Article 2. Customer And Subscriber Services of California Public Utilities Code >> Division 1. >> Part 2. >> Chapter 10. >> Article 2.
(a) The commission shall design and implement a program to
provide a telecommunications device capable of serving the needs of
individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired, together with a single
party line, at no charge additional to the basic exchange rate, to a
subscriber who is certified as an individual who is deaf or hearing
impaired by a licensed physician and surgeon, audiologist, or a
qualified state or federal agency, as determined by the commission,
and to a subscriber that is an organization representing individuals
who are deaf or hearing impaired, as determined and specified by the
commission pursuant to subdivision (h). A licensed hearing aid
dispenser may certify the need of an individual to participate in the
program if that individual has been previously fitted with an
amplified device by the dispenser and the dispenser has the
individual's hearing records on file prior to certification. In
addition, a physician assistant may certify the needs of an
individual who has been diagnosed by a physician and surgeon as being
deaf or hearing impaired to participate in the program after
reviewing the medical records or copies of the medical records
containing that diagnosis.
(b) The commission shall also design and implement a program to
provide a dual-party relay system, using third-party intervention to
connect individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired and offices of
organizations representing individuals who are deaf or hearing
impaired, as determined and specified by the commission pursuant to
subdivision (h), with persons of normal hearing by way of
intercommunications devices for individuals who are deaf or hearing
impaired and the telephone system, making available reasonable access
of all phases of public telephone service to telephone subscribers
who are deaf or hearing impaired. In order to make a dual-party relay
system that will meet the requirements of individuals who are deaf
or hearing impaired available at a reasonable cost, the commission
shall initiate an investigation, conduct public hearings to determine
the most cost-effective method of providing dual-party relay service
to the deaf or hearing impaired when using a telecommunications
device, and solicit the advice, counsel, and physical assistance of
statewide nonprofit consumer organizations of the deaf, during the
development and implementation of the system. The commission shall
apply for certification of this program under rules adopted by the
Federal Communications Commission pursuant to Section 401 of the
federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336).
(c) The commission shall also design and implement a program
whereby specialized or supplemental telephone communications
equipment may be provided to subscribers who are certified to be
disabled at no charge additional to the basic exchange rate. The
certification, including a statement of visual or medical need for
specialized telecommunications equipment, shall be provided by a
licensed optometrist, physician and surgeon, or physician assistant,
acting within the scope of practice of his or her license, or by a
qualified state or federal agency as determined by the commission.
The commission shall, in this connection, study the feasibility of,
and implement, if determined to be feasible, personal income
criteria, in addition to the certification of disability, for
determining a subscriber's eligibility under this subdivision.
(d) (1) The commission shall also design and implement a program
to provide access to a speech-generating device to any subscriber who
is certified as having a speech disability at no charge additional
to the basic exchange rate. The certification shall be provided by a
licensed physician, licensed speech-language pathologist, or
qualified state or federal agency. The commission shall provide to a
certified subscriber access to a speech-generating device that is all
of the following:
(A) A telecommunications device or a device that includes a
(B) Appropriate to meet the subscriber's needs for access to, and
use of, the telephone network, based on the recommendation of a
licensed speech-language pathologist.
(C) Consistent with the quality of speech-generating devices
available for purchase in the state.
(2) The commission shall adopt rules to implement this subdivision
and subdivision (e) by January 1, 2014.
(e) All of the following apply to any device or equipment
described in this section that is classified as durable medical
equipment under guidelines established by the United States
Department of Health and Human Services:
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that the commission be the
provider of last resort and that eligible subscribers first obtain
coverage from any available public or private insurance.
(2) The commission may require the subscriber to provide
information about coverage for any or all of the cost of the device
or equipment that is available from any public or private insurance,
the cost to the subscriber of any deductible, copayment, or other
relevant expense, and any related benefit cap information.
(3) The total cost of any device or equipment provided to a
subscriber under this section shall not exceed the rate of
reimbursement provided by Medi-Cal for that device or equipment.
(f) Nothing in this section requires the commission to provide
training to a subscriber on the use of a speech-generating device.
(g) The commission shall establish a rate recovery mechanism
through a surcharge not to exceed one-half of 1 percent uniformly
applied to a subscriber's intrastate telephone service, other than
one-way radio paging service and universal telephone service, both
within a service area and between service areas, to allow providers
of the equipment and service specified in subdivisions (a), (b), (c),
and (d) to recover costs as they are incurred under this section.
The surcharge shall be in effect until January 1, 2020. The
commission shall require that the programs implemented under this
section be identified on subscribers' bills, and shall establish a
fund and require separate accounting for each of the programs
implemented under this section.
(h) The commission shall determine and specify those statewide
organizations representing the deaf or hearing impaired that shall
receive a telecommunications device pursuant to subdivision (a) or a
dual-party relay system pursuant to subdivision (b), or both, and in
which offices the equipment shall be installed in the case of an
organization having more than one office.
(i) The commission may direct a telephone corporation subject to
its jurisdiction to comply with its determinations and specifications
pursuant to this section.
(j) The commission shall annually review the surcharge level and
the balances in the funds established pursuant to subdivision (g).
Until January 1, 2020, the commission may make, within the limits set
by subdivision (g), any necessary adjustments to the surcharge to
ensure that the programs supported thereby are adequately funded and
that the fund balances are not excessive. A fund balance that is
projected to exceed six months' worth of projected expenses at the
end of the fiscal year is excessive.
