Synopsis As Introduced Amends the Public Utilities Act. Adds provisions to the Telecommunications Article concerning the transition of Large Electing Providers to Internet Protocol-based networks and service. Provides that beginning July 1, 2017, a Large Electing Provider may cease to offer and provide a telecommunications service to an identifiable class or group of customers, other than voice telecommunications service to residential customers, upon 60 days' notice to the Commission and affected customers. Provides that beginning July 1, 2017, a Large Electing Provider, may cease to offer and provide voice telecommunications service to an identifiable class or group of residential customers subject to compliance with specified requirements. Repeals language that provides for the repeal of the Telecommunications Article of the Public Utilities Act on July 1, 2017. Removes the December 31, 2020 expiration date for an Illinois Commerce Commission-issued authorization to offer or provide cable or video service. Repeals language that provides for the repeal of specified Sections of the Cable and Video Competition Article of the Illinois Public Utilities Act on July 1, 2017. Defines terms and makes other changes. Effective immediately.
Further amends the Telecommunications Article of the Public Utilities Act. Provides that the Universal Telephone Service Assistance Program shall provide for a reduction of access line charges, a reduction of connection charges, or any other alternative assistance or program to increase accessibility to telephone service and broadband Internet access service. Provides that the amounts collected and remitted through customer funding of the program may be used for funding an additional program to be administered by the entity designated by the Commission as administrator of the Universal Telephone Service Assistance Program for educating and assisting low-income residential customers with a transition to Internet protocol-based networks and services. Provides that the additional program may include, but need not be limited to, measures designed to notify and educate residential customers regarding the availability of alternative voice services with access to 9-1-1, access to and use of broadband Internet access service, and pricing options. Provides for changes in a Section concerning Large Electing Provider transition to IP-based networks and service. Removes language concerning the intent of the Section. Modifies defined terms, including adding a definition of "provider". Allows a Large Electing Provider to cease to offer and provide certain telecommunication services and certain voice telecommunications services beginning June 30, 2017 (rather than July 1, 2017). Provides requirements for requested service. Makes changes to the requirements a Large Electing Provider must satisfy to cease to offer to provide the voice telecommunications services. Modifies specified time limitations for Illinois Commerce Commission investigations under the Section. Provides that if the Commission determines that for one or more of the requesting existing customers for which an emergency has been declared there is no other provider willing and capable of providing alternative voice service including reliable access to 9-1-1, the Commission shall issue an order requiring the Large Electing Provider to provide alternative voice service including reliable access to 9-1-1 to each such requesting existing customer utilizing any form of technology capable of providing alternative voice service including reliable access to 9-1-1, including, among other services, continuation of the requested service. Makes other changes.