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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting

Tuesday, March 8, 2005 at 10:30 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 March 7, 2005. 

 

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

Administration

 

1.   Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on February 8 and February 28, 2005.  (Staff:  Tina Douglas.)

Consumer Issues

 

1.   Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission.  (Consumer Affairs:  Jim Mehlhaff)

 

2.           CT05-001          In the Matter of the Complaint filed by WWC License LLC against Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc., Vivian Telephone Company, Sioux Valley Telephone Company, Armour Independent Telephone Company, Bridgewater/Canistota Independent Telephone Company and Kadoka Telephone Company Regarding Intercarrier Billings.   (Staff Analyst:  Harlan Best,  Staff Attorney:  Rolayne Ailts Wiest)

 

On February 16, 2005, WWC License LLC (WWC) filed a complaint against Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. (Golden West), and Vivian Telephone Company, Sioux Valley Telephone Company, Union Telephone Company, Armour Independent Telephone Company, Bridgewater-Canistota Telephone Company and Kadoka Telephone Company (affiliated companies). WWC is seeking reimbursement for alleged overpayments it made to Golden West and its affiliated companies. WWC requests that the Commission order Golden West and its affiliated companies to repay the amounts overpaid, to award double the damages pursuant to SDCL 49-31-14.1, to reimburse WWC's attorney's fees pursuant to SDCL 49-13-14.1 and to grant WWC such other and further relief that may be proper or equitable.

 

TODAY, shall the Commission Grant Intervention to any parties that may have filed?

 

Electricity

1.           EL04-041           In the Matter of the Application of Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. for an Energy Conversion Facility Permit for the Construction of a Combustion Turbine Generator near Groton, South Dakota.   (Staff Analyst:  Michele Farris,  Staff Attorney:  Karen Cremer)

 

On December 22, 2004, Basin Electric Power Cooperative filed for Commission approval an application for an energy conversion facility permit.  Basin Electric is proposing to construct a peaking resource generator near Groton, South Dakota.  The project is proposed to serve projected member load growth and is known as the East Side Peaking Project.  The proposed East Side Peaking Project will include a new  80 to 100 megawatt simple cycle natural gas combustion turbine generator.  The project also includes approximately 11.5 miles of underground gas pipeline and approximately 0.5 miles of transmission line.  Northern Natural Gas Co. filed an Application for Party Status on February 22, 2005.

 

TODAY, shall the Commission Grant Northern Natural Gas Co.'s Application for Party Status?

 

2.           EL05-003           In the Matter of the Joint Request for an Electric Service Territory Boundary Change between the City of Wessington Springs and Central Electric Cooperative, Inc.  (Staff Analyst:  Michele Farris,  Staff Attorney:  Karen Cremer)

 

On February 16, 2005, the City of Wessington Springs filed for Commission approval a Service Territory Exchange Agreement between the City of Wessington Springs and Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. The City of Wessington Springs agrees to transfer to Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. all of that portion within the City limits of the City of Wessington Springs which lies south of South Dakota Highway 34 and that portion of Section Seven (7), Township One Hundred Seven (107), Range Sixty-four (64), Jerauld County, South Dakota which begins at the easternmost point of the northern boundary of the Wessington Springs City Limits, then goes east approximately Three Thousand Three Hundred Feet (3,300), more or less; thence south approximately Three Thousand Four Hundred Feet (3,400) more or less; thence west along the City Limit of Wessington Springs approximately Three Thousand Three Hundred Feet (3,300), more or less, thence north along the City Limit of Wessington Springs approximately Three Thousand Four Hundred Feet (3,400), more or less, to the place of beginning.

 

In exchange, Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. agrees to transfer to the City of Wessington Springs all of Burma's First Addition, a Subdivision in the Northeast Quarter of the Northeast Quarter (NE1/4 NE1/4) of Section Eighteen (18), and Lot Two (2), Martha Burma Addition, a Subdivision of a portion of the Northeast Quarter (NE1/4) of Section Eighteen (18), Township One Hundred Seven (107) North, Range Sixty-four (64), West of the 5th P.M., Jerauld County, South Dakota, and that portion of land which is shown on a Plat found in Book 2, pages 119-120 of Plats in the office of the Jerauld County Register of Deeds as being a part of Lots 18, 19, 20 and 21 of a replat of a portion of Lot B, J.L. Sedgwick's Subdivision to the City of Wessington Springs. The portion included is only that portion of such lots shown on the above-referenced plat as not lying within the city limits of the City of Wessington Springs.