(k) In order to continue to meet the access needs of individuals
with functional limitations of hearing, vision, movement,
manipulation, speech, and interpretation of information, the
commission shall perform ongoing assessment of, and if appropriate,
expand the scope of the program to allow for additional access
capability consistent with evolving telecommunications technology.
(l) The commission shall structure the programs required by this
section so that a charge imposed to promote the goals of universal
service reasonably equals the value of the benefits of universal
service to contributing entities and their subscribers.
(a) In addition to the requirements of Section 2881, the
commission shall design and implement a program to provide a
telecommunications device capable of servicing the needs of the deaf
or severely hearing impaired, together with a single party line, at
no charge additional to the basic exchange rate, to any subscriber
which is an agency of state government and which the commission
determines serves a significant portion of the deaf or severely
hearing-impaired population, and to an office located in the State
Capitol and selected by the Joint Rules Committee, for purposes of
access by the deaf or severely hearing impaired to Members of the
(b) The commission shall permit providers of equipment and service
specified in subdivision (a) to recover costs as they are incurred
under this section pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 2881.
(c) The commission may direct any telephone corporation subject to
its jurisdiction to comply with its determinations pursuant to this
(a) In addition to the requirements of Section 2881, the
commission shall design and implement a program that shall provide
for publicly available telecommunications devices capable of
servicing the needs of the deaf or hearing impaired in existing
buildings, structures, facilities, and public accommodations of the
type specified in Section 4450 of the Government Code and Sections
19955.5 and 19956 of the Health and Safety Code, making available
reasonable access of all phases of public telephone service to
individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired. The commission shall
direct the appropriate committee under its control to determine and
specify locations within existing buildings, structures, facilities,
and public accommodations in need of a telecommunications device and
to contract for the procurement, installation, and maintenance of
these devices. In the letting of the contract, the commission shall
direct the committee to ensure consideration of for-profit and
nonprofit corporations, including nonprofit corporations with
demonstrated service to individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired
and whose boards of directors and staff are made up of a majority of
those individuals. The commission shall also direct the committee to
seek the cooperation of the owners, managers, and tenants of the
existing buildings, structures, facilities, and public accommodations
that have been determined to be in need of a telecommunications
device with regard to its installation and maintenance. The
commission shall phase in this program over a reasonable period of
time, beginning no later than January 1, 1998, giving priority to
those existing buildings, structures, facilities, and public
accommodations determined by the commission, with the advice and
counsel of statewide nonprofit consumer organizations for the deaf,
to be of most importance and usefulness to the deaf or hearing
(b) The commission shall ensure that costs are recovered as they
are incurred under this section, including any costs incurred by the
owners, managers, or tenants of existing buildings, structures,
facilities, and public accommodations, and shall utilize for this
purpose the rate recovery mechanism established pursuant to
subdivision (g) of Section 2881. The commission shall also establish
a fund and require separate accounting for the program implemented
under this section and, in addition, shall require that the surcharge
utilized to fund the program not exceed two-hundredths of 1 percent,
that it be combined with the surcharge required by subdivision (g)
of Section 2881, and that it count toward the limits set by that
subdivision. This surcharge shall be in effect until January 1, 2006.
(c) "Existing buildings, structures, facilities, and public
accommodations," for the purposes of this section, means those
buildings, structures, facilities, and public accommodations or parts
thereof that were constructed or altered prior to January 26, 1993,
or are otherwise not required by Section 303 of the federal Americans
with Disabilities Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-336; 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12183)
or any other section of that act and its implementing regulations and
guidelines, to have a publicly available telecommunications device
capable of serving the needs of the deaf or hearing impaired.
(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the
(1) Section 278 requires the commission to transfer to the
Controller for deposit in the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications
Program Administrative Committee Fund all revenues collected by
telephone corporations to fund programs to provide specified
telecommunications services and equipment to deaf, disabled, and
hearing-impaired persons, as specified in Sections 2881, 2881.1, and
(2) The commission issued a report to the Legislature in May 2001,
addressing compliance issues pertaining to the programs specified in
Sections 2881, 2881.1, and 2881.2, including a recommendation to
secure legislative authorization for the commission to contract with
outside entities for the provision of services and equipment mandated
by Sections 2881, 2881.1, and 2881.2.
(3) The telecommunications services and equipment provided to
deaf, disabled, and hearing-impaired individuals and their families,
as specified in Sections 2881, 2881.1, and 2881.2, are of such a
highly specialized and technical nature that the necessary expert
knowledge, ability, and experience are not available within the
current state civil service system.
(4) It is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this section,
to do all of the following:
(A) Maintain the availability of the state's current statewide
infrastructure of telecommunications services and equipment to deaf,
disabled, and hearing-impaired persons, as provided for in Sections
2881, 2881.1, and 2881.2, as essential to maintaining public health
(B) Authorize the commission to enter into contracts for the
provision of telecommunications services and equipment for deaf,
disabled, and hearing-impaired persons in a manner that protects and
enhances the current statewide infrastructure and coordinated
delivery of those services and equipment and includes a priority for
maintaining long-term continuity of program administration and
maximum involvement of the deaf and disabled community in program
(C) Strengthen program priorities for expanded outreach through
continuing consultation with, and participation by, the deaf,
disabled, and hearing-impaired community in order to ensure the state'
s network of services reach hard-to-serve populations, including
rural, innercity, and urban areas.
