364.01 Powers of commission, legislative intent.
364.011 Exemptions from commission jurisdiction.
364.012 Consistency with federal law.
364.013 Emerging and advanced services.
364.015 Injunctive relief.
364.016 Travel costs.
364.0361 Local government authority; nondiscriminatory exercise.
364.04 Schedules of rates, tolls, rentals, and charges; filing; public inspection.
364.10 Lifeline service.
364.105 Discounted rate for basic service for former Lifeline subscribers.
364.107 Public records exemption; Lifeline Assistance Plan participants.
364.16 Local interconnection, unbundling, and resale.
364.163 Network access services.
364.183 Access to company records.
364.195 Termination of telecommunications service contract by a servicemember.
364.24 Penalty for making telephone message or customer account information known.
364.245 Discontinuation of telecommunications service used for unlawful purpose.
364.30 Telecommunications companies; points of connection.
364.32 Definitions applicable to s. 364.33.
364.33 Certificate of necessity or authority.
364.335 Application for certificate of authority.
364.336 Regulatory assessment fees.
364.3375 Pay telephone service providers.
364.381 Judicial review.
364.385 Saving clauses.
364.386 Reports to the Legislature.
364.01 Powers of commission, legislative intent.—
(1) The Florida Public Service Commission shall exercise over and in relation to telecommunications companies the powers conferred by this chapter.
(2) It is the legislative intent to give exclusive jurisdiction in all matters set forth in this chapter to the Florida Public Service Commission in regulating telecommunications companies, and such preemption shall supersede any local or special act or municipal charter where any conflict of authority may exist. However, this chapter does not affect the authority and powers granted in 1s. 166.231(9) or s. 337.401.
(3) Communications activities that are not regulated by the Florida Public Service Commission are subject to this state’s generally applicable business regulation and deceptive trade practices and consumer protection laws, as enforced by the appropriate state authority or through actions in the judicial system. This chapter does not limit the availability to any party of any remedy or defense under state or federal antitrust laws. The Legislature finds that the competitive provision of telecommunications services, including local exchange telecommunications service, is in the public interest and has provided customers with freedom of choice, encouraged the introduction of new telecommunications service, encouraged technological innovation, and encouraged investment in telecommunications infrastructure.
History.—ss. 1-4, ch. 6186, 1911; ss. 1-6, ch. 6187, 1911; s. 1, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4393; CGL 6357; s. 1, ch. 63-279; s. 1, ch. 65-52; s. 1, ch. 67-541; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 1, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; s. 25, ch. 83-218; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 1, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 5, ch. 95-403; s. 2, ch. 2003-32; s. 10, ch. 2005-132; s. 2, ch. 2011-36.
1Note.—Repealed by s. 38, ch. 2000-260. 364.011 Exemptions from commission jurisdiction.—The following services are exempt from oversight by the commission, except to the extent delineated in this chapter:
(1) Intrastate interexchange telecommunications services.
(2) Broadband services, regardless of the provider, platform, or protocol.
(4) Wireless telecommunications, including commercial mobile radio service providers.
(5) Basic service.
(6) Nonbasic services or comparable services offered by any telecommunications company.
History.—s. 11, ch. 2005-132; s. 3, ch. 2011-36.
364.012 Consistency with federal law.—
(1) In order to promote commission coordination with federal policymakers and regulatory agencies, the commission shall maintain continuous liaisons with appropriate federal agencies whose policy decisions and rulemaking authority affect those telecommunications companies over which the commission has jurisdiction. The commission is encouraged to participate in the proceedings of federal agencies in cases in which the state’s consumers may be affected and to convey the commission’s policy positions and information requirements in order to achieve greater efficiency in regulation.
(2) This chapter does not limit or modify the duties of a local exchange telecommunications company to provide unbundled access to network elements or the commission’s authority to arbitrate and enforce interconnection agreements to the extent that those elements are required under 47 U.S.C. ss. 251 and 252, and under any regulations issued by the Federal Communications Commission at rates determined in accordance with the standards established by the Federal Communications Commission pursuant to 47 C.F.R. ss. 51.503-51.513, inclusive of any successor regulation or successor forbearance of regulation.
History.—s. 12, ch. 2005-132; s. 4, ch. 2011-36.
364.013 Emerging and advanced services.—Broadband service and the provision of voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) are exempt from commission jurisdiction and shall be free of state regulation, except as delineated in this chapter, regardless of the provider, platform, or protocol. Notwithstanding the exemptions in this chapter, a competitive local exchange telecommunications company is entitled to interconnection with a local exchange telecommunications company to transmit and route voice traffic between both the competitive local exchange telecommunications company and the local exchange telecommunications company regardless of the technology by which the voice traffic is originated by and terminated to an end user. The commission shall afford such competitive local exchange telecommunications company all substantive and procedural rights available to such companies regarding interconnection under the law.
History.—s. 13, ch. 2005-132; s. 3, ch. 2009-226.
364.015 Injunctive relief.—The Legislature finds that violations of commission orders or rules, in connection with the impairment of a telecommunications company’s operations or service, constitute irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law. The commission is authorized to seek relief in circuit court including temporary and permanent injunctions, restraining orders, or any other appropriate order. Such remedies shall be in addition to and supplementary to any other remedies available for enforcement of agency action under s. 120.69 or the provisions of this chapter. The commission shall establish procedures implementing this section by rule.
History.—s. 1, ch. 93-35.
364.016 Travel costs.—The commission has the authority to assess a telecommunications company for reasonable travel costs associated with reviewing the records of the telecommunications company and its affiliates when such records are kept out of state. The telecommunications company may bring the records back into the state for review.