 

It is the opinion of both the City of Wessington Springs and Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. that this exchange of service areas is in the best interests of both parties, as well as in the public interest.

 

TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Territory Boundary Change?

 

Telecommunications

 

1.           TC04-257          In the Matter of the Filing by Qwest Corporation of its Notice of Modifications to Exhibit B and Motion to Modify the Qwest Performance Assurance Plan found in Exhibit K to the Statement of Generally Available Terms and Conditions.    (Staff Analyst:  Harlan Best,  Staff Attorney:  Karen Cremer)


On November 30, 2004, Qwest Corporation filed to modify Exhibit B of the Statement of Generally Available Terms and Conditions (SGAT) and to modify the Qwest Performance Assurance Plan (QPAP) found in Exhibit K to the SGAT. Qwest states that "is filing is prompted by the Stipulation reached by the parties to the Arizona First Six Month Review of the QPAP that applies to each of the 14 states within Qwest Corporation's local service area.  The Arizona Stipulation anticipates changes to the QPAP.  The Arizona Stipulation includes resolution on two issues related to OP-5-B, "New Service Quality/New Service Provisioning Quality" that require red-lined changes to Exhibit B and/or Exhibit K: standards and low volume treatment. Qwest intends that the terms of the Arizona Stipulation be available to and benefit CLECs that opt-in to the QPAP in its local service region and, accordingly, makes this filing to effectuate the Arizona Stipulation." Qwest requests that the Commission approve the changes and order them to become effective no later than December 31, 2004. Qwest further requests that pursuant to Section 18 of Exhibit K, the changes shall automatically apply to and modify all existing interconnection agreements that currently contain Exhibit B and Exhibit K as exhibits.

 

TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Amendments to the QPAP?

 

2.           TC04-259          In the Matter of the Filing by Gold Line Telemanagement Inc.  For an Amended Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Telecommunications Services in South Dakota.   (Staff Analyst:  Keith Senger,  Staff Attorney:  Sara Greff)

 

In an Order dated December 23, 2003, the Commission granted Gold Line Telemanagement Inc. (Gold Line) authority to provide interexchange telecommunications services in South Dakota, subject to restrictions from offering prepaid services or from accepting customer deposits and advanced payments.  On December 7, 2004, the Commission received a filing from Gold Line requesting relief from those restrictions.

 

TODAY, shall the Commission Amend the Certificate of Authority for Gold Line Telemanagement Inc.?

 

3.           TC04-263          In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of Transfer of Certificate of Authority from SBC Long Distance, Inc. to SBC Long Distance, LLC.    (Staff Analyst:  Michele Farris,  Staff Attorney:  Karen Cremer)

 

SBC Long Distance, Inc. formerly known as Southwestern Bell Communications Services Inc. d/b/a SBC Long Distance has reorganized from a corporation to a limited liability company.  In the future they will be known as SBC Long Distance, LLC.  Previously the Commission granted SBC Long Distance, Inc. a Certificate of Authority to offer both local service and interexchange service.  SBC Long Distance, Inc. is requesting the Certificate of Authority be amended to reflect the change to SBC Long Distance, LLC d/b/a SBC Long Distance.

 

TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Certificate of Authority Transfer from SBC Long Distance, Inc. to SBC Long Distance, LLC?

 

4.           TC05-006          In the Matter of the Request by Qwest Corporation for a Waiver of a Requirement to File a Switched Access Cost Study.   (Staff Analyst:  Harlan Best,  Staff Attorney:  Karen Cremer)

 

On January 20, 2005, Qwest Corporation (Qwest) filed an application for waiver of the requirement to file a switched access cost study as required by Commission rule.  ARSD 20:10:27:07 requires a carrier's carrier to file cost data in support of its switched access service tariff no less than once every three years.  ARSD 20:10:27:02 provides that the Commission may, for good cause shown, either by its own motion or by application from a carrier's carrier, temporarily waive or suspend any rule in chapters 20:10:27 to 20:10:29, inclusive.  "Qwest requests a waiver of the cost study requirement because (1) producing such a study is costly and consumes a great deal of resources; and (2) Qwest does not intend to raise access rates at this time, although preliminary analysis indicates that a cost study would likely support higher rates than even those from the last study."

 

TODAY, shall the Commission Grant the Waiver from Filing a Switched Access Cost Study?

