PSC 160.125(2)(c)5.d. d. The cost of technical expertise required to complete the program or project; and
PSC 160.125(2)(c)5.e. e. Revenue from services or training described in subd. 5. b.
PSC 160.125(2)(d) (d) The commission shall evaluate all applications submitted. In evaluating the applications the commission shall consider information including, but not limited to, the following:
PSC 160.125(2)(d)1. 1. The basis of the public need to be met;
PSC 160.125(2)(d)2. 2. The extent to which other programs or projects, either funded under this section or otherwise under this chapter, meet that need; and
PSC 160.125(2)(d)3. 3. The overall cost of the proposed program or project.
PSC 160.125(2)(e) (e) The universal service fund shall reimburse applicants for up to 50% of the cost of reimbursable portions of the program or project, or both. The reimbursable costs include those listed in par. (c) 5. a. to d.
PSC 160.125(2)(f) (f) The programs or projects, or both, to be funded and the amount of reimbursement for each program or project shall be determined by the commission. The commission shall seek comments on the programs or projects to be funded, but shall not hold a hearing. A maximum of $500,000 in funding may be dispersed under this subsection per state fiscal year.
PSC 160.125 History History: Cr. Register, April, 1996, No. 484, eff. 5-1-96; renum. from 160.063 (title), (1), (2), (3) and (4) to be 160.125 (1) (title), renum. (1) to (4) to be (1) (a), (b), (d) and (e), cr. (1) (c) and (2), Register, April, 2000, No. 532, eff. 5-1-00; corrections in (2) (a), (c) 2. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Register February 2013 No. 686.
PSC 160.13 PSC 160.13 Designation of eligible telecommunications carriers.
PSC 160.13(1)(1) The commission may designate a telecommunications provider as an eligible telecommunications carrier. Such a provider is eligible to receive universal service funding under both applicable federal and state universal service programs for an area, if it meets all of the following requirements:
PSC 160.13(1)(a) (a) Holds itself ready to offer service to all customers in the area, except that those customers with a demonstrated inability to pay for service may be denied service in accordance with ss. PSC 165.051 and 165.052.
PSC 160.13(1)(b) (b) Advertises its service in the area on a regular basis, with such advertisements:
PSC 160.13(1)(b)1. 1. Disseminated in media of general distribution in the area, at least 2 times per year;
PSC 160.13(1)(b)2. 2. Describing the services offered; and
PSC 160.13(1)(b)3. 3. Describing the affordability of the services, including the availability of discounts for low income customers.
PSC 160.13(1)(c) (c) Makes available lifeline and link-up service, as defined in ss. PSC 160.061 and 160.062.
PSC 160.13(1)(d) (d) Offers, at a minimum, all portions of essential telecommunications service, as defined in s. PSC 160.03. For purposes of this subsection "essential services" includes public interest pay telephone service pursuant to s. PSC 160.073, pay telephones specified by s. PSC 165.088, and pay telephone interconnection service subject to federal communications commission orders, commission orders and ch. PSC 169.
PSC 160.13(2) (2) The area in which a provider shall be designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier shall be:
PSC 160.13(2)(a) (a) For an area that is served by an incumbent local exchange service provider that is not a rural telephone company, the incumbent local exchange service provider's wire center, unless the commission designates a smaller area.
PSC 160.13(2)(b) (b) For an area that is served by an incumbent local exchange service provider that is a rural telephone company, the service territory comprised of one or more of the incumbent local exchange service provider's wire centers, unless the commission designates, and the federal communications commission approves, a smaller area.
PSC 160.13(3) (3) For an area served by an incumbent local exchange service provider that is a rural telephone company, the commission may only designate an additional eligible telecommunications carrier after finding that the public interest requires multiple eligible telecommunications carriers, pursuant to federal law and s. 196.50 (2), Stats. For an area served by an incumbent local exchange service provider that is not a rural telephone company, the commission may designate an additional eligible telecommunications carrier without making such a finding.
PSC 160.13(4) (4) The commission shall maintain a list of the eligible telecommunications carriers for all areas of the state.
PSC 160.13(5)(a)(a) An eligible telecommunications carrier may relinquish its designation as such for an area by notifying the commission and the administrators of both the state and federal universal service funds, in writing, of its intention.
