State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title37 > Chapter15

CHAPTER 15 - TELECOMMUNICATIONS

 

ARTICLE 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

37-15-101. Short title; sunset.

 

(a) This chapter shall be known as the "WyomingTelecommunications Act."

 

(b) This chapter is repealed effective July 1, 2015.

 

37-15-102. Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

 

37-15-103. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this chapter:

 

(i) "Affiliated telecommunications companies" meanstelecommunications companies:

 

(A) In which five percent (5%) or more of the voting stock iscontrolled or owned, directly or indirectly, by a common principal; or

 

(B) Whose management and policies are found by the commission,after notice and opportunity for hearing, to be controlled by a commonprincipal.

 

(ii) "Commission" means the public service commissionof Wyoming;

 

(iii) "Competitive telecommunications services" meansthose services found by the legislature or the commission to be competitive inaccordance with W.S. 37-15-202;

 

(iv) "Essential telecommunications service" means acustomer's access to service that is necessary for the origination ortermination, or both, of two-way, switched telecommunications for bothresidential and business service within a local exchange area. Essentialtelecommunications services are limited to:

 

(A) Access to interexchange services provided by interexchangetelecommunications companies;

 

(B) Single line flat-rate or single line measured residence orbusiness voice service;

 

(C) Transmission service and facilities necessary for theconnection between the end user's or customer's premises and local networkswitching facility including the necessary signaling service used by customersto access essential telecommunications services;

 

(D) Services necessary to connect 911 emergency services to thelocal network;

 

(E) Switched access, which for the purposes of this chaptershall mean the switching and transport necessary to connect an interexchangetelecommunications company with the local exchange central office for thepurpose of originating or terminating, or both, the interexchangetelecommunications company's switched telecommunications service.

 

(v) "Interexchange telecommunications company" meansa person providing telecommunications service to connect end users located indifferent local exchange areas, but excluding companies which also providenoncompetitive local exchange services;

 

(vi) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(vii) "Local exchange area" means a geographicterritorial unit established by the commission for providing telecommunicationsservices;

 

(viii) "Local exchange service" means the provision ofessential telecommunications service within a local exchange area;

 

(ix) "Noncompetitive telecommunications services"means those services which have not been found by the legislature or thecommission to be competitive in accordance with W.S. 37-15-202;

 

(x) "Price" means any rate or charge set andpublished in accordance with this chapter and collected by thetelecommunications company for any telecommunications service offered by it tothe public or other telecommunications companies;

 

(xi) "Telecommunications company" means a personengaged in the furnishing of telecommunications service within this state;

 

(xii) "Telecommunications service" means the offeringor transmitting for hire of telecommunications by means of telecommunicationsfacilities using wire, radio, lightwave or other means;

 

(xiii) "Total service long-run incremental cost" meansthe total forward-looking cost, using least cost technology, for atelecommunications service or basic network function that thetelecommunications provider would incur if it were to initially offer suchtelecommunications service or basic network function;

 

(xiv) "Universal service" means the generalavailability of essential telecommunications service at an affordable andreasonable price;

 

(xv) "Video dial tone service" means the transmissionof entertainment video programming and other forms of two-way, interactivevideo programming using a common video dial tone platform;

 

(xvi) "Supported services" means the services orfunctionalities which shall be supported by the state universal service fundpursuant to W.S. 37-15-502, as described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of thisparagraph:

 

(A) The services designated for support are:

 

(I) Voice grade access to the public switched network."Voice grade access" is defined as a functionality that enables auser of telecommunications services to transmit voice communications, includingsignaling the network that the caller wishes to place a call, and to receivevoice communications, including receiving a signal indicating there is anincoming call. For the purposes of this subparagraph, bandwidth for voice gradeaccess shall be, at a minimum, three hundred (300) to three thousand (3,000)Hertz;

 

(II) Local usage. "Local usage" means an amount ofminutes of use of exchange service, prescribed by the commission, provided freeof charge to end users;

 

(III) Dual tone multi-frequency signaling or its functionalequivalent. "Dual tone multi-frequency" is a method of signaling thatfacilitates the transportation of signaling through the network, shorteningcall set-up time;

 

(IV) Single-party service or its functional equivalent."Single-party service" is telecommunications service that permitsusers to have exclusive use of a wireline subscriber loop or access line foreach call placed, or, in the case of wireless telecommunications carriers,which use spectrum shared among users to provide service, a dedicated messagepath for the length of a user's particular transmission;

 

(V) Access to emergency services. "Access to emergencyservices" includes access to services, such as 911 and enhanced 911,provided by local governments or other public safety organizations. 911 isdefined as a service that permits a telecommunications user, by dialing thethree-digit code "911," to call emergency services through a publicsafety answering point operated by the local government. "Enhanced911" is defined as 911 service that includes the ability to provideautomatic numbering information, which enables the public safety answeringpoint to call back if the call is disconnected, and automatic locationinformation, which permits emergency service providers to identify thegeographic location of the calling party. "Access to emergencyservices" includes access to 911 and enhanced 911 services in accordancewith applicable governing authority;

 

(VI) Access to operator services. "Access to operatorservices" is defined as access to any automatic or live assistance to aconsumer to arrange for billing or completion, or both, of a telephone call;

 

(VII) Access to interexchange service. "Access tointerexchange service" is defined as the use of the loop, as well as thatportion of the switch that is paid for by the end user, or the functionalequivalent of these network elements in the case of a wireless carrier,necessary to access an interexchange carrier's network;

 

(VIII) Access to directory assistance. "Access to directoryassistance" is defined as access to a service that includes, but is notlimited to, making available to customers, upon request, information containedin directory listings; and

 

(IX) Toll limitation for qualifying low-income consumers.

 

(B) The commission may grant a company additional time tocomplete the network upgrades needed to provide single-party service, access toenhanced 911 service, or toll limitation. If such petition is granted, theotherwise eligible company will be permitted to receive universal servicesupport for the duration of the period designated by the commission. Thecommission shall grant such a request only upon a finding that exceptionalcircumstances prevent an otherwise eligible company from providing single-partyservice, access to enhanced 911 service or toll limitation. The period shouldextend only as long as the commission finds that exceptional circumstancesexist and shall not extend beyond the time that the commission deems necessaryfor that company to complete network upgrades. An otherwise eligible companythat is incapable of offering one (1) or more of these three (3) specificsupported services must demonstrate to the commission that exceptionalcircumstances exist with respect to each service for which the carrier desiresa grant of additional time to complete network upgrades.

 

(xvii) "Landline carrier" means a telecommunicationscompany providing local exchange service, or its functional equivalent, toretail end users by means primarily of its own fiber, copper, electric lines orcoaxial cable facilities.

 

(b) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

37-15-104. Services not regulated by this title.

 

(a) Except for contributions to theuniversal service fund required pursuant to W.S. 37-15-501 and the assessmentlevied pursuant to W.S. 37-2-106 through 37-2-109, telecommunications servicedoes not include, and the provisions of this title do not apply to:

 

(i) One-way transmission of radio or television signals forbroadcast purposes, including the one-way transmission of video programming bya cable television or other system as well as subscriber interaction which isrequired for the selection of video programming;

 

(ii) Home and business and coinless, or coin operated public orsemipublic telephone terminal equipment, and the use, location and charges forthe use of such equipment;

 

(iii) Any billing and collection services;

 

(iv) Any inside wire and premise cable installation andmaintenance;

 

(v) Directory services, except as provided in W.S. 37-12-130;

 

(vi) Telecommunications services using radio spectrum, cellular,or other wireless technology except as set forth in subparagraphs (A), (B) and(C) of this paragraph:

 

(A) The quality of cellular service to the extent not preemptedby federal law;

 

(B) To the extent permitted in accordance with the requirementsset forth in federal law, consideration and determination of an application fordesignation as a federal eligible telecommunications carrier;

 

(C) Determinations of eligibility for and amount of distributionof state universal service funds by the commission for supported services inaccordance with W.S. 37-15-502.

 

(vii) Video dial tone and multimedia services;

 

(viii) Private telecommunications networks, which for the purposesof this act shall mean a system for the provision of telecommunications serviceby a person or entity for the sole and exclusive use of the person or entityand not for resale directly or indirectly;

 

(ix) Nonvoice data services not operated by a company providinglocal exchange service;

 

(x) Networks established by a person other than the localexchange company providing essential telecommunications services within thelocal exchange area to provide access to interexchange carrier services;

 

(xi) Except as provided in this paragraph, direct inward dialservices and other services needed by answering services and paging services. To the extent not preempted by federal law or regulation the commission shallregulate direct inward dial services and other services needed by answeringservices and paging services as noncompetitive services in any local exchangearea until there are at least two (2) telecommunications companies effectivelyoffering direct inward dial and other needed services to the answering servicesand paging services serving that local exchange area;

 

(xii) Remote meter reading; and

 

(xiii) Any other telecommunications service that is not regulatedby this title.

 

(b) In addition to subsection (a) of this section,telecommunications service does not include, and the provisions of this titledo not apply to telecommunications services provided by the department ofadministration and information to private health care providers under W.S.9-2-1026.1(d).

 

ARTICLE 2 - REGULATION OF COMPETITIVE AND NONCOMPETITIVE MARKETS

 

37-15-201. Regulation of local exchange services; certificates ofpublic convenience and necessity; concurrent certificates.

 

(a) Except for those telecommunications companies that as ofJuly 1, 2007, have a valid certificate of public convenience and necessitypreviously issued by the commission to provide local exchange services in thestate, all telecommunications companies seeking to offer and provide localexchange service shall obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessityfrom the commission prior to providing that service in this state.

 

(b) The commission shall grant a certificate or certificates ofpublic convenience and necessity to provide local exchange service if it finds,after notice and opportunity for hearing, that the applicant possessessufficient technical, financial and managerial resources to provide safe,adequate and reliable local exchange services within the identified geographicarea.

 

(c) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(d) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(e) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(f) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(g) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(h) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

37-15-202. Determination of competitive services.

 

(a) Upon petition by any telecommunicationscompany, the commission may, after notice and opportunity for hearing, find andconclude that a telecommunications service is subject to competition. Anyservice found to be effectively competitive shall not be subject to regulationof prices by the commission. The commission shall consider only the followingfactors in determining whether a telecommunications service is subject toeffective competition:

 

(i) The extent to which telecommunications services areavailable from alternative providers including, but not limited to, wirelessproviders, cable providers offering voice services, voice over internetprotocol or any other providers utilizing telephone numbers to provide voiceservices in the relevant market;

 

(ii) The extent to which telecommunications services ofalternative providers are functionally equivalent, for equivalent service or incombination with other services, and may be substituted at reasonablycomparable prices, terms and conditions;

 

(iii) Existing economic, regulatory or technological barriers toentry.

 

(b) Upon the commission's own motion or the petition of anyperson, the commission may, after notice and the opportunity for a hearing inaccordance with the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act, find and concludethat a telecommunications service found to be competitive under subsection (a)of this section is no longer subject to competition, and therefore not subjectto treatment as a competitive service under this chapter. All hearingsconducted pursuant to this subsection shall place the burden of proof upon thecommission or the petitioner of establishing that a telecommunications serviceis no longer subject to competition.

 

(c) Telecommunications service provided by new entrants, localexchange services provided by resale, telecommunications services provided byinterexchange telecommunications companies, interexchange telecommunicationsservices and telecommunications services other than local exchange service andswitched access provided by a local exchange company shall be consideredsubject to competition for purpose of regulation under this title.

 

(d) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section thecommission shall, in an area defined by an applicant, find retailtelecommunications services other than switched access are competitiveprovided:

 

(i) At least seventy-five percent (75%) of the class ofcustomers in the area have access to at least one (1) landline carrier unaffiliatedwith the applicant providing telecommunications service that includes localvoice telecommunications service. The local voice telecommunications servicemay be provided in combination with other services. If a company does notdifferentiate between residential and business classes of service in itsapplication, the requirement shall be that at least sixty percent (60%),considering residential and business customers as one (1) class of customers,have access to at least one (1) landline carrier unaffiliated with theapplicant;

 

(ii) At least seventy-five percent (75%) of the class ofcustomers in the area have access to at least one (1) wireless providerunaffiliated with the applicant. If a company does not differentiate betweenresidential and business classes of service in its application, the requirementshall be that at least sixty percent (60%), considering residential andbusiness customers as one (1) class of customers, have access to at least one(1) wireless provider unaffiliated with the applicant;

 

(iii) The applicant specifies in the application whether or notthe class of customers whose service is to be determined competitive areresidential, business or both;

 

(iv) The applicant agrees to provide throughout the area priceswhich do not vary by geographic location or access to competitors;

 

(v) The applicant agrees, if residential services are involvedand subject to the provisions of subsections (e) and (f) of this section, tocontinue to provide stand alone basic residential local exchange service at aprice less than the price for the stand alone basic residential local exchangeservice bundled with any other service; and

 

(vi) The applicant agrees for a transition period ending July 1,2009 to provide stand alone basic residential service at a price that does notexceed the price in effect July 1, 2006 and agrees after July 1, 2009 that itwill not increase the price for the stand alone basic residential localexchange service by an amount that exceeds the price in effect July 1, 2008, bymore than the cumulative increase in the federal gross domestic product priceindex since July 1, 2008. For the purpose of this subsection the prices ineffect July 1, 2006 and July 1, 2009 shall be modified only to reflect changesin access charges as approved by the commission pursuant to W.S.37-15-203(f)(ii) and (j) to the extent those changes are not reflected in therates.

 

(e) If the price for stand alone basic residential localexchange service is restricted pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, thecommission may, upon application and after notice and opportunity for hearing,authorize an increase in the price for the service if the applicantdemonstrates that the maximum price allowed pursuant to subsection (d) of thissection would not allow the applicant a reasonable opportunity to recover itsprudently incurred costs related to the proportion of the property used inproviding the essential telecommunications service.

