86-314. Telecommunications relay system; specialized telecommunications equipment program; requirements; rules and regulations; administrative fine.

(1) The commission shall establish standards, procedures, and training specifications for the telecommunications relay system and shall supervise its operation. The telecommunications relay system shall assure prompt and accurate relay of all messages seven days per week, twenty-four hours per day, including holidays, to all deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired persons living in Nebraska who possess specialized telecommunications equipment. Any person using the telecommunications relay system shall not be charged for access to such system other than charges billed for instate and out-of-state long-distance telephone service. The telecommunications relay system shall at least provide the following telephone services: (a) Statewide instate calls with charges for long-distance calls billed to the person making the call in a manner which the commission determines will recover the cost of long-distance calls to the system; (b) out-of-state calls with charges billed to the person making the call; and (c) emergency calls.

(2) The commission shall establish standards and criteria and shall determine the eligibility of qualified deaf, hard of hearing, and speech-impaired persons applying for specialized telecommunications equipment. The eligible standards and criteria shall include the following: (a) Only one person per household may be a recipient of the telecommunications equipment; (b) an applicant shall reside in a household that has telephone service; (c) a recipient of equipment may not reapply for assistance more than once every five years; and (d) a nursing home or institution resident is eligible for specialized telecommunications equipment only if he or she has personal telephone service.

(3) The commission may approve applications for specialized telecommunications equipment if they meet the guidelines established by the commission.

(4) The commission shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations necessary for implementation of the Telecommunications Relay System Act and guidelines for the specialized telecommunications equipment program. The commission may enter into contracts with other agencies or private organizations, which may include the Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, to operate the telecommunications relay system and the specialized telecommunications equipment program.

(5) The Public Service Commission may administratively fine pursuant to section 75-156 any person who violates the act.

Source:Laws 1990, LB 240, § 5; R.S.Supp.,1992, § 86-905; Laws 1993, LB 305, § 28; Laws 1995, LB 146, § 5; Laws 1997, LB 851, § 27; Laws 1999, LB 359, § 7; Laws 2000, LB 1285, § 22; R.S.Supp.,2000, § 86-1306; Laws 2002, LB 1105, § 192.