Summary: H.R.4789 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4789. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (04/07/1992)

Telephone Network Reliability Improvement Act of 1992 - Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish an officer to be responsible for the performance of functions relating to telephone network reliability within the bureau responsible for the supervision of common carriers. Outlines the duties of such officer. Requires the FCC to determine whether standards and reporting requirements under this Act shall apply to small common carriers. Provides that nothing in this Act shall preclude States from adopting more stringent network reliability and service quality standards.

Requires regulations for network reliability and service to include: (1) minimum, quantitative quality standards; (2) procedures to monitor and evaluate common carrier compliance with such standards; and (3) procedures to resolve complaints concerning violations of standards.

Directs the FCC to order compensation for disruptions of: (1) interstate telephone service affecting 25,000 or more lines for at least 60 minutes; and (2) intrastate telephone service affecting 25,000 or more lines in two or more States for at least 60 minutes. Provides that FCC compensation shall include compensation in the form of a refund to telephone customers for such disruptions unless a State has awarded adequate compensation. Sets forth a compensation schedule, basing the amount of compensation on the length of the service disruption.

Directs the FCC to conduct investigations of telephone service disruptions affecting more than 100,000 lines for 30 minutes. Authorizes the FCC, after an investigation, to impose a penalty if the penalty is in the public interest after considering the duration of the disruption, the number of customer lines affected, the degree of negligence on the part of the carrier, and the effect of the penalty as an incentive for the carrier to ensure reliable network operations and services. Prescribes supplemental penalties for negligence and factors to be considered in determining the amount of supplemental penalties.

Authorizes the FCC to collect from the carrier the costs to the FCC of any investigation or related proceeding. Prohibits the imposition of sanctions for disruptions caused by acts of God or nature or an unrelated third party unless the FCC finds that the disruption was reasonably foreseeable. Prohibits carriers from recovering the amount of any sanction from the telephone service rate base.