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

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Date Published: 07/03/2018 09:00 PM
AB2652:v94#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  July 03, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  June 14, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 25, 2018
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 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 (lifeline 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 during which the subscriber would be able to terminate lifeline service without penalty, 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 March 1, 2019, would require the rule to include, at minimum, the elements described above, and would condition the implementation of the rule on the Federal Communications Commission not adopting an order denying federal benefits to a subscriber if the rule is implemented. 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 program. The bill would delete the requirement that the commission consider including in its portability freeze rule the features described above, and would instead require the commission to include, at minimum, those and certain other features in the this lifeline program cost-effectiveness 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.
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 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 March 1, 2019, which shall be implemented unless the Federal Communications Commission adopts a commission-level order determining that the implementation of a portability freeze would result in a loss of federal benefits to a subscriber. The commission shall include, at minimum, all of the following in the rule:

(a)A portability freeze of 60 days from the time of enrollment.

(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.

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, 2017. The commission shall consider including all of the following in the rule:
(a)A a 60-day duration of the portability freeze. freeze in the rule.

(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.

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 modified recertification process that minimizes barriers to recertification faced by a subscriber, reduces the burden and cost of recertification on the lifeline program, and provides for all of the following:
(1) Allowing all lifeline subscribers to recertify their continued eligibility at any time prior to their respective anniversary dates.
(2) A requirement for a lifetime subscriber to provide proof of eligibility for lifeline service when that subscriber transfers his or her benefits from one lifeline provider to another, thereby extending the recertification deadline for that subscriber to one year from the date of the benefits transfer.
(3) Allowing each lifeline subscriber to complete his or her annual recertification of eligibility online using an electronic signature and verifying his or her identity using personally identifiable information on file with the third-party administrator, without using a commission-issued personal identification number (PIN).
(4) Allowing lifeline subscribers the option to complete annual recertification of eligibility through an interactive voice response system.
(b) Allowing direct consumer enrollment with an electronic signature through an online platform to expand participation in the program.
(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.
(d) 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.
(e) 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 Section 878.5 and, if the subscriber enrolled during this period, the date of enrollment.

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.