South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
April 20, 2010, at 9:30 A.M. CST
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota
MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING
Chairman Dusty Johnson called the meeting to order. Present were: Vice Chairman Steve Kolbeck; Commissioner Gary Hanson; Commission Attorneys John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys Karen Cremer and Kara Semmler; Staff Analysts Terri LaBrie Baker, Bob Knadle, Stacy Splittstoesser and Dave Jacobson; Consumer Affairs Supervisor Deb Gregg; and Administrative Secretaries Demaris Axthelm and Stephanie Harmon.
Also present were: Brett Koenecke and Justin Bell, May, Adam, Gerdes and Thompson, representing MDU, Midcontinent, and Verizon; Bill Van Camp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren and Reimers, representing AT&T; Rich Coit representing South Dakota Telecommunications Association; and Darla Northrup, Riter, Rogers, Wattier and Northrup, representing South Dakota Network LLC (SDN).
Joining the meeting by telephone were: Meredith Moore, Cutler and Donahoe, representing Orbitcom and SSTelecom; Talbot Wieczorek, Gunderson, Palmer, Goodsell and Nelson, representing Sprint; Dave Ziegler, George Thomson, Chris Madsen, and Tom Welk representing Qwest; Jim Cremer, Bantz, Gosch & Cremer LLC, representing Northern Valley Communications; Bill Heaston representing SDN; and Tom Dixon representing Verizon.
(NOTE: For the purpose of continuity, these minutes are not necessarily in chronological order.)
Chairman Johnson stated that TC10-014 would be moved to the end of the Agenda.
- Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)
Ms. Deb Gregg reported that the Commission received a total of 101 contacts since the last report was prepared for the April 6, 2010, Commission Meeting. 14 contacts involved telecommunications services; 39 contacts involved electrical services; 14 contacts involved natural gas services; 3 contacts involved cell phone services; 16 contacts were related to the Do Not Call registry, 2 contacts involved the Keystone XL Pipeline, and 13 contacts involved issues not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. In 2010, 809 of the 958 complaints registered have been resolved. All of the complaints received in 2009 have been resolved.
1. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on March 23, 2010, and April 6, 2010. (Staff: Demaris Axthelm)
Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on March 23, 2010, and April 6, 2010. Motion passed 3-0.
Ms. Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Analyst, provided a history of Qwest's Performance Assurance Plan (QPAP). Ms. Rolayne Wiest, Commission Attorney, provided further background on the QPAP.
Vice-Chairman Kolbeck moved to close the docket. Motion passed 3-0.
Commissioner Hanson moved to open a telecom docket and receive comments on the QPAP report. Motion passed 3-0
1. PS10-001 In the Matter of the Filing by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. for Approval of a Waiver of 49 C.F.R. Sections 192.285(a)(2) and 192.285(c). (Staff Analysts: Nathan Solem, Stacy Splittstoesser, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Ms. Stacy Splittstoesser, Staff Analyst, provided a background on the filing. Ms. Splittstoesser stated that Staff recommended approval of the waiver with changes recommended. Ms. Splittstoesser stated that if the Commission approved the waiver, the request would need to be forwarded to PHMSA for final approval.
Vice-Chairman Kolbeck moved to grant the Waiver of 49 C.F.R. Sections 19285(a)(2) and 192.285(c). Motion passed 3-0.
1. RM10-001 In the Matter of the Request to Amend Rules Regarding ARSD Chapter 20:10:17 Gas and Electric Customer Billing. (Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler, Commission Attorney: Rolayne Ailts Wiest)
Ms. Kara Semmler, Staff Attorney, stated Staff recommended opening a docket to review ARSD Chapter 20:10:17. Ms. Semmler stated a letter would be sent to the utilities and affected consumers regarding the rule making docket asking for comments and concerns regarding billing so the Commission has a better idea of exactly what needs to be reviewed in the rule making process.
Chairman Johnson moved to open a rulemaking docket regarding ARSD Chapter 20:10:17. Motion passed 3-0.
1. TC08-135 In the Matter of the Complaint filed by OrbitCom, Inc. against Verizon Business Network Services, Inc. Regarding Unpaid Access Charges. (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Ms. Meredith Moore, representing OrbitCom, Inc. (Orbitcom) stated a confidential settlement agreement has been reached and signed by both OrbitCom and Verizon Business Network Services, Inc. Ms. Karen Cremer, Staff Attorney, stated Staff recommended dismissing the complaint and closing the docket.
Vice-Chairman Kolbeck moved to dismiss the complaint and close the docket. Motion passed 3-0.
2. TC09-079 In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Communications, LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange Services in South Dakota. (Staff Analyst: Bob Knadle, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Ms. Cremer stated there have been several attempts to contact Black Hills Communications, LLC for additional documentation since the application was received by the Commission and Staff has not received a response. Ms. Cremer stated Staff recommended dismissing the application and closing the docket for non-activity.
Commissioner Hanson moved to dismiss the application and close the docket. Motion passed 3-0.
3. TC10-014 In the Matter of the Investigation of Pricing Regulation of Switched Access Services provided by Competitive Local Exchange Carriers. (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
A discussion took place between the Commission and all parties to determine whether the docket should proceed to hearing or if this docket should be closed and the rulemaking docket be used to review the administrative rules of South Dakota with regard to price regulation of switched access services provided by competitive local exchange carriers. Qwest's Motion to Adopt Price Regulation of Switched Access Services for CLECs, to Suspend Deadline for Reply Testimony and Define Further Proceedings was also discussed.
Chairman Johnson moved to find price regulation is appropriate for switched access services. Motion passed 3-0.
Chairman Johnson moved to deny in part and grant in part Qwest's Motion to Adopt Price Regulation of Switched Access Services for CLECs, to Suspend Deadline for Reply Testimony and Define Further Proceedings. Motion passed 3-0.
Chairman Johnson moved to close the docket. Motion passed 3-0.
Chairman Johnson moved to take judicial notice of testimony received in the docket in the rulemaking docket. Motion passed 3-0.
4. TC10-022 In the Matter of the Application of South Dakota Network, LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Competitive Local Exchange Service in Qwest Service Areas. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Mr. Dave Jacobson, Staff Analyst, stated Staff recommended approval of the certificate of authority with rural safeguards.
Vice-Chairman Kolbeck moved to grant the certificate of authority to provide competitive local exchange service in Qwest Service Areas with rural safeguards. Motion passed 3-0.
There being no further business, at the hour of 10:32 a.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting adjourned. The next Commission Meeting is scheduled for May 4, 2010.
April 20, 2010