☰ Revisor of Missouri

Title XXV INCORPORATION AND REGULATION OF CERTAIN UTILITIES AND CARRIERS

Chapter 392

Effective - 28 Aug 2008 bottom

  392.200.  Adequate service — just and reasonable charges — unjust discrimination — unreasonable preference — reduced rates permitted for federal lifeline connection plan — delivery of telephone and telegraph messages — customer — specific pricing — term agreements, discount rates. — 1.  Every telecommunications company 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 and demanded by any telecommunications company 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 or decision 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 or decision of the commission is prohibited and declared to be unlawful.

  2.  No telecommunications company 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 telecommunications 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 telecommunications under the same or substantially the same circumstances and conditions.  Promotional programs for telecommunications services may be offered by telecommunications companies for periods of time so long as the offer is otherwise consistent with the provisions of this chapter and approved by the commission.  Neither this subsection nor subsection 3 of this section shall be construed to prohibit an economy rate telephone service offering.  This section and section 392.220 to the contrary notwithstanding, the commission is authorized to approve tariffs filed by local exchange telecommunications companies which elect to provide reduced charges for residential telecommunications connection services pursuant to the lifeline connection assistance plan as promulgated by the federal communications commission.  Eligible subscribers for such connection services shall be those as defined by participating local exchange telecommunications company tariffs.

  3.  No telecommunications company 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 except that telecommunications messages may be classified into such classes as are just and reasonable, and different rates may be charged for the different classes of messages.

  4.  (1)  No telecommunications company may define a telecommunications service as a different telecommunications service based on the geographic area or other market segmentation within which such telecommunications service is offered or provided, unless the telecommunications company makes application and files a tariff or tariffs which propose relief from this subsection.  Any such tariff shall be subject to the provisions of sections 392.220 and 392.230 and in any hearing thereon the burden shall be on the telecommunications company to show, by clear and convincing evidence, that the definition of such service based on the geographic area or other market within which such service is offered is reasonably necessary to promote the public interest and the purposes and policies of this chapter.

  (2)  It is the intent of this act to bring the benefits of competition to all customers and to ensure that incumbent and alternative local exchange telecommunications companies have the opportunity to price and market telecommunications services to all prospective customers in any geographic area in which they compete.  To promote the goals of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, for an alternative local exchange telecommunications company or for an incumbent local exchange telecommunications company in any exchange where an incumbent local exchange telecommunications company has been classified competitive under sections 392.245 and 392.361, an alternative local exchange telecommunications company has been certified and is providing basic local telecommunications services or switched exchange access services, or an interconnected voice over internet protocol service provider has been registered and is providing local voice service, the commission shall review and approve or reject, within forty-five days of filing, tariffs for proposed different services as follows:

  (a)  For services proposed on an exchangewide basis, it shall be presumed that a tariff which defines and establishes prices for a local exchange telecommunications service or exchange access service as a different telecommunications service in the geographic area, no smaller than an exchange, within which such local exchange telecommunications service or exchange access service is offered is reasonably necessary to promote the public interest and the purposes and policies of this chapter;

  (b)  For services proposed in a geographic area smaller than an exchange or other market segmentation within which or to whom such telecommunications service is proposed to be offered, a local exchange telecommunications company may petition the commission to define and establish a local exchange telecommunications service or exchange access service as a different local exchange telecommunications service or exchange access service.  The commission shall approve such a proposal unless it finds that such service in a smaller geographic area or such other market segmentation is contrary to the public interest or is contrary to the purposes of this chapter.  Upon approval of such a smaller geographic area or such other market segmentation for a different service for one local exchange telecommunications company, all other local exchange telecommunications companies certified to provide service in that exchange may file a tariff to use such smaller geographic area or such other market segmentation to provide that service;

  (c)  For proposed different services described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subdivision, the local exchange telecommunications company which files a tariff to provide such service shall provide the service to all similarly situated customers, upon request in accordance with that company's approved tariff, in the exchange or geographic area smaller than an exchange or such other market segmentation for which the tariff was filed, and no price proposed for such service by an incumbent local exchange telecommunications company, other than for a competitive service, shall be lower than its long-run incremental cost, as defined in section 386.020.