 

5.           TC05-016          In the Matter of the Filing by PrairieWave Telecommunications, Inc. for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier.   (Staff Analyst:  Harlan Best,  Staff Attorney:  Karen Cremer)

 

On January 24, 2005, PrairieWave Telecommunications, Inc. (PrairieWave) filed a petition for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) for the rural, contiguous wire centers of Centerville and Viborg.  PrairieWave offers the services supported by the federal Universal Service Fund using entirely its own fiber optic, copper and coaxial cable facilities, and does and will continue to advertise these services and the prices for the services using media of general distribution.  PrairieWave seeks to have the combined wire centers of Centerville and Viborg designated as a service area for ETC purposes.  Redefinition of Fort Randall Telephone Company's service area requires the approval of both this Commission and the FCC. PrairieWave has also filed information supporting an annual certification letter to the FCC and to USAC that all high-cost support will be used only for the provision, maintenance, and upgrading of facilities and services for which the support is intended.   On February 8, 2005, South Dakota Telecommunications Association filed a Petition to Intervene and on February 11, 2005, Fort Randall Telephone Company filed a Petition for Intervention. 

 

TODAY, shall the Commission grant South Dakota Telecommunications Association and Fort Randall Telephone Company's Petitions to Intervene?

 

6.           TC05-020          In the Matter of the Filing by McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Switched Access Tariff.  (Staff Analyst:  Harlan Best,  Staff Attorney:  Karen Cremer)

 

On February 11, 2005, McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, Inc. filed for textual changes to the Application, the Definition, and the Regulations Sections of its Access Tariff.

TODAY, shall the Commission approve the Switched Access Tariff Revisions?

 

7.   In the Matter of Approving Agreements in TC05-002, TC05-004, TC05-007, TC05-012,  and TC05-015.

 

TC05-002          In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of a Master Services Agreement between Qwest Corporation and ACN Communication Services, Inc.  (Staff Attorney:  Sara Greff)

 

On January 13, 2005, the Commission received a filing for the approval of Qwest's Master Services Agreement.  Qwest Corporation and ACN Communications Services, Inc. have executed a commercial agreement related to the provisions of switching and shared transport.  The Master Services Agreement is being filed in compliance with the Commission's Order dated October 29, 2004, in Docket TC04-144.  In its cover letter Qwest stated that, "Qwest has disputed, and will continue to dispute, that the (Master Services) Agreement and similar commercial arrangements between Qwest and CLECs are ICAs that must be filed with the Commission for approval pursuant to Section 252 of the Act.  Notwithstanding this position, and without waiving any of its rights or arguments on these issues, Qwest is filing the Agreement as set forth above.  Qwest is making the filing solely to avoid further controversy or disputes with the Commission regarding the appropriate legal status of the Agreement. . . ."  Any party wishing to comment on the Agreement may do so by filing written comments with the Commission and the parties to the Agreement no later than February 2, 2005.  Parties to the Agreement may file written responses to the comments no later than twenty days after the service of the initial comments.

 

TC05-004          In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of a Master Services Agreement between Qwest Corporation and OrbitCom, Inc.  (Staff Attorney:  Sara Greff)

 

On January 14, 2005, the Commission received a filing for the approval of Qwest's Master Services Agreement.  Qwest Corporation and OrbitCom, Inc. have executed a commercial agreement related to the provisions of switching and shared transport.  The Master Services Agreement is being filed in compliance with the Commission's Order dated October 29, 2004 in Docket TC04-144.  In its cover letter Qwest stated that, "Qwest has disputed, and will continue to dispute, that the (Master Services) Agreement and similar commercial arrangements between Qwest and CLECs are ICAs that must by filed with the Commission for approval pursuant to Section 252 of the Act.  Notwithstanding this position, and without waiving any of its rights or arguments on these issues, Qwest is filing the Agreement as set forth above.  Qwest is making the filing solely to avoid further controversy or disputes with the Commission regarding the appropriate legal status of the Agreement. . . ."  Any party wishing to comment on the Agreement may do so by filing written comments with the Commission and the parties to the Agreement no later than February 3, 2005.  Parties to the Agreement may file written responses to the comments no later than twenty days after the service of the initial comments.

 

TC05-007          In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of a Reciprocal Compensation Agreement between Verizon Wireless and OrbitCom, Inc.  (Staff Attorney:  Sara Greff) 

 

On January 20, 2005, the Commission received a filing for the approval of an Interconnection Agreement for Reciprocal Compensation between OrbitCom, Inc. and Verizon Wireless.  According to the parties, the Agreement is "for the mutual exchange of and reciprocal compensation for local telecommunications traffic in accordance with the Telecommunications Act of 1996. . . ."  Any party wishing to comment on the Agreement may do so by filing written comments with the Commission and the parties to the Agreement no later than February 9, 2005.  Parties to the Agreement may file written responses to the comments no later than twenty days after the service of the initial agreements.

