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FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION LINK UP FLORIDA AND LIFELINE ASSISTANCE WORKSHOP APRIL 11, 2006 TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA.

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Presentation on theme: "FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION LINK UP FLORIDA AND LIFELINE ASSISTANCE WORKSHOP APRIL 11, 2006 TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA."— Presentation transcript:

1 FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION LINK UP FLORIDA AND LIFELINE ASSISTANCE WORKSHOP APRIL 11, 2006 TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA

2 THE CASE FOR MAKING PAYPHONE LINES LIFELINE & LINK-UP ELIGIBLE PRESENTED BY THE FLORIDA PUBLIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION (FPTA)

3 Introduction FPTA IS A NOT-FOR-PROFIT TRADE ASSOCIATION REPRESENTING THE PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY IN FLORIDA FPTA IS A NOT-FOR-PROFIT TRADE ASSOCIATION REPRESENTING THE PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY IN FLORIDA FPTAS MEMBERS INCLUDE INDEPENDENT PROVIDERS OF PUBLIC PAY TELEPHONE SERVICE RANGING FROM FEWER THAN TEN TO THOUSANDS OF PAYPHONES FPTAS MEMBERS INCLUDE INDEPENDENT PROVIDERS OF PUBLIC PAY TELEPHONE SERVICE RANGING FROM FEWER THAN TEN TO THOUSANDS OF PAYPHONES FPTAS MEMBERSHIP ALSO INCLUDES SUPPLIERS OF EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES TO THE PAYPHONE INDUSTRY FPTAS MEMBERSHIP ALSO INCLUDES SUPPLIERS OF EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES TO THE PAYPHONE INDUSTRY

4 Background IN RECENT YEARS, INDEPENDENT PAYPHONE OPERATORS HAVE BECOME THE PROVIDERS OF LAST RESORT ALL ACROSS FLORIDA IN RECENT YEARS, INDEPENDENT PAYPHONE OPERATORS HAVE BECOME THE PROVIDERS OF LAST RESORT ALL ACROSS FLORIDA WITH THE EXPLOSIVE GROWTH IN WIRELESS SERVICES OVER THE PAST 5-6 YEARS, THE NUMBER OF PAYPHONES IN FLORIDA HAS DROPPED DRAMATICALLYFROM OVER 120,000 IN 1999 TO JUST OVER 56,000 IN 2004 (ACCORDING TO FCC STATISTICS)AND WELL BELOW THAT TODAY. DURING THIS SAME PERIOD, THE LARGEST PAYPHONE PROVIDER IN FLORIDA, BELLSOUTH, EXITED FROM THE PAYPHONE BUSINESS ENTIRELY WITH THE EXPLOSIVE GROWTH IN WIRELESS SERVICES OVER THE PAST 5-6 YEARS, THE NUMBER OF PAYPHONES IN FLORIDA HAS DROPPED DRAMATICALLYFROM OVER 120,000 IN 1999 TO JUST OVER 56,000 IN 2004 (ACCORDING TO FCC STATISTICS)AND WELL BELOW THAT TODAY. DURING THIS SAME PERIOD, THE LARGEST PAYPHONE PROVIDER IN FLORIDA, BELLSOUTH, EXITED FROM THE PAYPHONE BUSINESS ENTIRELY WIDESPREAD PAYPHONE DEPLOYMENT IS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THE UNIVERSAL SERVICE SOLUTION THAT MUST BE MAINTAINED WIDESPREAD PAYPHONE DEPLOYMENT IS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THE UNIVERSAL SERVICE SOLUTION THAT MUST BE MAINTAINED

