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Delaware Code Title 26. Public Utilities § 203A. Certificate of public convenience and necessity;  abandonment or discontinuance of business or service

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(a)(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section and §§ 102, 201, 202 and Chapter 10 of this title, and excluding electric suppliers, no individual, copartnership, association, corporation, joint stock company, agency or department of the State, cooperative, or the lessees, trustees or receivers thereof, shall begin the business of a public utility nor shall any public utility begin any extension of its regulated public utility business or operations without having first obtained from the Commission a certificate that the present or future public convenience and necessity requires or will require the operation of such regulated public utility business or extension.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no Commission approval shall be required for any transfer of a certificate of public convenience between public utility companies providing telecommunications services that operate under common ownership.

(3) This section shall not be construed to require any public utility to secure such a certificate for any construction, modifications, upgrades or extensions within the perimeter of any territory already served by it.

(4) The Commission, after hearing, on the complaint of any public utility claiming to be adversely affected by any proposed extension, may make such order and prescribe such terms and conditions with respect to the proposed extension as may be required by the public convenience and necessity.

(b)(1) If any individual, copartnership, association, corporation, joint stock company, agency or department of the State, cooperative, or the lessees, trustees or receivers thereof (or the predecessor in interest of any such person, party or legal entity), was in bona fide operation within this State on June 28, 1974, of any electronic communication in whole or in part by wire (other than telephone, including domestic public land mobile radio or telegraph service, system, plant or equipment) including, but not limited to, cable television service, system, plant or equipment, for public use, the Commission shall issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing such person, party or legal entity without further proceedings to continue operating the said service, system, plant or equipment, to the same extent as said operations were being operated on June 28, 1974, such certificate to identify by number and date of issuance the certificate under which the applicant is carrying on such operation, if the application for such certificate of public convenience and necessity is filed with the Commission on a form approved by the Commission within 120 days after June 28, 1974.  Pending the determination of any such application the continuance of such operation without a certificate of public convenience and necessity shall be lawful.

(2) Interruptions of service in such operations over which such person, party or legal entity, or the predecessor in interest thereof, had no control, shall not be considered in determining whether or not there has been an abandonment of any such operations.

(3) In issuing any certificate of public convenience and necessity under this subsection, the Commission, in its discretion, may define or limit the territory or territories in this State within which the activities authorized by the certificate may be conducted, but in no case shall such territory or territories be smaller than the territory or territories in this State in which the applicant was in actual bona fide operation on June 28, 1974.

(4) The application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity under this subsection shall be verified and shall contain such information as the Commission deems necessary to show that the applicant was not engaged merely in isolated, incidental, intermittent, sporadic and infrequent operations.

(5) The Commission may adopt and approve such forms as it deems necessary for this purpose.

(c) A public utility that provides telecommunications services may abandon or discontinue, in whole or in part, the provision of any competitive retail telecommunications services;  provided, however, that such utility shall provide the Commission with contemporaneous notice of abandonment or discontinuance of all of its competitive retail telecommunications services in the State.

(d)(1) Subject to the provisions of Chapter 10 and § 706(d) of this title and excluding electric suppliers, no public utility shall abandon or discontinue, in whole or in part, any regulated public utility business, operations or services provided under a certificate of public convenience and necessity or otherwise which are subject to jurisdiction of the Commission without first having received Commission approval for such abandonment or discontinuance.

(2) Applications for such approval shall be made to the Commission in writing, verified by oath or affirmation and be in such form and contain such information as the Commission may from time to time require.

(3) The Commission shall approve any such application when it finds that the utility has met its burden of proving that the abandonment or discontinuance is reasonable, necessary and not unduly disruptive to the present or future public convenience and necessity.

(4) The Commission may make such investigation and hold such hearings in the matter as it deems necessary or appropriate, and may attach reasonable terms and conditions to the granting of such approval.

(5) If, within 60 days after the filing of such application, the Commission has not acted concerning the application, it shall be deemed to have been approved.  The Commission may, within such 60-day period, set the matter for hearing, in which event the Commission shall render a decision concerning said application within 7 months from the date such application was filed or the application shall be deemed in fact and law to be approved, unless within said 7-month period the Commission for good cause shown shall enter an order extending the period for decision for a further reasonable time not to exceed 120 days.

(6) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to require formal application for approval of abandonment or discontinuance of service to any individual customer or customer class where the basis for such abandonment or discontinuance is nonpayment of bills or other violation of the utility's rules, regulations and tariffs.

(7) The Commission may seek injunctive relief in the Court of Chancery to prevent any abandonment in violation of this subsection and in such proceeding shall not be required to post security for any temporary or preliminary injunction.

(e) As of the implementation dates specified in § 1003(b)(1) and (2) of this title (repealed), nothing contained in this section shall be construed to require application for approval of the abandonment or discontinuance of service by an electric supplier.

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Delaware Code Title 26. Public Utilities § 203A. Certificate of public convenience and necessity;  abandonment or discontinuance of business or service - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/de/title-26-public-utilities/de-code-sect-26-203a/


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