“Wide-area telecommunications service" means the offering of message-based telecommunications service using a single, dedicated access line at the originating end of the call at a significant volume-based discount.
History: 1977 c. 29
; 1981 c. 390
; 1983 a. 27
; 1985 a. 79
, 1985 a. 297
; 1987 a. 27
; 1989 a. 344
; 1993 a. 121
; 1995 a. 46
; 1997 a. 184
; 1999 a. 9
; 1999 a. 150
; 2001 a. 16
; 2005 a. 441
; 2007 a. 42
; 2011 a. 22
; 2013 a. 125
The PSC may determine that a holding company, formed by a public utility corporation to engage in non-utility business ventures, is itself a public utility when the holding company possesses the power to control utility plants or equipment or when the arrangement is a device to evade regulatory jurisdiction. 71 Atty. Gen. 147
This chapter applies to interstate commerce only so far as the constitution and laws of the United States permit.
History: 2005 a. 179
; Stats. 2005 s. 196.012.
Total service long-run incremental cost. 196.015(1)(1)
In this section, “basic network function" means the smallest disaggregation of local exchange transport, switching and loop functions that is capable of being separately listed in a tariff and offered for sale.
In this chapter, total service long-run incremental cost is calculated as the total forward-looking cost, using least cost technology that is reasonably implementable based on currently available technology, of a telecommunications service, relevant group of services, or basic network function that would be avoided if the telecommunications provider had never offered the service, group of services, or basic network function or, alternatively, the total cost that the telecommunications provider would incur if it were to initially offer the service, group of services, or basic network function for the entire current demand, given that the telecommunications provider already produces all of its other services.
History: 1993 a. 496
Relationship to certain federal telecommunications law.
Except as provided in s. 196.50 (2) (j) 2.
, nothing in this chapter is intended to either reduce or expand the scope and application of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, P.L. 104-104
, including the jurisdiction and authority granted to the commission thereunder, and the commission may take any action that the commission is authorized to take under that federal act.
History: 2011 a. 22
Commission's powers. 196.02(1)
The commission has jurisdiction to supervise and regulate every public utility in this state and to do all things necessary and convenient to its jurisdiction.
(2) Definition; classification.
The commission shall provide for a comprehensive classification of service for each public utility. The classification may take into account the quantity used, the time when used, the purpose for which used, and any other reasonable consideration. Each public utility shall conform its schedules of rates, tolls and charges to such classification.
The commission may adopt reasonable rules to govern its proceedings and to regulate the mode and manner of all inspections, tests, audits, investigations and hearings.
(4) Information required; stock holders. 196.02(4)(a)(a)
The commission may inquire into the management of the business of all public utilities. The commission shall keep itself informed as to the manner and method in which the same is conducted. The commission may obtain from any public utility any information necessary to enable the commission to perform its duties.
Each public utility shall furnish to the commission, in such form and at such times as the commission requires, the following information respecting the identity of the holders of its voting capital stock in order to enable the commission to determine whether the holders constitute an affiliated interest within the meaning of this chapter:
The names of each holder of one percent or more of the voting capital stock of the public utility.
The nature of the property right or other legal or equitable interest which the holder has in the stock.
Any other similarly relevant information which the commission prescribes and directs.
If any public utility fails to furnish the commission with information required of it by the commission, the commission may issue an order directing the delinquent public utility to furnish the information immediately or to show good cause why the information cannot be obtained. Failure of any public utility to comply with the order of the commission is a violation of this chapter within the meaning of s. 196.66
(5) Inspect books.
The commission, the chairperson of the commission, or any commissioner or any person employed by the commission for that purpose may, upon demand, inspect the books, accounts, papers, records and memoranda of any public utility, and examine under oath any officer, agent or employee of the public utility in relation to its business and affairs. Any person, other than the chairperson or one of the commissioners, who makes a demand shall produce his or her authority to make the inspection.
(5m) Property inspections.
The commission may inspect property for the purpose of obtaining any information related to the preparation or review of an application for a certificate under s. 196.49
or 196.491 (3)
, including any information necessary to evaluate any environmental features or effects that are relevant to such an application.
(6) Production of records.
The commission may require, by order or subpoena served on any public utility as a summons is served in circuit court, the production within this state at the time and place the commission designates of any books, accounts, papers or records kept by the public utility outside the state, or verified copies in lieu thereof, if the commission orders. If a public utility fails or refuses to comply with the order or subpoena, for each day of the failure or refusal the public utility shall forfeit not less than $50 nor more than $500.
(7) Commission initiative.
