Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since October 1, 2018, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.


R746. Public Service Commission, Administration.

Rule R746-8. Utah Universal Public Telecommunications Service Support Fund (UUSF).

As in effect on October 1, 2018

Table of Contents

R746-8-100. Authority, Purpose, and Organization.

(1) This rule is adopted under:

(a) Utah Code Section 54-8b-10; and

(b) Utah Code Section 54-8b-15.

(2) This rule:

(a) governs the methods, practices, and procedures by which:

(b) the UUSF is created, maintained, and funded; and

(c) funds are disbursed from the UUSF to qualifying access line providers.

(3) This rule is organized into the following Parts:

(a) Part 100: Authority, Purpose and Organization;

(b) Part 200: Definitions;

(c) Part 300: UUSF Funding; and

(d) Part 400: UUSF Distributions.

R746-8-200. Definitions.

(1)(a) "Access line" is defined at Utah Code Subsection 54-8b-2(1), and is used in this rule, R746-8, to the extent consistent with federal law.

(b) For purposes of applying the statutory definition of "access line," the term "connection" is defined at Utah Code Subsection 54-8b-15(1) and is used in this rule, R746-8, to the extent consistent with federal law.

(c)(i) Providers of access lines and functionally equivalent connections are hereafter referred to jointly as "providers."

(ii) Access lines and connections are hereafter referred to jointly as "access line" or "access lines."

(2)(a) "Affordable base rate" or "ABR" means the monthly retail rate that a rate-of-return regulated provider is required to charge on a per-access line basis in order to receive ongoing disbursements from the UUSF.

(b) "Affordable base rate" may include, if itemized in the provider's Commission-approved tariff:

(i) the applicable UUSF surcharge;

(ii) mandatory extended area service fees; or

(iii) state subscriber line fees.

(c) "Affordable base rate" does not include:

(i) municipal franchise fee(s);

(ii) tax(es); or

(iii) any incidental surcharge(s) other than those identified in R746-8-200(2)(b):

(A) included in a Commission-approved tariff; or

(B) authorized under these rules.

(3) "Broadband internet access service" is defined at Utah Code Subsection 54-8b-15(1).

(4) "Carrier of last resort" is defined at Utah Code Subsection 54-8b-15(1).

(5) "Eligible telecommunications carrier" or "ETC" means a provider that, if seeking to participate in the state Lifeline program:

(a) is designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier by the commission in accordance with 47 U.S.C. Section 214(e); or

(b) is designated by the FCC as a Lifeline Broadband Provider (LBP).

(6) "Designated support area" means the geographic area used to determine a provider's UUSF support distribution, including, at a minimum, the provider's entire certificated service territory located in the State of Utah.

(7) The acronym "FCC" means the Federal Communications Commission.

(8) "Facilities-based provider" means a provider that uses:

(a) its own facilities;

(b) essential facilities or unbundled network elements obtained from another provider; or

(c) a combination of its own facilities and essential facilities or unbundled network elements obtained from another provider.

(9)(a) "Household" means any individual or group of individuals living together at the same address as one economic unit.

(b) "Economic unit" means all adult individuals contributing to and sharing in the income and expenses of a household.

(10) "Lifeline subscriber" means an individual who qualifies for state subsidization of an access line through participation in a program for low-income individuals that is recognized by the FCC.

(11) "Non-rate-of-return regulated" is defined at Utah Code Subsection 54-8b-15(1).

(12) "Rate-of-return regulated" is defined at Utah Code Subsection 54-8b-15(1).

(13) "Wholesale broadband internet access service" is defined at Utah Code Subsection 54-8b-15(1).

R746-8-300. UUSF Funding.

The following sections in the 300 series address UUSF Funding.

R746-8-301. Calculation and Application of UUSF Surcharge.

(1) The Utah Universal Public Telecommunications Service Support Fund (UUSF) shall be funded as follows:

(a) Unless Subsection R746-8-301(3) applies, providers shall remit to the Commission $0.36 per month per access line that, as of the last calendar day of each month, has a place of primary use in Utah in accordance with the Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act, 4 U.S.C. Sec. 116 et seq.

