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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsMonthly Register of RegulationsFebruary 2015

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26 DE Admin. Code 4001 & 4003
AND NOW, this 6th day of January, 2015:
WHEREAS, on August 19, 2014, the Commission reopened PSC Regulation Docket Nos. 10, 45 and 20 to update the telecommunications rules in light of the passage of Delaware House Bill No. 96 which took effect on July 15, 2013;
AND WHEREAS, the proposed revisions to the Regulation Docket Nos. 10 & 45, "Rules For the Provision of Telecommunications Services", include deleting obsolete definitions and delete rules the Commission no longer has authority to enforce, and limits the certification requirements of new carriers, who want to provide telecommunications services in Delaware;
AND WHEREAS, the rules for Regulation Docket No. 20, "Regulation Governing the Minimum Service Requirements For the Provision of Telephone Service for Public Use Within the State of Delaware", are being withdrawn;
AND WHEREAS, notice of these revisions have been published in the Delaware Register on October 1, 2014, the News Journal on August 26, 2014 and the Delaware State News on August 27, 2014;
AND WHEREAS, Verizon Delaware LLC. submitted written comments supporting Staff's proposed revisions and The Surety & Fidelity Association of America filed written comments recommending that the bonding requirement should remain in the rules pertaining to telecommunications service providers seeking Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity to provide telecommunications services within the State of Delaware for the collection of customer deposits and advances;
AND WHEREAS, Hearing Examiner R. Campbell Hay held a public comment session on November 19, 2014 in the Carvel State Office Building located in Wilmington, Delaware and Verizon Delaware LLC was the only interested party besides Staff that attended and stated on the record that it supported the proposed rules;
AND WHEREAS, Staff filed a report with the Hearing Examiner on December 1, 2014 recommending that the Commission adopt the proposed rules attached as Exhibit A in PSC Order No. 8618 dated August 19, 2014 and that the Commission consider this matter directly and hold an evidentiary hearing on January 6, 2015 to consider this matter;
AND WHEREAS, on December 4, 2014, Hearing Examiner Hay sent a letter to Robert Howatt, Executive Director, recommending that this matter should be considered by the Commission on January 6, 2015. A public notice of the evidentiary hearing was published in the Delaware State News and the News Journal on December 9, 2014;
AND WHEREAS, an evidentiary hearing on this matter was held on January 6, 2015 before members of the Commission at the Commission's regularly scheduled meeting;
NOW, THEREFORE, THE COMMISSION HAS CONSIDERED THE RECORD OF EVIDENCE AND IT IS ORDERED:
Effective: [December 10, 2001 December 10, 2001]
“Carrier” shall mean any person or entity offering to the public Telecommunications service that originates or terminates within the State of Delaware. The term "Carrier" does not include:
Any political subdivision, public or private institution of higher education or municipal corporation of this State or operated by their lessees or operating agents that provides telephone service for the sole use of such political subdivision, public or private institution of higher learning or municipal corporation;
“CPCN” shall mean a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity issued by the Commission.
“Commission” shall mean the Public Service Commission of Delaware.
“Competitive Local Exchange Carrier ("CLEC")shall mean a Carrier, other than the Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier, offering and/or providing local telecommunications exchange services within the State of Delaware.
“Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier ("ILEC")” shall mean in Delaware Bell Atlantic-Delaware, Inc., and any successor thereto.
“Facilities-based Carrier” shall mean a Local Exchange Carrier that directly owns, controls, operates, or manages plant and equipment through which it provides local exchange services to consumers within the local exchange portion of the public switched network.
“Local Exchange Carrier ("LEC")” shall mean a Carrier offering and/or providing local telecommunications exchange services (i.e., CLECs and ILECs); including both facilities-based and non-facilities-based Carriers.
“Local Telecommunications Exchange Service” shall mean non-toll, intrastate Telecommunications Services provided over a Local Exchange Carrier’s network, including, but not limited to, exchange access services and basic local services.
“Resale” shall mean the sale to an end user of any telecommunications service purchased from another Carrier.
“Rules” shall mean these Rules, including PARTS A and B, governing the provision of telecommunications services in Delaware.
“Telecommunications” shall mean the transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user’s choosing, without change in the form and content of the information as sent and received.
