Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

04/11/2018 01:00 PM House JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to 6:15 pm --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 351(HSS) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 336(JUD) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 387(JUD) Out of Committee
        SB 205-TELECOMMUNICATIONS REGULATION/EXEMPTIONS                                                                     
2:48:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CLAMAN announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
SENATE  BILL  NO.  205,  "An   Act  relating  to  the  Regulatory                                                               
Commission   of  Alaska;   and  relating   to  telecommunications                                                               
regulations, exemptions, charges, and rates."                                                                                   
2:49:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KEVIN  MEYER, Alaska State Legislature,  advised that all                                                               
of the telecommunication companies support  SB 205, which is rare                                                               
because this business is competitive  with 15 different telephone                                                               
companies  in Alaska.    The  intent of  this  legislation is  to                                                               
modernize   the   state's  telecommunication   statutes   because                                                               
technology has  changed and  consumer preferences  for telephones                                                               
have changed  extensively since  the laws  were written  in 1990.                                                               
In fact,  he advised,  it is  estimated that  only 40  percent of                                                               
homes continue  to maintain a  landline.  He explained  that this                                                               
legislation  removes  the  outdated regulation  of  long-distance                                                               
competition and  remedies the current  distortion that  exists as                                                               
to which  companies pay  the regulatory costs  charge.   Under SB
205, he  said, all  of the  companies will  pay the  RCC charges,                                                               
thereby spreading  the cost amongst  all of the carriers  and not                                                               
to just  a few  as it is  currently.  He  related that  this bill                                                               
also removes  the requirement for  the RCA to  designate carriers                                                               
of last  resort (COLR) because  it is unnecessary and  results in                                                               
unfairly  imposing burdens  on  one  carrier in  a  market.   All                                                               
carriers in a market should be  treated equally unless there is a                                                               
compelling reason  to do otherwise.   Another reason  the carrier                                                               
of last  resort (COLR)  is no longer  necessary is  because there                                                               
are  state statutes  and regulations  in place  at the  state and                                                               
federal  level  that  will  remain  and  prohibit  carriers  from                                                               
discontinuing a service without the permission of the RCA.                                                                      
2:51:36 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MEYER reiterated  that  SB 205  simply removes  obsolete                                                               
inequity regulatory  burdens while maintaining the  obligation to                                                               
provide landline service.   The legislation provides efficiencies                                                               
for both  the industry and RCA  by allowing all parties  to focus                                                               
on  relevant regulatory  activity,  and it  preserves the  public                                                               
interest oversight  role that RCA  has today.  He  cautioned that                                                               
having been  with this bill for  a while, it is  a technical bill                                                               
and experts are available to better answer questions.                                                                           
2:52:24 PM                                                                                                                    
EDRA  MORLEDGE,  Staff,  Senator  Kevin  Meyer,  paraphrased  the                                                               
sectional analysis as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                  
     Section 1  Municipal powers and duties. AS 29.35.070                                                                     
     Public Utilities. Section 11 repeals AS 42.05.810,                                                                         
     therefore it is removed from reference in this section                                                                     
     of the statute.                                                                                                            
MS. MORLEDGE  advised that Section  1 was necessary  because Sec.                                                               
11, AS  42.05.810 is repealed;  therefore, the reference  to that                                                               
statute is in Section 1.                                                                                                        
     Section 2  Alaska Public Utilities Regulatory Act. AS                                                                    
     42.05.141 Adds two new subsections (e) and (f) to the                                                                      
     general powers and duties of the RCA. These                                                                                
     subsections state that the Commission may not                                                                              
     designate a local exchange carrier or an interexchange                                                                     
     carrier as the carrier of last resort, and that the                                                                        
     Commission may designate an eligible                                                                                       
     telecommunications carrier consistent with the federal                                                                     
     code that allows for federal subsidies under the                                                                           
     Universal Service Fund.                                                                                                    
     A carrier of last resort is a telecommunications                                                                         
     company that commits (or is required by law) to                                                                            
     provide service to any customer in a service area that                                                                     
     requests it, even if serving that customer would not                                                                       
     be economically viable at prevailing rates.                                                                                
     The Universal Service Fund is a system of                                                                                
     telecommunications subsidies and fees managed by the                                                                       
     U.S. Federal Communications Commission intended to                                                                         
     promote universal access to telecommunications                                                                             
     services at reasonable and affordable rates for all                                                                        
     Section 3  Annual Report. This section requires the                                                                      
     RCA to submit an annual report to the Legislature                                                                          
     detailing the activity and costs related to regulating                                                                     
     each type of telecommunications carrier.                                                                                   
     Section 4  Amends AS 42.05.254(a) from the previous                                                                      
     version of the bill that eliminated the Regulatory                                                                         
     Cost Charge (RCC). This section maintains the current                                                                      
     RCC funding mechanism of calculating and assessing the                                                                     
     charge and applies it to all telecommunications                                                                            
     Sections 5 & 6 both relate to implementing the                                                                           
     Regulatory Cost Charge for all                                                                                             
     telecommunications companies.                                                                                              
     Section 7   Alaska  Public Utilities Regulatory Act. AS                                                                  
     42.05.711    Exemptions.     This    section    exempts                                                                    
     telecommunications  carriers from  the  Act except  for                                                                    
     the following provisions:                                                                                                  
          AS 42.05.141(f)  New section in the bill                                                                              
     (Section 2 above)                                                                                                          
          AS 42.05.221  Requiring a Certificate of Public                                                                       
     Convenience and Necessity                                                                                                  
          AS 42.05.231  Provision for applying for the                                                                          
          AS 42.05.241  Conditions of issuing/denial of a                                                                       
        AS 42.05.251  Allow public utilities to obtain a                                                                        
     permit for the use of streets in municipalities                                                                            
          AS 42.05.254  Regulatory cost charge                                                                                  
          AS 42.05.261  Prohibits a public utility from                                                                         
     discontinuing or abandoning service for which a                                                                            
     certificate has been issued                                                                                                
          AS 42.05.271  Allows the RCA to amend, modify,                                                                        
     suspend or revoke a certificate                                                                                            
          AS 42.05.281  Prohibiting a sale, lease,                                                                              
     transfer or inheritance of certificate without RCA                                                                         
          AS 42.05.296  Requirements for providing                                                                              
     telephone services for certain impaired subscribers                                                                        
          AS 42.05.306  Allows discounted rates for                                                                             
     customers receiving benefits from a social services                                                                        
     assistance program administered by the state or                                                                            
     federal government                                                                                                         