History.—s. 2, ch. 93-35.
364.02 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) “Basic local telecommunications service” means voice-grade, single-line, flat-rate residential local exchange service that provides dial tone, local usage necessary to place unlimited calls within a local exchange area, dual tone multifrequency dialing, and access to the following: emergency services such as “911,” all locally available interexchange companies, directory assistance, operator services, and relay services. For a local exchange telecommunications company, the term includes any extended area service routes, and extended calling service in existence or ordered by the commission on or before July 1, 1995.
(2) “Broadband service” means any service that consists of or includes the offering of the capability to transmit or receive information at a rate that is not less than 200 kilobits per second and either:
(a) Is used to provide access to the Internet; or
(b) Provides computer processing, information storage, information content, or protocol conversion in combination with the service.
The definition of broadband service does not include any intrastate telecommunications services that have been tariffed with the commission on or before January 1, 2005.
(3) “Commercial mobile radio service provider” means a commercial mobile radio service provider as defined by and pursuant to 47 U.S.C. ss. 153(27) and 332(d).
(4) “Commission” means the Florida Public Service Commission.
(5) “Competitive local exchange telecommunications company” means any company certificated by the commission to provide local exchange telecommunications services in this state on or after July 1, 1995.
(6) “Corporation” includes a corporation, company, association, or joint stock association.
(7) “Intrastate interexchange telecommunications company” means any entity that provides intrastate interexchange telecommunications services.
(8) “Local exchange telecommunications company” means any company certificated by the commission to provide local exchange telecommunications service in this state on or before June 30, 1995.
(9) “Nonbasic service” means any telecommunications service provided by a local exchange telecommunications company other than a basic local telecommunications service, local interconnection, resale, or unbundling pursuant to s. 364.16, or a network access service described in s. 364.163. Any combination of basic service along with a nonbasic service or an unregulated service is nonbasic service.
(10) “Operator service” includes, but is not limited to, billing or completion of third-party, person-to-person, collect, or calling card or credit card calls through the use of a live operator or automated equipment.
(11) “Operator service provider” means a person who furnishes operator service through a call aggregator.
(12) “Service” is to be construed in its broadest and most inclusive sense. The term “service” does not include broadband service or voice-over-Internet protocol service for purposes of regulation by the commission. Nothing herein shall affect the rights and obligations of any entity related to the payment of switched network access rates or other intercarrier compensation, if any, related to voice-over-Internet protocol service. Notwithstanding s. 364.013, and the exemption of services pursuant to this subsection, the commission may arbitrate, enforce, or approve interconnection agreements, and resolve disputes as provided by 47 U.S.C. ss. 251 and 252, or any other applicable federal law or regulation. With respect to the services exempted in this subsection, regardless of the technology, the duties of a local exchange telecommunications company are only those that the company is obligated to extend or provide under applicable federal law and regulations.
(13) “Telecommunications company” includes every corporation, partnership, and person and their lessees, trustees, or receivers appointed by any court whatsoever, and every political subdivision in the state, offering two-way telecommunications service to the public for hire within this state by the use of a telecommunications facility. The term “telecommunications company” does not include:
(a) An entity that provides a telecommunications facility exclusively to a certificated telecommunications company;
(b) An entity that provides a telecommunications facility exclusively to a company which is excluded from the definition of a telecommunications company under this subsection;
(c) A commercial mobile radio service provider;
(d) A facsimile transmission service;
(e) A private computer data network company not offering service to the public for hire;
(f) A cable television company providing cable service as defined in 47 U.S.C. s. 522;
(g) An intrastate interexchange telecommunications company;
(h) An operator services provider; or
(i) An airport that provides communications services within the confines of its airport layout plan.
However, each commercial mobile radio service provider and each intrastate interexchange telecommunications company shall continue to be liable for any taxes imposed under chapters 202, 203, and 212. Each intrastate interexchange telecommunications company shall continue to be subject to s. 364.163 and shall continue to pay intrastate switched network access rates or other intercarrier compensation to the local exchange telecommunications company or the competitive local exchange telecommunications company for the origination and termination of interexchange telecommunications service.
(14) “Telecommunications facility” includes real estate, easements, apparatus, property, and routes used and operated to provide two-way telecommunications service to the public for hire within this state.
(15) “VoIP” means any service that:
(a) Enables real-time, two-way voice communications that originate from or terminate to the user’s location in Internet Protocol or any successor protocol;
(b) Uses a broadband connection from the user’s location; and
(c) Permits users generally to receive calls that originate on the public switched telephone network and to terminate calls to the public switched telephone network.
History.—s. 2, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4394; CGL 6358; s. 1, ch. 63-279; s. 1, ch. 65-52; s. 1, ch. 65-451; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; s. 1, ch. 84-215; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 2, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 6, ch. 95-403; s. 12, ch. 98-277; s. 3, ch. 2003-32; s. 14, ch. 2005-132; s. 2, ch. 2005-171; s. 73, ch. 2008-4; s. 4, ch. 2009-226; s. 6, ch. 2011-36; s. 29, ch. 2011-64.
364.0361 Local government authority; nondiscriminatory exercise.—A local government shall treat each telecommunications company in a nondiscriminatory manner when exercising its authority to grant franchises to a telecommunications company or to otherwise establish conditions or compensation for the use of rights-of-way or other public property by a telecommunications company. A local government may not directly or indirectly regulate the terms and conditions, including, but not limited to, the operating systems, qualifications, services, service quality, service territory, and prices, applicable to or in connection with the provision of any voice-over-Internet protocol, regardless of the platform, provider, or protocol, broadband or information service. This section does not relieve a provider from any obligations under s. 337.401.