 

(f) If a company is required to continue to offer stand alonebasic residential local exchange service pursuant to subsection (d) of thissection, it may apply to the commission for permission to stop offering theservice. The commission shall, after notice and opportunity for hearingapprove the application if:

 

(i) A successor agrees to continue the obligation; or

 

(ii) The company establishes to the satisfaction of thecommission that the service has become obsolete due to a lack of customerssubscribing to the service.

 

(g) The commission may, on its own motion or upon applicationby the office of consumer advocate or by any interested party, find retailtelecommunications services are not competitive in any area where it haspreviously found them to be competitive pursuant to subsection (d) of thissection if, after notice and opportunity for hearing, it finds that:

 

(i) Due to merger, acquisition, predatory pricing or marketingpractices or withdrawal of offerings, the degree of competition required bysubsection (d) of this section no longer exists; or

 

(ii) The local exchange telecommunications provider has notcomplied with the conditions it agreed to pursuant to subsection (d) of thissection.

 

37-15-203. Price regulation of noncompetitive essential services.

 

(a) Prices for telecommunications services which have beendetermined by the legislature or the commission to be noncompetitive essentialtelecommunications services shall be regulated by the commission in accordancewith this section. The prices for noncompetitive essential telecommunicationsservices of any local exchange company may be adjusted downward at thecompany's discretion. Except as provided in subsections (e), (f), (h) and (j)of this section, prices for noncompetitive essential telecommunicationsservices shall be subject to a maximum determined by the commission. Theinitial maximum shall be the local exchange company's price of noncompetitiveessential telecommunications services as of July 1, 2006. A local exchangecarrier may increase its price for noncompetitive essential telecommunicationsservices to the level of the maximum set under this subsection without approvalof the commission as required under subsections (f) and (g) of this section.

 

(b) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(c) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(d) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(e) A local exchange company may seek approval to make revenueneutral adjustments, considering only revenue from noncompetitive essentialtelecommunications services, to the price of noncompetitive essentialtelecommunications services to reduce or eliminate differences in the price ofnoncompetitive essential telecommunications services in different portions ofits service area. A local exchange company shall not use adjustments under thissection to increase receipt of state universal service funds or increaseswitched access prices. This subsection shall not apply retroactively.

 

(f) A local exchange company may seek approval to increase theprice of noncompetitive essential telecommunications services, includingswitched access charges, based on:

 

(i) Changes in the local calling area as approved by thecommission;

 

(ii) Changes in access charges as approved by the commission;

 

(iii) Other changes affecting noncompetitive essentialtelecommunications services; or

 

(iv) Increases in the cost of providing telecommunicationsservices. The increases shall be judged on the overall federal gross domesticproduct price index published by the United States department of commerce,bureau of economic analysis unless the applicant demonstrates that specificcost increases are disproportionably affecting the cost of providing theirnoncompetitive essential services.

 

(g) Any requested price change under subsections (b) through (f)of this section, including revenue neutral changes, that may result in anincrease in the price of noncompetitive essential telecommunications servicesis subject to review and determination by the commission, after notice andopportunity for hearing.

 

(h) The prices of any local exchange company may containprovisions for incentives for improvement of the company's performance orefficiency, lowering of operating costs, control of expenses or improvement andupgrading or modernization of its services or facilities. Any local exchangecompany may apply to the commission for incentives and innovative ornontraditional price regulation, including price indexing. The commission shallissue a final order approving, modifying or rejecting any application madeunder this subsection within one hundred eighty (180) days of the filing dateof the application with the commission. If no order is issued by thecommission within the one hundred eighty (180) day period, the applicationshall be deemed approved as filed. If during consideration of an applicationfor regulation under this subsection, the commission materially alters the planas filed in the application, the applying local exchange company may notify thecommission in writing, at any time, but not later than sixty (60) days afterany final commission order on the application, that it elects not to be priceregulated as approved by the order. The local exchange company's prices shallthen be regulated as they were prior to the application until such time as anew application is filed, approved and accepted.

 

(j) Unless as otherwise directed under federal law,noncompetitive switched access shall not be priced above three cents ($.03) perminute after January 1, 2010. Prices for noncompetitive switched access whichexceed three cents ($.03) per originating and terminating minute shall bereduced to three cents ($.03) per minute on or before January 1, 2010. Anytelecommunications company which must reduce noncompetitive switched accessprices under this subsection shall, on or before January 1, 2010, submit aproposed plan to the commission, identifying the amount of intrastate switchedaccess revenues and access lines in the years until the date of filing, toreduce switched access prices in annual increments to meet the requirements ofthis subsection, and a request for corresponding annual revenue neutralincremental increases to noncompetitive essential service prices to offset theanticipated loss in revenue from a reduction in switched access prices. Thecommission shall review the proposal and the facts set forth in the proposedplan to ensure that it is accurate and consistent with this section. Thetelecommunications company shall satisfy any requests for information by thecommission, and shall modify the plan as necessary to conform to the facts thecommission finds after investigation to be accurate. Once the commissionapproves the proposed plan, the noncompetitive switched access andnoncompetitive essential service prices proposed in the plan shall go intoeffect after compliance with W.S. 37-15-204. The commission may authorizenoncompetitive switched access prices above three cents ($.03) per minute foran additional transition period not to exceed two (2) years ending January 1,2012, only upon a showing that access prices are supported by a current totallong-run incremental cost study as defined by W.S. 37-15-103(a)(xiii) basedupon data after January 1, 2008. A telecommunications company increasing ratespursuant to this subsection may utilize the universal service fund for eligibleaccess lines as provided in W.S. 37-15-501 and 37-15-502 and commission ruleand regulation.

 

37-15-204. Price schedules.

 

(a) A local exchange company shall file with the commission, insuch form and detail as the commission may require, schedules showing allnoncompetitive telecommunications services terms, conditions and pricescurrently in effect and charged to customers by the company in this state. Allprices for new noncompetitive telecommunications services, and any increase inprices for noncompetitive telecommunications services as authorized by thecommission pursuant to W.S. 37-15-203, shall be filed thirty (30) days prior tothe proposed effective date. No price increase for a noncompetitive serviceshall be effective unless the customer has been given notice by the provider atleast one (1) full billing cycle prior to the proposed increase and theincrease has been approved by the commission as required by W.S. 37-15-203. Noprice or price change is effective until filed in accordance with thissection. Prices charged for competitive services shall be in accordance withits price schedule unless a separate contract is negotiated. Prices forgenerally offered competitive services shall be publicly available on acompany's website through the internet, the world wide web or a similarproprietary or common carrier or provided to the commission. Price schedulesmay be filed in electronic format at the option of the company. For purposesof this subsection, the rules, regulations, policies, practices and otherrequirements relating to services shall be filed with the commission in suchform and detail as the commission may require. Rules, regulations, policies,practices and other requirements relating to competitive services shall besubject to the same requirements under this chapter as the prices ofcompetitive services. Those relating to noncompetitive services shall besubject to the same requirements under this chapter as the prices ofnoncompetitive services.

 

(b) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(c) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(d) Any prices for competitive telecommunications services orprices for telecommunications services which are agreed to as a result ofcompetitive bidding or negotiations, charged by contract and required to befiled with the commission under the provisions of this chapter, shall beafforded confidential and proprietary protection by the commission uponapplication and a showing of good cause by the company filing the contract.

 

ARTICLE 3 - INTEREXCHANGE COMPANIES

 

37-15-301. Regulation of interexchange companies.

 

 

(a) An interexchange company not authorizedto provide intrastate telecommunications service in this state on or beforeJanuary 1, 1995, shall not provide intrastate interexchange telecommunicationsservices unless it first registers with the commission. An interexchangecompany authorized by the commission to provide intrastate telecommunicationsservice as of January 1, 1995, is not required to register. The form forregistration shall be specified by the commission.

 

(b) Any interexchange company registered with the commission toprovide intrastate telecommunications services shall be authorized to providestatewide services.

 

(c) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(d) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(e) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

ARTICLE 4 - REGULATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICESGENERALLY

 

37-15-401. Commission powers.

 

(a) In addition to the powers exercisedpursuant to the provisions of W.S. 37-15-408, the commission has the power to:

 

(i) Investigate the methods and practices of anytelecommunications company;

 

(ii) Require any telecommunications company to conform to thelaws of this state and to all rules, regulations and orders of the commissionnot contrary to law;

 

(iii) Make any rules and regulations, in accordance with theWyoming Administrative Procedure Act, necessary for the commission to carry outits powers in this chapter, including rules objectively established andconsistent with commonly accepted industry standards, where applicablestandards exist;

 

(iv) Require reports and studies as to prices and terms andconditions of service, necessary and relevant for the commission's exercise ofits authority, including those protected as trade secret or confidential basedon legitimate competitive or other operational concerns;

 

(v) Hold hearings on complaints, or for good cause, upon noticeand subject to the provisions of the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act;

 

(vi) Regulate telecommunications companies only as provided forin this chapter; and

 

(vii) Exercise authority as expressly delegated under the FederalCommunications Act of 1934, as amended.

 

37-15-402. Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

 

37-15-403. Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

 

37-15-404. Protection of telecommunications consumers.

 

(a) No telecommunications company shallunreasonably discriminate as to customers in prices, terms or conditions ofservice, or in connection to or with other telecommunications companies. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit any telecommunicationscompany from:

 

(i) Providing volume or other price discounts based onreasonable, nonpredatory business practices;

 

(ii) Passing through any state, municipal or local taxes to thecustomers in the area where the tax is levied; or

 

(iii) Furnishing free or reduced price service to its current orpensioned employees and dependent members of their families, as defined in theapplicable price schedules on file with the commission.

 

(b) The commission shall not give unreasonably discriminatoryor preferential treatment in its regulation of any telecommunications company.

 

(c) A telecommunications company providing a noncompetitivetelecommunications service shall not discontinue providing the service withoutthe commission's approval.

 

(d) A telecommunications company shall not:

 

(i) Fail to disclose in a timely and uniform manner informationnecessary for the design of equipment and services that will meet thespecifications of interconnection;

 

(ii) Fail or refuse to provide a service or product inaccordance with the telecommunications company's tariffs, price lists orcontracts and within the commission's applicable rules and orders.

 

(e) The commission may adopt rules and regulations to providefor:

 

(i) The interconnection of telecommunications companies'networks at nondiscriminatory and reasonable rates, terms and conditions;

 

(ii) The effective and efficient interoperability oftelecommunications companies' networks;

 

(iii) The unbundling of services into reasonable basic networkfeatures;

 

(iv) The administration and allocation of phone numbers to theextent technically and economically feasible;

 

(v) Telephone number portability to the full extent technicallyfeasible; and

 

(vi) The resale and sharing of services and functions atreasonable and nondiscriminatory rates.

 

(f) No telecommunications company shall engage inanti-competitive behavior, including, but not limited to, discrimination infavor of its affiliates.

 

37-15-405. Complaint against prices.

 

Anyperson, and the commission on its own motion, may complain to the commissionconcerning the reasonableness of the price of any noncompetitivetelecommunications service or any violation of W.S. 37-15-404. Any notice andhearing of any complaint shall be in accordance with the Wyoming AdministrativeProcedure Act and this chapter. The commission shall only set aside any priceit finds after notice and hearing to be unreasonable or unreasonably discriminatory. If the commission sets aside a price as unreasonable or unreasonablydiscriminatory, the telecommunications company shall have sixty (60) days tofile a new price which is reasonable. The company shall refund any chargesfound to be unreasonable as ordered by the commission. Rates or prices fornoncompetitive essential services in effect as of July 1, 2006, are deemed tobe fair and reasonable.

 

37-15-406. Quality of service.

 

(a) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(b) Any customer, and the commission on its own motion, maycomplain concerning the quality of service provided by a telecommunicationscompany. A complaint shall be noticed and heard as provided for in the WyomingAdministrative Procedure Act. The commission, after notice and hearing, maydirect the telecommunications company to take whatever remedial action istechnically feasible and economically reasonable to provide reasonably adequateservice. The commission shall authorize a telecommunications provider torecover the cost of compliance as reasonably determined by any commission orderunder this section.

 

37-15-407. Annual report.

 

(a) The commission shall with the input and participation ofthe telecommunications industry and other relevant state departments, boardsand agencies prepare and issue an annual report on the status of thetelecommunications industry. The report shall be based on information providedto the commission and shall include:

 

(i) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(ii) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(iii) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(iv) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(v) Any recommendations for legislative change which areadopted by the commission and which the commission believes are in the interestof Wyoming telecommunications customers; and

 

(vi) Any other information or analysis which the commission isrequired to provide by this title or deems necessary to provide.

 

(b) The commission's report shall be filed with thelegislature, the governor and the state telecommunications council.

 

37-15-408. Applicability of existing law.

 

W.S.37-2-102, 37-2-104, 37-2-106 through 37-2-109, 37-2-113, 37-2-115 through37-2-118, 37-2-124, 37-2-125, 37-2-130, 37-2-203, 37-2-205(a), 37-2-209,37-2-214 through 37-2-216, 37-2-218, 37-2-301 through 37-2-306, 37-3-114,37-4-101 through 37-4-104, 37-12-120 through 37-12-130, 37-12-201, 37-12-202,37-12-204 through 37-12-213, 37-12-301 through 37-12-304 and 37-13-101 through37-13-137, inclusive, unless in conflict with other provisions of this chapter,are applicable to telecommunications companies and telecommunication companiesshall be considered public utilities for the purposes of those provisions.

 

37-15-409. Construction with other laws.

 

Ifthe provisions of this chapter conflict with any other statutes, the provisionsof this chapter shall control.

 

37-15-410. Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

 

37-15-411. Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

 

37-15-412. Unauthorized change of telecommunications company;unauthorized services; prohibited practices; penalties.