          AS 42.05.631  Allows a public utility to                                                                              
     exercise the power of eminent domain                                                                                       
          AS 42.05.641  Extends RCA's jurisdiction to                                                                           
     public utilities operating in a municipality                                                                               
          AS 42.05.830  Requires the RCA to establish                                                                           
     exchange access charges to be paid by long distance                                                                        
     carriers to compensate local exchange carriers for the                                                                     
     cost of originating and terminating long distance                                                                          
          AS 42.05.850  Relating to the administration of                                                                       
     access charges by an exchange carrier association                                                                          
          AS 42.05.840  Allows the RCA to establish a                                                                           
     universal service fund                                                                                                     
          AS 42.05.860  Prohibits a carrier from                                                                                
     restricting the resale of telecommunications services                                                                      
     Section 8  AS 42.05.820 No Municipal Regulation. In                                                                      
     addition to a long distance telephone company, this                                                                        
     section amends AS 42.05.820 to add 'local exchange                                                                         
     carrier' that is exempted in whole or in part from                                                                         
     this chapter from being regulated by a municipality.                                                                       
     Section 9  AS 42.05.890 Definitions. This section                                                                        
     defines "local exchange carrier," "long distance                                                                           
     telephone company," and "long distance telephone                                                                           
     Section 10  Relates to implementing Section 4, the                                                                       
     Regulatory Cost Charge.                                                                                                    
     Section 11  Repealers. This section repeals the                                                                          
     following provisions, as the changing nature of the                                                                        
     industry and market conditions have rendered them                                                                          
          AS 42.05.325  Registration and regulation of                                                                          
     alternate operator services                                                                                                
          AS 42.05.800  Findings                                                                                                
        AS 42.05.810     Competition      unnecessary in                                                                        
     today's market                                                                                                             
2:58:42 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  acknowledged that  it is unusual  when all                                                               
of  the   telecommunication  companies  can  actually   agree  on                                                               
anything,  which  obviously  means  the bill  is  great  for  the                                                               
telecommunication companies.   She  asked how  great the  bill is                                                               
for the  consumer because when  reviewing the bill  and sectional                                                               
analysis,   a   person   would   have  to   be   an   expert   in                                                               
telecommunications  law  in  order  to  actually  understand  the                                                               
legislation.   She  opined that  the telecommunication  companies                                                               
receive  subsidies from  "someone, maybe  it's the  state or  the                                                               
federal  government"  to make  sure  that  the companies  provide                                                               
services  for areas  which normally  would not  receive services.                                                               
It  appears  that this  bill  will  take  away the  guarantee  of                                                               
services  because it  is  doing  away with  the  carrier of  last                                                               
resort, she said.   In the event it is  taking away the guarantee                                                               
for  the  services,  she   asked  whether  the  telecommunication                                                               
companies will still receive the  subsidies, and if so, why would                                                               
they   continue  receiving   the  subsidies   if  they   are  not                                                               
guaranteeing the service.                                                                                                       
SENATOR  MEYER   responded  that   the  committee  will   hear  a                                                               
presentation  from   the  Alaska  Telephone   Association,  which                                                               
encompasses all 15 telephone companies  in Alaska as to how those                                                               
subsidies work.   There will be some savings to  the consumer now                                                               
that  the RCC  charges are  spread  across all  of the  different                                                               
companies,  and he  could  not  say the  amount  of the  savings.                                                               
First of  all, he explained, all  areas will still be  covered as                                                               
required by the  State of Alaska and the FCC,  and he opined that                                                               
the  subsidies  would  probably  still  continue  to  whoever  is                                                               
providing that service in those remote areas.                                                                                   
3:01:22 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  argued that if  the RCA does not  have the                                                               
authority  to keep  carriers in  these  remote communities,  what                                                               
guarantee is  there that the  carriers will remain in  the remote                                                               
communities because those communities probably  are not much of a                                                               
profit sector.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR  MEYER  clarified that  the  RCA  will continue  to  have                                                               
jurisdiction  over the  carriers  and it  will  make certain  the                                                               
remote communities are covered.  Even  if the RCA does not do it,                                                               
he said, the FCC will require  that coverage, but the experts can                                                               
better answer the question.                                                                                                     
3:02:14 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  related that  she knows there  are various                                                               
consumer  advocacy groups,  for example  advocacy airline  groups                                                               
advising  which is  a  good airline  company,  and asked  whether                                                               
there  is  any  such  group  with  respect  to  telecommunication                                                               
service, and if so, she would like to hear from those groups.                                                                   
SENATOR MEYER answered that he did not have the answer.                                                                         
CHAIR  CLAMAN  noted  that  occasionally  he  does  see  consumer                                                               
reports  giving  advice  about  all  of  the  Lower-48  telephone                                                               
companies, but  they do  not seem  to mention  Alaska's telephone                                                               
3:02:49 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   stressed  that  this  is   an  extremely                                                               
complicated statute  and she  was unsure whether,  at the  end of                                                               
the  day, most  of the  60 legislators  will actually  understand                                                               
what they  are voting  on in this  particular statute.   Clearly,                                                               
she  said, it  benefits the  telecommunication companies  but she                                                               
was  unsure that  it benefits,  or at  least does  not harm,  the                                                               
consumers, and she would like an answer.                                                                                        
SENATOR  MEYER commented  that that  is a  fair question  because                                                               
legislators are  elected to benefit their  constituencies and not                                                               
the  telecommunication industry.   Letters  are contained  within                                                               
the committee packet from previous  and current commissioners who                                                               
like  where this  bill  is going,  and  other commissioners  have                                                               
concerns.    He  opined  that   after  hearing  from  the  Alaska                                                               
Telecommunication Association  (ATA) and the  RCA, Representative                                                               
LeDoux will be better able to make that decision.                                                                               
3:04:20 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD pointed  out  that  she is  disappointed                                                               
about what took  place on the Senate Floor with  HB 140, "getting                                                               
rid  of the  regulation,  and so  you guys  come  and talk  about                                                               
regulation  and then  you go  and get  rid of  oversights."   She                                                               
stressed  that  that is  a  huge  contention for  her  currently,                                                               
(audio difficulties) analysis so people  who do want just a quick                                                               
glance  at what  this bill  does, it  does basically  de-regulate                                                               
telecommunication companies  in this state according  to the RCA.                                                               
However, (audio  difficulties) with regard  to the RCA,  "I think                                                               
they are  very expensive, it's a  very big -- you  know, I worked                                                               
with them as Reg Review Chair  and I think they're expensive, and                                                               
I'm not  sure that  they always  have the  best interests  of the                                                               
