62-3.  Definitions.

As used in this Chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the term:

(1)        "Broadband service" means any service that consists of or includes a high-speed access capability to transmit at a rate of not less than 200 kilobits per second in either the upstream or downstream direction and either (i) is used to provide access to the Internet, or (ii) provides computer processing, information storage, information content, or protocol conversion, including any service applications or information service provided over such high-speed access service. "Broadband service" does not include intrastate service that was tariffed by the Commission and in effect as of the effective date of this subdivision.

(1a)      "Broker," with regard to motor carriers of passengers, means any person not included in the term "motor carrier" and not a bona fide employee or agent of any such carrier, who or which as principal or agent engages in the business of selling or offering for sale any transportation of passengers by motor carrier, or negotiates for or holds himself, or itself, out by solicitation, advertisements, or otherwise, as one who sells, provides, furnishes, contracts, or arranges for such transportation for compensation, either directly or indirectly.

(1b)      "Bus company" means any common carrier by motor vehicle which holds itself out to the general public to engage in the transportation by motor vehicle in intrastate commerce of passengers over fixed routes or in charter operations, or both, except as exempted in G.S. 62-260.

(2)        "Certificate" means a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the Commission to a public utility or a certificate of authority issued by the Commission to a bus company.

(3)        "Certified mail" means such mail only when a return receipt is requested.

(4)        "Charter operations" with regard to bus companies means the transportation of a group of persons for sightseeing purposes, pleasure tours, and other types of special operations, or the transportation of a group of persons who, pursuant to a common purpose and under a single contract, and for a fixed charge for the vehicle, have acquired the exclusive use of a passenger-carrying motor vehicle to travel together as a group to a specified destination or for a particular itinerary, either agreed upon in advance or modified by the chartered group after having left the place of origin.

(5)        "Commission" means the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

(6)        "Common carrier" means any person, other than a carrier by rail, which holds itself out to the general public to engage in transportation of persons or household goods for compensation, including transportation by bus, truck, boat or other conveyance, except as exempted in G.S. 62-260.

(7)        "Common carrier by motor vehicle" means any person which holds itself out to the general public to engage in the transportation by motor vehicle in intrastate commerce of persons or household goods or any class or classes thereof for compensation, whether over regular or irregular routes, or in charter operations, except as exempted in G.S. 62-260.

(7a)      "Competing local provider" means any person applying for a certificate to provide local exchange or exchange access services in competition with a local exchange company.

(8),       (9) Repealed by Session Laws 1995, c. 523, s. 1.

(9a)      "Fixed route" means the specific highway or highways over which a bus company is authorized to operate between fixed termini.

(10)      "Foreign commerce" means commerce between any place in the United States and any place in a foreign country, or between places in the United States through any foreign country.

(11)      "Franchise" means the grant of authority by the Commission to any person to engage in business as a public utility, whether or not exclusive or shared with others or restricted as to terms and conditions and whether described by area or territory or not, and includes certificates, and all other forms of licenses or orders and decisions granting such authority.

(12)      "Highway" means any road or street in this State used by the public or dedicated or appropriated to public use.

(13)      "Industrial plant" means any plant, mill, or factory engaged in the business of manufacturing.

(14)      "Interstate commerce" means commerce between any place in a state and any place in another state or between places in the same state through another state.

(15)      "Intrastate commerce" means commerce between points and over a route or within a territory wholly within this State, which commerce is not a part of a prior or subsequent movement to or from points outside of this State in interstate or foreign commerce, and includes all transportation within this State for compensation in interstate or foreign commerce which has been exempted by Congress from federal regulation.

(16)      "Intrastate operations" means the transportation of persons or household goods for compensation in intrastate commerce.

(16a)    "Local exchange company" means a person holding, on January 1, 1995, a certificate to provide local exchange services or exchange access services.

(17)      "Motor carrier" means a common carrier by motor vehicle.

(18)      "Motor vehicle" means any vehicle, machine, tractor, semi-trailer, or any combination thereof, which is propelled or drawn by mechanical power and used upon the highways within the State.

(19)      "Municipality" means any incorporated community, whether designated in its charter as a city, town, or village.