(D) Develop a mechanism to achieve cost-effective and timely
deployment of new and emerging telecommunications technologies, to
the extent fiscally and economically feasible.
(b) In order for the commission to ensure continued provision of
telecommunications services and equipment for deaf, disabled, and
hearing-impaired persons, the commission, subject to annual
appropriation of funds by the Legislature and consistent with state
contracting requirements, may contract with entities, including
nonprofit entities, or persons that have the necessary expert
knowledge, ability, and experience to provide, manage, or operate the
programs described in Sections 2881, 2881.1, and 2881.2.
(c) The commission may enter into contracts pursuant to
subdivision (b) of Section 19130 of the Government Code for the
services and equipment contemplated by the programs described in
Sections 2881, 2881.1, and 2881.2.
(d) The commission may include provisions that accomplish any of
the following in contracts authorized by this section:
(1) Establish standards and procedures, including prior commission
approval, for subcontracting.
(2) Establish standards and procedures regarding personnel and
(3) Require budget approval.
(4) Require periodic audits.
(5) Monitor performance and establish performance standards and
the method of evaluating performance, including remedies for
(6) Establish standards and procedures to investigate and resolve
(7) Provide for any other terms or restrictions as the commission
finds necessary to ensure that the public funds are used in
accordance with the goals of the Legislature and the commission.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any contract
entered into pursuant to this section may provide for periodic
advance payments for telecommunications services to be performed or
telecommunications equipment to be provided. No advance payment made
pursuant to this section may exceed 25 percent of the total annual
(f) Any contractor the commission selects shall demonstrate
knowledge of and the capacity to provide specialized
telecommunications services and equipment to deaf, disabled, and
hearing-impaired persons, and shall be required to consult with the
Telecommunications Access for Deaf and Disabled Administrative
Committee regarding the specialized needs of individuals utilizing
program services and equipment, as specified in Sections 2881,
2881.1, and 2881.2.
(g) The commission shall, to the extent feasible and consistent
with state civil service requirements, employ staff overseeing the
programs described in Sections 2881, 2881.1, and 2881.2 who are
members of the deaf, disabled, and hearing-impaired community.
(a) (1) The Legislature finds and declares all of the
(A) As originally enacted, Section 2883 required local telephone
corporations to provide a residential telephone connection with no
customer account attached, also known as a warm line, access to "911"
emergency service. This section took effect in 1995 when basic local
exchange telephone service was provided exclusively by incumbent
wireline providers operating within their franchise territories.
Local exchange competition was nonexistent and wireless telephones
were expensive and not in widespread use.
(B) At that time, the number of warm lines was very small. The
practice of leaving warm lines in place continued the availability of
"911" emergency service upon disconnection and permitted new
residential service orders to be completed with minimum cost and
(C) In recent years, the providers of warm line service have lost
a significant percentage of their customer base to competitors.
Today, the number of warm lines in California has increased in
proportion to the loss of wireline customers. An estimated 2,000,000
warm lines exist today and that number continues to grow.
(D) Rather than being converted to new active service accounts,
many warm lines remain in place indefinitely, even when customers
switch to other voice carriers that provide "911" emergency service
access. As warm lines age, deterioration can create shorts in these
lines that trigger "911" calls, also known as phantom "911" calls
because there is no person making the call.
(E) Responding to phantom "911" calls places a drain on public
safety resources including increased costs for public safety
responders. In addition, the state pays providers on a monthly basis,
based on volume, to maintain number and location records in the
state "911" database, including the records for increasing numbers of
(F) The cost to local telephone companies to energize and maintain
warm lines is the same as for active service accounts. Energy
provided to warm lines at residences where access to "911" emergency
service is being obtained through a different provider is a waste of
limited natural resources.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature to amend Section 2883 in a
manner that continues to provide a public safety net in a
competitive telecommunications market, eliminates phantom "911"
calls, conserves energy for productive uses, and limits costs to the
state, local governments, and local telephone corporations.
(b) All local telephone corporations, excluding providers of
mobile telephony service and mobile satellite telephone service, as
defined in Section 224.4, to the extent permitted by existing
technology or facilities, shall provide every subscriber of tariffed
residential basic exchange service with access to "911" emergency
(c) A local telephone corporation shall provide access to services
described in subdivision (b) for at least 120 days after
disconnection of residential basic exchange service for nonpayment of
any delinquent account or indebtedness owed by the subscriber to the
telephone corporation. A subscriber and a telephone corporation may
arrange payment schedules to regain full service.
(d) If a local telephone corporation chooses to terminate access
to the services described in subdivision (b) after 120 days as
authorized in subdivision (c), the local telephone corporation shall
inform residential subscribers as part of the notice of suspension or
disconnection of service for nonpayment of all of the following
(1) The availability of the "911" emergency service described in
subdivision (b) for 120 days after disconnection of residential basic
(2) Options that may be available to avoid suspension or
disconnection of service.
(3) Other options that may be available for obtaining access to
"911" emergency service consistent with a customer education program,
if adopted by the commission.
(e) This section shall not be construed to relieve any person of
an obligation to pay a debt owed to a telephone corporation.
(f) This section shall not require a local telephone corporation
to provide "911" access pursuant to this section if doing so would
preclude providing service to subscribers of residential telephone
(g) A local telephone corporation may disconnect any line in
existence on January 1, 2011, providing access to "911" emergency
services with no customer account attached for that line, if notice
of not less than 90 days prior to disconnection is provided to the
last known address of record associated with that line that is being
disconnected. The notice shall provide information about all of the
(1) "911" emergency service is provided to customers who purchase
voice telephone service.