History.—s. 33, ch. 95-403; s. 5, ch. 2003-32; s. 15, ch. 2005-132; s. 9 ch. 2007-29.
364.04 Schedules of rates, tolls, rentals, and charges; filing; public inspection.—
(1) Every telecommunications company shall publish through electronic or physical media schedules showing the rates, tolls, rentals, and charges of that company for service to be offered within the state. The commission shall have no jurisdiction over the content or form or format of such published schedules. A telecommunications company may, as an option, file the published schedules with the commission or publish its schedules through other reasonably publicly accessible means, including on a website. A telecommunications company that does not file its schedules with the commission shall inform its customers where a customer may view the telecommunications company’s schedules.
(2) This chapter does not prohibit a telecommunications company from:
(a) Entering into contracts establishing rates, tolls, rentals, and charges that differ from its published schedules or offering services that are not included in its published schedules; or
(b) Meeting competitive offerings in a specific geographic market or to a specific customer.
(3) This section does not apply to the rates, terms, and conditions established pursuant to 47 U.S.C. ss. 251 and 252.
History.—s. 4, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4396; CGL 6360; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 4, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 7, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 5, ch. 2009-226; s. 10, ch. 2011-36.
364.10 Lifeline service.—
(1)(a) An eligible telecommunications carrier shall provide a Lifeline Assistance Plan to qualified residential subscribers, as defined in the eligible telecommunications carrier’s published schedules. For the purposes of this section, the term “eligible telecommunications carrier” means a telecommunications company, as defined by s. 364.02, which is designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier by the commission pursuant to 47 C.F.R. s. 54.201.
(b) An eligible telecommunications carrier shall offer a consumer who applies for or receives Lifeline service the option of blocking all toll calls or, if technically capable, placing a limit on the number of toll calls a consumer can make. The eligible telecommunications carrier may not charge the consumer an administrative charge or other additional fee for blocking the service.
(c) An eligible telecommunications carrier may not collect a service deposit in order to initiate Lifeline service if the qualifying low-income consumer voluntarily elects toll blocking or toll limitation. If the qualifying low-income consumer elects not to place toll blocking on the line, an eligible telecommunications carrier may charge a service deposit.
(d) An eligible telecommunications carrier may not charge Lifeline subscribers a monthly number-portability charge.
(e)1. An eligible telecommunications carrier must notify a Lifeline subscriber of impending termination of Lifeline service if the company has a reasonable basis for believing that the subscriber no longer qualifies. Notification of pending termination must be in the form of a letter that is separate from the subscriber’s bill.
2. An eligible telecommunications carrier shall allow a subscriber 60 days following the date of the pending termination letter to demonstrate continued eligibility. The subscriber must present proof of continued eligibility. An eligible telecommunications carrier may transfer a subscriber off of Lifeline service, pursuant to its tariff, if the subscriber fails to demonstrate continued eligibility.
3. The commission shall establish procedures for such notification and termination.
(f) An eligible telecommunications carrier shall timely credit a consumer’s bill with the Lifeline Assistance credit as soon as practicable, but no later than 60 days following receipt of notice of eligibility from the Office of Public Counsel or proof of eligibility from the consumer.
(2)(a) Each local exchange telecommunications company that has more than 1 million access lines and that is designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier shall, and any commercial mobile radio service provider designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier pursuant to 47 U.S.C. s. 214(e) may, upon filing a notice of election to do so with the commission, provide Lifeline service to any otherwise eligible customer or potential customer who meets an income eligibility test at 150 percent or less of the federal poverty income guidelines for Lifeline customers. Such a test for eligibility must augment, rather than replace, the eligibility standards established by federal law and based on participation in certain low-income assistance programs. Each intrastate interexchange telecommunications company shall file or publish a schedule providing at a minimum the intrastate interexchange telecommunications company’s current Lifeline benefits and exemptions to Lifeline customers who meet the income eligibility test set forth in this subsection. The Office of Public Counsel shall certify and maintain claims submitted by a customer for eligibility under the income test authorized by this subsection.
(b) Each eligible telecommunications carrier subject to this subsection shall provide to each state and federal agency providing benefits to persons eligible for Lifeline service applications, brochures, pamphlets, or other materials that inform the persons of their eligibility for Lifeline, and each state agency providing the benefits shall furnish the materials to affected persons at the time they apply for benefits.
(c) An eligible telecommunications carrier may not discontinue basic local telecommunications service to a subscriber who receives Lifeline service because of nonpayment by the subscriber of charges for nonbasic services billed by the telecommunications company, including long-distance service. A subscriber who receives Lifeline service shall pay all applicable basic local telecommunications service fees, including the subscriber line charge, E-911, telephone relay system charges, and applicable state and federal taxes.
(d) An eligible telecommunications carrier may not refuse to connect, reconnect, or provide Lifeline service because of unpaid toll charges or nonbasic charges other than basic local telecommunications service.
(e) An eligible telecommunications carrier may require that payment arrangements be made for outstanding debt associated with basic local telecommunications service, subscriber line charges, E-911, telephone relay system charges, and applicable state and federal taxes.
(f) An eligible telecommunications carrier may block a Lifeline service subscriber’s access to all long-distance service, except for toll-free numbers, and may block the ability to accept collect calls when the subscriber owes an outstanding amount for long-distance service or amounts resulting from collect calls. However, the eligible telecommunications carrier may not impose a charge for blocking long-distance service. The eligible telecommunications carrier shall remove the block at the request of the subscriber without additional cost to the subscriber upon payment of the outstanding amount. An eligible telecommunications carrier may charge a service deposit before removing the block.