 

(a) No person shall engage in any practice which has the effectof changing any Wyoming consumer's telecommunications company if the change iswillfully made without the knowledge and consent of that consumer. No personshall willfully charge or attempt to collect charges from any Wyoming consumerfor any product or service not provided to the consumer or not authorized bythe consumer. The public service commission shall provide upon request of aWyoming consumer, information or technical assistance regarding appropriateaction for the consumer to take in order not to receive telecommunicationcompanies solicitations.

 

(b) Any change in a Wyoming consumer's telecommunicationscompany shall be effective only if it is in compliance with any method ofauthorization permitted under federal law, rule or regulation, except that nonegative option marketing technique shall be permitted to be used.

 

(c) If the chosen method is a letter of agency it shall bemaintained by the new service provider. No letter of agency under subsection(b) of this section shall be effective if it is physically attached to or partof any inducement, premium, coupon or other promotional material. No letter ofagency shall be effective until it is in the actual possession of the newservice provider.

 

(d) Any consumer whose telecommunications company has beenwillfully changed in violation of subsection (a) of this section is not liablefor payment of any unauthorized charge unless the commission determines, afterconducting a public hearing on any complaint brought on the matter, that theconsumer engaged in any fraudulent or deceptive practice which avoids paymentfor telecommunications services in connection with the unauthorized charge.

 

(e) A consumer is not liable for an amount charged for anyunauthorized product provided or service initiated by a telecommunicationscompany or its billing agent without the consent of the consumer. No consumershall be liable to pay for any product not delivered or service not furnished.

 

(f) Restitution for violation of this section shall be asfollows:

 

(i) The unauthorized telecommunications company shall pay allrecurring and nonrecurring fees and charges necessary for the consumer topromptly reinstate service from the original telecommunications company andshall pay that company an amount equal to that which would have been due hadthe consumer remained with the original telecommunications company;

 

(ii) In addition to paragraph (f)(i) of this section, theunauthorized telecommunications company shall pay to any consumer any amountthe consumer has paid to the unauthorized company for which the consumer is notliable under subsection (d) of this section.

 

(g) If the commission shall determine by a preponderance of theevidence in a hearing that any person willfully has engaged in any practicewhich has the effect of changing any Wyoming consumer's telecommunicationscompany without complying with the applicable provisions of this section, hascharged or attempted to collect a charge for unauthorized service, or hassolicited a Wyoming consumer in violation of this section:

 

(i) The commission may impose for each change or charge made inviolation of this section an administrative penalty not to exceed one thousanddollars ($1,000.00); and

 

(ii) If the commission finds that the person has violated thissection with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice it mayalso permanently revoke the authority of the company involved to provideintrastate interexchange or other telecommunications services in this state.

 

(h) The following are not subject to theprovisions of this section:

 

 

 

(i) Changes in a consumer's telecommunications company or otherservices effected through a consolidation or merger of the consumer's currenttelecommunications company;

 

(ii) Services and corresponding charges required by law or orderof the commission.

 

37-15-413. Limitation on authority of political subdivision to enterexclusive agreement for provision of telecommunications service.

 

(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) through (d) of thissection, before the governing body of any city or town or other politicalsubdivision of this state shall provide for the construction, maintenance oroperation of any telecommunications service by entering into an exclusivefranchise, partnership, joint venture, contract, resale agreement or any otherexclusive agreement with any party regarding telecommunications service, thecity, town or other political subdivision shall:

 

(i) Determine, after notice and opportunity for a publichearing, that no private provider of telecommunications services is currentlyproviding substantially the same or similar service anywhere within theboundaries of the city, town or political subdivision;

 

(ii) Have submitted a written request to all private providersof telecommunications services within the boundaries of the city, town orpolitical subdivision for provision of the same quality and grade oftelecommunications service within the same time frame and at the same consumerprices proposed under the exclusive contract;

 

(iii) Determine, after notice and opportunity for a publichearing that the private telecommunications service providers have not agreedwithin ninety (90) days of the receipt of the request submitted pursuant toparagraph (ii) of this subsection to provide the same quality and grade ofservice within the same time frame and at the same consumer prices as proposedunder the exclusive contract, or if the provider has agreed, that the providerhas not commenced providing or constructing facilities to provide the servicein the manner agreed upon; and

 

(iv) Limit the term of any exclusive agreement under thissection to not more than six (6) years.

 

(b) The governing body of a city or town or other politicalsubdivision shall allow the nondiscriminatory, nonexclusive and competitivelyneutral use of its rights-of-way including its poles, conduits, ducts orsimilar support structures by any telecommunications company and nothing inthis section shall be construed to the contrary.

 

(c) Nothing in this section shall restrict the governing bodyof a city or town, or other political subdivision, from providing atelecommunications service or facility:

 

(i) For its own use;

 

(ii) For 911, E-911 or other emergency services;

 

(iii) For medical or educational purposes; or

 

(iv) To students by an educational institution.

 

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict thegoverning body of a city or town or other political subdivision, from providinga telecommunications service to a party within the geographic area in which thecity, town or political subdivision operates as a telecommunications utility. Any city, town or political subdivision providing a telecommunications serviceunder this subsection shall:

 

(i) Provide the telecommunications service on anondiscriminatory, nonexclusive and competitively neutral basis; and

 

(ii) Provide the telecommunications service at a price whichcovers cost, including imputed costs that the city, town or politicalsubdivision would incur if it were a for-profit telecommunications company.

 

(e) Any person may complain to the commission, and thecommission may on its own motion initiate an investigation, concerning anyalleged violation of this section by a city, town or political subdivision,subject to the following:

 

(i) If the commission finds that a city, town or politicalsubdivision has violated this section, or finds that any rule, action or orderof a city, town or political subdivision is anticompetitive or otherwiseviolates this section, the commission shall notify the city, town or politicalsubdivision of the violation. The city, town or political subdivision shallcure the anticompetitive behavior within ninety (90) days following mailing ofnotice by the commission; and

 

(ii) If the city, town or political subdivision does not curethe anticompetitive behavior within ninety (90) days, the commission shallcommence a contested case hearing on the complaint, governed by the WyomingAdministrative Procedure Act, W.S. 16-3-101 et seq. If, following the hearing,the commission finds that the city, town or political subdivision has violatedthis section, the commission shall prohibit the city, town or politicalsubdivision from providing any telecommunications service until the violationof this section is remedied.

 

(f) This section does not apply to any contract entered intoprior to July 1, 2007.

 

ARTICLE 5 - UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND

 

37-15-501. Universal service fund created; contributions;administration.

 

(a) There is hereby established the universal service fund tobe administered in accordance with this section. The fund shall be administeredby the commission. All telecommunications companies shall contribute to theuniversal service fund. The dates for contributions to the fund anddisbursements from the fund shall be set by the commission, after notice andopportunity for hearing, as necessary to accomplish the objectives of the fundas specified in subsections (c) and (d) of this section. The costs ofadministering the fund may be included in determining required contributions.

 

(b) The commission shall after notice and opportunity forhearing, designate the method by which the contributions shall be calculated,collected and distributed. The commission shall authorize an additional monthlycharge to customers, in the amount specified by the commission, to recover eachcontributor's required payment to the universal service fund. Any chargerelated to mobile telecommunications service shall only apply if the customer'splace of primary use is in this state as provided by the MobileTelecommunications Sourcing Act, 4 U.S.C. 116 to 126. The provisions of theMobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act shall apply to this subsection.

 

(c) The commission shall administer the monies in the universalservice fund to assist only those customers of telecommunications companieslocated in areas of this state with relatively high rates for essentialservices. The commission, after notice and opportunity for hearing, shalldetermine a reasonable amount and a fair method of distributing monies. Thecommission may authorize a credit to customer bills, in the amount specified bythe commission, to reflect distributions received by the local exchange companyfrom the universal service fund. The commission shall ensure that the methodshall promote the emergence of competition in providing local exchange service.

 

(d) In accordance with the method of distribution determined bythe commission, a telecommunications company shall receive funds under thissection to the extent that its essential local exchange service prices, afterconsideration of any contributions from the federal universal service fund,exceed one hundred thirty percent (130%) of the weighted statewide averageessential local exchange service prices.

 

(e) The operation of the universal service fund may besuspended by the commission, based upon a public interest finding, after noticeand an opportunity for a hearing, that the fund is not then serving itsintended purpose.

 

(f) The commission's decisions under this section shall besubject to the provisions of the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act.

 

37-15-502. Universal service fund eligibility and distribution tocarriers.

 

(a) Telecommunications companies which use cellular, radiospectrum or other wireless technology to provide supported services tocustomers who are otherwise eligible to receive universal service supportpursuant to W.S. 37-15-501, may establish eligibility to receive universalservice fund distributions in an amount to be determined by the commission,provided that:

 

(i) The telecommunications company will offer and advertise alluniversal service fund supported services throughout the entire local exchangearea;

 

(ii) The telecommunications company will provide unlimited localcalling throughout an entire local exchange area for a flat fee;

 

(iii) The telecommunications company's bill to the customerreflects a credit for the amount of distribution the company receives from thestate universal service fund for providing universal service fund supportedservices to that customer; and

 

(iv) The company and services meet such additional criteria, ifany, the commission, after notice and opportunity for hearing, determines arenecessary. During its consideration and determination, the commission shallconsider technological and competitive neutrality.

 

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title37 > Chapter15

CHAPTER 15 - TELECOMMUNICATIONS

 

ARTICLE 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

37-15-101. Short title; sunset.

 

(a) This chapter shall be known as the "WyomingTelecommunications Act."

 

(b) This chapter is repealed effective July 1, 2015.

 

37-15-102. Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

 

37-15-103. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this chapter:

 

(i) "Affiliated telecommunications companies" meanstelecommunications companies:

 

(A) In which five percent (5%) or more of the voting stock iscontrolled or owned, directly or indirectly, by a common principal; or

 

(B) Whose management and policies are found by the commission,after notice and opportunity for hearing, to be controlled by a commonprincipal.

 

(ii) "Commission" means the public service commissionof Wyoming;

 

(iii) "Competitive telecommunications services" meansthose services found by the legislature or the commission to be competitive inaccordance with W.S. 37-15-202;

 

(iv) "Essential telecommunications service" means acustomer's access to service that is necessary for the origination ortermination, or both, of two-way, switched telecommunications for bothresidential and business service within a local exchange area. Essentialtelecommunications services are limited to:

 

(A) Access to interexchange services provided by interexchangetelecommunications companies;

 

(B) Single line flat-rate or single line measured residence orbusiness voice service;

 

(C) Transmission service and facilities necessary for theconnection between the end user's or customer's premises and local networkswitching facility including the necessary signaling service used by customersto access essential telecommunications services;

 

(D) Services necessary to connect 911 emergency services to thelocal network;

 

(E) Switched access, which for the purposes of this chaptershall mean the switching and transport necessary to connect an interexchangetelecommunications company with the local exchange central office for thepurpose of originating or terminating, or both, the interexchangetelecommunications company's switched telecommunications service.

 

(v) "Interexchange telecommunications company" meansa person providing telecommunications service to connect end users located indifferent local exchange areas, but excluding companies which also providenoncompetitive local exchange services;

 

(vi) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(vii) "Local exchange area" means a geographicterritorial unit established by the commission for providing telecommunicationsservices;

 

(viii) "Local exchange service" means the provision ofessential telecommunications service within a local exchange area;

 

(ix) "Noncompetitive telecommunications services"means those services which have not been found by the legislature or thecommission to be competitive in accordance with W.S. 37-15-202;

 

(x) "Price" means any rate or charge set andpublished in accordance with this chapter and collected by thetelecommunications company for any telecommunications service offered by it tothe public or other telecommunications companies;

 

(xi) "Telecommunications company" means a personengaged in the furnishing of telecommunications service within this state;

 

(xii) "Telecommunications service" means the offeringor transmitting for hire of telecommunications by means of telecommunicationsfacilities using wire, radio, lightwave or other means;

 

(xiii) "Total service long-run incremental cost" meansthe total forward-looking cost, using least cost technology, for atelecommunications service or basic network function that thetelecommunications provider would incur if it were to initially offer suchtelecommunications service or basic network function;

 

(xiv) "Universal service" means the generalavailability of essential telecommunications service at an affordable andreasonable price;

 

(xv) "Video dial tone service" means the transmissionof entertainment video programming and other forms of two-way, interactivevideo programming using a common video dial tone platform;

 

(xvi) "Supported services" means the services orfunctionalities which shall be supported by the state universal service fundpursuant to W.S. 37-15-502, as described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of thisparagraph:

 

(A) The services designated for support are:

 

(I) Voice grade access to the public switched network."Voice grade access" is defined as a functionality that enables auser of telecommunications services to transmit voice communications, includingsignaling the network that the caller wishes to place a call, and to receivevoice communications, including receiving a signal indicating there is anincoming call. For the purposes of this subparagraph, bandwidth for voice gradeaccess shall be, at a minimum, three hundred (300) to three thousand (3,000)Hertz;

 

(II) Local usage. "Local usage" means an amount ofminutes of use of exchange service, prescribed by the commission, provided freeof charge to end users;

 

(III) Dual tone multi-frequency signaling or its functionalequivalent. "Dual tone multi-frequency" is a method of signaling thatfacilitates the transportation of signaling through the network, shorteningcall set-up time;

 

(IV) Single-party service or its functional equivalent."Single-party service" is telecommunications service that permitsusers to have exclusive use of a wireline subscriber loop or access line foreach call placed, or, in the case of wireless telecommunications carriers,which use spectrum shared among users to provide service, a dedicated messagepath for the length of a user's particular transmission;

 

(V) Access to emergency services. "Access to emergencyservices" includes access to services, such as 911 and enhanced 911,provided by local governments or other public safety organizations. 911 isdefined as a service that permits a telecommunications user, by dialing thethree-digit code "911," to call emergency services through a publicsafety answering point operated by the local government. "Enhanced911" is defined as 911 service that includes the ability to provideautomatic numbering information, which enables the public safety answeringpoint to call back if the call is disconnected, and automatic locationinformation, which permits emergency service providers to identify thegeographic location of the calling party. "Access to emergencyservices" includes access to 911 and enhanced 911 services in accordancewith applicable governing authority;

 

(VI) Access to operator services. "Access to operatorservices" is defined as access to any automatic or live assistance to aconsumer to arrange for billing or completion, or both, of a telephone call;

 

(VII) Access to interexchange service. "Access tointerexchange service" is defined as the use of the loop, as well as thatportion of the switch that is paid for by the end user, or the functionalequivalent of these network elements in the case of a wireless carrier,necessary to access an interexchange carrier's network;

 

(VIII) Access to directory assistance. "Access to directoryassistance" is defined as access to a service that includes, but is notlimited to, making available to customers, upon request, information containedin directory listings; and

 

(IX) Toll limitation for qualifying low-income consumers.

