The commission shall designate the method by which the contributions under this paragraph shall be calculated and collected. The method shall ensure that the contributions are sufficient to generate and, to the extent practicable, do not exceed the following amounts:
Contributions under this paragraph may be based only on the gross operating revenues from the provision of broadcast services identified by the commission under subd. 2.
and on intrastate telecommunications services in this state of the telecommunications providers subject to the contribution. Contributions based on revenues from interconnected voice over Internet protocol service shall be calculated as provided under s. 196.206 (2)
The commission may exempt from part or all of the contributions required under par. (a)
telecommunications providers who have small gross operating revenues from the provision of intrastate telecommunications services in this state and who have provided these services for less than a period specified by the commission, not to exceed 5 years. The commission may also exempt a telecommunications provider or other person from part or all of the contribution required under par. (a)
if the commission determines that requiring the contribution would not be in the public interest.
The commission shall designate by rule the classes of providers or other persons subject to par. (a)
and the required rates of contribution for each class.
The commission shall consider all of the following in specifying the contributions required under par. (a)
The impact of the contributions on all members of the public and the telecommunications industry.
The fairness of the amount of the contributions and the methods of collection.
The costs of administering the collection of the contributions.
A telecommunications provider or other person may establish a surcharge on customers' bills to collect from customers contributions required under this subsection.
A telecommunications utility that provides local exchange service may make adjustments to local exchange service rates for the purpose of recovering its contributions to the universal service fund required under this subsection. A telecommunications utility that adjusts local exchange service rates for the purpose of recovering such contributions shall identify on customer bills a single amount that is the total amount of the adjustment. The public service commission shall provide telecommunications utilities the information necessary to identify such amounts on customer bills.
If the commission or a telecommunications provider makes a mistake in calculating or reporting any data in connection with the contributions required under par. (a)
, and the mistake results in the telecommunications provider's overpayment of such a contribution, the commission shall reimburse the telecommunications provider for the amount of the overpayment.
(4) Essential telecommunications services. 196.218(4)(a)(a)
Each telecommunications provider that is designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier pursuant to 47 USC 214
(e) shall make available to its customers all essential telecommunications services. A telecommunications provider may satisfy this paragraph by providing essential telecommunications services itself or through an affiliate and in either case may provide essential telecommunications services through the use of any available technology or mode.
Notwithstanding par. (a)
, if a commercial mobile radio service provider is designated or seeks designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier pursuant to 47 USC 214
(e) for the purpose of federal universal service funding and not for the purpose of state universal service funding, the commercial mobile radio service provider is not subject to any eligible telecommunications carrier requirements imposed by the commission and shall be subject only to the eligible telecommunications carrier requirements imposed by 47 USC 214
(e) (1) and regulations and orders of the federal communications commission implementing 47 USC 214
(4m) Toll blocking.
The commission shall issue rules to implement, cost-free to low-income customers, the capability to block all long distance or other toll calls from a customer's telephone service with a goal of universal applicability of the toll-blocking service no later than January 1, 1996. A telecommunications utility may petition the commission for a waiver from providing toll-blocking service upon a demonstration that providing this service would represent an unreasonable expense for the telecommunications utility and its ratepayers.
(4t) Educational telecommunications access program rules.
The commission, in consultation with the department of administration, shall promulgate rules specifying the telecommunications services eligible for funding through the educational telecommunications access program under s. 16.997
(4u) Medical telecommunications equipment program.
From the appropriation under s. 20.155 (1) (q)
, the commission may spend up to $500,000 annually for grants to nonprofit medical clinics and public health agencies for the purchase of telecommunications equipment to be used in providing services to their clients. The commission shall promulgate rules establishing requirements and procedures for awarding grants under this subsection.
The commission shall use the moneys in the universal service fund only for any of the following purposes:
To assist customers located in areas of this state that have relatively high costs of telecommunications services, low-income customers and disabled customers in obtaining affordable access to a basic set of essential telecommunications services.
To pay costs incurred under contracts under s. 16.971 (13)
to the extent that these costs are not paid under s. 16.997 (2) (d)
, except that no moneys in the universal service fund may be used to pay installation costs that are necessary for a political subdivision to obtain access to bandwidth under a shared service agreement under s. 16.997 (2r) (a)
To provide statewide access, through the Internet, to periodical reference information databases.
To pay the department of administration for telecommunications services provided under s. 16.972 (1)
to the campuses of the University of Wisconsin System.
To promote access to information and library services to blind and visually handicapped individuals.
The commission shall promulgate rules to determine whether a telecommunications provider, the customers of a telecommunications provider or another person shall be assisted by the universal service fund for any use under par. (a) 1.
The commission shall consider all of the following in establishing the services and equipment which may be assisted by the universal service fund:
The impact of the assistance on all members of the public and the telecommunications industry.
Telecommunications plans and requirements established by the federal rural electrification administration.
The extent to which the fund preserves and promotes an available and affordable basic set of essential telecommunications services throughout the state and promotes economic development.
The commission shall annually provide information booklets to all Wisconsin Works agencies that describe the current assistance from the universal service fund that is available to low-income individuals who are served by the Wisconsin Works agencies, including a description of how such individuals may obtain such assistance. The department of children and families shall assist the commission in identifying the Wisconsin Works agencies to which the commission is required to submit the information required under this subdivision.
(5m) Rule review.
The commission shall review and revise as appropriate rules promulgated under this section.
Biennially, the commission shall submit a universal service fund report to the legislature under s. 13.172 (2)
. The report shall include information about all of the following:
The affordability of and accessibility to a basic set of essential telecommunications services throughout this state.
The affordability of and accessability to high-quality education, library and health care information services.
Financial assistance provided under the universal service fund.
