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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
Thursday, March 28, 2002; 1:30 P.M.
State Capitol Building, Room 464
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 March 27, 2002.
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 Meetings Held On February 26, and March 14, 2002. (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 447 consumer contacts during 2002. 140 of the complaints were received since the February 26, 2002, meeting. So far the Commission has resolved 399 informal consumer complaints.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS: 102 of the contacts involved telecommunications. 26 contacts concerned billing issues; 10 concerned the unauthorized switch in telecommunication services; 3 concerned delayed service or delayed disconnect; 7 contacts involved telemarketers; 7 contacts involved disconnects; 5 concerned unauthorized billing; 11 contacts involved increased rates; 2 involved poor customer service; 4 contacts involved fees, and some of the remaining contacts involved cellular service, Life Line/Link-Up, local # portability, 800/900 blocks and contract disputes.
ELECTRICITY: 23 of the contacts involved electricity issues. 14 of the contacts concerned disconnect; 6 concerned billing; 1 concerned property damage; 1 involved fees, and 1 contact involved PUC administrative rules.
NATURAL GAS: 13 of the contacts involved natural gas. 4 of the contacts concerned billing; 4 contacts involved disconnects; 1 involved fees; 2 concerned energy assistance, and 2 contacts concerned poor customer service.
2. IN THE MATTER OF DISMISSING DOCKETS CN02-001, CT02-003 and CT02-006.
CN02-001 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY ROSLYN BULLION, DELL RAPIDS, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST MIDAMERICAN ENERGY COMPANY REGARDING A BILLING DISPUTE. (Staff Analyst: Mary Healy. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
Complainant has several billing issues in dispute regarding more than one property. Complainant requests that her debt be removed from her son's address, that money she has paid be applied to the appropriate account, information be provided to her as to why she should pay a bill for a vacant property that she does not own, she be awarded monetary relief for a collection action that she does not owe, her service be restored and meter readings be given for the months of November, December, January, February, March and April.
CT02-003 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY LINDA BARKER, SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST AT&T COMMUNICATIONS OF THE MIDWEST, INC. REGARDING INCREASED RATES AND FAILURE TO DISCONNECT. (Staff Analyst: Mary Healy. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
Complainant states that when she transferred her long distance service from AT&T to MCI, it was her understanding that her entire account would be canceled. Complainant's calling card was not canceled by AT&T and when the card was used by her son, the calls were carried by AT&T and the complainant was charged much higher rates than what she had originally agreed to pay when she accepted the calling card. Complainant was not notified that the card would not be canceled nor was she notified that her rates would increase. Complainant requests that AT&T lower the rate on her bill to .25 per minute as this was the rate she was told she would pay when she agreed to the card. She also feels that consumers should be notified by AT&T prior to raising their rates. Complainant would like the Public Utilities Commission to support legislation in the South Dakota Legislature to notify consumers when long distance companies or calling card companies change long distance rates on existing plans without notifying consumers.
CT02-006 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY LILLIAN R. LEHI, HURON, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST IDT AMERICA, CORP. AND WEBNET COMMUNICATIONS, INC. REGARDING UNAUTHORIZED SWITCHING OF SERVICES. (Staff Analyst: Mary Healy. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
Complainant states that she is receiving billings from IDT and WebNet which she did not authorize. Complainant requests that the PUC investigate her complaint and find out why these charges are appearing on her bills. South Dakota law requires the company who authorized the unauthorized billing to pay the consumer $1,000.00.
TODAY, if the above matters are resolved shall the Commission dismiss the complaints and close the dockets?
1. EL02-003 IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION OF WEST RIVER ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION, INC. FOR A DECLARATORY RULING REGARDING SERVICE TERRITORY RIGHTS CONCERNING BLACK HILLS POWER, INC. AND WEST RIVER ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION, INC. (Staff Analyst: Martin Bettmann. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
West River Electric Association, Inc. (WREA) has filed a petition with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission for a declaratory ruling in regard to the following issues: a. Whether Black Hills Power, Inc. is rendering or has extended service within WREA's territory in violation of SDCL 49-34A-42. b. Whether WREA has the right to provide future electrical service to the Rapid City Waste Treatment Facility located within WREA's assigned service area. A hearing in this matter is being planned for April 18, 2002. On March 1, 2002, Black Hills Power, Inc. filed a Petition to Intervene.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant intervention to Black Hills Power, Inc.?