 

(B) The commission may grant a company additional time tocomplete the network upgrades needed to provide single-party service, access toenhanced 911 service, or toll limitation. If such petition is granted, theotherwise eligible company will be permitted to receive universal servicesupport for the duration of the period designated by the commission. Thecommission shall grant such a request only upon a finding that exceptionalcircumstances prevent an otherwise eligible company from providing single-partyservice, access to enhanced 911 service or toll limitation. The period shouldextend only as long as the commission finds that exceptional circumstancesexist and shall not extend beyond the time that the commission deems necessaryfor that company to complete network upgrades. An otherwise eligible companythat is incapable of offering one (1) or more of these three (3) specificsupported services must demonstrate to the commission that exceptionalcircumstances exist with respect to each service for which the carrier desiresa grant of additional time to complete network upgrades.

 

(xvii) "Landline carrier" means a telecommunicationscompany providing local exchange service, or its functional equivalent, toretail end users by means primarily of its own fiber, copper, electric lines orcoaxial cable facilities.

 

(b) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

37-15-104. Services not regulated by this title.

 

(a) Except for contributions to theuniversal service fund required pursuant to W.S. 37-15-501 and the assessmentlevied pursuant to W.S. 37-2-106 through 37-2-109, telecommunications servicedoes not include, and the provisions of this title do not apply to:

 

(i) One-way transmission of radio or television signals forbroadcast purposes, including the one-way transmission of video programming bya cable television or other system as well as subscriber interaction which isrequired for the selection of video programming;

 

(ii) Home and business and coinless, or coin operated public orsemipublic telephone terminal equipment, and the use, location and charges forthe use of such equipment;

 

(iii) Any billing and collection services;

 

(iv) Any inside wire and premise cable installation andmaintenance;

 

(v) Directory services, except as provided in W.S. 37-12-130;

 

(vi) Telecommunications services using radio spectrum, cellular,or other wireless technology except as set forth in subparagraphs (A), (B) and(C) of this paragraph:

 

(A) The quality of cellular service to the extent not preemptedby federal law;

 

(B) To the extent permitted in accordance with the requirementsset forth in federal law, consideration and determination of an application fordesignation as a federal eligible telecommunications carrier;

 

(C) Determinations of eligibility for and amount of distributionof state universal service funds by the commission for supported services inaccordance with W.S. 37-15-502.

 

(vii) Video dial tone and multimedia services;

 

(viii) Private telecommunications networks, which for the purposesof this act shall mean a system for the provision of telecommunications serviceby a person or entity for the sole and exclusive use of the person or entityand not for resale directly or indirectly;

 

(ix) Nonvoice data services not operated by a company providinglocal exchange service;

 

(x) Networks established by a person other than the localexchange company providing essential telecommunications services within thelocal exchange area to provide access to interexchange carrier services;

 

(xi) Except as provided in this paragraph, direct inward dialservices and other services needed by answering services and paging services. To the extent not preempted by federal law or regulation the commission shallregulate direct inward dial services and other services needed by answeringservices and paging services as noncompetitive services in any local exchangearea until there are at least two (2) telecommunications companies effectivelyoffering direct inward dial and other needed services to the answering servicesand paging services serving that local exchange area;

 

(xii) Remote meter reading; and

 

(xiii) Any other telecommunications service that is not regulatedby this title.

 

(b) In addition to subsection (a) of this section,telecommunications service does not include, and the provisions of this titledo not apply to telecommunications services provided by the department ofadministration and information to private health care providers under W.S.9-2-1026.1(d).

 

ARTICLE 2 - REGULATION OF COMPETITIVE AND NONCOMPETITIVE MARKETS

 

37-15-201. Regulation of local exchange services; certificates ofpublic convenience and necessity; concurrent certificates.

 

(a) Except for those telecommunications companies that as ofJuly 1, 2007, have a valid certificate of public convenience and necessitypreviously issued by the commission to provide local exchange services in thestate, all telecommunications companies seeking to offer and provide localexchange service shall obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessityfrom the commission prior to providing that service in this state.

 

(b) The commission shall grant a certificate or certificates ofpublic convenience and necessity to provide local exchange service if it finds,after notice and opportunity for hearing, that the applicant possessessufficient technical, financial and managerial resources to provide safe,adequate and reliable local exchange services within the identified geographicarea.

 

(c) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(d) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(e) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(f) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(g) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(h) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

37-15-202. Determination of competitive services.

 

(a) Upon petition by any telecommunicationscompany, the commission may, after notice and opportunity for hearing, find andconclude that a telecommunications service is subject to competition. Anyservice found to be effectively competitive shall not be subject to regulationof prices by the commission. The commission shall consider only the followingfactors in determining whether a telecommunications service is subject toeffective competition:

 

(i) The extent to which telecommunications services areavailable from alternative providers including, but not limited to, wirelessproviders, cable providers offering voice services, voice over internetprotocol or any other providers utilizing telephone numbers to provide voiceservices in the relevant market;

 

(ii) The extent to which telecommunications services ofalternative providers are functionally equivalent, for equivalent service or incombination with other services, and may be substituted at reasonablycomparable prices, terms and conditions;

 

(iii) Existing economic, regulatory or technological barriers toentry.

 

(b) Upon the commission's own motion or the petition of anyperson, the commission may, after notice and the opportunity for a hearing inaccordance with the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act, find and concludethat a telecommunications service found to be competitive under subsection (a)of this section is no longer subject to competition, and therefore not subjectto treatment as a competitive service under this chapter. All hearingsconducted pursuant to this subsection shall place the burden of proof upon thecommission or the petitioner of establishing that a telecommunications serviceis no longer subject to competition.

 

(c) Telecommunications service provided by new entrants, localexchange services provided by resale, telecommunications services provided byinterexchange telecommunications companies, interexchange telecommunicationsservices and telecommunications services other than local exchange service andswitched access provided by a local exchange company shall be consideredsubject to competition for purpose of regulation under this title.

 

(d) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section thecommission shall, in an area defined by an applicant, find retailtelecommunications services other than switched access are competitiveprovided:

 

(i) At least seventy-five percent (75%) of the class ofcustomers in the area have access to at least one (1) landline carrier unaffiliatedwith the applicant providing telecommunications service that includes localvoice telecommunications service. The local voice telecommunications servicemay be provided in combination with other services. If a company does notdifferentiate between residential and business classes of service in itsapplication, the requirement shall be that at least sixty percent (60%),considering residential and business customers as one (1) class of customers,have access to at least one (1) landline carrier unaffiliated with theapplicant;

 

(ii) At least seventy-five percent (75%) of the class ofcustomers in the area have access to at least one (1) wireless providerunaffiliated with the applicant. If a company does not differentiate betweenresidential and business classes of service in its application, the requirementshall be that at least sixty percent (60%), considering residential andbusiness customers as one (1) class of customers, have access to at least one(1) wireless provider unaffiliated with the applicant;

 

(iii) The applicant specifies in the application whether or notthe class of customers whose service is to be determined competitive areresidential, business or both;

 

(iv) The applicant agrees to provide throughout the area priceswhich do not vary by geographic location or access to competitors;

 

(v) The applicant agrees, if residential services are involvedand subject to the provisions of subsections (e) and (f) of this section, tocontinue to provide stand alone basic residential local exchange service at aprice less than the price for the stand alone basic residential local exchangeservice bundled with any other service; and

 

(vi) The applicant agrees for a transition period ending July 1,2009 to provide stand alone basic residential service at a price that does notexceed the price in effect July 1, 2006 and agrees after July 1, 2009 that itwill not increase the price for the stand alone basic residential localexchange service by an amount that exceeds the price in effect July 1, 2008, bymore than the cumulative increase in the federal gross domestic product priceindex since July 1, 2008. For the purpose of this subsection the prices ineffect July 1, 2006 and July 1, 2009 shall be modified only to reflect changesin access charges as approved by the commission pursuant to W.S.37-15-203(f)(ii) and (j) to the extent those changes are not reflected in therates.

 

(e) If the price for stand alone basic residential localexchange service is restricted pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, thecommission may, upon application and after notice and opportunity for hearing,authorize an increase in the price for the service if the applicantdemonstrates that the maximum price allowed pursuant to subsection (d) of thissection would not allow the applicant a reasonable opportunity to recover itsprudently incurred costs related to the proportion of the property used inproviding the essential telecommunications service.

 

(f) If a company is required to continue to offer stand alonebasic residential local exchange service pursuant to subsection (d) of thissection, it may apply to the commission for permission to stop offering theservice. The commission shall, after notice and opportunity for hearingapprove the application if:

 

(i) A successor agrees to continue the obligation; or

 

(ii) The company establishes to the satisfaction of thecommission that the service has become obsolete due to a lack of customerssubscribing to the service.

 

(g) The commission may, on its own motion or upon applicationby the office of consumer advocate or by any interested party, find retailtelecommunications services are not competitive in any area where it haspreviously found them to be competitive pursuant to subsection (d) of thissection if, after notice and opportunity for hearing, it finds that:

 

(i) Due to merger, acquisition, predatory pricing or marketingpractices or withdrawal of offerings, the degree of competition required bysubsection (d) of this section no longer exists; or

 

(ii) The local exchange telecommunications provider has notcomplied with the conditions it agreed to pursuant to subsection (d) of thissection.

 

37-15-203. Price regulation of noncompetitive essential services.

 

(a) Prices for telecommunications services which have beendetermined by the legislature or the commission to be noncompetitive essentialtelecommunications services shall be regulated by the commission in accordancewith this section. The prices for noncompetitive essential telecommunicationsservices of any local exchange company may be adjusted downward at thecompany's discretion. Except as provided in subsections (e), (f), (h) and (j)of this section, prices for noncompetitive essential telecommunicationsservices shall be subject to a maximum determined by the commission. Theinitial maximum shall be the local exchange company's price of noncompetitiveessential telecommunications services as of July 1, 2006. A local exchangecarrier may increase its price for noncompetitive essential telecommunicationsservices to the level of the maximum set under this subsection without approvalof the commission as required under subsections (f) and (g) of this section.

 

(b) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(c) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(d) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(e) A local exchange company may seek approval to make revenueneutral adjustments, considering only revenue from noncompetitive essentialtelecommunications services, to the price of noncompetitive essentialtelecommunications services to reduce or eliminate differences in the price ofnoncompetitive essential telecommunications services in different portions ofits service area. A local exchange company shall not use adjustments under thissection to increase receipt of state universal service funds or increaseswitched access prices. This subsection shall not apply retroactively.

 

(f) A local exchange company may seek approval to increase theprice of noncompetitive essential telecommunications services, includingswitched access charges, based on:

 

(i) Changes in the local calling area as approved by thecommission;

 

(ii) Changes in access charges as approved by the commission;

 

(iii) Other changes affecting noncompetitive essentialtelecommunications services; or

 

(iv) Increases in the cost of providing telecommunicationsservices. The increases shall be judged on the overall federal gross domesticproduct price index published by the United States department of commerce,bureau of economic analysis unless the applicant demonstrates that specificcost increases are disproportionably affecting the cost of providing theirnoncompetitive essential services.

 

(g) Any requested price change under subsections (b) through (f)of this section, including revenue neutral changes, that may result in anincrease in the price of noncompetitive essential telecommunications servicesis subject to review and determination by the commission, after notice andopportunity for hearing.

 

(h) The prices of any local exchange company may containprovisions for incentives for improvement of the company's performance orefficiency, lowering of operating costs, control of expenses or improvement andupgrading or modernization of its services or facilities. Any local exchangecompany may apply to the commission for incentives and innovative ornontraditional price regulation, including price indexing. The commission shallissue a final order approving, modifying or rejecting any application madeunder this subsection within one hundred eighty (180) days of the filing dateof the application with the commission. If no order is issued by thecommission within the one hundred eighty (180) day period, the applicationshall be deemed approved as filed. If during consideration of an applicationfor regulation under this subsection, the commission materially alters the planas filed in the application, the applying local exchange company may notify thecommission in writing, at any time, but not later than sixty (60) days afterany final commission order on the application, that it elects not to be priceregulated as approved by the order. The local exchange company's prices shallthen be regulated as they were prior to the application until such time as anew application is filed, approved and accepted.

 

(j) Unless as otherwise directed under federal law,noncompetitive switched access shall not be priced above three cents ($.03) perminute after January 1, 2010. Prices for noncompetitive switched access whichexceed three cents ($.03) per originating and terminating minute shall bereduced to three cents ($.03) per minute on or before January 1, 2010. Anytelecommunications company which must reduce noncompetitive switched accessprices under this subsection shall, on or before January 1, 2010, submit aproposed plan to the commission, identifying the amount of intrastate switchedaccess revenues and access lines in the years until the date of filing, toreduce switched access prices in annual increments to meet the requirements ofthis subsection, and a request for corresponding annual revenue neutralincremental increases to noncompetitive essential service prices to offset theanticipated loss in revenue from a reduction in switched access prices. Thecommission shall review the proposal and the facts set forth in the proposedplan to ensure that it is accurate and consistent with this section. Thetelecommunications company shall satisfy any requests for information by thecommission, and shall modify the plan as necessary to conform to the facts thecommission finds after investigation to be accurate. Once the commissionapproves the proposed plan, the noncompetitive switched access andnoncompetitive essential service prices proposed in the plan shall go intoeffect after compliance with W.S. 37-15-204. The commission may authorizenoncompetitive switched access prices above three cents ($.03) per minute foran additional transition period not to exceed two (2) years ending January 1,2012, only upon a showing that access prices are supported by a current totallong-run incremental cost study as defined by W.S. 37-15-103(a)(xiii) basedupon data after January 1, 2008. A telecommunications company increasing ratespursuant to this subsection may utilize the universal service fund for eligibleaccess lines as provided in W.S. 37-15-501 and 37-15-502 and commission ruleand regulation.

 

37-15-204. Price schedules.

 

(a) A local exchange company shall file with the commission, insuch form and detail as the commission may require, schedules showing allnoncompetitive telecommunications services terms, conditions and pricescurrently in effect and charged to customers by the company in this state. Allprices for new noncompetitive telecommunications services, and any increase inprices for noncompetitive telecommunications services as authorized by thecommission pursuant to W.S. 37-15-203, shall be filed thirty (30) days prior tothe proposed effective date. No price increase for a noncompetitive serviceshall be effective unless the customer has been given notice by the provider atleast one (1) full billing cycle prior to the proposed increase and theincrease has been approved by the commission as required by W.S. 37-15-203. Noprice or price change is effective until filed in accordance with thissection. Prices charged for competitive services shall be in accordance withits price schedule unless a separate contract is negotiated. Prices forgenerally offered competitive services shall be publicly available on acompany's website through the internet, the world wide web or a similarproprietary or common carrier or provided to the commission. Price schedulesmay be filed in electronic format at the option of the company. For purposesof this subsection, the rules, regulations, policies, practices and otherrequirements relating to services shall be filed with the commission in suchform and detail as the commission may require. Rules, regulations, policies,practices and other requirements relating to competitive services shall besubject to the same requirements under this chapter as the prices ofcompetitive services. Those relating to noncompetitive services shall besubject to the same requirements under this chapter as the prices ofnoncompetitive services.

 

(b) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(c) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(d) Any prices for competitive telecommunications services orprices for telecommunications services which are agreed to as a result ofcompetitive bidding or negotiations, charged by contract and required to befiled with the commission under the provisions of this chapter, shall beafforded confidential and proprietary protection by the commission uponapplication and a showing of good cause by the company filing the contract.

 

ARTICLE 3 - INTEREXCHANGE COMPANIES

 

37-15-301. Regulation of interexchange companies.

 

 

(a) An interexchange company not authorizedto provide intrastate telecommunications service in this state on or beforeJanuary 1, 1995, shall not provide intrastate interexchange telecommunicationsservices unless it first registers with the commission. An interexchangecompany authorized by the commission to provide intrastate telecommunicationsservice as of January 1, 1995, is not required to register. The form forregistration shall be specified by the commission.

 

(b) Any interexchange company registered with the commission toprovide intrastate telecommunications services shall be authorized to providestatewide services.

 

(c) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(d) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(e) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

ARTICLE 4 - REGULATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICESGENERALLY

 

37-15-401. Commission powers.

 

(a) In addition to the powers exercisedpursuant to the provisions of W.S. 37-15-408, the commission has the power to:

 

(i) Investigate the methods and practices of anytelecommunications company;

 

(ii) Require any telecommunications company to conform to thelaws of this state and to all rules, regulations and orders of the commissionnot contrary to law;

 

(iii) Make any rules and regulations, in accordance with theWyoming Administrative Procedure Act, necessary for the commission to carry outits powers in this chapter, including rules objectively established andconsistent with commonly accepted industry standards, where applicablestandards exist;

 

(iv) Require reports and studies as to prices and terms andconditions of service, necessary and relevant for the commission's exercise ofits authority, including those protected as trade secret or confidential basedon legitimate competitive or other operational concerns;

 

(v) Hold hearings on complaints, or for good cause, upon noticeand subject to the provisions of the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act;

 

(vi) Regulate telecommunications companies only as provided forin this chapter; and

 

(vii) Exercise authority as expressly delegated under the FederalCommunications Act of 1934, as amended.

 

37-15-402. Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

 

37-15-403. Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

 

37-15-404. Protection of telecommunications consumers.

 

(a) No telecommunications company shallunreasonably discriminate as to customers in prices, terms or conditions ofservice, or in connection to or with other telecommunications companies. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit any telecommunicationscompany from:

 

(i) Providing volume or other price discounts based onreasonable, nonpredatory business practices;

 

(ii) Passing through any state, municipal or local taxes to thecustomers in the area where the tax is levied; or

 

(iii) Furnishing free or reduced price service to its current orpensioned employees and dependent members of their families, as defined in theapplicable price schedules on file with the commission.

 

(b) The commission shall not give unreasonably discriminatoryor preferential treatment in its regulation of any telecommunications company.

 

(c) A telecommunications company providing a noncompetitivetelecommunications service shall not discontinue providing the service withoutthe commission's approval.

 

(d) A telecommunications company shall not:

 

(i) Fail to disclose in a timely and uniform manner informationnecessary for the design of equipment and services that will meet thespecifications of interconnection;

 

(ii) Fail or refuse to provide a service or product inaccordance with the telecommunications company's tariffs, price lists orcontracts and within the commission's applicable rules and orders.

 

(e) The commission may adopt rules and regulations to providefor:

 

(i) The interconnection of telecommunications companies'networks at nondiscriminatory and reasonable rates, terms and conditions;

 

(ii) The effective and efficient interoperability oftelecommunications companies' networks;

 

(iii) The unbundling of services into reasonable basic networkfeatures;

 

(iv) The administration and allocation of phone numbers to theextent technically and economically feasible;

 

(v) Telephone number portability to the full extent technicallyfeasible; and

 

(vi) The resale and sharing of services and functions atreasonable and nondiscriminatory rates.

 

(f) No telecommunications company shall engage inanti-competitive behavior, including, but not limited to, discrimination infavor of its affiliates.

 

37-15-405. Complaint against prices.

 

Anyperson, and the commission on its own motion, may complain to the commissionconcerning the reasonableness of the price of any noncompetitivetelecommunications service or any violation of W.S. 37-15-404. Any notice andhearing of any complaint shall be in accordance with the Wyoming AdministrativeProcedure Act and this chapter. The commission shall only set aside any priceit finds after notice and hearing to be unreasonable or unreasonably discriminatory. If the commission sets aside a price as unreasonable or unreasonablydiscriminatory, the telecommunications company shall have sixty (60) days tofile a new price which is reasonable. The company shall refund any chargesfound to be unreasonable as ordered by the commission. Rates or prices fornoncompetitive essential services in effect as of July 1, 2006, are deemed tobe fair and reasonable.

 

37-15-406. Quality of service.

 

(a) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(b) Any customer, and the commission on its own motion, maycomplain concerning the quality of service provided by a telecommunicationscompany. A complaint shall be noticed and heard as provided for in the WyomingAdministrative Procedure Act. The commission, after notice and hearing, maydirect the telecommunications company to take whatever remedial action istechnically feasible and economically reasonable to provide reasonably adequateservice. The commission shall authorize a telecommunications provider torecover the cost of compliance as reasonably determined by any commission orderunder this section.

 

37-15-407. Annual report.

 

(a) The commission shall with the input and participation ofthe telecommunications industry and other relevant state departments, boardsand agencies prepare and issue an annual report on the status of thetelecommunications industry. The report shall be based on information providedto the commission and shall include:

 

(i) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(ii) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(iii) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(iv) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(v) Any recommendations for legislative change which areadopted by the commission and which the commission believes are in the interestof Wyoming telecommunications customers; and

 

(vi) Any other information or analysis which the commission isrequired to provide by this title or deems necessary to provide.

 

(b) The commission's report shall be filed with thelegislature, the governor and the state telecommunications council.

 

37-15-408. Applicability of existing law.

 

W.S.37-2-102, 37-2-104, 37-2-106 through 37-2-109, 37-2-113, 37-2-115 through37-2-118, 37-2-124, 37-2-125, 37-2-130, 37-2-203, 37-2-205(a), 37-2-209,37-2-214 through 37-2-216, 37-2-218, 37-2-301 through 37-2-306, 37-3-114,37-4-101 through 37-4-104, 37-12-120 through 37-12-130, 37-12-201, 37-12-202,37-12-204 through 37-12-213, 37-12-301 through 37-12-304 and 37-13-101 through37-13-137, inclusive, unless in conflict with other provisions of this chapter,are applicable to telecommunications companies and telecommunication companiesshall be considered public utilities for the purposes of those provisions.

 

37-15-409. Construction with other laws.

 

Ifthe provisions of this chapter conflict with any other statutes, the provisionsof this chapter shall control.

 

37-15-410. Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

 

37-15-411. Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

 

37-15-412. Unauthorized change of telecommunications company;unauthorized services; prohibited practices; penalties.

 

(a) No person shall engage in any practice which has the effectof changing any Wyoming consumer's telecommunications company if the change iswillfully made without the knowledge and consent of that consumer. No personshall willfully charge or attempt to collect charges from any Wyoming consumerfor any product or service not provided to the consumer or not authorized bythe consumer. The public service commission shall provide upon request of aWyoming consumer, information or technical assistance regarding appropriateaction for the consumer to take in order not to receive telecommunicationcompanies solicitations.

 

(b) Any change in a Wyoming consumer's telecommunicationscompany shall be effective only if it is in compliance with any method ofauthorization permitted under federal law, rule or regulation, except that nonegative option marketing technique shall be permitted to be used.

 

(c) If the chosen method is a letter of agency it shall bemaintained by the new service provider. No letter of agency under subsection(b) of this section shall be effective if it is physically attached to or partof any inducement, premium, coupon or other promotional material. No letter ofagency shall be effective until it is in the actual possession of the newservice provider.

 

(d) Any consumer whose telecommunications company has beenwillfully changed in violation of subsection (a) of this section is not liablefor payment of any unauthorized charge unless the commission determines, afterconducting a public hearing on any complaint brought on the matter, that theconsumer engaged in any fraudulent or deceptive practice which avoids paymentfor telecommunications services in connection with the unauthorized charge.

 

(e) A consumer is not liable for an amount charged for anyunauthorized product provided or service initiated by a telecommunicationscompany or its billing agent without the consent of the consumer. No consumershall be liable to pay for any product not delivered or service not furnished.

 

(f) Restitution for violation of this section shall be asfollows:

 

(i) The unauthorized telecommunications company shall pay allrecurring and nonrecurring fees and charges necessary for the consumer topromptly reinstate service from the original telecommunications company andshall pay that company an amount equal to that which would have been due hadthe consumer remained with the original telecommunications company;

 

(ii) In addition to paragraph (f)(i) of this section, theunauthorized telecommunications company shall pay to any consumer any amountthe consumer has paid to the unauthorized company for which the consumer is notliable under subsection (d) of this section.

 

(g) If the commission shall determine by a preponderance of theevidence in a hearing that any person willfully has engaged in any practicewhich has the effect of changing any Wyoming consumer's telecommunicationscompany without complying with the applicable provisions of this section, hascharged or attempted to collect a charge for unauthorized service, or hassolicited a Wyoming consumer in violation of this section:

 

(i) The commission may impose for each change or charge made inviolation of this section an administrative penalty not to exceed one thousanddollars ($1,000.00); and

 

(ii) If the commission finds that the person has violated thissection with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice it mayalso permanently revoke the authority of the company involved to provideintrastate interexchange or other telecommunications services in this state.

 

(h) The following are not subject to theprovisions of this section:

 

 

 

(i) Changes in a consumer's telecommunications company or otherservices effected through a consolidation or merger of the consumer's currenttelecommunications company;

 

(ii) Services and corresponding charges required by law or orderof the commission.

 

37-15-413. Limitation on authority of political subdivision to enterexclusive agreement for provision of telecommunications service.

 

(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) through (d) of thissection, before the governing body of any city or town or other politicalsubdivision of this state shall provide for the construction, maintenance oroperation of any telecommunications service by entering into an exclusivefranchise, partnership, joint venture, contract, resale agreement or any otherexclusive agreement with any party regarding telecommunications service, thecity, town or other political subdivision shall:

 

(i) Determine, after notice and opportunity for a publichearing, that no private provider of telecommunications services is currentlyproviding substantially the same or similar service anywhere within theboundaries of the city, town or political subdivision;

 

(ii) Have submitted a written request to all private providersof telecommunications services within the boundaries of the city, town orpolitical subdivision for provision of the same quality and grade oftelecommunications service within the same time frame and at the same consumerprices proposed under the exclusive contract;

 

(iii) Determine, after notice and opportunity for a publichearing that the private telecommunications service providers have not agreedwithin ninety (90) days of the receipt of the request submitted pursuant toparagraph (ii) of this subsection to provide the same quality and grade ofservice within the same time frame and at the same consumer prices as proposedunder the exclusive contract, or if the provider has agreed, that the providerhas not commenced providing or constructing facilities to provide the servicein the manner agreed upon; and

 

(iv) Limit the term of any exclusive agreement under thissection to not more than six (6) years.

 

(b) The governing body of a city or town or other politicalsubdivision shall allow the nondiscriminatory, nonexclusive and competitivelyneutral use of its rights-of-way including its poles, conduits, ducts orsimilar support structures by any telecommunications company and nothing inthis section shall be construed to the contrary.

 

(c) Nothing in this section shall restrict the governing bodyof a city or town, or other political subdivision, from providing atelecommunications service or facility:

 

(i) For its own use;

 

(ii) For 911, E-911 or other emergency services;

 

(iii) For medical or educational purposes; or

 

(iv) To students by an educational institution.

