Telecom Update: Senate Bill 83 Goes into Effect November 27, 2019.

On August 29, 2019, Governor Michael Dunleavy signed Senate Bill 83, which repeals a number of statutes relating to telecommunications companies that provide local landline and intrastate long distance services.  The new law eliminates: 1) the need for phone companies to request approval from the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) to change their rates, terms, and conditions; 2) the need for phone companies to file tariffs and annual reports; and 3) the ability for the RCA to designate a Carrier of Last Resort. The new law also requires the phone companies to offer uniform rates, terms, and conditions, within the service areas in which the companies serve. 

The RCA will continue to have oversight on: 

  • Certification requirements (AS 42.05.221-.281).  A certificated phone company may not modify or abandon a service area without RCA approval. 

  • Alaska Universal Service Fund.  See changes adopted in R-18-001.

  • Telecommunications Relay Services (3 AAC 51) for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Speech Impaired. 

  • Rates, terms, and conditions of inmate calls.  The Alaska Department of Corrections contracts with Securus Technologies, Inc., which holds two certificates of public convenience and necessity (certificate) issued by the RCA namely:  Certificate No. 461 for the provision of intrastate interexchange service and Certificate No. 758 for the provision of local inmate calling private pay telephone services.

  • Designation of Eligible Telecommunications Carrier.  Under 3 AAC 53.400, the RCA will continue to have an active role in determining which companies can access federal support provided for telecommunications.

Consumers who are unable to resolve their disputes with the phone companies may file an informal complaint to  the RCA Consumer Protection and Information Section. 

Telecom Regulations and Exemptions.pdf
Date Issued: 9/23/2019