consumer at  hand."  She  offered that she  is on the  fence with                                                               
regard  "to  some of  this  stuff  right  now," and  asked  about                                                               
subsidies without providing the service  because she may not have                                                               
all of the details, but it sounds like "big government waste."                                                                  
CHAIR  CLAMAN  noted that  Senator  Meyer  had responded  to  the                                                               
subsidy question to the best of his ability.                                                                                    
3:06:17 PM                                                                                                                    
[CHAIR CLAMAN, in reference  to Representative Eastman's question                                                               
regarding slide 2 of the  PowerPoint yet to be presented, advised                                                               
Representative Eastman  that the committee would  not discuss the                                                               
PowerPoint presentation until it had been presented.]                                                                           
3:07:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTINE      O'CONNOR,      Executive     Director,      Alaska                                                               
Telecommunications  Association  (ATA),   pointed  out  that  the                                                               
legislation is technical with many  details and that many answers                                                               
to  the   questions  offered  today  are   contained  within  the                                                               
PowerPoint.  She  suggested the committee keep in  mind that this                                                               
legislation is  solely about  landline service  and long-distance                                                               
access  through  landline service.    This  legislation is  about                                                               
modernizing the  statutes adopted in  1990, the "in the  pin drop                                                               
era where they were just starting to compete for long-distance."                                                                
She paraphrased the "SB 205  Telecommunications Statutes Simply &                                                               
Modernize" PowerPoint Presentation as follows:                                                                                  
3:08:13 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. O'CONNOR turned to slide 2, "Unanimous Support for SB 205"                                                                  
and advised that the legislation is supported by all ATA                                                                        
members, which include the following entities:                                                                                  
     Adak Eagle Enterprises                                                                                                     
     Alaska Communications                                                                                                      
     Alaska Telephone Company                                                                                                   
     Arctic Slope Telephone                                                                                                     
     Association Cooperative                                                                                                    
     ASTAC Wireless                                                                                                             
     Bettles Telephone                                                                                                          
     Bristol Bay Cellular Partnership                                                                                           
     Bristol Bay Telephone                                                                                                      
     Copper Valley Telephone                                                                                                    
     Copper Valley Wireless                                                                                                     
     Cordova Telephone                                                                                                          
     Cordova Wireless                                                                                                           
     Interior Telephone                                                                                                         
     Mukluk Telephone                                                                                                           
     Ketchikan Public Utilities                                                                                                 
     Matanuska Telephone                                                                                                        
     North Country Telephone                                                                                                    
     Nushagak Cooperative                                                                                                       
     OTZ Telephone Cooperative                                                                                                  
     OTZ Wireless                                                                                                               
     Summit Telephone Company                                                                                                   
     TelAlaska Cellular                                                                                                         
     United Utilities                                                                                                           
     Windy City Wireless                                                                                                        
     Yukon Telephone Company                                                                                                    
MS. O'CONNOR said, (audio difficulties.) "I appreciate                                                                          
Commissioner Pickett's frankness, and we agree wholeheartedly                                                                   
with  his characterization  of this  activity as  without value."                                                               
(Audio  difficulties) SB  205 to  public comment,  such as  this,                                                               
given from  the commission  from the dais  over the  past two-to-                                                               
three years.                                                                                                                    
3:09:42 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.   O'CONNOR  turned   to   slide   3,  "Transformation,"   and                                                               
paraphrased as follows:                                                                                                         
     Telecommunications have changed completely since                                                                           
     many of Alaska's telecom statutes were adopted in                                                                          
     The 1996 Telecom Act completely transformed the                                                                            
       marketplace and started an evolution toward light                                                                        
     touch regulation.                                                                                                          
     Landline and long-distance use is dramatically                                                                             
     Long distance revenues reduced from $64M to $16M                                                                           
     between 2006-2016.                                                                                                         
     Only 48% of households still have a landline.                                                                              
     Landline services are still important, and will                                                                            
     continue under SB205.                                                                                                      
MS. O'CONNOR (Audio  difficulties.)  She said she  will "hit this                                                               
again and again  today" because she has heard  this question over                                                               
and over,  which puzzles  her because  this legislation  does not                                                               
degrade  landline  service.   That,  she  explained, is  not  the                                                               
commitment  of the  companies  in  the Alaska  Telecommunications                                                               
Association (ATA), many of which  are rural cooperatives and some                                                               
are statewide providers.   Simply because a person  is talking on                                                               
a cell phone,  they are only wireless to the  tower, and then the                                                               
person is on the landline network;  or if a person is using their                                                               
ISP, that  is also on the  landline networks.  She  stressed that                                                               
the landline  network is critical  and it will continue  under SB
205, ATA is  saying that there are a lot  of resources that could                                                               
be saved  by providers to let  "us focus on better  services" and                                                               
by the RCA to let it focus on more pressing matters.                                                                            
3:11:50 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. O'CONNOR turned to slide  4, "Landline Service will Continue"                                                               
and  advised that  this  is a  list  of some  of  the rules  that                                                               
require it, and paraphrased as follows:                                                                                         
     Certificate of Public  Convenience & Necessity prevents                                                                    
     abandonment of service without  permission from the RCA                                                                    
     and the FCC.                                                                                                               
     Eligible   telecommunications    carrier   designations                                                                    
     require service.                                                                                                           
     Federal and  state rules  require provision  of service                                                                    
     upon reasonable request.                                                                                                   
     April   6,  2018   DC   Circuit   Court  affirmed   FCC                                                                    
     requirement  that companies  continue to  provide voice                                                                    
MS.  O'CONNOR (audio  difficulties) every  utility must  apply to                                                               
the RCA to obtain a certificate  before it begins operation.  The                                                               
RCA  must find  that  a  company is  fit,  willing,  and able  to                                                               
provide service.   She explained that before a  company can leave                                                               
service  in  an  area,  it  must   go  to  the  RCA  and  request                                                               
permission,  and the  RCA  must find  that it  is  in the  public                                                               
interest for the company to  depart (audio difficulty) rarely, if                                                               
ever, granted.  This legislation  does not impact the certificate                                                               
of  authority of  the commission,  the  commission has  authority                                                               
over  the  "eligible   telecommunications  carrier  designation,"                                                               
