On April 25, 2011, Sens. Mark Scheffel, R-Castle Rock, and Lois Tochtrop, D-Thornton, and Reps. Carole Murray, R-Castle Rock, and Angela Williams, D-Denver, introduced SB 11-262 – Concerning the regulation of telecommunications service by the Public Utilities Commission, and, in connection therewith, eliminating price regulation for all but basic local exchange service and emergency service and phasing out the high-cost support mechanism. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.
The bill repeals and reenacts the existing statutes governing regulation of telecommunications by the Colorado public utilities commission (PUC). Retail and wholesale services are treated separately. The PUC is directed to withdraw price controls for all services except basic local exchange service and emergency service, and to periodically reexamine whether competition has advanced sufficiently in particular geographic areas so that price controls on these services may also be withdrawn. The bill preserves the PUC’s jurisdiction over service quality, including the authority to receive and resolve consumer complaints.
In addition, the bill:
- Adds voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) service as a recognized alternative for providing voice communications, and includes VoIP providers among those who must contribute to the funding of basic service in high-cost areas and emergency service as long as funding mechanisms for those services continue;
- Requires registration for all carriers but eliminates the need for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for carriers other than those that provide regulated basic service or emergency service; and
Requires wholesale carriers to incrementally adjust their rates for access over a period of time until their intrastate rates match their interstate rates as filed with the federal communications commission. Assigned to the Business, Labor, & Technology Committee; the bill is scheduled for committee review on Monday, May 2 at 1:30p.m.
Since this summary, the Senate Committee on Business, Labor and Technology postponed the bill indefinitely.
Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.