The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
Chapter 005 : State Policy; Plans; Jurisdiction and Regulatory Authority of Commission and Department
Subchapter 001 : General Powers(Cite as: 30 V.S.A. § 208a)
§ 208a. Selection of telecommunications carrier
(a) No provider of telecommunications services shall submit a change order for primary interexchange carrier or for local exchange carrier to any telecommunications company regarding a Vermont customer unless and until the submitting carrier has obtained express authorization from the customer for the change. Upon request of the customer, offers to provide telecommunications services shall be sent to the customer in written form describing the terms and conditions of service. As used in this section, “express authorization” means an express, affirmative act by the customer clearly agreeing to the change in primary interexchange carrier or local exchange carrier, in the form of:
(1) a written authorization;
(2) a customer initiated call to the submitting carrier;
(3) an oral authorization verified by an independent third party and the verification has been recorded;
(4) electronic authorization; or
(5) some other form of recorded authorization.
(b)(1) A petition alleging violation of this section may be brought to the Public Utility Commission by the customer, by the Department of Public Service, by the Attorney General, or by the customer’s former carrier. If the Public Utility Commission determines after opportunity for hearing that a telecommunications carrier has submitted a change order and cannot demonstrate that it has complied with this section, and with rules adopted by the Commission, the Commission may:
(A) void any pending charges and require the submitting carrier to pay to the customer an amount equal to all charges previously paid by the customer to the submitting carrier and made possible by the change order, providing that the voiding and repayment shall apply only for a reasonable time after the customer discovered or should have discovered the change in carriers;
(B) require the submitting carrier to pay to the customer an amount of money to compensate for damages that arose because the change order altered the nature or quality of the customer’s telecommunications services;
(C) require the submitting carrier to pay to the former carrier an amount equal to the revenues the former carrier would have received for providing equivalent services to the customer had the unauthorized switch not occurred;
(D) require the submitting carrier to pay to the customer’s local exchange carrier an amount to compensate for any costs arising from changes caused by the invalid change order;
(E) require the submitting carrier to pay, to the petitioner, the costs of prosecuting the complaint before the Commission, including reasonable attorney’s fees, witness fees, and incidental costs; and
(F) require the submitting carrier to pay a penalty as authorized by section 30 of this title.
(2) Payments and penalties under this section shall be in addition to those otherwise provided by law.
(c) The Public Utility Commission shall adopt such rules as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this section. Such rules shall be no less stringent than the federal rules relating to changes of carrier, and shall include such further provisions as are needed to implement the provisions of this section. (Added 1995, No. 182 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 22, 1996; amended 1997, No. 135 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)