which assigns a service area  and authorizes a company to receive                                                               
federal funding.  Last week,  she related, a Federal D.C. Circuit                                                               
Court decision came down that  companies must continue to provide                                                               
voice services even in the absence of support or a subsidy.                                                                     
3:13:16 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. O'CONNOR turned to slide  5, "Universal Service Funds," noted                                                               
that  questions came  up this  week  regarding universal  service                                                               
funds, and paraphrased as follows:                                                                                              
     Due  to both  federal and  state USF  support, Alaskans                                                                    
     have   remarkable  access   to  communications   across                                                                    
     Alaska,  and deployment  of improved  infrastructure is                                                                    
     Without  Universal Service  Funds  telecom networks  in                                                                    
     Alaska would not exist in many areas.                                                                                      
     Alaska's Universal  Service Fund  (AUSF) is  a critical                                                                    
     component  for sustaining  voice service  and improving                                                                    
     broadband service statewide.                                                                                               
     The  RCA   has  full   jurisdiction  over   the  Alaska                                                                    
     Universal Service Fund.                                                                                                    
MS. O'CONNOR noted  that a question was asked  regarding what has                                                               
happened  to  those  funds, (audio  difficulties)  without  those                                                               
funds,  there would  not  be communication  networks  in most  of                                                               
Alaska, it  is that expensive.   Universal service is  similar to                                                               
the original  Rural Electrification  Act created to  make certain                                                               
everyone was  connected to the  electric grid, and  she described                                                               
that it  was very effective.   Universal  service is funded  by a                                                               
sur charge  on everyone's  bills in the  nation, and  those funds                                                               
are targeted to the highest  cost areas.  Naturally, she advised,                                                               
with  Alaska being  22 percent  of the  United States  land mass,                                                               
remote  and rugged,  a  lot  of those  funds  do  come to  Alaska                                                               
proportionally, not  a large amount of  the whole pot, but  it is                                                               
important  funding.     She  related  that  it   is  reported  on                                                               
extensively  to both  the federal  and state  commissions, "we're                                                               
very accountable,"  and the RCA  has complete authority  over the                                                               
state  universal service  fund  and dictates  what reporting  and                                                               
information it wants from companies (audio difficulties).                                                                       
3:15:02 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  O'CONNOR  turned to  slide  6,  "COLR Designation  vs.  COLR                                                               
Support," (audio difficulties) in the  weeds, but it is important                                                               
to explain the slide clearly, and paraphrased as follows:                                                                       
     Carrier of  last resort  (COLR) designation  requires a                                                                    
     company to  serve a certain  area. (So  do Certificate,                                                                    
     ETC and USF rules)                                                                                                         
     Carrier of last resort  (COLR) designation is funded in                                                                    
     some  areas of  the state  by a  portion of  the Alaska                                                                    
     Universal Service Fund.                                                                                                    
     The RCA  is considering Docket  R-18-001 "Consideration                                                                    
     for the  Full Repeal  of Alaska Universal  Service Fund                                                                    
     The stated  timeline to eliminate all  funds, including                                                                    
     COLR support, is Jan. 1, 2019.                                                                                             
     Industry  has  responded  to  the  RCA  invitation  for                                                                    
     comment by  proposing two  different paths  forward for                                                                    
     the AUSF  both eliminating COLR support.                                                                                   
     There  is   no  disconnect  between   eliminating  COLR                                                                    
     designation  and corresponding  COLR  support. The  RCA                                                                    
     has made  it clear that  any possible path  forward for                                                                    
     the AUSF will  have a new funding structure.  We do not                                                                    
     expect the old structure to continue.                                                                                      
     Regardless of  the RCA's decision  in the  AUSF docket,                                                                    
     all  rules requiring  landline service  will remain  in                                                                    
MS.  O'CONNOR advised  that  the carrier  of  last resort  (COLR)                                                               
designation says that a company must  serve, but ATA also has the                                                               
certificate, the  Eligible Telecommunications Carrier  (ETC), and                                                               
(audio  difficulties) it  is by  far the  only thing  requiring a                                                               
company to  serve.  The  designation is  funded in some  areas of                                                               
the state  to some  companies but not  all, and  that designation                                                               
allows them to receive a  portion of the Alaska Universal Service                                                               
Fund.   Currently,  she  offered,  the RCA  has  a docket  opened                                                               
titled,  "Consideration   of  the  Full  Repeal   of  the  Alaska                                                               
Universal Service  Fund," this has  been under discussion  at the                                                               
RCA to  eliminate this fund (audio  difficulties).  Particularly,                                                               
she  offered, the  focus has  been  the COLR  support, which  the                                                               
commission  has   been  critical,  and  the   ATA  submitted  two                                                               
different proposals for how this  reform might take place, and in                                                               
both cases, there will not  be explicit COLR support.  Therefore,                                                               
when ATA was drafting  SB 205, it knew that it  was in the record                                                               
that  COLR   support  would  probably  be   completely  revamped,                                                               
possibly done away with, and  the commission has an active docket                                                               
wherein there was an eight-hour  hearing last Monday.  Naturally,                                                               
she  related, if  a company  is  not receiving  the funding,  ATA                                                               
thought  the  designation  did  not  need  to  be  there  either.                                                               
Conversely,  she said,  there is  no  company that  will give  up                                                               
responsibility and still  receive funding, in fact,  even if this                                                               
funding  goes away,  the  companies will  still  be obligated  to                                                               
continue  these  duties.   No  subsidy  is  being given  when  no                                                               
responsibility is being performed, she advised.                                                                                 
3:17:07 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  O'CONNOR  turned  to  slide   7,  "41  States  Have  Reduced                                                               
Regulation," and advised that 41  other states have eliminated or                                                               
reduced   telecommunication  regulation.     Although   there  is                                                               
variation in the  details of what the other states  have done, it                                                               
generally  means that  telecommunication  companies manage  their                                                               
own  rates, as  half of  the companies  in Alaska  do today,  she                                                               
said.     Currently,   approximately  90   percent  of   Alaska's                                                               
population  is already  served by  a company  that can  raise its                                                               
local  rates  without permission  from  the  RCA.   However,  she                                                               
commented, rates  have not  risen dramatically,  and even  if the                                                               
rates  were to  raise,  there  is a  federal  rule limiting  that                                                               
increase and the maximum it could  possibly go is $49 and change.                                                               
Most  landline  rates  are  in  the $30-$35  range  so  it  would                                                               
theoretically be an approximate  $14 increase, but most companies                                                               
have not  raised rates  in five  years.   Part of  the obligation                                                               
under the  federal funding is  for those rates to  be reasonable,                                                               
and should the  rates raise to the cap and  someone cannot afford                                                               
it, there is  a federal lifeline program that  would support that                                                               
customer and they would probably qualify for a free phone.                                                                      
3:18:24 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  O'CONNOR turned  to slide  8, titled  "Rate Regulation  - It                                                               
Depends Who You Are," and paraphrased as follows:                                                                               
     Cooperatives, with the approval of their members, and                                                                      