PSC 160.13(5)(b) (b) If at least one other eligible telecommunications carrier is designated for that area, the relinquishing carrier shall be relieved of eligible telecommunications carrier status for that area 2 weeks after receipt by the commission of the letter, and without commission action.
PSC 160.13(5)(c) (c) If no other eligible telecommunication carrier is designated for that area, the relinquishing carrier shall remain as eligible telecommunications carrier for that area until the commission designates an alternative eligible telecommunications carrier. In such a case, the commission shall notify the relinquishing carrier, and the administrators of the state and federal funds, that eligible telecommunications carrier status is still in effect. The commission may use a process similar to that described in s. PSC 160.14 (3) to (6) to designate a new eligible telecommunications carrier for an area for which the only existing eligible telecommunications carrier is seeking to relinquish that status.
PSC 160.13(5)(d) (d) A provider may continue to provide services in an area for which it has relinquished eligible telecommunications carrier status, but may not continue to receive high cost assistance funding. If a provider seeks to abandon facilities or discontinue any service, it shall notify affected customers and follow any abandonment or discontinuance procedures established by the commission.
PSC 160.13 History History: Cr. Register, April, 1996, No. 484, eff. 5-1-96; r. and recr. Register, April, 2000, No. 532, eff. 5-1-00.
PSC 160.14 PSC 160.14 Intralata toll service provider of last resort.
PSC 160.14(1)(1) The intralata toll service provider of last resort for an exchange shall be the designated intralata toll provider for that exchange until intralata 1+ presubscription service is available in that exchange or until the commission orders otherwise under sub. (7). For purposes of this section, "provider of last resort" means the intralata toll service provider of last resort.
PSC 160.14(2)(a)(a) When intralata 1+ presubscription service is available in an exchange, the designated intralata toll provider may petition the commission for withdrawal of its provider of last resort requirements for that exchange.
PSC 160.14(2)(b) (b) The petition shall be filed in writing with the commission. Except as provided in par. (d), petitioner retains intralata toll service provider of last resort responsibilities until a new provider of last resort is designated, or for a period of 12 months, whichever is shorter.
PSC 160.14(2)(c) (c) The petitioner shall notify all of its affected customers of its request to have its provider of last resort requirements lifted. The notice to customers shall be approved in advance by the commission and clearly state the following:
PSC 160.14(2)(c)1. 1. The petitioner is seeking authority to deny service to some or all customers within the exchange.
PSC 160.14(2)(c)2. 2. Toll services in the future may be available only from other telecommunications providers, or from only one telecommunications provider.
PSC 160.14(2)(c)3. 3. If a new provider of last resort is designated, all customers may be switched to that provider's service, although they may choose to obtain service from any other intralata toll service provider in the area after reassignment of the provider of last resort requirement.
PSC 160.14(2)(d) (d) If intralata 1+ presubscription service has been in effect in an exchange for at least one year, and if the designated telecommunications utility toll provider has less than 50% of all presubscribed residential access lines in that exchange, then the commission may lift the provider of last resort requirement for that exchange. If future circumstances so require, the commission may designate a new provider of last resort pursuant to sub. (3).
PSC 160.14(3) (3) If a petition under sub. (2) is filed, the commission shall issue a notice requesting applications from all telecommunications providers interested in becoming the provider of last resort for that exchange. The provider seeking to abandon provider of last resort requirements for that exchange may not file an application to become the new provider of last resort once again.
PSC 160.14(4) (4) If only one telecommunications provider responds to the request for applications, that provider becomes the provider of last resort, effective in 90 days. All customers shall be notified of the proposed change at least 60 days prior to the effective date. The notice shall include a telephone number which they may use to designate their intralata toll service provider. On the effective date, all customers who do not designate an intralata toll service provider shall be presubscribed to the new provider of last resort.
PSC 160.14(5)(a)(a) If more than one telecommunications provider applies to become the provider of last resort, the local exchange service provider at that exchange shall ballot customers on their choice of intralata toll service provider.
PSC 160.14(5)(b) (b) Only those telecommunications providers that file applications to be the provider of last resort for the exchange may appear on the ballot, although customers may "write-in" another telecommunications provider if desired.
