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Funding Base For Telecom Relay Services

Concerning the assessment of a monthly surcharge on customers of voice telecommunications providers to fund telecommunications relay services for telephone users with disabilities, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
2016 Regular Session
Telecommunications & Information Technology
Bill Summary

Telecommunications relay services are telecommunications services that provide 2-way communication for individuals with hearing or speech disabilities. Telecommunications relay services are funded in Colorado through the Colorado disabled telephone users fund (fund). Money in the fund is collected through a surcharge that the public utilities commission (commission) assesses on each telephone landline in Colorado. Section 5 of the act renames the fund the Colorado telephone users with disabilities fund.

Sections 3 and 4 apply the surcharge to customers of mobile wireless providers and voice-over-internet-protocol service providers in Colorado by applying the surcharge to all voice service providers, which is defined in section 3. Section 4 also establishes a maximum surcharge amount of 15 cents per month per telephone access line and exempts voice service providers and consumers of federally supported lifeline service, which assists low-income consumers in obtaining wireline or wireless telephone service. Section 1 applies a surcharge to prepaid wireless telecommunications service.

Section 6 provides that the act neither affects the commission's method of regulation over any provider nor grants the commission any additional jurisdiction over providers.

The act applies to surcharges assessed on or after September 1, 2016.

$172,778 is appropriated on July 1, 2016, from the Colorado telephone users with disabilities fund to the Colorado commission for the deaf and hard of hearing cash fund and reappropriates the money to the department of human services for implementation of the act by the Colorado commission for the deaf and hard of hearing.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


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Bill Text

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