The high cost support mechanism reimburses some of the cost of providing telephone services to rural areas. The bill adds broadband internet service in unserved and underserved areas to the services that are reimbursable.
As introduced, the bill exempts voice-over-internet-protocol service and internet-protocol-enabled service from regulation by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and exempts broadband service from state sales tax. It also exempts basic local exchange service from regulation in geographic areas in which the PUC has determined that effective competition exists.
The bill clarifies that this exemption does not affect an entity’s rights and obligations under federal law, nor does it affect the PUC’s authority with respect to: Wholesale telecommunications rates; services; agreements; providers; tariffs; the resolution of disputes regarding intercarrier compensation; or oversight of the implementation of a next-generation 911 plan with regard to interoperability and performance, operational, and system standards.
The bill was introduced on April 29 and assigned to the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee. On May 1, the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs amended the bill and sent it to the full Senate for consideration on 2nd Reading.
Since this summary, the bill lost with amendments on Second Reading in the Senate. It was laid over until May 10, 2013.