BEFORE THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF WISCONSIN

Revision of Administrative Rules to
Establish Privacy Guidelines Applicable 1-AC-138
to Telecommunications Services

REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE

Need for Rules

In 1993 Wisconsin Act 268, the legislature directed the commission to promulgate a rule establishing privacy guidelines applicable to telecommunications utilities. In 1993 Wisconsin Act 496, the legislature amended its directions regarding this rule and directed the Commission to appoint a telecommunications privacy council to advise it regarding the administration of s. 196.209, Stats., and the rule adopted pursuant thereto.

The rules adopted by the commission in this docket are intended to satisfy the statutory requirement for a rule, set forth in s. 196.209, Stats. The rules adopted by the commission in this docket will also create a uniform minimum standard for telecommunications utilities regarding maintenance and use of customer records.

Modifications after Hearing

A public hearing on the proposed rules was held in Madison, on June 30, 1995. Four individuals testified at the hearing. In addition, written comments were submitted by several parties.

Following the hearing, the Dane County Circuit Court reversed and remanded the Commission's order on caller identification, in docket 05-TI-128, dated April 28, 1994. The administrative rule proposed in this docket included a section on caller identification modeled upon the April 1994 order. Because of the ongoing litigation, the section of the rule on caller identification has been deleted. The Commission intends to pursue an appeal of the Circuit Court decision and will postpone consideration of an administrative rule regarding caller identification until after the litigation has been completed.

On February 8, 1996, Congress enacted the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Public Law 104-104. That law contains additional regulations regarding the privacy of customer records. This proposed order has been reviewed to ensure consistency with the recent federal law.

The changes to the rule undertaken in response to the comments received and the subsequent events are summarized below. The sections have been renumbered to eliminate gaps in the numerical sequence.

1.Definitions.

    a. Several definitions related to caller identification have been deleted from the rule.
    b. A definition for the term "new telecommunications service" has been added to the rule.
    c. The definition for "subscriber list information" has been revised to mirror language in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Public Law 104-104, sec. 702 (creating 47 U.S.C. s. 222).
    d. The use of the term "telecommunications provider" has been deleted to better clarify the scope of this rule.
2. New Services.
    a. The first sentence of sub. (1) and the first sentence of sub. (2) have been amended to read "Any telecommunications utility or telecommunications carrier ..." This change is intended to limit the application of this section to those telecommunications providers that file tariffs with the Commission under ss. 196.19, 196.196 or 196.499, Stats.
    b. Sub. (3) has been amended to clarify the action the Commission may take with respect to a tariff application filed under s. 196.19, Stats.
    c. Sub. (5) has been added to the rule to specify the action the commission may take with respect to a tariff application filed under s. 196.499. Stats.
3. Caller Identification.
The section on caller identification has been deleted in its entirety.

4. Subscriber List Rental Service.
The section has been reworded to mirror language in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

5. Call Trace.
This section has been revised to eliminate language specifying the type of tracing service a utility must offer and to permit at a reasonable charge for the tracing service.

6. Customer Records.

    a. Paragraph (1)(a) has been amended to remove references to caller identification.
    b. Paragraph (1)(b) has been amended to ensure that, if a telecommunications utility discusses a customer's telephone bill or other financial information in the course of a telephone call, the utility must establish a security system to verify that the caller is the subscriber of record.
    c. Paragraph (4)(f) has been amended to clarify that the commission does not intend to create an alternative standard with which parties may object to the release of information requested by law enforcement agencies or other third parties pursuant to lawful process.
    d. Paragraphs (4)(g), (4)(h) and (4)(i) have been amended to clarify the scope of this rule.
    e. Paragraph (4)(i) has been amended to clarify that information exchanges between telecommunications utilities to comply with s. PSC 165.051(1) does not violate this section.
7. Notice to Customers.
    a. Sub. (1) has been amended to clarify the scope of this rule.
    b. Sub. (2) has been revised to create alternative methods by which a telecommunications utility may inform its customers of the requirements of this chapter.
    c. Sub. (3) has been deleted.
8. Exemption to Permit Compliance with Federal Statute or Rule.
This section has been added to the rule to clarify that this rule does not require a telecommunications utility or telecommunications carrier to undertake actions prohibited by federal law or rule, nor refrain from undertaking actions required by federal law or rule.

