HB1785I-Introduced Bill Text
SECOND REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE BILL NO. 1785
89TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES DeMARCE, FARNEN (Co-sponsors), KENNEDY,
HECKEMEYER, RANSDALL, PARKER, SEIGFREID, FITZWATER, SUMMERS, CLAYTON,
MERIDETH, WIGGINS, ELLIOTT AND HEGEMAN.
Read 1st time February 17, 1998 and 1000 copies ordered printed.
ANNE C. WALKER, Chief Clerk
To amend chapter 392, RSMo, by adding thereto two new sections relating to provision of
expanded basic local telecommunications service and continuation of interexchange telecommunications service, with an emergency clause.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapter 392, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto two new sections, to be known as
sections 392.540 and 392.545, to read as follows:
392.540. 1. Sections 392.540 and 392.545 may be cited as the "Local Calling Parity Act of
2. As used in sections 392.540 and 392.545, the following words and phrases mean:
(1) "Expanded area service" or "EAS", a two-way, flat-rate local calling plan currently in
existence between certain exchanges in this state;
(2) "Local calling scope", an area within an exchange or between two or more exchanges
within which basic local telecommunications service and other local service as ordered by
the commission are offered on a mandatory basis to all telecommunications customers,
without toll charges and with exchange access charges or other forms of compensation
arranged between companies limited to charges and forms of compensation as approved by
(3) "Metropolitan exchange", an exchange area containing entirely or in part a city of over
one hundred thirty thousand population;
(4) "Rate center", the geographic points identified by vertical and horizontal coordinates
that are used to measure the distance a call travels for rating intraLATA and interLATA
toll calls, as defined in the incumbent local exchange telecommunications company's tariff
in effect January 1, 1998.
3. Other provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the commission shall immediately institute a proceeding which shall be concluded not later than October 1, 1999, to
devise guidelines and procedures under which local exchange telecommunications companies doing business in this state shall expand the provision of basic local telecommunications service by implementing local calling scopes between exchanges which meet the
(1) Between an exchange which lies entirely or in part within any county or any city not
within a county and all other exchanges which lie entirely or in part within the same county
or the same city not within a county; or
(2) Between an exchange and any other exchange located not more than thirty miles
distant, the distance being measured from rate center to rate center of the exchanges.
The commission shall have the authority, as a result of a proceeding initiated on its own
motion or that of the office of the public counsel, to order the implementation of the
expanded local calling scopes as provided in this section.
4. During the first three months of the proceeding initiated pursuant to subsection 3 of this
section, the commission shall hold at least six public hearings, geographically dispersed
evenly throughout the state. Notice of the public hearing to be held in the location most
convenient to each county or city not within a county shall be provided in at least one
newspaper of general circulation in each county or city not within a county in the state.
Such notice shall be reasonably calculated to inform the general public of the hearing. The
notice shall contain the purpose of the hearing, the date, time and place of the hearing, a
contact person at the public service commission and a telephone number and address to
reach the contact. The notice shall be published not less than five days before the hearing.
5. The commission shall require each incumbent local exchange company providing
interexchange telecommunications service to any exchange to file a tariff implementing the
service described in subsection 3 of this section by April 1, 2000. Any plan to implement
expanded local calling scopes as provided in subsection 3 of this section shall be subject to
the approval of the commission. In developing a plan, the commission shall require
telecommunications companies to enter into negotiations to provide for expanded local
calling scopes throughout their service areas. If the telecommunications companies are
unable to reach an agreement within a time frame consistent with the requirements of this
section and the instructions of the commission, the commission may impose its own plan.
The commission shall have the authority to determine the method of funding this service.
In determining the method of funding this service, the commission shall first utilize any
available earnings of the telephone companies in excess of those authorized in their
respective tariffs; provided, however, that the commission shall not mandate any plan that
requires the transfer of funds to implement expanded local calling scopes from one
telephone company to another unless or until all other remedies are exhausted. Any
telecommunications company seeking to recover any portion of its expenses or lost toll
revenues or access charges resulting from the implementation of expanded local calling
scopes shall demonstrate its financial hardship to the commission before such recovery
shall be allowed. It shall be within the discretion of the commission to determine the
methodology and source of recovery for any such affected telephone company. Such
methodology and source may include, but not be limited to, increases in the affected
telephone company's rates and charges, sharing of lost revenues and increased expenses by
any other telephone company included in the plan under review, and any other methodology which has as its goal the maintenance of reasonable telephone rates for all subscribers
in the state.
