Administrative Code

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 20. Public Utilities and Telecommunications
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission
Chapter 417. Rules Governing the Certification and Regulation of Competitive Local Exchange Carriers
1/26/2020

20VAC5-417-50. Regulation of New Entrants Providing Local Exchange Telecommunications Services.

A. Tariffs are permitted but not required for any or all terms, conditions, or rates of a new entrant's retail local exchange telecommunications service offerings. Unless otherwise allowed by the commission, tariffs are required for nonretail telecommunications services, such as switched access charges.

1. A new entrant electing not to tariff any or all of its retail service or services shall provide customers with access to adequate and complete information regarding the applicable terms, conditions, and rates of its nontariffed retail service or services. The form of such information is not limited to, but may be provided through, individual contracts, online website access to service guides, or other user documents. A new entrant shall provide the Division of Communications with link information to any online website information.

2. A new entrant shall advise the Division of Communications in writing if it elects not to submit tariffs for any of its retail services. The notification shall include the extent of the nontariffing, i.e., whether all retail services will not be tariffed or only some services or some terms, conditions, or rates will not be tariffed.

3. A new entrant that has tariffs on file with the Division of Communications may elect to eliminate the tariff of any or all terms, conditions, or rates of its retail services as an administrative or nonprice tariff change as prescribed by subdivision F 4 of this section.

B. A new entrant that has received certification to provide local exchange telecommunications services shall not offer any local exchange telecommunications services until such time as:

1. The new entrant has complied with notifying the Division of Communications pursuant to subdivision A 2 of this section, for terms, conditions, or rates of retail services it elects not to tariff.

2. The new entrant has submitted initial tariffs to the Division of Communications for nonretail services and for any retail services that it elects to tariff, and the tariffs have been reviewed and accepted by the Division of Communications.

C. A new entrant that elects not to tariff any or all terms, conditions, or rates of its retail local exchange telecommunications service offerings may determine subsequently to submit tariffs to the Division of Communications for any such retail local exchange telecommunications services. Any subsequent filings shall be submitted to the Division of Communications for review and acceptance. A new entrant shall continue offering its retail services on a nontariffed basis until such time as the tariffs are reviewed and accepted by the Division of Communications, and on a tariffed basis thereafter.

D. 1. Unless otherwise allowed by the commission, prices for a new entrant's intrastate access services shall not exceed the highest of the following:

a. The new entrant's comparable interstate switched access charge rates.

b. The aggregate intrastate switched access charge rates of the ILEC in whose service territory the new entrant is providing service. A new entrant may utilize a blended or composite rate to reflect applicable price ceilings of more than one ILEC or to reflect an alternative rate structure to the ILEC.

2. A new entrant may be required to submit supporting documentation to justify its switched access rates, structure, and appropriate functions to the Division of Communications.

3. Unless otherwise ordered by the commission, if an ILEC lowers its switched access charges on its own, such reductions shall not be reflected in applicable price ceilings and a new entrant is not required to adjust its rates in such circumstances.

4. If an ILEC lowers switched access charges pursuant to a commission order, a new entrant shall have 90 days to adjust and implement its switched access rates to correspond to the new applicable price ceiling. Applicable access tariffs shall be filed with the Division of Communications at least 10 days prior to the effective date. The commission may approve an alternative implementation schedule for a new entrant or new entrants to adjust their switched access rates.

E. Any price increase for retail local exchange telecommunications services of new entrants shall become effective after at least 30 days' written notice is provided to affected customers.

1. Written notice to affected customers shall be provided through bill inserts, bill messages, direct mail, or electronic mail or other forms of electronic communications when the customer has requested or authorized electronic bill delivery or other electronic communications.

2. Notice for price increases for a casual user or nonsubscriber service shall be provided through publication once as display advertising in newspapers having general circulation in the areas served by the new entrant. Display advertising shall only be used for notice for casual user or nonsubscriber services unless otherwise authorized by the commission.

F. Tariff changes for local exchange telecommunications services of new entrants shall be implemented as follows:

1. Price increases, in addition to the requirements in subsection E of this section, shall be submitted to the Division of Communications at least seven business days prior to the effective date.

a. A copy of the customer notice, the date or dates of such notification, and proof of publication, if applicable, shall be included with the submission to the Division of Communications.

b. A rate increase, if there are no current customers, shall not require customer notice. The submission to the Division of Communications shall include an attestation by the new entrant that it has no customers.

2. Price decreases shall be submitted to the Division of Communications no later than three days after the effective date.

3. New service tariff offerings shall become effective after at least three business days' submission to the Division of Communications.

4. Administrative or nonprice tariff changes shall become effective after at least three business days' submission to the Division of Communications.

5. A new entrant, subject to prior approval of the Division of Communications, may seek to file price changes in less than the prescribed timeframe stated above.

G. A new entrant may petition the commission for approval of pricing structures or rates that do not conform with access price ceiling requirements in subsection D of this section. The new entrant shall provide appropriate documentation and rationale to support any request. The commission may permit such alternative pricing structures and rates if the public interest will not be harmed.

H. Tariff filings and revisions shall be submitted to the Director of the Division of Communications and shall include an original and two copies.

I. A new entrant may, for a specified period of time, offer promotional rates, terms, or conditions for its local exchange telecommunications services offerings that differ from the rates, terms, or conditions in its tariffs. Promotions may be submitted by letter and become effective after at least three business days' written notice to the Director of the Division of Communications. Upon request from a new entrant, the Division of Communications may grant a shorter effective date for the promotion.

J. A new entrant may offer individual customer pricing for local exchange telecommunications services to a customer that may differ from those in its tariffs in a competitive bid or procurement situation. The new entrant shall retain records of any such agreements and make same available to the Division of Communications upon request.

K. A new entrant may, pursuant to § 56-481.2 of the Code of Virginia, submit for the commission's consideration an alternative regulatory plan or seek other deregulatory treatment or detariffing for nonretail services in the applicant's certification proceeding or at a later date if it desires regulation different from that specified in this section.

L. A new entrant providing local exchange telecommunications services shall not abandon or discontinue such services except as prescribed in 20VAC5-423, Rules Governing the Discontinuance of Local Exchange Telecommunications Services Provided by Competitive Local Exchange Carriers.

M. An MLEC may petition the commission for authority to include a subsidy in any of its local exchange services. The commission may approve such a subsidy if it is deemed to be in the public interest. Any subsidy approved by the commission may not result in a price for the service lower than the price for the same service charged by the ILEC provider in the area.

N. A new entrant requesting authority to expand its geographic service territory not covered by its existing certificate shall file a petition with the commission.

O. A new entrant shall, prior to collecting any customer deposits, establish and maintain an escrow account for such funds, held in a duly chartered state or national bank, savings and loan association, savings bank, or credit union, which is unaffiliated with the applicant. The Division of Communications shall be notified of this arrangement at its inception and of any subsequent change to the arrangement. Any escrow arrangement established pursuant to this requirement shall be maintained until such time as the staff or commission determines it is no longer necessary.

P. The new entrant shall be subject to applicable commission rules and regulations.

Q. The new entrant shall provide interconnection on a nondiscriminatory basis with other local exchange carriers.

Statutory Authority

§ 12.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 19, Issue 17, eff. April 10, 2003; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 04, eff. October 9, 2007; Volume 28, Issue 12, eff. February 1, 2012.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.