Legislature(2013 - 2014)BARNES 124

04/06/2013 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 196 SCHOOL DISTRICT EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 169 RCA REGULATION OF TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 169(L&C) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         HB 169-RCA REGULATION OF TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:09:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON announced that the final order of business would be                                                                 
HOUSE BILL  NO. 169,  "An Act  relating to  the authority  of the                                                               
Regulatory Commission  of Alaska  to regulate the  production and                                                               
distribution of telephone directories."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:09:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNA  LATHAM,  Staff,  Representative Kurt  Olson,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, stated  HB 169 would  eliminate the  requirement for                                                               
regulation  and  production  of   telephone  directories  by  the                                                               
Regulatory  Commission of  Alaska (RCA).   Currently,  the Alaska                                                               
Administrative  Code  (AAC) requires  the  RCA  oversight on  the                                                               
production  and  distribution of  white  page  directories.   She                                                               
specified that this bill only applies  to the white pages and not                                                               
to the yellow page directories.   With the widespread use of cell                                                               
phones,  people now  create their  own  directories with  address                                                               
books  on their  phones and  other mobile  devices and  no longer                                                               
rely  on white  page directories.    According to  a 2008  Gallup                                                               
survey, only  11 percent  of households across  the U.S.  rely on                                                               
white  page  directories.   These  directories  are  increasingly                                                               
incomplete  since they  are cyclical,  distributed only  once per                                                               
year, and do not include mobile listings.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LATHAM said  according  to the  National  Center for  Health                                                               
Statistics, in 2009, one of every  four households did not have a                                                               
land line and  relied completely on cell service.   She explained                                                               
that  many customers  with land  lines request  their numbers  be                                                               
unlisted,  and  therefore,  the phone  numbers  are  unpublished;                                                               
sometimes  [the   amount  of  unpublished  numbers]   reaches  40                                                               
percent.     Consumers  have  expressed  strong   opinions  about                                                               
receiving  printed  directories  and  often return  them.    Many                                                               
consumers  express  concern  over environmental  implications  of                                                               
distributing paper  directories, which are  immediately recycled.                                                               
Finally, many places throughout the  state do not offer recycling                                                               
and these directories go directly to  landfills.  In an effort to                                                               
modernize Alaska's  regulatory requirements,  HB 169  would allow                                                               
telecommunication providers to directly meet  the wants and needs                                                               
of their customers.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:12:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RENIBLD moved  to  adopt  the proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS) for HB 169,  labeled 28-LS0593\U, Nauman, 4/5/13,                                                               
as the working document.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
[CHAIR  OLSON  treated it  as  though  he  had objected  for  the                                                               
purpose of discussion.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LATHAM explained  that  the  proposed committee  substitute,                                                               
Version  U,  eliminates  [subsection  c]  and  thus  deletes  the                                                               
definition  for   "competitive  local  exchange  market".     The                                                               
rationale  was to  streamline the  legislation and  eliminate the                                                               
possibility of phone wars.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:13:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  said he uses  the white pages.   He asked                                                               
if the RCA  requires a telephone service provider  to issue white                                                               
pages.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. LATHAM answered that  all telecommunications providers within                                                               
the  state  are  required  to distribute  and  produce  telephone                                                               
directories.   In further  response, she  agreed this  bill would                                                               
make it optional.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  asked whether any white  page directories                                                               
will be distributed once it becomes optional.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. LATHAM recalled 16 states  plus the District of Columbia have                                                               
adopted  similar legislation,  but  all  have optional  programs.                                                               
Each state  offers options  to address the  lack of  a directory.                                                               
She  recalled Ohio  has  a call  center  and California  requires                                                               
every phone bill  must include the phone number  for customers to                                                               
request a phone directory.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON  removed his  objection.    There being  no  further                                                               
objection, Version U was before the committee.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:14:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LEONARD  STEINBERG, Senior  Vice  President,  Legal Regulatory  &                                                               
Government Affairs,  Alaska Communications, stated that  he would                                                               