“Telecommunications Service” shall mean the offering of telecommunications for a fee directly to the public within the State of Delaware (originating or terminating within the State, without regard to how the Carrier decides to route the traffic), or to such classes of users as to be effectively available to the public, regardless of the facilities used. "Telecommunications Service" does not include:
The rent, sale, lease, or exchange for other value received, of customer premises equipment, except for specialized terminal equipment as defined in 48 U.S.C. § 610(g);
These Rules shall apply to all new Carriers, as defined by these Rules, and shall be construed consistently with Rule 3 of these Rules.
3.0 Application of and Conflict With Other Rules, or Regulations, Tariffs and/or Price Lists
3.1.1 The ILEC will remain subject to the Telecommunications Technology [Investment] Act (TTIA), 26 Del.C. sub. Ch. VII-A, and any implementing regulations promulgated by the Commission during the term of its election thereunder. During such term, the ILEC shall not be subject to the requirements of these Part A. Rules; and
3.4 3.1 Rules of Practice and Procedure
An applicant for a CPCN shall file with the Commission an original and ten (10) copies of an Application for Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, in the format described in 26 DE Admin. Code §1001-1.6.3, together with the statutory filing fee set forth in 26 Del.C. §114, as the same may from time to time be amended. Such application shall contain all the information and exhibits hereinafter required and may contain such additional information as the applicant deems appropriate to demonstrate to the Commission that it possesses the technical, financial and operational ability to adequately serve the public and that the public convenience and necessity requires or will require the operation of such business. If the applicant fails to provide the required information and exhibits within six months of the application, the Commission may take action to close this docket and the applicant will forfeit its application fee.
The applicant shall serve a notice of the filing of such an application upon the Public Advocate, and to such other entities as may be required by the Commission. The applicant shall provide public notice of the filing of the application in two (2) one (1) newspapers having general circulation throughout the county or counties where service is to be offered in a form to be prescribed by the Commission.
4.6.3.4 be consistent with provisions of 6 Del.C. §§5-101 through 5-117 and include terms that make Delaware law govern the relationship between the issuer and the Commission as beneficiary;
4.85 Initial Tariffs or Price Lists.
4.85.1 An applicant shall file proposed initial rates, prices, rules, regulations, terms and conditions of service specifically adopted for the State of Delaware for switched access services. Upon an investigation into unjust and unreasonable pricing practices, the Commission Staff may require the applicant to provide cost data demonstrating that rates are reasonably expected to cover the incremental cost of offering the service. Copies of the applicant’s rates and terms and condition of service in other jurisdictions must be provided to the Commission upon request. Any applicant’s tariff or price lists must include at a minimum specific policies regarding: Any revisions to this tariff must be filed with the Commission. An applicant may file tariffs or price lists for other services or provide a website link to its tariff or price list which the Commission will post on its website.
4.96 Demonstration of Fitness.
4.96.1 An applicant shall be required to demonstrate to the Commission its financial, operational, and technical ability to render service within the State of Delaware. Such demonstration shall include, but is not limited to, the following:
4.96.1.1 The applicant’s certified financial statements current within twelve (12) months of the filing, and, where applicable, the most recent annual report to shareholders and SEC Form 10-K;
4.96.1.2 A brief narrative description of the applicant’s proposed operations in Delaware, any present operations in all other states, and states for which service applications are pending;
4.96.1.3 A description of the relevant operations experience of applicant’s personnel principally responsible for the proposed Delaware operations;
75.0 Abandonment or Discontinuation of Service
A Carrier may abandon or discontinue service, in whole or in part, in accordance with the terms of 26 Del.C. §203A(c)706(d) for carriers electing to be governed under subchapter VIIA of Title 26 or § 203(A)(c), for non-electing carriers. The Carrier shall provide notice of its application to discontinue or abandon service to its customers subscribing to such service and to the Division of Public Advocate. Such notice shall describe the options available to the customers. The Carrier’s application to abandon or discontinue a service shall contain proposed provision for payment of all relevant outstanding liabilities (deposits and advance payments), if any, to customers within the State of Delaware.
86.0 Services to be Provided By CLECs Providing Voice Telephone Service Carriers providing local telecommunications exchange service
86.1 Any CLEC Carrier providing voice telephone local telecommunications exchange service shall offer, at a minimum, the following telecommunication services to its customers provide to its customers:
86.1.71 Access to 911 enhanced emergency system;
86.1.92 Access to telecommunications relay service.
10.5.2 Except in the case of transactions described below, a qualified carrier (as defined below) need not file for approval of mergers or consolidations under 26 Del.C. §215(a)(1) or for transfers of control under 26 Del.C. §215(b). However, if the other entity involved in such proposed transaction is a carrier certifiecated in this State that, in the preceding year, reported annual gross intrastate revenues of $2,500,000 dollars, a qualifying carrier must continue to file an appropriate application for merger or transfer of control under 26 Del.C. §215(a)(1) and 215(b). An entity is involved in the transaction if:
10.5.6 The forbearance from filing granted by Rule 10.5.1 and 10.5.2 do not relieve any carrier of the obligation to file for abandonment of service under 26 Del.C. §203A, nor does such forbearance remove the obligation that any new entity created by a merger, transfer of control, or other transaction obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Commission.