(g)1. Each state agency that provides benefits to persons eligible for Lifeline service shall undertake, in cooperation with the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Education, the commission, the Office of Public Counsel, and telecommunications companies designated eligible telecommunications carriers providing Lifeline services, the development of procedures to promote Lifeline participation. The departments, the commission, and the Office of Public Counsel may exchange sufficient information with the appropriate eligible telecommunications carriers and any commercial mobile radio service provider electing to provide Lifeline service under paragraph (a), such as a person’s name, date of birth, service address, and telephone number, so that the carriers can identify and enroll an eligible person in the Lifeline and Link-Up programs. The information remains confidential pursuant to s. 364.107 and may only be used for purposes of determining eligibility and enrollment in the Lifeline and Link-Up programs.
2. If any state agency determines that a person is eligible for Lifeline services, the agency shall immediately forward the information to the commission to ensure that the person is automatically enrolled in the program with the appropriate eligible telecommunications carrier. The state agency shall include an option for an eligible customer to choose not to subscribe to the Lifeline service. The Public Service Commission and the Department of Children and Families shall adopt rules creating procedures to automatically enroll eligible customers in Lifeline service.
3. The commission, the Department of Children and Families, the Office of Public Counsel, and each eligible telecommunications carrier offering Lifeline and Link-Up services shall convene a Lifeline Workgroup to discuss how the eligible subscriber information in subparagraph 1. will be shared, the obligations of each party with respect to the use of that information, and the procedures to be implemented to increase enrollment and verify eligibility in these programs.
(h) The commission shall report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by December 31 each year on the number of customers who are subscribing to Lifeline service and the effectiveness of any procedures to promote participation.
(i) The commission may undertake appropriate measures to inform low-income consumers of the availability of the Lifeline and Link-Up programs.
(j) The commission shall adopt rules to administer this section.
History.—s. 10, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4402; CGL 6366; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 12, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 17, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 13, ch. 95-403; s. 10, ch. 2003-32; s. 16, ch. 2005-132; s. 11, ch. 2007-29; s. 9, ch. 2009-226; s. 1, ch. 2010-190; s. 20, ch. 2011-36; s. 60, ch. 2014-19; s. 72, ch. 2020-2.
364.105 Discounted rate for basic service for former Lifeline subscribers.—Each local exchange telecommunications company shall offer discounted residential basic local telecommunications service at 70 percent of the residential local telecommunications service rate for any Lifeline subscriber who no longer qualifies for Lifeline. A Lifeline subscriber who requests such service shall receive the discounted price for a period of 1 year after the date the subscriber ceases to be qualified for Lifeline. In no event shall this preclude the offering of any other discounted services which comply with s. 364.10.
History.—s. 3, ch. 98-277; s. 18, ch. 2009-226; s. 59, ch. 2011-36.
364.107 Public records exemption; Lifeline Assistance Plan participants.—
(1) Personal identifying information of a participant in a telecommunications carrier’s Lifeline Assistance Plan under s. 364.10 held by the Public Service Commission is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(2) Information made confidential and exempt under subsection (1) may be released to the applicable telecommunications carrier for purposes directly connected with eligibility for, verification related to, or auditing of a Lifeline Assistance Plan.
(3)(a) An officer or employee of a telecommunications carrier shall not intentionally disclose information made confidential and exempt under subsection (1), except as:
1. Authorized by the customer;
2. Necessary for billing purposes;
3. Required by subpoena, court order, or other process of court;
4. Necessary to disclose to an agency as defined in s. 119.011 or a governmental entity for purposes directly connected with implementing service for, or verifying eligibility of, a participant in a Lifeline Assistance Plan or auditing a Lifeline Assistance Plan; or
5. Otherwise authorized by law.
(b) Nothing in this section precludes a telecommunications carrier from disclosing information made confidential and exempt under subsection (1) to the extent such information is otherwise publicly available or from disclosing to a customer his or her own account record through telephonic means.
(4) Any officer or employee of a telecommunications carrier or of the Public Service Commission who intentionally discloses information in violation of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.—s. 1, ch. 2007-247; s. 1, ch. 2012-226.
364.16 Local interconnection, unbundling, and resale.—
(1) The Legislature finds that the competitive provision of local exchange service requires appropriate continued regulatory oversight of carrier-to-carrier relationships in order to provide for the development of fair and effective competition.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that in resolving disputes, the commission treat all providers of telecommunications services fairly by preventing anticompetitive behavior, including, but not limited to, predatory pricing.
(3) The commission shall, upon request, arbitrate and enforce interconnection agreements pursuant to 47 U.S.C. ss. 251 and 252 and the Federal Communications Commission’s orders and regulations implementing those sections. The commission has the authority to resolve disputes among carriers concerning violations of this chapter and under the authority conferred by federal law to resolve such disputes, including, but not limited to, federal law addressing resale of services, local interconnection, unbundling, number portability, dialing parity, access to rights-of-way, access to poles and conduits, and reciprocal compensation. However, this section does not confer jurisdiction on the commission for services that are exempt from commission jurisdiction under s. 364.011 or s. 364.013. Additionally, a competitive local exchange telecommunications company is entitled to interconnection with a local exchange telecommunications company to transmit and route voice traffic between both the competitive local exchange telecommunications company and the local exchange telecommunications company regardless of the technology by which the voice traffic is originated by and terminated to an end user. The commission shall afford the competitive local exchange telecommunications company all substantive and procedural rights available to such companies regarding interconnection under the law.
