Consumer Assistance | Energy | Telecom | Warehouse | Commission Actions | Miscellaneous

arrow Commission Minutes| previous page


South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
August 28, 2012, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairman Chris Nelson called the meeting to Order. Present were: Commissioners: Kristie Fiegen and Gary Hanson; Commission Counsel: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer, Kara Semmler, and Ryan Soye; Staff Analysts: Chris Daugaard, Matthew Tysdal, Dave Jacobson, and Patrick Steffensen; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Joy Irving and Sherry Dickerson

Also present were:
Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier, and Northrup LLP, representing Local Exchange Carriers Association, (LECA), Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc., Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone, West River Telecommunications Cooperative (Mobridge), Midstate Telecom, Inc., Valley Telephone Company, and RC Communications, Inc., dba RC Services; Marlene Bennett, Consortia Consulting, representing Midstate Telecom, Inc.; Jo Shotwell, CHR Solutions, Inc., representing Local Exchange Carrier's Association; and Bill VanCamp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren & Reimers, P.C., representing AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Brian Rounds, Staff Analyst; Kari Valley, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; Arlene Morgan and Bruce Schoonover, Knology Community Telephone; Jason Topp and Bruce Bennett, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC; Robin Thoreson, RC Communications, Inc., dba RC Services; Jill Reinert and Denny Law, Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc.; Kim Stumpp, Consortia Consulting, representing Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. and Valley Telecommunications Cooperative Association, Inc.; Mark Benton, Midstate Telecom, Inc.; Mary Jo Bigler, Valley Telephone Company; Scott Anderson, Midcontinent Communications; Meredith Moore, Cutler & Donahoe LLP, representing Knology Community Telephone; Steve Hegdal, Citizens Telecommunications Company of Minnesota, LLC; Tracy Bandemer and Jerry Heiberger, Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc.; Bonnie Krause, West River Telecommunications Cooperative (Mobridge); Darin LaCoursiere, Valley Telecommunications Cooperative Association, Inc.; Jim Cremer, Bantz, Gosch, & Cremer LLC, representing Northern Valley Communications, L.L.C.; James Groft, Northern Valley Communications, L.L.C.; Dan Caldwell, Consortia Consulting, representing Midstate Telecom Service, Inc.; Mary Sisak, Blooston, Mordkousky, Dickers, Duffy and Prendengast, LLP, representing Brookings Municipal Utilities dba Swiftel; and Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Corporation, dba NorthWestern Energy

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on July 31, 2012 (Staff: Joy Irving)

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the minutes of July 31, 2012. 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 92 contacts since the last report was prepared for the August 14, 2012 Commission meeting.

23 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 21 of the contacts involved electrical services, 6 contacts involved natural gas service, 14 contacts involved cell phone service, 13 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, 2 contacts was related to One Call and 13 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

1,257 of the 1,285 complaints received in 2012 have been resolved.

Commissioner Nelson stated TC12-102 would be heard last.

Electric

1.     EL12-047     In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation, dba NorthWestern Energy, for Approval of a Contract with Deviations (Staff Analyst: Matthew Tysdal, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

Mr. Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Corporation, dba NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern), requested that the Commission approve its contract with deviations. Mr. Decker stated that the proposed contract would provide electric service to a new municipal pump with the municipality paying for the cost to extend services to the pump location. Mr. Matthew Tysdal, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the contract with deviations.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the contract with deviations. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL12-048     In the Matter of the Filing of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of a Refund for a Residential Saver's Switch Program Billing Error (Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson, Matthew Tysdal, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

Ms. Kari Valley, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy (Xcel), requested that the Commission approve its refund to customers participating in its residential Saver's Switch program. Ms. Valley stated that the billing error is a result of an oversight in the implementation process of additional amounts to be provided to participating customers according to the rate schedule approved in Docket EL09-009. Mr. Matthew Tysdal, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the refund and emphasized staff's desire for Xcel to be in compliance with SD administrative rules.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the refund. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC12-035     In the Matter of the Application of Midcontinent Communications for an Amended Certificate of Authority (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Ms. Meredith Moore, representing Knology Community Telephone, asked that the Commission approve its Withdrawal of Intervention. Mr. Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association, (SDTA), also asked the Commission to approve its Withdrawal of Intervention.  Scott Anderson, Midcontinent Communications, asked the Commission for an Amended Certificate of Authority to allow Midcontinent to provide local exchange service within the rural exchange area of Lennox, S.D. service area. Mr. Anderson also requested a waiver of ARSD 20:10:32:15. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant the waiver and approve the amended Certificate of Authority.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant the withdrawal of intervener status as requested by the parties. Motion carried 3-0.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the amended Certificate of Authority and grant the waiver. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     TC12-040     In the Matter of the Filing by Local Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket TC12-040. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC Web site under Commission Actions; Commission Meeting Archives; 2012; August 28, 2012, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/PUC08282012.mp3.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the tariff subject to a potential retroactive adjustment and that a hearing be scheduled. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     TC12-079     In the Matter of the Request of Citizens Telecommunications Company of Minnesota, LLC for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Steve Hegdal, Citizens Telecommunications Company of Minnesota, LLC, requested that the Commission grant a waiver of the Commission's ETC filing requirements pursuant to ARSD 20:10:32:56, on the grounds that the reporting requirements in support of ETC certification are unduly burdensome and unnecessary. Mr. Hegdal also requested that the Commission issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C. Section 254(e). Mr. Dave Jacobson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant the waiver for one year and provide certification to the FCC and USAC.
        