The Public Utilities Act of 1974, 26 Del.C. §101 et. seq., of Delaware vests in the Public Service Commission of Delaware the authority to formulate standards for such telecommunications service and facilities as it deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this law. (26 Del.C. §209).
1.2.1 Purpose. These rules are promulgated to establish a comprehensive regulatory system to assure adequate service and to assure operations and services which are just and reasonable to the consumer and the utilities, and to establish the rights and responsibilities of both the utility and the consumer. These rules shall be given a fair and impartial construction to obtain these objectives and shall be applied uniformly regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, or marital status. A telecommunications utility's temporary inability to meet the service standards set forth herein, due to a work stoppage or an Act of God that could not have been avoided by preventive measures normally taken in the telecommunications industry shall not subject the telecommunications utility to the imposition of penalties for noncompliance with these rules. It is not the purpose of this regulation to authorize, permit, or enable intrastate competitive provision of telecommunications services for public use by entities which do not possess a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the Delaware Public Service Commission.
1.2.2 Duties Under Other Statutes. The adoption of these rules will not relieve in any way a utility or customer from any of its duties under the laws of the State of Delaware or the United States of America. This shall not be construed so as to alter in any form or manner the jurisdiction, powers or authority of the Commission or the substantive rights of any person.
1.2.3 Exemption. If unreasonable hardship to a utility results from the application of any rule or standard herein prescribed, or if unreasonable difficulty is involved in compliance, application may be made to the Commission for temporary or permanent exemption from its requirements, provided that the utility shall submit with such application a full and complete statement of its reasons for such application for exemption. Except in the case of an emergency, any exemptions, or any applications for exemptions, will be entertained by the Commission upon due notice to the customers, and after a hearing.
1.2.4 Modification. The adoption of these rules shall in no way preclude the Commission from altering or amending them in whole or in part, or from requiring any other or additional service, equipment, facility, or standard, either upon complaint or upon on its motion or upon application by any utility.
1.2.5 Violations and Penalties. The Commission may exercise the powers and seek imposition of the penalties authorized by 26 Del.C. §217 when a telecommunications utility is in default of compliance with these rules.
Act” - The Public Utilities Act of 1974 (26 Del.C. §101 et seq.).
Alphabetical directory” - A document issued approximately annually containing alphabetical listing of customers and may include classified listings and advertisements of business customers.
Applicant” - Any person, association, partnership, corporation, government agency, cooperative corporation, making a written or oral request for the commencement of or changes in telecommunications utility service.
Application” - A written or oral request to a public utility for the commencement of or changes in telecommunications utility service.
Business service” - Telecommunications service provided a customer where the use is primarily substantially of a business, professional, institutional or otherwise occupational nature.
Busy hour” - The continuous one hour period of the day during which the volume of traffic is greater than during any other continuous one hour period of the same day.
Busy season” - The calendar month or consecutive thirty (30) day period of the year during which the greatest volume of traffic is handled in a particular central office.
Central office” - A switching unit in a telecommunications system which provides service to the general public, having the necessary equipment and operating arrangements for terminating and interconnecting customer lines and trunks or trunks only.
Class of service or customer class” - A description of telecommunications service provided to a customer which denotes such characteristics as nature of use (business or residential) or type of rate (flat rate or message rate). Classes may be further subdivided into grades such as individual or multiparty line denoting quality of service.
Commission” - The Public Service Commission of Delaware.
Complaint” - Any specific objection to charges on a billing statement, facilities, practices, or services of a telecommunications utility.
Complex service” - The provision of a circuit requiring special treatment, special equipment, or special engineering design. This includes private lines, WATS, PBX trunks, rotary lines, special assemblies, etc.
Customer” - Any person, firm, association, partnership, corporation, cooperative, organization, governmental agency, or any other legal entity which is currently receiving telecommunications utility service. A customer who moves to another location within the utility's service territory and requests that service be discontinued at the previous location and begun at the new location will be considered an existing customer rather than as an applicant for service.