(4) A telecommunications company may not knowingly deliver traffic, for which terminating access service charges would otherwise apply, through a local interconnection arrangement without paying the appropriate charges for such terminating access service. Any party having a substantial interest may petition the commission for an investigation of any suspected violation of this subsection. If a telecommunications company knowingly violates this subsection, the commission has jurisdiction to arbitrate bona fide complaints arising from the requirements of this subsection and shall, upon such complaint, have access to all relevant customer records and accounts of any telecommunications company.
(5) The commission shall adopt rules to prevent the unauthorized changing of a subscriber’s telecommunications service. Such rules shall be consistent with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, provide for specific verification methodologies, provide for the notification to subscribers of the ability to freeze the subscriber’s choice of carriers at no charge, allow for a subscriber’s change to be considered valid if verification was performed consistent with commission rules, provide remedies for violations of the rules, and allow for the imposition of other penalties available under this chapter. The commission shall resolve on an expedited basis any complaints of anticompetitive behavior concerning a local preferred carrier freeze. The telecommunications company that is asserting the existence of a local preferred carrier freeze, which is the subject of a complaint, has the burden of proving through competent evidence that the subscriber did in fact request the freeze.
(6) Upon petition, the commission may conduct a limited or expedited proceeding to consider and act upon any matter under this section. The commission shall determine the issues to be considered during such a proceeding and may grant or deny any request to expand the scope of the proceeding to include other matters. The commission shall implement an expedited process to facilitate the quick resolution of disputes between telecommunications companies. The process implemented by the commission shall, to the greatest extent feasible, minimize the time necessary to reach a decision on a dispute. The commission may limit the use of the expedited process based on the number of parties, the number of issues, or the complexity of the issues. For any proceeding conducted pursuant to the expedited process, the commission shall make its determination within 120 days after a petition is filed or a motion is made. The commission shall adopt rules to administer this subsection.
(7) In order to ensure that consumers have access to different local exchange service providers without being disadvantaged, deterred, or inconvenienced by having to give up the consumer’s existing local telephone number, the commission must make sure that all providers of local exchange services have access to local telephone numbering resources and assignments on equitable terms that include a recognition of the scarcity of such resources and that are in accordance with national assignment guidelines.
(8) When requested, each certificated telecommunications company shall provide access to any poles, conduits, rights-of-way, and like facilities that it owns or controls to any local exchange telecommunications company or competitive local exchange telecommunications company pursuant to reasonable rates and conditions mutually agreed to which do not discriminate between similarly situated companies.
History.—s. 17, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4409; CGL 6373; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 16, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 20, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 14, ch. 95-403; s. 7, ch. 2000-334; s. 11, ch. 2003-32; s. 22, ch. 2011-36.
364.163 Network access services.—For purposes of this section, the term “network access service” is defined as any service provided by a local exchange telecommunications company to a telecommunications company certificated under this chapter or licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to access the local exchange telecommunications network, excluding local interconnection, resale, or unbundling pursuant to s. 364.16. Each local exchange telecommunications company shall maintain tariffs with the commission containing the terms, conditions, and rates for each of its network access services. An interexchange telecommunications company may not institute any intrastate connection fee or any similarly named fee.
History.—s. 17, ch. 95-403; s. 4, ch. 98-277; s. 14, ch. 2003-32; s. 12, ch. 2007-29; s. 25, ch. 2011-36; s. 48, ch. 2019-3.
364.183 Access to company records.—
(1) The commission shall have access to all records of a telecommunications company which are reasonably necessary for the disposition of matters within the commission’s jurisdiction. The commission may require a telecommunications company to file records, reports or other data directly related to matters within the commission’s jurisdiction in the form specified by the commission and may require such company to retain such information for a designated period of time. Upon request of the company or other person, any records received by the commission which are claimed by the company or other person to be proprietary confidential business information shall be kept confidential and shall be exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(2) Discovery in any docket or proceeding before the commission shall be in the manner provided for in Rule 1.280 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. Upon a showing by a company or other person and a finding by the commission that discovery will require the disclosure of proprietary confidential business information, the commission shall issue an appropriate protective order designating the manner for handling such information during the course of the proceeding and for protecting such information from disclosure outside the proceeding. Such proprietary confidential business information shall be exempt from s. 119.07(1). Any records provided pursuant to a discovery request for which proprietary confidential business information status is requested shall be treated by the commission and the Office of the Public Counsel and any other party subject to the public records law as confidential and shall be exempt from s. 119.07(1), pending a formal ruling on such request by the commission or the return of the records to the person providing the records. Any record which has been determined to be proprietary confidential business information and is not entered into the official record of the proceeding shall be returned to the person providing the record within 60 days after the final order, unless the final order is appealed. If the final order is appealed, any such record shall be returned within 30 days after the decision on appeal. The commission shall adopt the necessary rules to implement this subsection.
(3) The term “proprietary confidential business information” means information, regardless of form or characteristics, which is owned or controlled by the person or company, is intended to be and is treated by the person or company as private in that the disclosure of the information would cause harm to the ratepayers or the person’s or company’s business operations, and has not been disclosed unless disclosed pursuant to a statutory provision, an order of a court or administrative body, or private agreement that provides that the information will not be released to the public. The term includes, but is not limited to:
(a) Trade secrets.
(b) Internal auditing controls and reports of internal auditors.
(c) Security measures, systems, or procedures.
(d) Information concerning bids or other contractual data, the disclosure of which would impair the efforts of the company or its affiliates to contract for goods or services on favorable terms.
(e) Information relating to competitive interests, the disclosure of which would impair the competitive business of the provider of information.
(f) Employee personnel information unrelated to compensation, duties, qualifications, or responsibilities.
