Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/27/1993 02:55 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  SENATOR   KELLY   announced   HB  54   (TELEPHONE   CONSUMER                 
  to be up for consideration.                                                  
  REPRESENTATIVE KAY BROWN said there was  a need to pass this                 
  legislation  so  that  the  caller  I.D.  service  could  be                 
  provided without charge  to the  customer for both  blocking                 
  the  line on a per  call and per  line basis.   She said the                 
  bill was  requested by the  people in the  domestic violence                 
  community.    It   is  also  of  concern   to  doctors,  law                 
  enforcement,  and  other  professionals,   who  for  various                 
  reasons, may not want their number divulged.                                 
  REPRESENTATIVE  BROWN said this is  mainly a service for the                 
  use of telemarketing.  She  thinks it reasonable that people                 
  who  don't  want  to  participate  can  have  their  privacy                 
  protected  without having  to pay extra  for not  having the                 
  TOM ROY, Executive  Director, Alaska Telephone  Association,                 
  said that the telephone industry stands in the  forefront of                 
  privacy  protection.  He said they wouldn't allow any entity                 
  to suffer unduly from any service they provide them.                         
  TAPE 93-30, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 580                                                                   
  He asked if every new service or feature would be subject to                 
  legislative  treatment  the  way this  one  has,  before the                 
  telephone industry can even propose delivery.  He  said they                 
  also have to answer to the APUC.                                             
  MR.  ROY said  a recent  survey conducted  by the  Anchorage                 
  Telephone Utilities  said 80.3  percent  of their  customers                 
  believed they had the right to  view the telephone number of                 
  the caller before answering the phone.                                       
  If this bill does move forward, the telephone utilities have                 
  no problem  with blocking on  a per call  basis or per  line                 
  blocking.  They asked, however, to insert the word "initial"                 
  after the "without" on line 7.  He explained that experience                 
  in other states has taught them that people move  in and out                 
  of line  blocking  and there  is an  administrative cost  to                 
  allowing frequent movement  which they would like  to charge                 
  for.    They would  like to  be  able to  charge  a standard                 
  service  fee for  line blocking  the second  and third  time                 
  Number 532                                                                   
  SENATOR SALO asked if they couldn't  charge a fee for opting                 
  back into the service after you had opted out.  MR. ROY said                 
  they would like  to charge  for the second  and third  times                 
  SENATOR RIEGER asked  why there is  so much movement in  and                 
  out of  line blocking.  MR.  ROY said people who  have their                 
  lines blocked  don't  realize how  much  trouble it  is  and                 
  change their minds.                                                          
  SENATOR  LINCOLN asked how  blocking was reversed.   MR. ROY                 
  explained a  technician would  have  to go  to the  "central                 
  office" and reprogram that  number.  It would take  about 20                 
  SENATOR SHARP asked if he  knew of any other place  that had                 
  statutory regulation of service offered by a utility instead                 
  of going to the  APUC.  MR. ROY said he  didn't know of any,                 
  although  there probably  was.   He added  that before  they                 
  offer caller  I.D.,  they have  to  go through  a  tariffing                 
  process that will last  at least 90 days.  If  the APUC does                 
  their job well,  they will have to prove every facet of that                 
  tariff.  The public has ample opportunity during those times                 
  to have all the input they want.                                             
  SENATOR SALO asked if people could  testify to the APUC that                 
  Alaska doesn't want the service at all.  He answered yes.                    
  SENATOR SALO asked what the charge was going to be.  MR. ROY                 
  said it would be an average of  $4.50 per month to $6.95 per                 
  Number 392                                                                   
  CINDY SMITH, Alaska  Network on  Domestic Violence &  Sexual                 
  Assault, said  that  13  states offer  free  per  line  call                 
  blocking.  About  five states have regulated  by statute the                 
  introduction of caller I.D. primarily  because it is such  a                 
  major change in the  type of service that  you get from  the                 
  phone company  and the privacy  issues that result  from it.                 
  She said the market is very small for this service and seems                 
  to be commercial.                                                            
  The Alaska  Network on  Domestic Violence  & Sexual  Assault                 
  relies very  heavily on  volunteers and  phone contact  with                 
  victims.   They would need to  be able to block their number                 
  so as  not to endanger a client.   They support the bill and                 
  think  it  is real  important for  the  safety of  women and                 
  SENATOR SALO said that people should not have to pay for not                 
  having a service.                                                            
  SENATOR SHARP  said he  thought the  APUC should handle  the                 
  whole issue.   He is  against statutory regulations  for any                 
  SENATOR RIEGER said  he didn't see  how the bill would  hurt                 
  SENATOR  LINCOLN   said  she  supported  the   bill  without                 
  "initial" in it.                                                             
  Number 292                                                                   
  SENATOR SHARP asked if the APUC has this scheduled.  MR. ROY                 
  said the APUC is  accepting comments on it, but that  is all                 
  they have done.                                                              
  SENATOR KELLY  said he wanted assurance  from Representative                 
  Brown that she wouldn't allow this to turn into a phone wars                 
  bill before going further with it.                                           

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