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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
September 24, 2013, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 414, Capitol Building
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. CDT on Monday,September 23, 2013. Lines are limited and are given out on a first come, first served basis, subject to possible reassignment to accommodate persons who must appear in a proceeding. Ultimately, if you wish to participate in the Commission Meeting and a line is not available, you may have to appear in person.

NOTE: To listen to the Commission Meeting live please go to the PUC's website www.puc.sd.gov and click on the LIVE link on the home page. The Commission requests persons who will only be listening to proceedings and not actively appearing in a case listen via the web cast to free phone lines for those who have to appear. The Commission meetings are archived on the PUC's website under the Commission Actions tab, Click on "Commission Meeting Archives," to access the recordings.

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 COMMISSION MEETING

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on August 27, 2013 (Staff: Joy Lashley)

Consumer Reports

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

Natural Gas

1.     NG13-004     In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for Approval of Revisions to its Tariff Section No. 5 (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

On August 30, 2013, the Commission received a filing from NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern). This filing proposes to update Sheet No. 6.2 in Section No. 5 of NorthWestern’s filed natural gas tariff. NorthWestern’s tariff provides that the Fuel Retention Percentage is to be updated annually and be effective October 1 each year. NorthWestern also proposes to update the fuel rate for customers with an average daily therm usage greater than 30,000. NorthWestern states that customers who fit this high usage criterion are primarily direct connect customers whose gas system is not subject to the normal losses in a distribution system. NorthWestern seeks an effective date of October 1, 2013.

     Today, shall the Commission approve the proposed tariff revisions?
                                            
Telecommunications

1.     TC09-098      In the Matter of the Complaint filed by South Dakota Network, LLC against Sprint Communications Company L.P. Regarding Failure to Pay Intrastate Centralized Equal Access Charges and to Immediately Pay Undisputed Portions of SDN’s Invoices (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On October 29, 2009, South Dakota Network (SDN) submitted a complaint against Sprint Communications Company L.P. (Sprint) for 1.) failing to pay intrastate centralized equal access charges at the rates approved by the Commission, 2.) failing to immediately pay undisputed portions of SDN’s invoices as required by SDN’s Tariff, and 3.) payment by Sprint of SDN’s costs of action, reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by SDN, and for twice the amount of damages sustained by SDN, if SDN is required to recover its damages by suit or on appeal. On November 6, 2012, the Commission granted the Stipulation for Dismissal of Sprint Communications Company LP’s Third-Party Complaint against Northern Valley Communications, L.L.C. and Northern Valley’s Counterclaim against Sprint. On September 13, 2013, SDN filed a Stipulation for Dismissal.

     Today, shall the Commission grant the Stipulation for Dismissal?

2.     TC11-069      In the Matter of the Filing by South Dakota Network, LLC for an Extension of an Exemption from Developing Company Specific Cost-Based Switched Access Rates (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On June 7, 2011, South Dakota Network, LLC (SDN) 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. SDN requests the waiver of the cost study requirement because of the costs and resources involved in producing a study and indicated that a preliminary analysis indicates that a cost study would support higher rates. On July 12, 2011, Sprint Communications Company LP, AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc., and MCI Communication Services Inc. d/b/a Verizon Business Services were granted intervention. On September 13, 2013, Sprint filed a Motion to Withdraw.

     Today, shall the Commission grant Sprint’s Motion to Withdraw?

3.     TC11-087      In the Matter of the Application of Native American Telecom, LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Telecommunications Services and Local Exchange Services in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On October 11, 2011, Native American Telecom, LLC (NAT) filed an application for a certificate of authority to provide local exchange and interexchange service within the study area of Midstate Communications, Inc. NAT stated that it is a tribally-owned full service telecommunications carrier operating on the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Indian Reservation pursuant to an Order Granting Approval to Provide Telecommunications Service by the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Crow Creek Utility Authority dated October 28, 2008. NAT seeks to expand its authority to include areas within Midstate’s study area off of the Crow Creek reservation. On January 27, 2012, NAT filed a revised Application for Certificate of Authority. In its revised application, NAT stated that it seeks to provide local exchange and interexchange service within the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Reservation which is within the study area of Midstate. On June 3, 2013, NAT filed an Amended Application for Certificate of Authority. On July 26, 2013, Sprint filed a Third Motion to Compel and memorandum in support of its motion. On August 21, 2013, Sprint filed an Amended Third Motion to Compel and memorandum. On August 23, 2013, NAT filed a Notice of Change in Corporate Structure.

