Ch. 196 Cross-reference
See also PSC
, Wis. adm. code.
As used in this chapter and ch. 197
, unless the context requires otherwise:
“Access service" means the provision of switched or dedicated access to a local exchange network for the purpose of enabling a telecommunications provider to originate or terminate telecommunications service. “Access service" includes unbundled local service provided to telecommunications providers.
“Alternative telecommunications utility" means any of the following:
Any other telecommunications provider if the commission finds that the service offered by the telecommunications provider is available from other telecommunications providers within this state directly or indirectly to the public.
“Basic local exchange service" means the provision to residential customers of an access facility, whether by wire, cable, fiber optics or radio, and essential usage within a local calling area for the transmission of high-quality 2-way interactive switched voice or data communication. “Basic local exchange service" includes extended community calling and extended area service. “Basic local exchange service" does not include additional access facilities or any discretionary or optional services that may be provided to a residential customer. “Basic local exchange service" does not include cable service or services provided by a commercial mobile radio service provider.
“Basic message telecommunications service" means long distance toll service as provided on January 1, 1994, on a direct-dialed, single-message, dial-1 basis between local exchanges in this state at tariff rates. “Basic message telecommunications service" does not include any wide-area telecommunications service, 800-prefix service, volume, dedicated, discounted or other interoffice services or individually negotiated contracts for telecommunications service.
“Broadcast service" means the one-way transmission to the public of video or audio programming regulated under 47 USC 301
that is provided by a broadcast station, as defined in 47 USC 153
(dd), including any interaction with a recipient of the programming as part of the video or audio programming offered to the public.
“Commercial mobile radio service provider" means a telecommunications provider that is authorized by the federal communications commission to provide commercial mobile service.
“Commission" means the public service commission.
“Indeterminate permit" means any grant, directly or indirectly, from the state to any public utility of power, right or privilege to own, operate, manage or control any plant or equipment or any part of a plant or equipment within this state for the production, transmission, delivery or furnishing of any public utility service.
“Interconnected voice over Internet protocol service" has the meaning given in 47 CFR 9.3
“Interconnection agreement" means an interconnection agreement that is subject to approval by the commission under 47 USC 252
“Interlata" means between local access and transport areas.
“Intralata" means within the boundaries of a local access and transport area.
“Municipality" means any town, village or city wherein property of a public utility or any part thereof is located.
“Public utility" means, except as provided in par. (b)
, every corporation, company, individual, association, their lessees, trustees or receivers appointed by any court, and every sanitary district, town, village or city that may own, operate, manage or control any toll bridge or all or any part of a plant or equipment, within the state, for the production, transmission, delivery or furnishing of heat, light, water or power either directly or indirectly to or for the public. “Public utility" includes all of the following:
Any person engaged in the transmission or delivery of natural gas for compensation within this state by means of pipes or mains and any person, except a governmental unit, who furnishes services by means of a sewerage system either directly or indirectly to or for the public.
“Public utility" does not include any of the following:
A cooperative association organized under ch. 185
for the purpose of producing or furnishing heat, light, power or water to its members only.
A holding company, as defined in s. 196.795 (1) (h)
, unless the holding company furnishes, directly to the public, telecommunications or sewer service, heat, light, water or power or, by means of pipes or mains, natural gas.
Any company, as defined in s. 196.795 (1) (f)
, which owns, operates, manages or controls a telecommunications utility unless the company furnishes, directly to the public, telecommunications or sewer service, heat, light, water or power or, by means of pipes or mains, natural gas.
A person that owns an electric generating facility or improvement to an electric generating facility that is subject to a leased generation contract, as defined in s. 196.52 (9) (a) 3.
, unless the person furnishes, directly to the public, telecommunications or sewer service, heat, light, water or power or, by means of pipes or mains, natural gas.
A state agency, as defined in s. 20.001 (1)
, that may own, operate, manage, or control all or any part of a plant or equipment for the production, transmission, delivery, or furnishing of water either directly or indirectly for the public.
“Service" is used in its broadest and most inclusive sense.
“Small telecommunications utility" means any telecommunications utility or a successor in interest of a telecommunications utility that provided landline local and access telecommunications service as of January 1, 1984, and that has less than 50,000 access lines in use in this state.
“Switched access rates" means the rates, rate elements, and rate structure, including all applicable fixed and traffic sensitive charges, that a telecommunications provider charges for the provision of switched access services.
“Switched access service" means the offering of switched access to a local exchange network for the purpose of enabling an entity to originate or terminate telecommunications service within the local exchange.
“Telecommunications carrier" means any person that owns, operates, manages or controls any plant or equipment used to furnish telecommunications services within the state directly or indirectly to the public but does not provide basic local exchange service, except on a resale basis. “Telecommunications carrier" does not include an alternative telecommunications utility or a commercial mobile radio service provider.
“Telecommunications provider" means any person who provides telecommunications services.
“Telecommunications reseller" or “reseller" means a telecommunications utility that resells message telecommunications service, wide-area telecommunications services or other telecommunications services which have been approved for reselling by the commission.
“Telecommunications service" means the offering for sale of the conveyance of voice communication, including the sale of service for collection, storage, forwarding, switching, and delivery incidental to such communication, regardless of the technology or mode used to make such offering. “Telecommunications service" includes switched access service. “Telecommunications service" does not include cable service or broadcast service.
“Telecommunications utility" means any person, corporation, company, cooperative, unincorporated cooperative association, partnership, association and lessees, trustees or receivers appointed by any court that owns, operates, manages or controls any plant or equipment used to furnish telecommunications services within the state directly or indirectly to the public. “Telecommunications utility" does not include a telecommunications carrier.
“Wholesale telecommunications service" means, except as provided in par. (b)
, a service that satisfies all of the following:
The service is provided by a telecommunications provider to another telecommunications provider other than an affiliate, as defined in s. 196.212 (1) (a)
The service is subject to regulation by the commission under this chapter.
The service is subsequently used in the provision of a telecommunications service to retail end users.
“Wholesale telecommunications service" does not include switched access service.
“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
; 2017 a. 59
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.