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     49-31-73.   Rural service areas--Services--Waiver. Except as provided in 47 U.S.C. § 253(f) as of January 1, 1998, if the applicant proposes to provide any local exchange service in the service area of a rural telephone company, the applicant is required to satisfy the service obligations of an eligible telecommunications carrier as set forth in 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(1) as of January 1, 1998, within a geographic area as determined by the commission. In addition, the services required to be provided as set forth in 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(1) as of January 1, 1998, shall be provided at prices and on terms which reflect a good faith offering of the services throughout the service area of the incumbent rural telephone company. This includes the obligation to advertise the availability of local exchange services and prices to potential customers throughout the service area using media of general distribution. However, an applicant may petition the commission for a waiver from the requirement of satisfying the service obligations of an eligible telecommunications carrier. The commission may grant the waiver if, after notice and hearing pursuant chapter 1-26, it is established by a preponderance of the evidence that the waiver would not adversely impact universal service, that quality of service would be continued, and that it would otherwise be in the public interest.

Source: SL 1998, ch 274, § 10.

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