In response to declining workload after the legislature reduced regulation of telecommunications, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today lowered the rates it charges the industry.
The PSC collects regulatory assessment fees (RAFs) to cover its costs during the ongoing transition to a competitive telecommunications market. Regulatory workload has steadily decreased because the PSC no longer oversees intrastate interexchange services, operator services, shared tenant services, and certain billing practices.
Florida’s recent telecommunications law (HB 1231), effective July 1, repealed and amended several sections of Chapter 364, Florida Statutes (F.S.), to remove the PSC's jurisdiction over basic local telecommunications service and non-basic service, including service quality and price regulation. The Commission retains authority to resolve intercarrier disputes, certify wireline carriers, oversee payphones, assist Lifeline customers, manage the Telecommunications Relay Service for the deaf, and prepare the annual Report on Competition in the Telecommunications Industry provided to the Legislature.
A Commission workshop was held on August 22 to consider a rulemaking proposal to reduce RAFs under Sections 350.113 and 364.336, F.S.
Today’s approved rule amendment will reduce minimum annual telecommunications RAFs by 20 percent. During the first year of rule implementation (2012-2013), telecommunications RAF revenue is expected to decrease by $1,185,115. The revenue reduction is not expected to impact customers, businesses, or local governments.
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