 

TC05-012          In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of a Master Services Agreement between Qwest Corporation and Midcontinent Communications.  (Staff Attorney:  Sara Greff) 

 

On January 21, 2005, the Commission received a filing for the approval of Qwest's Master Services Agreement.  Qwest Corporation and Midcontinent Communications have executed a commercial agreement relating to the provisions of switching and shared transport.  The Master Services Agreement is being filed in compliance with the Commission's Order dated October 29, 2004, in Docket TC04-144.  In its cover letter Qwest stated that, "Qwest has disputed, and will continue to dispute, that the (Master Services) Agreement and similar commercial arrangements between Qwest and CLECs are ICAs that must be filed with the Commission for approval pursuant to Section 252 of the Act.  Notwithstanding this position, and without waiving any of its rights or arguments on these issues, Qwest is filing the Agreement as set forth above.  Qwest is making the filing solely to avoid further controversy or disputes with the Commission regarding the appropriate legal status of the Agreement. . . ."  Any party wishing to comment on the Agreement may do so by filing written comments with the Commission and the parties to the Agreement no later than February 10, 2005.  Parties to the Agreement may file written responses to the comments no later than twenty days after the service of the initial comments.

 

TC05-015          In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of a Master Services Agreement between Qwest Corporation and 1-800-Reconex, Inc. d/b/a USTel.  (Staff Attorney:  Sara Greff)

 

On January 21, 2005, the Commission received a filing for the approval of Qwest's Master Services Agreement.  Qwest Corporation and 1-800-Reconex Inc. d/b/a USTel have executed a commercial agreement relating to the provisions of switching and shared transport.  The Master Services Agreement is being filed in compliance with the Commission's Order dated October 29, 2004, in Docket TC04-144.  In its cover letter Qwest stated that, "Qwest has disputed, and will continue to dispute, that the (Master Services) Agreement and similar commercial arrangements between Qwest and CLECs are ICAs that must be filed with the Commission for approval pursuant to Section 252 of the Act.  Notwithstanding this position, and without waiving any of its rights or arguments on these issues, Qwest is filing the Agreement as set forth above.  Qwest is making the filing solely to avoid further controversy or disputes with the Commission regarding the appropriate legal status of the Agreement. . . ."  Any party wishing to comment on the Agreement may do so by filing written comments with the Commission and the parties to the Agreement no later than February 10, 2005.  Parties to the Agreement may file written responses to the comments no later than twenty days after the service of the initial comments.

 

TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Agreements?

 

8.   In the Matter of Approving Amendments to Agreements in TC05-003, TC05-009, TC05-010, TC05-011, TC05-013, and TC05-014.

 

TC05-003          In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of an Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and OrbitCom, Inc.  (Staff Attorney:  Sara Greff)

 

On January 14, 2005, the Commission received a filing for the approval of an Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement for Elimination of UNE-P and Implementation of Batch Hot Cut Process and Discounts between Qwest Corporation and OrbitCom, Inc.  According to the parties, the Amendment is filed to address uncertainty and create a stable arrangement.  Any party wishing to comment on the Amendment may do so by filing written comments with the Commission and the parties to the Amendment no later than February 3, 2005.  Parties to the Amendment may file written responses to the comments no later than twenty days after the service of the initial comments.

 

TC05-009          In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of an Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and DIECA Communications, Inc. d/b/a Covad Communication Company.  (Staff Attorney:  Sara Greff) 

 


On January 21, 2005, the Commission received a filing for the approval of an Amendment to the  Interconnection Agreement for Enhanced Extended Loop (EEL) between Qwest Corporation and DIECA Communications, Inc. d/b/a Covad Communications Company.  According to the parties, the Amendment "revises the Interconnection Agreement between the parties approved by the Commission on November 18, 1999" in Docket TC99-017.  Any party wishing to comment on the Amendment may do so by filing written comments with the Commission and the parties to the Amendment no later than February 10, 2005.  Parties to the Amendment may file written responses to the comments no later than twenty days after the service of the initial comments.