(b)(i) "Place of primary use" means the street address representative of where the customer's use of the telecommunications service primarily occurs.

(ii) A provider of mobile telecommunications service shall consider the customer's place of primary use to be the customer's residential street address or primary business street address.

(iii) A provider of non-mobile telecommunications service shall consider the customer's place of primary use to be:

(A) the customer's residential street address or primary business street address; or

(B) the customer's registered location for 911 purposes.

(c) A provider may collect the surcharge:

(i) as an explicit charge to each end-user; or

(ii) through inclusion of the surcharge within the end-user's rate plan.

(d) A provider that offers a multi-line service shall apply the surcharge to each concurrent real-time voice communication call session that an end-user can place to or receive from the public switched telephone network.

(e)(i) A provider that offers prepaid access lines or connections that permit access to the public telephone network shall remit to the Commission $0.36 per month per access line for such service (new access lines or connections, or recharges for existing lines or connections) purchased on or after January 1, 2018.

(ii) Subsection R746-8-301(1)(e)(i) operates in lieu of Subsection R746-8-301(1)(a) in that a provider who is required to make a remittance for an access line under Subsection R746-8-301(1)(e)(i) is not required to make an additional remittance for the same access line under Subsection R746-8-301(1)(a).

(iii)(A) Multiple recharges of a single prepaid access line during a single month do not trigger multiple remittance requirements.

(B) $0.36 per month is both the maximum and minimum amount of remittance necessary for any single access line.

(2)(a) A provider shall remit to the Commission no less than 98.69 percent of its total monthly surcharge collections.

(b) A provider may retain a maximum of 1.31 percent of its total monthly surcharge collections to offset the costs of administering this rule.

(3)(a) Subject to Subsection R746-8-301(3)(b), a provider may omit the UUSF surcharge with respect to an access line that is described in Subsection R746-8-301(1), and:

(i) generates revenue that is subject to a universal service fund surcharge in a state other than Utah for the relevant month for which the provider omits the UUSF surcharge;

(ii) for the relevant month for which the provider omits the UUSF surcharge, was not used to access Utah intrastate telecommunications services; or

(iii) subject to R746-8-403(5), receives subsidization through a federal Lifeline program approved by the FCC.

(b) A provider that omits any UUSF surcharge pursuant to Subsection R746-8-301(3)(a) shall:

(i) maintain documentation for at least 36 months that the omission complied with Subsection R746-8-301(3)(a); and

(ii) consent to any audit of the documentation requested by the:

(A) Commission; or

(B) Division of Public Utilities.

(c) A provider who omits any UUSF surcharge pursuant to Subsection R746-8-301(3)(a) shall report monthly to the Division of Public Utilities, using a method approved by the Division, the number of omissions claimed pursuant to each Subsection R746-8-301(3)(a)(i) and R746-8-301(3)(a)(ii).

R746-8-302. UUSF Surcharge Remittances.

Providers shall remit surcharge assessments to the Commission as follows:

(1) If, over a period of six months, the average monthly UUSF surcharge assessments total $1,000 or more, the provider shall remit the funds:

(a) on a monthly basis; and

(b) within 45 days of the last calendar day of each month.

(2) If, over a period of six months, the average UUSF surcharge assessments are less than $1,000 per month, the provider shall accrue the UUSF surcharge assessments and submit the accrued assessments every six months.

R746-8-400. UUSF Distributions.

The following sections in the 400 series address UUSF Distributions.

R746-8-401. Rate-of-Return Regulated Providers.

(1) A rate-of-return regulated provider is eligible for ongoing UUSF support pursuant to Utah Code Section 54-8b-15 if the provider:

(a) is a carrier of last resort;

(b) is in compliance with Commission orders and rules;

(c) unless a petition brought pursuant to Subsection R746-8-401(2) is granted after adjudication, charges, at a minimum, $18 per access line;

(d) offers Lifeline service on terms and conditions prescribed by the Commission;

(e) operates as a facilities-based provider, not a reseller; and

(f) in compliance with R746-8-401(3), demonstrates through an adjudicative proceeding that its costs as established in Utah Code Section 54-8b-15 exceed its revenues as established in Utah Code Section 54-8b-15.

