To directly or indirectly enhance access to medical care by underserved populations or persons with disabilities in the state, or both.
The commission may grant a maximum of $500,000 in universal service fund support granted under this section per state fiscal year, or $1,000,000 per state biennium.
An applicant for universal service fund support under this section may not, in its application, request disbursement of support for a time period longer than that specified in the solicitation for grant applications.
An applicant for funding shall include all of the following in its application:
A description of the telecommunications equipment for which universal service fund support is requested.
An explanation of how the applicant's purchase of the telecommunications equipment will support the purposes identified in sub. (2)
Identification of the vendor that may supply the telecommunications equipment.
A description of how the portion of the purchase price not covered by universal service fund support, if any, will be paid for.
A description of the steps taken to secure the telecommunications equipment at reasonable prices.
A statement certifying that the universal service fund support will be used for the purpose granted.
The commission shall evaluate all applications submitted under this section. The commission may approve all or part of an application if it includes the information required under sub. (5)
and if the commission determines the following:
The applicant is a non-profit medical clinic or public health agency located in Wisconsin.
The applicant's purchase of telecommunications equipment will support the purposes identified in sub. (2)
The applicant will be able to pay for the portion of the cost of the equipment not funded under this section.
The applicant has taken steps to secure the equipment at reasonable prices.
Public health agencies and non-profit organizations that operate more than one location may receive universal service fund support for telecommunications equipment at more than one location, but before approving an application involving an additional location, the commission shall consider how much total universal service fund support has been received by the agency or organization during the time period specified in the solicitation for grant applications and the total amount remaining available to be granted under this section during that time period.
The commission may give preference to initial applications filed by a public health agency or non-profit medical clinic.
The commission may convene a panel of experts to assist in the evaluation of applications submitted under this section.
PSC 160.115 History
Cr. Register, April, 2000, No. 532
, eff. 5-1-00; correction in (1) (c) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 6.
, Stats., Register February 2011 No. 662
; CR 13-068
: am. (1) (a), (b) (intro.), 1., 2., (2) (intro.), (b), (c), (3), (4) (a), (5) (intro.), (b), (c), (g), (6) (a) (intro.), 4., (b), renum. (6) (c) to (d), cr. (6) (c) Register January 2016 No. 721
, eff. 2-1-16.
PSC 160.125 Funding to promote access to telecommunications services. PSC 160.125(1)(a)
The commission may compensate any voice mail provider for providing, on request, to a social services agency, a job service agency or a homeless shelter authority, voice-mail service without charge to be used by that agency or authority for the benefit of its homeless clients or residents.
A voice-mail provider that is providing voice-mail boxes to a qualifying agency or authority at no charge may request and receive reimbursement only for its incremental usage and administrative costs of providing this service using available capacity. As an alternative, a provider may request and receive reimbursement from the fund at a standard rate set by the commission to cover expected incremental costs of providing this service using available capacity.
A qualifying agency or authority administering or providing voice-mail service to homeless clients may request reimbursement for its costs directly attributable to administering and providing the voice-mail boxes for the benefit of its homeless clients.
To evaluate the effectiveness of this program, the commission may monitor and obtain information on the offering of this service from the participating voice mail providers, social services agencies, job service agencies and homeless shelter authorities.
A social services agency, job service agency, or homeless shelter authority participating in this program shall maintain a list of all individuals receiving voice mail under this section.
The commission may grant partial funding to non-profit groups for the facilitation of affordable access to telecommunications services through programs or projects, or both, not supported elsewhere in this chapter, but that are consistent with the purposes identified in s. 196.218 (5) (a) 1.
PSC 160.125 Note
As of April 2015, s. 196.218 (5) (a) 1.
, Stats., reads in pertinent part:
PSC 160.125 Note
(5) Uses of the fund. (a) The commission shall require that moneys in the universal service fund be used only for any of the following purposes:
PSC 160.125 Note
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.
Any non-profit group may apply for universal service funding to fund any portion of a program or project or both. Funding shall be granted on a state fiscal year basis, but funding for more than one fiscal year may be approved at one time. The commission shall issue a list of approved programs or projects, or both, when grants are awarded. All applications become public documents upon filing.
A description of the program or project proposed, including a description of how the public need described in subd. 1m.
may be met through affordable access to telecommunications.
A showing that the proposed program or project meets the described public need in a least cost manner. This requirement can be met by showing that the applicant carried out an appropriate request for proposals.
