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(a) A common carrier seeking designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier must file, for each study area or portion of a study area where eligible telecommunications carrier designation is sought, a request, in accordance with 3 AAC 48.095, that include

(1) the common carrier's legal name, name under which business is conducted, and address;

(2) the name, title, and telephone number of the individual who is the liaison with the commission regarding the request;

(3) a legal description by township and range of the proposed eligible telecommunications carrier service area;

(4) one or more maps of the proposed eligible telecommunications carrier service area, in hard copy and electronic format, that are legible and provide

(A) sufficient geographic detail to confirm the legal description in township and range of the proposed eligible telecommunications carrier service area;

(B) sufficient geographic detail to confirm the legal description in township and range of the study area of any incumbent local exchange carrier providing service in the proposed eligible telecommunications carrier service area, including exchange area boundaries;

(C) the common carrier's current coverage area and authorized service area, including material geographic obstacles;

(D) the common carrier's proposed coverage area by technology, including material geographical obstacles to serving the proposed coverage area; and

(E) the coverage area of any carrier whose services will be resold;

(5) a certification that the common carrier is

(A) capable of providing the supported services in the eligible telecommunications carrier service area upon designation; and

(B) committed to providing the supported services throughout the eligible telecommunications carrier service area in accordance with (7) of this subsection;

(6) a detailed explanation of how the common carrier is capable of and proposes to provide each supported service throughout the eligible telecommunications carrier service area; the explanation must include by wire center area

(A) the technology to be deployed;

(B) the supported services to be provided through resale of another carrier's services, if any;

(C) any limitations on the ability to provide supported services upon designation; and

(D) any federal waivers of requirements applicable to the provision of emergency services;

(7) a commitment to

(A) provide service on a timely basis to requesting customers throughout the common carrier's eligible telecommunications carrier service area using its own facilities or a combination of its own facilities and resale in accordance with the common carrier's network deployment plan filed under 3 AAC 53.420 and reported and certified under 47 C.F.R. 54.316 and 54.321; and

(B) file a report to the commission in accordance with 47 C.F.R. 54.313(a)(3) and 3 AAC 48.095 of any instance in which the carrier is unable to fulfill a customer request for service;

(8) a description of what facilities will be used to deliver supported services in the proposed eligible telecommunications carrier service area, including a description of the common carrier's existing facilities by wire center area;

(9) a description of authorities, licenses, and interconnection, resale, and other agreements that enable the common carrier to provide the supported services throughout the proposed eligible telecommunications carrier service area, including the docket of any related commission proceedings;

(10) a detailed description of how universal service support will be used, including the information required by 3 AAC 53.420;

(11) a certification that the common carrier will, within 90 days after designation and annually thereafter, advertise in a medium of general distribution the availability of and charges for supported, lifeline, and link up services throughout the eligible telecommunications carrier service area;

(12) a certification that the common carrier has and will continue to take steps to remain functional in emergency situations by

(A) maintaining at least eight hours of backup power to ensure functionality without local alternating current (AC) commercial power;

(B) establishing to the extent feasible the ability to reroute traffic around damaged facilities and to manage traffic spikes resulting from emergency situations; and

(C) establishing procedures for employees to follow in an emergency to prevent or minimize interruption or impairment of telecommunications services;

(13) a certification that the common carrier will comply with applicable consumer protection and service quality standards set out in 3 AAC 53.450;

(14) information confirming that the common carrier offers one or more calling plans comparable to those of the incumbent local exchange carrier; the information must include

(A) a certification that, among its comparable calling plans, the common carrier offers a calling plan with at least 500 free minutes of local usage per month; and

(B) a comparison of the incumbent local exchange carrier's basic local usage plans and the requesting carrier's local usage plans that includes the local calling area, minutes of use included, plan rates, rate for excess minutes, features, and any other information demonstrating how proposed plans compare to calling plans of the incumbent local exchange carrier;

(15) information on how the common carrier will administer the lifeline and link up programs, including

(A) a certification that the common carrier offers a calling plan with at least 500 free minutes of local usage per month to lifeline-eligible customers;

(B) a description of the local calling area, plan rate, rate for excess minutes, and available features;

(C) an explanation of how eligibility for lifeline and link up will be determined;

(D) examples applying lifeline discounts to service offerings; and

(E) a statement of whether a lifeline customer has a choice of plan offerings or must subscribe to one standard plan;

(16) a certification that the common carrier acknowledges it may be required to provide equal access to long distance carriers if no other eligible telecommunications carrier provides equal access within the eligible telecommunications carrier service area;

(17) with respect to universal service support for high-cost areas, a commitment to use that high-cost universal service support for the provision, maintenance, and upgrade of facilities and services that benefit the eligible telecommunications carrier service area from which the support was derived;

(18) if service area redefinition is requested, the information required by 3 AAC 53.430;

(19) any additional information that the common carrier considers important in support of the request for designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier; and

(20) the information and fees required by (b) and (c) of this section.

(b) The common carrier must demonstrate that designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier is in the public interest by filing information explaining

(1) how designation would benefit consumers;

(2) the advantages and disadvantages of the requesting common carrier's service offerings compared to the offerings of other common carriers in the area;

(3) whether the common carrier's particular plan for providing supported services upon request throughout the proposed eligible telecommunications carrier service area is in the public interest; and

(4) any additional information that the common carrier considers important to demonstrate designation is in the public interest.

(c) A common carrier that does not pay regulatory cost charges under AS 42.05.254 and 3 AAC 47 shall submit a fee of $5,000 with a request for designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier.