     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant the waiver for one year and provide a certification to the Federal Communications Commission and to the Universal Service Administration Company regarding the plan for the use of Federal Universal Services Support as proposed in each of the above dockets. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     In the Matter of the Request for Certification Regarding the Use of Federal Universal Service Support in Dockets TC12-044, TC12-045, TC12-046, TC12-050, TC12-057, TC12-061, TC12-067, TC12-071, TC12-074, and TC12-080

     TC12-044     In the Matter of the Request of Knology Community Telephone, Inc. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Ms. Kara Semmler, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission provide certification to the FCC and USAC.

     TC12-045     In the Matter of the Request of Knology of the Black Hills, LLC for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Ms. Kara Semmler, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission provide certification to the FCC and USAC.

     TC12-046     In the Matter of the Request of Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Mr. Dave Jacobson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission provide certification to the FCC and USAC.

     TC12-050     In the Matter of the Request of Valley Telephone Company for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Mr. Dave Jacobson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission provide certification to the FCC and USAC.

     TC12-057     In the Matter of the Request of Valley Telecommunications Cooperative Association, Inc. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Mr. Dave Jacobson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission provide certification to the FCC and USAC.

     TC12-061     In the Matter of the Request of Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc., Study Area Codes: 391640, 391659, 391667, 391677, 391684 and 391686 for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Brian Rounds, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission provide certification to the FCC and USAC.

     TC12-067     In the Matter of the Request of Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority for Certification Regarding Its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Mr. Dave Jacobson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission provide certification to the FCC and USAC.

     TC12-071     In the Matter of the Request of West River Telecommunications Cooperative (Mobridge) for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Dave Jacobson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission provide certification to the FCC and USAC.

     TC12-074     In the Matter of the Request of RC Communications, Inc., dba RC Services for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Mr. Dave Jacobson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission provide certification to the FCC and USAC.

     TC12-080     In the Matter of the Request of Northern Valley Communications, L.L.C. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Brian Rounds, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission provide certification to the FCC and USAC.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to provide a certification to the Federal Communications Commission and to the Universal Service Administration Company regarding the plan for the use of Federal Universal Services Support as proposed in each of the above dockets. Motion carried 3-0.

5.     TC12-100     In the Matter of the filing for approval of the Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, Inc. dab PAETEC Business Services dba Windstream Communications for the State of South Dakota (Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Ms. Kara Semmler, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission approve the filing between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC (CenturyLink) for approval of an amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between CenturyLink and McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, Inc. dba PAETEC Business Services dba Windstream Communications for the State of South Dakota.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the interconnection agreement. Motion carried 3-0.

6.     TC12-102     In the Matter of the Filing by Midstate Telecom Service, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Tariff No. 2 (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket TC12-102. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC Web site under Commission Actions; Commission Meeting Archives; 2012; August 28, 2012, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/PUC08282012.mp3.  The matter was deferred.

7.     TC12-104     In the Matter of the Filing by Ymax Communications Corp. for Approval of Revisions to its Tariff No. 2 (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Ms. Kara Semmler, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant an additional 60 days suspension of Ymax Communications Corp; proposed revisions to its Tariff No. 2.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant an additional 60 day extension to the tariff suspension. Motion carried 3-0.

8.     TC12-123     In the Matter of the Filling by Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink for Approval of Waiver of the Utilization Threshold Requirements in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink (CenturyLink), asked that the Commission grant a waiver of the utilization threshold requirements outlined in FCC's Number Resource Optimization Orders, FCC 00-429 and FCC 01-362 released in CC Docket No. 99-200, which would allow PA/NeuStar, the Number Pooling Administrator, to open a new NXX Code to provide 1,000 numbers to CenturyLink in the 605 NPA, Sioux Falls Rate Center. Mr. Chris Daugaard, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant the waiver to CenturyLink, with the condition that CenturyLink donate the remaining nine blocks to the pool.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the request for Waiver of Utilization Threshold Requirements with the condition that CenturyLink return nine of the ten blocks to the number pool. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 10:55 a.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/S/Joy Irving
Joy Irving
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
August 28, 2012