SECTION 1. Chapter 166 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 44 the following section:-
Section 45. The department is hereby authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to establish and require performance based rates for each telephone and telegraph company organized and doing business in the Commonwealth and subject to the jurisdiction of the department. In promulgating such performance based rate schemes, the department shall establish service quality standards for telephone and telegraph transmission, including, but not limited to, standards for customer satisfaction, service outages, facility upgrades, repairs and maintenance, customer service, billing service, proposed capital projects, amount actually spent on capital projects, employee staffing levels, and public safety provided, however, that such service quality standards shall include benchmarks for employee staff levels and employee training programs for each company.
Each telephone and telegraph company shall file a report with the department by March first of each year comparing its performance during the previous calendar year to the department?s service quality standards and any applicable national standards as may be adopted by the department. The department shall be authorized to levy a penalty against any telephone and telegraph company which fails to meet the service quality standards in an amount up to and including the equivalent of 4 per cent of such company?s revenues for the previous calendar year.
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