  (3)  The commission, on its own motion or upon motion of the public counsel, may by order, after notice and hearing, define a telecommunications service offered or provided by a telecommunications company as a different telecommunications service dependent upon the geographic area or other market within which such telecommunications service is offered or provided and apply different service classifications to such service only upon a finding, based on clear and convincing evidence, that such different treatment is reasonably necessary to promote the public interest and the purposes and policies of this chapter.

  5.  No telecommunications company may charge a different price per minute or other unit of measure for the same, substitutable, or equivalent interexchange telecommunications service provided over the same or equivalent distance between two points without filing a tariff for the offer or provision of such service pursuant to sections 392.220 and 392.230.  In any proceeding under sections 392.220 and 392.230 wherein a telecommunications company seeks to charge a different price per minute or other unit of measure for the same, substitutable, or equivalent interexchange service, the burden shall be on the subject telecommunications company to show that such charges are in the public interest and consistent with the provisions and purposes of this chapter.  The commission may modify or prohibit such charges if the subject telecommunications company fails to show that such charges are in the public interest and consistent with the provisions and purposes of this chapter.  This subsection shall not apply to reasonable price discounts based on the volume of service provided, so long as such discounts are nondiscriminatory and offered under the same rates, terms, and conditions throughout a telecommunications company's certificated or service area.

  6.  Every telecommunications company operating in this state shall receive, transmit and deliver, without discrimination or delay, the conversations and messages of every other telecommunications company with whose facilities a connection may have been made.

  7.  The commission shall have power to provide the limits within which telecommunications messages shall be delivered without extra charge.

  8.  Customer-specific pricing is authorized on an equal basis for incumbent and alternative local exchange companies, and for interexchange telecommunications companies for:

  (1)  Dedicated, nonswitched, private line and special access services;

  (2)  Central office-based switching systems which substitute for customer premise, private branch exchange (PBX) services; and

  (3)  Any business service offered in an exchange in which basic local telecommunications service offered by the incumbent local exchange telecommunications company has been declared competitive under section 392.245, and any retail business service offered to an end-user in a noncompetitive exchange.

  9.  This act shall not be construed to prohibit the commission, upon determining that it is in the public interest, from altering local exchange boundaries, provided that the incumbent local exchange telecommunications company or companies serving each exchange for which the boundaries are altered provide notice to the commission that the companies approve the alteration of exchange boundaries.

  10.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, every telecommunications company is authorized to offer term agreements of up to five years on any of its telecommunications services.

  11.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, every telecommunications company is authorized to offer discounted rates or special promotions on any of its telecommunications services to any existing, new, and/or former customers.

  12.  Packages of services may be offered on an equal basis by incumbent and alternative local exchange companies and shall not be subject to regulation under section 392.240 or 392.245, nor shall packages of services be subject to the provisions of subsections 1 through 5 of this section, provided that each telecommunications service included in a package is available apart from the package of services and still subject to regulation under section 392.240 or 392.245. For the purposes of this subsection, a "package of services" includes more than one telecommunications service or one or more telecommunications service combined with one or more nontelecommunications service.  Any tariff to introduce a new package or to make any change to an existing package, except for the elimination of a package, shall be filed, on an informational basis, with the commission at least one day prior to the introduction of such new package or implementation of such change.  Any tariff to eliminate an existing package shall be filed, on an informational basis, with the commission at least ten days prior to the elimination of the package.

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(RSMo 1939 § 5664, A.L. 1987 H.B. 360, A.L. 1988 H.B. 1670, A.L. 1996 S.B. 507, A.L. 2003 H.B. 208, A.L. 2005 S.B. 237, A.L. 2008 H.B. 1779)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 5208; 1919 § 10496

CROSS REFERENCES:

Cities of the third class, 77.490

Regulation and supervision by public service commission, 386.320

(1963) Finding by Public Service Commission that telephone company's refusal to accept television service corporation's advertising in telephone directory as submitted because it implied that corporation was rendering free service was not unreasonable or unlawful discrimination was supported by substantial evidence.  Videon Corp. v. Burton (A.), 369 S.W.2d 264.

(1976) Held, statute of limitations begins to run when public service commission determined that rate charged was improper, not when improper charges were made.  DePaul Hospital v. Southwestern Bell Telephone (A.), 539 S.W.2d 542.


---- end of effective   28 Aug 2008 ----

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