      municipal telcos manage their own tariffs. All other                                                                      
     companies must maintain a tariff at the RCA.                                                                               
     90% of Alaskans are served by company which can manage                                                                     
     its own rates.                                                                                                             
       But for the remainder, review & approval for rate                                                                        
     changes varies, with timelines as long as 420 days.                                                                        
      This limits the introduction of new offerings due to                                                                      
         the expense of preparing and supporting tariff                                                                         
     SB205 adopts the cooperative model for tariffs and                                                                         
     rate changes.                                                                                                              
MS. O'CONNOR explained that rate  regulation is quite a patchwork                                                               
of  obligation (audio  difficulties) and  the RCA  has complained                                                               
that  under  existing  regulation and  statutory  timelines,  one                                                               
company  might  make  an  informational filing  that  has  to  be                                                               
drafted, reviewed,  sent to the RCA,  and the RCA must  accept it                                                               
without any  revision because  it has no  authority to  make that                                                               
change.  Or,  she related, it could be a  more traditional filing                                                               
which takes 30-45 days and in  some cases a company might have to                                                               
create a  Rate Case that  is extremely  detailed and it  can take                                                               
over  420 days  (audio  difficulties) remember,  only related  to                                                               
landline and long-distance  service.  Instead of  this, she said,                                                               
ATA is proposing  that all companies be on the  same basis as the                                                               
cooperatives  today  where  they  manage  their  own  rates,  are                                                               
answerable to their own customers,  and the commission's consumer                                                               
protection division  would still be there  for quality complaints                                                               
and  so forth.   Co-ops  have operated  in this  manner for  many                                                               
years and  approximately one-half of  the companies in  the state                                                               
already do  this as  it has  been successful as  it is  much more                                                               
efficient, she said.                                                                                                            
3:19:42 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  O'CONNOR  turned  to  slide 9-10,  titled  "Burden  of  Rate                                                               
Regulation,"  and  advised  the  following are  two  examples  of                                                               
telephone companies, and paraphrased as follows:                                                                                
     Summit Telephone Company                                                                                                 
     Family-owned serving Dalton Highway and Chena Hot                                                                          
     Springs Road                                                                                                               
     Needs to replace obsolete technology                                                                                       
     Tried  to  change  the tariff  to  focus  resources  on                                                                    
     "This  process   of  educating   the  RCA   causes  the                                                                    
     expenditure/depletion   of  Summit's   already  limited                                                                    
     resources while what  I need to do with  those funds is                                                                    
     extend  FTTP  (fiber  to   the  premise)  and  wireless                                                                    
     Broadband/Middle  Mile facilities  to our  subscribers.                                                                    
     Soon after  I filed the  Tariff Notice - I  withdrew it                                                                    
     in  that it  immediately became  apparent that  the RCA                                                                    
     process was  a Tar  Baby that  would deplete  Summit of                                                                    
     funds  needed for  the extension  of  Broadband to  its                                                                    
     Roger Shofstall, Owner of Summit Telephone Company                                                                         
MS.  O'CONNOR advised  that  the Summit  Telephone  Company is  a                                                               
small company with  a federal mandate to  provide broadband along                                                               
the  Dalton  Highway and  out  toward  Chena  Hot Springs.    The                                                               
company was  trying to change  its tariff to focus  its resources                                                               
on  broadband, and  the  above  is a  quote  from  its owner  who                                                               
eventually   decided  to   "muddle   along   with  the   obsolete                                                               
     Alaska Communications                                                                                                    
     "We have  4 local  exchange tariffs  with a  mixture of                                                                    
     tariff  rules that  apply?Each time  we  make a  tariff                                                                    
     change  we must  do  basically 5  times  for the  local                                                                    
     exchange since  one study area  has different  rules to                                                                    
     follow. We also have  an long-distance tariff which has                                                                    
     even different  rules. When filing 5  different tariffs                                                                    
     plus  a  long-distance  tariff, it  simply  is  not  an                                                                    
     efficient  business  practice   especially  when  these                                                                    
     regulations do not apply across all other carriers."                                                                       
     -Lisa Phillips, Senior  Manager, Regulatory Affairs and                                                                    
     Risk Management                                                                                                            
MS.  O'CONNOR  offered  that Alaska  Communications  is  a  large                                                               
company, it  is under the  same burden,  and it is  managing five                                                               
different tariffs with  a range of rates all  related to landline                                                               
service in different areas of the state.                                                                                        
3:20:36 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. O'CONNOR turned  to slide 11, titled  "Tariffs Filings 2017,"                                                               
and  advised   that  the  information  is   from  the  Regulatory                                                               
Commission's 2017 Annual Report, and paraphrased as follows:                                                                    
     Regulatory Commission of Alaska                                                                                          
     Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report                                                                                             
MS. O'CONNOR  (audio difficulties)  accept and review  them, this                                                               
is a  lot of expense by  providers that could be  better spent on                                                               
service, and  a lot of  expense by  the commission when  it could                                                               
better use its  time on other issues.  She  opined that these may                                                               
be  the  filings  Commissioner   Robert  Pickett  may  have  been                                                               
referring when he said, "How is this doing anybody any good?"                                                                   
3:21:08 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  O'CONNOR turned  to slide  12, titled,  "Obsolete Statutes,"                                                               
and  advised  that  the  legislation  repeals  obsolete  statutes                                                               
related to long-distance companies, and paraphrased as follows:                                                                 
     Long distance competition statutes at 42.05.800-810                                                                        
     (adopted in 1990) require the RCA to manage                                                                                
     competition in the long-distance market.                                                                                   
     Even though these statutes were made obsolete by the                                                                       
     1996 Telecom Act, they are still on the books in                                                                           
     They require tariff filings and reporting.                                                                                 
     SB 205 removes outdated regulation of long                                                                                 
     distance retail competition.                                                                                               
MS. O'CONNOR explained that these  obsolete statutes date back to                                                               
before  the 1996  Telecommunications Act  and were  actually pre-                                                               
empted by  that Act, but they  are still in the  statute books so                                                               
they  are  generating filings  and  generating  reports that  are                                                               
wasting everyone's resources.                                                                                                   
3:21:31 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. O'CONNOR  turned to slide  13, titled  "Consumer Protection,"                                                               
and   offered  that   consumer  protection   still  exists,   and                                                               
paraphrased as follows:                                                                                                         
     Strong consumer protections exist today                                                                                    
     Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN)                                                                     
     Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC)                                                                                  
     RCA Consumer Protection & Information Section                                                                              
     Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit                                                                                  
     FCC Consumer Complaint Center                                                                                              