Customer access line” - A unit of measurement representing a telecommunications circuit designated for a particular customer. One customer access line shall be counted for each circuit which is capable of generating usage on the line side of the switched network or a private line circuit. Regardless of the quantity or ownership of customer premises, each party shall be counted as a separate customer access line.
Customer trouble report” - Any oral or written report from a customer or user of telecommunications services received by any telecommunications utility relating to a physical defect, difficulty or dissatisfaction with the regulated service provided by the telecommunications utility's facilities. A separate report shall be written for each telephone line reported in trouble even when several items are reported by one customer at the same time, unless the group of troubles so reported is clearly related to a common cause. One report shall be counted for each oral or written report received by any telecommunications utility even though it may duplicate a previous report or merely involve an inquiry concerning progress on a previous report.
Exchange” - A unit established by a local exchange carrier for the administration of telecommunications services in a specified area for which a separate local rate schedule is provided. It may consist of one or more central offices together with associated plant facilities used in furnishing telecommunications services within that area. An exchange has one point designated for the purpose of rating toll calls for all subscribers in the exchange.
Exchange carrier” - A telecommunications utility that provides local exchange service.
Extended area service” - A telephone switching and trunking arrangement which provides for calling service by local exchange carriers between two or more contiguous exchanges within a local access and transport area (LATA), provided at local exchange rates rather than at toll messages charges.
Facilities” - All the plant and equipment of a public utility, including all tangible and intangible real and personal property without limitation, and any and all means and instrumentalities in any manner owned, operated, leased, licensed, used, controlled, furnished, or supplied for, by, or in connection with the business of any public utility, including any construction work in progress allowed by the Commission.
Grade of service” - The number of parties served on a telecommunications circuit such as individual or multiparty line.
Interexchange Carrier” - A telecommunications utility which provides interexchange telecommunications services.
Interoffice” - Between central offices.
Line” - A circuit or channel extending from a central office to the customer's location to provide local exchange service. One line may serve one individual line customer, or all customers served by a multiparty line.
Local exchange carrier” - A telecommunications utility which provides local exchange service.
Local exchange service” - Telecommunications service provided within service areas in accordance with the local exchange tariffs. It includes the use of exchange facilities required to establish connections between customer locations within the exchange and between customer access lines and the long distance facilities serving the exchange.
Local measured service” - A type of local exchange service provided at measured rates.
Local message” - A completed call between customer access lines located within the same local calling area.
Long distance carrier” - A telecommunications utility that provides telecommunications services between exchanges where such service is not an integral part of local exchange service, such as extended area service or local measured service. Interexchange carriers are considered long distance carriers. Local exchange carriers are considered long distance carriers if they provide interexchange service such as message telephone service.
Message” - A completed telephone call.
Message telecommunications service (MTS)” - Telecommunications service rendered by long distance carriers which is furnished between customers in different local calling areas at rates contained in the MTS tariff rather than in a local exchange tariff.
Person” - Any natural person, partnership, municipal corporation, cooperative corporation, corporation, association, governmental subdivision, or public or private organization of any character other than an agency.
Premises” - Any tract of land or real estate, including buildings and other appurtenances thereon.
Primary service” - The initial provision of voice grade access between the customer's premises and the switched telecommunications network. This includes the initial connection to a new customer or the move of an existing customer to a new premises. This does not include: complex service or auxiliary items such as gongs or buzzers; on premises stations or wiring beyond the subscriber interface or, if no interface, beyond the first jack; or added main local exchange lines to premises already having service.
Private line” - A circuit provided to furnish telecommunications service only between the two or more customer telephones or other terminal devices directly connected to it, and not having any direct connection with either central office or PBX switching apparatus.
Public telephone service” - An individual line customer service equipped with a coin collecting or coinless public telephone instrument installed by an exchange carrier for the use of the general public in locations where the general public has access to these telephones.
Public utility” - The definition of public utility is that definition given in the Public Utilities Act of 1974. (26 Del.C. §102(2))
Rate” - Includes every compensation, tariff, charge, fare, fee deposit, toll, rental, and classification, or any of them demanded, observed, charged, or collected whether directly or indirectly by any public utility for any service, product, or commodity defined in the Public Utilities Act of 1974 , and any rules, regulations, practices, or contracts affecting any such compensation, tariff, charge, fare, fee, deposit, toll, rental or classification.