5 WHY PUBLIC PAYPHONES ARE STILL IMPORTANT: CORE UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUNCTIONS CORE UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUNCTIONS PAYPHONES ARE A TRUE LIFELINE SERVICE FOR THE HOMELESS, VISITORS AND THE MANY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF FLORIDIANS WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO HAVE A HOME PHONE PAYPHONES ARE A TRUE LIFELINE SERVICE FOR THE HOMELESS, VISITORS AND THE MANY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF FLORIDIANS WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO HAVE A HOME PHONE PAYPHONES PROVIDE AS NEEDED PUBLIC ACCESS TO TELEPHONE SERVICE FOR ALL FLORIDIANS AND VISITORS TO OUR STATE ON A 24/7/365 BASISWITH NO MONTHLY FEES OR HOOK UP CHARGES TO THE PAYPHONE USER PAYPHONES PROVIDE AS NEEDED PUBLIC ACCESS TO TELEPHONE SERVICE FOR ALL FLORIDIANS AND VISITORS TO OUR STATE ON A 24/7/365 BASISWITH NO MONTHLY FEES OR HOOK UP CHARGES TO THE PAYPHONE USER PAYPHONES ARE A LIFELINE FOR THE MILLIONS OF FLORIDIANS (ESPECIALLY LOWER INCOME & THE ELDERLY) WHO DO PAYPHONES ARE A LIFELINE FOR THE MILLIONS OF FLORIDIANS (ESPECIALLY LOWER INCOME & THE ELDERLY) WHO DO NOT HAVE CELLPHONES PAYPHONES EVEN PROVIDE AN IMPORTANT SERVICE FOR PEOPLE THAT DO HAVE CELLPHONESDEAD BATTERIES; LOST OR MISPLACED HANDSETS; MONTHLY MINUTES USED, OUT-OF-SERVICE-AREAS, ETC. PAYPHONES EVEN PROVIDE AN IMPORTANT SERVICE FOR PEOPLE THAT DO HAVE CELLPHONESDEAD BATTERIES; LOST OR MISPLACED HANDSETS; MONTHLY MINUTES USED, OUT-OF-SERVICE-AREAS, ETC.

6 WHY PUBLIC PAYPHONES ARE STILL IMPORTANT: EMERGENCY AND SECURITY FUNCTIONS EMERGENCY AND SECURITY FUNCTIONS PAYPHONES ARE VITAL TO PUBLIC SAFETY ON BOTH EVERYDAY AND EMERGENCY BASESTHEY PROVIDE FREE 24/7ACCESS TO 911 EMERGENCY SERVICES AND HAVE PROVEN VITAL IN TIMES OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL EMERGENCYPAYPHONES ARE VITAL TO PUBLIC SAFETY ON BOTH EVERYDAY AND EMERGENCY BASESTHEY PROVIDE FREE 24/7ACCESS TO 911 EMERGENCY SERVICES AND HAVE PROVEN VITAL IN TIMES OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL EMERGENCY PAYPHONES HAVE LITERALLY SAVED THE DAY FOR THE CITIZENS MOST DIRECTLY AFFECTED DURING THE 9-11 ATTACKS, THE GREAT NORTHEAST U.S. POWER BLACKOUT & THE PAST TWO DIRE HURRICANE SEASONSPAYPHONES HAVE LITERALLY SAVED THE DAY FOR THE CITIZENS MOST DIRECTLY AFFECTED DURING THE 9-11 ATTACKS, THE GREAT NORTHEAST U.S. POWER BLACKOUT & THE PAST TWO DIRE HURRICANE SEASONS WHEN CELLPHONE NETWORKS WERE DOWN, ALONG WITH NUMEROUS HOME AND BUSINESS PHONES, (AS WAS THE CASE IN EACH OF THE NOTED EMERGENCIES) PAYPHONES PROVIDED A TRULY RELIABLE AND WORKING MEANS OF COMMUNICATIONA SAFETY NET WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSEWHEN CELLPHONE NETWORKS WERE DOWN, ALONG WITH NUMEROUS HOME AND BUSINESS PHONES, (AS WAS THE CASE IN EACH OF THE NOTED EMERGENCIES) PAYPHONES PROVIDED A TRULY RELIABLE AND WORKING MEANS OF COMMUNICATIONA SAFETY NET WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE

7 Division Street, Biloxi Mississippi. This payphone is up and running and was found to have survived the Katrina disaster. (Although the store it was mounted in front of was not as lucky!)

