Register December 2018 No. 756
Chapter PSC 160
PSC 160.01   Scope and purpose.
PSC 160.02   Definitions.
PSC 160.03   Essential telecommunications services.
PSC 160.04   Call limitation.
PSC 160.05   Universal service fund programs.
PSC 160.06   Eligibility for low-income programs.
PSC 160.061   Link-up program.
PSC 160.062   Lifeline program.
PSC 160.063   Outreach for low-income assistance programs.
PSC 160.071   Service and equipment pricing for individuals with special telecommunications needs.
PSC 160.075   Responsibility for pay telephone usability.
PSC 160.08   Telecommunications customer assistance program.
PSC 160.09   High rate assistance credits.
PSC 160.092   Alternative universal service protection plans.
PSC 160.115   Medical telecommunications equipment program.
PSC 160.125   Funding to promote access to telecommunications services.
PSC 160.13   Designation of eligible telecommunications carriers.
PSC 160.16   Fund administrator.
PSC 160.17   Fund budget and assessment rates.
PSC 160.18   Collection of universal service fund monies.
PSC 160.181   Use audit.
PSC 160.19   Universal service fund council.
PSC 160.01 PSC 160.01Scope and purpose.
PSC 160.01(1)(1)Purpose. Chapter PSC 160 is designed to effectuate and implement s. 196.218, Stats., 47 USC 254, 47 CFR 54 and parts of other sections of the Wisconsin and federal statutes, authorizing the commission to establish and operate a universal service fund and programs to further the goal of providing a basic set of essential telecommunications services to all customers in the state.
PSC 160.01(2) (2) Scope and exception.
PSC 160.01(2)(a)(a) The requirements of ch. PSC 160 shall be observed by the telecommunications providers subject to the jurisdiction of the commission as indicated in this chapter, except insofar as any exemption may be made by the commission. Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, s. 196.218, Stats., and the requirements of this chapter apply to telecommunications providers certified under s. 196.203 (2), Stats.
PSC 160.01(2)(b) (b) Nothing in this chapter shall preclude the commission from giving special and individual consideration to exceptional or unusual situations and, upon due investigation of the facts and circumstances involved, from adopting requirements as to individual providers or programs that may be lesser, greater, other or different than those provided in this chapter.
PSC 160.01(3) (3) Disputes. Disputes not resolved between the affected parties regarding assessment or support amounts or the eligibility to receive or the liability to pay under this chapter shall be referred to the commission for resolution.
PSC 160.01(4) (4) Enforcement. The manner of enforcing ch. PSC 160 is prescribed in ss. 196.218, 196.499 (17) and 196.66, Stats., and includes any other means provided in statutory sections administered by the commission.
PSC 160.01(5) (5) Orders. The commission may issue orders it considers necessary to assist in the implementation or interpretation of this chapter. The commission shall issue orders only after notice and an opportunity for comment by interested parties including the universal service fund council, except in the following circumstances:
PSC 160.01(5)(a) (a) The commission issues a determination not subject to judicial review under ss. 227.52 and 227.53, Stats.
PSC 160.01(5)(b) (b) The commission receives a request for a declaratory ruling under s. 227.41, Stats., which requires the opportunity for a hearing.
PSC 160.01(5)(c) (c) As otherwise provided in this chapter.
PSC 160.01 History History: Cr. Register, April, 1996, No. 484, eff. 5-1-96; am. (2) (a) and (5), Register, April, 2000, No. 532, eff. 5-1-00; CR 13-068: am. (1), (2) (b), (4), renum. (5) to (5) (intro.) and am., cr. (5) (a) to (c) Register January 2016 No. 721, eff. 2-1-16.
PSC 160.02 PSC 160.02Definitions. The definitions in s. 196.01, Stats., apply in this chapter. In addition, in this chapter:
PSC 160.02(1) (1)“Calculated charge" means the charge calculated by converting a per call charge into a per minute charge. The conversion to a per minute charge shall be accomplished by dividing the per call charge by the telecommunications provider's average residential call duration. If there are multiple per call charges within one local calling area, the weighted average shall be used as the per call charge.
PSC 160.02(2) (2)“Call blocking" means a service that lets customers elect not to allow the completion of any of the calls specified under s. PSC 160.04 (1) on the customer's account.
PSC 160.02(3) (3)“Call control" means a service that lets a customer specify a certain amount of the calls specified under s. PSC 160.04 (1) that may be completed per month on the customer's account.
PSC 160.02(4) (4)“Call limitation" means either call blocking or call control for providers that are incapable of providing both services and, for providers that are capable of providing both services, it means both call blocking and call control.
PSC 160.02(6) (6)“Commission" means the public service commission.
PSC 160.02(7) (7)“Contributory provider" means a telecommunications provider that pays monies to the universal service fund.
PSC 160.02(8) (8)“Disability" means a physical or sensory impairment that limits or curtails an individual's ability to use telecommunications services or equipment, or both.
PSC 160.02(9) (9)“Eligible telecommunications carrier" or “ETC" means a telecommunications provider that the commission has so designated and includes federal-only ETCs, full ETCs, and low-income ETCs.
PSC 160.02(10) (10)“Emergency service numbers" mean 9-1-1 where available and fire, emergency medical services, law enforcement, and poison center emergency numbers where 9-1-1 is not available.
PSC 160.02(11) (11)“Extended community calling" means a telecommunications service by which a customer in one exchange may call a customer in another exchange or combination of exchanges under an expanded local calling plan based on usage.
