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AB-183 Telecommunications service: natural disasters: reports.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 01/10/2019 09:00 PM
AB183:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 183


Introduced by Assembly Member Wood
(Coauthor: Senator Jackson)

January 10, 2019


An act to add Section 910.8 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to telecommunications.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 183, as introduced, Wood. Telecommunications service: natural disasters: reports.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations. Existing law requires the commission, in consultation with the Office of Emergency Services, to identify the need for telecommunications service systems not on customers’ premises to have backup electricity to enable telecommunications networks to function, and to enable customers to contact a public safety answering point operator during an electrical outage, to determine performance criteria for backup systems, and to determine whether specified best practices for backup systems have been implemented by telecommunications service providers operating in California. Existing law requires the commission to report certain information to the Legislature.
This bill would require the commission to collect specified information from telecommunications service providers relating to the provider’s efforts and resources used to restore telecommunications service outages caused by, and to repair or replace related network infrastructure or facilities that were damaged as a result of, certain emergencies or natural disasters. The bill would require the commission to annually prepare a report that summarizes the information collected and the service providers’ plans for fully restoring telecommunication service outages caused by, or repairing or replacing related network infrastructure or facilities as necessitated by, the emergency or natural disaster. The bill would require the president of the commission to annually present a summary of the information collected to the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature. The bill would authorize the commission to require telecommunications service providers to collect and forward to the commission any relevant information for these purposes. The bill would authorize the commission to make this information public and to withhold from the public information it deems would pose a security threat if publicly disclosed.
Under existing law, a violation of any provision of the Public Utilities Act or of any of the rules or orders issued under the act is a crime.
Because the provisions of this bill are within the act and require action by the commission to implement its requirements, a violation of which would be a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
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 910.8 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

910.8.
 (a) For purposes of this section, “telecommunications service” has the same meaning as defined in Section 2892.1, except it does not include voice communication provided by a provider of satellite telephone services.
(b) (1) In addition to any other information collected by the commission, the commission shall also collect all of the following information from telecommunications service providers relating to the provider’s efforts and resources used to restore telecommunications service outages caused by, and to repair or replace related network infrastructure or facilities that were damaged as a result of, an emergency or a natural disaster declared by the Governor to be an emergency pursuant to Section 8558 of the Government Code:
(A) The extent of any damage to telecommunications network infrastructure or facilities caused by the emergency or natural disaster, including the type of facility and infrastructure damaged.
(B) The number of people in California who experienced a telecommunications service outage caused by the emergency or natural disaster.
(C) The duration of each telecommunications service outage caused by the emergency or natural disaster.
(D) Any specific data on 911 emergency system outages caused by the emergency or natural disaster.
(E) The types of infrastructure or facilities used to restore telecommunications service outages caused by, or to repair or replace related network infrastructure or facilities damaged by, the emergency or natural disaster.
(2) The commission shall collect information pursuant to paragraph (1) at a time it determines to be prudent to avoid interfering with recovery efforts that may be occurring before the containment of the emergency or natural disaster.
(c)  The commission shall annually prepare a report that summarizes the information collected pursuant to subdivision (b) and service providers’ plans for fully restoring any telecommunication service outages caused by, or repairing or replacing any related network infrastructure or facilities as necessitated by, the emergency or natural disaster, including specifically identifying areas where wireless facilities would replace wireline facilities. This report shall be broken down by each emergency or natural disaster and, consistent with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 920, shall be submitted to the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature and posted in a conspicuous area of the commission’s Internet Web site.
(d) The president of the commission shall annually present to the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature a summary of the information collected pursuant to subdivision (b). The summary may be presented at the same time that the president presents the annual report pursuant to Section 321.6.
(e) For purposes of this section, the commission may require a telecommunications service provider to collect and forward to the commission any relevant information and, pursuant to existing authority, may make this information public, except information generated or obtained pursuant to subdivision (b) that the commission deems would pose a security threat to the public if disclosed.

SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which adds Section 910.8 to the Public Utilities Code, imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:
The interests in withholding information from public that, if disclosed, is deemed by the Public Utilities Commission to present a security threat to the public outweigh the benefits of public disclosure of that information.

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.