An assessment of how assistance provided by the universal service fund and other alternative incentive regulations of telecommunications utilities designed to promote competition have been in advancing the public interest goals identified under s. 196.03 (6)
, and recommendations for further advancing those goals.
The commission shall prepare a report to determine if public access broadcast channels may receive funding from the universal service fund as an advanced telecommunications service or other service and the effect of federal law on public access broadcast channel funding eligibility. The results of the report shall be included in the 2nd annual report submitted by the commission under s. 196.218 (5r) (a)
, 2007 stats.
(5u) Biennial budget request.
The commission shall include in its biennial budget request under s. 16.42
a proposed budget for each individual program for which the commission proposes to expend moneys from the universal fund in the forthcoming biennium. A proposed budget under this subsection shall describe each program and identify the proposed expenditure amount for each program for each fiscal year of the biennium.
The commission shall appoint a universal service fund council under s. 15.04 (1) (c)
consisting of representatives of telecommunications providers and consumers of telecommunications services, including this state. The majority of the members of the council shall be representatives of consumers of telecommunications services.
The universal service fund council shall advise the commission concerning the administration of this section and the content of rules promulgated under this section.
The commission may require a telecommunications provider to undertake reasonable public notification and education efforts to inform eligible customers of the availability and requirements of universal and basic service programs, including any offerings of lifeline or other supported services established under state or federal law.
Any person who fails or refuses to pay the contribution required under sub. (3)
may be required to forfeit not less than $100 nor more than $10,000. Each day of continued violation constitutes a separate offense.
A court imposing a forfeiture under par. (a)
shall consider all of the following in determining the amount of the forfeiture:
The appropriateness of the forfeiture to the volume of business of the person.
Any good faith attempt to achieve compliance after the person or an officer, agent or employee of the person receives notice of the violation.
The financial gain sought by the person by not paying the contribution required under sub. (3)
Protection of telecommunications consumers. 196.219(1)(a)
“Consumer" means any person, including a telecommunications provider, that uses the services, products or facilities provided by a telecommunications utility or the local exchange services offered by a telecommunications provider that is not a telecommunications utility.
“Local exchange service" includes access service, basic local exchange service, and business access line and usage service within a local calling area.
Notwithstanding any exemptions identified in this chapter except ss. 196.202
, and 196.50
, a telecommunications utility or provider shall provide protection to its consumers under this section unless exempted in whole or in part by rule or order of the commission under this section. The commission shall promulgate rules that identify the conditions under which provisions of this section may be suspended.
On petition, the commission may grant an exemption from a requirement under this section upon a showing that the exemption is reasonable and not in conflict with the factors under s. 196.03 (6)
On petition, the commission may grant an exemption from a requirement under this section retroactively if the application of the requirement would be unjust and unreasonable considering the factors under s. 196.03 (6)
or other relevant factors.
If the commission grants an exemption under this subsection, it may require the telecommunications utility or provider to comply with any condition necessary to protect the public interest.
(2r) Switched access rates.
Any reduction in intrastate switched access rates ordered by the commission prior to June 9, 2011, including any reduction ordered pursuant to s. 196.195
, 2009 stats., shall remain effective unless modified by the commission in a subsequent order, or unless the ordered reduction is inconsistent with the requirements of s. 196.212
(3) Prohibited practices.
A telecommunications utility with respect to its regulated services or any other telecommunications provider with respect to its offering of local exchange services may not do any of the following:
Refuse to interconnect within a reasonable time with another person to the same extent that the federal communications commission requires the telecommunications utility or provider to interconnect. The public service commission may require additional interconnection based on a determination, following notice and opportunity for hearing, that additional interconnection is in the public interest and is consistent with the factors under s. 196.03 (6)
Upon request, fail to disclose in a timely and uniform manner information necessary for the design of equipment and services that will meet the specifications for interconnection.
Impair the speed, quality or efficiency of services, products or facilities offered to a consumer under a tariff, contract or price list.
Unreasonably refuse, restrict or delay access by any person to a telecommunications emergency service.
Fail to provide a service, product or facility to a consumer other than a telecommunications provider in accord with the telecommunications utility's or provider's applicable tariffs, price lists or contracts and with the commission's rules and orders.
Refuse to provide a service, product or facility, in accord with that telecommunications utility's or provider's applicable tariffs, price lists or contracts and with the commission's rules and orders, to another telecommunications provider.
Refuse to provide basic local exchange service, business access line and usage service within a local calling area and access service on an unbundled basis to the same extent that the federal communications commission requires the telecommunications utility or provider to unbundle the same services provided under its jurisdiction. The public service commission may require additional unbundling of intrastate telecommunications services based on a determination, following notice and opportunity for hearing, that additional unbundling is required in the public interest and is consistent with the factors under s. 196.03 (6)
. The public service commission may order unbundling by a small telecommunications utility.
Restrict resale or sharing of services, products or facilities, except for basic local exchange service other than extended community calling, unless the commission orders the restriction to be lifted. A telecommunications utility that has 150,000 or less access lines in use in this state may limit the use of extended community calling or business line and usage service within a local calling area as a substitute for access service, unless the commission orders the limitation to be lifted.
Fail to provide, or to terminate, any telecommunications service as necessary to comply with the minimum standards of service established by the commission with respect to technical service quality, deposits, disconnection, billing and collection of amounts owed for services provided or to be provided.
Provide telecommunications service to any person acting as a telecommunications utility, telecommunications provider, alternative telecommunications utility or telecommunications carrier if the commission has ordered the telecommunications utility or provider to discontinue service to that person.
Refuse to transfer or facilitate the transfer of the telecommunications utility's or telecommunications provider's local exchange service customers to another telecommunications provider on the same terms and conditions as the telecommunications utility or telecommunications provider receives from any other telecommunications provider, unless such terms and conditions violate federal law.