(2)(a) A rate-of-return regulated provider may petition the Commission to deviate from the affordable base rate set forth in Subsection R746-8-401(1)(c).

(b) A rate-of-return regulated provider that files a petition to deviate from the affordable base rate shall:

(i) demonstrate that the affordable base rate is not reasonable in the provider's designated support area; or

(ii) impute income up to the affordable base rate in calculating the provider's UUSF disbursement.

(3) The calculation of a rate-of-return regulated provider's ongoing UUSF distribution shall conform to the following standards:

(a) The provider's state rate-of-return shall be equal to the weighted average cost of capital rate-of-return prescribed by the FCC for rate-of-return regulated carriers, as of the date of the provider's application for support, and as follows:

(i) beginning July 1, 2016: 11.0%

(ii) beginning July 1, 2017: 10.75%;

(iii) beginning July 1, 2018: 10.5%;

(iv) beginning July 1, 2019, 10.25%;

(v) beginning July 1, 2020, 10.0%; and

(vi) beginning July 1, 2021, 9.75%.

(b) The provider's depreciation costs shall be calculated as established in Utah Code Section 54-8b-15.

(4) Yearly following a change in the FCC rate-of-return, unless the provider files with the Commission a petition for review of its UUSF disbursement, the Division shall make a recommendation of whether each provider's monthly distribution should be adjusted according to:

(a) the current FCC rate-of-return as set forth in R746-8-401(3)(a); and

(b) the provider's financial information from its last Annual Report filed with the Commission.

R746-8-402. Non-rate-of-return Regulated Providers.

(1) A non-rate-of-return regulated provider may be eligible for ongoing UUSF support for the deployment and management of networks capable of providing access lines, connections, or broadband internet access, upon application to the Commission, if the provider:

(a) is a carrier of last resort; and

(b) is in compliance with Commission orders and rules.

(2) Upon receipt of an application brought under R746-8-402, the Commission shall establish the appropriate criteria for the entitlement to, and the disbursement of, UUSF funds to non-rate-of-return regulated providers.

R746-8-403. Lifeline Support.

(1) In addition to any disbursement calculated under R746-8-401 or R746-8-402, an ETC may receive an ongoing distribution through ongoing participation in a Commission-approved Lifeline program upon a specific finding of public interest by the Commission.

(2)(a) The support claimed under this Subsection R746-8-403 may not exceed $3.50 per Lifeline subscriber per month of subscription to a service that:

(i) provides service over landlines; or

(ii)(A) meets FCC broadband Lifeline requirements as set forth in 47 C.F.R. 54.408; and

(B) for wireless Lifeline, allows, at no charge beyond the basic monthly fee, unlimited texting and at least 750 voice minutes per month; or

(iii)(A) meets FCC broadband Lifeline requirements as set forth in 47 C.F.R. 54.408; and

(B) does not include a voice component.

(b) Lifeline distributions will be based on eligible Lifeline subscribers as of the first day of each month, with no prorated discounts.

(3) An ETC that is approved to participate in the Commission Lifeline program shall:

(a) provide potential Lifeline subscribers with application materials and information;

(b) provide service to any customer who is verified as eligible for participation through:

(i) the FCC's national verifier system; or

(ii) if the FCC's national verifier system is not yet operational, the program administrator with which the Commission contracts to administer the initial and continued eligibility verification of state Lifeline participants;

(c) waive, for Lifeline subscribers, the following charges:

(i) customer security deposits, if the customer voluntarily elects to receive toll blocking; and

(ii) within any 12-month period, the first nonrecurring service charge for:

(A) changing local exchange usage service to Lifeline service; and

(B) changing from flat rate service to message rate service; and

(d)(i) add the Lifeline discount to a customer's account within five (5) business days of notification of the customer's eligibility under FCC Lifeline requirements; and;

(ii) remove the Lifeline discount from a Lifeline subscriber's account within five (5) business days of notification of the Lifeline subscriber's ineligibility under FCC Lifeline requirements; and

(e) submit to the Division by May 1 of each year, a complete Lifeline subscriber list, as defined by the FCC.