Regrade” - An application for a different class and/or grade of service.
Repeated trouble report” - A customer trouble report regarding a specific line or circuit occurring within thirty (30) calendar days of a previously cleared trouble report on the same line or circuit.
Service” - Service is used in its broadest and most inclusive sense and includes any and all acts done, rendered, or performed and any and all things furnished or supplied, and any and all facilities, used, furnished, or supplied by public utilities in the performance of their duties under the Public Utilities Act of 1974 to their patrons, employees, other public utilities and the public, as well as the interchange of facilities between two or more of them.
Shall” - The use of the word "shall" expresses a mandatory requirement.
Should” - The use of the word "should" expresses a suggestion or guidance and is not mandatory.
Tariff” - The schedule of a utility containing all rates, tolls, and charges stated separately by type or kind of service and the customer class, and the rules and regulations of the utility stated separately by type or kind of service and the customer class.
Telecommunications utility” - Any person, firm, partnership or corporation engaged in the business of furnishing telecommunication services to the public by the authority of and under the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission of Delaware. This includes both local exchange and intrastate long distance carriers.
Toll service” - See also Message Telecommunications Service.
Traffic” - Telecommunications volume, based on number of calls and duration of messages.
Trouble report” - An initial customer trouble report in which there is complete interruption of incoming or outgoing local exchange service. On multiple line services a failure of one central office line or a failure in common equipment affecting all lines is considered out of service. If an extension line failure does not result in the complete inability to receive or initiate calls, the report is not considered to be out of service.
Trunk” - A circuit facility connecting two central offices.
3.1 Availability Of Records. All books, accounts, papers, records, and memoranda required by these rules or which are necessary for the administration thereof, shall be open and available for examination by the Commission or its authorized representatives at all times.
3.2 Location Of Records. All books, accounts, papers, records, and memoranda of a telecommunications utility required by these rules or which are necessary for the administration thereof, shall be kept within an office within this State, and shall not be removed from this State, except upon such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the Commission. This provision shall not apply to a utility which is authorized by the Federal Communications Commission to provide interstate common carrier services and whose accounts are kept at its principal offices outside this State. However, such utility, when required by the Commission, shall furnish the Commission, certified copies of its books, accounts, papers, records and memoranda relating to the business done by such public utility.
3.3 Retention Of Records. All books, accounts, papers, records, and memoranda of a telecommunications utility required by these rules shall be preserved for the time period specified in the current edition of the Federal Communications Commission's records retention schedule, unless otherwise specified by the Commission. If not otherwise specified by the Federal Communications Commission, customer billing records shall be retained at least two years.
3.4 Records To Be Maintained. Each telecommunications utility shall maintain records of its operations in sufficient detail to permit review of its compliance with the requirements herein, and such records shall be made available to the Commission or its authorized representative upon request.
3.5.1 Tariffs. Unless otherwise permitted by Order of the Commission, each telecommunications utility shall have its tariff on file with the Commission in accordance with these rules and regulations governing the filing of tariffs. The tariff shall contain schedules of every classification employed showing the rates, tolls and charges for such service rendered in the State of Delaware and shall be in the following form and manner:
C - Change in regulation affecting application in rate
D - Deletion of rate or regulation
I - Increase in rate
M - Move of tariff material to a different page or location on a page
R - Reduction in rate
T - Text change in regulation that does not affect application of rate.
3.5.2 Persons to Contact. Each telecommunications utility shall file with the Commission, in addition to the designated resident agent, the name, title, business address and telephone number of the person(s) who should be contacted concerning utility service provided in Delaware.
3.5.3 Exchange Maps. Each local exchange carrier shall have on file with the Commission an exchange area boundary map for each of its exchanges within the State of Delaware. Exchange boundary lines shall be located by appropriate measurement to an identifiable location where that portion of the boundary line is not otherwise located on waterways, railroads, roads, etc. Maps shall include location of highways, section lines, railroads, and waterways outside municipalities. The map scale and other detail shall be shown as required by the Commission. Data associated with the exchange map shall be immediately available for public information at each business office for the area served by such office.
3.5.4 Accident Reports. Each telecommunications utility shall give prompt notice to the Commission in the event of a fatal or serious accident. Notification can be made by telephone or by telefax and followed by a written report of such accident. A full report is also required when any serious property damage shall have been caused by the utility. These reports shall be treated confidentially pursuant to 26 Del. C. §213.