     SB 205 maintains these protections.                                                                                        
MS. O'CONNOR  offered that the Certificate  of Public Convenience                                                               
and Necessity (CPCN) and  the Eligible Telecommunications Carrier                                                               
(ETC)  designation,  both  require  a company  to  offer  service                                                               
throughout its service  area and to not  withdraw service without                                                               
permission.  There  are FCC rules requiring the above  and SB 205                                                               
does  not  change this  rule.    This  legislation does  not  de-                                                               
regulate telecommunications, and companies  are still required to                                                               
submit to RCA's  authority about where they serve,  and when, and                                                               
if they stop serving, she pointed out.                                                                                          
3:22:11 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. O'CONNOR turned to slide  14, titled "Benefits to Consumers,"                                                               
and paraphrased as follows:                                                                                                     
     Increases incentive for companies to offer new service                                                                     
     Focuses resources on consumer services                                                                                     
     Spreads cost of regulation equitably, with support                                                                         
     from all companies.                                                                                                        
     SB 205 does not include new taxes, it corrects                                                                             
     existing unfair assessment of regulatory costs.                                                                            
MS.  O'CONNOR  advised  that  it   increases  the  incentive  for                                                               
companies to  offer new  service bundles.   The  companies (audio                                                               
difficulties)  serving areas  where they  have to  make the  most                                                               
extensive tariff  filings, they just  simply do not  make changes                                                               
even if it is something their  consumers desire because it is too                                                               
expensive  to go  through the  process.   The resources  that ATA                                                               
could save  would be  better focused on  consumer services.   She                                                               
related that there is a  change that corrects an existing problem                                                               
with  the RCA's  budget  as the  statutes  have become  outdated,                                                               
according to  existing statute, the co-operatives  are not paying                                                               
the regulatory  cost charge  of which  is the  RCA's self-funding                                                               
mechanism.  She  pointed out that that leaves  the other one-half                                                               
of the  companies paying the  full burden of the  RCA's oversight                                                               
authority.   Telecommunication  oversight is  still taking  place                                                               
and this bill would fix  that problem because all companies would                                                               
access the regulatory  cost charge, which would lower  it for the                                                               
companies  that   are  currently  carrying  the   entire  burden.                                                               
Everyone agreed  to this,  she said, there  was no  objection and                                                               
she gave kudos to "my members"  for recognizing the inequity.  It                                                               
was  mentioned that  SB  205 is  bringing a  new  tax, which  she                                                               
described as  a misunderstanding of  this provision in  that this                                                               
is not a new tax, it simply corrects an existing inequity.                                                                      
3:23:39 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.   O'CONNOR   turned   to  slide   15,   titled   "Right-touch                                                               
Regulation,"  (audio  difficulties)  landline  and  long-distance                                                               
service, and paraphrased as follows:                                                                                            
     SB 205 maintains RCA oversight                                                                                             
     Removes obsolete statutes & exempts from many                                                                              
     provisions in 42.05 which are outdated or apply to                                                                         
     other industries                                                                                                           
     Adopts cooperative model for rates                                                                                         
     Requires RCA and FCC approval before discontinuance of                                                                     
     Reduces cost and delay of regulation for RCA &                                                                             
     Resolves existing inequity in the RCA's budget                                                                             
MS.  O'CONNOR advised  that the  legislation peels  away obsolete                                                               
statutes and allows companies and  the commission to operate more                                                               
efficiently,  as  many  of  the statutes  under  AS  42.05  apply                                                               
generally  to the  operation of  the commission  and those  would                                                               
continue.   She  said that  others apply  to other  industries so                                                               
they are not  applicable to telecommunication.   She related that                                                               
SB  205 will  allow  companies  to focus  on  better service  for                                                               
Alaskans,  and allow  the  RCA  to focus  on  the important  work                                                               
before the RCA  because it is also the  regulatory commission for                                                               
the Trans-Alaska Pipeline (TAPS),  electric issues, water, waste,                                                               
and  natural  gas industries.    These  are all  fully  regulated                                                               
utilities,   she    offered,   which   are    structured   (audio                                                               
difficulties)  nation  in  order  to function  well.    The  1996                                                               
Telecommunications Act  changed telecommunications and put  it on                                                               
a   path  toward   competition,  innovation,   and  right   touch                                                               
regulation.   She asked  that the  Alaska legislature  tailor its                                                               
statutes  to   ensure  service   continues,  but   stops  wasting                                                               
resources on work that is without  value.  When the RCA was asked                                                               
to provide  its opinion on  SB 205,  it cited concerns  about its                                                               
budget  and  those  concerns have  been  completely  resolved  by                                                               
correcting  the  RCC mechanism.    She  related that  it  claimed                                                               
landline  service will  be  threatened, but  this  is simply  not                                                               
accurate because  landline service will be  required under multi-                                                               
state  and federal  rules unless  it is  found to  not be  in the                                                               
public  interest by  state  and federal  regulators.   That,  she                                                               
offered, is the situation today and  it will not be changed under                                                               
SB 205.  On the day  that the RCA considered SB 205, Commissioner                                                               
Jan Wilson put it simply, "I  think it's time for the legislature                                                               
in our state  to address these issues.  So,  I'm hesitant to take                                                               
a  position  that   the  bill  not  pass  because   it  might  be                                                               
interpreted that  this commission, as  a body, believes  that the                                                               
statutes as  they are today  are (audio difficulties) and  I just                                                               
don't think  they are.   I think changes need  to be made  in the                                                               
statutes to conform  to the industry the way it  is today, rather                                                               
than the industry  as it was in the 1970s,  1980s, and that's it.                                                               
It is  entirely completely different than  it was in 1990."   Ms.                                                               
O'Connor said, "We couldn't agree more."                                                                                        
3:26:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  noted  that   several  times  within  the                                                               
presentation  Ms.  O'Connor  said,   "Landline  service  will  be                                                               
continued.   Landline service will  be continued," and  she asked                                                               
how this will affect landline service.                                                                                          
MS. O'CONNOR  answered that  it will  affect landline  service in                                                               
freeing up resources  for the companies to  help with maintenance                                                               
and operation.   In the grand scope of what  is spent on networks                                                               
in  Alaska, it  is  a small  amount  but it  is  still useful  in                                                               
avoiding  waste.   She advised  that there  is nothing  here that                                                               
allows a  company to let their  landline service stop, to  let it                                                               
deteriorate,  and   should  a   company  do   so,  the   RCA  has                                                               
demonstrated its  ability to  call that company  in front  of it,                                                               
demand an explanation, and enforce its rules.                                                                                   
3:27:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES  asked that  as far  as Ms.  O'Connor could                                                               
tell, whether this will affect rates on landlines.                                                                              
MS. O'CONNOR answered  "No," the biggest thing  that could affect                                                               
rates  is  a loss  of  these  supports, these  universal  service                                                               
supports.   She  said that  in the  event the  AUSF was  entirely                                                               
