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AB-2652 Telecommunications: universal service.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/01/2018 10:00 AM
AB2652:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 30, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 16, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2652


Introduced by Assembly Member Quirk

February 15, 2018


An act to amend Section 878.5 of, and to add Sections 873.5 and Section 878.7 to, the Public Utilities Code, relating to telecommunications.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2652, as amended, Quirk. Telecommunications: universal service.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations. The Moore Universal Telephone Service Act establishes the Universal Lifeline Telephone Service program in order to provide low-income households with access to affordable basic residential telephone service. Existing law requires the commission, by January 15, 2017, to adopt a portability freeze rule for the lifeline program, and requires the commission to consider including in the rule a 60-day duration of the portability freeze, a period of time when a subscriber would be able to terminate lifeline service without penalty, and a requirement that the administrator of the lifeline program provide a telephone corporation providing lifeline service with specified subscriber information.
This bill would require the commission to instead adopt the rule by January 15, 2019, and for that rule to include, at minimum, the elements described above, above and a requirement that a subscriber provide proof of change of address if the commission chooses to allow the subscriber to bypass the portability freeze when the subscriber moves, and a penalty on a lifeline service provider that fails to inform a subscriber that he or she may receive discounted wireless or landline service, but not both, through the lifeline program. The bill would require a provider of mobile telephony service providing lifeline service to offer, as part of the service, a plan that includes unlimited minutes, unlimited text messages, and, to the extent possible, unlimited mobile data service. moves. The bill would require the commission, on or before June 30, 2019, to adopt a rule to improve the cost-effectiveness of the delivery of the lifeline program, and would require the commission to include, at minimum, certain features in the rule.
Under existing law, a violation of the Public Utilities Act or any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime.
Because the provisions of this bill would be a part of the act and because a violation of an order, decision, or rule of the commission implementing its requirements would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program by expanding the application of a crime.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.Section 873.5 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:
873.5.

The commission shall require a provider of mobile telephony service providing lifeline service to offer, as part of the service, a plan that includes unlimited minutes, unlimited text messages, and, to the extent possible, unlimited mobile data service.

SEC. 2.SECTION 1.

 Section 878.5 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

878.5.
 The commission shall adopt a portability freeze rule for the lifeline program by January 15, 2019. The commission shall include, at minimum, all of the following in the rule:
(a) At least a 60-day duration of the portability freeze.
(b) A period of time when a subscriber would be able to terminate lifeline service without penalty, similar to provisions established in Section 4.13.5 of commission Decision 14-01-036 (January 16, 2014), Decision Adopting Revisions to Modernize and Expand the California Lifeline Program.
(c) A requirement that the administrator of the lifeline program provide a telephone corporation providing lifeline service with real-time information concerning whether a subscriber has enrolled with another telephone corporation during the period of the portability freeze adopted by the commission pursuant to this section and, if the subscriber enrolled during this period, the date of enrollment.
(d) A requirement that a subscriber provide proof of change of address if the commission chooses to allow the subscriber to bypass the portability freeze when the subscriber moves.

(e)A penalty on a lifeline service provider that fails to inform a subscriber that he or she may receive discounted wireless or landline service, but not both, through the lifeline program.

SEC. 3.SEC. 2.

 Section 878.7 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

878.7.
 On or before June 30, 2019, the commission shall adopt a rule to improve the cost-effectiveness of the delivery of the lifeline program. The commission shall include, at minimum, all of the following in the rule:
(a) A two-year recertification process that minimizes any barriers to renewal faced by a subscriber.
(b) Allowing the use of an electronic signature to expedite the enrollment process.

(c)A process to ensure quality products are distributed to eligible subscribers.

(d)

(c) A means to encourage lifeline service providers to work with community-based organizations, and other approved nonprofit organizations, to increase participation in the lifeline program by assisting those providers with outreach, marketing, and enrollment.

(e)

(d) A goal of enrolling 90 percent of all eligible customers statewide in the lifeline program by January 1, 2022.

SEC. 4.SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.