3.5.5 Service Reports. Each telecommunications utility shall furnish to the Commission at such times and in such form as the Commission may require, the results of any service related tests, summaries or records in its possession. The utility shall also furnish the Commission with any information concerning the utility's facilities or operations which may be requested.
3.5.6 Service Disruption Reports
4.1 Information Available To Customers
4.2 Customer Complaints
4.3 New Construction
4.3.1 Standards of construction. In determining standard practice, the Commission will be guided by the provisions of the American National Standards Institute, Incorporated, the National Electrical Safety Code, and such other codes and standards that are generally accepted by the industry, except as modified by this Commission. Each utility shall construct, install, operate, and maintain its plant, structures, equipment, and lines in accordance with these standards, and in such a manner to best accommodate the public, and to prevent interference with service furnished by other public utilities insofar as practical.
4.3.2 Line extension and construction charges. Every utility shall include its line extension policy in its tariff. The policy shall be consistent, nondiscriminatory, and subject to the approval of the Commission.
4.4 Response To Request For Service. Every telecommunications utility shall serve each qualified applicant for service within its certificated area as rapidly as practical.
4.5 Billing
4.5.1 Due date. The due date for payment of a monthly bill for utility service shall be no less than twenty (20) days from the date of mailing by the telecommunications utility to the customer after issuance. If the last day for payment should fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or bank holiday or other day when the offices of the telecommunications utility which regularly receive payments are not open to the general public, the due date shall be extended to the next business day.
4.5.2 Rendering and form of bills. Billing for telecommunications service should normally be rendered monthly and shall show:
4.5.3 Charges for Services. For services or functions whose rates are approved by or subject to tariffs on file with the Commission, telecommunications utilities shall not charge disconnect fees, membership fees, application fees, service call fees or any other type of fee except as provided for in the tariff of the utility.
4.5.4 Over billing and under billing. If billings for utility service are found to differ from utility's lawful rates for the services being purchased by the customer, or if the utility fails to bill the customer for such service, a billing adjustment shall be calculated by the utility.
4.5.4.1 Refunds of overcharges. If the customer is due a refund, an adjustment shall be made for the entire period of overcharges. If an overcharge is adjusted by the utility within ninety (90) days of the bill in error, interest shall not accrue. Unless provided in this section, if an overcharge is not adjusted by the utility within 90 days of the bill in error, interest shall be applied to the amount of the overcharge at the rate set by the Commission herein for payment on deposits. Interest on overcharges that are not adjusted by the utility within 90 days of the bill in error shall accrue from the date of payment. Interest shall not apply to payment arrangements .
4.5.4.2 Back billing of undercharges. If the customer was undercharged, the utility may back bill the customer for the amount which was under billed. The back billing is not to exceed six (6) months unless the utility can produce records to identify and justify the additional amount of back billing. However, unless the under billing was the result of deliberate customer action to cause under billing, the utility may not disconnect service if the customer fails to pay charges arising from an under billing more than six (6) months prior to the date the utility initially notified the customer of the amount of the undercharge and the total additional amount due. If the under billing is $25.00 or more, the utility shall offer the customer a payment arrangements option for the same length of time as that of the under billing.
4.5.5 Payment Arrangements. A payment arrangement is any arrangement or agreement between the utility and a customer in which an outstanding bill will be paid in installments that extend beyond the due date of the next bill. The telecommunications utility, through its employees, shall exercise good faith and fair judgement in attempting to enter into a reasonable payment agreement regarding undisputed amounts or to otherwise equitably resolve the matter. Factors to be taken into account when attempting to make a reasonable payment agreement shall include but not be limited to the size of the unpaid balance, the payment history of the customer and the length of time over which the bill accumulated. The telecommunications utility may not suspend service for an undisputed delinquent bill under the following circumstances: (1) while it is negotiating a payment agreement with the customer; or (2) within 24 hours after negotiating fails. In all other cases, the utility is encouraged to offer a payment arrangement to residential customers.
4.5.6 Disputed bills.
4.5.7 Notification of alternative payment programs or payment assistance. Any time a customer contacts the utility to discuss their inability to pay a bill or to indicate that they are in need of assistance with their bill payment, a utility representative shall inform the customer of all available alternative payment and any payment assistance programs that are available, such as payment arrangements, suspension moratoriums for the ill, and of the eligibility requirements and procedures for applying for each.
