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This entry was published on 2014-12-26
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SECTION 92
Rate schedules
Public Service (PBS) CHAPTER 48, ARTICLE 5
§ 92. Rate schedules. 1. Every telegraph corporation and every
telephone corporation shall print and file with the commission schedules
showing all rates, rentals and charges for service of each and every
kind by or over its line between points in this state and between each
point upon its line and all points upon every line leased or operated by
it and between each point upon its line or upon any line leased or
operated by it and all points upon the line of any other telegraph or
telephone corporation whenever a through service or joint rate shall
have been established between any two points. If no joint rate over a
through line has been established the several corporations in such
through line shall file with the commission the separately established
rates and charges applicable where through service is afforded. Such
schedule shall plainly state the places between which telephone or
telegraph service, or both, will be rendered and shall also state
separately all charges and all privileges or facilities granted or
allowed and any rules or regulations or forms of contract which may in
any wise change, affect or determine any or the aggregate of the rates,
rentals or charges for the service rendered. Such schedule shall be
plainly printed and kept open to public inspection. The commission shall
have the power to prescribe the form of every such schedule and may from
time to time prescribe, by order, changes in the form thereof. The
commission shall also have power to establish rules and regulations for
keeping such schedules open to public inspection and may from time to
time modify the same. Every telegraph corporation and telephone
corporation shall file with the commission as and when required by it a
copy of any contract, agreement or arrangement in writing with any other
telegraph corporation or telephone corporation or with any other
corporation, association or person relating in any way to the
construction, maintenance or use of a telegraph line or telephone line
or service by or rates and charges over or upon any such telegraph line
or telephone line.

2. (a) No change shall be made in any rate, charge or rental, or joint
rate, charge or rental applicable to regulated basic services, switched
carrier access services, charges for interconnection between local
exchange carriers, and toll services within a local access and transport
area which shall have been filed by a telegraph corporation or telephone
corporation hereinafter in this subdivision called a utility in
compliance with this chapter, except after thirty days' notice to the
commission and to each county, city, town and village served by such
utility which had filed with such utility within the prior twelve months
a request for such notice and shall be affected by such change and
publication of a notice to the public of such proposed change once in
each week for four successive weeks in a newspaper having general
circulation in each county containing territory affected by the proposed
change. No other change shall be made in any rate, charge or rental, or
joint rate, charge or rental filed by a utility, except after ten
business days' notice to the commission and publication of one notice at
least ten business days prior to the effective date of the change in a
newspaper of general circulation in each county affected by the proposed
change. Such notices shall plainly state the changes proposed and the
time when they go into effect. For the purpose of this paragraph,
"regulated basic services" are defined as: residential, individual
business, and public access line network access, connection charges for
such network access, local usage, local coin usage rates, tone dialing,
access to emergency services, statewide relay services, operator
assistance services, director listings, and provisions that affect
privacy protections.

(b) All proposed changes shall be shown by filing new schedules or
shall be plainly indicated upon the schedules filed and in force at the
time and kept open to public inspection. The commission, for good cause
shown, may, except in the case of major changes, allow changes in rates,
charges or rentals to take effect prior to the end of such thirty-day
period or such ten-day period and without publication of notice to the
public under such conditions as it may prescribe. All such changes shall
be immediately indicated upon its schedules by such utility. The
commission may delegate to the secretary of the commission its authority
to approve a change to a schedule postponing the effective date of such
schedule previously filed with the commission and for good cause shown
to allow the postponement to take effect prior to the end of such
thirty-day period or ten-day period and without publication of notice to
the public.

(c) For the purpose of this subdivision, "major changes" shall mean an
increase in rates, charges and rentals which would increase the
aggregate revenues of the applicant more than the greater of five
hundred thousand dollars or two and one-half percent, but shall not
include changes in rates, charges or rentals allowed to go into effect
by the commission or made by the utility pursuant to an order of the
commission after hearings held upon notice to the public. If an increase
in rates, charges and rentals would increase the aggregate revenues of
the applicant by less than five hundred thousand dollars, the commission
may hold a hearing pursuant to paragraph (e) of this subdivision and/or
provide a statement pursuant to subdivision four of this section.