like to testify in support of  HB 169, which he said will correct                                                               
an  ambiguity in  the law.   The  Alaska Public  Utility Act,  AS                                                               
42.05, specifically describes the  boundaries of RCA's authority.                                                               
With  respect   to  telecommunications,  the   statute  precisely                                                               
defines  the  technical characteristics  of  the  services to  be                                                               
regulated.   He said  the RCA's jurisdiction  does not  extend to                                                               
the  production  and distribution  of  telephone  books, yet  for                                                               
years local  exchange telephone companies  have been  required by                                                               
the  RCA  to  produce  printed copies  of  white  page  telephone                                                               
directories.   This  bill would  provide needed  clarification by                                                               
removing  this issue  from the  RCA's purview.   Telephone  books                                                               
lack the  usefulness they  once had and  are largely  unwanted by                                                               
customers.    In  fact,  telephone  directories  do  not  include                                                               
wireless  numbers, or  those used  by Skype,  Face Time  or other                                                               
voice-over-Internet  providers.    Numerous land  line  customers                                                               
have requested  their numbers be  unlisted and as  more customers                                                               
use personal, digital,  and Internet-based directories, customers                                                               
have   become  increasingly   upset   about  receiving   unwanted                                                               
telephone  directories.   The RCA  recently  granted partial  and                                                               
temporary  relief from  the  mandatory  regulations, allowing  an                                                               
opt-in for  subscribers to request continued  deliveries of white                                                               
pages,  but  the results  in  Anchorage  are  very telling.    Of                                                               
120,000 subscribers less than  5,000 requested continued delivery                                                               
of the book from the prior cycle.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:17:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. STEINBERG said while the  RCA has granted limited relief, the                                                               
need  for  subsequent  rulemaking  means  the  final  outcome  is                                                               
uncertain  and  will  take  at   least  four  to  five  years  of                                                               
regulatory  oversight   and  proceedings   to  determine.     The                                                               
additional proceedings  would create unnecessary work  for Alaska                                                               
Communications  Systems (ACS)  and  similarly situated  companies                                                               
and  for  the RCA,  particularly  in  light of  the  questionable                                                               
authority to  regulate telephone  directories.  The  ACS strongly                                                               
believes AS 42.05.145 never contemplated  the regulation of phone                                                               
books and  urges the legislature  to act  now to make  that clear                                                               
and  to ensure  that white-page  directories are  not subject  to                                                               
further regulatory oversight.  He  said ACS supports the proposed                                                               
committee substitute for HB 169, Version U.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARK  MODERO, General  Communication  Incorporated (GCI),  stated                                                               
that GCI supports Version U.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON,  after first  determining  no  one else  wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 169.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:19:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE REINBOLD  moved to  report the  proposed committee                                                               
substitute,  (CS)  for  HB   169,  labeled  28-LS0593\U,  Nauman,                                                               
4/5/13, out of committee with  individual recommendations and the                                                               
accompanying   fiscal  notes.      There   being  no   objection,                                                               
CSHB 169(L&C)  was reported  from  the House  Labor and  Commerce                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB196 ver A.PDF HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 196
HB196 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 196
HB196 Sectional Analysis.PDF HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 196
HB196 Fiscal Note-EED-K12-4-4-13.pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 196
HB196 Supporting Documents-2011-2012 AASB Classified Employee Survey.pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 196
HB196 Supporting Documents-2011-2012 AASB Teacher Survey.pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 196
HB196 Supporting Documents-FY12 Health Costs Data - ALASBO 03-2013.pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 196
HB196 Supporting Documents-Health Cost Containment and Efficiencies - NCSL 6-2010.pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 196
HB196 Supporting Documents-Letter Cordova School District 4-5-2013.pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 196
HB196 Supporting Documents-School District Employee Numbers AASB 04-03-2013.pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 196
SB 4
HB196 Supporting Documents-State Employees Pooled with School and Local Government - NCSL 04-04-2013.pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 196
HB196 Supporting Documents-Table of School Employee Insurance Benefits AASB 2011-2012.pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 196
SB2011
HB196 Supporting Documents-2011 State Employee Health Benefits - NCSL 9-2011.pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 196
HB196 Supporting Documents-2011-2012 AASB Administrator Survey.pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 196
HB169 ver A.pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 169
HB169 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 169
HB169 Fiscal Note-DCCED-RCA-03-29-13.pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 169
HB169 Draft Proposed CS ver U.PDF HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 169
HB196 Fiscal Note-DOA-HPA-4-05-13 (1).pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 196
HB196 Fiscal Note-DOA-DRB-4-05-13.pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 196
HB196 Fiscal Note-DOA-HPA-4-05-13.pdf HL&C 4/6/2013 3:15:00 PM
HB 196