(4) Any finding by the commission that a record contains proprietary confidential business information is effective for a period set by the commission not to exceed 18 months, unless the commission finds, for good cause, that the protection from disclosure shall be for a specified longer period. The commission shall order the return of a record containing proprietary confidential business information when such record is no longer necessary for the commission to conduct its business. At that time, the commission shall order any other person holding such record to return it to the person providing the record. Any record containing proprietary confidential business information which has not been returned at the conclusion of the period set pursuant to this subsection shall no longer be exempt from s. 119.07(1) unless the telecommunications company or affected person shows, and the commission finds, that the record continues to contain proprietary confidential business information. Upon such finding, the commission may extend the period for confidential treatment for a period not to exceed 18 months unless the commission finds, for good cause, that the protection from disclosure shall be for a specified longer period. During commission consideration of an extension, the record in question remains exempt from s. 119.07(1). The commission shall adopt rules to implement this subsection, which shall include notice to the telecommunications company or affected person regarding the expiration of confidential treatment.
History.—ss. 1, 5, ch. 82-51; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 23, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 18, ch. 95-403; s. 167, ch. 96-406; s. 26, ch. 2011-36.
364.195 Termination of telecommunications service contract by a servicemember.— (1) Any servicemember, as defined in s. 250.01, may terminate his or her telecommunications service contract by providing the telecommunications company with a written notice of termination, effective on the date specified in the notice, which date shall be at least 30 days after receipt of the notice by the telecommunications company, if any of the following criteria are met:
(a) The servicemember is required, pursuant to a permanent change of station orders, to move outside the area served by the telecommunications company or to an area where the type of telecommunications service being provided to the servicemember is not available from the telecommunications company;
(b) The servicemember is discharged or released from active duty or state active duty and will return from such duty to an area not served by the telecommunications company or where the type of telecommunications service contracted for is not available from the telecommunications company;
(c) The servicemember is released from active duty or state active duty after having entered into a contract for telecommunications service while on active duty or state active duty status and the telecommunications company does not provide telecommunications service or the same type of telecommunications service contracted for in the region of the servicemember’s home of record prior to entering active duty or state active duty;
(d) The servicemember receives military orders requiring him or her to move outside the continental United States; or
(e) The servicemember receives temporary duty orders, temporary change of station orders, or active duty or state active duty orders to an area not served by the telecommunications company or where the type of telecommunications service contracted for is not available from the telecommunications company, provided such orders are for a period exceeding 60 days.
(2) The written notice to the telecommunications company must be accompanied by either a copy of the official military orders or a written verification signed by the servicemember’s commanding officer.
(3) Upon termination of a contract under this section, the servicemember is liable for the amount due under the contract prorated to the effective date of the termination payable at such time as would have otherwise been required by the terms of the contract. The servicemember is not liable for any other fees due to the early termination of the contract as provided for in this section.
(4) The provisions of this section may not be waived or modified by the agreement of the parties under any circumstances.
History.—s. 16, ch. 2003-72.
364.24 Penalty for making telephone message or customer account information known.—
(1) Except as otherwise deemed by law, any officer or person in the employ of any telecommunications company, or any person in charge of any office, exchange, or place where messages or communications are sent, received, or heard by telephone, who shall disclose or make known to any person other than the person to whom the telephone message or communication is directed, or his or her duly authorized agent, partner, clerk, or some member of his or her family, any part of the contents or substance of any message or communication sent, received, or heard by him or her, by telephone, by reason of the position he or she occupies or fills, without consent of the person sending or receiving such message or communication, commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(2) Any officer or person in the employ of any telecommunications company shall not intentionally disclose customer account records except as authorized by the customer or as necessary for billing purposes, or required by subpoena, court order, other process of court, or as otherwise allowed by law. Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Nothing herein precludes disclosure of customers’ names, addresses, or telephone numbers to the extent they are otherwise publicly available. Nothing herein precludes a telecommunications company from making available to its customers a customer’s own customer account record through telephonic means.
History.—s. 1, ch. 5210, 1903; GS 3730; RGS 5755; CGL 7985; s. 273, ch. 71-136; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 20, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 26, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 548, ch. 95-148; s. 19, ch. 95-403; s. 4, ch. 99-354.
364.245 Discontinuation of telecommunications service used for unlawful purpose.—
(1) A customer of a telecommunications company operating within the state may use telecommunications services only for lawful purposes.
(2) If a local, state, or federal law enforcement officer acting within the scope of the officer’s duties obtains evidence that telecommunications services are being used or have been used by a customer or by the employee or agent of the customer to violate state or federal law, the officer may apply to the circuit court of the county in which the suspected violation of state or federal law occurred for an order requiring the telecommunications company to discontinue service to the customer of the services. The court shall hold a hearing on the application as soon as possible, but no sooner than 48 hours after notice of the application for discontinuation of service is delivered to the address at which the telecommunications services are furnished or to the address to which bills for telecommunications services are mailed, according to the telecommunications company records. Notice must also be given to the registered agent for the service of process upon the telecommunications company at least 48 hours prior to the hearing. If the court finds clear and convincing evidence that the telecommunications services are being used or have been used to violate state or federal law, the court shall order the telecommunications company to discontinue such service immediately.
(3) Telecommunications service discontinued under this section may be reinstated only by court order, and call forwarding or message referrals, whether recorded or live, may not be provided until reinstatement of service is ordered by the court.
(4) A telecommunications company shall be held harmless from liability to any person in complying with any court order issued under this section.
History.—s. 20, ch. 95-403; s. 8, ch. 2000-334.
