(SB 19)

Public Utilities Commission required to act on certificate of authority
for interchange telecommunications service.

         ENTITLED, An Act to  revise the length of time for the Public Utilities Commission to act on an application for a certificate of authority for interexchange telecommunications service.


     Section  1.  That § 49-31-3 be amended to read as follows:

     49-31-3.   The commission has general supervision and control of all telecommunications companies offering common carrier services within the state to the extent such business is not otherwise regulated by federal law or regulation. The commission shall inquire into any complaints, unjust discrimination, neglect, or violation of the laws of the state governing such companies. The commission may exercise powers necessary to properly supervise and control such companies.

     Each telecommunications company that plans to offer or provide interexchange telecommunications service shall file an application for a certificate of authority with the commission pursuant to this section. Telecommunications companies seeking to provide any local exchange service shall submit an application for certification by the commission pursuant to §§ 49- 31-1 through 49-31-89. Applications required by this section shall be filed by the company no less than sixty days before its initiation of telecommunications service in this state. The commission shall have the exclusive authority to grant a certificate of authority. Each telecommunications company shall submit a two hundred fifty dollar application fee with its application which shall be deposited into the gross receipts tax fund established pursuant to § 49-1A-2. If the commission has not ruled upon an application at the end of the sixty days, the telecommunications company may initiate telecommunications services in the state until the commission reaches a decision on the application. If the application is granted, the company may continue to offer its services. However, if the application is denied, the company shall cease and desist from offering any further services in this state. Unless an evidentiary hearing is required by the commission, the commission shall act on an application for a certificate of authority to provide interexchange telecommunications service within sixty days of receiving a complete application. If an evidentiary hearing is required, the commission shall act on the application within one hundred twenty days of receipt of a complete application. A telecommunications company has the burden to prove in its application that it has sufficient technical, financial and managerial capabilities to offer the telecommunications services described in its application before the commission may grant a certificate of authority. The commission may rule upon a telecommunications company's application for a certificate of authority with or without hearing.

     Any certificate of authority granted by the commission may be suspended or revoked pursuant to chapter 1-26 for a willful violation of the laws of this state, a willful failure to comply with a rule or order of the commission, or other good cause. The commission shall, by rules promulgated pursuant to chapter 1-26, prescribe the necessary procedures to implement this section. A telecommunications company that had lawful authority immediately prior to July 1, 1998, to provide interexchange telecommunications services shall continue to have such authority. Any certificate of authority to provide such telecommunications service may not be sold, assigned, leased, or transferred without commission approval. The offering of such telecommunications services by a telecommunications company without a certificate of authority or inconsistent with this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

     Signed February 1, 2005