Telecommunications Utility Regulation
Joint rates and classifications
(1)A telecommunications utility may establish reasonable through service and joint rates and classifications with other telecommunications utilities. Telecommunications utilities establishing joint rates shall establish just and reasonable regulations and practices in connection therewith and just, reasonable and equitable divisions thereof, as between the public utilities participating therein which shall not unduly prefer or prejudice any of the participating telecommunications utilities and every unjust and unreasonable rate, classification, regulation, practice and division is prohibited.
(2)The Public Utility Commission may, and shall, whenever deemed by the commission to be necessary or desirable in the public interest, after full hearing upon complaint, or upon the commission’s own initiative without complaint, establish through service, classifications and joint rates, the divisions of such rates and the terms and conditions under which such through service shall be rendered. If any tariff or schedule canceling any through service or joint rate or classification without the consent of all the telecommunications utilities party thereto, or authorization by the commission is suspended by the commission for investigation, the burden of proof is upon the telecommunications utility proposing such cancellation to show that it is consistent with the public interest.
(3)Whenever, after full hearing upon complaint or upon the commission’s own initiative without complaint, the commission is of the opinion that the divisions of joint rates between the telecommunications utilities are or will be unjust, unreasonable, inequitable or unduly preferential or prejudicial as between the telecommunications utilities party thereto, whether agreed upon by such telecommunications utilities or otherwise established, the commission shall, by order, prescribe the just, reasonable and equitable divisions thereof to be received by the several telecommunications utilities. In cases where the joint rate was established pursuant to the finding or order of the commission and the divisions thereto are found by the commission to have been unjust, unreasonable or inequitable, or unduly preferential or prejudicial, the commission may also by order determine what, for the period subsequent to the filing of the complaint or petition or the making of the order of investigation, would have been the just, reasonable and equitable division thereof to be received by the several telecommunications utilities and require adjustment to be made in accordance therewith.
(4)In so prescribing and determining the divisions of joint rates, the commission shall give due consideration, among other things, to:
(a)The efficiency with which the telecommunications utilities concerned are operated;
(b)The amount of revenue to pay their respective operating expenses, taxes and a fair return on their telecommunications utility property held for and used in service;
(c)The importance to the public of the services of such telecommunications utilities;
(d)Whether any particular participating telecommunications utility is an originating, intermediate or delivering utility; and
(e)Any other fact or circumstance which ordinarily would entitle one telecommunications utility to a greater or less proportion of the joint rate than another. [1987 c.447 §19]
Notes of Decisions
Public Utility Commission authority to regulate “terms and conditions” of through service includes authority to require financial disclosures for purpose of ensuring reasonableness of cooperative access charges. Beaver Creek Cooperative Telephone Co. v. Public Utility Commission, 162 Or App 258, 986 P2d 592 (1999), Sup Ct review denied