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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting

Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 1:30 P.M.
Ramada Inn, Room A
Aberdeen, 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 August 18, 2003.

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. TC02-166 In the Matter of S&S Communications/Alterna-Cell's Compliance with Commission Order. (Staff Analyst: Keith Senger, Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier)

On September 27, 2002, the Commission received a Motion from staff requesting that the Commission issue an Order To Show Cause to S&S Communications/Alterna-Cell (S&S) as to why S&S should not be found in violation of the Order Granting Certificate of Authority in TC00-114 (Order) and of the laws of the State of South Dakota, including but not limited to SDCL 49-31-7.1 and ARSD 20:10:01:28, 20:10:06:05 and 20:10:24:05.05. According to the Motion, staff has sent numerous data requests to S&S in order to determine the proper amount of bond which S&S must post pursuant to the Order. On September 24, 2002, staff received a letter from S&S objecting to providing this information. The Motion alleges that this denial is in violation of state law and alleges that S&S is not properly bonded. Staff seeks an Order, inter alia, compelling S&S to produce the information requested by staff, compelling S&S to meet the bond requirements of the Order or suspending or revoking S&S' certificate of authority. On October 28, 2002, the Commission signed an Order granting Staff's Motion To Issue An Order To Show Cause. Subsequently, staff and S&S entered into discussions and S&S agreed to have its certificate of authority amended to restrict the company from entering into or providing prepaid services and from accepting customer deposits and advanced payments from South Dakota customers, while maintaining all current bonding obligations. On March 18, 2003, the Commission voted unanimously to approve that amendment. On May 27, 2003, staff filed a motion to further amend the certificate of authority to clarify and add reporting requirements. The Commission issued an order on June 3, 2003, granting Staff's Motion to Amend the Certificate of Authority and Add Reporting Requirements. On June 6, 2003, Staff filed a motion for order to show cause and notice of hearing. An Affidavit of James Mehlhaff of the Consumer Affairs Division of the PUC was filed on June 6, 2003. A Supplement to Motion for Order to Show Cause and Notice of Hearing was filed by Staff on June 11, 2003, as well as a Motion for Correction of Clerical Errors on June 3, 2003 Order. On June 13, 2003, the Commission authorized Commission staff to take action to secure the letter of credit issued by Aberdeen Finance Corporation. According to the Letter Of Credit, an affidavit must be supplied by an authorized member of the Commission stating that claims have been presented by South Dakota consumers against S&S for not providing long distance services. Hearings in this matter were held on June 30 and July 2, 2003.

TODAY, what is the Commission's decision?

Heather K. Forney
Deputy Executive Director
August 15, 2003