 

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict thegoverning body of a city or town or other political subdivision, from providinga telecommunications service to a party within the geographic area in which thecity, town or political subdivision operates as a telecommunications utility. Any city, town or political subdivision providing a telecommunications serviceunder this subsection shall:

 

(i) Provide the telecommunications service on anondiscriminatory, nonexclusive and competitively neutral basis; and

 

(ii) Provide the telecommunications service at a price whichcovers cost, including imputed costs that the city, town or politicalsubdivision would incur if it were a for-profit telecommunications company.

 

(e) Any person may complain to the commission, and thecommission may on its own motion initiate an investigation, concerning anyalleged violation of this section by a city, town or political subdivision,subject to the following:

 

(i) If the commission finds that a city, town or politicalsubdivision has violated this section, or finds that any rule, action or orderof a city, town or political subdivision is anticompetitive or otherwiseviolates this section, the commission shall notify the city, town or politicalsubdivision of the violation. The city, town or political subdivision shallcure the anticompetitive behavior within ninety (90) days following mailing ofnotice by the commission; and

 

(ii) If the city, town or political subdivision does not curethe anticompetitive behavior within ninety (90) days, the commission shallcommence a contested case hearing on the complaint, governed by the WyomingAdministrative Procedure Act, W.S. 16-3-101 et seq. If, following the hearing,the commission finds that the city, town or political subdivision has violatedthis section, the commission shall prohibit the city, town or politicalsubdivision from providing any telecommunications service until the violationof this section is remedied.

 

(f) This section does not apply to any contract entered intoprior to July 1, 2007.

 

ARTICLE 5 - UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND

 

37-15-501. Universal service fund created; contributions;administration.

 

(a) There is hereby established the universal service fund tobe administered in accordance with this section. The fund shall be administeredby the commission. All telecommunications companies shall contribute to theuniversal service fund. The dates for contributions to the fund anddisbursements from the fund shall be set by the commission, after notice andopportunity for hearing, as necessary to accomplish the objectives of the fundas specified in subsections (c) and (d) of this section. The costs ofadministering the fund may be included in determining required contributions.

 

(b) The commission shall after notice and opportunity forhearing, designate the method by which the contributions shall be calculated,collected and distributed. The commission shall authorize an additional monthlycharge to customers, in the amount specified by the commission, to recover eachcontributor's required payment to the universal service fund. Any chargerelated to mobile telecommunications service shall only apply if the customer'splace of primary use is in this state as provided by the MobileTelecommunications Sourcing Act, 4 U.S.C. 116 to 126. The provisions of theMobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act shall apply to this subsection.

 

(c) The commission shall administer the monies in the universalservice fund to assist only those customers of telecommunications companieslocated in areas of this state with relatively high rates for essentialservices. The commission, after notice and opportunity for hearing, shalldetermine a reasonable amount and a fair method of distributing monies. Thecommission may authorize a credit to customer bills, in the amount specified bythe commission, to reflect distributions received by the local exchange companyfrom the universal service fund. The commission shall ensure that the methodshall promote the emergence of competition in providing local exchange service.

 

(d) In accordance with the method of distribution determined bythe commission, a telecommunications company shall receive funds under thissection to the extent that its essential local exchange service prices, afterconsideration of any contributions from the federal universal service fund,exceed one hundred thirty percent (130%) of the weighted statewide averageessential local exchange service prices.

 

(e) The operation of the universal service fund may besuspended by the commission, based upon a public interest finding, after noticeand an opportunity for a hearing, that the fund is not then serving itsintended purpose.

 

(f) The commission's decisions under this section shall besubject to the provisions of the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act.

 

37-15-502. Universal service fund eligibility and distribution tocarriers.

 

(a) Telecommunications companies which use cellular, radiospectrum or other wireless technology to provide supported services tocustomers who are otherwise eligible to receive universal service supportpursuant to W.S. 37-15-501, may establish eligibility to receive universalservice fund distributions in an amount to be determined by the commission,provided that:

 

(i) The telecommunications company will offer and advertise alluniversal service fund supported services throughout the entire local exchangearea;

 

(ii) The telecommunications company will provide unlimited localcalling throughout an entire local exchange area for a flat fee;

 

(iii) The telecommunications company's bill to the customerreflects a credit for the amount of distribution the company receives from thestate universal service fund for providing universal service fund supportedservices to that customer; and

 

(iv) The company and services meet such additional criteria, ifany, the commission, after notice and opportunity for hearing, determines arenecessary. During its consideration and determination, the commission shallconsider technological and competitive neutrality.

 


State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title37 > Chapter15

CHAPTER 15 - TELECOMMUNICATIONS

 

ARTICLE 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

37-15-101. Short title; sunset.

 

(a) This chapter shall be known as the "WyomingTelecommunications Act."

 

(b) This chapter is repealed effective July 1, 2015.

 

37-15-102. Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

 

37-15-103. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this chapter:

 

(i) "Affiliated telecommunications companies" meanstelecommunications companies:

 

(A) In which five percent (5%) or more of the voting stock iscontrolled or owned, directly or indirectly, by a common principal; or

 

(B) Whose management and policies are found by the commission,after notice and opportunity for hearing, to be controlled by a commonprincipal.

 

(ii) "Commission" means the public service commissionof Wyoming;

 

(iii) "Competitive telecommunications services" meansthose services found by the legislature or the commission to be competitive inaccordance with W.S. 37-15-202;

 

(iv) "Essential telecommunications service" means acustomer's access to service that is necessary for the origination ortermination, or both, of two-way, switched telecommunications for bothresidential and business service within a local exchange area. Essentialtelecommunications services are limited to:

 

(A) Access to interexchange services provided by interexchangetelecommunications companies;

 

(B) Single line flat-rate or single line measured residence orbusiness voice service;

 

(C) Transmission service and facilities necessary for theconnection between the end user's or customer's premises and local networkswitching facility including the necessary signaling service used by customersto access essential telecommunications services;

 

(D) Services necessary to connect 911 emergency services to thelocal network;

 

(E) Switched access, which for the purposes of this chaptershall mean the switching and transport necessary to connect an interexchangetelecommunications company with the local exchange central office for thepurpose of originating or terminating, or both, the interexchangetelecommunications company's switched telecommunications service.

 

(v) "Interexchange telecommunications company" meansa person providing telecommunications service to connect end users located indifferent local exchange areas, but excluding companies which also providenoncompetitive local exchange services;

 

(vi) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(vii) "Local exchange area" means a geographicterritorial unit established by the commission for providing telecommunicationsservices;

 

(viii) "Local exchange service" means the provision ofessential telecommunications service within a local exchange area;

 

(ix) "Noncompetitive telecommunications services"means those services which have not been found by the legislature or thecommission to be competitive in accordance with W.S. 37-15-202;

 

(x) "Price" means any rate or charge set andpublished in accordance with this chapter and collected by thetelecommunications company for any telecommunications service offered by it tothe public or other telecommunications companies;

 

(xi) "Telecommunications company" means a personengaged in the furnishing of telecommunications service within this state;

 

(xii) "Telecommunications service" means the offeringor transmitting for hire of telecommunications by means of telecommunicationsfacilities using wire, radio, lightwave or other means;

 

(xiii) "Total service long-run incremental cost" meansthe total forward-looking cost, using least cost technology, for atelecommunications service or basic network function that thetelecommunications provider would incur if it were to initially offer suchtelecommunications service or basic network function;

 

(xiv) "Universal service" means the generalavailability of essential telecommunications service at an affordable andreasonable price;

 

(xv) "Video dial tone service" means the transmissionof entertainment video programming and other forms of two-way, interactivevideo programming using a common video dial tone platform;

 

(xvi) "Supported services" means the services orfunctionalities which shall be supported by the state universal service fundpursuant to W.S. 37-15-502, as described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of thisparagraph:

 

(A) The services designated for support are:

 

(I) Voice grade access to the public switched network."Voice grade access" is defined as a functionality that enables auser of telecommunications services to transmit voice communications, includingsignaling the network that the caller wishes to place a call, and to receivevoice communications, including receiving a signal indicating there is anincoming call. For the purposes of this subparagraph, bandwidth for voice gradeaccess shall be, at a minimum, three hundred (300) to three thousand (3,000)Hertz;

 

(II) Local usage. "Local usage" means an amount ofminutes of use of exchange service, prescribed by the commission, provided freeof charge to end users;

 

(III) Dual tone multi-frequency signaling or its functionalequivalent. "Dual tone multi-frequency" is a method of signaling thatfacilitates the transportation of signaling through the network, shorteningcall set-up time;

 

(IV) Single-party service or its functional equivalent."Single-party service" is telecommunications service that permitsusers to have exclusive use of a wireline subscriber loop or access line foreach call placed, or, in the case of wireless telecommunications carriers,which use spectrum shared among users to provide service, a dedicated messagepath for the length of a user's particular transmission;

 

(V) Access to emergency services. "Access to emergencyservices" includes access to services, such as 911 and enhanced 911,provided by local governments or other public safety organizations. 911 isdefined as a service that permits a telecommunications user, by dialing thethree-digit code "911," to call emergency services through a publicsafety answering point operated by the local government. "Enhanced911" is defined as 911 service that includes the ability to provideautomatic numbering information, which enables the public safety answeringpoint to call back if the call is disconnected, and automatic locationinformation, which permits emergency service providers to identify thegeographic location of the calling party. "Access to emergencyservices" includes access to 911 and enhanced 911 services in accordancewith applicable governing authority;

 

(VI) Access to operator services. "Access to operatorservices" is defined as access to any automatic or live assistance to aconsumer to arrange for billing or completion, or both, of a telephone call;

 

(VII) Access to interexchange service. "Access tointerexchange service" is defined as the use of the loop, as well as thatportion of the switch that is paid for by the end user, or the functionalequivalent of these network elements in the case of a wireless carrier,necessary to access an interexchange carrier's network;

 

(VIII) Access to directory assistance. "Access to directoryassistance" is defined as access to a service that includes, but is notlimited to, making available to customers, upon request, information containedin directory listings; and

 

(IX) Toll limitation for qualifying low-income consumers.

 

(B) The commission may grant a company additional time tocomplete the network upgrades needed to provide single-party service, access toenhanced 911 service, or toll limitation. If such petition is granted, theotherwise eligible company will be permitted to receive universal servicesupport for the duration of the period designated by the commission. Thecommission shall grant such a request only upon a finding that exceptionalcircumstances prevent an otherwise eligible company from providing single-partyservice, access to enhanced 911 service or toll limitation. The period shouldextend only as long as the commission finds that exceptional circumstancesexist and shall not extend beyond the time that the commission deems necessaryfor that company to complete network upgrades. An otherwise eligible companythat is incapable of offering one (1) or more of these three (3) specificsupported services must demonstrate to the commission that exceptionalcircumstances exist with respect to each service for which the carrier desiresa grant of additional time to complete network upgrades.

 

(xvii) "Landline carrier" means a telecommunicationscompany providing local exchange service, or its functional equivalent, toretail end users by means primarily of its own fiber, copper, electric lines orcoaxial cable facilities.

 

(b) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

37-15-104. Services not regulated by this title.

 

(a) Except for contributions to theuniversal service fund required pursuant to W.S. 37-15-501 and the assessmentlevied pursuant to W.S. 37-2-106 through 37-2-109, telecommunications servicedoes not include, and the provisions of this title do not apply to:

 

(i) One-way transmission of radio or television signals forbroadcast purposes, including the one-way transmission of video programming bya cable television or other system as well as subscriber interaction which isrequired for the selection of video programming;

 

(ii) Home and business and coinless, or coin operated public orsemipublic telephone terminal equipment, and the use, location and charges forthe use of such equipment;

 

(iii) Any billing and collection services;

 

(iv) Any inside wire and premise cable installation andmaintenance;

 

(v) Directory services, except as provided in W.S. 37-12-130;

 

(vi) Telecommunications services using radio spectrum, cellular,or other wireless technology except as set forth in subparagraphs (A), (B) and(C) of this paragraph:

 

(A) The quality of cellular service to the extent not preemptedby federal law;

 

(B) To the extent permitted in accordance with the requirementsset forth in federal law, consideration and determination of an application fordesignation as a federal eligible telecommunications carrier;

 

(C) Determinations of eligibility for and amount of distributionof state universal service funds by the commission for supported services inaccordance with W.S. 37-15-502.

 

(vii) Video dial tone and multimedia services;

 

(viii) Private telecommunications networks, which for the purposesof this act shall mean a system for the provision of telecommunications serviceby a person or entity for the sole and exclusive use of the person or entityand not for resale directly or indirectly;

 

(ix) Nonvoice data services not operated by a company providinglocal exchange service;

 

(x) Networks established by a person other than the localexchange company providing essential telecommunications services within thelocal exchange area to provide access to interexchange carrier services;

 

(xi) Except as provided in this paragraph, direct inward dialservices and other services needed by answering services and paging services. To the extent not preempted by federal law or regulation the commission shallregulate direct inward dial services and other services needed by answeringservices and paging services as noncompetitive services in any local exchangearea until there are at least two (2) telecommunications companies effectivelyoffering direct inward dial and other needed services to the answering servicesand paging services serving that local exchange area;

 

(xii) Remote meter reading; and

 

(xiii) Any other telecommunications service that is not regulatedby this title.

 

(b) In addition to subsection (a) of this section,telecommunications service does not include, and the provisions of this titledo not apply to telecommunications services provided by the department ofadministration and information to private health care providers under W.S.9-2-1026.1(d).

 

ARTICLE 2 - REGULATION OF COMPETITIVE AND NONCOMPETITIVE MARKETS

 

37-15-201. Regulation of local exchange services; certificates ofpublic convenience and necessity; concurrent certificates.

