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Commissioner Requests Withdrawal of Text Messaging Surcharge Proposal

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Today a CPUC Commissioner took action to withdraw from consideration at the CPUC's Jan. 10, 2019 Voting Meeting a proposal that, if approved, would have added a surcharge on text messaging service, similar to the surcharge on voice services. 

Such a surcharge would have supported a number of existing public programs mandated by the Legislature that subsidize the cost of service for rural Californians and for disadvantaged communities, and provides special services for the deaf, the hard of hearing, and the disabled, among other programs.

On Nov. 9, 2018, the CPUC issued a draft decision (R.17-06-023) that proposed to clarify that text messaging service should be subject to the statutory surcharge requirement. However, on Dec. 12, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a ruling finding that text messaging is an "information service," a finding that impacts the CPUC's analysis.

In light of the FCC's action, Commissioner Carla J. Peterman, who is assigned to the proceeding, asked to withdraw the surcharge proposal from consideration by the Commissioners at the CPUC's Jan. 10, 2019 Voting Meeting.

Instead of the proposal that had been up for consideration at the CPUC's Jan. 10, 2019 Voting Meeting, a new Proposed Decision will be eligible for consideration at the CPUC's January 31, 2019 Voting Meeting.  The new Proposed Decision would not surcharge text messaging service. 

The new proposal is on the CPUC's website.

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