RAILROADS AND OTHER PUBLIC UTILITIES
TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1988
62-610F. High-cost support — Administration — Transition. (1) The commission shall establish a universal service fund to enable eligible telecommunications carriers to make universal service widely available to all persons within the state of Idaho at reasonable rates. Eligible telecommunication carriers receiving financial support shall use that support only for the provision, maintenance and upgrading of services and facilities for which the support is intended.
(2) The commission shall initiate a proceeding to determine and adopt the appropriate methodology and mechanisms to collect and distribute financial assistance which are specific, predictable and sufficient in conjunction with federal universal service support mechanisms to preserve and advance universal service within the state of Idaho. Revenue for the fund shall be collected through a uniform universal service fund surcharge as calculated by the commission. The surcharge shall be imposed on end users of all retail telecommunication services originating and terminating within the state of Idaho and collected by the telecommunications carrier providing telecommunication services to such end user. Disbursements from the fund shall be used to defray the costs, as determined by the commission, of providing universal service to customers within a geographic support area. Those costs shall be calculated using a forward-looking cost methodology. When providing disbursements from the fund, the commission shall take such actions as may be necessary to prevent redundant cost recovery by recipients of such funds including the reduction of access charges subject to title 61 or 62, Idaho Code.
(3) The commission shall establish procedures to administer the universal service fund and shall contract with a neutral third party for administration of the fund. The administrator shall perform the duties required by the commission including data gathering, collecting the surcharge revenues, disbursing funds, and notifying the commission of any fund violations.
(4) The commission shall develop procedures and provide for a transition period to begin no earlier than January 1, 2001, for rural telephone companies to replace funding available pursuant to section 62-610, Idaho Code, with the funding mechanism established pursuant to this section for the support of universal service.
[62-610F, added 1998, ch. 37, sec. 7, p. 162; am. 1999, ch. 114, sec. 5, p. 346; am. 2000, ch. 158, sec. 1, p. 400.]