Substitute House Bill No. 5495

Public Act No. 00-221

An Act Concerning The Regulation Of Gas Companies And Establishing A Database Of Published Telephone Numbers.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. The Department of Public Utility Control shall, in consultation with the Office of Consumer Counsel, gas companies, as defined in section 16-1 of the general statutes and natural gas sellers required to register pursuant to section 16-258a of the general statutes, study and, not later than January 1, 2001, make recommendations to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy on ways to encourage competition among gas suppliers and to increase the number of natural gas suppliers providing natural gas in the state.

Sec. 2. Section 16-19b of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (k) as follows:

(NEW) (k) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, upon the application of any gas company, the department may modify, suspend or discontinue a purchased gas adjustment clause for one or more gas companies if the department determines that as part of an overall performance-based rate plan, such modification, suspension or discontinuance will ensure safety and reliability, will provide substantial financial benefits to ratepayers at least equal to those provided to the gas company and will lower the rates below what they would be without such modification, suspension or discontinuance, as determined by the department.

Sec. 3. (NEW) Each certified telecommunications provider, as defined in section 16-1 of the general statutes, that provides local exchange service to customers in the state shall provide without charge to the telephone company serving more than one hundred thousand customers for directory assistance purposes all listings for its Connecticut customers other than those listings that are nonpublished. Said telephone company, or its agent or affiliate as applicable, shall, in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, as from time to time amended, and any applicable order or regulation adopted by the Federal Communications Commission thereunder, including the availability and timing of updates and applicable rates, compile all such listings and all listings for its own Connecticut customers other than those that are nonpublished in a directory assistance database and make all such listings contained in said database available in electronic format to directory assistance providers. If a customer requests a customer listing from a certified telecommunications provider that does not provide directory assistance, said provider shall connect the customer at no charge with an entity that provides directory assistance to the customer. Each such certified telecommunications provider shall indemnify said telephone company for any damages caused by that certified telecommunications provider's negligence in misidentifying a nonpublished customer.

Approved June 1, 2000