Public service companies; certificate to operate as a telephone utility. Authorizes the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) to grant certificates to applicants proposing to furnish local exchange telephone service in the service territory of another certificate holder (incumbent local exchange telephone companies) if, after consideration of the public need, convenience and potential benefits, it deems such action to be in the public interest. The SCC is required to act on such applications within 180 days of their receipt, except that it may extend that period in 30-day increments up to an additional 90 days. Whenever such applications are approved, service provided by the incumbent company and that of its new competitor will be classified as competitive services for regulatory purposes. However, upon the complaint of any interested person, the SCC may conduct a hearing to determine whether competition is an effective regulator of rates of the incumbent company. If an overlapping certificate is issued, the SCC is also required to adopt a form of regulation for the incumbent local exchange telephone company and the new entrant that does not rely on the regulation of earnings of either of the companies.
No certificate is to be issued (i) to a company to provide local exchange telephone services in the service territory of a telephone company subject to the provisions of the Telephone Cooperatives Act (Va. Code § 56-531 et seq.) or the Small Investor-Owned Telephone Utilities Act (Va. Code § 56-531 et seq.) unless such telephone company is certificated to provide local exchange service outside of its certificated service area; (ii) to a cable television company in locations where the affected local exchange telephone company is prohibited by state or federal law from providing cable television or video programming services to subscribers, directly or indirectly; or (iii) to a company which intends to offer interexchange telephone service as well as local exchange services within the affected local exchange telephone company's certificated service territory, if the incumbent local exchange telephone company is prohibited by state or federal mandate from providing either interstate or intrastate interexchange service.
The bill also provides that no overlapping certificate for local exchange telephone service shall be granted on terms more favorable or less burdensome than those in the incumbent local telephone exchange company's certificate. The SCC is also required to ensure that applicants for overlapping certificates will not cross-subsidize their proposed local exchange telephone services with any other services over which they have monopolies.Full text:
01/20/95 House: Presented & ordered printed LD6917288 pdf
01/20/95 House: Presented & ordered printed LD6917288
01/20/95 House: Referred to Committee on Corporations, Insurance and Banking
01/31/95 House: Passed by indefinitely in C. I. B. (22-Y 0-N)