 

TC05-010          In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of an Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and Sprint Communications Company L.P.  (Staff Attorney:  Sara Greff)

 

On January 21, 2005, the Commission received a filing for the approval of an Amendment to the  Interconnection Agreement for Line-Sharing Exit between Qwest Corporation and Sprint Communications Company LP.  According to the parties, the Amendment "revises the Interconnection Agreement between the parties approved by the Commission on February 25, 2004" in Docket TC04-002.  Any party wishing to comment on the Amendment may do so by filing written comments with the Commission and the parties to the Amendment no later than February 10, 2005.  Parties to the Amendment may file written responses to the comments no later than twenty days after the service of the initial comments.

 

TC05-011          In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of an Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and Midcontinent Communications.  (Staff Attorney:  Sara Greff)  

 

On January 21, 2005, the Commission received a filing for the approval of an Amendment to the  Interconnection Agreement for Elimination of UNE-P and Implementation of Batch Hot Cut Process and Discounts between Qwest Corporation and Midcontinent Communications.  According to the parties, the Amendment "revises the Interconnection Agreement between the parties approved by the Commission on May 5, 1999" in Docket TC99-023.  Any party wishing to comment on the Amendment may do so by filing written comments with the Commission and the parties to the Amendment no later than February 10, 2005.  Parties to the Amendment may file written responses to the comments no later than twenty days after the service of the initial comments.

 

TC05-013          In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of an Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and 1-800-Reconex, Inc. d/b/a USTel.  (Staff Attorney:  Sara Greff)

 

On January 21, 2005, the Commission received a filing for the approval of an Amendment to the  Interconnection Agreement for Elimination of UNE-P and Implementation of Batch Hot Cut Process and Discounts between Qwest Corporation and 1-800-Reconex, Inc. d/b/a USTel.  According to the parties, the Amendment "revises the Interconnection Agreement between the parties approved by the Commission on July 24 [27], 2004" in Docket TC04-100.  Any party wishing to comment on the Amendment may do so by filing written comments with the Commission and the parties to the Amendment no later than February 10, 2005.  Parties to the Amendment may file written responses to the comments no later than twenty days after the service of the initial comments.

 

TC05-014          In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of an Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and 1-800-Reconex, Inc. d/b/a USTel.  (Staff Attorney:  Sara Greff)

 

On January 21, 2005, the Commission received a filing for the approval of a Triennial Review Order and USTA II Decision Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and 1-800-Reconex, Inc. d/b/a USTel.  According to the parties the Amendment "revises the Interconnection Agreement between the parties, approved by the Commission on July 24 [27], 2004" in Docket TC04-100.  Any party wishing to comment on the Amendment may do so by filing written comments with the Commission and the parties to the Amendment no later than February 10, 2005.  Parties to the Amendment may file written responses to the comments no later than twenty days after the service of the initial comments.

 

TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Amendments to the Agreements?            

 

TC05-047        IN THE MATTER OF THE PROCEEDS FROM BONDS AND OTHER SECURITY FOR THE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMERS OF S&S COMMUNICATIONS

 

On March 2, 2005, the Commission received a Petition from Commission Staff to open a docket for the administration and distribution of proceeds from bonds and other security (Proceeds) received by the Commission for the benefit of customers of S&S Communications (S&S).  On or about June 3, 2003, S&S ceased providing wireline telecommunications service, for which several hundred South Dakota customers had pre-paid.  On August 28, 2003, the Commission issued its final decision in Docket TC02-166 revoking S&S's certificate of authority.  In the Petition, Staff requests that the Commission issue one or more preliminary orders to establish and administer the claims procedure relative to the Proceeds.

 

TODAY, shall the Commission establish a procedure for providing notice to all potential claimants who have not yet filed of their rights and responsibilities in regard to filing claims against the Proceeds?  AND, shall the Commission establish a cut-off date by which all potential claimants to the Proceeds shall have filed their claims or be foreclosed from so filing?  AND, shall the Commission determine that formal docketed complaints filed with the Commission by customers against S&S also constitute claims against the Proceeds?  AND, shall the Commission order any other preliminary relief at this time?

 

Announcements

 

1.   The next regularly scheduled Commission meeting will be held April 12, 2005, at 10:30 a.m. in Room 412, at Pierre, South Dakota.

2.   Commission meetings are scheduled for April 26 and May 10, 2005.

3.   A hearing in docket EL04-016 will be held in Room 412, State Capitol Building, Pierre.  The hearing will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, March 21, 2005, and is scheduled through noon on Friday, March 25, 2005.

4.   An Energy Forum will be presented by the PUC at the Sheraton Convention Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on April 18, 19, and 20, 2005.

______________________

Heather K. Forney

Deputy Executive Director

heather.forney@state.sd.us

March 2, 2005