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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
Thursday, November 8, 2001; 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 November 7, 2001.
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 October 23, 2001. (Staff: Mary Giddings.)
1. Status Report On Consumer Utility Inquiries And Complaints Recently Received By The Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Mary Healy.)
The Commission has received 2,620 consumer contacts during 2001. 187 of the
complaints were received since the October 23, 2001, meeting. So far the Commission has resolved 2,471 informal consumer complaints.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS: 131 of the contacts involved telecommunications. 30 contacts concerned billing issues; 15 concerned the unauthorized switch in telecommunication services; 10 concerned delayed service or delayed disconnect; 10 contacts involved telemarketers; 10 contacts involved disconnects; 3 concerned unauthorized billing; 6 contacts involved increased rates; 9 contacts involved poor service; 3 involved cellular service, and some of the remaining contacts involved contract disputes, deposits, long distance providers, 800 numbers, unregulated features, and fees.
ELECTRICITY: 28 of the contacts involved electricity issues. 22 of the contacts concerned disconnect; 3 concerned billing issues; 1 concerned deposits; 1 concerned a contractor issue, 1 contact involved administrative rules.
NATURAL GAS: 24 of the contacts involved natural gas. 16 of the contacts concerned disconnect; 2 concerned poor service; 1 contact involved billing; 1 concerned fees; 1 concerned the requested rate increase; 1 concerned buried line and 2 involved general information on natural gas.
2. IN THE MATTER OF DISMISSING COMPLAINT DOCKETS CT01-019, CT01-035, CT01-041 AND CT01-045.
CT01-019 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY LARRY AND JUDY COYLE, PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST QWEST CORPORATION, TOUCH AMERICA SERVICES, INC., WEBNET COMMUNICATIONS, INC., AND AMERICA'S TELE-NETWORK CORP. REGARDING UNAUTHORIZED SWITCHING OF SERVICES. (Staff Analyst: Mary Healy. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
The Complainants allege that their long distance service was "slammed." Complainants state that their long distance service was switched at least three times in the past year without their authorization. Complainants further state that they put a freeze on their phone line to prevent unauthorized changes heir service was switched again without authorization which resulted in unauthorized billings. Complainants request the maximum amount allowed under South Dakota law and that they be awarded an additional $200.00 for the time they have spent trying to work with all of the companies to fix a problem that the Complainants did not create.
CT01-035 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY JOAN M. HORSTMAN, SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST TOUCH AMERICA, INC. , SPRINT COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY L.P. AND QWEST CORPORATION REGARDING UNAUTHORIZED SWITCHING OF SERVICES AND BILLING FOR SERVICES. (Staff Analyst: Mary Healy. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
Complainant states that on two occasions Touch America has represented itself as her long distance provider. This was done without her knowledge or authorization. Complainant requests that steps be taken to prevent the changing of long distance companies without authorization; that she be absolved from any and all expenses for long distance service that she did not request; and that any party found to be at fault for slamming be fined. On September 7, 2001, Sprint's Motion to Dismiss was granted.
CT01-041 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY SUSAN BRENNEMAN, IOWA CITY, IOWA, AGAINST QWEST CORPORATION AND AT&T COMMUNICATIONS OF THE MIDWEST, INC. REGARDING UNAUTHORIZED COLLECT CALL CHARGES. (Staff Analyst: Mary Healy. Staff Attorney: Karen E. Cremer.)
Complainant states that she requested a collect call block on her telephone line. Complainant states that even though she requested a collect call block, she does not believe that the block was put on her line at her original request. Collect calls were made to her home from a correctional facility and Complainant's daughter accepted the collect calls. Complainant feels that she did everything possible to prevent the collect calls and that she should not be held responsible for the charges.
CT01-045 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY SHANNON THORNBURG, RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST MCLEODUSA TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES, INC. REGARDING FAILURE TO SWITCH LONG DISTANCE SERVICE. (Staff Analyst: Charlene Lund. Staff Attorney: Karen E. Cremer.)