(d) No utility shall charge, demand, collect or receive a different
compensation for any service rendered or to be rendered than the charge
applicable as specified in its schedule on file and in effect. Nor shall
any utility refund or remit directly or indirectly any portion of the
rate or charge so specified, nor extend to any person any form of
contract or agreement, or any rule or regulation, or any privilege or
facility, except such as are specified in its schedule filed and in
effect and regularly and uniformly extended to all persons under like
circumstances for the like or substantially similar service.

(e) Whenever there shall be filed with the commission by any utility,
any schedule stating a new rate or charge, or any change in any form of
contract or agreement or any rule or regulation relating to any rate,
charge or service, or in any general privilege or facility, the
commission may at any time within sixty days from the date when such
schedule would or has become effective, either upon complaint or upon
its own initiative, and, if it so orders, without answer or other formal
pleading by the utility, but upon reasonable notice, hold a hearing
concerning the propriety of a change proposed by the filing. If such
change is a major change the commission shall hold such a hearing.
Pending such hearing and decision thereon, the commission, upon filing
with such schedule and delivering to the utility, a statement in writing
of its reasons therefor, may suspend the operation of such schedule, but
not for a longer period than one hundred and twenty days beyond the time
when it would otherwise go into effect. After full hearing, whether
completed before or after it goes into effect, the commission may make
such order in reference thereto as would be proper in a proceeding begun
after the rate, charge, form of contract or agreement, rule, regulation,
service, general privilege or facility has become effective.. If such
hearing cannot be concluded within the period of suspension as above
stated, the commission may extend the suspension for a further period,
not exceeding six months. The commission may, as authorized by section
ninety-seven of this article, establish temporary rates, charges or
rentals, for any period of suspension under this section.

(f) At any hearing involving a change or a proposed change of rates,
the burden of proof to show that the change or proposed change if
proposed by the utility, or that the existing rate, if it is proposed to
reduce the rate, is just and reasonable shall be upon the utility; and
the commission may give to the hearing and decision of such questions
preference over all other questions pending before it.

(g) During the suspension by the commission as above provided, the
schedule, rates, charges, form of contract or agreement, rule,
regulation, service, general privilege or facility in force when the
suspended schedule, rate, charge, form of contract, rule, regulation,
service, general privilege or facility was filed shall continue in force
unless the commission shall establish a temporary rate.

3. No telegraph corporation or telephone corporation subject to the
provisions of this chapter shall, directly or indirectly, give any free
or reduced service, or any free pass or frank for the transmission of
messages by either telephone or telegraph between points within this
state, except to its officers, employees, agents, pensioners, surgeons,
physicians, attorneys-at-law and their families; to persons or
corporations exclusively engaged in charitable and eleemosynary work and
ministers of religions; to officers and employees of other telegraph
corporations and telephone corporations, railroad corporations and
street railroad corporations. But this subdivision shall not apply to
state, municipal or federal contracts.

3-a. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision three of this
section, the division of military and naval affairs, in cooperation with
the office of general services, shall negotiate with a telephone
corporation or telephone corporations for the provision of telephone
service at bulk rates to residents of this state in military service, as
defined in section three hundred one of the military law, and their
families, which shall include spouses, domestic partners, children, and
parents and such others as meet criteria established by the division.

4. The commission shall require each telephone corporation providing
local exchange service in the state to provide with any application for
a major rate change, as defined in subdivision two of this section, a
statement of the effect the proposed rate change is expected to have on
the goal of universal service to residential customers. The commission
may require such a statement with respect to any other application for a
rate change and shall specifically consider any such statement in its
rate determination.

5. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision three of this
section, the commission may authorize a telephone corporation to offer
free or reduced basic service for a limited period of time to introduce
a present or potential customer to a service not previously received by
the customer.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions one and three of
this section, a telephone corporation may offer free or reduced services
other than basic services for a period of time to be determined by the
telephone corporation to a new customer or to an existing customer for
the purpose of inducing the customer to maintain such services.

6. The commission shall provide that any net decrease in a telephone
corporation's real property tax expense resulting from the provisions of
a chapter of the laws of nineteen hundred eighty-seven phasing out the
taxation of certain property subject to such tax shall inure to the
benefit of the ratepayers of such corporation.

7. The commission shall provide that any net decrease in a telephone
company's real property tax expense resulting from the provisions of the
chapter of the laws of nineteen hundred ninety-five which added this
subdivision shall inure to the benefit of the ratepayers of such
company.