 

(a) Except for those telecommunications companies that as ofJuly 1, 2007, have a valid certificate of public convenience and necessitypreviously issued by the commission to provide local exchange services in thestate, all telecommunications companies seeking to offer and provide localexchange service shall obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessityfrom the commission prior to providing that service in this state.

 

(b) The commission shall grant a certificate or certificates ofpublic convenience and necessity to provide local exchange service if it finds,after notice and opportunity for hearing, that the applicant possessessufficient technical, financial and managerial resources to provide safe,adequate and reliable local exchange services within the identified geographicarea.

 

(c) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(d) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(e) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(f) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(g) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(h) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

37-15-202. Determination of competitive services.

 

(a) Upon petition by any telecommunicationscompany, the commission may, after notice and opportunity for hearing, find andconclude that a telecommunications service is subject to competition. Anyservice found to be effectively competitive shall not be subject to regulationof prices by the commission. The commission shall consider only the followingfactors in determining whether a telecommunications service is subject toeffective competition:

 

(i) The extent to which telecommunications services areavailable from alternative providers including, but not limited to, wirelessproviders, cable providers offering voice services, voice over internetprotocol or any other providers utilizing telephone numbers to provide voiceservices in the relevant market;

 

(ii) The extent to which telecommunications services ofalternative providers are functionally equivalent, for equivalent service or incombination with other services, and may be substituted at reasonablycomparable prices, terms and conditions;

 

(iii) Existing economic, regulatory or technological barriers toentry.

 

(b) Upon the commission's own motion or the petition of anyperson, the commission may, after notice and the opportunity for a hearing inaccordance with the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act, find and concludethat a telecommunications service found to be competitive under subsection (a)of this section is no longer subject to competition, and therefore not subjectto treatment as a competitive service under this chapter. All hearingsconducted pursuant to this subsection shall place the burden of proof upon thecommission or the petitioner of establishing that a telecommunications serviceis no longer subject to competition.

 

(c) Telecommunications service provided by new entrants, localexchange services provided by resale, telecommunications services provided byinterexchange telecommunications companies, interexchange telecommunicationsservices and telecommunications services other than local exchange service andswitched access provided by a local exchange company shall be consideredsubject to competition for purpose of regulation under this title.

 

(d) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section thecommission shall, in an area defined by an applicant, find retailtelecommunications services other than switched access are competitiveprovided:

 

(i) At least seventy-five percent (75%) of the class ofcustomers in the area have access to at least one (1) landline carrier unaffiliatedwith the applicant providing telecommunications service that includes localvoice telecommunications service. The local voice telecommunications servicemay be provided in combination with other services. If a company does notdifferentiate between residential and business classes of service in itsapplication, the requirement shall be that at least sixty percent (60%),considering residential and business customers as one (1) class of customers,have access to at least one (1) landline carrier unaffiliated with theapplicant;

 

(ii) At least seventy-five percent (75%) of the class ofcustomers in the area have access to at least one (1) wireless providerunaffiliated with the applicant. If a company does not differentiate betweenresidential and business classes of service in its application, the requirementshall be that at least sixty percent (60%), considering residential andbusiness customers as one (1) class of customers, have access to at least one(1) wireless provider unaffiliated with the applicant;

 

(iii) The applicant specifies in the application whether or notthe class of customers whose service is to be determined competitive areresidential, business or both;

 

(iv) The applicant agrees to provide throughout the area priceswhich do not vary by geographic location or access to competitors;

 

(v) The applicant agrees, if residential services are involvedand subject to the provisions of subsections (e) and (f) of this section, tocontinue to provide stand alone basic residential local exchange service at aprice less than the price for the stand alone basic residential local exchangeservice bundled with any other service; and

 

(vi) The applicant agrees for a transition period ending July 1,2009 to provide stand alone basic residential service at a price that does notexceed the price in effect July 1, 2006 and agrees after July 1, 2009 that itwill not increase the price for the stand alone basic residential localexchange service by an amount that exceeds the price in effect July 1, 2008, bymore than the cumulative increase in the federal gross domestic product priceindex since July 1, 2008. For the purpose of this subsection the prices ineffect July 1, 2006 and July 1, 2009 shall be modified only to reflect changesin access charges as approved by the commission pursuant to W.S.37-15-203(f)(ii) and (j) to the extent those changes are not reflected in therates.

 

(e) If the price for stand alone basic residential localexchange service is restricted pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, thecommission may, upon application and after notice and opportunity for hearing,authorize an increase in the price for the service if the applicantdemonstrates that the maximum price allowed pursuant to subsection (d) of thissection would not allow the applicant a reasonable opportunity to recover itsprudently incurred costs related to the proportion of the property used inproviding the essential telecommunications service.

 

(f) If a company is required to continue to offer stand alonebasic residential local exchange service pursuant to subsection (d) of thissection, it may apply to the commission for permission to stop offering theservice. The commission shall, after notice and opportunity for hearingapprove the application if:

 

(i) A successor agrees to continue the obligation; or

 

(ii) The company establishes to the satisfaction of thecommission that the service has become obsolete due to a lack of customerssubscribing to the service.

 

(g) The commission may, on its own motion or upon applicationby the office of consumer advocate or by any interested party, find retailtelecommunications services are not competitive in any area where it haspreviously found them to be competitive pursuant to subsection (d) of thissection if, after notice and opportunity for hearing, it finds that:

 

(i) Due to merger, acquisition, predatory pricing or marketingpractices or withdrawal of offerings, the degree of competition required bysubsection (d) of this section no longer exists; or

 

(ii) The local exchange telecommunications provider has notcomplied with the conditions it agreed to pursuant to subsection (d) of thissection.

 

37-15-203. Price regulation of noncompetitive essential services.

 

(a) Prices for telecommunications services which have beendetermined by the legislature or the commission to be noncompetitive essentialtelecommunications services shall be regulated by the commission in accordancewith this section. The prices for noncompetitive essential telecommunicationsservices of any local exchange company may be adjusted downward at thecompany's discretion. Except as provided in subsections (e), (f), (h) and (j)of this section, prices for noncompetitive essential telecommunicationsservices shall be subject to a maximum determined by the commission. Theinitial maximum shall be the local exchange company's price of noncompetitiveessential telecommunications services as of July 1, 2006. A local exchangecarrier may increase its price for noncompetitive essential telecommunicationsservices to the level of the maximum set under this subsection without approvalof the commission as required under subsections (f) and (g) of this section.

 

(b) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(c) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(d) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(e) A local exchange company may seek approval to make revenueneutral adjustments, considering only revenue from noncompetitive essentialtelecommunications services, to the price of noncompetitive essentialtelecommunications services to reduce or eliminate differences in the price ofnoncompetitive essential telecommunications services in different portions ofits service area. A local exchange company shall not use adjustments under thissection to increase receipt of state universal service funds or increaseswitched access prices. This subsection shall not apply retroactively.

 

(f) A local exchange company may seek approval to increase theprice of noncompetitive essential telecommunications services, includingswitched access charges, based on:

 

(i) Changes in the local calling area as approved by thecommission;

 

(ii) Changes in access charges as approved by the commission;

 

(iii) Other changes affecting noncompetitive essentialtelecommunications services; or

 

(iv) Increases in the cost of providing telecommunicationsservices. The increases shall be judged on the overall federal gross domesticproduct price index published by the United States department of commerce,bureau of economic analysis unless the applicant demonstrates that specificcost increases are disproportionably affecting the cost of providing theirnoncompetitive essential services.

 

(g) Any requested price change under subsections (b) through (f)of this section, including revenue neutral changes, that may result in anincrease in the price of noncompetitive essential telecommunications servicesis subject to review and determination by the commission, after notice andopportunity for hearing.

 

(h) The prices of any local exchange company may containprovisions for incentives for improvement of the company's performance orefficiency, lowering of operating costs, control of expenses or improvement andupgrading or modernization of its services or facilities. Any local exchangecompany may apply to the commission for incentives and innovative ornontraditional price regulation, including price indexing. The commission shallissue a final order approving, modifying or rejecting any application madeunder this subsection within one hundred eighty (180) days of the filing dateof the application with the commission. If no order is issued by thecommission within the one hundred eighty (180) day period, the applicationshall be deemed approved as filed. If during consideration of an applicationfor regulation under this subsection, the commission materially alters the planas filed in the application, the applying local exchange company may notify thecommission in writing, at any time, but not later than sixty (60) days afterany final commission order on the application, that it elects not to be priceregulated as approved by the order. The local exchange company's prices shallthen be regulated as they were prior to the application until such time as anew application is filed, approved and accepted.

 

(j) Unless as otherwise directed under federal law,noncompetitive switched access shall not be priced above three cents ($.03) perminute after January 1, 2010. Prices for noncompetitive switched access whichexceed three cents ($.03) per originating and terminating minute shall bereduced to three cents ($.03) per minute on or before January 1, 2010. Anytelecommunications company which must reduce noncompetitive switched accessprices under this subsection shall, on or before January 1, 2010, submit aproposed plan to the commission, identifying the amount of intrastate switchedaccess revenues and access lines in the years until the date of filing, toreduce switched access prices in annual increments to meet the requirements ofthis subsection, and a request for corresponding annual revenue neutralincremental increases to noncompetitive essential service prices to offset theanticipated loss in revenue from a reduction in switched access prices. Thecommission shall review the proposal and the facts set forth in the proposedplan to ensure that it is accurate and consistent with this section. Thetelecommunications company shall satisfy any requests for information by thecommission, and shall modify the plan as necessary to conform to the facts thecommission finds after investigation to be accurate. Once the commissionapproves the proposed plan, the noncompetitive switched access andnoncompetitive essential service prices proposed in the plan shall go intoeffect after compliance with W.S. 37-15-204. The commission may authorizenoncompetitive switched access prices above three cents ($.03) per minute foran additional transition period not to exceed two (2) years ending January 1,2012, only upon a showing that access prices are supported by a current totallong-run incremental cost study as defined by W.S. 37-15-103(a)(xiii) basedupon data after January 1, 2008. A telecommunications company increasing ratespursuant to this subsection may utilize the universal service fund for eligibleaccess lines as provided in W.S. 37-15-501 and 37-15-502 and commission ruleand regulation.

 

37-15-204. Price schedules.

 

(a) A local exchange company shall file with the commission, insuch form and detail as the commission may require, schedules showing allnoncompetitive telecommunications services terms, conditions and pricescurrently in effect and charged to customers by the company in this state. Allprices for new noncompetitive telecommunications services, and any increase inprices for noncompetitive telecommunications services as authorized by thecommission pursuant to W.S. 37-15-203, shall be filed thirty (30) days prior tothe proposed effective date. No price increase for a noncompetitive serviceshall be effective unless the customer has been given notice by the provider atleast one (1) full billing cycle prior to the proposed increase and theincrease has been approved by the commission as required by W.S. 37-15-203. Noprice or price change is effective until filed in accordance with thissection. Prices charged for competitive services shall be in accordance withits price schedule unless a separate contract is negotiated. Prices forgenerally offered competitive services shall be publicly available on acompany's website through the internet, the world wide web or a similarproprietary or common carrier or provided to the commission. Price schedulesmay be filed in electronic format at the option of the company. For purposesof this subsection, the rules, regulations, policies, practices and otherrequirements relating to services shall be filed with the commission in suchform and detail as the commission may require. Rules, regulations, policies,practices and other requirements relating to competitive services shall besubject to the same requirements under this chapter as the prices ofcompetitive services. Those relating to noncompetitive services shall besubject to the same requirements under this chapter as the prices ofnoncompetitive services.

 

(b) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(c) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(d) Any prices for competitive telecommunications services orprices for telecommunications services which are agreed to as a result ofcompetitive bidding or negotiations, charged by contract and required to befiled with the commission under the provisions of this chapter, shall beafforded confidential and proprietary protection by the commission uponapplication and a showing of good cause by the company filing the contract.

 

ARTICLE 3 - INTEREXCHANGE COMPANIES

 

37-15-301. Regulation of interexchange companies.

 

 

(a) An interexchange company not authorizedto provide intrastate telecommunications service in this state on or beforeJanuary 1, 1995, shall not provide intrastate interexchange telecommunicationsservices unless it first registers with the commission. An interexchangecompany authorized by the commission to provide intrastate telecommunicationsservice as of January 1, 1995, is not required to register. The form forregistration shall be specified by the commission.

 

(b) Any interexchange company registered with the commission toprovide intrastate telecommunications services shall be authorized to providestatewide services.

 

(c) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(d) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(e) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

ARTICLE 4 - REGULATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICESGENERALLY

 

37-15-401. Commission powers.

 

(a) In addition to the powers exercisedpursuant to the provisions of W.S. 37-15-408, the commission has the power to:

 

(i) Investigate the methods and practices of anytelecommunications company;

 

(ii) Require any telecommunications company to conform to thelaws of this state and to all rules, regulations and orders of the commissionnot contrary to law;

 

(iii) Make any rules and regulations, in accordance with theWyoming Administrative Procedure Act, necessary for the commission to carry outits powers in this chapter, including rules objectively established andconsistent with commonly accepted industry standards, where applicablestandards exist;

 

(iv) Require reports and studies as to prices and terms andconditions of service, necessary and relevant for the commission's exercise ofits authority, including those protected as trade secret or confidential basedon legitimate competitive or other operational concerns;

 

(v) Hold hearings on complaints, or for good cause, upon noticeand subject to the provisions of the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act;

 

(vi) Regulate telecommunications companies only as provided forin this chapter; and

 

(vii) Exercise authority as expressly delegated under the FederalCommunications Act of 1934, as amended.

 

37-15-402. Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

 

37-15-403. Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

 

37-15-404. Protection of telecommunications consumers.