In any matter within its jurisdiction, including, but not limited to, chs. 197
and this chapter, the commission may initiate, investigate, and order a hearing at its discretion upon such notice as it deems proper. The commission may use personal delivery, mail, electronic mail, or any other reasonable method to provide notice, including notice for a contested case hearing, notwithstanding s. 227.44 (1)
(8) Employ counsel.
The commission may employ counsel in any proceeding, investigation, hearing or trial had by it or in which it is a party, and the expenses thereby incurred shall be charged to the commission's appropriation.
(9) Technicalities disregarded.
Substantial compliance with the requirements of the statutes shall be sufficient to make effective any rule, regulation, order or action of the commission. No rule, regulation, order or action of the commission is invalid for any omission of a technical nature.
(10) Commission notices; certifications.
Any notice of investigation or hearing or certification to a copy of a record of the commission may be issued or certified by any member of the commission or by its secretary or assistant secretary.
(12) Sue; be sued.
The commission may sue and be sued in its own name, and may confer with or participate in any proceedings before any regulatory agency of any other state or of the federal government.
See also PSC
, Wis. adm. code.
The PSC has authority to order a utility to refund compensation collected in violation of its filed tariffs. GTE North Inc. v. PSC 176 Wis. 2d 559
, 500 N.W.2d 284
Public service commission ordered rebates for inadequate service. 1976 WLR 584.
Duties of the commission. 196.025(1)(ar)
Consideration of energy priorities.
Except as provided in pars. (b)
, to the extent cost-effective, technically feasible and environmentally sound, the commission shall implement the priorities under s. 1.12 (4)
in making all energy-related decisions and orders, including strategic energy assessment, rate setting and rule-making orders.
In a proceeding in which an investor-owned electric public utility is a party, the commission shall not order or otherwise impose energy conservation or efficiency requirements on the investor-owned electric public utility if the commission has fulfilled all of its duties under s. 196.374
and the investor-owned electric public utility has satisfied the requirements of s. 196.374
for the year prior to commencement of the proceeding, as specified in s. 196.374 (8)
In a proceeding in which a wholesale supplier is a party, the commission shall not order or otherwise impose energy conservation or efficiency requirements on the wholesale supplier if the commission has fulfilled all of its duties under s. 196.374
and the wholesale supplier's members are in the aggregate substantially in compliance with s. 196.374 (7)
In a proceeding in which an investor-owned electric public utility is a party, the commission shall not order or otherwise impose any renewable resource requirements on the investor-owned electric public utility if the commission has fulfilled all of its duties under s. 196.378
and the commission has informed the utility under s. 196.378 (2) (c)
that, with respect to the most recent report submitted under s. 196.378 (2) (c)
, the utility is in compliance with the requirements of s. 196.378 (2) (a) 2.
In a proceeding in which a wholesale supplier is a party, the commission shall not order or otherwise impose any renewable resource requirements on the wholesale supplier if the commission has fulfilled all of its duties under s. 196.378
and the wholesale supplier's members are in the aggregate substantially in compliance with s. 196.378 (2)
In a proceeding regarding a request by a public utility or wholesale supplier to acquire, construct, install, or operate an electric transmission facility or associated equipment, the commission shall not order or otherwise impose requirements on the public utility or wholesale supplier.
(1m) Transmission corridors.
The commission shall implement the policy specified in s. 1.12 (6)
in making all decisions, orders, and rules affecting the siting of new electric transmission facilities.
(2) Environmental impacts.
The commission shall promulgate rules establishing requirements and procedures for the commission to carry out the duties under s. 1.11
. Rules promulgated under this subsection shall include requirements and procedures for the commission to comply with sub. (2m)
and for each of the following:
Standards for determining the necessity of preparing an environmental impact statement.
Adequate opportunities for interested persons to be heard on environmental impact statements, including adequate time for the preparation and submission of comments.
Deadlines that allow thorough review of environmental issues without imposing unnecessary delays in addressing the need for additional electric transmission capacity in this state.
(2m) Coordination with department of natural resources. 196.025(2m)(a)2.
“Project" means a project or construction requiring a certificate under s. 196.49
or 196.491 (3)
and requiring a permit or approval from the department.
The commission and the department shall coordinate the execution of their respective duties under s. 1.11
for any action of the commission or department regarding a project as follows:
If the rules of either the commission or the department require the commission or the department to prepare an environmental impact statement on the project, the commission and the department shall cooperatively prepare an environmental impact statement.
If subd. 1.
does not apply and the rules of either the commission or the department require the commission or the department to prepare an environmental assessment on the project, the commission and the department shall cooperatively prepare an environmental assessment.