(1) The commission shall have the power to impose upon any entity subject to its jurisdiction under this chapter which is found to have refused to comply with or to have willfully violated any lawful rule or order of the commission or any provision of this chapter a penalty for each offense of not more than $25,000, which penalty shall be fixed, imposed, and collected by the commission; or the commission may, for any such violation, amend, suspend, or revoke any certificate issued by it. Each day that such refusal or violation continues constitutes a separate offense. Each penalty shall be a lien upon the real and personal property of the entity, enforceable by the commission as a statutory lien under chapter 85. Collected penalties shall be deposited in the General Revenue Fund unallocated.
(2) The commission may, at its discretion, institute in any court of competent jurisdiction a proceeding for injunctive relief to compel compliance with this chapter or any commission rule or to compel the accounting and refund of any moneys collected in violation of this chapter or commission rule.
History.—ss. 4, 7, ch. 83-73; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 28, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
364.30 Telecommunications companies; points of connection.—
(1) Any telecommunications company operating within the state subject to the provisions of this chapter, having more than one point of connection with or through any other telecommunications company, is hereby authorized and permitted to use and enjoy any of its points of connection on any call at any time such points of connection are not in use, and the company with which the call is initiated shall be the sole judge in each instance as to whether the convenience and necessity of its own subscribers, the facility with which the connection and call may be completed, and its financial welfare are best served by the routing selected by the company receiving any such individual call. Any telecommunications company having two or more points of connection with any other company may not be required by the connecting company to route all or any specific number of its calls through any one connection at the will of the connecting company.
(2) Any connecting telecommunications company refusing to give and make a connection with the company through which the call was initially placed, over any connecting point not in use, commits a violation of this section.
History.—ss. 1, 2, ch. 22073, 1943; s. 1, ch. 63-279; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 53, ch. 78-95; ss. 22, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 29, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
364.32 Definitions applicable to s. 364.33.— (1) “Person” means:
(a) Any natural person, firm, association, county, municipality, corporation, business, trust, or partnership owning, leasing, or operating any facility used in the furnishing of public telecommunications service within this state; and
(b) A cooperative, nonprofit, membership corporation, or limited dividend or mutual association, now or hereafter created, with respect to that part or portion of its operations devoted to the furnishing of telecommunications service within this state.
(2) “Territory” means any area, whether within or without the boundaries of a municipality.
History.—s. 9, ch. 28013, 1953; s. 24, ch. 57-1; s. 1, ch. 63-279; s. 1, ch. 65-52; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 24, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 30, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 60, ch. 2011-36.
364.33 Certificate of necessity or authority.—A person may not provide telecommunications services to the public without a certificate of necessity or a certificate of authority. After July 1, 2011, the commission shall cease to issue certificates of necessity, but existing certificates of necessity remain valid. A certificate of necessity or authority may be transferred to the holder’s parent company or an affiliate or another person holding a certificate of necessity or authority, its parent company, or an affiliate without prior approval of the commission by giving written notice of the transfer to the commission within 60 days after the completion of the transfer. The transferee assumes the rights and obligations conferred by the certificate. This section does not affect any obligation of the transferee pursuant to 47 U.S.C. ss. 251 and 252 and the Federal Communications Commission’s orders and regulations implementing those sections.
History.—s. 1, ch. 28013, 1953; s. 1, ch. 63-279; s. 1, ch. 65-52; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; s. 5, ch. 83-73; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 31, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 11, ch. 2009-226; s. 30, ch. 2011-36.
364.335 Application for certificate of authority.— (1) Each applicant for a certificate of authority shall: (a) Provide the following information:
1. The applicant’s official name and, if different, any name under which the applicant will do business.
2. The street address of the principal place of business of the applicant.
3. The federal employer identification number or the Department of State’s document number.
4. The name, address, and telephone number of an officer, partner, owner, member, or manager as a contact person for the applicant to whom questions or concerns may be addressed.
5. Information demonstrating the applicant’s managerial, technical, and financial ability to provide telecommunications service, including an attestation to the accuracy of the information provided.
(b) File the application fee required by the commission in an amount not to exceed $500. Such fees shall be deposited in accordance with s. 350.113.
(2) The commission shall grant a certificate of authority to provide telecommunications service upon a showing that the applicant has sufficient technical, financial, and managerial capability to provide such service in the geographic area proposed to be served. The applicant shall ensure continued compliance with applicable business formation, registration, and taxation provisions of law.
(3) A certificate of authority may be terminated by the telecommunications company by submitting notice to the commission.
(4) Except as provided in s. 364.33, revocation, suspension, transfer, or amendment of a certificate shall be subject to the provisions of this section.
History.—s. 27, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 3, 5, ch. 82-51; s. 6, ch. 83-73; s. 1, ch. 85-327; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 32, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 21, ch. 95-403; s. 93, ch. 96-410; s. 18, ch. 2005-132; s. 12, ch. 2009-226; s. 31, ch. 2011-36.
364.336 Regulatory assessment fees.—
(1) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, each telecommunications company licensed or operating under this chapter, for any part of the preceding 6-month period, shall pay to the commission, within 30 days following the end of each 6-month period, a fee that may not exceed 0.25 percent annually of its gross operating revenues derived from intrastate business, except, for purposes of this section and the fee specified in s. 350.113(3), any amount paid to another telecommunications company for the use of any telecommunications network shall be deducted from the gross operating revenue for purposes of computing the fee due. The commission shall by rule assess a minimum fee in an amount up to $1,000. The minimum amount may vary depending on the type of service provided by the telecommunications company and shall, to the extent practicable, be related to the cost of regulating such type of company. Differences, if any, between the amount paid in any 6-month period and the amount actually determined by the commission to be due shall, upon motion by the commission, be immediately paid or refunded. Fees under this section may not be less than $50 annually. Such fees shall be deposited in accordance with s. 350.113. The commission may by rule establish criteria for payment of the regulatory assessment fee on an annual basis rather than on a semiannual basis.
