BILL NUMBER: SB 1161 AMENDED
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY JUNE 21, 2012
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY JUNE 12, 2012
AMENDED IN SENATE MAY 29, 2012
AMENDED IN SENATE APRIL 26, 2012
AMENDED IN SENATE MARCH 26, 2012
INTRODUCED BY Senator Padilla
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Bradford)
(Coauthors: Senators Correa, Fuller, Lieu, Price, Rubio, and
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Buchanan , Gorell,
Fletcher, Roger Hernández, and Ma)
FEBRUARY 22, 2012
An act to add Section 239 to, and to add and repeal Section 710
of, the Public Utilities Code, relating to communications.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
SB 1161, as amended, Padilla. Communications: Voice over Internet
Protocol and Internet Protocol enabled communications service.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory
authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations,
This bill would, until January 1, 2020, prohibit the commission
from regulating Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Internet
Protocol enabled service (IP enabled service), as defined, except as
required or delegated by federal law or expressly provided otherwise
in statute. The bill would prohibit any department, agency,
commission, or political subdivision of the state from enacting,
adopting, or enforcing any law, rule, regulation, ordinance,
standard, order, or other provision having the force or effect of
law, that regulates VoIP or other IP enabled service, unless required
or delegated by federal law or expressly authorized by statute. The
bill would specify certain areas of law that are expressly applicable
to VoIP and IP enabled service providers. The bill would provide
that its limitations upon the commission's regulation of VoIP and IP
enabled services do not affect the commission's existing authority
over non-VoIP and other non-IP enabled wireline or wireless service
and do not affect the enforcement of any state or federal criminal
law or local ordinances of general applicability that apply to the
conduct of business, the California Environmental Quality Act, or a
local utility user tax.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the
(1) The continued vitality and success of California's technology
and innovation sector of the economy is dependent on a business
climate that supports the national and international nature of the
(2) The Legislature is empowered to develop future state policy
and actions regarding Internet-based technology to further
innovation, consumer choice and protection, and economic benefits to
(3) California's innovation economy is leading the state's
economic recovery. Silicon Valley alone added 42,000 jobs in 2011, an
increase of 3.8 percent versus a national job growth rate of 1.1
percent. The newly designated "app," for application, economy has
resulted in 466,000 new jobs nationwide, with 25 percent of that
total created in California.
(4) The Internet and Internet Protocol-based (IP-based) services
have flourished to the benefit of all Californians under the current
regulatory structure. The success of the innovation economy is a
result of an open and competitive environment that has provided
California consumers and businesses with a wide array of choices,
services, and prices.
(5) California-based entrepreneurs and businesses are the global
leaders in IP-based services and technologies. These leading
technology companies, including content, services, and infrastructure
providers, represent some of the largest employers in California,
contributing billions of dollars of economic benefit to the state.
(6) California consumers and businesses are driving the demand for
faster networks, new and innovative apps and software, and continued
innovation. As a result of this demand, network infrastructure
companies invested billions of dollars in California in 2011.
Internet voice communications connections are up over 22 percent, and
entrepreneurs and innovators have launched close to a million apps
to meet consumer demand.
(7) The Internet and innovative IP-based services have the power
to address critical policy issues facing California and the nation
including new telemedicine initiatives to address health care access
and affordability, educational tools to improve opportunity and
success, IP-based energy solutions to promote conservation and
efficiency, and improved Internet access to support rural economic
development and sustainability.
(b) It is the intent of this act to reaffirm California's current
policy of regulating Internet-based services only as specified by the
Legislature and thereby achieve both of the following:
(1) Preserve the future of the Internet by encouraging continued
investment and technological advances and supporting continued
consumer choice and access to innovative services that benefit
(2) Ensure a vibrant and competitive open Internet that allows
California's technology businesses to continue to flourish and
contribute to economic development throughout the state.
SEC. 2. Section 239 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to
239. (a) (1) "Voice over Internet Protocol" or "VoIP" means voice
communications service that does all of the following:
(A) Uses Internet Protocol or a successor protocol to enable
real-time, two-way voice communication that originates from ,
or terminates at , the user's location in Internet
Protocol or a successor protocol.
(B) Requires a broadband connection from the user's location.
(C) Permits a user generally to receive a call that originates on
the public switched telephone network and to terminate a call to the
public switched telephone network.
(2) A service that uses ordinary customer premises equipment with
no enhanced functionality that originates and terminates on the
public switched telephone network, undergoes no net protocol
conversion, and provides no enhanced functionality to end users due
to the provider's use of Internet Protocol technology is not a VoIP
(b) "Internet Protocol enabled service" or "IP enabled service"
means any service, capability, functionality, or application using
existing Internet Protocol, or any successor Internet Protocol, that
enables an end user to send or receive a communication in existing
Internet Protocol format, or any successor Internet Protocol format
through a broadband connection, regardless of whether the
communication is voice, data, or video.
SEC. 3. Section 710 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to
710. (a) The commission shall not exercise regulatory
jurisdiction or control over Voice over Internet Protocol and
Internet Protocol enabled services except as required or expressly
delegated by federal law or expressly directed to do so by statute or
as set forth in subdivision (c). In the event of a requirement or a
delegation referred to above,
nothing in this
section expands does not expand the
commission's jurisdiction beyond existing state law.
(b) No department, agency, commission, or political subdivision of
the state shall enact, adopt, or enforce any law, rule, regulation,
ordinance, standard, order, or other provision having the force or
effect of law, that regulates VoIP or other IP enabled service,
unless required or expressly delegated by federal law or expressly
authorized by statute or pursuant to subdivision (c). In the event of
a requirement or a delegation referred to above, nothing in
this section expands does not
expand the commission's jurisdiction beyond existing state law.
(c) Nothing in this
This section affects or
supersedes does not affect or supersede any of
(1) The Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge Law (Part 20
(commencing with Section 41001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and
Taxation Code) and the state's universal service programs (Section
(2) The Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006
(Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 5800)) or a franchise granted
by a local franchising entity, as those terms are defined in Section
(3) The commission's authority to implement and enforce Sections
251 and 252 of the federal Communications Act of 1934, as amended (47
U.S.C. Secs. 251 and 252).
(4) The commission's authority to require data and other
information pursuant to Section 716.
(5) The commission's authority to address or affect the resolution
of disputes regarding intercarrier compensation, including for the
exchange of traffic that originated, terminated, or was translated at
any point into Internet Protocol format.
(6) The commission's authority to enforce existing requirements
regarding backup power systems established in Decision 10-01-026,
adopted pursuant to Section 2892.1.
(d) This section does not affect the enforcement of any state or
federal criminal or civil law or any local ordinances of general
applicability, including, but not limited to, consumer protection and
unfair or deceptive trade practice laws or ordinances, that apply to
the conduct of business, the California Environmental Quality Act
(Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources
Code), and local utility user taxes.
(e) This section does not affect any existing regulation of,
proceedings governing, or existing commission authority over,
non-VoIP and other non-IP enabled wireline or wireless service,
including regulations governing universal service and the offering of
basic service and lifeline service , and any
obligations to offer basic service .
(f) This section does not limit the commission's ability to
continue to monitor and discuss VoIP services,
including responding to track and report to the
Federal Communications Commission and the Legislature, within its
annual report to the Legislature, the number and type of complaints
received by the commission from customers, and to respond
informally to customer complaints , including providing VoIP
customers who contact the commission information regarding available
options under state and federal law for addressing
(g) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2020, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends