(a) In order to ensure the universal availability of affordable, high quality telecommunications services to all residents and businesses throughout the state regardless of income, disability or location, the authority shall (1) periodically investigate and determine, after notice and hearing, local service options, including the definition and components of any basic telecommunications services, necessary to achieve universal service and meet customer needs; and (2) establish lifeline and telecommunications relay service programs funded by all telecommunications carriers that provide intrastate telecommunications services, as such terms are defined in 47 USC 153, as amended from time to time, sufficient to provide low-income households or individuals or speech and hearing impaired individuals with a level of telecommunications service or package of telecommunications services that supports participation in the economy and society of the state. The authority shall apportion the funding for the lifeline and telecommunications relay service programs among telecommunications carriers on an equitable basis based on the gross revenues of each telecommunications carrier that are generated in Connecticut, both interstate and intrastate. The lifeline and telecommunications relay service programs shall be administered by an entity authorized, and subject to oversight, by the authority. The authority shall determine by order which customers qualify for the lifeline program. Recipients of lifeline funds shall use such funds to pay for telecommunications services provided by any telecommunications carrier.
Terms Used In Connecticut General Statutes 16-247e
- Authority: means the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and "department" means the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. See Connecticut General Statutes 16-1
- Telecommunications company: means a person that provides telecommunications service, as defined in section 16-247a, within the state, but shall not mean a person that provides only (A) private telecommunications service, as defined in section 16-247a, (B) the one-way transmission of video programming or other programming services to subscribers, (C) subscriber interaction, if any, which is required for the selection of such video programming or other programming services, (D) the two-way transmission of educational or instructional programming to a public or private elementary or secondary school, or a public or independent institution of higher education, as required by the authority pursuant to a community antenna television company franchise agreement, or provided pursuant to a contract with such a school or institution which contract has been filed with the authority, or (E) a combination of the services set forth in subparagraphs (B) to (D), inclusive, of this subdivision. See Connecticut General Statutes 16-1
(b) The authority may, if necessary, establish a universal service program, funded by all telecommunications companies or users in the state on an equitable basis, as determined by the authority, to ensure the universal availability of affordable, high quality basic telecommunications services to all residents and businesses throughout the state regardless of location. Any funds contributed to a universal service program shall be used to support the availability of basic telecommunications services provided by any telecommunications company in a manner to be determined by the authority.