 

(a) No telecommunications company shallunreasonably discriminate as to customers in prices, terms or conditions ofservice, or in connection to or with other telecommunications companies. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit any telecommunicationscompany from:

 

(i) Providing volume or other price discounts based onreasonable, nonpredatory business practices;

 

(ii) Passing through any state, municipal or local taxes to thecustomers in the area where the tax is levied; or

 

(iii) Furnishing free or reduced price service to its current orpensioned employees and dependent members of their families, as defined in theapplicable price schedules on file with the commission.

 

(b) The commission shall not give unreasonably discriminatoryor preferential treatment in its regulation of any telecommunications company.

 

(c) A telecommunications company providing a noncompetitivetelecommunications service shall not discontinue providing the service withoutthe commission's approval.

 

(d) A telecommunications company shall not:

 

(i) Fail to disclose in a timely and uniform manner informationnecessary for the design of equipment and services that will meet thespecifications of interconnection;

 

(ii) Fail or refuse to provide a service or product inaccordance with the telecommunications company's tariffs, price lists orcontracts and within the commission's applicable rules and orders.

 

(e) The commission may adopt rules and regulations to providefor:

 

(i) The interconnection of telecommunications companies'networks at nondiscriminatory and reasonable rates, terms and conditions;

 

(ii) The effective and efficient interoperability oftelecommunications companies' networks;

 

(iii) The unbundling of services into reasonable basic networkfeatures;

 

(iv) The administration and allocation of phone numbers to theextent technically and economically feasible;

 

(v) Telephone number portability to the full extent technicallyfeasible; and

 

(vi) The resale and sharing of services and functions atreasonable and nondiscriminatory rates.

 

(f) No telecommunications company shall engage inanti-competitive behavior, including, but not limited to, discrimination infavor of its affiliates.

 

37-15-405. Complaint against prices.

 

Anyperson, and the commission on its own motion, may complain to the commissionconcerning the reasonableness of the price of any noncompetitivetelecommunications service or any violation of W.S. 37-15-404. Any notice andhearing of any complaint shall be in accordance with the Wyoming AdministrativeProcedure Act and this chapter. The commission shall only set aside any priceit finds after notice and hearing to be unreasonable or unreasonably discriminatory. If the commission sets aside a price as unreasonable or unreasonablydiscriminatory, the telecommunications company shall have sixty (60) days tofile a new price which is reasonable. The company shall refund any chargesfound to be unreasonable as ordered by the commission. Rates or prices fornoncompetitive essential services in effect as of July 1, 2006, are deemed tobe fair and reasonable.

 

37-15-406. Quality of service.

 

(a) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(b) Any customer, and the commission on its own motion, maycomplain concerning the quality of service provided by a telecommunicationscompany. A complaint shall be noticed and heard as provided for in the WyomingAdministrative Procedure Act. The commission, after notice and hearing, maydirect the telecommunications company to take whatever remedial action istechnically feasible and economically reasonable to provide reasonably adequateservice. The commission shall authorize a telecommunications provider torecover the cost of compliance as reasonably determined by any commission orderunder this section.

 

37-15-407. Annual report.

 

(a) The commission shall with the input and participation ofthe telecommunications industry and other relevant state departments, boardsand agencies prepare and issue an annual report on the status of thetelecommunications industry. The report shall be based on information providedto the commission and shall include:

 

(i) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(ii) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(iii) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(iv) Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

(v) Any recommendations for legislative change which areadopted by the commission and which the commission believes are in the interestof Wyoming telecommunications customers; and

 

(vi) Any other information or analysis which the commission isrequired to provide by this title or deems necessary to provide.

 

(b) The commission's report shall be filed with thelegislature, the governor and the state telecommunications council.

 

37-15-408. Applicability of existing law.

 

W.S.37-2-102, 37-2-104, 37-2-106 through 37-2-109, 37-2-113, 37-2-115 through37-2-118, 37-2-124, 37-2-125, 37-2-130, 37-2-203, 37-2-205(a), 37-2-209,37-2-214 through 37-2-216, 37-2-218, 37-2-301 through 37-2-306, 37-3-114,37-4-101 through 37-4-104, 37-12-120 through 37-12-130, 37-12-201, 37-12-202,37-12-204 through 37-12-213, 37-12-301 through 37-12-304 and 37-13-101 through37-13-137, inclusive, unless in conflict with other provisions of this chapter,are applicable to telecommunications companies and telecommunication companiesshall be considered public utilities for the purposes of those provisions.

 

37-15-409. Construction with other laws.

 

Ifthe provisions of this chapter conflict with any other statutes, the provisionsof this chapter shall control.

 

37-15-410. Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

 

37-15-411. Repealed By Laws 2007, Ch. 142, 2.

 

 

37-15-412. Unauthorized change of telecommunications company;unauthorized services; prohibited practices; penalties.

 

(a) No person shall engage in any practice which has the effectof changing any Wyoming consumer's telecommunications company if the change iswillfully made without the knowledge and consent of that consumer. No personshall willfully charge or attempt to collect charges from any Wyoming consumerfor any product or service not provided to the consumer or not authorized bythe consumer. The public service commission shall provide upon request of aWyoming consumer, information or technical assistance regarding appropriateaction for the consumer to take in order not to receive telecommunicationcompanies solicitations.

 

(b) Any change in a Wyoming consumer's telecommunicationscompany shall be effective only if it is in compliance with any method ofauthorization permitted under federal law, rule or regulation, except that nonegative option marketing technique shall be permitted to be used.

 

(c) If the chosen method is a letter of agency it shall bemaintained by the new service provider. No letter of agency under subsection(b) of this section shall be effective if it is physically attached to or partof any inducement, premium, coupon or other promotional material. No letter ofagency shall be effective until it is in the actual possession of the newservice provider.

 

(d) Any consumer whose telecommunications company has beenwillfully changed in violation of subsection (a) of this section is not liablefor payment of any unauthorized charge unless the commission determines, afterconducting a public hearing on any complaint brought on the matter, that theconsumer engaged in any fraudulent or deceptive practice which avoids paymentfor telecommunications services in connection with the unauthorized charge.

 

(e) A consumer is not liable for an amount charged for anyunauthorized product provided or service initiated by a telecommunicationscompany or its billing agent without the consent of the consumer. No consumershall be liable to pay for any product not delivered or service not furnished.

 

(f) Restitution for violation of this section shall be asfollows:

 

(i) The unauthorized telecommunications company shall pay allrecurring and nonrecurring fees and charges necessary for the consumer topromptly reinstate service from the original telecommunications company andshall pay that company an amount equal to that which would have been due hadthe consumer remained with the original telecommunications company;

 

(ii) In addition to paragraph (f)(i) of this section, theunauthorized telecommunications company shall pay to any consumer any amountthe consumer has paid to the unauthorized company for which the consumer is notliable under subsection (d) of this section.

 

(g) If the commission shall determine by a preponderance of theevidence in a hearing that any person willfully has engaged in any practicewhich has the effect of changing any Wyoming consumer's telecommunicationscompany without complying with the applicable provisions of this section, hascharged or attempted to collect a charge for unauthorized service, or hassolicited a Wyoming consumer in violation of this section:

 

(i) The commission may impose for each change or charge made inviolation of this section an administrative penalty not to exceed one thousanddollars ($1,000.00); and

 

(ii) If the commission finds that the person has violated thissection with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice it mayalso permanently revoke the authority of the company involved to provideintrastate interexchange or other telecommunications services in this state.

 

(h) The following are not subject to theprovisions of this section:

 

 

 

(i) Changes in a consumer's telecommunications company or otherservices effected through a consolidation or merger of the consumer's currenttelecommunications company;

 

(ii) Services and corresponding charges required by law or orderof the commission.

 

37-15-413. Limitation on authority of political subdivision to enterexclusive agreement for provision of telecommunications service.

 

(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) through (d) of thissection, before the governing body of any city or town or other politicalsubdivision of this state shall provide for the construction, maintenance oroperation of any telecommunications service by entering into an exclusivefranchise, partnership, joint venture, contract, resale agreement or any otherexclusive agreement with any party regarding telecommunications service, thecity, town or other political subdivision shall:

 

(i) Determine, after notice and opportunity for a publichearing, that no private provider of telecommunications services is currentlyproviding substantially the same or similar service anywhere within theboundaries of the city, town or political subdivision;

 

(ii) Have submitted a written request to all private providersof telecommunications services within the boundaries of the city, town orpolitical subdivision for provision of the same quality and grade oftelecommunications service within the same time frame and at the same consumerprices proposed under the exclusive contract;

 

(iii) Determine, after notice and opportunity for a publichearing that the private telecommunications service providers have not agreedwithin ninety (90) days of the receipt of the request submitted pursuant toparagraph (ii) of this subsection to provide the same quality and grade ofservice within the same time frame and at the same consumer prices as proposedunder the exclusive contract, or if the provider has agreed, that the providerhas not commenced providing or constructing facilities to provide the servicein the manner agreed upon; and

 

(iv) Limit the term of any exclusive agreement under thissection to not more than six (6) years.

 

(b) The governing body of a city or town or other politicalsubdivision shall allow the nondiscriminatory, nonexclusive and competitivelyneutral use of its rights-of-way including its poles, conduits, ducts orsimilar support structures by any telecommunications company and nothing inthis section shall be construed to the contrary.

 

(c) Nothing in this section shall restrict the governing bodyof a city or town, or other political subdivision, from providing atelecommunications service or facility:

 

(i) For its own use;

 

(ii) For 911, E-911 or other emergency services;

 

(iii) For medical or educational purposes; or

 

(iv) To students by an educational institution.

 

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict thegoverning body of a city or town or other political subdivision, from providinga telecommunications service to a party within the geographic area in which thecity, town or political subdivision operates as a telecommunications utility. Any city, town or political subdivision providing a telecommunications serviceunder this subsection shall:

 

(i) Provide the telecommunications service on anondiscriminatory, nonexclusive and competitively neutral basis; and

 

(ii) Provide the telecommunications service at a price whichcovers cost, including imputed costs that the city, town or politicalsubdivision would incur if it were a for-profit telecommunications company.

 

(e) Any person may complain to the commission, and thecommission may on its own motion initiate an investigation, concerning anyalleged violation of this section by a city, town or political subdivision,subject to the following:

 

(i) If the commission finds that a city, town or politicalsubdivision has violated this section, or finds that any rule, action or orderof a city, town or political subdivision is anticompetitive or otherwiseviolates this section, the commission shall notify the city, town or politicalsubdivision of the violation. The city, town or political subdivision shallcure the anticompetitive behavior within ninety (90) days following mailing ofnotice by the commission; and

 

(ii) If the city, town or political subdivision does not curethe anticompetitive behavior within ninety (90) days, the commission shallcommence a contested case hearing on the complaint, governed by the WyomingAdministrative Procedure Act, W.S. 16-3-101 et seq. If, following the hearing,the commission finds that the city, town or political subdivision has violatedthis section, the commission shall prohibit the city, town or politicalsubdivision from providing any telecommunications service until the violationof this section is remedied.

 

(f) This section does not apply to any contract entered intoprior to July 1, 2007.

 

ARTICLE 5 - UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND

 

37-15-501. Universal service fund created; contributions;administration.

 

(a) There is hereby established the universal service fund tobe administered in accordance with this section. The fund shall be administeredby the commission. All telecommunications companies shall contribute to theuniversal service fund. The dates for contributions to the fund anddisbursements from the fund shall be set by the commission, after notice andopportunity for hearing, as necessary to accomplish the objectives of the fundas specified in subsections (c) and (d) of this section. The costs ofadministering the fund may be included in determining required contributions.

 

(b) The commission shall after notice and opportunity forhearing, designate the method by which the contributions shall be calculated,collected and distributed. The commission shall authorize an additional monthlycharge to customers, in the amount specified by the commission, to recover eachcontributor's required payment to the universal service fund. Any chargerelated to mobile telecommunications service shall only apply if the customer'splace of primary use is in this state as provided by the MobileTelecommunications Sourcing Act, 4 U.S.C. 116 to 126. The provisions of theMobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act shall apply to this subsection.

 

(c) The commission shall administer the monies in the universalservice fund to assist only those customers of telecommunications companieslocated in areas of this state with relatively high rates for essentialservices. The commission, after notice and opportunity for hearing, shalldetermine a reasonable amount and a fair method of distributing monies. Thecommission may authorize a credit to customer bills, in the amount specified bythe commission, to reflect distributions received by the local exchange companyfrom the universal service fund. The commission shall ensure that the methodshall promote the emergence of competition in providing local exchange service.

 

(d) In accordance with the method of distribution determined bythe commission, a telecommunications company shall receive funds under thissection to the extent that its essential local exchange service prices, afterconsideration of any contributions from the federal universal service fund,exceed one hundred thirty percent (130%) of the weighted statewide averageessential local exchange service prices.

 

(e) The operation of the universal service fund may besuspended by the commission, based upon a public interest finding, after noticeand an opportunity for a hearing, that the fund is not then serving itsintended purpose.

 

(f) The commission's decisions under this section shall besubject to the provisions of the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act.

 

37-15-502. Universal service fund eligibility and distribution tocarriers.

 

(a) Telecommunications companies which use cellular, radiospectrum or other wireless technology to provide supported services tocustomers who are otherwise eligible to receive universal service supportpursuant to W.S. 37-15-501, may establish eligibility to receive universalservice fund distributions in an amount to be determined by the commission,provided that:

 

(i) The telecommunications company will offer and advertise alluniversal service fund supported services throughout the entire local exchangearea;

 

(ii) The telecommunications company will provide unlimited localcalling throughout an entire local exchange area for a flat fee;

 

(iii) The telecommunications company's bill to the customerreflects a credit for the amount of distribution the company receives from thestate universal service fund for providing universal service fund supportedservices to that customer; and

 

(iv) The company and services meet such additional criteria, ifany, the commission, after notice and opportunity for hearing, determines arenecessary. During its consideration and determination, the commission shallconsider technological and competitive neutrality.

 

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