(2) Access to "911" emergency services may have been provided to
the address, to the extent permitted by existing technology or
facilities, but will be discontinued as provided in this section.
(3) A contact number for further information, including
information about low cost options, including the Universal Lifeline
Telephone Service (ULTS) program.
(4) Contact information for the commission.
(h) A local telephone corporation shall not be required to
terminate access to any line providing access to "911" emergency
services with no customer account attached for that line.
(a) The commission shall, pursuant to its existing authority,
by rule or order, establish procedures governing telephone
corporation billing practices and operations to require every
telephone corporation, on and after July 1, 1986, or on and after
another date or dates which the commission finds and determines to be
appropriate and feasible with respect to the capability of
particular telephone equipment, to offer residential subscribers the
option of deleting access to a class of information-access telephone
service, commonly referred to as "900 or 976 service," whereby
recorded commercial, informational, or public service messages,
interactive computer programs, and other services, are provided for a
charge, in addition to the basic local exchange charge, to the
person calling, and to notify new residential subscribers of the
options available to delete information-access services through
The commission shall specify a method or methods for telephone
corporations to institute this deletion of access option for
residential subscribers, taking into consideration the operational
requirements of the various types of telephone equipment in use
throughout the state. The commission shall impose no charge on
residential telephone subscribers for this deletion of access option,
and shall require telephone corporations to refund to subscribers
any amounts paid prior to the effective date of the amendments to
this section enacted in 1988 for deletion of access. The commission
shall determine and implement a method by which telephone
corporations shall be recompensed for the expenses of providing this
deletion of access option.
(b) The commission shall require every telephone corporation which
furnishes information-access telephone service to make available a
separate, easily distinguishable telephone prefix number for
information providers which provide messages which constitute harmful
matter and for those who provide other than messages which
constitute harmful matter, and to request every information provider
to designate which prefix corresponds to the type of messages it
proposes to provide. Any information provider which provides any live
or recorded message constituting harmful matter through any
information-access telephone number other than one within the prefix
assigned to information providers furnishing messages constituting
harmful matter is in violation of Section 2111. The commission shall
require the telephone corporation to offer residential subscribers
the option of deleting access to the telephone prefix number by which
messages constituting harmful matter are accessed, pursuant to
subdivision (a), and shall determine and implement a method by which
a telephone corporation shall be recompensed for the expenses of
providing this deletion of access option to residential subscribers.
(c) As used in this section, "harmful matter" means harmful matter
as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 313 of the Penal Code.
(d) If any provision of this section or the application thereof to
any person or circumstances is held invalid, that invalidity shall
not affect other provisions or applications of the section which can
be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to
this end the provisions of this section are severable.
(a) Except as specified in subdivision (b), the billing and
collection practices of a telephone corporation for services
rendered to or for an information service that contains harmful
matter, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 313 of the Penal
Code, are not subject to the jurisdiction and control of the
commission, notwithstanding Section 2884, but are a matter for
contractual arrangement between the telephone corporation and the
(b) Nothing in subdivision (a) affects the commission's
jurisdiction over billing and collection for any other information
(c) The commission may, on complaint or on its own motion, after a
hearing, find and determine that circumstances including, but not
limited to, anticompetitive results, require the exercise of
jurisdiction and control by it over those matters removed from its
jurisdiction and control by subdivision (a), and may then exercise
that jurisdiction and control.
(d) Subdivision (a) applies only to that class of
information-access telephone service furnished within or between
service areas, as defined in Section 230.3, through the use of either
a "976" prefix or a "900" access code telephone number, and applies
only to billing and collection services in that class of service.
(e) The commission may investigate and consider, for purposes of
establishing telephone rates, revenues and expenses related to any
billing or collection services rendered by a telephone corporation to
or for an information provider.
(f) A telephone corporation shall, before refusing to provide
billing and collection services for any information service, give the
information provider of that service and the commission not less
than 30 days' advance notice.
(g) If a telephone corporation elects to enter into a contractual
arrangement to provide billing and collection services to an
information provider, the telephone corporation shall provide those
services to the information provider under the same terms,
conditions, and rates that the service is offered to all other
information providers contracting for the services. The telephone
corporation shall provide copies of the contracts to the commission
and, on request, to any other interested party.
(h) Notwithstanding Section 17024 of the Business and Professions
Code, billing and collection services described in subdivision (a)
are services subject to Part 2 (commencing with Section 16600) of
Division 7 of that code. A person or firm claiming a violation of
Section 17045 of that code, with respect to those services, may
proceed in accordance with Article 4 (commencing with Section 17070)
of Chapter 4 of Part 2 of Division 7 of that code, or pursue any
other remedy available under law.
Notwithstanding Section 2884, the commission shall require
that telephone subscriber access to information services providing
messages which constitute harmful matter, as defined in Section 313
of the Penal Code, be furnished by an information provider or its
agent on a subscription basis only.
(a) The commission shall require telephone corporations and
providers of information-access telephone services to institute a
method of handling subscriber complaints concerning these services,
which shall include provision for a waiver of all of the charges for
these services for a first occasion of their inadvertent or mistaken
(b) Every telephone corporation and provider of information-access
telephone services providing messages that constitute harmful
matter, as defined in Section 313 of the Penal Code, shall provide
for a one-time waiver of all subscriber charges associated with a
collect call when the call contains harmful matter and the person
making or accepting the call is a minor.
