SENATE BILL NO. 319
AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 26 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE REGULATION OF PUBLIC UTILITIES PROVIDING TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Chapter 1, Title 26, Delaware Code by adding thereto a new subchapter to read as follows:
"Subchapter VII. Telecommunications Regulation Modernization
§701. Short Title
This subchapter shall be known and referred to as the
"Telecommunications Regulatory Authorization Act of 1992".
§702. Findings of Public Policy
(a) With respect to the provision of telecommunications services in Delaware, it is the policy of this State that:
Basic telecommunications services shall be universally available
at affordable prices.
To foster economic development in this State, responsible and
reasonable investment in and development of telecommunications systems employing advanced technology shall be encouraged as an integral part of the State's infrastructure.
The availability of customer choices among a continuously
developing variety of telecommunications services shall be encouraged.
The growth of competitive markets for the provision of
telecommunications services shall be encouraged and, where they exist or develop in the future, the availability, price, terms of service and quality should be determined by such competitive markets.
§703. Commission Authority
To create an environment which permits the pursuit of the policy declared herein, the General Assembly finds and declares that:
In a competitive marketplace, some utility regulation may be
necessary in protecting the public interest. However, where competition helps promote efficiency in the use of resources, deployment of technology or fosters productivity and innovation, such competition shall be authorized and encouraged by the Commission.
Where competitive market pressures are inadequate for regulation of price, as well as availability and terms of service for particular telecommunications services, the Commission is authorized and
encouraged to develop and implement alternate methods of regulation which will encourage the providers of such services to take advantage of technological advances and efficiencies.
The Commission is authorized and encouraged to respond to the changing technology and structure of the telecommunications industry by modifying its regulation of telecommunications services where such modifications will foster the universal availability of basic
telecommunications services; protect the public interest; promote efficiency in public and private resource allocation or encourage economic development. Such authorized modifications include, but are not limited to, such regulatory features as: incentive regulation,
earnings sharing, categorization of services for the purposes of pricing, price caps, price indexing, ranges of authorized returns, detariffing and deregulation. In conjunction with alternative methods
of regulation, the Commission is encouraged to consider appropriate safeguards to (a) protect customers of service which the Commission has not found to be competitive and (b) protect the further development of competition in the state. The Commission is specifically authorized to depart from rate base, rate of return regulation."
Approved June 10, 1992.