Telecommunications (Science, Technology, Communications, and Infrastructure related)

TopicBill numbersort iconAuthorInterest positionBecame law
An Act to Amend, Repeal, and Add Section 431 Of, and to Add and Repeal Section 319 Of, the Public Utilities Code, and to Amend Section 41020 Of, and to Amend, Repeal, and Add Section 41030 Of, to Add and Repeal Section 41033 Of, and to Add and Repeal Part 21 (Commencing with Section 42001) and Part 21.1 (Commencing with Section 42100) of Division 2 Of, the Revenue and Taxation Code, Relating to Telecommunications, and Declaring the Urgency Thereof, to Take Effect Immediately. AB 1717 (2013-2014) PereaSupportNo
(1)The existing Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge Act generally imposes a surcharge on amounts paid by every person in the state for intrastate telephone service to provide revenues sufficient to… More
(1)The existing Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge Act generally imposes a surcharge on amounts paid by every person in the state for intrastate telephone service to provide revenues sufficient to fund “911” emergency telephone system costs. Amounts are determined annually by the Office of Emergency Services, and upon collection are paid to the State Board of Equalization on a monthly basis by the telephone service supplier and are deposited into the State Treasury to the credit of the State Emergency Telephone Number Account in the General Fund, to be expended for limited purposes, including to pay the Department of General Services for its costs in administration of the “911” emergency telephone number system. Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations, and is authorized to fix just and reasonable rates and charges for services provided by those public utilities. Existing law establishes the Public Utilities Commission Utilities Reimbursement Account and authorizes the commission to annually determine a fee to be paid by every public utility providing service directly to customers or subscribers and subject to the jurisdiction of the commission, except for a railroad corporation. The commission is required to establish the fee, with the approval of the Department of Finance, to produce a total amount equal to that amount established in the authorized commission budget for the same year, and an appropriate reserve to regulate public utilities, less specified sources of funding. Existing law establishes the state’s telecommunications universal service programs and authorizes the commission to impose charges for the purpose of funding those programs. Pursuant to this authority, the commission has established 6 end-user surcharges to fund 6 universal service programs. This bill would enact the Prepaid Mobile Telephony Service Surcharge Collection Act. The bill would establish a prepaid MTS surcharge, as defined, based upon a percentage of the sales price of each retail transaction that occurs in this state for prepaid mobile telephony services, as defined. The prepaid MTS surcharge would include the emergency telephone users surcharge, as defined, and PUC surcharges, as defined. The bill would require a seller, as defined, to collect the prepaid MTS surcharge, as provided, from a prepaid consumer, as defined, and remit the amounts collected to the State Board of Equalization pursuant to the Fee Collection Procedures Law, unless the seller is a direct seller, as defined. The bill would require the board, after deducting its administrative expenses, to deposit the amounts collected for the emergency telephone users surcharge into the Prepaid MTS 911 Account and to deposit the amounts collected for PUC surcharges into the Prepaid MTS PUC Account in the Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Surcharge Fund, which the bill would establish in the State Treasury. If the seller is a direct seller, it would be required to remit the PUC surcharges to the commission, the emergency telephone users surcharge to the board, and the local charges to the local jurisdiction or agency. The bill would require the commission to annually compute for prepaid mobile telephony services the commission’s reimbursement fee and 6 universal service program surcharges, to post notice of those fees and surcharges on its Internet Web site, and to notify the State Board of Equalization and the Office of Emergency Services of the amounts and the computation method used to determine the amounts, which would be adjusted, as specified, and together would be the PUC surcharges. The bill would, beginning with the 2016–17 fiscal year and ending with the 2018–19 fiscal year, require the board to calculate the net amounts collected pursuant to the MTS surcharge for the emergency telephone users surcharge during each fiscal year and to provide notification on its Internet Web site by December 15 following each fiscal year, whether the amount exceeds or is less than $9,900,000. The bill would provide that if for any fiscal year the amount collected is less than $9,900,000, the deficiency is the responsibility, on a pro rata basis, of each prepaid MTS provider based on each provider’s share of total California intrastate prepaid mobile telephony service revenues as reported to the commission. The bill would require the commission to provide the board with information relative to each prepaid MTS provider’s revenue