PSC 160.14(5)(c) (c) Customers who do not return ballots shall be randomly allocated to the telecommunications providers appearing on the ballot, according to the percentage of customers who chose each listed provider.
PSC 160.14(5)(d) (d) All telecommunications providers appearing on the ballot shall be the providers of last resort for at least one year. After that date, these providers may notify the commission that they wish to be relieved of provider of last resort responsibility. When the last provider of last resort files to exit the market, the process described in this section recommences.
PSC 160.14(5)(e) (e) Half of the costs of balloting shall be paid by the local exchange carrier serving the exchange and half will be paid by the providers appearing on the ballot.
PSC 160.14(6) (6) If no toll providers apply to be provider of last resort for an exchange, the commission shall hold an auction of the provider of last resort responsibility. The commission may authorize compensation from the universal service fund for the provider of last resort selected by the auction.
PSC 160.14(7) (7) If the provider of last resort for an exchange files a petition for withdrawal of its provider of last resort requirements at an exchange where intralata 1+ presubscription is not available, the commission may investigate that petition and order that the provider of last resort obligation be withdrawn for that provider subject to conditions, notice requirements and balloting procedures the commission deems necessary and reasonable for the service change at that exchange. Those conditions, requirements and procedures shall be as designated in this section to the extent the commission determines they are applicable.
PSC 160.14(8) (8) A provider of last resort may not sell or dispose of any intralata toll customer to another provider, except at the express request of the customer.
PSC 160.14 History History: Cr. Register, April, 1996, No. 484, eff. 5-1-96; am. (1), (2) (a), (b), (c) 3., (3) to (5) (a), (b), (d), (6) and (7), cr. (2) (d) and (8), Register, April, 2000, No. 532, eff. 5-1-00.
PSC 160.15 PSC 160.15 Identification of charges caused by universal service funding liability. Telecommunications providers may not establish a surcharge on customer bills for contributing to or recovering any portion of the providers' payment of universal service fund obligations.
PSC 160.15 History History: Cr. Register, April, 1996, No. 484, eff. 5-1-96; am. Register, April, 2000, No. 532, eff. 5-1-00.
PSC 160.16 PSC 160.16 Fund administrator.
PSC 160.16(1)(1) The commission shall designate the fund administrator and provide for an annual audit of the fund. The commission shall establish guidelines for administration and assignment of liabilities.
PSC 160.16(2) (2) The fund administrator may propose changes or modification to the mechanisms of administration of the fund. The commission may approve such requests without hearing.
PSC 160.16(3) (3) The universal service fund shall compensate the administrator for the administrator's costs of administering the fund as approved by the commission.
PSC 160.16 History History: Cr. Register, April, 1996, No. 484, eff. 5-1-96; reprinted to restore dropped copy, Register, May, 1996, No. 485; r. (3) to (5), renum. (6) to be (3), Register, April, 2000, No. 532, eff. 5-1-00.
PSC 160.17 PSC 160.17 Fund budget and assessment rates.
PSC 160.17(1)(1) At least annually, the commission shall set the budget for fund administration and the programs specified in s. PSC 160.05 (1). The commission may make adjustments to the budget as needed to address unforeseen circumstances. Adjustments may include:
PSC 160.17(1)(a) (a) Reallocating the budget among programs.
PSC 160.17(1)(b) (b) Modifying the support formulas or benefits within a program.
PSC 160.17(1)(c) (c) Deferring support payments to a later period.
PSC 160.17(2) (2) At least annually, the commission, in consultation with the technology for educational achievement in Wisconsin board and department of administration, shall determine the amounts necessary for funding the payments specified in s. PSC 160.05 (2) and (4).
PSC 160.17(3) (3) Based on the need for funds under subs. (1) and (2) and s. 196.218 (5) (a) 6., Stats., and subject to the appropriation amounts in ch. 20, Stats., the commission shall determine the assessment rates to apply to providers. The commission may modify the assessment rates at any time based on changes in funding needs or provider revenues subject to assessment.