4.6 Deposits and Credit Standards
4.6.1 Applications for Residential Service - Where an applicant's credit is not established, a deposit in the maximum amount of $50.00 per residence may be required as security for the payment of future bills for telephone service. No deposit shall be required if the applicant has had prior telephone service billed in the applicant's name and provided by a telecommunications utility subject to these rules and is not indebted to said telecommunications utility on account of such prior service, has established a history of timely payments and has not had service suspended for non-payment. In the absence of prior credit history with a telecommunications utility subject to these rules, a deposit may be required unless the applicant provides satisfactory evidence of one of the following:
4.6.2 Applicants for Business Service - Where an applicant's credit is not established, a deposit in the maximum amount of $90.00 per line may be required as security for the payment of future bills for telephone service. No deposit shall be required if the applicant has had prior business telephone service billed in the applicant's name and provided by a telecommunications utility subject to these rules and is not indebted to said telecommunications utility on account of such prior service, has established a history of timely payments and has not had service suspended for non-payment.
4.6.3 Residential service deposits may be retained by the telecommunications utility for one year and business service deposits may be retained for two years. The deposit plus interest shall be returned to the customers by check after the retention period if the account is not delinquent at the time.
4.6.4 Existing customers (Business Service and Residence Service) - When the telecommunications utility determines a customer's credit to be doubtful or service is suspended for non-payment, a deposit may be required. The amount of a cash deposit shall not exceed the customer's average two (2) month bill, including toll charges, during the preceding twelve (12) month period. Deposits may be adjusted to maintain a level equal to the average two (2) month bill.
4.6.5 Interest at the rate of 9% per annum unless a different rate is specified in the telecommunications utility's tariff, will be paid by the telecommunications utility on the amount of the deposit, for the period it is retained and, where the deposit is retained for a period in excess of one year, interest will be paid annually through a credit to the customer's account.
4.7.1 Suspension for delinquent bills. A customer's telecommunications service may be disconnected if a bill has not been paid or a payment arrangement has not been entered into within thirty (30) days from the date of mailing of a bill provided proper notice has been given. Proper notice shall consist of a separate mailing or hand delivery at least ten (10) days prior to a stated date of suspension. The notice shall contain the following:
4.7.2 Suspension with notice. Utility service may be disconnected after proper notice for any of the following reasons:
4.7.3 Suspension without notice. Utility service may be disconnected without notice where a dangerous condition exists for as long as the condition exists or where service is connected without authority by a person who has not made application for service or who has reconnected service following suspension of service for nonpayment. Where reasonable, given the nature of the hazardous condition, a written statement providing notice of suspension and the reason therefore shall be posted at the place of common entry or upon the front door of each affected residential unit as soon as possible after service has been disconnected.
4.7.4 Suspension prohibited. Utility service may not be disconnected for any of the following reasons:
4.7.5 Suspension on holidays or weekends. Unless a dangerous condition exists, or unless the customer requests disconnection, service shall not be disconnected on a day, or on a day immediately preceding a day, when personnel of the utility are not available to the public for the purpose of making collections and reconnecting service.
4.7.6 Disconnection due to utility abandonment. No telecommunications utility may abandon a customer or a certificated service area without written notice to its customers therein and all similar neighboring utilities, and prior approval from the Commission.
4.7.7 Suspension for ill and disabled.
4.7.8 Resolution of disputes. Any customer or applicant for service requesting the opportunity to dispute any action of a utility shall be given an opportunity for a supervisory review by the utility. If the utility is unable to provide a supervisory review immediately following the request for such review, arrangements for the review shall be made for the earliest possible date. Service shall not be disconnected pending completion of the review. If the customer chooses not to participate in such review or to make arrangements for such review to take place within five (5) days after requesting it, the company may disconnect service, providing notice has been issued under standard disconnect procedures. Any customer who is dissatisfied with the review by the utility must be informed of their right to file a complaint with the Public Service Commission of Delaware. The results of the supervisory review must be provided in writing to the customer within ten (10) days of the review, if requested.
4.8 Continuity Of Service
4.8.1 Service interruptions
4.8.2 Each utility shall keep a complete record of all interruptions, both emergency and scheduled. This record shall show the cause for interruptions, date, time, duration, location, approximate number of customers affected, and, in cases of emergency interruptions, the remedy and steps taken to prevent reoccurrence.
4.8.3 In case any change is made by the utility in the type of service rendered which would adversely affect the efficiency of operation or the adjustment of the equipment of customers, all customers who may be affected shall be notified by the utility at least sixty (60) days in advance of the change or if such notice is not possible, as early as feasible. Where adjustments or replacements of the utility's standard equipment must be made to permit use under such changed conditions, adjustment shall be made by the utility without charge to the customers.