repealed,  that could  definitely  cause rates  to  rise in  some                                                               
areas.   In the event  of a  disruption of the  federal universal                                                               
service, which  is not likely at  this point because it  was just                                                               
stabilized  last year,  those  are the  things  that would  drive                                                               
local rates higher, she explained.                                                                                              
3:27:54 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CLAMAN advised  that he thought Ms. O'Connor  had said that                                                               
with the  de-regulation, local rates  could go  up to $14  a line                                                               
MS.  O'CONNOR  answered (audio  difficulties),  but  a couple  of                                                               
things  are  going  on  there,   with  landline  rates  there  is                                                               
competition  in  99 percent  of  the  state from  either  another                                                               
landline  provider or  wireless, which  is why  "we are  down" to                                                               
only  42 percent  of  landlines.   People  are simply  abandoning                                                               
their landline service (audio difficulties) increases.                                                                          
3:28:52 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  asked  whether Juneau,  Anchorage,  and                                                               
Fairbanks were basically subsidizing the smaller communities.                                                                   
MS. O'CONNOR  answered that  it is  a national  sur charge.   She                                                               
explained  that  there  are  two sur  charges,  as  follows:  the                                                               
federal  sur charge  (audio difficulties)  so they  pay and  send                                                               
funds to support Alaska; and the  state sur charge is not as much                                                               
(audio  difficulties)  every  company  in the  state  receives  a                                                               
portion of it to support their operations.                                                                                      
3:29:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD asked  whether it  was similar  to Power                                                               
Cost Equalization (PCE).                                                                                                        
MS.  O'CONNOR responded  (audio  difficulties)  different as  she                                                               
understands PCE is  a fund, an endowment, and that  goes to lower                                                               
electric rates which  is a more direct manner  of lowering rates.                                                               
Whereas, she explained,  the AUS (indisc.) fund,  the state fund,                                                               
is a  fund to help  build and operate networks  and it is  not as                                                               
direct  of an  offset, she  explained that  it is  not really  an                                                               
offset to the rates because it has an indirect effect.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  noted that there is  the regulatory cost                                                               
charge, which is completely separate, and it funds the RCA.                                                                     
3:30:46 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  referred to  slide  14,  and asked  Ms.                                                               
O'Connor to  put the consumer  benefits into more  specific terms                                                               
and how consumers will directly benefit.                                                                                        
MS.  O'CONNOR  offered  that  the  best  example  is  the  Summit                                                               
Telephone  Company  where  it  is   trying  to  basically  retire                                                               
obsolete  services   and  build   a  fiber  network   to  deliver                                                               
broadband.   The  Summit  Telephone  Company had  to  give up  on                                                               
retiring that obsolete service due to  the cost of that filing of                                                               
the commission.   In the  event the Summit Telephone  Company did                                                               
not have  to wrestle with those  filings, it could put  the money                                                               
it  is saving  toward  the new  fiber network  that  it has  been                                                               
mandated to build by the federal funding.                                                                                       
3:31:54 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD (audio  difficulties) RCA  is a  massive                                                               
de-regulation bill  which appears  to be  important.   The fiscal                                                               
note read that  the RCA will be  a liaison with the FCC,  it is a                                                               
significant  de-regulation,   but  is  still   beneficial  across                                                               
Alaska,  she  said.    She  related that  she  heard  the  Senate                                                               
presentation   and  she   is  contemplating   offering  the   two                                                               
amendments Senator Bill Wielechowski offered  on the floor of the                                                               
Senate.   She  said  that,  "If you  have  a  docket that  you've                                                               
already sent that says virtually the same thing to the RCA, ..."                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN interjected  that Representative Reinbold's question                                                               
is  whether Ms.  O'Connor has  a response  to the  two amendments                                                               
offered by Senator  Wielechowski on the floor of the  Senate.  He                                                               
commented that he did not hear  the two amendments, and asked Ms.                                                               
O'Connor to tell the committee  what the two amendments entailed,                                                               
whether or not she supported the amendments, and why.                                                                           
CHAIR CLAMAN  advised that the  committee could come back  to the                                                               
questions if she was not ready to address these questions.                                                                      
3:34:16 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. O'CONNOR  said she was  ready and addressed Amendment  1, and                                                               
referred  to Sec.  2, [AS  42.05.141(e)(f), page  2, lines  1-4],                                                               
which read as follows:                                                                                                          
          (e) The commission may not designate a local                                                                          
     exchange carrier or an interexchange carrier as the                                                                        
     carrier of last resort.                                                                                                    
          (f) The commission may designate an eligible                                                                          
     telecommunications carrier consistent with 47 U.S.C.                                                                       
MS.  O'CONNOR  explained  that  Amendment  1  would  have  struck                                                               
subsections (e)  and (f).   Subsection (e) is actually  the point                                                               
of the  amendment where  the bill read,  "the commission  may not                                                               
designate a  COLR" and  the objection was  "You are  getting COLR                                                               
funding, how can you not accept  the designation of a COLR?"  She                                                               
said that as  she had previously explained, that  COLR funding is                                                               
being completely revamped and "our  proposal" reduces all funding                                                               
by 49 percent.  Therefore, that is  going away in one form or the                                                               
other and  "we are  very strongly  advocating" that  some funding                                                               
continue because it is important.   The explicit COLR funding has                                                               
been  (audio  difficulties)  and  "we  have  proposed"  that  the                                                               
explicit  COLR  funding  go  away,  so it  made  sense  that  the                                                               
designation would not continue.                                                                                                 
3:35:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CLAMAN  surmised that Amendment  1 would  actually maintain                                                               
the COLR designation.                                                                                                           
MS.  O'CONNOR agreed  that Amendment  1 would  maintain the  COLR                                                               
designation  and  the ATA  does  not  support  that issue.    She                                                               
explained that  subsection (f) simply codifies  something the RCA                                                               
already does, and  the ATA did not consider  it controversial and                                                               
she explained  that this is  the designation that the  FCC (audio                                                               
difficulties)  in order  for universal  service  funding to  come                                                               
into   the  state.     It   is  important   funding,  it   builds                                                               
infrastructure,  it  operates  networks,  and that  is  almost  a                                                               
housekeeping  item just  to say  that the  RCA will  continue the                                                               
funding, she said.                                                                                                              
3:36:21 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  O'CONNOR referred  to Amendment  2 (audio  difficulties) the                                                               
designation was  not there  and the subsidy  should not  be there                                                               
either.    In effect,  she  reiterated,  that is  probably  where                                                               
"we're"  headed with  the RCA  and the  "R Docket."   The  Alaska                                                               
Telecommunications  Association  (ATA)  stressed in  hundreds  of                                                               
pages  of  testimony  to  the   RCA,  the  importance  of  (audio                                                               
difficulties)  universal   service  fund.     She   comment  that                                                               
explicitly  designated COLR  does  not appear  to  be the  future                                                               
path,  but there  must be  some  support coming  from the  Alaska                                                               
Universal  Service  Fund in  order  that  there is  not  negative                                                               
impacts on landline service or all services in Alaska.                                                                          