Identification of the providers of each portion of the telecommunications services or equipment and a specific description of the components of the program or project including all of the following:
The costs of telecommunications services and telecommunications equipment used by the program or project.
The cost of training for those who are served by the program or project so that they can use the services.
The commission shall evaluate all complete and timely applications submitted. In evaluating the applications the commission shall consider information including all of the following:
The extent to which other programs or projects, either funded under this section or otherwise under this chapter, meet that need.
The universal service fund shall reimburse applicants for up to 75% of the cost of reimbursable portions of the program or project, or both. The reimbursable costs include those listed in par. (c) 5. a.
The applicant may include in-kind goods or services, or both, as resources to be used for the remainder of the costs of the program or project, or both.
The commission shall determine the programs or projects, or both, to be funded and the amount of reimbursement for each program or project. The commission may grant a maximum of $500,000 in funding under this subsection per state fiscal year, or $1,000,000 per state biennium.
PSC 160.125 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.
, Stats., Register February 2013 No. 686
; CR 13-068
: am. (1) (title), (a), (b), (e), (2) (a), (b), renum. (2) (c) 1. to (2) (c) 1m. and am., cr. (2) (c) 1., am. (2) (c) 2., 3., 5. (intro.), a. to d., (d) (intro.), 1., 2., (e), (f) Register January 2016 No. 721
, eff. 2-1-16; correction under s. 35.17
, Stats., in (2) (c) 1. Register January 2016 No. 721
PSC 160.13 Designation of eligible telecommunications carriers. PSC 160.13(1)(a)(a)
The commission may designate a telecommunications provider as an eligible telecommunications carrier. This designation is not transferable.
The commission may suspend or revoke an ETC designation if the designee violates the requirements in this section.
A full or low-income ETC, but not a federal-only ETC, is eligible to receive universal service funding for an area, under both applicable federal and state universal service programs, if it meets all of the following requirements:
Holds itself ready to offer all elements of essential telecommunications service, as defined in s. PSC 160.03 (2)
, to all customers in the area for which it is requesting ETC status.
Regularly advertises its service in the area for which it is requesting ETC status, with the advertisements meeting all of the following requirements:
Are disseminated in media of general distribution in the area, at least 2 times per year.
Offers lifeline service, as defined in s. PSC 160.062
, wherever service is offered in the area for which it is requesting ETC status, and publicizes the availability of those offerings in a manner reasonably designed to reach those likely to qualify for them.
An applicant for federal-only ETC designation under s. 196.218 (4) (b)
, Stats., is required to meet all of the applicable federal eligibility requirements in 47 CFR 54.201
, and any state requirements or processes that federal law requires ETCs to follow.
PSC 160.13 Note
Note: For example, federal ETC regulations require all providers to follow some provisions of state law, such as use of state lifeline eligibility verification databases.
Application for new or expanded ETC status.
Application for new or expanded ETC status. An applicant for new or expanded eligible telecommunications carrier status shall demonstrate its ability to meet the requirements under sub. (2)
by including all of the following information in its application:
A demonstration of how the applicant meets the requirement of 47 USC 214
(e) (1) (A). This shall be demonstrated in one of the following ways:
An explanation of how the applicant will use its own facilities, or a combination of its own facilities and resale, to provide voice telecommunications service to a Wisconsin customer.
An electronic link to or copy of the federal communications commission order approving the applicant's compliance plan, and an electronic link to the approved compliance plan.
PSC 160.13 Note
Note: A provider may apply for ETC designation before its compliance plan is approved by the Federal Communications Commission, but the commission will not act on the application until the plan is approved.
A copy of the applicant's 5 year plan, and associated documentation, as required by 47 CFR 54.202
(a) (1) ii., including certification that it will use any federal high cost support monies for the purposes allowed under 47 USC 254
(e) and 47 CFR 54.313
(a) and 54.314 (a).
A certified statement that the applicant will not seek high cost assistance funding from the federal universal service fund or high rate assistance funding from the state universal service fund.
A list of all of the exchanges or wire centers, or both, for which ETC status is sought and identification of any wire center for which status is sought for only a portion of the wire center.
The applicant's name, any other name under which the applicant does business, the applicant's commission utility identification number and proof of registration with the department of financial institutions.
The applicant's contact information for each of the following:
Customers to use to contact the applicant directly about customer issues.
All eligible telecommunications carriers shall submit to the commission, within 14 days of the associated federal filing date, all of the following: