Legislation

Search OpenLegislation Statutes
This entry was published on 2020-06-19
The selection dates indicate all change milestones for the entire volume, not just the location being viewed. Specifying a milestone date will retrieve the most recent version of the location before that date.
SECTION 91
Adequate service; just and reasonable charges; unjust discrimination; unreasonable preference; protection of privacy
Public Service (PBS) CHAPTER 48, ARTICLE 5
§ 91. Adequate service; just and reasonable charges; unjust
discrimination; unreasonable preference; protection of privacy. 1. Every
telegraph corporation and every telephone corporation shall furnish and
provide with respect to its business such instrumentalities and
facilities as shall be adequate and in all respects just and reasonable.
All charges made or demanded by any telegraph corporation or telephone
corporation for any service rendered or to be rendered in connection
therewith shall be just and reasonable and not more than allowed by law
or by order of the commission. Every unjust or unreasonable charge made
or demanded for any such service or in connection therewith or in excess
of that allowed by law or by order of the commission is prohibited and
declared to be unlawful.

2. (a) No telegraph corporation or telephone corporation shall
directly or indirectly or by any special rate, rebate, drawback or other
device or method charge, demand, collect or receive from any person or
corporation a greater or less compensation for any service rendered or
to be rendered with respect to communication by telegraph or telephone
or in connection therewith, except as authorized in this chapter, than
it charges, demands, collects or receives from any other person or
corporation for doing a like and contemporaneous service with respect to
communication by telegraph or telephone under the same or substantially
the same circumstances and conditions.

(b) The local service area within which calls are made on a local
rather than toll basis in a city with a population of one million or
more shall not be changed as a result of the establishment of an
additional area code.

3. No telegraph corporation or telephone corporation shall make or
give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any person,
corporation or locality, or subject any particular person, corporation
or locality to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in
any respect whatsoever.

4. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent any telegraph
corporation or telephone corporation from continuing to furnish the use
of its lines, equipment or service under any contract or contracts in
force at the date this article takes effect or upon the taking effect of
any schedule or schedules of rates subsequently filed with the
commission, as hereinafter provided, at the rate or rates fixed in such
contract or contracts; provided, however, that when any such contract or
contracts are or become terminable by notice, the commission shall have
power, in its discretion, to direct by order that such contract or
contracts shall be terminated by the telegraph corporation or telephone
corporation party thereto, and thereupon such contract or contracts
shall be terminated by such telegraph corporation or telephone
corporation as and when directed by such order.

5. No telegraph corporation or telephone corporation shall sell or
offer for sale any names and/or addresses of any of its customers whose
listings have been omitted from the telephone company's published
directory at the request of the customer.

6. (a) Every local exchange telephone corporation shall include in any
directory of telephone numbers it or an affiliated company publishes for
general distribution an alphabetical list of interexchange carriers with
their federal communications commission assigned identification codes
which may be used by the subscribers listed in such directory to access
any telephone corporation that originates interexchange service in the
local exchange telephone corporation's service area and that agrees to
publication of its access code in such directory.

(b) Each interexchange carrier shall be responsible for providing its
own identification codes, sorted by geographic area serviced by the
individual directories published by each local exchange company or its
affiliate. Further, the identification codes for each directory shall be
delivered to the local exchange carrier or its affiliate in compliance
with the established directory printing closing dates. Those
interexchange carriers wishing to be listed in the directory shall bear
full responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the list of
their identification codes.

(c) Local exchange telephone corporations and their affiliates shall
not be exposed to any greater liability for their failure to include
such carrier identification codes in their directories than is present
in the provisions of filed and approved tariffs dealing with directory
listing errors and omissions.

7. Every telephone corporation, as defined in this chapter shall, at
its option: (a) allow a customer to use a modified or alternative name
for a directory listing or (b) waive the otherwise applicable charges
for a non-published telephone listing, where the customer requests
protection of its identity in connection with the customer's purchase of
telephone service and the customer is a victim of domestic violence, as
defined in section four hundred fifty-nine-a of the social services law,
and for whose benefit any order of protection, other than a temporary
order of protection, has been issued by a court of competent
jurisdiction. This waiver of charges shall be for the duration of the
applicable, non-temporary, order. Any non-published listings provided in
this subdivision shall conform to all the same requirements of other
non-published listings. A customer requesting such an accommodation
shall provide a copy of the order of protection to the applicable
telephone corporation. Any customer requesting an accommodation pursuant
to this subdivision may also request and shall be provided, at no cost
to the customer, a new telephone number within fifteen days from the
request for such accommodation.

8. Every telephone corporation, as defined in this chapter, shall
allow a person who is under contract including, but not limited to, a
multi-year contract or bundle contract with such telephone corporation,
to opt-out of such contract without charge when such person is a victim
of domestic violence and requests to opt-out in writing. Such victim of
domestic violence shall provide to such telephone corporation any of the
following documents, which shall relate to such domestic violence,
within six months of the document's issuance: (a) a valid domestic
violence incident report form, as such term is defined in subdivision
fifteen of section eight hundred thirty-seven of the executive law; (b)
a valid police report; (c) a valid order of protection; (d) a signed
affidavit from a licensed medical or mental health care provider,
employee of a court acting within the scope of his or her employment,
social worker, a rape crisis counselor, as defined in section forty-five
hundred ten of the civil practice law and rules, or advocate acting on
behalf of an agency that assists domestic violence victims. A claim for
opting-out of such contract without charge shall be made in good faith.
Such telephone corporation shall waive the otherwise applicable charges
for such person requesting to opt-out of such contract.

* 9. No telephone corporation shall terminate or disconnect a
residential service customer for the non-payment of an overdue charge
for the duration of the state disaster emergency declared pursuant to
executive order two hundred two of two thousand twenty (hereinafter "the
COVID-19 state of emergency"). Telephone corporations shall have a duty
to restore service, to the extent not already required under this
chapter, at the request of any residential customer within forty-eight
hours if such service has been terminated during the pendency of the
COVID-19 state of emergency and disconnection of such service was due to
non-payment of an overdue charge.

* NB Repealed March 31, 2021

* 10. For a period of one hundred eighty days after the COVID-19 state
of emergency is lifted or expires, no telephone corporation shall
terminate or disconnect the service of a residential customer account
because of defaulted deferred payment agreements or arrears then owed to
the telephone corporation when such customer has experienced a change in
financial circumstances due to the COVID-19 state of emergency, as
defined by the department. The telephone corporation shall provide such
residential customer with the right to enter into, or restructure, a
deferred payment agreement without the requirement of a down payment,
late fees, or penalties.

* NB Repealed March 31, 2021

* 11. Every telephone corporation shall provide notice to residential
customers in a writing to be included with a bill statement or, when
appropriate, via electronic transmission the provisions of this section
and shall further make reasonable efforts to contact customers who have
demonstrated a change in financial circumstances due to the COVID-19
state of emergency for the purpose of offering such customers a deferred
payment agreement consistent with the provisions of this article.

* NB Repealed March 31, 2021

* 12. Implementation of the provisions of this section shall not
prohibit a telephone corporation from recovering lost or deferred
revenues after the lifting or expiration of the COVID-19 state of
emergency, pursuant to such means for recovery as are provided for in
this chapter, and by means not inconsistent with any of the provisions
of this article. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a telephone
corporation from disconnecting service at the request of a customer.
Nothing in this section shall prohibit a telephone corporation from
disconnecting service when it is necessary to protect the health and
safety of customers and the public.

* NB Repealed March 31, 2021