(20)      Repealed by Session Laws 1995, c. 523, s. 1.

(21)      "Person" means a corporation, individual, copartnership, company, association, or any combination of individuals or organizations doing business as a unit, and includes any trustee, receiver, assignee, lessee, or personal representative thereof.

(22)      "Private carrier" means any person, other than a carrier by rail, not included in the definitions of common carrier, which transports in intrastate commerce in its own vehicle or vehicles property of which such person is the owner, lessee, or bailee, when such transportation is for the purpose of sale, lease, rent, or bailment, or when such transportation is purely an incidental adjunct to some other established private business owned and operated by such person other than the transportation of household goods for compensation.

(23)     a.         "Public utility" means a person, whether organized under the laws of this State or under the laws of any other state or country, now or hereafter owning or operating in this State equipment or facilities for:

1.         Producing, generating, transmitting, delivering or furnishing electricity, piped gas, steam or any other like agency for the production of light, heat or power to or for the public for compensation; provided, however, that the term "public utility" shall not include persons who construct or operate an electric generating facility, the primary purpose of which facility is for such person's own use and not for the primary purpose of producing electricity, heat, or steam for sale to or for the public for compensation;

2.         Diverting, developing, pumping, impounding, distributing or furnishing water to or for the public for compensation, or operating a public sewerage system for compensation; provided, however, that the term "public utility" shall not include any person or company whose sole operation consists of selling water to less than 15 residential customers, except that any person or company which constructs a water system in a subdivision with plans for 15 or more lots and which holds itself out by contracts or other means at the time of said construction to serve an area containing more than 15 residential building lots shall be a public utility at the time of such planning or holding out to serve such 15 or more building lots, without regard to the number of actual customers connected;

3.         Transporting persons or household goods by street, suburban or interurban bus for the public for compensation;

4.         Transporting persons or household goods by motor vehicles or any other form of transportation for the public for compensation, except motor carriers exempted in G.S. 62-260, carriers by rail, and carriers by air;

5.         Transporting or conveying gas, crude oil or other fluid substance by pipeline for the public for compensation;

6.         Conveying or transmitting messages or communications by telephone or telegraph, or any other means of transmission, where such service is offered to the public for compensation.

b.         The term "public utility" shall for rate-making purposes include any person producing, generating or furnishing any of the foregoing services to another person for distribution to or for the public for compensation.

c.         The term "public utility" shall include all persons affiliated through stock ownership with a public utility doing business in this State as parent corporation or subsidiary corporation as defined in G.S. 55-2 to such an extent that the Commission shall find that such affiliation has an effect on the rates or service of such public utility.

d.         The term "public utility," except as otherwise expressly provided in this Chapter, shall not include a municipality, an authority organized under the North Carolina Water and Sewer Authorities Act, electric or telephone membership corporation; or any person not otherwise a public utility who furnishes such service or commodity only to himself, his employees or tenants when such service or commodity is not resold to or used by others; provided, however, that any person other than a nonprofit organization serving only its members, who distributes or provides utility service to his employees or tenants by individual meters or by other coin-operated devices with a charge for metered or coin-operated utility service shall be a public utility within the definition and meaning of this Chapter with respect to the regulation of rates and provisions of service rendered through such meter or coin-operated device imposing such separate metered utility charge. If any person conducting a public utility shall also conduct any enterprise not a public utility, such enterprise is not subject to the provisions of this Chapter. A water or sewer system owned by a homeowners' association that provides water or sewer service only to members or leaseholds of members is not subject to the provisions of this Chapter.

e.         The term "public utility" shall include the University of North Carolina insofar as said University supplies telephone service, electricity or water to the public for compensation from the University Enterprises defined in G.S. 116-41.1(9).

f.          The term "public utility" shall include the Town of Pineville insofar as said town supplies telephone services to the public for compensation. The territory to be served by the Town of Pineville in furnishing telephone services, subject to the Public Utilities Act, shall include the town limits as they exist on May 8, 1973, and shall also include the area proposed to be annexed under the town's ordinance adopted May 3, 1971, until January 1, 1975.

