CA Governor Approves PUC Port Freeze Rule for Lifeline
PUC to adopt a portability freeze rule for the Lifeline program
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D.) has signed into law a bill that will require the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to adopt a “portability freeze” rule for the state’s LifeLine universal telephone service program by Jan. 15, 2017. Legislative Counsel’s Digest and bill text, below, on the act to add Section 878.5 to the Public Utilities Code Assembly Bill 2560, relating to telecommunications.
[ Approved by Governor September 24, 2016. Filed with Secretary of State September 24, 2016. ]
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST
“Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations. The Moore Universal Telephone Service Act establishes the Universal Lifeline Telephone Service program in order to provide low-income households with access to affordable basic residential telephone service. The act requires that a lifeline telephone service subscriber be provided with one lifeline subscription, as defined by the commission, at his or her principal place of residence.
This bill would require the commission to adopt a portability freeze rule for the lifeline program by January 15, 2017, and would require the commission to consider including certain features as part of the rule.
Vote: majority Appropriation: no Fiscal Committee: yes Local Program: no
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 878.5 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:
The commission shall adopt a portability freeze rule for the lifeline program by January 15, 2017. The commission shall consider including all of the following in the rule:
(a) A 60-day duration of the portability freeze.
(b) A period of time when a subscriber would be able to terminate lifeline service without penalty, similar to provisions established in Section 4.13.5 of commission Decision 14-01-036 (January 16, 2014), Decision Adopting Revisions to Modernize and Expand the California Lifeline Program.
(c) A requirement that the administrator of the lifeline program provide a telephone corporation providing lifeline service with real-time information concerning whether a subscriber has enrolled with another telephone corporation during the period of the portability freeze adopted by the commission pursuant to this section and, if the subscriber enrolled during this period, the date of enrollment.”
Source: AB 2570, Quirk. Telecommunications: universal service: reimbursement claims, Retrieved from http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB2570, September 26, 2016.
The mission of the National Lifeline Association (NaLA) is to support the Lifeline Industry through “education, cooperation, and advocacy.” To further this goal, NaLA focuses on developing and implementing new self regulation processes. These processes strengthen the effectiveness of the Lifeline Program and bridge the digital divide for low-income Americans. Self Regulation in Lifeline Industry