Public Utilities Commission; telecommunications providers
Amends telecommunications laws to give the public utilities commission greater flexibility in regulating the industry.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to telecommunications providers and services.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The emergence of cellular telephone technology has remarkably changed the way in which people communicate. Laws enacted when communications were limited to hard-wired land line phones do not adequately take into account current technologies, such as wireless phones, which require only antennae and power sources. The purpose of this Act is to amend Hawaii's telecommunications laws to give the public utilities commission greater flexibility in regulating the rapidly changing telecommunications industry.
SECTION 2. Section 269-16.9, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:
1. By amending subsection (a) to read:
"(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, the commission, upon its own motion or upon the application of any person, and upon notice and hearing, may exempt a telecommunications provider or a telecommunications service from any or all of the provisions of this chapter[
, except the provisions of section 269-34,] upon a determination that the exemption is in the public interest. In determining whether an exemption is in the public interest, the commission shall consider whether the federal government has preempted the field and whether the exemption promotes state policies in telecommunications, the development, maintenance, and operation of effective and economically efficient telecommunications services, and the furnishing of telecommunications services at just and reasonable rates and in a fair manner in view of the needs of the various customer segments of the telecommunications industry.
Among the specific factors the commission may consider are:
(1) The responsiveness of the exemption to changes in the structure and technology of the State's telecommunications industry;
(2) The benefits accruing to the customers and users of the exempt telecommunications provider or service;
(3) The impact of the exemption on the quality, efficiency, and availability of telecommunications services;
(4) The impact of the exemption on the maintenance of fair, just, and reasonable rates for telecommunications services;
(5) The likelihood of prejudice or disadvantage to ratepayers of basic local exchange service resulting from the exemption;
(6) The effect of the exemption on the preservation and promotion of affordable, universal, basic telecommunications services as those services are determined by the commission;
(7) The resulting subsidization, if any, of the exempt telecommunications service or provider by nonexempt services;
(8) The impact of the exemption on the availability of diversity in the supply of telecommunications services throughout the State;
(9) The improvements in the regulatory system to be gained from the exemption, including the reduction in regulatory delays and costs;
(10) The impact of the exemption on promoting innovations in telecommunications services;
(11) The opportunity provided by the exemption for telecommunications providers to respond to competition; and
(12) The potential for the exercise of substantial market power by the exempt provider or by a provider of the exempt telecommunications service."
2. By amending subsection (e) to read:
"(e) The commission may [
waive] exempt a telecommunications provider from other regulatory requirements under this chapter applicable to telecommunications providers when [ it] the commission determines that the market is competitive or that competition will serve the same purpose as public interest regulation."
SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.