g.         The term "public utility" shall not include a hotel, motel, time share or condominium complex operated primarily to serve transient occupants, which imposes charges to occupants for local, long-distance, or wide area telecommunication services when such calls are completed through the use of facilities provided by a public utility, and provided further that the local services received are rated in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 62-110(d) and the applicable charges for telephone calls are prominently displayed in each area where occupant rooms are located.

h.         The term "public utility" shall not include the resale of electricity by (i) a campground operated primarily to serve transient occupants, or (ii) a marina; provided that (i) the campground or marina charges no more than the actual cost of the electricity supplied to it, (ii) the amount of electricity used by each campsite or marina slip occupant is measured by an individual metering device, (iii) the applicable rates are prominently displayed at or near each campsite or marina slip, and (iv) the campground or marina only resells electricity to campsite or marina slip occupants.

i.          The term "public utility" shall not include the State, the Office of Information Technology Services, or the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina in the provision or sharing of switched broadband telecommunications services with non-State entities or organizations of the kind or type set forth in G.S. 143B-426.39.

j.          The term "public utility" shall not include any person, not otherwise a public utility, conveying or transmitting messages or communications by mobile radio communications service. Mobile radio communications service includes one-way or two-way radio service provided to mobile or fixed stations or receivers using mobile radio service frequencies.

k.         The term "public utility" shall not include a regional natural gas district organized and operated pursuant to Article 28 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes.

l.          The term "public utility" shall include a city or a joint agency under Part 1 of Article 20 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes that provides service as defined in G.S. 62-3(23)a.6. and is subject to the provisions of G.S. 160A-340.1.

(24)      "Rate" means every compensation, charge, fare, tariff, schedule, toll, rental and classification, or any of them, demanded, observed, charged or collected by any public utility, for any service product or commodity offered by it to the public, and any rules, regulations, practices or contracts affecting any such compensation, charge, fare, tariff, schedule, toll, rental or classification.

(25)      "Route" means the course or way which is traveled; the road or highway over which motor vehicles operate.

(26)      "Securities" means stock, stock certificates, bonds, notes, debentures, or other evidences of ownership or of indebtedness, and any assumption or guaranty thereof.

(27)      "Service" means any service furnished by a public utility, including any commodity furnished as a part of such service and any ancillary service or facility used in connection with such service.

(27a)    "Small power producer" means a person or corporation owning or operating an electrical power production facility with a power production capacity which, together with any other facilities located at the same site, does not exceed 80 megawatts of electricity and which depends upon renewable resources for its primary source of energy. For the purposes of this section, renewable resources shall mean: hydroelectric power. A small power producer shall not include persons primarily engaged in the generation or sale of electricity from other than small power production facilities.

(28)      The word "State" means the State of North Carolina; "state" means any state.

(29)      "Town" means any unincorporated community or collection of people having a geographical name by which it may be generally known and is so generally designated.

(30)      "Panel" means a panel of three commissioners, a division of the Utilities Commission authorized for the purpose of carrying out certain functions of the Commission.  (1913, c. 127, s. 7; C.S., s. 1112(b); 1933, c. 134, ss. 3, 8; c. 307, s. 1; 1937, c. 108, s. 2; 1941, cc. 59, 97; 1947, c. 1008, s. 3; 1949, c. 1132, s. 4; 1953, c. 1140, s. 1; 1957, c. 1152, s. 13; 1959, c. 639, ss. 12, 13; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1; 1967, c. 1094, ss. 1, 2; 1971, c. 553; c. 634, s. 1; cc. 894, 895; 1973, c. 372, s. 1; 1975, c. 243, s. 2; cc. 254, 415; 1979, c. 652, s. 1; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1219, s. 1; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1186, s. 2; 1985, c. 676, s. 4; 1987, c. 445, s. 2; 1989, c. 110; 1993, c. 349, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 777, s. 1(b); 1995, c. 27, ss. 2, 3; c. 509, s. 34; c. 523, s. 1; 1997-426, s. 8; 1997-437, s. 1; 1998-128, ss. 1-3; 2004-199, s. 1; 2004-203, s. 37(a); 2005-95, s. 2; 2011-84, s. 2(a).)