9. Telecommunications Privacy Council.
Sub. (2) has been amended to simplify the rule regarding composition of the Telecommunications Privacy Council. Appearances at the Hearing

The following parties appeared at the hearing and/or submitted written comments:

AMERITECH WISCONSIN
by
MYRON L. CAUBLE
MICHAEL A. GREENE
722 North Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202

AT&T
by
NANCY H. WITTEBORT
SUSAN FACCENDA
227 West Monroe
Chicago, IL 60606
and
ERICA EISENGER
Quarles and Brady
One South Pinckney Street, Suite 600
Madison, WI 53701

BELLSOUTH CELLULAR CORPORATION and CELLULAR ONE
by
WILLIAM H. BROWN
1100 Peachtree St., N.E.
Suite 1400
Atlanta, GA 30309-4599
and
PETER L. GARDON
Reinhart, Borner, Van Deuren, Norris & Rieselbach, S.C.
7617 Mineral Point Road
P.O. Box 2020
Madison, WI 53701-2020

CENTER FOR PUBLIC REPRESENTATION
by
KATHERINE SCHERB
121 South Pinckney Street
Madison, WI 53703

CENTER FOR COMMUNITY COMPUTING
by
NEIL A. TRILLING
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53208

GTE NORTH, INCORPORATED
by
JAMES R. SEASTROM
DAVID E. HIGHTOWER
P.O. Box 49
100 Communications Drive
Sun Prairie, WI 53590-0049

NORTHEAST TELEPHONE COMPANY
by
CHERYL BARNES
122 St. Augustine Street
P.O. Box 860
Pulaski, WI 54162-0860

PTI COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
by
TIMOTHY J. STEFFES
120 E. Milwaukee St.
Tomah, WI 54660

SCHNEIDER COMMUNICATIONS
by
BOB SCHULZE
3061 South Ridge Road
P.O. Box 2475
Green Bay, WI 54306-2475

SPRINT COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY, L.P.
by
EDWARD K. PHELAN
8140 Ward Parkway
P.O. Box 8417
Kansas City, MO 64114-0417

WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
by
MICHAEL P. ERHARD
123 West Washington Avenue
Madison, WI 53707

WISCONSIN STATE TELEPHONE ASSOCIATION
by
LAURIE GOSEWEHR
6602 Normandy Lane
Madison, WI 53719

Response to the Legislative Council Report

All changes suggested by the Legislative Council (Council) have been incorporated into the rules. Because the section pertaining to caller identification has been dropped, specific suggestions related to caller identification are now moot. Similarly, the section of the rule establishing the Telecommunications Privacy Council has been redrafted and two recommended changes regarding the composition of the Council are no longer applicable.

Specific action taken in response to the Legislative Council Report is summarized below:

1. The sections of this rule have been renumbered in consecutive order.

2. The use of the term, "telecommunications provider," has been eliminated from the rule in order to provide greater clarity regarding the scope of this rule.

3. Section PSC 161.02 has been amended to create a definition for "New Telecommunications Service."

4. The subsection specifying the composition of the Telecommunications Privacy Council has been amended to eliminate the term, "co-chairpersons," and simplify the requirements of that subsection.

5. The definition of "privacy consideration" has been amended to clarify the relationship of the term to the categories of information regulated by later sections of the rule.

6. Section PSC 161.03 has been redrafted to clarify how new services offered by telecommunications carriers are treated under this rule.

7. The paragraph containing the phrase, "in response to lawful process," s. PSC 161.08(4)(f), has been expanded to clarify that the Commission does not intend to set policy regarding discovery in civil litigation or the activities of investigators in criminal matters, or create an opportunity to challenge disclosure of information sought under orders that are otherwise lawful.

10. Section PSC 161.10 has been amended to specify the standard under which the Commission may grant a waiver under this rule.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

These proposed rules may have an effect on small telecommunications utilities, which are small businesses under s. 196.216, Stats., for the purposes of s. 227.114, Stats. The Commission has considered the methods in s. 227.114 (2), Stats., for reducing the impact of the rules on small telecommunications utilities and finds that incorporating any of these methods into the proposed rules would be contrary to the statutory objectives which are the basis for the proposed rules. In addition, the election of price regulation under this chapter is voluntary, and more flexibility and less stringent compliance requirements for small telecommunications utilities are available in ss. 196.195 (12), and 196.196 (4), Stats.

At the time of this order, there are 86 local exchange companies in Wisconsin, 82 of which are small telecommunications utilities. The commission finds that the availability of a voluntary price regulation election under s. 196.196 (1), Stats., and the process set forth in this chapter to govern the price regulation election, are in the public interest for all telecommunications utilities in the state.

There were no issues raised by small businesses during the hearing or in written comments that needed to be considered in the proposed rules. Since the election of price regulation under this chapter is voluntary, and more flexibility and less stringent compliance requirements for small telecommunications utilities are available in ss. 196.195 (12), and 196.196 (4), Stats., no reporting or other measures are required by small telecommunications utilities to comply with the rule. The proposed rule has no impact on public health, safety and welfare.

Dated at Madison, Wisconsin

__________________________________________

By the Commission.

__________________________________________

Lynda L. Dorr

Secretary to the Commission

LLD:DJK:mac:\h:\SS\Comments\1AC138.rpt