PSC 160.17(4) (4) The commission shall provide notice of the proposed budget under sub. (1) and any proposed changes to the budget to the universal service fund council and other interested parties with an opportunity for comment prior to commission action.
PSC 160.17 History History: Cr. Register, April, 1996, No. 484, eff. 5-1-96; emerg. am. eff. 2-27-98; r. and recr. (1), r. (2), renum. (3) to be (4) and am., cr. (2) and (3), Register, October, 1998, No. 514, eff. 11-1-98.
PSC 160.18 PSC 160.18 Collection of universal service fund monies.
PSC 160.18(1)(1) Each assessed provider shall pay the amount of its assessment to the universal service fund. Assessed providers include all telecommunications providers operating within Wisconsin, except those with intrastate gross telecommunications revenues of less than $200,000 during the preceding calendar year.
PSC 160.18(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 nontraditional broadcast services in competition with a telecommunications service for which a contribution is required under this chapter.
PSC 160.18(3) (3) Telecommunications providers shall be assessed on the basis of their gross intrastate operating revenues from telecommunications services.
PSC 160.18(4) (4) Each telecommunications provider shall submit information, on a schedule and in a format to be set by the commission, on the telecommunications provider's gross intrastate telecommunications revenues during the preceding calendar year.
PSC 160.18(5) (5) The percentage liability for a given telecommunications provider is the ratio of that provider's intrastate gross telecommunications revenues to the sum of the intrastate gross telecommunications revenues for all contributory providers.
PSC 160.18(6) (6) The amount to be assessed to a given telecommunications provider is the percentage liability of that provider under sub. (5) multiplied by the total amount to be collected.
PSC 160.18(7) (7) Telecommunications providers who provided telecommunications service in Wisconsin for only part of the preceding calendar year shall be assessed based on actual revenues for the year, without adjustments to annualize that revenue.
PSC 160.18(8) (8) Failure to receive a bill is not grounds for relief from a telecommunications provider's liability for assessment.
PSC 160.18(9)(a)(a) Assessments shall be paid within 30 days after the bill is mailed. A telecommunications provider that has not paid within 30 days after the bill is mailed shall be deemed to have not paid under s. 196.218 (8), Stats. Assessments not paid within 30 days after the bill is mailed shall be collected using the process described in s. 196.85 (3), Stats.
PSC 160.18(9)(b) (b) Objection to an assessment amount shall be made within 30 days after the bill is mailed. The making of the objection and commission action regarding that objection shall follow the process described in s. 196.85 (4), Stats.
PSC 160.18(10) (10) The commission shall obtain the information necessary to process the assessment of commercial mobile radio service providers and shall mail bills to such providers within 90 days of May 1, 2000. These bills will include assessments back to the effective date of May 1, 2000.
PSC 160.18 History History: Cr. Register, April, 1996, No. 484, eff. 5-1-96; renum. (1) (intro.) and (9) to be (1) and (9) (a), r. (1) (a) and (b), cr. (9) (b) and (10), Register, April, 2000, No. 532, eff. 5-1-00.
PSC 160.181 PSC 160.181 Use audit. Recipients of universal service fund monies may be audited by the commission to ensure that the funding was applied for and used appropriately.
PSC 160.181 History History: Cr. Register, April, 2000, No. 532, eff. 5-1-00.
PSC 160.19 PSC 160.19 Universal service fund council.
PSC 160.19(1) (1) The commission shall appoint a universal service fund council to advise the commission concerning the administration of s. 196.218, Stats., the content of administrative rules adopted pursuant to s. 196.218, Stats., and any other matters assigned to the universal service fund council by the commission.
PSC 160.19(2) (2) The universal service fund council shall consist of telecommunications providers and of consumers of telecommunications services. The commission shall appoint a diverse membership to the universal service council including representatives of the local exchange telecommunications industry; the interexchange telecommunications industry, including facilities-based carriers and resellers; the cable television industry; other telecommunications providers and consumers of telecommunications services including residential, business, governmental, institutional, and public special interest group users of telecommunications services.
PSC 160.19(3) (3) A majority of the members of the universal service fund council shall be representatives of consumers of telecommunications services.
PSC 160.19(4)(a)(a) Universal service fund council members shall be appointed to staggered three-year terms.
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