State of Illinois
92nd General Assembly

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[ Engrossed ][ House Amendment 001 ]



 1        AN ACT concerning telecommunications.

 2        Be  it  enacted  by  the People of the State of Illinois,
 3    represented in the General Assembly:

 4        Section  5.  The  Public  Utilities  Act  is  amended  by
 5    changing Section 13-301.1 as follows:

 6        (220 ILCS 5/13-301.1) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 13-301.1)
 7        Sec. 13-301.1.  Universal  Telephone  Service  Assistance
 8    Program.
 9        (a)  The Commission shall by rule or regulation establish
10    a  Universal  Telephone  Service  Assistance  Program for low
11    income residential customers. The program shall provide for a
12    reduction of access line charges, a reduction  of  connection
13    charges,  or  any other alternative to increase accessibility
14    to telephone service  that  the  Commission  deems  advisable
15    subject  to  the  availability  of  funds  for the program as
16    provided  in  subsection  (g)(b).    The   Commission   shall
17    establish  eligibility  requirements  for  benefits under the
18    program.
19        (b)  The  Commission  shall  adopt  rules  prohibiting  a
20    telecommunications carrier from discontinuing local  exchange
21    telecommunications   service   to  a  consumer  who  receives
22    lifeline service because of nonpayment  by  the  consumer  of
23    charges  for  other services billed by the carrier, including
24    long distance service.
25        (c)  The  Commission  shall  adopt  rules  providing  for
26    automatic enrollment to receive lifeline service for eligible
27    consumers.  The Department of Human Services,  Department  of
28    Public Aid, and Department of Commerce and Community Affairs,
29    on  request  of  the Commission, shall assist in the adoption
30    and implementation of those rules.  The  Commission  and  the
31    Department  of  Human Services, Department of Public Aid, and
                            -2-                LRB9208294JSpc
 1    Department of Commerce and Community Affairs may  enter  into
 2    memorandums  of  understanding  establishing  the  respective
 3    duties  of  the Commission and the Departments in relation to
 4    the automatic enrollment.
 5        (d)  A telecommunications carrier may  block  a  lifeline
 6    service  participant's  access  to  all long distance service
 7    except  toll-free  numbers  when  the  participant  owes   an
 8    outstanding  amount for that service.  The telecommunications
 9    carrier shall remove the block without additional cost to the
10    participant upon payment of the outstanding amount.
11        (e)  A telecommunications carrier shall offer a  consumer
12    who  applies  for  or receives lifeline service the option of
13    blocking all toll calls or, if technically capable, placing a
14    limit on the amount of  toll  calls.   The  carrier  may  not
15    charge   the  consumer  an  administrative  charge  or  other
16    additional amount for the blocking service.
17        (f)  In this Section, "lifeline service" means  a  retail
18    local   service  offering  described  by  47  C.F.R.  Section
19    54.401(a), as amended.
20        (g) (b)  The  Commission  shall  require   by   rule   or
21    regulation  that  each  telecommunications  carrier providing
22    local  exchange  telecommunications   services   notify   its
23    customers  that  if the customer wishes to participate in the
24    funding of the Universal Telephone Service Assistance Program
25    he may do so by electing to contribute, on a monthly basis, a
26    fixed amount that will be included in the customer's  monthly
27    bill.   The  customer may cease contributing at any time upon
28    providing notice to the telecommunications carrier  providing
29    local  exchange telecommunications services. The notice shall
30    state  that  any  contribution  made  will  not  reduce   the
31    customer's  bill for telecommunications services.  Failure to
32    remit  the  amount  of  increased  payment  will  reduce  the
33    contribution accordingly.  The Commission shall  specify  the
34    monthly  fixed  amount  or  amounts that customers wishing to
                            -3-                LRB9208294JSpc
 1    contribute to the funding of the Universal Telephone  Service
 2    Assistance   Program   may   choose   from  in  making  their
 3    contributions.  Every  telecommunications  carrier  providing
 4    local  exchange  telecommunications  services shall remit the
 5    amounts contributed in  accordance  with  the  terms  of  the
 6    Universal Telephone Service Assistance Program.
 7    (Source: P.A. 87-750; 90-372, eff. 7-1-98.)

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