     Today, shall the Commission grant Sprint’s Amended Third Motion to Compel?

4.     TC13-009      In the Matter of the Filing by FiberComm, L.C. for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 2 (VoIP) (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

On January 24, 2013, the Commission received a filing from FiberComm, L.C. (FiberComm). This filing proposes to modify its switched exchange access tariff, Tariff No. 2, to comply with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Intercarrier Compensation Reform Order, the November 18, 2011, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, in WC Docket No. 10-90, et al., FCC 11-161, allowing them to implement VoIP language in their tariff. On August 29, 2013, FiberComm filed a letter requesting to withdraw their tariff filing.

     Today, shall the Commission approve the withdrawal of the tariff filing?

5.     TC13-022      In the Matter of the Application of Telrite Corporation dba Life Wireless, for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

On February 25, 2013, the Commission received a Petition from Telrite Corporation dba Life Wireless (Telrite) requesting Limited Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) pursuant to Section 214(e)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, Sections 54.101 through 54.207 of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Rules, and provisions of South Dakota Public Utilities Commission rules and regulations. The petition states that Telrite seeks ETC designation solely to provide Lifeline service to qualifying South Dakota consumers; it will not seek access to funds from the federal Universal Service Fund for the purposes of participating in the Link-Up program or providing service to high cost areas. Since Telrite does not seek high cost support, waiver of ARSD 20:10:32:43.02 is also required. Telrite seeks ETC designation in non-rural Qwest exchanges. On March 12, 2013, the South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA) filed a Petition to Intervene and the Commission granted the intervention on April 5, 2013. On July 2, 2013, SDTA filed a letter stating that no objection would be made if Telrite revises the list of exchanges to include non-rural Qwest exchanges only. Telrite filed the revised list of exchanges on July 5, 2013. On April 18, April 23, June 25, July 5, August 7, and August 20 of 2013, Telrite filed responses to Staff’s Data Requests. 

     Today, shall the Commission grant waiver of ARSD 20:10:32:43.02 and designate Telrite Corporation dba Life Wireless an ETC for the Designated Service Area for purposes of receiving federal Lifeline universal service support?

6.     TC13-108      In the Matter of the Filing by Sage Telecom Communications, LLC for Approval of its Access Service Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Robin Meyerink; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
        
On August 27, 2013, the Commission received from Sage Telecom Communications, LLC, its South Dakota Tariff No. 1 for approval, which replaces in its entirety, Sage Telecom, Inc., South Dakota Tariff No. 4, which is currently on file with the Commission. This filing updates the company name and address.

     Today, shall the Commission approve the access tariff?

Items for Commission Discussion

Announcements

  1. The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be Monday, October 7, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. CDT in Room 414 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

  2. The PUC offices will be closed Monday, October 14, 2013, in observance of Native American Day.

  3. A public input hearing for Docket EL13-028 will be held Thursday, October 17, 2013, at 12 noon CDT in the Centennial Rooms of the Student Center on the campus of Northern State University, 1200 S. Jay Street, Aberdeen, S.D. Campus guest parking is available in the lot along Washington Street, between 12th Avenue and 14th Avenue. Parking permits are not required. See driving directions at http://www.northern.edu/about/pages/directions.aspx; campus map at http://www.northern.edu/about/PublishingImages/wirelessmap.pdf.

  4. A public input hearing for Docket EL13-028 will be held Thursday, October 17, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. CDT in the Community Room of the Milbank Visitor Center, 1001 E. Fourth Avenue, Milbank, S.D.

  5. Commission meetings are scheduled for October 22 and November 5, 2013.

/S/Cindy Kemnitz
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
puc@state.sd.us
September 17, 2013