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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
Wednesday, December 30, 1998; 1:30 P.M.
State Capitol Building, Room 412
Pierre, South Dakota
NOTE: If you wish to join this meeting by conference call, please contact the Commission at 605- 773-3201 by 5:00 p.m. on December 29, 1998. Please keep in mind that a limited number of telephone lines are available. Every effort should be made for parties in the same city to be on the same line when calling in.
NOTE: Notice is further given to persons with disabilities that this Commission meeting is being held in a physically accessible place. If you have special needs, please notify the Commission and we will make all necessary arrangements.
1. Approval Of The Minutes Of The Commission Meeting Held On December 14, 1998. (Staff: Shirleen Fugitt.)
1. Status Report On Consumer Utility Inquiries And Complaints Recently Received By The Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Leni Healy.)
The Commission has received 3260 consumer contacts during 1998. 110 contacts have been received since the December 14, 1998, Commission meeting.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS: 91 of the contacts involved telecommunication issues. 16 contacts involved the unauthorized switching of long distance; 11 contacts concerned the unauthorized billing for services; 10 contacts involved telemarketers; 7 contacts did not receive promised rates; 6 contacts involved rates; 5 contacts involved billing; 5 contacts involved double billing; 5 contacts concerned repair issues; and the remaining issues concerned 900 #s, blocking, collect calls, deceptive marketing, deposits, cellular phones, wanting service, fees, local slamming, misdirected calls, pay phone charges, poor service, upgrades, and won't disconnect.
ELECTRICITY: 14 contacts involving electricity were reported. 7 contacts involved disconnection; 2 contacts concerned rates; and the remaining contacts involved deposits, meters, poor customer service, payment plans and "other."
NATURAL GAS: 5 contacts involving natural gas were reported. 2 contacts involved disconnection and the remaining issues concerned service, rates, and "other."
A total of 2791 complaints have been resolved informally during 1998.Natural Gas
1. NG98-013 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF MONTANA-DAKOTA UTILITIES CO. FOR APPROVAL OF REVISIONS TO ITS PURCHASED GAS COST ADJUSTMENTS, RATES 88 AND 89. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On December 14, 1998, the Commission received an application by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. to revise its Purchased Gas Cost Adjustments, Rates 88 and 89 to change the minimum threshold which necessitates the filing of revised PGA rate adjustments. Currently, if the monthly adjustment changes less than $.001 per dekatherm, a new adjustment is not required. With this filing the minimum threshold would be raised to $.10 per dekatherm.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the application?Telecommunications
On December 22, 1998, the Commission received a revised tariff No. 1 from the Local Exchange Carrier Association (LECA). The revised page reflects the removal of exchanges which were inadvertently included in the "Qualifying Company Wire Centers" section of the filing dated November 30, 1998.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the revised tariff page?
2. TC98-179 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY BARRY AND DAWN AUSTIN, WHITE OWL, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST GOLDEN WEST TELECOMMUNICATIONS COOPERATIVE, INC., REGARDING DISCRIMATORY INSTALLATION FEES. (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer. Consumer Representative: Leni Healy.)
On September 23, 1998, the Commission received a complaint by Barry and Dawn Austin against Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. The Complainants allege that Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. discriminates against mobile home owners in their line extension policy. The Complainants seek relief from such a policy. On October 15, 1998, the Commission found probable cause to go forward with a hearing. On November 16, 1998, the Commission received the answer from Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative which included a request for the Commission to dismiss the matter.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant the motion to dismiss?
3. TC98-195 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF NETWORK BILLING SYSTEMS, L.L.C. FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA . (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best. Staff Attorney: Camron Hoseck.)
On November 2, 1998, the Commission received an application from Network Billing Systems, L.L.C. for a certificate of authority to provide intrastate telecommunications services in the state of South Dakota. Network Billing Systems is proposing to offer outbound interexchange telecommunications services. The Applicant does not propose to offer alternative operator services. Intrastate service is an add-on service available only if the customer subscribes to the company's interstate offerings.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant a Certificate of Authority to Network Billing Systems?
On December 10, 1998, the Commission received the switched access filing from Kadoka Telephone Company. The filing reflects the switched access rates as determined by dividing the Commission approved revenue requirement by the Commission approved minutes of use for the cost study companies, excluding U S WEST Communications. The rates are proposed to become effective on January 1, 1999.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the switched access rates?
On December 3, 1998, the Commission received a letter from TELEC Consulting Resources asking for "written confirmation that the ruling regarding toll control and toll limitation as detailed in Amended Order TC97-163, XIV, issued March 10, 1998, applies to all South Dakota eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs), not just U S WEST." Since this order was only applicable to U S WEST, the Commission is seeking comments on whether it should issue an order in this docket applicable to all currently designated ETCs reflecting the change in the toll limitation requirement made by the FCC in its Fourth Order on Reconsideration.
TODAY, shall the Commission apply the revised FCC rule regarding toll limitation to existing ETCs?
On December 16, 1998, the Commission received the switched access filing from Mount Rushmore Telephone Company. The filing reflects the switched access rates as determined by dividing the Commission approved revenue requirement by the Commission approved minutes of use for the cost study companies, excluding U S WEST Communications. The rates are proposed to become effective on January 1, 1999.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the switched access rates?
7. TC98-212 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY MARGARET FIGERT, MISSION, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST U S WEST COMMUNICATIONS, INC. REGARDING POOR SERVICE AND REQUEST TO HAVE LINES UPDATED. (Consumer Representative: Leni Healy. Staff Attorney: Camron Hoseck.)
On December 11, 1998, the Commission received a complaint from Margaret Figert, Mission, South Dakota, against USWC regarding poor service and request to have lines updated. The complaint notes a history of poor, interrupted, and sporadic service, and an inability to transmit data and use the internet. The complainant is requesting USWC to upgrade their lines throughout southern Todd County, South Dakota, or sell out to Golden West, Wall, South Dakota who has fiber optic cable.
TODAY, does the Commission find probable cause of an unlawful or unreasonable act, rate, practice or omission to go forward with this complaint and serve it upon the Respondent?Announcements
- A hearing in Docket NG97-021 is scheduled for January 4-5, 1999, in Room 412 of the State Capitol.
- Commissioners Burg and Nelson will be attending the MARC meetings in San Antonio, TX, January 7-10, 1999.
- A hearing in Docket TC98-194 (Basec.net) is scheduled for January 19-20, 1999, in the City Commission Meeting Room, Pierre, SD.
- The next regularly scheduled Commission meeting will be held Wednesday, January 6, 1999, at 9:00 a.m. in Room 412 of the State Capitol Building.
Deputy Executive Director
December 22, 1998