History: Eff. 7/12/2009, Register 191; am 11/6/2016, Register 220; am 11/22/2017, Register 224

Authority: AS 42.05.141

AS 42.05.145

AS 42.05.151

AS 42.05.291

AS 42.05.306

AS 42.05.381

AS 42.05.431

AS 42.05.661

3 AAC 53.420. Deployment plan

(a) A common carrier seeking designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier must file a network deployment plan explaining its plans to provide service throughout the proposed eligible telecommunications service area. The network deployment plan must include

(1) an explanation of how service availability, service quality, coverage, or capacity will improve over the duration of the deployment plan with the receipt of universal service support for high-cost areas;

(2) the projected start and completion date for each major expansion of the network deployment plan;

(3) the total estimated investment for each planned major expansion of the network and the estimated amount of universal service support for high-cost areas that is available to fund the investment;

(4) specific geographic locations for each major expansion;

(5) areas receiving facilities-based coverage as a result of network expansion; and

(6) specific areas where resale will be the primary means of providing service.

(b) When evaluating the network deployment plan the commission will consider

(1) the scope of the geographic area the common carrier will serve by resale;

(2) the common carrier's schedule for commencing facilities-based service and resold service within the eligible telecommunications carrier service area;

(3) the overall reasonableness of the network deployment plan; and

(4) other factors demonstrating whether the network deployment plan is consistent with the public interest; in areas served by a rural telephone company, the commission will consider whether the deployment plan provides a competitive advantage to the requesting common carrier or unfairly disadvantages the incumbent in the provision of universal service.

History: Eff. 7/12/2009, Register 191

Authority: AS 42.05.141

AS 42.05.145

AS 42.05.151

AS 42.05.291

3 AAC 53.430. Request to redefine service area

If a common carrier proposes an eligible telecommunications carrier service area that differs from the study area of the incumbent local exchange carrier, the requesting carrier must provide

(1) the population, square miles, and road miles of each wire center area where the common carrier seeks eligible telecommunications carrier designation;

(2) the population, square miles, and road miles of each wire center area where the common carrier does not seek eligible telecommunications carrier designation;

(3) the source of the information provided in (1) and (2) of this section;

(4) information on the approved plan for disaggregation of support by the incumbent local exchange carrier under 47 C.F.R. 54.315;

(5) if the study area is the area served by a rural telephone company, an acknowledgement that commission approval of a proposed rural service area is conditioned upon approval by the Federal Communications Commission after taking into account the recommendations of the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service in accordance with 47 U.S.C. 214(e)(5);

(6) a demonstration that the proposed eligible telecommunications carrier service area is in the public interest; and

(7) a discussion of creamskimming that includes

(A) a demonstration that the proposed redefinition of a service area does not result in an opportunity for creamskimming; or

(B) if the opportunity for creamskimming does exist, an explanation of how

(i) the public interest would be served by designating the common carrier as an eligible telecommunications carrier for an area other than the incumbent local exchange carrier study area; and

(ii) disaggregation of the incumbent local exchange carrier's universal service support under 47 C.F.R. 54.315 would affect the opportunity for creamskimming.

History: Eff. 7/12/2009, Register 191

Authority: AS 42.05.141

AS 42.05.145

AS 42.05.151

AS 42.05.291

3 AAC 53.440. Procedural requirements for requests for eligible telecommunications carrier designation

(a) A request for designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier must be in writing, must be verified by an authorized officer of the requesting common carrier, and must conform to the general requirements of pleadings set out in 3 AAC 48.100. A request for designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier will be considered a petition as defined in 3 AAC 48.820.

(b) The requesting common carrier shall serve a copy of its petition, in accordance with 3 AAC 48.090, on any common carrier that has been designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier in any part of the proposed eligible telecommunications carrier service area.

(c) The commission will publicly notice a request for designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier and invite comment on the request, providing a comment period of at least 21 days.

(d) If the request for designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier does not contain all information required by 3 AAC 53.410, 3 AAC 53.420, and 3 AAC 53.430, the commission will require the requesting carrier to submit the missing information within five business days after the commission requests the missing information.

(e) If the commission needs information that is not required by 3 AAC 53.410, 3 AAC 53.420, or 3 AAC 53.430 to determine whether to grant a request for eligible telecommunications carrier designation, the commission will require the requesting carrier to submit further information within five business days after the commission requests further information.

(f) The requesting carrier bears the burden of proof with respect to all issues raised by its petition for designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier.

History: Eff. 7/12/2009, Register 191; am 11/6/2016, Register 220

Authority: AS 42.05.141

AS 42.05.145

AS 42.05.151

3 AAC 53.450. Consumer protection and service quality

(a) An eligible telecommunications carrier shall maintain at least one business office, with toll-free calling if necessary, staffed during commission business hours, to provide customers with access to personnel who can timely provide information on services and rates, accept and process service applications, explain and adjust bills, and generally represent the carrier.

(b) A wireless carrier that is designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier shall comply with the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association's Consumer Code for Wireless Service by

(1) disclosing rates and terms of service to customers;

(2) making available maps showing where service is generally available;

(3) providing contract terms to customers and confirming changes in service;

(4) allowing a trial period for new service;

(5) providing specific disclosures in advertising;

(6) separately identifying carrier charges from taxes on billing statements;

(7) providing customers the right to terminate service for changes to contract terms;

(8) providing ready access to customer service;

(9) promptly responding to consumer inquiries and complaints received from government agencies; and

(10) abiding by policies for protection of consumer privacy.

(c) An eligible telecommunications carrier shall commit to maintaining, in an easily accessible location on the company website, consumer complaint procedures.

History: Eff. 7/12/2009, Register 191

Authority: AS 42.05.141

AS 42.05.145

AS 42.05.151

AS 42.05.291

3 AAC 53.460. Reporting requirements

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