6. Except as provided in subsections 7 and 8 of this section, the commission shall establish
a charge for each business and residential customer access line in each exchange for the
expanded local calling scope service provided pursuant to this section. This fee is mandatory within the exchange and is in addition to the charge for existing local basic service.
The local exchange telecommunications company shall not require any customer to
purchase any other service in order to obtain the expanded local calling scope service
pursuant to subsection 3 of this section. In all exchanges, the commission shall seek to limit
the amount of the charge to the lesser of:
(1) Fifty percent of the company's charge for local basic service for either residential or
business customers, excluding all other additives and charges; or
(2) Three dollars fifty cents per month for residential customers or six dollars per month
for business customers.
Where it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the charges called for in this
section cannot be practicably implemented for reasons of geographic, economic or technological infeasibility, the commission shall establish charges similar to rates charged for
similar services in metropolitan areas. In establishing charges pursuant to this subsection,
the commission shall make use of expanded area service plans in existence as of January 1,
1998, as a model for developing low cost interexchange local phone service and determining
rates to be charged for provision of such service.
7. Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the expanded local calling scope
service established pursuant to this section shall be considered a mandatory local service
and any company providing such service in high cost areas of the state shall be eligible to
receive funding from the state universal service fund established pursuant to procedures
established by section 392.248 in order to bring customer charges within the rate structure
called for by subsection 6 of this section. Funding from the state universal service fund
established pursuant to section 392.248 may be used to replace the revenue occasioned by
any small local exchange telecommunications company's voluntary application to reduce its
intrastate exchange access rates to facilitate the implementation of expanded local calling
scopes in the exchange or exchanges of the small local telecommunications company, which
application must be made by the company prior to April 1, 2000.
8. The commission shall have the authority to delay establishment of the expanded local
calling scope in a given exchange or set of exchanges if it finds, upon motion by the office of
the public counsel or of a city or county located within the exchange or set of exchanges,
that establishment of expanded local calling scopes in that exchange would impose an
undue economic burden on telecommunications customers in the exchange or set of
exchanges. In the event that establishment of an expanded local calling scope is delayed by
the commission pursuant to this section, the commission shall promptly initiate a proceeding to devise a plan under which expanded local calling scope service may be provided to
the affected area at a reasonable charge.
9. Subsections 3 to 8 of this section notwithstanding, the expanded local calling scope
service authorized by this section shall not be available for telecommunications customers
in metropolitan exchanges and exchanges which share two-way local calling privileges with
metropolitan exchanges pursuant to a metropolitan calling area plan in place pursuant to
order of the commission. It is the intent of the general assembly that the expanded local
calling scope service authorized in this section shall supplement and not replace or
substitute for existing metropolitan calling area plans currently in existence pursuant to
order of the commission. Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude the
commission from conducting proceedings to explore proposals for less expensive local
calling plans in metropolitan areas.
10. Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair the legislative purposes set forth in
section 392.185 within the parameters for provision of basic local telecommunications
service established by this section.
392.545. 1. No incumbent local exchange telecommunications company providing basic
local telecommunications service within the state of Missouri on January 1, 1998, shall
abandon such service until and unless it shall demonstrate, and the commission finds, after
notice and hearing, that such abandonment will not deprive any customers of basic local
telecommunications service or access thereto and is not otherwise contrary to the public
2. The implementation of intraLATA toll dialing parity within the exchange or exchanges
of any small local exchange telecommunications company shall not occur prior to June 1,
3. No incumbent local exchange telecommunications company providing basic
interexchange telecommunications service within the exchange or exchanges of any small
incumbent local exchange telecommunications company on January 1, 1998, shall abandon
such service until and unless it shall demonstrate, and the commission finds, after notice
and hearing, that intraLATA toll dialing parity was implemented in the exchange or
exchanges where the incumbent local exchange telecommunications company carrier
desires to abandon such service not less than one year prior to the filing of the application
for abandonment, that during the year prior to the filing of the application not less than
three interexchange carriers have continuously provided basic interexchange telecommunications service to all customers residing in the exchange or exchanges, that such abandonment will not deprive any customers of basic interexchange telecommunications service or
access thereto, and that such abandonment is not otherwise contrary to the public interest.
Section B. Because immediate action is necessary to preserve the availability of interexchange
telecommunications service in certain exchanges in this state, this act is deemed necessary for the
immediate preservation of the public health, welfare, peace and safety, and is hereby declared to
be an emergency act within the meaning of the constitution, and this act shall be in full force and
effect upon its passage and approval.
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