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66-2004. Rural telephone companies; competition; certification. (a) Pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 251(f)(1), the obligations of an incumbent local exchange carrier, which include the duty to negotiate interconnection, unbundled access, resale, notice of changes and collocation, shall not apply to a rural telephone company unless such company has received a bona fide request for interconnection, services or network elements and the commission determines that such request is not unduly economically burdensome, is technically feasible and preserves and enhances universal service.

(b) On July 1, 1996, the commission shall initiate a rulemaking procedure to adopt guidelines to ensure that all telecommunications carriers and local exchange carriers preserve and enhance universal service, protect the public safety and welfare, ensure the continued quality of telecommunications services and safeguard the rights of consumers. The preservation and advancement of universal service shall be a primary concern. The commission shall issue the guidelines no later than December 31, 1996.

(c) Pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 253(f), any telecommunications carrier that seeks to provide telephone exchange service or local exchange access in a service area served by a rural telephone company shall meet the requirements of 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(1) for designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier for that area before being permitted by the commission to provide such service; however, the guidelines shall be consistent with the provisions of 47 U.S.C. § 253(f)(1) and (2).

(d) The commission may grant a certificate to provide local exchange or exchange access service in the service area of a rural telephone company if, among other issues to be considered by the commission, the application for such certificate complies with commission guidelines issued pursuant to subsection (b).

(e) Any restrictions established by the commission for rural entry of competitors or for resale and unbundling of services shall not apply to any service area of a rural telephone company if such company, or an entity in which such company directly or indirectly owns an equity interest of 10% or more, provides local exchange or exchange access service, as authorized under K.S.A. 60-2003, and amendments thereto, and this section, in any area of the state outside of its local exchange areas, as approved by the commission on or before January 1, 1996, and outside of any area in which it is the successor to the local exchange carrier serving such area on or before January 1, 1996.

(f) (1) Any local exchange carrier electing pursuant to K.S.A. 66-2005(b), and amendments thereto, to operate under traditional rate of return regulation, or an entity in which such carrier directly or indirectly owns an equity interest of 10% or more, shall not use KUSF funding, except for Kansas lifeline service program purposes pursuant to K.S.A. 66-2006, and amendments thereto, for the purposes of providing telecommunication services in an area outside of the carrier's authorized service area.

(2) The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to affect a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier's eligibility for KUSF support pursuant to K.S.A. 66-2008(c)(4), and amendments thereto.

History: L. 1996, ch. 268, § 5; L. 2016, ch. 40, § 3; July 1.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"Eligible Telecommunication Carrier Designation, The Kansas Case Study 1997-2008," Mark Bannister and Jon Tholstrup, 18 Kan. J. L. & Pub Pol'y, No. 3, 372 (2009).

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