommunications providers to contribute to the universal service fund beginning on January 1, 1996.
196.218(3)(a)2. 2. The commission may require a person other than a telecommunications provider to contribute to the universal service fund if, after notice and opportunity for hearing, the commission determines that the person is offering a nontraditional broadcast service in this state that competes with a telecommunications service provided in this state for which a contribution is required under this subsection.
196.218(3)(a)3. 3. The commission shall designate the method by which the contributions under this paragraph shall be calculated and collected. The method shall ensure that the contributions are sufficient to generate the amounts appropriated under ss. 20.155 (1) (q), 20.275 (1) (s), (t) and (tm) and 20.285 (1) (q). Contributions may be based only on the gross operating revenues from the provision of broadcast services identified by the commission under subd. 2. and on intrastate telecommunications services in this state of the telecommunications providers subject to the contribution.
196.218(3)(a)4. 4. In calculating contribution amounts that must be paid into the universal service fund by telecommunications utilities that provide local exchange service, the commission shall determine the portion of the contributions that are used for the purposes specified in sub. (5) (a) 5. to 7.
196.218(3)(b) (b) The commission may exempt from part or all of the contributions required under par. (a) telecommunications providers who have small gross operating revenues from the provision of intrastate telecommunications services in this state and who have provided these services for less than a period specified by the commission, not to exceed 5 years. The commission may also exempt a telecommunications provider or other person from part or all of the contribution required under par. (a) if the commission determines that requiring the contribution would not be in the public interest.
196.218(3)(c) (c) The commission shall designate by rule the classes of providers or other persons subject to par. (a) and the required rates of contribution for each class.
196.218(3)(d) (d) The commission shall consider all of the following in specifying the contributions required under par. (a):
196.218(3)(d)1. 1. The impact of the contributions on all members of the public and the telecommunications industry.
196.218(3)(d)2. 2. The fairness of the amount of the contributions and the methods of collection.
196.218(3)(d)3. 3. The costs of administering the collection of the contributions.
196.218(3)(e) (e) Except as provided in s. 196.196 (2) (d), a telecommunications provider or other person may not establish a surcharge on customers' bills to collect from customers contributions required under this subsection.
196.218(3)(f) (f) Notwithstanding ss. 196.196 (1) and (5) (d) 2., 196.20 (2m), (5) and (6), 196.213 and 196.215, a telecommunications utility that provides local exchange service may make adjustments to local exchange service rates for the purpose of recovering the portion of its contributions to the universal service fund that is determined by the commission under par. (a) 4.
196.218(4) (4)Essential services and advanced service capabilities. Before January 1, 1996, and biennially thereafter, the commission shall promulgate rules that define a basic set of essential telecommunications services that shall be available to all customers at affordable prices and that are a necessary component of universal service. Before January 1, 1996, and biennially thereafter, the commission shall promulgate rules that define a set of advanced service capabilities that shall be available to all areas of this state at affordable prices within a reasonable time and that are a necessary component of universal service. For rules promulgated before January 1, 1996, a reasonable time for the availability of the defined set of advance service capabilities shall be no later than January 1, 2005, and, for rules promulgated thereafter, a reasonable time for the availability of additional advanced service capabilities in the defined set shall be no later than 7 years after the effective date of the rules. These essential services and advanced service capabilities shall be based on market, social, economic development and infrastructure development principles rather than on specific technologies or providers. Essential services include single-party service with touch-tone capability, line quality capable of carrying facsimile and data transmissions, equal access, emergency services number capability, a statewide telecommunications relay service and blocking of long distance toll service.
196.218(4m) (4m)Toll blocking. The commission shall issue rules to implement, cost-free to low-income customers, the capability to block all long distance or other toll calls from a customer's telephone service with a goal of universal applicability of the toll-blocking service no later than January 1, 1996. A telecommunications utility may petition the commission for a waiver from providing toll-blocking service upon a demonstration that providing this service would represent an unreasonable expense for the telecommunications utility and its ratepayers.
196.218(4r) (4r)Educational telecommunications access program.
196.218(4r)(a)(a) In this subsection:
196.218(4r)(a)1. 1. "Data line" means a data circuit that provides direct access to the internet.
196.218(4r)(a)2. 2. "Private college" means a private, regionally accredited, 4-year, nonprofit college or university that is incorporated in this state or that has its regional headquarters and principal place of business in this state or a tribally controlled college in this state.
196.218(4r)(a)2m. 2m. "Private school" has the meaning given in s. 115.001 (3r).
196.218(4r)(a)3. 3. "Video link" means a 2-way interactive video circuit.
196.218(4r)(b) (b) The commission, in consultation with the department and the board, shall promulgate rules establishing an educational telecommunications access program to provide school districts, private schools, cooperative educational service agencies, technical college districts, private colleges and public library boards with access to data lines and video links.
