House Bill 1429


Section 1

This section modifies existing section 80.36.320. Here is the modified chapter for context.

  1. The commission shall classify a telecommunications company as a competitive telecommunications company if the services it offers are subject to effective competition. Effective competition means that the company's customers have reasonably available alternatives**, including alternatives that utilize technologies other than traditional landline telephone service,** and that the company does not have a significant captive customer base. In determining whether a company is competitive, factors the commission shall consider include but are not limited to:

    1. The number and sizes of alternative providers of service;

    2. The extent to which services are available from alternative providers in the relevant market;

    3. The ability of alternative providers to make functionally equivalent or substitute services readily available at competitive rates, terms, and conditions; and

    4. Other indicators of market power which may include market share, growth in market share, ease of entry, and the affiliation of providers of services.

The commission shall conduct the initial classification and any subsequent review of the classification in accordance with such procedures as the commission may establish by rule.

  1. Competitive telecommunications companies shall be subject to minimal regulation. The commission may waive any regulatory requirement under this title for competitive telecommunications companies when it determines that competition will serve the same purposes as public interest regulation. The commission may waive different regulatory requirements for different companies if such different treatment is in the public interest. A competitive telecommunications company shall at a minimum:

    1. Keep its accounts according to regulations as determined by the commission;

    2. File financial reports with the commission as required by the commission and in a form and at times prescribed by the commission; and

    3. Cooperate with commission investigations of customer complaints.

  2. The commission may revoke any waivers it grants and may reclassify any competitive telecommunications company if it finds that the company is no longer subject to effective competition and it determines that the revocation or reclassification would protect the public interest.

  3. The commission may waive the requirements of RCW 80.36.170 and 80.36.180 in whole or in part for a competitive telecommunications company if it finds that competition will serve the same purpose and protect the public interest.

  4. During a state of emergency declared under RCW 43.06.010(12), the governor may waive or suspend the operation or enforcement of this section or any portion of this section or under any administrative rule, and issue any orders to facilitate the operation of state or local government or to promote and secure the safety and protection of the civilian population.

  5. In addition to the process in subsection (1) of this section, an incumbent local exchange carrier may elect to be classified as a competitive telecommunications company by providing written notice to the commission if the carrier is operating under an alternative form of regulation authorized by RCW 80.36.135 and the carrier does not receive universal communications services program distributions under RCW 80.36.650. Once competitive classification has been elected under this subsection, the company's alternative form of regulation automatically terminates.

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