(1) Access charges imposed by telecommunications companies for access to a local exchange network for interexchange service shall be negotiated by the telecommunications companies involved. Any affected telecommunications company may apply for review of such charges by the commission, or the commission may make a motion to review such charges. Upon such application or motion and unless otherwise agreed to by all parties thereto, the commission shall, upon proper notice, hold and complete a hearing thereon within ninety days of the filing. The commission may, within sixty days after the close of the hearing, enter an order setting access charges which are fair and reasonable. The commission shall set an access charge structure for each local exchange carrier but may order discounts where there is not available access of equal type and quality for all interexchange carriers, except that the commission shall not order access charges which would cause the annual revenue to be realized by the local exchange carrier from all interexchange carriers to be less than the annual costs, as determined by the commission based upon evidence received at hearing, incurred or which will be incurred by the local exchange carrier in providing such access services. Any actions taken pursuant to this subsection shall be substantially consistent with the federal act and federal actions taken under its authority.
(2) Reductions made to access charges pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall be passed on to the customers of interexchange service carriers in Nebraska whose payment of charges has been reduced. The commission shall have the power and authority to (a) ensure that any access charge reductions made pursuant to subsection (1) of this section are passed on in a manner that is fair and reasonable and (b) review actions taken by any telecommunications company to ensure that this subsection is carried out.
(3) For purposes of this section, access charges means the charges paid by telecommunications companies to local exchange carriers in order to originate and terminate calls using local exchange facilities.