Opposing FCC Preemption of Local Payphone Coin Rate

WHEREAS, on February 8, 1996, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Act) was signed into law;

WHEREAS, Section 276 of the Act has the goals of promoting competition among payphone providers and promoting the widespread deployment of payphone services to the benefit of the general public;

WHEREAS, on June 4, 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to implement Section 276 of the Act (CCDocket No. 96-128);

WHEREAS, numerous parties filed comments and reply comments pursuant to the NPRM;

WHEREAS, on September 20, 1996, the FCC released its Report and Order which, inter alia, concluded that the local coin rates, terms, and conditions should be deregulated over the next two years;

WHEREAS, the FCC also concluded that it may permit a state to retain jurisdiction over local coin rate only if it can meet a heavy burden that competition is not present due to market failure in the jurisdiction;

WHEREAS, the FCC reaffirmed this conclusion in its Order on Reconsideration adopted November 8, 1996;

WHEREAS, competition regarding local coin rate is generally not present in any jurisdiction;

WHEREAS, some states classify local coin rate as a “basic” regulation rather than a “competitive” regulation service in price cap plans or other forms of alternative regulation;

WHEREAS, the individual states are better situated to determine whether a particular market is competitive based on a greater familiarity with regional and local market characteristics;

WHEREAS, the regulation of local coin rates, terms, and conditions has historically been the exclusive jurisdiction of the states;

WHEREAS, the Act does not require federal preemption of the local coin rates, terms, and conditions;

WHEREAS, the FCC did not provide adequate notice that it was considering deregulation of local coin rates, terms, and conditions;

WHEREAS, untimely deregulation of local coin rate will lead to higher coin rates with limited or no options for consumers;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that NASUCA opposes the FCC order on federal preemption of local payphone coin rates, terms, and conditions;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NASUCA may express this position before the FCC or federal courts;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NASUCA authorizes its Executive Committee to develop specific positions and to take appropriate actions consistent with the terms of this resolution. The Executive Committee shall notify the membership of any action taken pursuant to this resolution.

Approved by NASUCA:

San Francisco, California

November 20, 1996

Submitted by:

NASUCA Telecommunications Committee

Martha S. Hogerty (MO), Chair
Shirley Guntharp (AR)
Regina Costa (CA)
Michael McRae (DC)
Jack Shreve (FL)
Alice Hyde (IA)
Timothy Seat (IN)
B. Robert Piller (NY)
Karen Long (NC)
Theresa Czarski (MD)
Mike Travieso (MD)
Wayne Jortner (ME)
Garth Morrisette (MN)
Philip McClelland (PA)
Elliot Elam (SC)
Suzi Ray McClellan (TX)