Commission Minutes | previous page
South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
Tuesday, September 18, 2001; 1:30 P.M.
State Capitol Building, Room 412
Pierre, South Dakota
MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING
Chairman Jim Burg called the meeting to order. Present were Commissioner Pam Nelson; Commission Advisor Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys Karen Cremer and Kelly Frazier; Staff Analysts Dave Jacobson, Harlan Best, Heather Forney, Keith Senger, Mary Healy, and Michele Farris; Executive Director Deb Elofson; Deputy Executive Director Sue Cichos; and Administrative Secretary Mary Giddings.
Also present were Janet Ball and Lynne Valenti, Department of Human Services; Jim Wilson, MidAmerican Energy Company; Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; Tom Harmon, Sprint; and Darla Pohlman Rogers, Citizens Telecommunications of Minnesota, Inc.
Joining the meeting by telephone were Janet Kittams-Lalley, Carol Muller, and Alan Dietrich, HELP! Line Center; Cindy Grosvenor, Telec Consulting; Ken Weisenberger; Mary Lohnes, Midcontinent Communications; Jim Wilcox, Xcel Energy; Pat Mastel, Dakota Community Telephone; Carrie Rice, HickoryTech; and Tom Welk and Colleen Sevold, Quest Corporation.
1. Approval Of The Minutes Of The Commission Meeting Held On September 7, 2001. (Staff: Mary Giddings.)
Action was deferred.
1. Status Report On Consumer Utility Inquiries And Complaints Recently Received By The Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Mary Healy.)
Ms. Mary Healy presented an update on inquiries and complaints received since the last Commission meeting. Commissioner Nelson noted that, to this date in 2001, the PUC has received reports by consumers of 194 disconnections as compared to 57 to this date in 2000. The number of unreported disconnections is unknown. High natural gas prices last winter and hot weather this summer generated high utility bills. Accurate meter readings at some residences were not done for months or years generating large balances which added to the problem. Chairman Burg expressed concern that customers who are in arrears may not be reconnected before winter. Jim Wilson, representing MidAmerican Energy Company, explained that the energy companies were involved in trying to solve this problem. Chairman Burg requested that Mary Healy, Charlene Lund and the Staff analysts contact the PUC list of disconnected consumers. A KeySpan meeting will be held in Sioux Falls October 2, 2001, on how to better manage utility bills.
Mr. Frazier recommended that action be deferred. Action was deferred.
3. CT01-035 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY JOAN M. HORSTMAN, SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST TOUCH AMERICA, INC. REGARDING UNAUTHORIZED SWITCHING OF SERVICES AND BILLING FOR SERVICES. (Staff Analyst: Mary Healy. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
Tom Welk, representing Qwest Corporation (Qwest), stated that it had no objections to being added as a party but questioned why Qwest had not received the file beforehand. Colleen Sevold, Qwest, stated that she had received the file but did not know why and so had set it aside. Ms. Cremer explained that normally a file is sent after a party has been added but because of Qwest's objections to this timetable, files are routinely forwarded to Qwest before the meeting.
Chairman Burg moved to add Qwest Corporation as a party to the docket. Commissioner Nelson seconded. Motion passed 2-0.
4. CT01-036 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY BARBARA ANNE SCHOCK, SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST DIRECT ONE COM.LONG DISTANCE REGARDING UNAUTHORIZED BILLING FOR SERVICES. (Staff Analyst: Mary Healy. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
Ms. Mary Healy recommended that the complaint be dismissed and the docket closed.
Chairman Burg moved to dismiss the complaint and close the docket. Commissioner Nelson seconded. Motion passed 2-0.
Mr. Jacobson explained the tariff revisions and recommended that they be approved.
Chairman Burg moved to approve the tariff revisions. Commissioner Nelson seconded. Motion passed 2-0.
Mr. Frazier recommended that the resale agreement be denied.
Commissioner Nelson moved to deny the resale agreement. Chairman Burg seconded. Motion passed 2-0.
Tom Welk, representing Qwest Corporation, explained the original filing and its subsequent amendment. Qwest's original filing consisted of revisions to their Exchange and Network Services Catalog in order to introduce N11 service. The amended filing restricted the revisions to include only 711 service. Ms. Forney further explained that the amended filing made changes to the Exchange and Network Services Tariff, not the catalog, as originally proposed. The catalog lists terms, rates and conditions for all competitive and emerging competitive services, while the tariff is for all non-competitive services. Alan Dietrich, HELP! Line Center, requested that the Commission look at 211 issues. Chairman Burg recommended that the Staff be contacted regarding 211 issues as this meeting is restricted to 711 issues, due to the amended filing.
Chairman Burg moved to approve the filing as amended. Commissioner Nelson seconded. Motion passed 2-0.
3. TC01-096 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF TELECENTS COMMUNICATIONS, INC. FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE LOCAL EXCHANGE SERVICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
Mr. Jacobson explained the filing and recommended that TeleCents Communications, Inc. be granted a certificate of authority with a waiver of ARSD 20:10:32:03(11)(a); restrictions from offering prepaid calling cards, accepting advance payments and customer deposits; subject to rural safeguards; and with an effective date of September 25, 2001.
Commissioner Nelson moved to grant a certificate of authority to TeleCents Communications, Inc. with the waiver and restrictions as noted above, subject to rural safeguards and with an effective date of September 25, 2001. Chairman Burg seconded. Motion passed 2-0.
4. IN THE MATTER OF THE DOCKETS REQUESTING FEDERAL UNIVERSAL SERVICE SUPPORT CERTIFICATION. (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
Mr. Best explained the certification and noted that TC01-140 had been amended to reflect the service area served by Citizens Telecommunications Company of Minnesota, Inc. Pat Mastel, representing Dakota Community Telephone, stated that TC01-139 had been amended to include maintenance.
Chairman Burg moved to provide a certification regarding the plan for the use of federal universal services support in dockets TC01-139, TC01-140, TC01-142, TC01-145, TC01-147, and TC01-148. Commissioner Nelson seconded. Motion passed 2-0.
1. TC01-095 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF NTERA, INC. FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE INTEREXCHANGE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES AND LOCAL EXCHANGE SERVICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
Mr. Jacobson explained the application and recommended that it be approved with waivers from of ARSD 20:10:32:03(11)(a) and 20:10:24:02(8); restrictions from offering prepaid calling cards, advance payments and customer deposits; subject to rural safeguards; and with an effective date of September 25, 2001.
Commissioner Nelson moved to grant a certificate of authority to NTERA, INC. with the waivers and restrictions as noted above, subject to rural safeguards, and with an effective date of September 25, 2001. Chairman Burg seconded. Motion passed 2-0.
Mary R. Giddings, Administrative Secretary