The commission shall, on or before July 1, 1987, determine
the feasibility of requiring that, whenever a call is placed from a
cellular telephone, the person receiving the call receive a
notification indicating that the call is being placed from a cellular
telephone and that the telephone conversation may not be totally
private. The determination of feasibility shall include findings and
conclusions on the necessity for, and the costs of, implementing a
cellular telephone call notification system and on subscriber
reaction to the notification system or systems proposed or employed.
If the commission determines, in view of its findings and
conclusions, that it is feasible for telephone corporations to
implement a cellular telephone call notification system, it shall, by
rule or order, require telephone corporations operating cellular
telephones to implement that system.
(a) The commission shall require mobile telephony service,
as defined in Section 224.4, carriers to provide the commission,
within six months of the effective date of the act that adds this
section, and thereafter as requested by the commission, with
information, as specified by the commission, concerning service
quality and customer complaints.
(b) In addition to any other sanctions available, the commission
shall have the authority to assess any and all of the following
specific penalties for mobile telephony carrier noncompliance with
commission rules, practices, and procedures respecting the filing of
required periodic information and reports to the commission:
(1) The revocation or suspension, on an expedited basis, of
temporary tariffing authority granted the carrier.
(2) The revocation or suspension, on an expedited basis, of other
rate flexibility or promotional program authority granted the
(a) The commission shall require every telephone corporation
furnishing mobile telephony service, as defined in Section 224.4, to
establish a pricing system made available to subscribers that shall
distinguish on the billing invoice charges to a subscriber for calls
not completed from any other service charge on the billing invoice.
(b) The commission shall require that those calls which are not
completed shall not be charged more than 50 percent of the charge
established for completed subscriber initiated calls.
(c) For purposes of this section, a call is not completed when it
originates from the mobile telephony service handset and any of the
(1) The terminating line is busy and the originator receives a
(2) The terminating line does not answer and the originator
receives an audible ring.
(3) No radios are available and the originator receives a reorder
(4) The mobile telephony switching office cannot connect the call
to the public network and the originator receives a reorder signal.
(5) The public network cannot complete the call to the terminating
number and the originator receives a reorder signal.
The commission shall pursue all available legal remedies to
redraw intrastate inter-exchange, also known as local access and
transport area, or LATA, boundaries for the purpose of eliminating
restrictions that result in discriminatory costs, added
inconvenience, and less service for consumers of telecommunications
services solely in and between the Counties of Monterey and Santa
(a) An information provider engaged in furnishing any live,
recorded, or recorded-interactive audio text through information
access telephone service shall provide a (1) delayed timing of
information charges and (2) price disclosure message.
(b) The telephone corporation shall provide information providers,
described in subdivision (a), with a period of a minimum of 12
seconds for a delayed timing of information charges and price
disclosure message. If the delayed timing period is exceeded, a
consumer shall be billed from the time of the initial connection, and
transport charges shall be billed to the information provider from
the time of the initial connection. If the consumer disconnects the
call within the delayed timing period, no information charge shall be
billed to the caller.
(c) (1) During the delayed timing period, the information provider
shall inform the consumer of all of the following:
(A) The name of the programs.
(B) The information charge for the call.
(C) The date the information was recorded, if the information is a
(D) That if the caller disconnects the call within the delayed
timing period, the consumer will not be charged for the call.
(2) This information shall be provided at the beginning of every
call and at least three seconds shall be allowed at the end of the
message within the delayed timing period for the consumer to hang up
without being charged if he or she has not already disconnected the
call. The information provider shall provide a tone to indicate the
end of the delayed timing period.
(d) This section does not apply to audiotex programs with
restricted access via personal identification number (PIN) code or
(e) As used in this section, "delayed timing of information
charges" means a service feature which delays commencement of billing
of charges for a minimum of 12 seconds in order to provide the
information required by subdivision (c).
(f) Every violation of this section is a misdemeanor.
No telephone corporation or provider of information-access
telephone services shall charge the subscribing party for a call made
to a telephone number with an "800" prefix, unless the telephone
number with an "800" prefix is an information service complying with
the presubscription requirements imposed by Federal Communications
Commission Docket No. 93-22.
(a) (1) Before a telephone corporation exits the business
of providing interexchange services to all of its customers or to an
entire class of its customers, the telephone corporation or any
person, firm, or corporation representing the telephone corporation,
shall provide those affected customers with a written notice at least
30 days prior to the proposed transfer of those customers to another
telephone corporation. The notice shall include all of the
(A) A straightforward description of the proposed transfer.
(B) All applicable rates, terms, and conditions of the new
(C) A statement of the customer's right to transfer to another
(D) A toll-free customer service telephone number for the purpose
of responding to customers' questions.
(2) Any transfer of customer services shall be effectuated without
(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply when the telephone corporation
has entered into a written contract with the customer and when the
change in telephone corporation results in no rate increase for the
(a) A local exchange service provider that offers and
charges for pay per use features that do not require an access code
to be dialed to activate the service shall provide a new residential
subscriber, including an existing residential customer ordering an
additional line, during the verbal service order process, with
information about those features. The representatives of a provider
shall offer that subscriber blocking options for those features.
