Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 20. Public Utilities and Telecommunications
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission
1/19/2020

Chapter 407. Rules for Payphone Service and Instruments

20VAC5-407-10. Applicability; definitions.

A. This chapter is promulgated pursuant to the provisions of the Pay Telephone Registration Act (§ 56-508.16 of the Code of Virginia).

B. The provisions in this chapter apply to all payphone service providers (PSPs) and, where applicable, operator service providers (OSPs), and serving local exchange carriers (serving LECs). Payphone instruments located in confinement facilities are excluded from the provisions of this chapter.

C. The following terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Commission" means the State Corporation Commission.

"Interexchange carrier" or "IXC" means a carrier that provides intrastate interexchange long-distance telephone service.

"Operator service provider" or "OSP" means a company that provides or contracts for call completion by either live or automated services.

"Payphone instrument" means a telecommunications device, either coin or coinless, that imposes a charge on a per call or use basis.

"Payphone service" means the provision of coin or coinless telephone service to the public utilizing a payphone service provider's instrument.

"Payphone service provider" or "PSP" means a company or person that provides payphone service to the public in the Commonwealth of Virginia by means of a coin or coinless payphone instrument.

"Serving local exchange carrier" or "serving LEC" means the local exchange carrier to whom the PSP subscribes for access line service.

"User" means the individual initiating a call from a payphone instrument.

"0+ call" means a call made by a user dialing the digit "0" followed by the telephone number.

"0- call" means a call made by a user dialing the digit "0" only.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-508.16 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 9, eff. December 14, 2001.

20VAC5-407-20. General provisions; enforcement; waiver requests.

A. A PSP, OSP, or serving LEC shall provide records, documents, and special reports to the commission as requested in writing by the staff. Any such requests and responses may be submitted via electronic mail or facsimile.

B. A PSP shall provide written responses to data requests from the commission staff regarding payphone services and instruments within 21 calendar days, unless additional time is otherwise provided in the request or agreed upon by the parties.

C. The commission may enforce the provisions of this chapter by any means authorized under applicable law or regulation, and subject to the right of appeal set out in § 12.1-39 of the Code of Virginia and in Article IX Section 4 of the Virginia Constitution. Enforcement actions may include, without limitation, the refusal to issue a registration certificate for which application has been made and the revocation or suspension of a registration certificate previously granted. This chapter shall not be deemed to preclude a person aggrieved by a violation of these regulations from pursuing any civil relief that may be available under state or federal law, including, without limitation, private actions for damages or other equitable relief.

D. A request for a waiver of any of the provisions in this chapter may be considered by the commission on a case-by-case basis and may be granted upon such terms and conditions as the commission may impose.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-508.16 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 9, eff. December 14, 2001.

20VAC5-407-30. Registration, renewal, and cancellation procedures for OSPs.

A. OSPs, excluding those with commission-issued certificates of public convenience and necessity, shall register and pay a registration fee of $25 each year to provide operator services from payphones starting January 16, 2002. Registration forms may be obtained by visiting the commission's website at: http://www.state.va.us/scc/division/puc/index.htm, by calling the Division of Communications, or by making a request in writing to the State Corporation Commission, Division of Communications, P.O. Box 1197, Richmond, Virginia 23218.

B. Upon completion of the registration process, the commission shall issue a registration certificate to the OSP to provide operator services from payphones in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

C. Each OSP shall renew its registration certificate by January 16 of each year. To renew, each OSP shall:

1. Submit to the commission's Public Service Taxation Division a completed renewal form.

2. Pay a nonrefundable renewal fee of $25, payable to the Treasurer of Virginia and mailed to the State Corporation Commission, Public Service Taxation Division, P. O. Box 1197, Richmond, Virginia 23218.

3. In addition to the renewal fee, pay a late filing fee of $10 for all renewals postmarked after January 16 of each year.

D. To cancel its registration certificate with the commission, an OSP shall return its renewal form marked "cancel" or send a letter requesting cancellation of its certificate by January 16 of the year it wishes to cancel its certificate.

E. After March 16 of each year, the commission may issue a Rule to Show Cause ordering any OSP that has not properly registered or canceled its registration certificate to show cause why it should not be penalized for violation of this chapter. In addition, after notice and hearing, if the OSP is found to be in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, a fine of $50, or as determined by the commission, may be imposed on the OSP, and its certificate to provide operator services from payphones in the Commonwealth of Virginia may be canceled.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-508.16 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 9, eff. December 14, 2001.

20VAC5-407-40. Registration, renewal, and cancellation procedures for PSPs.

A. PSPs shall register and pay a registration fee of $4.00 per payphone instrument before providing service to the public. Registration forms may be obtained by visiting the commission's website at: http://www.state.va.us/scc/division/puc/index.htm, by calling the Division of Communications, or by making a request in writing to the State Corporation Commission, Division of Communications, P. O. Box 1197, Richmond, Virginia 23218.

B. Upon completion of the registration process, the commission shall issue a registration certificate to the PSP to provide payphone service in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

C. The commission staff shall send out renewal notices and forms to all registered PSPs by December 16 of each year. Each PSP shall renew its registration certificate by January 16 of each year. To renew, each PSP shall:

1. Submit to the commission's Public Service Taxation Division a completed renewal form and list of payphone instruments owned in Virginia, specifying a telephone number, physical address, the name of the serving LEC, and the OSP for each payphone instrument. The physical address of each payphone instrument shall be confidential unless and until the commission orders otherwise.

2. Pay a nonrefundable renewal fee of $4.00 per payphone instrument, payable to the Treasurer of Virginia and mailed to the State Corporation Commission, Public Service Taxation Division, P. O. Box 1197, Richmond, Virginia 23218.

3. In addition to the renewal fee, pay a late filing fee of $1.00 per payphone, or a minimum of $50, whichever amount is greater, for all renewals postmarked after January 16 of each year.

D. To cancel its registration certificate with the commission, a PSP shall return its renewal form marked "cancel" or send a letter requesting cancellation of its certificate by January 16 of the year it wishes to cancel its certificate.

E. After March 16 of each year, the commission may issue a Rule to Show Cause ordering any PSP that has not properly registered or canceled its registration certificate to show cause why it should not be penalized for violation of this chapter. In addition, after notice and hearing, if the PSP is found to be in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, a fine not to exceed $50 per payphone, or as determined by the commission, for all payphones previously registered may be imposed on the PSP, and the serving LEC may be ordered to disconnect service to the PSP.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-508.16 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 9, eff. December 14, 2001.

20VAC5-407-50. Payphone instrument and service requirements.

A. A payphone instrument shall be equipped for "dial-tone first."

B. Each coin payphone instrument must be connected to an individual access line. When multiple coinless phones are installed in the same physical area, one access line shall not be connected to more than three coinless phones, provided that such access promotes economical and convenient use by the public and retains immediate telephone access to emergency services.

C. A payphone instrument shall receive incoming calls unless it is prominently marked with the words "OUTGOING CALLS ONLY," "NO INCOMING CALLS," or similar language.

D. A payphone instrument shall provide users with free access to the Telecommunications Relay Service system by dialing 711, as prescribed by the commission's final order in Case No. PUC000045.

E. A payphone instrument shall allow users access to the serving LEC operator without charge. Where the access code "0" is reserved for carriers other than the serving LEC operator, access to the serving LEC operator shall be provided through the access code "*0."

F. A payphone instrument shall allow users to reach "800" numbers and other types of toll-free service without having to deposit a coin or make a prepayment.

G. A payphone instrument shall allow users to reach all OSP networks with access service arrangements with the serving LEC through their "950," "800," or "101-XXXX-0" number without having to deposit a coin or make a prepayment.

H. A coin-operated payphone instrument shall accept any combination of nickels, dimes, and quarters for local and long-distance calling charges and return any deposited amount to the user if the call is not completed.

I. PSPs shall have established procedures for making prompt refunds to users. Refunds must be made within 21 calendar days of a valid request to the PSP.

J. PSPs shall be responsible for acquiring and implementing programming information and necessary changes to central office codes and local and extended calling areas no later than 60 days after the effective date of the change.

K. A payphone instrument reported to a PSP as being out of service must be removed or restored to service as quickly as possible. Removing the payphone or restoring service shall not take more than seven calendar days from receipt of the trouble report unless site construction interrupted the service.

1. The serving LEC shall restore 80% of all out-of-service conditions within 24 hours and 100% of all out-of-service conditions within 48 hours from receipt of the trouble report.

2. The 24- and 48- hour restoral standards exclude trouble reports received on Sundays, legal holidays, and during emergency operating conditions.

L. Prior to call completion and before any charges are incurred, each provider of intrastate operator services, whether local or toll, shall:

1. Identify itself audibly and distinctly, whether automated or live, to the user or billed party; and

2. If automated, provide instructions for the user to dial no more than two digits to obtain rate information and, if live, provide rate information upon request; and

3. If rate information is requested pursuant to subdivision 2 of this subsection, disclose within 90 seconds of such request a quote of its rates or charges for the call to the user or billed party; and

4. After providing rate information, permit the user or billed party to terminate the call at no charge before the call is connected.

M. A payphone instrument shall allow access to 911 emergency service, where available, at no charge to the user. If not available, the PSP must post dialing instructions for accessing emergency service or the emergency agency's number.

N. PSPs may charge fees for incoming calls in excess of one minute.

O. Where available from the serving LEC, the access line service rates for PSPs shall be offered:

1. At a rate not to exceed the serving LEC's private branch exchange trunk flat rate; or

2. At optional message business rate, measured business rate, or a special payphone rate, subject to commission approval.

P. Compliance with subsection O of this section is not intended to preclude the serving LEC from complying with any Federal Communications Commission pricing guidelines or mandates.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-508.16 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 9, eff. December 14, 2001.

20VAC5-407-60. Housing card.

A. A payphone housing card shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:

1. Clear operating instructions.

2. The physical address and phone number (area code + seven-digit number) of the payphone instrument. This must be the same physical address that is provided to the serving LEC and used by 911 emergency services.

3. The PSP's certificated name, address, and free contact telephone number (area code + seven-digit number) that can be reached during normal business hours. If the PSP's contact number is posted for refunds and repairs, then posting another contact number for the PSP is not needed.

4. Procedures for repairs, refunds, and billing disputes, including a specific contact number for these types of services that users can reach without charge. Such contact numbers shall reach a live or automated attendant.

5. Instructions on how to contact both local and long-distance directory assistance.

6. Prominent instructions specifying how to reach the serving LEC operator by dialing 0 or *0.

7. Clear and prominent instructions on how payphone users may reach emergency agencies. These instructions shall refer to 911 where that code is in use as a locality's emergency contact number. Where 911 is not used as the local emergency contact number, provide instructions for contacting the emergency agency. The operator must provide prompt, efficient, and accurate emergency service; and if such service is not provided, the commission may require a PSP to route 0 or *0 calls to the serving LEC.

8. Prominent instructions that read "OUTGOING CALLS ONLY," "NO INCOMING CALLS," or similar language, if the payphone instrument does not permit incoming calls.

9. A statement notifying payphone users that the long-distance carrier of their choice can be obtained by following the dialing instructions provided by that carrier.

10. The identity of the OSP, with address and toll-free number, making the charge for any intrastate long distance or local operator assisted call, whether automated or live, not handled by the serving LEC operator.

11. A posted charge for a local call, including a notice of any time limits.

12. A posted notice of any charges for incoming calls on the housing card.

B. Information pertinent only to jurisdictions other than the Commonwealth of Virginia shall not be posted on a payphone instrument in Virginia.

C. If the information on the housing card is determined to be inaccurate or violates any provisions of this chapter, the PSP shall replace its housing card with correct information either during its next scheduled collection of coins or at its next regularly scheduled maintenance visit. In no event shall the housing card contain inaccurate information or violate any provision of this chapter for more than 60 calendar days.

D. Maintenance and coin collection activity shall include the replacement of housing cards that have been vandalized.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-508.16 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 9, eff. December 14, 2001.

20VAC5-407-70. Penalties.

Failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter may result, following proper notice and an opportunity for a hearing, in appropriate action by the commission, which may include, but is not limited to, disconnection of the payphone instruments, additional fines, registration certificate revocation, or any combination of these penalties which in the judgment of the commission is necessary to protect the public interest.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-508.16 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 9, eff. December 14, 2001.

Forms (20VAC5-407)

Application for Registration as an Operator Service Provider (eff. 12/14/01).

Application for Registration as a Payphone Service Provider (eff. 12/14/01).



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