TITLE 26

Public Utilities

CHAPTER 1. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

Subchapter VII. Telecommunications Regulation Modernization


This subchapter shall be known and referred to as the "Telecommunications Regulatory Authorization Act of 1992."

68 Del. Laws, c. 258, § 1.;

With respect to the provision of telecommunications services in Delaware, it is the policy of this State that:

(1) Basic telecommunications services shall be universally available at affordable prices.

(2) 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.

(3) The availability of customer choices among a continuously developing variety of telecommunications services shall be encouraged.

(4) 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.

68 Del. Laws, c. 258, § 1.;

To create an environment which permits the pursuit of the policy declared herein, the General Assembly finds and declares that:

(1) 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.

(2) 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.

(3) 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.

(4) The Commission is authorized and empowered to take such actions, conduct such proceedings (including mediation, arbitration and review of agreements and statements of terms and conditions) and enter such orders as permitted or required by a "state commission" under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-104. In exercising such authority and in the conduct of such proceedings, the Commission shall act in accord with the applicable provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and need not comply with the specific notice, hearing and other procedural requirements set forth in this chapter or in Chapter 101 of Title 29 or regulations heretofore promulgated by the Commission thereunder. The Commission may promulgate rules to govern the conduct of actions and proceedings undertaken to implement the federal law. Such promulgation shall occur pursuant to, and subject to the limitation of, § 10113(b)(2) of Title 29 and shall be exempt from the requirements of subchapter III of Chapter 11 of Title 29. The foregoing actions and proceedings may be conducted by the Commission or by a subordinate designated for such purpose.

68 Del. Laws, c. 258, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 556, § 1.;