(b) (1) A local exchange service provider that offers the features
described in subdivision (a) shall advise an existing residential
subscriber who inquires about the features, or who seeks a bill
adjustment for the inadvertent or unauthorized use of those per use
custom calling features, that the features can be blocked and shall
inquire as to whether the subscriber would like to block any or all
of the features.
(2) (A) A local exchange service provider that offers the features
described in subdivision (a) shall provide notice to all existing
residential subscribers not later than May 1, 2000, describing all
features provided on a per use basis, the charge for each activation,
any additional usage or other charges, and detailed information
about the ability to block these features.
(B) The notice shall contain a toll-free number for further
information and shall contain a noticeable postcard size bill insert
that may be returned in the subscriber's bill envelope if they wish
to block any or all of the per use features described in subdivision
(c) A local exchange service subscriber that has not blocked per
use features in accordance with this section is entitled to a
one-time bill adjustment which shall equal the sum of the charges for
every incident that occurred during the first billing cycle pursuant
to which the subscriber notifies the local exchange service provider
that inadvertent or unauthorized activation occurred with regard to
those per use services that do not require coded dialing to activate.
The one-time bill adjustment shall include an adjustment for any
additional usage charges occurring as a result of inadvertent or
unauthorized activation. The adjustment shall take the form of a
credit to the subscriber's account if the existing technology or
facilities of the local exchange service provider measure usage and
permit a usage credit to be determined and provided.
(d) Nothing in this section prohibits a local exchange service
provider from providing additional bill adjustments at its discretion
in connection with charges imposed for features described in
(a) No telephone corporation, or any person, firm, or
corporation representing a telephone corporation, shall make any
change or authorize a different telephone corporation to make any
change in the provider of any telephone service for which competition
has been authorized of a telephone subscriber until all of the
following steps have been completed:
(1) The telephone corporation, its representatives or agents shall
thoroughly inform the subscriber of the nature and extent of the
service being offered.
(2) The telephone corporation, its representatives or agents shall
specifically establish whether the subscriber intends to make any
change in his or her telephone service provider, and explain any
charges associated with that change.
(3) For sales of residential service, the subscriber's decision to
change his or her telephone service provider shall be confirmed by
an independent third-party verification company, or as provided in
paragraph (5). For purposes of this provision, the confirmation by a
third-party verification company shall be made as follows:
(A) The third-party verification company shall meet each of the
(i) Be independent from the telephone corporation that seeks to
provide the subscriber's new service.
(ii) Not be directly or indirectly managed, controlled, or
directed, or owned wholly or in part, by the telephone corporation
that seeks to provide the new service or by any corporation, firm, or
person who directly or indirectly manages, controls, or directs, or
owns more than 5 percent of the telephone corporation.
(iii) Operate from facilities physically separate from those of
the telephone corporation that seeks to provide the subscriber's new
(iv) Not derive commissions or compensation based upon the number
of sales confirmed.
(B) The telephone corporation seeking to verify the sale shall do
so by connecting the subscriber by telephone to the third-party
verification company or by arranging for the third-party verification
company to call the subscriber to confirm the sale.
(C) The third-party verification company shall obtain the
subscriber's oral confirmation regarding the change, and shall record
that confirmation by obtaining appropriate verification data. The
record shall be available to the subscriber upon request. Information
obtained from the subscriber through confirmation shall not be used
for marketing purposes. Any unauthorized release of this information
is grounds for a civil suit by the aggrieved subscriber against the
telephone corporation or its employees who are responsible for the
(D) Notwithstanding subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C), a service
provider shall not be required to comply with these provisions when
the customer directly calls the local service provider to make
changes in service providers. However, a service provider shall not
avoid the verification requirements by asking a subscribing customer
to contact a local exchange service provider directly to make any
change in the service provider. A local exchange service provider
shall be required to comply with these verification requirements for
its own competitive services. However, a local exchange service
provider shall not be required to perform any verification
requirements for any changes solicited by another telephone
(4) For a sale of residential service, the telephone corporation
seeking to verify the change in service, in addition to the
requirements of paragraph (3), shall notify the subscriber by United
States Postal Service that the subscriber's telephone service
provider has been changed. The service provider that initiated the
change shall send that notice within 14 days of the date of the
change. The notice shall provide the subscriber with clear, legible
notice of the change in service provider, and shall include a
customer service telephone number for the subscriber to call if the
subscriber did not authorize the change in service.
(5) Confirmation of a sale of residential service may be made
using an electronic means that complies with Section 64.1120 of Title
47 of the Code of Federal Regulations in effect as of June 17, 2008.
(6) For sales of all nonresidential services, the subscriber's
decision to change his or her service provider shall be confirmed
through any of the following means:
(A) Independent third-party verification, as set forth in
paragraph (3) of subdivision (a).
(B) The telephone corporation shall mail to the subscriber an
information package seeking confirmation of his or her change in the
telephone corporation. The information package shall describe the new
service and shall include a postage prepaid postcard or mailer that
the subscriber can use to deny, cancel, or confirm a service order,
as soon as possible, and wait 14 days after the information package
is mailed before making the change in the telephone corporation. The
telephone corporation shall make the change only if the subscriber
does not cancel the change in service order.
(C) Verify the subscriber's change in his or her telephone service
provider by obtaining the subscriber's signature on a document fully
explaining the nature and extent of the action. The document shall
be a separate document whose sole purpose is to explain the nature
and extent of the action.