PSC 160.02(12) (12)“Federal-only eligible telecommunications carrier" or “federal-only ETC" means a telecommunications provider that the commission has so designated under s. 196.218 (4) (b), Stats., or so designated before June 9, 2011.
PSC 160.02(13) (13)“Federal subscriber line charge" means a monthly per line federal charge that is assessed directly on a local exchange telephone service customer as allowed by the federal communications commission.
PSC 160.02 Note Note: This is also known federally as the end-user common line charge. See 47 CFR 69.104.
PSC 160.02(14) (14)“Full eligible telecommunications carrier" or “full ETC" means a telecommunications provider that the commission has so designated under s. PSC 160.13 for participation in all universal service programs.
PSC 160.02(15) (15)“Household" has the meaning given in 47 CFR 54.400 (h).
PSC 160.02 Note Note: As of April 2015, 47 CFR 54.400 (h) read as follows: A “household" is any individual or group of individuals who are living together at the same address as one economic unit. A household may include related and unrelated persons. An “economic unit" consists of all adult individuals contributing to and sharing in the income and expenses of a household. An adult is any person 18 years or older. If an adult has no or minimal income, and lives with someone who provides financial support to him/her, both people shall be considered part of the same household. Children under the age of 18 living with their parents or guardians are considered to be part of the same household as their parents or guardians.
PSC 160.02(16) (16)“Incumbent local exchange carrier" means a telecommunications provider, and its successors and assigns, authorized under law or by the commission before September 1, 1994, to place facilities and provide basic local service in a particular geographic area.
PSC 160.02(17) (17)“Lifeline" means the program that provides reduced monthly service rates for low-income customers.
PSC 160.02(18) (18)“Line" means an access line or service to an activated wireless handset.
PSC 160.02(19) (19)“Link-up" means a program that waives some or all service connection charges for low-income customers.
PSC 160.02(20) (20)“Local exchange service provider" means any wireless provider that has been designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier under s. PSC 160.13, or a telecommunications utility or any other provider of basic local exchange service or standard business lines and usage.
PSC 160.02(21) (21)“Low-income" means a household that meets one of the following criteria:
PSC 160.02(21)(a) (a) Receives benefits from one or more of the following programs:
PSC 160.02(21)(a)1. 1. Wisconsin works under ss. 49.141 to 49.162, Stats.
PSC 160.02 Note Note: This includes all programs, including financial and employment assistance, child care subsidy, etc.
PSC 160.02(21)(a)2. 2. Medical assistance under 42 USC 1396 et seq.
PSC 160.02(21)(a)3. 3. Supplemental security income under 42 USC 1381 to 1383.
PSC 160.02(21)(a)4. 4. Food stamps under 7 USC 2011 to 2029.
PSC 160.02 Note Note: As of April 2015, the generic term “food stamps" refers to programs currently known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Food Share.
PSC 160.02(21)(a)5. 5. The low income household energy assistance program under s. 16.27, Stats.
PSC 160.02(21)(a)6. 6. Unless the provider is a federal-only ETC, Wisconsin homestead tax credit under ss. 71.51 to 71.55, Stats.
PSC 160.02(21)(a)7. 7. BadgerCare Plus programs under s. 49.471, Stats., consistent with the income limits in subd. 11.
PSC 160.02(21)(a)8. 8. SeniorCare 1 and 2a under s. 49.688, Stats.
PSC 160.02(21)(a)9. 9. The national school lunch program's free lunch program.
PSC 160.02(21)(a)10. 10. Temporary assistance for needy families, other than Wisconsin works under ss. 49.141 to 49.161, Stats.
PSC 160.02(21)(a)11. 11. As approved by the commission, other state or federally administered programs for households with income levels less than or equal to 200% of the poverty line as defined in 42 USC 9902 (2).
PSC 160.02 Note Note: See sub. 160.06 (1) (c) concerning other households that may be considered low-income.
PSC 160.02(21)(b) (b) The customer's income, as defined in 47 CFR 54.400 (f), is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines.
PSC 160.02(21)(c) (c) Eligible under any other federal low-income eligibility criteria.
PSC 160.02(22) (22)“Low-income eligible telecommunications carrier" or “low-income ETC" means a telecommunications provider that the commission has so designated under s. PSC 160.13 for participation only in the lifeline or link-up program, or both.
PSC 160.02(23) (23)“Non-profit group" means an organization described in s. 501 (c) (3) of the internal revenue code that is exempt from federal income tax under s. 501 (a) of the internal revenue code.
PSC 160.02(24) (24)“Nonrecurring charge" means the charge for those activities and materials necessary to connect network services to the customer's premises, up to and including the network interface device but not including customer premises wiring or customer premises equipment, and not including construction charges.
PSC 160.02(25) (25)“Pay-per-call service" has the meaning given in s. 196.208 (1) (a), Stats.
PSC 160.02(26) (26)“Provider" or “telecommunications provider" has the meaning given in s. 196.01 (8p), Stats.
PSC 160.02(27) (27)“Rural telephone company" has the meaning given in 47 USC 153 (37).
PSC 160.02(28) (28)“Two line hearing carryover" means the technique of using 3-way calling and 2 telephone lines, one for hearing and one for text, to connect a hearing caller who is speech impaired with another caller via the telecommunications relay service.
PSC 160.02(29) (29)“Two line voice carryover" means the technique of using 3-way calling and 2 telephone lines, one for voice and one for text, to connect a caller who is deaf or hard of hearing but can speak, with another caller via the telecommunications relay service.
Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.