History of the Illinois Universal Service Fund
The Illinois Commerce Commission ("Commission") was granted the explicit authority to establish a universal service fund on August 20, 1999. That statutory authority is set forth in Section 13-301 of the Illinois Public Utilities Act ("IPUA"). § 13-301(d) applies to universal service funding for those incumbent local exchange carriers who pursuant to the Twenty-Seventh Interim Order of the Commission in Docket No. 83-0142 or to the Orders of the Commission in Docket No. 97-0621 and Docket No. 98-0679.
On March 16, 2000, Docket No. 00-0233 was initiated with the filing by the Illinois Independent Telephone Association ("IITA") of a Petition seeking the initiation of an investigation of the necessity of and the establishment of a Universal Service Support Fund in accordance with § 13-301(d) of the Illinois Public Utilities Act ("IPUA").
The Illinois Commerce Commission ("Commission") entered an order on March 29, 2000 in Phase 2 of Docket Nos. 97-0601/97-0602/97-0516 (Consolidated) that, among other things, deferred all universal issues that had been raised in that case to a new proceeding through which the Commission contemplated that it would conduct a comprehensive investigation pursuant to § 13-301(d) of the Illinois Public Utilities Act.
That investigation was initiated in Docket No. 00-0335 pursuant to the Commission order entered on May 10, 2000. The Commission's May 10, 2000 order directed that Docket Nos. 00-0335 and 00-233 be consolidated.
The present Illinois Universal Fund began October 1, 2001, pursuant to the Second Interim Order entered on September 18, 2001 in Cons. Docket Nos. 00-0233 and 00-335.