(4) An ETC participating in the Commission Lifeline program may not:

(a) disconnect Lifeline telephone service for nonpayment of toll service;

(b) require a Lifeline subscriber to purchase additional services from the ETC; or

(c) prohibit a Lifeline subscriber from purchasing additional services from the ETC, unless the participant fails to comply with the ETC's terms and conditions for those additional services.

(5) For an access line for which the UUSF surcharge is omitted pursuant to R746-8-301(3)(a)(iii), the UUSF surcharge amount that otherwise would have been remitted pursuant to R746-8-301 shall be deducted from the state Lifeline support paid to the provider.

R746-8-404. One-time UUSF Distribution.

A non-rate-of-return regulated carrier of last resort may apply for a one-time UUSF distribution pursuant to Utah Code Subsection 54-8b-15(3)(d).

R746-8-405. UUSF Support for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Severely Speech Impaired Person.

(1) This rule governs a program to provide telecommunication devices and services to qualifying deaf, hard of hearing, or severely speech impaired persons

(2) Definitions.

(a) "Applicant" means a person applying for:

(i) a telecommunication device for the deaf, hard of hearing, or severely speech impaired;

(ii) a signal device; or

(iii) another assistive communication device.

(b) "Audiologist" means a person who:

(i)(A) has a master's or doctoral degree in audiology; or

(B) is licensed in audiology in Utah; and

(ii) holds a Certificate of Clinic Competence in Audiology from the American Speech/Language/Hearing Association or its equivalent.

(c) "Deaf" means hearing loss that requires the use of a TDD to communicate effectively on the telephone.

(d). "Hard of hearing" means hearing loss that requires use of a TDD to communicate effectively on the telephone.

(e) "Otolaryngologist" means a licensed physician specializing in ear, nose, and throat medicine.

(f) "Recipient" means a person who is approved to receive a TDD, signal device, personal communicator, or other assistive communication device.

(g) "Speech language pathologist" means a person who:

(i) has a master's or doctoral degree in Speech Language Pathology; and

(ii) holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech/Language Pathology from the American Speech Language Hearing Association or its equivalent.

(h) "Severely Speech Impaired" means a speech handicap or disorder that renders speech on an ordinary telephone unintelligible.

(i) "Signal device" means a mechanical device that alerts a deaf, deaf-blind, or hard of hearing person of an incoming telephone call.

(j) "Telecommunications Device for the Deaf" or "TDD" means an electrical device for use with a telephone that utilizes:

(i) a key board;

(ii) an acoustic coupler;

(iii) a display screen;

(iv) a braille display; or

(v) a tablet device or unlocked cellular telephone that is equipped with applications that allow a user to transmit and receive messages.

(3) Eligibility.

(a) At a minimum, applicants shall demonstrate that they:

(i) live within the State of Utah;

(ii) are

(A) deaf;

(B) hard of hearing; or

(C) severely speech impaired;

(iii) are eligible for assistance under a low-income public assistance program; and

(iv) are able to send and receive messages with a TDD or other appropriate assistive device.

(b) Qualification under Subsection R746-8-405(3)(a)(ii) shall be established by the certification of:

(i) a person who is licensed to practice medicine;

(ii) an audiologist;

(iii) an otolaryngologist;

(iv) a speech/language pathologist; or

(v) qualified personnel within a state agency.

(4) Distribution process.

(a) If approved by the Commission to receive an assistive device, the applicant shall:

(i) unless Subsection R746-8-405(4)(b) applies, sign an agreement and conditions of acceptance form supplied by the Commission; and

(ii) report, as instructed by the Commission, for training and receipt of the approved device.

(b) If the recipient is a minor or is unable to sign the agreement and conditions of acceptance form, the recipient's legal guardian may sign.

(5) Ownership and Liability.

(a)(i) An assistive device provided under this rule remains the property of the State of Utah.

(ii) A recipient shall not remove an assistive device from the state of Utah for a period of time longer than 90 days unless the recipient obtains the written consent of the Commission.

(b) A recipient shall be solely responsible for the costs of:

(i) repair of an assistive device, other than for normal wear and tear;

(ii) replacement of an assistive device;

(iii) paper required by an assistive device;

(iv) telephone and internet service; and

(v) light bulbs required by an assistive device.