The environmental impact statement or environmental assessment under subd. 1.
shall include all of the information required for both the commission and the department to carry out their respective duties under s. 1.11
(c) Paragraph (b)
does not waive any duty of the commission or the department to comply with s. 1.11
or to take any other action required by law regarding a project, except that, in the consideration of alternative locations, sites, or routes for a project, the commission and the department are required to consider only the location, site, or route for the project identified in an application for a certificate under s. 196.49
and no more than one alternative location, site, or route; and, for a project identified in an application for a certificate under s. 196.491 (3)
, the commission and the department are required to consider only the location, site, or route for the project identified in the application and one alternative location, site, or route.
(3) Reliability reports.
The commission shall promulgate rules establishing requirements and procedures for electric utilities, as defined under s. 196.491 (1) (d)
, to file reports with the commission, on a frequency that the commission determines is reasonably necessary, on their current reliability status, including the status of operating and planning reserves, available transmission capacity and outages of major operational units and transmission lines. A report filed under the rules promulgated under this subsection is subject to inspection and copying under s. 19.35 (1)
, except that the commission may withhold the report from inspection and copying for a period of time that the commission determines is reasonably necessary to prevent an adverse impact on the supply or price of energy in this state.
In consultation with the department of administration and the department of revenue, the commission shall study the establishment of a program for providing incentives for the development of high-efficiency, small-scale electric generating facilities in this state that do either of the following:
Provide benefits in the form of support for electric distribution or transmission systems, power quality or environmental performance.
Employ technologies such as combined heat and power systems, fuel cells, microturbines, or photovoltaic systems that may be situated in, on, or next to buildings or other electric load centers.
No later than January 1, 2001, the commission shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations under par. (a)
to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature for distribution to the appropriate standing committees under s. 13.172 (3)
In this subsection, “electric cooperative" means a cooperative association organized under ch. 185
for the purpose of generating, distributing or furnishing electric energy at retail or wholesale to its members only.
The commission shall contract with an expert consultant in economics to conduct a study on the potential for horizontal market power, including the horizontal market power of electric generators, to frustrate the creation of an effectively competitive retail electricity market in this state and to make recommendations on measures to eliminate such market power on a sustainable basis. The study shall include each of the following:
An assessment of the effect of each recommendation on public utility workers and shareholders and electric cooperative workers and members.
An assessment of the effect of each recommendation on rates for each class of public utility customers and electric cooperative members.
An evaluation of the impact of transmission constraints on the market power of electric generators in local areas.
No later than January 1, 2001, the commission shall submit a report of the results of the study under par. (ar)
to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature for distribution to the appropriate standing committees under s. 13.172 (3)
“Communications provider" means a person that provides communications service.
“Communications service" means active retail voice communications service.
Except as provided in subd. 2.
, a communications provider shall collect from each subscriber a monthly fee of $0.75 on each communications service connection with an assigned telephone number, including a communication service provided via a voice over Internet protocol connection. If a communications provider provides multiple communications service connections to a subscriber, the fee required to be collected by the communications provider under this subdivision shall be a separate fee on each of the first 10 connections and one additional fee for each 10 additional connections per billed account. A communications provider may list the fee separately from other charges on a subscriber's bill, and if a communications provider does so, the communications provider shall identify the fee as “police and fire protection fee," or, if the communications provider combines the fee with a charge imposed under s. 256.35 (3)
, the communications provider shall identify the combined fee and charge as “charge for funding countywide 911 systems plus police and fire protection fee." Any partial payment of a fee by a subscriber shall first be applied to any amount the subscriber owes the communications provider for communications service.
A communications provider that offers a prepaid wireless telecommunications plan, or a retailer that offers such a plan on behalf of a communications provider, shall collect from each subscriber or purchaser a fee equal to $0.38 on each retail transaction for such a plan that occurs in this state. A communications provider or retailer may state the amount of the fee separately on a bill for the retail transaction, and if a communications provider or retailer does so, the communications provider or retailer shall identify the fee as “police and fire protection fee."
Except as provided in subd. 2.
, no later than the first calendar month following the calendar month in which a communications provider or retailer receives from a subscriber a fee imposed under par. (b)
, the communications provider or retailer shall remit the fee to the commission.
The commission may contract with the department for the collection of fees imposed under par. (b)
. If the commission and department enter into such a contract, no later than the first calendar month following the calendar month in which a communications provider or retailer receives from a subscriber a fee imposed under par. (b)
, the communications provider or retailer shall remit the fee to the department.
The commission and department shall deposit all fees remitted under subds. 1.
into the police and fire protection fund.
If the commission contracts with the department to collect fees as provided under par. (c) 2.
, all of the following apply:
The department may require communications providers and retailers to register with the department, file returns with the department, and pay the fees required under this section to the department in the manner and form prescribed by the department, subject to par. (c) 2.