4.8.4 Telecommunications utilities may delay dial tone or establish other load controls to limit usage during periods when, due to disaster or other causes, traffic increases above normal levels by such an amount as to overload the network and endanger the completion of emergency calls. These delays and load controls shall only be utilized for so long as the emergency or extraordinary traffic load exists.
4.8.5 Telecommunications utilities may temporarily interrupt service to effect repairs or maintenance; to eliminate an imminent threat to life, health, safety or substantial property damage; or for reasons of local, State, or National emergency. Each telecommunications utility shall establish procedures to be followed by its employees to prevent or mitigate interruption or impairment and provide prompt notification to affected customers. Service may be interrupted only as long as necessary to protect the health of safety to the public, to protect property, or to remedy the situation which necessitated the interruption.
5.1 Directories and Telephone Numbers
5.2 Emergency operation
5.3 Inspections and tests
5.4 Calibration. Telecommunications utilities shall calibrate test equipment, timing devices and other equipment against established standards at periodic intervals such that accuracy within normal industry accepted limits is reasonably assured. Calibration records shall be available for Commission inspection.
5.5 Service objectives. The objective service levels are based on monthly averages, except for dial service and transmission requirements, which are based on specific samples. Telecommunications utilities shall make measurements to determine the level of service for each item included in these rules. Each telecommunications utility shall provide the Commission with the measurements and summaries thereof for any of the items included herein on request of the Commission. In addition, if the telecommunications utility conducts customer service opinion surveys, these surveys shall be considered by the Commission as measures of customer service opinion (See Section 5.9) of the services provided where the Company demonstrates to the Commission's satisfaction that the survey is a valid and reliable measure of customer service opinion for the categories in question . Records of these measurements and summaries shall be retained by the telecommunications utility as specified by the Commission.
5.6 Installation of service. Unless otherwise provided by the Commission:
5.7 Operator handled calls
5.8 Local dial service. Each local exchange carrier shall provide and maintain central office and interoffice channel capacity and equipment to achieve the following minimum service requirements during the average busy season, busy hour:
5.9 Long distance service
5.11.2 Subscriber lines. All newly constructed and rebuilt subscriber lines shall be designed for a transmission loss of no more than eight decibels from the serving central office to the customer premises network interface. All subscriber lines shall be maintained so that transmission loss does not exceed 10 decibels. Subscriber lines shall in addition be constructed and maintained so that metallic noise does not exceed 30 decibels above reference noise level ("C" message weighing) on 90% of the lines. Metallic noise shall not exceed 35 decibels above reference noise level ("C" message weighing) on any subscriber line.
5.11.3 PBX and multiline hunt local exchange access lines. PBX and multiline hunt local exchange access lines, installed after the effective date of these regulations, shall be designed and maintained so that transmission loss does not exceed 5.5 decibels.
5.12 Service observing. Before any telecommunications utility provides equipment or otherwise assists a business telephone customer utilizing service observing equipment to monitor calls originated by or received at the business telephones, the customer must inform all employees that calls over the business telephone are subject to being monitored.
5.13 Traffic usage studies. In all local exchange and long distance carrier central offices traffic usage studies shall be performed at least annually. Traffic usage studies shall include at least five consecutive days and shall include a usage record on a least an hourly basis. The usage record shall be CCS (hundred second calls) or similar measurement (peg counts are not acceptable for this purpose). Record of the most recent study shall be maintained and made available on request for Commission review. Usage may be recorded directly by way of traffic usage recording devices or programs or may be computed from customer billing records so long as such computations are designed to accurately indicate usage levels.
5.14 Engineered grade of service. Telecommunications utilities shall install and maintain adequate trunks and switching equipment to achieve a P.01 grade of service in each switch or final trunk group during the busy hour of the busy season. Such grade of service shall be determined using the Wilkinson B or other similar traffic tables that give recognition to the type of switching employed and the traffic patterns that exist. This requirement shall not apply to trunk groups that are not final groups so long as customers' calls will be routed to a final group engineere P.01 if the first choice (non-final) group is busy.
5.15 Subscriber Evaluation. Any telecommunications utility utilizing customer service opinion surveys shall be required to provide these results to the Commission if requested. These measurements may be used by the Commission, along with the applicable technical measurements, to evaluate telecommunications utility's quality of service.
Last Updated: December 31 1969 19:00:00.
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