8 DESPITE THEIR CONTINUED IMPORTANCE, PAYPHONES ARE GETTING HARDER AND HARDER TO FIND IN MANY AREAS AND MORE AND MORE DIFFICULT TO MAINTAIN ON AN ECONOMICAL BASISHELP IS NEEDED DESPITE THEIR CONTINUED IMPORTANCE, PAYPHONES ARE GETTING HARDER AND HARDER TO FIND IN MANY AREAS AND MORE AND MORE DIFFICULT TO MAINTAIN ON AN ECONOMICAL BASISHELP IS NEEDED

9 What Must Be Done? WHEN PAYPHONES WERE PLENTIFUL, THE CONCEPT OF A PUBLIC INTEREST PHONE PROGRAM (TARGETED AT A FEW DOZEN OR EVEN A FEW HUNDRED LOCATIONS PARKS, PLAYGOUNDS, ETC.) WAS VIABLEIN THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENT THESE TYPES OF LIMITED PROGRAMS WILL NOT TRULY ADDRESS THE MAGNITUDE OF THE PROBLEM OR OUR RAPIDLY DWINDLING PAYPHONE BASE WHEN PAYPHONES WERE PLENTIFUL, THE CONCEPT OF A PUBLIC INTEREST PHONE PROGRAM (TARGETED AT A FEW DOZEN OR EVEN A FEW HUNDRED LOCATIONS PARKS, PLAYGOUNDS, ETC.) WAS VIABLEIN THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENT THESE TYPES OF LIMITED PROGRAMS WILL NOT TRULY ADDRESS THE MAGNITUDE OF THE PROBLEM OR OUR RAPIDLY DWINDLING PAYPHONE BASE WHAT WE NEED IS A BROAD BASED FORM OF SUPPORT ON DIAL TONE FOR PAYPHONES (THAT REPRESENTS AN ESSENTIAL BUT HIGH COST ELEMENT OF PAYPHONE DEPLOYMENT) WHAT WE NEED IS A BROAD BASED FORM OF SUPPORT ON DIAL TONE FOR PAYPHONES (THAT REPRESENTS AN ESSENTIAL BUT HIGH COST ELEMENT OF PAYPHONE DEPLOYMENT) THE MOST EFFICIENT WAY TO PROVIDE THIS TYPE OF RELIEF IS TO UTILIZE THE EXISTING LIFELINE & LINK-UP SUPPORT PROGRAMSPAYPHONES PROVIDE THE ESSENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS LINKS TO THE VERY SAME CITIZENS THESE PROGRAMS ARE DESIGNED TO ASSIST THE MOST EFFICIENT WAY TO PROVIDE THIS TYPE OF RELIEF IS TO UTILIZE THE EXISTING LIFELINE & LINK-UP SUPPORT PROGRAMSPAYPHONES PROVIDE THE ESSENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS LINKS TO THE VERY SAME CITIZENS THESE PROGRAMS ARE DESIGNED TO ASSIST

10 What Must Be Done? Contd. WHILE LIFELINE/LINK-UP CREDITS ON PAYPHONE LINES WILL NOT GUARANTEE RETENTION OF WIDESPREAD PAYPHONE DEPLOYMENTTHEY WILL CERTAINLY HELP STEM THE TIDE OF PAYPHONE REMOVALS BY MEANINGFULLY LOWERING ONE OF THE LARGEST MONTHLY PAYPHONE DEPLOYMENT AND RETENTION HURDLES IN PLACE TODAY WHILE LIFELINE/LINK-UP CREDITS ON PAYPHONE LINES WILL NOT GUARANTEE RETENTION OF WIDESPREAD PAYPHONE DEPLOYMENTTHEY WILL CERTAINLY HELP STEM THE TIDE OF PAYPHONE REMOVALS BY MEANINGFULLY LOWERING ONE OF THE LARGEST MONTHLY PAYPHONE DEPLOYMENT AND RETENTION HURDLES IN PLACE TODAY FPTA IS ASKING THE FPSC TO CONSIDER HELPING TO HAVE THE FEDERAL-STATE UNIVERSAL SERVICE JOINT BOARD, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE FCC, DECLARE THAT PAYPHONE LINES ARE ELIGIBLE FOR LIFELINE AND LINK-UP SUPPORT FPTA IS ASKING THE FPSC TO CONSIDER HELPING TO HAVE THE FEDERAL-STATE UNIVERSAL SERVICE JOINT BOARD, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE FCC, DECLARE THAT PAYPHONE LINES ARE ELIGIBLE FOR LIFELINE AND LINK-UP SUPPORT


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