and percentage sales upon request and authorize the board to enforce the obligation of each prepaid MTS provider by serving a notice in a prescribed manner. The bill would require the commission, 30 days prior to adopting any adjustment to a reimbursement fee or universal service surcharge on both postpaid and prepaid intrastate service to prepare a prescribed resolution or other public document proposing the fee or surcharge adjustment and explaining the calculation of the new fee or surcharge, as specified, and would require the commission to make it available to the public and on the commission’s Internet Web site. The Moore Universal Telephone Service Act establishes the Universal Lifeline Telephone Service program in order to provide low-income households with access to affordable basic residential telephone service. Existing decisions of the commission exempt lifeline services from the commission’s reimbursement fee and the 6 end-user surcharges that fund the state’s 6 universal service programs. This bill would exempt the purchase in a retail transaction in this state of prepaid mobile telephony services, either alone or in combination with mobile data or other services, by a consumer from the prepaid MTS surcharge and specified local charges if certain conditions are met, including that the prepaid consumer is certified as eligible for the state lifeline program or federal lifeline program. The bill would require the Office of Emergency Services to annually compute, as specified, the intrastate portion of the 911 surcharge to be collected on prepaid mobile telephony services, to post notice of those charges, and to notify the State Board of Equalization of the amount, which would be the emergency telephone users surcharge. The bill would require the Office of Emergency Services to prepare a prescribed summary of the calculation of the proposed 911 surcharge and make the summary available to the public and on its Internet Web site, as specified. Local charges would be computed pursuant to the Local Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Collection Act, discussed below. (2)Existing law generally provides that the legislative body of any charter city may make and enforce all ordinances and regulations with respect to municipal affairs, as provided, including, but not limited to, a utility user tax in that municipality. Existing law generally provides that the legislative body of a city may levy any tax that may be levied by a charter city. Existing law further provides that the board of supervisors of any county may levy a utility user tax on the consumption of, among other things, telephone service, in the unincorporated area of the county. This bill would, on and after January 1, 2016, suspend the authority of a city, county, or city and county, including any charter city, county, or city and county, to impose a utility user tax on the consumption of prepaid communications service at the rate specified in an ordinance adopted pursuant to existing law, and would instead require the utility user tax rate to be applied during that period under any ordinance to be at specified tiered rates, to be collected and administered as prescribed in the Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Surcharge Collection Act. In addition, the bill would, on or after January 1, 2016, suspend the authority of a city, county, or city and county, including any charter city, county, or city and county, to impose a charge, that applies to prepaid mobile telephony service, on access to communication services or access to local “911” emergency telephone systems, in the city, county, or city and county at the rate as specified in an ordinance adopted pursuant to existing law, and would instead require the charge rate to be applied during that period under any ordinance to be at specified rates, to be collected and administered as prescribed in the Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Surcharge Collection Act. This bill would specify that a change in a utility user tax rate or access charge rate resulting from either the rate limitations or the end of the suspension period is not subject to voter approval under either statute or Article XIII C of the California Constitution. This bill would require these local charges imposed by a city, county, or a city and county be administered and collected by the State Board of Equalization, deposited in the Local Charges for Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Fund, which this bill would create, and transmitted to the city, county, or a city and county, as provided. This bill would allow a consumer to rebut the presumed location of a retail transaction for purposes of the collection of the local charges by filing a claim and declaration under penalty of perjury. By expanding the crime of perjury, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. (3)The bill would repeal these provisions on January 1, 2020. (4)This bill would incorporate additional changes in Section 41030 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, proposed by SB 1211, to be operative only if SB 1211 and this bill are both chaptered and become effective on or before January 1, 2015, and this bill is chaptered last.(5)The Fee Collection Procedures Law makes a violation of any provision of the law, or of certain requirements imposed by the board pursuant to the law, a crime. By expanding the application of the Fee Collection Procedures Law, the violation of which is a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.(6)This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute. Hide
