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Bill Number: 1150 Ratification Number: 609 Act Number 537 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: Telephone utilities, schedules; provisions added
(A537, R609, S1150)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 58-9-230, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO TELEPHONE COMPANIES AND THE REQUIREMENT THAT SCHEDULES MUST BE ADHERED TO, SO AS TO, AMONG OTHER THINGS, PROVIDE THAT LOCAL EXCHANGE COMPANY CENTREX-TYPE SERVICES OR BILLING AND COLLECTION SERVICES, OR BOTH, MAY BE OFFERED TO SUBSCRIBERS WITHOUT THE SCHEDULES RELATED THERETO BEING FILED AS PROVIDED ELSEWHERE IN THIS SECTION IF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION MAKES A CERTAIN DETERMINATION, PROVIDE THAT THE COMMISSION SHALL RETAIN REGULATORY AUTHORITY OVER THE RATES, REVENUES, INVESTMENTS, EXPENSES, AND QUALITY OF THE SERVICES SO OFFERED, PROVIDE FOR THE CHARGES FOR SERVICES OFFERED BY THE UTILITY, PROVIDE THAT UPON REQUEST OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS THE UTILITY SHALL MAKE AVAILABLE TO THE CONSUMER ADVOCATE CERTAIN COST DATA, PROVIDE THAT THE COST DATA IS NOT SUBJECT TO DISCLOSURE TO THE PUBLIC, PROVIDE THAT UPON APPLICATION OF ANY INTERESTED PARTY AND FOR GOOD CAUSE SHOWN, THE COMMISSION MAY DIRECT THE MANNER IN WHICH THE PROPRIETARY COST DATA PROVIDED TO THE COMMISSION AND THE CONSUMER ADVOCATE MAY BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE INTERESTED PARTY, AND PROVIDE THAT WHEN A LOCAL EXCHANGE COMPANY PROPOSES TO OFFER A SERVICE PURSUANT TO CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION, THE COMMISSION SHALL MAKE CERTAIN DETERMINATIONS OR DECISIONS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Telephone utilities, schedules; provisions added
SECTION 1. Section 58-9-230 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 58-9-230. (A) No telephone utility may directly or indirectly, by any device whatsoever or in any way, charge, demand, collect, or receive from any person or corporation a greater or less compensation for any service rendered or supplied, or to be rendered or supplied, by the telephone utility, than that prescribed in the schedules of the telephone utility applicable thereto then filed in the manner provided in Articles 1 through 13 of this chapter, nor may any person or corporation receive or accept any service from a telephone utility for a compensation greater or less than that prescribed in the schedules.
(B) Local exchange company centrex-type services or billing and collection services, or both, may be offered to subscribers without the schedules related thereto being filed as provided in subsection (A), if the Commission, after hearing, first determines that such services are subject to competition in the relevant product and geographic markets. The Commission shall retain regulatory authority, however, over the rates, revenues, investments, expenses, and quality of the services so offered.
(C) The charges for services offered by the utility pursuant to subsection (B) must, in every instance, be provided at a level above the cost of the service as determined by the Commission. The Commission, and its staff shall have access to such data to insure compliance with this section. Upon request of the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs the utility shall make available to the Consumer Advocate all cost data for the charges for services offered by the utility pursuant to subsection (B). The cost data is not subject to disclosure to the public. However, upon the application of any interested party and for good cause shown, the Commission may enter an appropriate order which directs the manner in which the proprietary cost data provided to the
Commission and the Consumer Advocate may be made available to such interested party.
(D) When a local exchange company proposes to offer a service pursuant to subsections (B) and (C), the Commission shall first determine:
(1) whether monopoly elements are offered as part of the centrex-type service; and
(2) if the Commission finds the existence of a monopoly element, then it must decide whether or not that monopoly element should be unbundled from the detariffed service. If they find that the monopoly element should be unbundled, then only the competitive elements of that service may be detariffed.
(3) This section does not amend or repeal the provisions of Section 58-9-250."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.