(2) By August 1, 2011, the commission must begin rulemaking to reduce the regulatory assessment fee for telecommunications companies under s. 350.113 and this section, as required to reflect the reduction in regulation resulting from the amendments to this chapter that take effect on July 1, 2011. The reduced fee shall be applied beginning with payments due in January 2012 on revenues for the preceding 6-month period. The commission’s consideration of the required amount of the reduction to the regulatory assessment fee must include, but is not limited to:
(a) The regulatory activities that are no longer required and the number of staff currently assigned to such activities.
(b) The number of staff necessary to carry out the reduced level of regulatory responsibilities based on reductions in workload for the staff in the Division of Regulatory Analysis, the Office of Auditing and Performance Analysis, and the Division of Service, Safety and Consumer Assistance.
(c) The reductions in overhead associated with the commissioner’s offices, the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Commission Clerk, the Office of Information Technology Services, the Office of Public Information, and the Office of Inspector General.
(d) The reductions in direct and indirect costs, including allocations of fixed costs.
(3) By January 15 of each year, the commission must report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, providing a detailed description of its efforts to reduce the regulatory assessment fee for telecommunications companies, including a detailed description of the regulatory activities that are no longer required; the commensurate reduction in costs associated with this reduction in regulation; the regulatory activities that continue to be required under this chapter; and the costs associated with those regulatory activities.
History.—ss. 33, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 22, ch. 95-403; s. 13, ch. 98-277; s. 19, ch. 2005-132; s. 32, ch. 2011-36; s. 19, ch. 2021-51.
364.3375 Pay telephone service providers.—
(1)(a) A person may not provide pay telephone service without first obtaining from the commission a certificate of authority or necessity to provide such service, except that the certification provisions of this subsection do not apply to a local exchange telecommunications company providing pay telephone service.
(b) In granting such certificate the commission, if it finds that the action is consistent with the public interest, may exempt a pay telephone provider from some or all of the requirements of this chapter. However, the commission may exempt a pay telephone provider from this section only to prevent fraud or if it finds the exemption to be in the public interest.
(c) A certificate authorizes the pay telephone provider to provide services statewide and to provide access to both local and intrastate interexchange pay telephone service, except that the commission may limit the type of calls that can be handled.
(2) Each pay telephone station shall:
(a) Receive and permit coin-free access to the universal emergency telephone number “911” where operable or to a local exchange company toll operator.
(b) Receive and provide coin-free or coin-return access to local directory assistance and the telephone number of the person responsible for repair service.
(c) Designate a party responsible for processing refunds to customers.
(d) Be equipped with a legible sign, card, or plate of reasonable permanence which provides information determined by the commission, by rule, to adequately inform the end user.
(e) Be eligible to subscribe to flat-rate, single-line business local exchange services.
(3) Each pay telephone station which provides access to any interexchange telecommunications company shall provide access to all locally available interexchange telecommunications companies and shall provide for the completion of international telephone calls under terms and conditions as determined by the commission. The commission may grant limited waivers of this provision to pay telephone companies to prevent fraud or as otherwise determined in the public interest.
History.—ss. 35, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 1, ch. 92-126; s. 24, ch. 95-403; s. 34, ch. 2011-36.
364.381 Judicial review.—As authorized by s. 3(b)(2), Art. V of the State Constitution, the Supreme Court shall review, upon petition, any action of the commission relating to rates or service of telecommunications companies. For purposes of judicial review, a telecommunications company is a telephone company within the meaning of s. 3(b)(2), Art. V of the State Constitution.
History.—s. 30, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 43, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
364.385 Saving clauses.—The rates and charges for network access service approved by the commission in accordance with the decisions set forth in Order Nos. PSC 03-1469-FOF-TL and PSC 04-0456-FOF-TL, and which are in effect immediately prior to July 1, 2007, shall remain in effect and such rates and charges may not be changed after the effective date of this act, except in accordance with the provisions of s. 364.163.
History.—s. 29, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 44, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 28, ch. 95-403; s. 13, ch. 2007-29; s. 7, ch. 2010-38; s. 41, ch. 2011-36.
364.386 Reports to the Legislature.— (1)(a) The commission shall submit to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the majority and minority leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives, on August 1, on an annual basis, a report on the status of competition in the telecommunications industry and a detailed exposition of the following:
1. The ability of competitive providers to make functionally equivalent local exchange services available to both residential and business customers at competitive rates, terms, and conditions.
2. The ability of consumers to obtain functionally equivalent services at comparable rates, terms, and conditions.
3. The overall impact of competition on the maintenance of reasonably affordable and reliable high-quality telecommunications services.
4. A listing and short description of any carrier disputes filed under s. 364.16.
(b) The commission shall make an annual request to providers of local exchange telecommunications services on or before March 1 of each year for the data it requires to complete the report. A provider of local exchange telecommunications services shall file its response with the commission on or before April 15 of each year.
(2) The quantitative part of the information requested in the commission’s annual data request shall be limited to a copy of the FCC Form 477 filed by a provider of local exchange telecommunications service with the Federal Communications Commission, which must identify Florida-specific access line data or similar information if an FCC Form 477 is not available.
History.—ss. 45, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 29, ch. 95-403; s. 1, ch. 2007-180; s. 42, ch. 2011-36; s. 35, ch. 2018-110.