2. EL02-004 IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR DECLARATORY RULING OF THE CITY OF BERESFORD ON WHETHER A PROPOSED TRANSMISSION LINE MEETS THE DEFINITION OF SDCL 49-41B-2.1. (Staff Analyst: Michele Farris. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On March 18, 2002, the City of Beresford filed a Petition for Declaratory Ruling regarding a proposed 115 kV transmission line. Beresford Municipal Utilities, City of Beresford is proposing to construct a new 115 kV electric transmission line source from the existing Western Area Power Administration substation located north of Beresford, South Dakota. The new line will be approximately 3.25 miles in length.
TODAY, how shall the Commission rule?
1. TC01-098 IN THE MATTER OF DETERMINING PRICES FOR UNBUNDLED NETWORK ELEMENTS (UNES) IN QWEST CORPORATION'S STATEMENT OF GENERALLY AVAILABLE TERMS (SGAT). (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On July 27, 2001, Qwest Corporation (Qwest) filed a petition for the purpose of determining Qwest's forward looking costs to be used in setting the prices for the elements and services contained in Qwest's Statement of Generally Available Terms (SGAT) and setting a scheduling conference for the purpose of adopting a procedural schedule for the orderly progression of this filing. Qwest filed its most recent South Dakota specific total element long run incremental cost (TELRIC) studies for those Unbundled Network Elements offered in Qwest's SGAT. Qwest is not generally seeking changes to those prices already established by this Commission in the AT&T Arbitration (TC96-184). Qwest recommends that this Commission declare those previously established prices to be Qwest's permanent TELRIC-based wholesale prices. For those services that were not addressed in previous pricing decisions of this Commission, Qwest offers its cost studies and supporting materials in support of the prices depicted in its filing. Qwest will not seek cost recovery for its Operations Support Systems until testing of said systems has been successfully completed. Qwest proposes a series of informal workshops to precede the preparation and filing of more formal positions of Staff and any other interested parties. At these workshops Qwest will explain and, if requested, provide "hands-on" assistance for the use of its Integrated Cost Model and other cost models. Following the workshop phase, Qwest then proposes that the case move to a more formal schedule that provides for direct and re al testimony and an evidentiary hearing on those issues remaining after the informal workshop process is completed. AT&T was granted intervention on September 5, 2001.
TODAY, how shall the Commission proceed?
2. TC01-162 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF QX TELECOM LLC FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE INTEREXCHANGE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA. (Staff Analyst: Keith Senger. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
On October 18, 2001, QX Telecom LLC filed for a Certificate of Authority to provide interexchange telecommunication services in South Dakota. The applicant intends to provide facilities-based and resold interexchange telecommunications services to both residential and business class customers throughout the State of South Dakota. The matter was deferred at the February 26, 2002, meeting.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant a Certificate of Authority to Q X Telecom LLC?
On October 25, 2001, Qwest Corporation filed with the Commission a Petition For Commission Recommendation That The Federal Communications Commission Grant Qwest Corporation Entry Into The In-Region InterLATA Market Under Section 271 Of The Telecommunications Act Of 1996. Specifically, Qwest Corporation requests that this Commission find, based upon the record presented, that Qwest Corporation has met the competitive checklist and other requirements of 47 U.S.C. Section 271, which prescribe the mechanism by which Qwest Corporation may be found eligible to provide in-region interLATA services and rely upon that finding to provide a favorable recommendation to the Federal Communications Commission. In support of its petition, Qwest Corporation submitted 25 affidavits, a revised Statement of Generally Available Terms, and 7 Reports submitted in the Seven-State Process. Black Hills FiberCom, Midcontinent Communications, and AT&T were granted intervention on November 27, 2001. On March 5, 2002, Black Hills FiberCom filed a motion for Order Denying Petition. On March 6, 2002, Qwest filed a Motion to Remove Document from Commission Record. On March 7, 2002, Midcontinent filed a Motion for Definition of Track A Analysis.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant the Motion for Order Denying Petition? AND, shall the Commission grant the Motion to Remove Document from Commission Record? ALSO, how shall the Commission respond regarding the Motion for Definition of Track A Analysis? AND, shall the Commission schedule additional time for the hearing? AND, how shall the Commission schedule issues and/or witnesses for the hearing?