Complainant states that he requested McLeodUSA to switch his service to Sprint. Some long distance calls were billed through Sprint but not all calls. Complainant is requesting that McLeod refund all long distance charges from July 31 forward. He is also requesting that a $1000 penalty be assessed against McLeod for putting them back on McLeod's network after partially completing the switch on August 23, 2001.
TODAY, if the above matters are resolved shall the Commission dismiss the complaints and close the dockets?
1. EL01-025 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF BASIN ELECTRIC POWER COOPERATIVE FOR A CONSTRUCTION PERMIT FOR 23 MILES OF 230 KV ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION LINE AND ASSOCIATED FACILITIES. (Staff Analyst: Michele Farris. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On October 11, 2001, Basin Electric Power Cooperative submitted an application for a permit to construct transmission facilities as defined at SDCL 49-41B. These facilities consist of an asynchronous tie that would connect the eastern and western transmission grids near Rapid City, South Dakota. The rating of the tie would be in the range of 100 to 300 million volt-amperes, depending on the capabilities of the associated transmission system. The project is known as the Rapid City Tie Project and includes: approximately 23 miles of 230 kilovolt transmission line; a line terminal at the western edge of the project referred to as the South Rapid City Substation; an asynchronous tie converter station 4 miles southeast of the South Rapid City Substation; and a line terminal bay at the existing New Underwood Substation, at the eastern edge of the project. The project is located completely in Pennington County, South Dakota. On October 18, 2001, Black Hills Power, Inc. filed a Petition to Intervene. A hearing in this matter is scheduled for November 28, 2001, in Rapid City.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant intervention to Black Hills Power, Inc? AND, shall the Commission assess a filing fee not to exceed $175,000 with an initial deposit of $8,000.00?
On September 24, 2001, the Commission received a Filing for Approval of Local Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation (Qwest) and Sprint Communications Company, L.P. (Sprint). According to the parties the agreement is a negotiated agreement which sets forth the terms, conditions and prices under which Qwest will provide services for resale to Sprint for the provision of local telecommunication services. Parties had until October 15, 2001, to file comments.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed interconnection agreement?
2 TC01-155 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF OPTICAL TELEPHONE CORPORATION FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE INTEREXCHANGE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA. (Staff Analyst: Heather Forney. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
Optical Telephone Corporation (Optical) is seeking a Certificate of Authority to provide interexchange telecommunications services throughout South Dakota. Optical intends to offer resold 1+ and post-paid calling card services.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant a Certificate of Authority to Optical Telephone Corporation?
3. TC01-156 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF AMERICA'S DIGITAL SATELITE TELEPHONE FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE INTEREXCHANGE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA. (Staff Analyst: Keith Senger. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
America's Digital Satelite Telephone is seeking a Certificate of Authority to provide interexchange telecommunication services in South Dakota. The applicant proposes to operate as a reseller of long distances services, and initially plans to offer 1+ and calling card services.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant a Certificate of Authority to America's Digital Satelite Telephone?
1. A hearing in CT99-002 and TC98-176 (Kieffer) will be held on November 6, 2001, at the Super 8 Motel in Sturgis, South Dakota.
2. Commissioners and staff will be attending the NARUC meeting in Philadelphia on November 9-15, 2001.
3. Commission offices will be closed on November 12, 2001, in observance of Veteran's Day.
4. Commission offices will be closed on November 22-23, 2001, in observance of Thanksgiving.
5. A hearing in EL01-025 (Basin Permit) is scheduled for November 28, 2001, at 6:00pm MST at the City School Administration Building in Rapid City.
6. A Commission Meeting and Hearings are being planned for December 12, 2001.
7. The next regularly scheduled Commission meeting will be held November 27, 2001, at 1:30pm, in Room 412 of the State Capitol Building.
Deputy Executive Director
November 1, 2001