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The Florida Senate

2004 Florida Statutes

Undue advantage to person or locality prohibited; Lifeline service.
Section 364.10, Florida Statutes 2004

364.10  Undue advantage to person or locality prohibited; Lifeline service.--

(1)  A telecommunications company may not make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any person or locality or subject any particular person or locality to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in any respect whatsoever.

(2)  The prohibitions of subsection (1) notwithstanding, a telecommunications company serving as carrier of last resort shall provide a Lifeline Assistance Plan to qualified residential subscribers, as defined in a commission-approved tariff and a preferential rate to eligible facilities as provided for in part II.

(3)(a)  Effective September 1, 2003, any local exchange telecommunications company authorized by the commission to reduce its switched network access rate pursuant to s. 364.164 shall have tariffed and shall provide Lifeline service to any otherwise eligible customer or potential customer who meets an income eligibility test at 125 percent or less of the federal poverty income guidelines for Lifeline customers. Such a test for eligibility must augment, rather than replace, the eligibility standards established by federal law and based on participation in certain low-income assistance programs. Each intrastate interexchange telecommunications company shall, effective September 1, 2003, file a tariff providing at a minimum the intrastate interexchange telecommunications carrier's current Lifeline benefits and exemptions to Lifeline customers who meet the income eligibility test set forth in this subsection. The Office of Public Counsel shall certify and maintain claims submitted by a customer for eligibility under the income test authorized by this subsection.

(b)  Each local exchange telecommunications company subject to this subsection shall provide to each state and federal agency providing benefits to persons eligible for Lifeline service applications, brochures, pamphlets, or other materials that inform such persons of their eligibility for Lifeline, and each state agency providing such benefits shall furnish the materials to affected persons at the time they apply for benefits.

(c)  Any local exchange telecommunications company customer receiving Lifeline benefits shall not be subject to any residential basic local telecommunications service rate increases authorized by s. 364.164 until the local exchange telecommunications company reaches parity as defined in s. 364.164(5) or until the customer no longer qualifies for the Lifeline benefits established by this section or s. 364.105, or unless otherwise determined by the commission upon petition by a local exchange telecommunications company.

(d)  By December 31, 2003, each state agency that provides benefits to persons eligible for Lifeline service shall undertake, in cooperation with the Department of Children and Family Services, the commission, and telecommunications companies providing Lifeline services, the development of procedures to promote Lifeline participation.

(e)  The commission shall report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by December 31 each year on the number of customers who are subscribing to Lifeline service and the effectiveness of any procedures to promote participation.

History.--s. 10, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4402; CGL 6366; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 12, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 17, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 13, ch. 95-403; s. 10, ch. 2003-32.