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NJAB04359
An Act establishing a one-year moratorium on the replacement of copper-based landline telephone service with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service. Establishes one-year moratorium on replacement of copper-based landline telephone service with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service; requires BPU to report to Governor and Legislature. Companion bill: S2988.
Status: 11/18/2013 : Introduced, Referred to Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee

New Jersey Legislation provided by Legicrawler © 2012


A4359

ASSEMBLY, No. 4359

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 18, 2013

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  DANIEL R. BENSON

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Assemblyman  GREGORY P. MCGUCKIN

District 10 (Ocean)

Assemblyman  UPENDRA J. CHIVUKULA

District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)

Assemblyman  JACK M. CIATTARELLI

District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes one-year moratorium on replacement of copper-based landline telephone service with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service; requires BPU to report to Governor and Legislature.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act establishing a one-year moratorium on the replacement of copper-based landline telephone service with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    As used in P.L.    , c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

     “Declared state of emergency” means any state of emergency within this State declared by the Governor or by the President of the United States.

     “Local exchange telecommunications company” has the same meaning as prescribed for that term under section 2 of P.L.1991, c.428 (C.48:2-21.17).

     “Public safety agency” means a functional division of a municipality, a county, or the State which dispatches or provides law enforcement, fire fighting, emergency medical services, or other emergency services.

 

     2.    Notwithstanding the provisions of any law, rule, regulation, or order to the contrary, a local exchange telecommunications company shall not replace copper-based landline telephone service with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service for a period of one calendar year.  Nothing in this section shall prevent: (1) a local exchange telecommunications company from replacing copper-based landline service with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service for any customer who, after receiving appropriate notice and information, consents in writing to such replacement on forms prepared by the Board of Public Utilities; or (2) the Board of Public Utilities, during a declared state of emergency, from authorizing a local exchange telecommunications company to take any action, including, but not limited to the replacement of copper-based landline service with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service.

 

     3.    Notwithstanding the provisions of any law, rule, regulation, or order to the contrary, a local exchange telecommunications company shall not replace the copper-based landline telephone service for a public safety agency with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service, unless the public safety agency, after receiving appropriate notice and information, consents in writing to such replacement on forms prepared by the Board of Public Utilities.

 

     4.    a. The Board of Public Utilities shall hold at least three public hearings for the purpose of taking testimony regarding the replacement of copper-based landline telephone service with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service.  The public hearings shall be held in three separate locations throughout the State, as follows: (1) one within the northern part of the State; (2) one within the central part of the State; and (3) one within the southern part of the State.

     b.    Following the public hearings held pursuant to subsection a. of this section and after notice and opportunity for public comment, on or before December 1, 2014, the Board of Public Utilities shall prepare and submit a report to the Governor and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), to the Legislature that shall include the following information:

     (1)   the impact of the replacement of copper-based landline service with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service by a local exchange telecommunications company, which shall include:

     (a)   the obligation of a local exchange telecommunications company to provide adequate, efficient, reliable, sufficient, and affordable service;

     (b)   the ability of a local exchange telecommunications company to provide its customers access to service options, including, but not limited to, data communications and Internet access;

     (c)   a local exchange telecommunications company’s obligation to be a carrier of last resort;

     (d)   the ability of other communications service providers, including, but not limited to, alarm monitoring companies and home health monitoring equipment providers to provide service to consumers and businesses;

     (e)   the ability of persons with disabilities, including but not limited to deaf and hard of hearing customers, to access communications services;

     (f)   the ability of a local exchange telecommunications company to comply with the statutory and regulatory requirements to maintain universal telecommunications services at affordable rates;

     (g)   the ability of a local exchange telecommunications company to provide reliable connections for public safety and law enforcement agencies during normal operating conditions and during extreme weather conditions or power outages;

     (h)   the communications network reliability provided by a local exchange telecommunications company; and

     (i)   the current practices of local exchange telecommunications companies in replacing copper-based landline telephone service with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service.

     (2)   an analysis of whether the replacement of a copper-based landline telephone service with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service subjects affected customers to an undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in violation of statutory and regulatory requirements; and

     (3)   the annual plans of a local exchange telecommunications company with regard to the replacement of copper-based landline telephone service with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service for the current and subsequent five calendar years.

 

     5.    The Board of Public Utilities shall adopt, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this act.

 

     6.    This act shall take effect immediately.  Sections 1, 2, and 3 of this act shall expire after one calendar year following the date of enactment and sections 4 and 5 of this act shall expire upon submission of the report required pursuant to section 4 of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill establishes a one-year moratorium on the replacement of copper-based landline telephone service with non-copper-based landline, which may include fiber optic, or wireless telephone service by local exchange telecommunications companies.

     Under the bill, a local exchange telecommunications company may replace copper-based landline telephone service with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service for any customer who, after receiving appropriate notice and information, consents in writing to such replacement on forms prepared by the Board of Public Utilities (board).  In addition, the board, during a declared state of emergency, may authorize a local exchange telecommunications company to replace copper-based landline telephone service with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service.

     Under the bill, a local exchange telecommunications company may not replace the copper-based landline telephone service for a public safety agency with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service, unless the public safety agency, after receiving appropriate notice and information, consents in writing to such replacement on forms prepared by the board.

     Further, the bill requires the board to hold at least three public hearings for the purpose of taking testimony regarding the replacement of copper-based landline telephone service with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service.  The public hearings are to be held in three separate locations throughout the State, one within the northern part of the State, one within the central part of the State, and one within the southern part of the State.  Following the public hearings and after notice and opportunity for public comment, on or before December 1, 2014, the board is to prepare and submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature that is to include information regarding the potential impact on customers, rates, public safety, and reliability if copper-based landline telephone service is replaced with non-copper-based landline or wireless telephone service.

     The purpose of this bill is to place a one-year moratorium on the replacement of traditional, copper-based landline telephone service with any technology other than traditional, copper-based landline telephone service.