4927.12 Alteration of rates for basic local exchange service.

(A) As used in this section, "exchange area" means a geographical service area established by an incumbent local exchange carrier and approved by the public utilities commission.

(B) Subject to divisions (C), (D), and (E) of this section, and upon not less than thirty days' notice to the public utilities commission and to affected customers, an incumbent local exchange carrier may alter its rates for basic local exchange service.

(C) In addition to the requirements of division (B) of this section, all of the following apply to any upward alteration of rates for basic local exchange service made under that division:

(1) If the incumbent local exchange carrier, within twelve months prior to the effective date of this section, increased the carrier's rates for basic local exchange service for an exchange area, both of the following apply:

(a) The incumbent local exchange carrier may not alter the carrier's rates for basic local exchange service for the exchange area upward by any amount during the period that ends twelve months after the date of the last increase of the rates for basic local exchange service.

(b) In no event may the incumbent local exchange carrier, during the twelve-month period that begins immediately after the end date of the period described in division (C)(1)(a) of this section, and during any subsequent twelve-month period, alter the carrier's rates for basic local exchange service upward for the exchange area by more than the amount authorized for an annual increase in the rate for basic local exchange service by division (A) of rule 4901:1-4-11 of the Ohio Administrative Code as that rule existed on the effective date of this section.

(2) If the incumbent local exchange carrier did not, within twelve months prior to the effective date of this section, increase the carrier's rates for basic local exchange service for an exchange area, and if the commission has made a prior determination that the exchange area qualified for alternative regulation of basic local exchange service under Chapter 4901:1-4 of the Ohio Administrative Code as that chapter existed on the effective date of this section, in no event may the incumbent local exchange carrier, during the twelve-month period that begins on the effective date of this section, and during any subsequent twelve-month period, alter the carrier's rates for basic local exchange service upward for the exchange area by more than the amount described in division (C)(1)(b) of this section.

(3)

(a) If the commission has not made a prior determination that the exchange area qualified for alternative regulation of basic local exchange service under Chapter 4901:1-4 of the Ohio Administrative Code as that chapter existed on the effective date of this section, an incumbent local exchange carrier may not alter its rates for basic local exchange service upward for that exchange area unless the carrier first applies to the commission and the commission determines that the application demonstrates that two or more alternative providers offer, in the exchange area, competing service to the basic local exchange service offered by an incumbent local exchange carrier in the exchange area, regardless of the technology and facilities used by the alternative provider, the alternative provider's location, and the extent of the alternative provider's service area within the exchange area. An alternative provider includes a telephone company, including a wireless service provider, a telecommunications carrier, and a provider of internet protocol-enabled services, including voice over internet protocol.

(b) Upon the filing of an application under division (C)(3)(a) of this section, the commission shall be deemed to have found that the application meets the requirements of that division unless the commission, within thirty days after the filing of the application, issues an order finding that the requirements have not been met.

(c) In no event may an incumbent local exchange carrier that applies to the commission under division (C)(3)(a) of this section, during the twelve-month period that begins on the thirty-first day after the company files the application, and during any subsequent twelve-month period, alter the carrier's rates for basic local exchange service upward for the exchange area to which the application applies by more than the amount described in division (C)(1)(b) of this section.

(4) In no event may an incumbent local exchange carrier, before January 1, 2012, alter the carrier's rates for basic local exchange service upward for a customer receiving lifeline service under section 4927.13 of the Revised Code.

(D) Except as provided in division (E) of this section, no banking of upward rate alterations made under division (B) of this section is permitted.

(E) At any time and upon not less than thirty days' notice to the commission and to affected customers, an incumbent local exchange carrier owned and operated exclusively by and solely for its customers may alter its rates for basic local exchange service by any amount.

(F) The rates, terms, and conditions for basic local exchange service and for installation and reconnection fees for basic local exchange service shall be tariffed in the manner prescribed by rule adopted by the commission.

Added by 128th General AssemblyFile No.43, SB 162, §1, eff. 9/13/2010.