(D) Obtain the subscriber's authorization through an electronic
means that takes the information, including the calling number, and
confirms the change to which the subscriber has given his or her
(7) Where the telephone corporation obtains a written order for
service, the document shall thoroughly inform the subscriber of the
nature and extent of the action. The subscriber shall be furnished
with a copy of the signed document. The subscriber by his or her
signature on the document shall indicate a full understanding of the
relationship being established with the telephone corporation. If a
written subscriber solicitation or other document contains a letter
of agency authorizing a change in service provider, in combination
with other information including, but not limited to, inducements to
subscribers to purchase service, the solicitation shall include a
separate document whose sole purpose is to explain the nature and
extent of the action. If any part of a mailing to a prospective
subscriber is in language other than English, any written
authorization contained in the mailing shall be sent to the same
prospective subscriber in the same language.
(8) The telephone corporation shall retain a record of the
verification of the sale for at least one year. These records shall
be made available to the subscriber, the Attorney General, or the
commission upon request.
(b) If a residential or business subscriber that has not signed an
authorization notifies the telephone corporation within 90 days that
he or she does not wish to change telephone corporations, the
subscriber shall be switched back to his or her former telephone
corporation at the expense of the telephone corporation that
initiated the change.
(c) For purposes of this section, competitive services are those
services where subscribers have the ability to presubscribe to a
telephone service provider.
(d) When a subscriber changes telephone service providers, the
change shall be conspicuously noticed on the subscriber's bill.
Notice in the following form is deemed to comply with this
"NOTICE: Your local (or long distance) telephone service provider has
been changed from (name of prior provider) to (name of current
Cost of change: $ ____."
(e) Any telephone corporation that violates the verification
procedures described in this section shall be liable to the telephone
corporation previously selected by the subscriber in an amount equal
to all charges paid by the subscriber after the violation.
(f) In addition to the liability described in subdivision (e), any
telephone corporation that violates the verification procedures
described in this section shall credit to a subscriber any charges
paid by the subscriber in excess of the amount that the subscriber
would have been obligated to pay had the subscriber's telephone
service not been changed. The commission shall adopt regulations to
govern credits to subscribers pursuant to this subdivision.
(g) The remedies provided by this section are in addition to any
other remedies available by law.
(h) As described in federal law, no telephone corporation, or any
person, firm, or corporation representing a telephone corporation,
shall make any change or authorize a different telephone corporation
to make any change in the provider of any telephone service for which
competition has been authorized of a telephone subscriber without
having on file, or having instituted reasonable steps designed to
obtain, signed, dated orders for service from the subscriber. All
orders shall be in the form prescribed in federal law for letters of
agency. As described in federal law, the telephone corporation is
responsible for charges associated with disputed changes in telephone
service for which it cannot produce a signed, dated order for
service from the subscriber. This subdivision applies to all
intrastate services for which competition has been authorized.
The commission shall, by rule or order, require all local
exchange carriers to do both of the following:
(a) Include in their telephone directory information concerning
emergency situations which may affect the telephone network. The
information shall include the procedures which the corporation will
follow during emergencies, how telephone subscribers can best use the
telephone network in an emergency situation, and the emergency
services available by dialing "911."
(b) Annually provide to all subscribers in the form of a billing
insert, which need not be a separate document, information concerning
emergency situations which may affect the telephone network. The
information shall include the procedures which the corporation will
follow during emergencies, how telephone subscribers can best use the
telephone network in an emergency situation, and the emergency
services available by dialing "911." The billing insert shall
additionally direct the subscriber to consult the telephone directory
for similar information concerning the use of the telephone in
The commission periodically shall assess the reliability of
the public telecommunications network and, if necessary, develop
recommendations for improvement. The assessment shall include, but
not be limited to, all of the following:
(a) An analysis of those factors that pose a risk to network
reliability, including the adequacy of independent sources of reserve
(b) Consideration as to whether development of reliability
standards is appropriate.
(c) Consideration as to whether procedures should be developed to
notify customers about accessing other telecommunications companies
in the event of a service disruption.
(a) No person or corporation shall misrepresent its
association or affiliation with a telephone carrier when soliciting,
inducing, or otherwise implementing the subscriber's agreement to
purchase the products or services of the person or corporation, and
have the charge for the product or service appear on the subscriber's
(b) The provisions of Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 2100) of
Part 1 of Division 1 apply to a public utility subject to this
section and Section 2890. If the commission finds that a person or
corporation or its billing agent that is a nonpublic utility, and is
subject to the provisions of this section and Section 2890, has
violated any requirement of this article, or knowingly provided false
information to the commission on matters subject to this section and
Section 2890, the commission may enforce Sections 2102, 2103, 2104,
2105, 2106, 2107, 2108, 2109, 2110, 2111, and 2114 against those
persons, corporations, and billing agents as if the persons,
corporations, or billing agents were a public utility. Neither this
authority nor any other provision of this article grants the
commission jurisdiction to regulate persons or corporations or their
billing agents who are not otherwise subject to commission
regulation, other than as specifically set forth in this section and
(c) If the commission finds that a person, corporation, or billing
agent is operating in violation of any provision of this section and
Section 2890, the commission may order the billing telephone company
to terminate the billing and collection services for that person,
corporation, or billing agent. Nothing in this section and Section
2890 precludes a billing telephone company from taking action on its
own to terminate billing and collection services.
