Requires charges for telephone calls based on duration, whether over lines or by cellular, to be charged and prorated by the second; applies to all service providers; authorizes the public service commission to promulgate rules and regulations.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law, in relation to charges for telephone service on a by the second basis
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Amends subdivision 1 of section 91 of the public service law.
JUSTIFICATION: In this day of computer automated phone systems, there is no identifiable reason why phone companies cannot charge their customers by the second instead of by the minute.
Many smaller long-distance companies already provide this service. However, the biggest long-distance companies do not. A phone call for one minute and ten seconds should be charged as that, and not as two minutes. Phone companies reap huge profits from this billing system and are reluctant to change the way they do business. The consequence of this is that New York phone customers are overcharged every time they make a long-distance call.
This legislation will force these companies to charge by the second, rather than by the minute, here in New York State.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law; provided that the public service commission is authorized to promulgate any and all rules and regulations and take any other measures necessary to implement this act on its effective date on or before such date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2511 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 24, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. GIANARIS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommuni- cations AN ACT to amend the public service law, in relation to charges for tele- phone service on a by the second basis THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 91 of the public service law, as added by chapter 673 of the laws of 1910, is amended to read as follows: 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 reason- able. All charges made or demanded by any telegraph corporation or tele- phone 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 CHARGE FOR TELECOM- MUNICATIONS SERVICE, WHETHER BY MEANS OF A TELEPHONE LINE OR BY MEANS OF CELLULAR RADIO COMMUNICATION, MADE ON THE BASIS OF THE DURATION OF THE COMMUNICATION SHALL BE CHARGED AND PRORATED BY THE SECOND. 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. S 2. The section heading of section 92-c of the public service law, as added by chapter 697 of the laws of 1990, is amended, subdivision 1 is amended by adding a new paragraph (c) and a new subdivision 12 is added to read as follows: Customer service requirements for AGGREGATORS, alternate operator service providers and COCOT service providers. (C) THE TERM "AGGREGATOR" MEANS ANY HOTEL, MOTEL, INNKEEPER, SCHOOL OR HOSPITAL WHICH IS NOT A TELEGRAPH CORPORATION OR TELEPHONE CORPORATION, WHICH, IN THE ORDINARY COURSE OF BUSINESS, MAKES AVAILABLE FOR PUBLICEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD05775-01-1 S. 2511 2
USE TELEPHONES OR TELEPHONE EQUIPMENT. SUCH TERM SHALL ALSO INCLUDE ANY HOTEL, MOTEL, INNKEEPER, SCHOOL OR HOSPITAL WHICH IMPOSES ANY CHARGE OR RECEIVES ANY COMPENSATION BY CONTRACT, TARIFF OR OTHERWISE FOR CALLS MADE FROM A TELEPHONE PROVIDED IN A GUEST ROOM, DORMITORY, HOSPITAL ROOM OR OTHER PREMISES UNDER THE CONTROL OF SUCH ENTITY TO AN ALTERNATE OPER- ATOR SERVICE PROVIDER. THE TERM AGGREGATOR ALSO INCLUDES ANY UNIVERSI- TY, PROVIDED, THAT INCLUSION IN SUCH DEFINITION SHALL IN NO WAY AFFECT THE TAX-EXEMPT OR ANY OTHER STATUS OF ANY SUCH UNIVERSITY UNDER THE EDUCATION LAW, TAX LAW OR NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION LAW, OR ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, RULE OR REGULATION RELATING THERETO. 12. EVERY CHARGE FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE BY AN ALTERNATE OPERA- TOR SERVICE PROVIDER, COCOT SERVICE PROVIDER OR AGGREGATOR, WHETHER BY MEANS OF A TELEPHONE LINE OR BY MEANS OF CELLULAR RADIO COMMUNICATION, MADE ON THE BASIS OF THE DURATION OF THE COMMUNICATION SHALL BE CHARGED AND PRORATED BY THE SECOND. S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law; provided that the public service commission is authorized to promulgate any and all rules and regulations and take any other measures necessary to implement this act on its effective date on or before such date.