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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 364
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F.S. 364.16
364.16 Local interconnection, unbundling, and resale.
(1) The Legislature finds that the competitive provision of local exchange service requires appropriate continued regulatory oversight of carrier-to-carrier relationships in order to provide for the development of fair and effective competition.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that in resolving disputes, the commission treat all providers of telecommunications services fairly by preventing anticompetitive behavior, including, but not limited to, predatory pricing.
(3) The commission shall, upon request, arbitrate and enforce interconnection agreements pursuant to 47 U.S.C. ss. 251 and 252 and the Federal Communications Commission’s orders and regulations implementing those sections. The commission has the authority to resolve disputes among carriers concerning violations of this chapter and under the authority conferred by federal law to resolve such disputes, including, but not limited to, federal law addressing resale of services, local interconnection, unbundling, number portability, dialing parity, access to rights-of-way, access to poles and conduits, and reciprocal compensation. However, this section does not confer jurisdiction on the commission for services that are exempt from commission jurisdiction under s. 364.011 or s. 364.013. Additionally, a competitive local exchange telecommunications company is entitled to interconnection with a local exchange telecommunications company to transmit and route voice traffic between both the competitive local exchange telecommunications company and the local exchange telecommunications company regardless of the technology by which the voice traffic is originated by and terminated to an end user. The commission shall afford the competitive local exchange telecommunications company all substantive and procedural rights available to such companies regarding interconnection under the law.
(4) A telecommunications company may not knowingly deliver traffic, for which terminating access service charges would otherwise apply, through a local interconnection arrangement without paying the appropriate charges for such terminating access service. Any party having a substantial interest may petition the commission for an investigation of any suspected violation of this subsection. If a telecommunications company knowingly violates this subsection, the commission has jurisdiction to arbitrate bona fide complaints arising from the requirements of this subsection and shall, upon such complaint, have access to all relevant customer records and accounts of any telecommunications company.
(5) The commission shall adopt rules to prevent the unauthorized changing of a subscriber’s telecommunications service. Such rules shall be consistent with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, provide for specific verification methodologies, provide for the notification to subscribers of the ability to freeze the subscriber’s choice of carriers at no charge, allow for a subscriber’s change to be considered valid if verification was performed consistent with commission rules, provide remedies for violations of the rules, and allow for the imposition of other penalties available under this chapter. The commission shall resolve on an expedited basis any complaints of anticompetitive behavior concerning a local preferred carrier freeze. The telecommunications company that is asserting the existence of a local preferred carrier freeze, which is the subject of a complaint, has the burden of proving through competent evidence that the subscriber did in fact request the freeze.
(6) Upon petition, the commission may conduct a limited or expedited proceeding to consider and act upon any matter under this section. The commission shall determine the issues to be considered during such a proceeding and may grant or deny any request to expand the scope of the proceeding to include other matters. The commission shall implement an expedited process to facilitate the quick resolution of disputes between telecommunications companies. The process implemented by the commission shall, to the greatest extent feasible, minimize the time necessary to reach a decision on a dispute. The commission may limit the use of the expedited process based on the number of parties, the number of issues, or the complexity of the issues. For any proceeding conducted pursuant to the expedited process, the commission shall make its determination within 120 days after a petition is filed or a motion is made. The commission shall adopt rules to administer this subsection.
(7) In order to ensure that consumers have access to different local exchange service providers without being disadvantaged, deterred, or inconvenienced by having to give up the consumer’s existing local telephone number, the commission must make sure that all providers of local exchange services have access to local telephone numbering resources and assignments on equitable terms that include a recognition of the scarcity of such resources and that are in accordance with national assignment guidelines.
(8) When requested, each certificated telecommunications company shall provide access to any poles, conduits, rights-of-way, and like facilities that it owns or controls to any local exchange telecommunications company or competitive local exchange telecommunications company pursuant to reasonable rates and conditions mutually agreed to which do not discriminate between similarly situated companies.
History.s. 17, ch. 6525, 1913; RGS 4409; CGL 6373; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 16, 32, ch. 80-36; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 7, ch. 89-163; ss. 20, 48, 49, ch. 90-244; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 14, ch. 95-403; s. 7, ch. 2000-334; s. 11, ch. 2003-32; s. 22, ch. 2011-36.