(d) The commission shall establish rules that require each billing
telephone company, billing agent, and company that provides products
or services that are charged on subscribers' telephone bills, to
provide the commission with reports of complaints made by subscribers
regarding the billing for products or services that are charged on
their telephone bills as a result of the billing and collection
services that the billing telephone company provides to third
parties, including affiliates of the billing telephone company.
(e) If the commission receives more than 100 complaints regarding
unauthorized telephone charges in any 90-day period as to a person,
corporation, or billing agent's activities that are subject to
Section 2890 and this section, the commission's consumer services
division shall commence a formal or informal investigation. The
commission, to further the purposes of Section 2890 and this section,
may change the number of complaints in any 90-day period that
initiates the commencement of an investigation. This subdivision does
not prohibit the commission's consumer services division from
opening any investigation it deems necessary to enforce Section 2890
or this section.
(f) Failure by a person, corporation, or billing agent to respond
to commission staff requests for information is grounds for the
commission to order the billing telephone company or companies that
are providing billing and collection services to cease billing and
collection services for the person, corporation, or billing agent.
(g) Persons or corporations originating charges for products or
services, their billing agents, and telephone corporations billing
for these products or services shall cooperate with the commission in
the commission's efforts to enforce the provisions of this article.
(h) This section and Section 2890 do not obligate a billing
telephone company to provide billing and collection services to a
(i) The commission may adopt rules, regulations and issue
decisions and orders, as necessary, to safeguard the rights of
consumers and to enforce the provisions of this article.
(j) For the purposes of this section, "billing agent" means the
clearinghouse or billing aggregator.
(a) A telephone bill may only contain charges for products or
services, the purchase of which the subscriber has authorized.
(b) When a person or corporation obtains a written order for a
product or service, the written order shall be a separate document
from any solicitation material. The sole purpose of the document is
to explain the nature and extent of the transaction. Written orders
and written solicitation materials shall be unambiguous, legible, and
in a minimum 10-point type. Written or oral solicitation materials
used to obtain an order for a product or service shall be in the same
language as the written order. Written orders may not be used as
entry forms for sweepstakes, contests, or any other program that
offers prizes or gifts.
(c) The commission may only permit a subscriber's local telephone
service to be disconnected for nonpayment of charges relating to the
subscriber's basic local exchange telephone service, long-distance
telephone service within a local access and transport area
(intraLATA), long-distance telephone service between local access and
transport areas (interLATA), and international telephone service.
(d) (1) A billing telephone company shall clearly identify, and
use a separate billing section for, each person, corporation, or
billing agent that generates a charge on a subscriber's telephone
bill. A billing telephone company may not bill for a person,
corporation, or billing agent, unless that person, corporation or
billing agent complies with paragraph (2).
(2) Any person, corporation, or billing agent that charges
subscribers for products or services on a telephone bill shall do all
of the following:
(A) Include, or cause to be included, in the telephone bill the
amount being charged for each product or service, including any taxes
or surcharges, and a clear and concise description of the service,
product, or other offering for which a charge has been imposed.
(B) Include, or cause to be included, for each entity that charges
for a product or service, information with regard to how to resolve
any dispute about that charge, including the name of the party
responsible for generating the charge and a toll-free telephone
number or other no cost means of contacting the entity responsible
for resolving disputes regarding the charge and a description of the
manner in which a dispute regarding the charge may be addressed. Each
telephone bill shall include the appropriate telephone number of the
commission that a subscriber may use to register a complaint.
(C) Establish, maintain, and staff a toll-free telephone number to
respond to questions or disputes about its charges and to provide
the appropriate addresses to which written questions or complaints
may be sent. The person, corporation, or billing agent that generates
a charge may also contract with a third party, including, but not
limited to, the billing telephone corporation, to provide that
service on behalf of the person, corporation or billing agent.
(D) Provide a means for expeditiously resolving subscriber
disputes over charges for a product or service, the purchase of which
was not authorized by the subscriber. In the case of a dispute,
there is a rebuttable presumption that an unverified charge for a
product or service was not authorized by the subscriber and that the
subscriber is not responsible for that charge. With regard to direct
dialed telecommunications services, evidence that a call was dialed
is prima facie evidence of authorization. If recurring charges arise
from the use of those subscriber-initiated services, the recurring
charges are subject to this section.
(e) If an entity responsible for generating a charge on a
telephone bill receives a complaint from a subscriber that the
subscriber did not authorize the purchase of the product or service
associated with that charge, the entity, not later than 30 days from
the date on which the complaint is received, shall verify the
subscriber's authorization of that charge or undertake to resolve the
billing dispute to the subscriber's satisfaction.
(f) For purposes of this section, "billing agent" is the
clearinghouse or billing aggregator.
(g) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2001.
The commission shall, on or before July 1, 2001, adopt any
additional rules it determines to be necessary to implement the
billing safeguards of Section 2890, for the inclusion of
noncommunications-related products and services in telephone bills.
(a) A provider of mobile telephony services, as defined in
Section 224.4, shall provide subscribers with a means by which a
subscriber can obtain reasonably current and available information,
as determined by the provider, on the subscriber's calling plan or
plans and service usage, including roaming usage and charges.
(b) On or before January 1, 2007, a provider of mobile telephony
services shall provide subscribers with a means by which a subscriber
can obtain reasonably current and available information, as
determined by the provider, on the subscriber's text messaging and
Internet usage and charges.
(c) Each provider of mobile telephony services shall inform
subscribers at the time service is established of the availability of
the information described in subdivisions (a) and (b) and how it may