4. TC01-193 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF NUI TELECOM, INC. FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE INTEREXCHANGE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA. (Staff Analyst: Heather Forney. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
NUI Telecom (NUI) has filed an application for a Certificate of Authority to provide interexchange telecommunications services in South Dakota. NUI seeks authority to offer a full range of "1+" interexchange telecommunications services on a resale basis. Specifically, NUI seeks authority to provide MTS, in-WATS, out-WATS, and Calling Card services.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant a Certificate of Authority to NUI Telecom, Inc.?
5. TC02-015 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF EXCEL TELECOMMUNICATIONS, INC. FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE COMPETITIVE FACILITIES-BASED LOCAL EXCHANGE SERVICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA. (Staff Analyst: Heather Forney. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
Excel Telecommunications, Inc. has filed an application requesting an expansion of its Certificate of Authority to provide telecommunications services in South Dakota. The applicant was granted authority to provide resold local exchange services in South Dakota on December 17, 1996. The Company now proposes to offer facilities-based local exchange services to consumers in the State utilizing combinations of unbundled network elements ("UNEs"), specifically the unbundled network elements platform ("UNE-P") purchased from the incumbent local exchange carrier.
TODAY, under the current certificate of authority, does Excel need Commission approval to provide facilities-based local exchange service?
6. TC02-018 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS, LLC FOR APPROVAL TO EXPAND ITS CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE FACILITIES-BASED LOCAL EXCHANGE SERVICES IN THE SERVICE TERRITORY OF BERESFORD MUNICIPAL TELEPHONE CO. (Staff Analyst: Keith Senger. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
On May 5, 1999, the Commission granted Level 3 Communications, LLC (Level 3) authority to provide local exchange services in those areas in South Dakota where U S WEST Communications, Inc. [now Qwest Corporation] is the incumbent local exchange carrier. On February 19, 2002, the Commission received an application from Level 3 to provide facilities-based local exchange services within the service territory of Beresford Municipal Telephone Company. On March 4, 2002, Beresford Municipal Telephone Company filed a Petition to Intervene.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant intervention to Beresford Municipal Telephone Company?
7. TC02-019 IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING BY NEW EDGE NETWORK, INC. D/B/A NEW EDGE NETWORKS FOR APPROVAL OF RELIEF OF CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENT TO POST SURETY BOND. (Staff Analyst: Keith Senger. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
In an Order dated December 8, 1999, the Commission granted New Edge Network, Inc. d/b/a New Edge Networks (New Edge) authority to provide interexchange and local exchange telecommunications services in South Dakota, subject to the condition that New Edge continuously maintain a $25,000 surety bond. On February 21, 2002, the Commission received a filing from New Edge requesting relief from the Commission's bond requirement.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve an amendment to the conditions of the Certificate of Authority of New Edge Network, Inc.?
8. TC02-022 IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING FOR APPROVAL OF AN AMENDMENT TO AN INTERCONNECTION AGREEMENT BETWEEN QWEST CORPORATION AND MIDCONTINENT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. (Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
On February 28, 2002, the Commission received for approval a filing of an Amendment to CLEC-to-CLEC Cross-Connection to the Interconnection Agreement between Midcontinent Communications (Midcontinent) and Qwest Corporation (Qwest). According to the parties, the agreement is made in order to add the terms, conditions and rates to CLEC-to-CLEC Cross Connections, as set forth in Attachment 1 and Exhibit A attached to the amendment. According to the parties, the original Agreement was approved by the Commission effective May 5, 1999, in TC99-023. Parties had until March 20, 2002, to file comments.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the amendment to the interconnection agreement?
1. On April 9, 2002, at 1:30pm in 412 of the State Capitol, a hearing will be held in CT01-016 (Abourezk).
2. A hearing in EL02-003 (WREA) will be held on April 18, 2002, at 1:00pm, in Room 464, of the State Capitol.
3. A hearing in TC01-165 (Qwest 271 Filing) will be held on April 22-26, 2002, in Room 412 of the State Capitol.
4. A Commission Meeting and Hearings are being planned for May 9, 2002.
5. The next regularly scheduled Commission meeting will be held April 17, 2002, at 1:30pm, in Room 412 of the State Capitol Building.
Deputy Executive Director
March 21, 2002