(c) If an assistive device requires repair, the recipient shall return it to the Commission and may not make private arrangements for repair.

(6) Termination of Use. A recipient, or if applicable, the recipient's guardian, shall return an assistive device to the Commission if the recipient:

(a) no longer intends to reside in Utah;

(b) becomes ineligible pursuant to R746-8-405(3); or

(c) is notified by the Commission to return the device.

R746-8-405a. New Technology Equipment Distribution Program (NTEDP).

(1) Authority and Purpose.

(a) This rule section is promulgated pursuant to Utah Code Subsection 54-8b-10(3)(b).

(b) The purposes of the NTEDP are:

(i) to explore the feasibility of using tablet devices and/or unlocked cellular telephones to address the telecommunication needs of the deaf, hard of hearing, and severely speech-impaired communities;

(ii) to determine how best to manage a program in which tablet devices and/or unlocked cellular telephones are provided; and

(iii) to determine the level of support services that would be required if tablet devices and/or unlocked cellular telephone devices are provided.

(2) Duration. The NTEDP shall terminate no later than December 31, 2018.

(3) Participation.

(a) An individual who wishes to participate in the NTEDP shall:

(i) submit a completed application form to the Relay Utah office;

(ii) provide medical documentation of:

(A) deafness;

(B) hardness of hearing; or

(C) severe speech impairment;

(iii) demonstrate that the individual is receiving assistance from a low-income public assistance program administered by a state agency;

(iv)(A) if applying for a tablet, certify that the individual has consistent access to a WiFi network; or

(B) if applying for an unlocked cellular telephone, certify that the individual has a service plan in place with a wireless telecommunications provider; and

(v) certify that the individual is able and willing to comply with Subsection (4).

(b) Priority may be given to applicants who have previously participated in the Commission's Relay Utah program.

(c) An applicant who is not selected to participate may request to be placed on a waiting list.

(d) Participation shall be limited as follows:

(i) From the inception of the program through June 30, 2017, no more than 25 participants, as follows:

(A) no more than 8 deaf individuals who are at least 13 years old;

(B) no more than 8 hard of hearing individuals who are at least 13 years old;

(C) no more than 8 severely speech impaired individuals who are at least 13 years old; and

(D) at least one deaf, hard of hearing, or severely speech impaired individual who is under 13 years of age.

(ii) From July 1, 2017 through the conclusion of the program, up to 10 additional participants in each six-month period.

(4) Participant obligations.

(a) An individual who is chosen to participate in the NTEDP shall:

(i) participate in an entrance interview with the Relay Utah office;

(ii) complete online surveys as instructed by the Relay Utah office;

(iii) promptly comply with all instructions from the Relay Utah office to download apps;

(iv) promptly respond to requests from the Relay Utah office for information and feedback;

(v) maintain the device in the storage case provided;

(vi) retain all original device packaging, instructions, and information;

(vii) contact the manufacturer's customer service department for assistance with technical support;

(viii) promptly report to the Relay Utah office:

(A) software and hardware failures; and

(B) damage to the device;

(ix) take financial responsibility for loss of, or damage to, the device if caused by the individual's misuse or negligence; and

(x) immediately return the device to the Relay Utah office if the individual:

(A) moves from the State of Utah;

(B) is disqualified by the Relay Utah office from further participation in the NTEDP; or

(C) chooses to terminate the individual's participation in the NTEDP.

(b) An individual who is chosen to participate in the NTEDP may not:

(i) reformat or attempt to reformat the device;

(ii) allow any other person to use the device, except as necessary to assist the participant with telecommunications; or

(iii) install software, apps, or other programs not authorized by the Relay Utah office.

(c) A participant who fails to comply with this Subsection (4) may be disqualified from further participation in the NTEDP.

(5) All devices distributed as part of the NTEDP shall remain the property of the State of Utah Public Service Commission.

KEY

Utah universal service fund, surcharges and disbursements, speech/hearing challenges, assistive devices and technology

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

June 21, 2018

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

54-3-1; 54-4-1; 54-8b-15; 54-8b-10


Additional Information

Contact

For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R746, please contact the promulgating agency (Public Service Commission, Administration). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.