196.218(4r)(c) (c) The rules promulgated under par. (b) shall do all of the following:
196.218(4r)(c)1. 1. Allow a school district, private school, cooperative educational service agency, technical college district, private college and public library board to make a request to the board for access to either one data line or one video link, except that if a school district operates more than one high school the rules shall allow the school district to request access to both a data line and a video link and to request access to more than one data line or video link. The board shall forward requests received under this subdivision to the commission and the department.
196.218(4r)(c)2. 2. Establish eligibility requirements for a school district, private school, cooperative educational service agency, technical college district, private college and public library board to participate in the program established under par. (b). The requirements shall prohibit a participant in the program from receiving assistance from the universal service fund for the purpose specified in sub. (5) (a) 3. for educational telecommunications access that is substantially similar to the access provided to the participant under the program.
196.218(4r)(c)3. 3. Establish specifications for a data line or video link that is provided to a school district, private school, cooperative educational service agency, technical college district, private college and public library board under the program established under par. (b).
196.218(4r)(c)4. 4. Require a school district, private school, cooperative educational service agency, technical college district, private college and public library board to pay the department not more than $250 per month for each data line or video link that is provided to the school district, private school, cooperative educational service agency, technical college district, private college and public library board under the program established under par. (b), except that the charge may not exceed $100 per month for each data line or video link that relies on a transport medium that operates at a speed of 1.544 megabits per second.
196.218(4r)(c)5. 5. Include the protections specified in s. 196.209 (4) (a) and (b).
196.218(4r)(d) (d) The commission shall submit an annual report to the board on the status of providing data lines and video links that are requested under par. (c) 1. and the impact on the universal service fund of any payment under sub. (5) (a) 5.
196.218(4r)(e) (e) If the federal communications commission promulgates or modifies rules that provide rate discounts for telecommunications services to school districts, private schools, cooperative educational service agencies, technical college districts, private colleges or public library boards under 47 USC 254, the governor shall submit a report to the joint committee on finance that includes any recommended changes to statutes or rules with respect to funding the program established under par. (b).
196.218(4r)(f) (f) Notwithstanding pars. (b) and (c), technical college districts are not eligible to participate in the program established under par. (b) before April 1, 1998. In consultation with the commission, the board shall determine by April 1, 1998, whether there are sufficient moneys in the appropriation under s. 20.275 (1) (s) to include technical college districts in the program established under par. (b). If the board determines that there are sufficient moneys, technical college districts are eligible to participate in the program established under par. (b) beginning on April 1, 1998.
196.218(4r)(g) (g) From the appropriation under s. 20.275 (1) (s) or (tm), the board may award an annual grant to a school district or private school that had in effect on October 14, 1997, a contract for access to a data line or video link, as documented by the commission. The board shall determine the amount of the grant, which shall be equal to the cost incurred by the state to provide telecommunications access to a school district or private school under a contract entered into under s. 16.974 (7) (a) or (c) less the amount that the school district or private school would be paying under par. (c) 4. if the school district or private school were participating in the program established under par. (b), except that the amount may not be greater than the cost that a school district or private school incurs under the contract in effect on October 14, 1997. A school district or private school receiving a grant under this paragraph is not eligible to participate in the program under par. (b). No grant may be awarded under this paragraph after June 30, 2002.
196.218(5) (5)Uses of the fund.
196.218(5)(a)(a) The commission shall use the moneys in the universal service fund only for any of the following purposes:
196.218(5)(a)1. 1. To assist customers located in areas of this state that have relatively high costs of telecommunications services, low-income customers and disabled customers in obtaining affordable access to a basic set of essential telecommunications services.
196.218(5)(a)2. 2. To assist in the deployment of advanced service capabilities of a modern telecommunications infrastructure throughout this state.
196.218(5)(a)3. 3. To promote affordable access throughout this state to high-quality education, library and health care information services.
196.218(5)(a)4. 4. To administer the universal service fund.
196.218(5)(a)5. 5. To pay costs incurred under contracts under s. 16.974 (7) to the extent that these costs are not paid under sub. (4r) (c) 4.
196.218(5)(a)6. 6. To pay the department of administration for telecommunications services provided under s. 16.973 (1) to the campuses of the University of Wisconsin System at River Falls, Stout, Superior and Whitewater.
196.218(5)(a)7. 7. To make grants awarded by the board to school districts and private schools under sub. (4r) (g). This subdivision does not apply after June 30, 2002.
196.218(5)(b) (b) The commission shall promulgate rules to determine whether a telecommunications provider, the customers of a telecommunications provider or another person shall be assisted by the universal service fund for any use under par. (a) 1. to 4.
196.218(5)(c) (c) The commission shall consider all of the following in establishing the services and equipment which may be assisted by the universal service fund:
196.218(5)(c)1. 1. The impact of the assistance on all members of the public and the telecommunications industry.
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