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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
Wednesday, January 6, 1999; 9:00 A.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 January 5, 1999. 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.
AGENDA OF THE COMMISSION MEETING
1. Approval Of The Minutes Of The Commission Meeting Held On December 30, 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 3298 consumer contacts during 1998. 38 contacts have been received since the December 30, 1998, Commission meeting.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS: 36 contacts involved telecommunication issues. 7 contacts involved the unauthorized switching of long distance service; 7 contacts concerning the unauthorized billing for services; 7 contacts involved billing; 5 contacts concerning telemarketers; and the remaining issues involved cellular service, directory listings, outages, assessment of higher rates, and installation of service.
ELECTRICITY: 2 contacts involving electricity were reported. Billing and disconnection were the issues.
NATURAL GAS: There were no natural gas contacts.
A total of 2835 complaints have been resolved informally during 1998.
1. NG98-012 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF MONTANA-DAKOTA UTILITIES CO. FOR APPROVAL OF REVISIONS TO ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, RATE 64. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On December 7, 1998, the Commission received an application by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. for approval of Revisions to Rate 64 reflecting a new agreement executed November 30, 1998. Ellsworth Air Force base has installed a propane-air peaking system and is converting their firm natural gas service requirements to interruptible service. The revised tariff will reflect the new service agreement rates and conditions.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the application?
1. TC98-185 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF EQUALITY, INC. FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA. (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On October 19, 1998, the Commission received an application from EQuality Inc. for a certificate of authority to provide intrastate telecommunications services in the state of South Dakota. EQuality proposes to offer 1+, 800 and travel card service.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant a Certificate of Authority to EQuality Inc.?
2. TC98-194 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY BASEC.NET, HURON, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST U S WEST COMMUNICATIONS AND FIRSTEL, INC. REGARDING BILLING ISSUES. (Consumer Representative: Leni Healy. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On October 26, 1998, the Commission received a Complaint by Marvie Tschetter of Basec.Net against U S WEST Communications, Inc. and FirsTel, Inc. The Complainant purchased an existing business and contacted U S WEST to continue customer access through T-1 lines. U S WEST informed the Complainant that Basec.Net could not take over payment of the lines unless the previous owner's debt was paid in full. Basec.Net decided to move the equipment and obtain services through FirsTel. After obtaining the services, Basec.Net was informed by U S WEST that they would be charged for installation/construction fees, the old billings of the previous owner, and additional charges for monthly service until other options were available. Neither U S WEST nor FirsTel disclosed these costs prior to providing service. FirsTel offered a plan with minimal installation fees but could not offer the service for 15-20 days which would not allow Basec.net's customers access to their services. The Complainant seeks the following relief: "1) Require U S WEST to inform promptly of facilities issues. 2) Some sort of financial compensation for loss of revenue." The Commission ordered a finding of probable cause and set the hearing for this matter on January 19-20, 1999. On December 30, 1998, the Commission received a request from U S WEST for expedited response time.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant the request for expedited response time?
3. TC98-205 IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING BY U S WEST COMMUNICATIONS, INC. FOR APPROVAL OF INTERCONNECTION AGREEMENT BETWEEN BLACK HILLS FIBERCOM, INC. AND U S WEST COMMUNICATIONS, INC. (Staff Attorney: Camron Hoseck.)
On November 24, 1998, U S WEST Communications, Inc. filed an interconnection agreement between itself and Black Hills FiberCom, Inc. with the Commission.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the interconnection agreement?
On September 28, 1998, the Commission opened a rulemaking docket to consider telecommunications administrative rules. A hearing was held on November 2, 1998. The deadline to comment on the proposed rules was November 13, 1998. The LRC rules hearing was held on December 14, 1998. On December 23, 1998, AT&T filed an application for reconsideration, clarification or rehearing with the Commission.
TODAY, how shall the Commission act on AT&T's application for reconsideration, clarification or rehearing?
Commission staff was asked to investigate the status of the regulated utilities in South Dakota and report on the utilities' efforts towards mitigating the potential problems posed by the Y2K computer problem.
TODAY, staff has an update. And, how shall the Commission proceed?
1. A hearing in Docket NG97-021 is scheduled for January 4-5, 1999, in Room 412 of the State Capitol.
2. Commissioners Burg and Nelson will be attending the MARC meetings in San Antonio, TX, January 7-10, 1999.
3. he Commissioners will attend an electric restructuring presentation sponsored by SDREA at 2:00 p.m., January 14, 1999, at the Ramkota Inn in Pierre.
4. A hearing in Docket TC98-194 (Basec.Net) is scheduled for January 19-20, 1999, at 8:30 a.m. in the City Commission Meeting Room, Pierre, SD.
5. Commissioner Burg will be attending a GRI meeting in Washington DC, January 20-21, 1999.
6. A hearing in Docket TC98-137 (Barton v USWC) is scheduled for January 22, 1999, at 11:00 a.m. in Aberdeen, SD, at the Aberdeen Development Corp.
7. A hearing in Docket TC98-196 (GSA v McLeod) is scheduled for February 10, 1999, at 9:00 a.m., in Rapid City, SD, at the School Administration Building.
8. The next regularly scheduled Commission meeting will be held Tuesday, January 26, 1999, at 2:30 p.m. in Room 468 of the State Capitol Building.
Deputy Executive Director
December 30, 1998