3:37:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   LEDOUX   surmised   that  the   impetus   [audio                                                               
difficulties continued to timestamp 3:37:55.]                                                                                   
MS. O'CONNOR  (audio difficulties) several  years and it  has not                                                               
yet been accomplished.                                                                                                          
3:38:03 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  whether  that  was  something  the                                                               
legislature could mandate.                                                                                                      
MS. O'CONNOR answered  that the RCA is a  commission that reports                                                               
to the legislature.                                                                                                             
3:38:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CLAMAN asked whether anything  in this legislation requires                                                               
legislative action,  or is  everything being  requested something                                                               
that the RCA could perform entirely by regulation.                                                                              
MS.   O'CONNOR  responded   [audio   difficulties  continued   to                                                               
timestamp 3:39:05].                                                                                                             
3:39:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  whether   the  statutes  could  be                                                               
changed  in order  to streamline  the regulations  without simply                                                               
exempting  the carriers  from the  RCA jurisdiction,  "which this                                                               
bill basically does."                                                                                                           
MS. O'CONNOR replied that it  exempts the remaining carriers that                                                               
are serving approximately 10 percent  of Alaska's population that                                                               
are still  under rate regulation.   [Audio difficulties continued                                                               
to 3:40:00.]  these service, and  that has  to be granted  upon a                                                               
finding of  the public interest.   The  Alaska Telecommunications                                                               
Association (ATA) considers that strong RCA jurisdiction.                                                                       
3:40:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX referred to  the fiscal note analysis [page                                                               
2, paragraph 2,] which read in part:                                                                                            
     The RCA would still be required to certificate                                                                             
     wireline telecommunications carriers and adjudicate                                                                        
     the relinquishment or transfer of those certificates.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  surmised  that  the  RCA  still  has  the                                                               
authority to prevent a carrier from "leaving someplace."                                                                        
MS.  O'CONNOR answered  that Representative  LeDoux was  correct.                                                               
(Audio  difficulties)  sectional,  that   is  one  of  the  exact                                                               
sections,  a  separate  section,  that is  solely  regarding  the                                                               
requirement  to  request  permission before  a  carrier  deceases                                                               
service.   (Audio difficulties)  as well  as regulations  tied to                                                               
"your very substantial universal service funding."                                                                              
3:41:16 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked whether  eliminating the  carrier of                                                               
last resort  impacts [audio  difficulties continued  to timestamp                                                               
3:42:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked the criteria for deceasing service.                                                                 
MS. O'CONNOR answered [audio  difficulties continued to timestamp                                                               
3:42:29] only has two people left,  and ATA believes it is in the                                                               
public interest that it would  stop [audio difficulties continued                                                               
to timestamp 3:42:47].                                                                                                          
3:42:52 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   surmised  that  it  is   a  high  hurdle                                                               
currently,  and asked  whether it  would still  be a  high hurdle                                                               
under this legislation.                                                                                                         
MS. O'CONNOR responded (audio difficulties.)                                                                                    
3:44:28 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  moved  that the  committee  decide  that                                                               
hence forth it will let someone  ask a question before "we decide                                                               
to cut them off."                                                                                                               
CHAIR  CLAMAN ruled  that  this committee  is  managed under  the                                                               
rules of  Mason's Manual and  he will continue to  follow Mason's                                                               
Manual.  Chair Claman ruled  Representative Eastman's motion out-                                                               
3:45:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  referred   to  Senator  Meyer's  opening                                                               
presentation regarding all of  the telecommunication companies in                                                               
support  of CSSB  205, and  asked why  Verizon is  not listed  on                                                               
slide 2.                                                                                                                        
SENATOR  MEYER responded  that Verizon  does  not offer  landline                                                               
services in Alaska.                                                                                                             
3:45:53 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  asked whether  Senator Meyer  had reached                                                               
out to any of the  other communications companies that might want                                                               
to  service Alaska,  that  are  not currently  in  the state,  to                                                               
obtain their  comments as to  whether this legislation  will make                                                               
their decision to move into Alaska more or less likely.                                                                         
SENATOR MEYER advised that he  had not reached out, and currently                                                               
there are 15 companies in Alaska so it is a competitive field.                                                                  
3:46:49 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  asked Senator  Meyer's perspective  as to                                                               
whether  this legislation  would  make it  less  likely that  new                                                               
companies  would   form  in  the   future  to  compete   in  this                                                               
competitive market.   He opined  that one  of the reasons  all of                                                               
the current  providers are supportive  is because the  bill might                                                               
make it less likely that they would have increased competition.                                                                 
SENATOR MEYER answered  that he does not believe  this bill would                                                               
prohibit new  companies from coming  into Alaska,  and reiterated                                                               
that  this  bill  pertains  to   landlines,  and  landlines  have                                                               
decreased to approximately 40 percent in Alaskan homes.                                                                         
3:47:54 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  CLAMAN  opened  public  testimony  on  CSSB  205.    After                                                               
ascertaining no  one wished to  testify, closed  public testimony                                                               
on CSSB 205.                                                                                                                    
[SB 205 was held over.]                                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB230 ver D 4.11.18.PDF HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB230 Sponsor Statement 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB230 Sectional Analysis ver D 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB230 Supporting Document-Existing Policies for Consumer Protection - AT&T 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB230 Supporting Document-Explanation of Protections - AT&T 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB230 Supporting Document-FCC Federal Regulations Internet Privacy Section 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB230 Supporting Document-Internet Privacy BBC Article 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB230 Supporting Document-ACLU 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB230 Supporting Document-Internet Privacy BBC Article 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB230 Supporting Document-Pioneer Press Minnesota News 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
HB230 Fiscal Note LAW-CIV 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
SB205 ver U 4.11.18.PDF HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Sponsor Statement 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Summary of Changes 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Sectional Summary 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Supporting Document-ATA Executive Summary 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Supporting Document-Modernization Act FAQ 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Supporting Document-ATA Letter to RCA 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Supporting Document-ATA Supplemental Information 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Supporting Document-ATA Response to RCA 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Supporting Document-Copper Valley Letter 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Supporting Document-AP&T Letter 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Supporting Document-AT&T Letter 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Supporting Document-TelAlaska Letter 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Supporting Document-MTA Letter 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Supporting Document-ACS Letter 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Supprting Document-OTZ Letter 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Supporting Document-ASTAC Letter 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Fiscal Note DCCED-RCA 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
HB230 Supporting Document-Legal Memo - Explanation of Penalties 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 230
SB205 Supporting Document-RCA Staff Analysis 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 Opposing Document-Rep. Guttenberg Letter 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205
SB205 PowerPoint Presentation 4.11.18.pdf HJUD 4/11/2018 1:00:00 PM
SB 205