An Act to Add Part 2.7 (Commencing with Section 60) to Division 1 of the Civil Code, Relating to Privacy. SB 242 (2011-2012) CorbettOpposeNo
Existing law requires an operator of a commercial Internet Web site or online service that collects personally identifiable information through the Internet about individual consumers residing in… More
Existing law requires an operator of a commercial Internet Web site or online service that collects personally identifiable information through the Internet about individual consumers residing in California who use or visit its site or online service to conspicuously post its privacy policy on its Internet Web site. Existing law also prescribes various prohibitions with regard to disclosures of personal information related to, among other things, driver’s licenses, social security numbers, and direct marketing. This bill would prohibit a social networking Internet Web site, as defined, from displaying to the public or other registered users any information about a registered user of that Internet Web site, other than the user’s name and city of residence, without the express agreement of the user. The bill would require a social networking Internet Web site to establish a process for new users to set their privacy settings as part of the registration process that explains privacy options in plain language, and to make privacy settings available in an easy-to-use format. The bill would require a social networking Internet Web site to remove the personal identifying information, as defined, of any registered user, and would require removal of that information regarding a user under 18 years of age upon request by the user’s parent, within 96 hours upon his or her request. This bill would impose a civil penalty, not to exceed $10,000, for each willful and knowing violation of these provisions. Hide
An Act to Amend Sections 2889.9 and 2890 of the Public Utilities Code, Relating to Telecommunications. SB 905 (2011-2012) WolkOpposeNo
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations, as defined. Existing law requires a telephone bill to only… More
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations, as defined. Existing law requires a telephone bill to only contain charges for products or services, the purchase of which the subscriber has authorized. Existing law establishes various requirements for billing telephone corporations. Pursuant to these requirements, the commission has adopted rules to specify the responsibilities and procedures that must be followed to address and report cramming-related issues. Cramming occurs when an unauthorized charge is placed on a subscriber’s telephone bill. This bill, except for telephone corporations that either provide service only to business or wholesale customers or offer mobile telephony services through a prepaid or pay-in-advance method, would require that the reporting requirements and standards relative to cramming complaints be uniform for all billing telephone corporations, as defined. The bill would require that the commission annually report to the Legislature, on or before June 1 of each year, on any investigation commenced by the commission’s consumer protection and safety division when the commission receives more than 100 complaints regarding unauthorized telephone charges in any 90-day period as to a person, corporation, or billing agent, as defined. The bill would require the commission to impose a civil penalty and order a billing telephone corporation to cease to provide billing services for a service provider, as defined, or billing agent whenever the incidence of meritorious subscriber complaints of unauthorized billings, as defined, exceeds 5% of the customer accounts that were billed on behalf of a service provider or billing agent. The bill would require a billing telephone corporation to notify its subscribers whenever this 5% meritorious complaint penalty and termination requirement is invoked, identifying the service provider or billing agent with a clear and informative description of the nature of the charges that were unauthorized, and would authorize any subscriber that made or makes a meritorious complaint with respect to that service provider or billing agent, to terminate without financial or other penalty, the remaining term of a service contract with the billing telephone corporation. The bill would require the commission to make certain information relative to cramming available to the public over the Internet and in bill inserts to be included with billings by billing telephone corporations. Under existing law, a violation of the Public Utilities Act or any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime. Because certain provisions of this bill incorporate those criminal provisions of the act with respect to a telephone corporation and because a violation of an order or decision of the commission implementing the bill’s requirements would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program by expanding the definition of a crime. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason. Hide