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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
October 25, 2011, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairman Gary Hanson called the meeting to Order. Present were: Commissioner Chris Nelson and Commissioner Kristie Fiegen; Commission Counsel: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer, Kara Semmler, and Ryan Soye; Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson, Chris Daugaard, and Ross Pedersen; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg and Staff: Demaris Axthelm.

Also present were: Todd Lundy and Jeff Carmon, Qwest Corporation dba Century Link, QC; Talbot Wieczorek, Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore, LLC, representing Sprint Communications Company LP; Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes, and Thompson, representing Verizon Wireless, LLC., and AT&T Communications of the Midwest Inc.; and Bill VanCamp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren, and Reimers, P.C, representing AT&T Mobility, LLC.

Joining the meeting by telephone were: Jim McKenna, Paul Lundberg, and Brad Chapman, Aventure Communication Technology, LLC dba Aventure Communications; Greg Hart, Long Lines Wireless, LLC; Kathy Ford, Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith LLP, representing Midcontinent Communications; Jim Cremer, Bantz, Gosch & Cremer, LLC , representing James Valley  Wireless, LLC; Ronda Miller, Ronda Miller Law Firm, representing Grand Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Mary Lohnes, Midcontinent Communications; Jeffrey Decker, NorthWestern Corporation, dba NorthWestern Energy; Patrick Crocker, Crocker and Crocker, P.C. representing Online Savings, Inc.; and Mike Lemburg, Grand Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on September 13, 2011, September 27, 2011, and October 11, 2011. (Staff: Joy Irving)

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission Meeting held on September 13, 2011, September 27, 2011, and October 11, 2011. Motion carried 3-0.

Consumer Reports

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

The Commission received a total of 101 contacts since the last report was prepared for the October 11, 2011 Commission meeting.

21 of the contacts involved telecommunication service, 18 of the contacts involved electrical service, 18 contacts involved natural gas service, 1 contact involved gas and electric service, 17 contacts involved cell phone service, 9 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, 1 contact was related to Wind Energy, and 16 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

2,374 of the 2,433 complaints received in 2011 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL11-024     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Grand Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Southeast Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Ross Pedersen, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

Ryan Soye, staff attorney, asked the Commission for approval to grant an Electric Service Territory Agreement between Grand Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Southeast Electric Cooperative, Inc. This filing was made pursuant to current efforts of the PUC to verify electric territory mapping data for conversion to electronic format and use in a Geographic Information System (GIS) database. With the assistance of the above-referenced utilities, Commission Staff has confirmed the service territory boundary shared by these utilities and has prepared updated mapping information.
       
     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL11-026     In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation, dba NorthWestern Energy for Approval of a Contract with Deviations (Staff Analyst: Ross Pedersen, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Corporation, dba NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern) requested Approval of a Contract with Deviations. The proposed contract would extend electric distribution service to a new location for an existing customer. NorthWestern has requested approval of the requested contract with deviations with less than 30 days notice. Ryan Soye, staff attorney, recommended approving the contract with deviations. In response to Commissioner questions, Northwestern agreed to advise the customer of the base value for calculation of the potential adjustment in paragraph 2 of the contract including the value of any service as a result of additional connections off the line.

     Chairman Hanson moved to approve the contract with deviations on less than 30 days notice. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC11-010     In the Matter of the Filing by Aventure Communication Technology, LLC dba Aventure Communications for Approval of its Switched Access Services Tariff No. 3 (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding the motion for summary judgment and Motion to Compel, which can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2011, October 25, 2011, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/Archives/2011/default.aspx.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to deny summary judgment on the issues related to end users and end user premises and to allow Aventure's billing provisions to remain as they are in its existing tariff instead of the provisions in its proposed tariff. Motion carried
3-0.

     Chairman Hanson moved to grant the Motion to Compel in its entirety with the clarification that 1-30 is included. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     TC11-016     In the Matter of the Application of ONLINE SAVINGS, Inc. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Long Distance Services (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer) 

Patrick Crocker, representing ONLINE SAVINGS, INC. (ONLINE) requested approval for a Certificate of Authority to provide intrastate interexchange telecommunications services within South Dakota through the resale of similar services offered by other interexchange carriers in the state. ONLINE intends to operate exclusively as a reseller to provide interexchange services on a statewide basis. Mr. Crocker stated that Online has never offered prepaid services and has no intention to do so.  Dave Jacobsen, staff analyst, stated that this is an application for interexchange service only and applicant has requested a waiver from submitting the cash flow statement required by ARSD 20:10:24:02(9) and recommended approval.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the Certificate of Authority for ONLINE with the waiver of ARSD 20:10:24:02(9) and subject to the condition that Online not offer prepaid services including prepaid calling cards and Online not accept or require any deposits or advance payments without prior approval of the Commission.  Motion carried 3-0.

3.     TC11-071     In the Matter of the Application of New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC, a subsidiary of AT&T Mobility LLC, for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier in Rural Study Areas (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
       
Bill Van Camp, representing AT&T Communications, stated the parties in this docket reached an agreement and asked the Commission for approval to enter a Protective Order.  Kara Semmler, staff attorney, supports the agreement and recommended the Commission enter a Protective Order.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to enter a Protective Order. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     TC11-072     In the Matter of the Application of New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC, a subsidiary of AT&T Mobility LLC, for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier in Non-Rural Study Areas (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Bill Van Camp, representing AT&T Communications, and Jim Cremer, on behalf of Northern Valley asked the Commission to enter a Protective Order. Kara Semmler, staff attorney, recommended the Commission to enter a Protective Order.
       
     Commissioner Nelson moved to enter a Protective Order.  Motion carried 3-0.
       
5.     TC11-082     In the Matter of the Petition of Long Lines Wireless, LLC of a Partial Relinquishment of its Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Greg Hart, Long Lines Wireless, LLC (Long Lines) requested the Commission grant approval for partial relinquishment.  Kara Semmler, staff attorney, stated Long Lines met filing requirements and recommended approval.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the grant the request for partial relinquishment.  Motion carried 3-0.
       
6.     TC11-086     In the Matter of the Approval of an Amendment to a Wireless Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and Verizon Wireless for the State of South Dakota  (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Karen Cremer, staff attorney, stated the amendment was properly filed, properly executed, and does not contain discriminatory provisions. No comments were filed. Ms. Cremer recommended that the Commission approve the amendment.

     Chairman Hanson moved to approve the Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 12:14 p.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned. The next Commission meeting is scheduled for November 8, 2011.

 

/S/Joy Irving
Joy Irving
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
October 25, 2011