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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
August 27, 2013, at 2:00 P.M. CDT - Note 9:30 A.M. start time for Docket TC10-026
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairman Gary Hanson called the meeting to order. Present were: Commissioners: Chris Nelson and Kristie Fiegen; Commission Counsel: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Kristen Edwards; Staff Analysts: Patrick Steffensen, Brittany Mehlhaff, Darren Kearney, Jason Simmons, Eric Paulson, Robin Meyerink, and David Henry; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Sherry Dickerson and Joy Lashley

Also present were:
Scott Knudson, Briggs and Morgan, PA, representing Sprint Communications Company, LP; Bill VanCamp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren & Reimers, P.C., representing AT&T Corp.; Jeff Carmon, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC; Jeff Decker, and Pam Bonrud, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy; Tom Tobin, Tobin Law Offices PC, representing Sprint Communications Company, LP; Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing South Dakota Telecommunications Association and South Dakota Network

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Melissa Marks, Knology of the Black Hills, LLC; Meredith Moore, Cutler & Donahoe, LLP, representing OrbitCom, Inc.; Jay Shultz, Lynn, Jackson, Shultz and LeBrun, PC, representing Native American Telecom, LLC; Carey Roesel, Technologies Management, Inc. representing Network Communications International Corp aka 1800Call4Less, Neutral Tandem-South Dakota, LLC, and Ionex Communications North, Inc. dba Birch Communications; Scott Swier, Swier Law Firm Prof LLC, representing Native American Telecom, LLC; and Sherri Woolverton, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy

(NOTE: For the purpose of continuity, these minutes are not necessarily in chronological order.)

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Ad Hoc Commission Meeting Held on August 12, 2013, and the Commission Meeting Held on August 13, 2013 (Staff: Joy Lashley

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Ad Hoc Commission Meeting Held on August 12, 2013, and the Commission Meeting Held on August 13, 2013. 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 60 contacts since the last report was prepared for the August 13, 2013 Commission meeting.

6 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 29 of the contacts involved electrical services, 3 contacts involved natural gas service, 6 contacts involved cell phone service, 2 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, 2 contacts were related to Wind Energy and 12 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

1,168 of the 1,200 complaints received in 2013 have been resolved.

Telecommunications

TC10-026 will be heard at 9:30 a.m. CDT.

1.     TC10-026       In the Matter of a Complaint Filed by Sprint Communications Company, LP Against Native American Telecom, LLC Regarding Telecommunications Services (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket TC10-026. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2013, August 27, 2013, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2013/puc08272013.mp3

     Commissioner Hanson moved to deny NAT's Motion to Dismiss. Motion carried 3-0.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to deny NAT's Motion to Dismiss for Mootness. Motion carried 3-0.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to deny NAT's Motion To Re-Open Discovery and Stay Sprint's Motion for Summary Judgment. Motion carried 3-0.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to deny Sprint's Motion for Summary Judgment, stating that Sprint has failed to demonstrate the absence of any genuine issue of material fact. Commissioner Hanson further moved that an evidentiary hearing be scheduled to determine the facts. Motion carried 3-0.

At 10:57 a.m., Commissioner Hanson moved to recess until 2:00 p.m.

2.     TC13-028       In the Matter of the Application of Network Communications International Corp aka 1800CalI4Less for an Amended Certificate of Authority (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Carey Roesel, Technologies Management, Inc., representing Network Communications International Corp aka 1800Call4Less (NCIC), asked that the Commission amend NCIC's certificate of authority subject to a $25,000 indemnity bond. Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended the Commission approve NCIC's request.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant NCIC's request to amend its certificate of authority and to require a $25,000 indemnity bond with an effective date August 27, 2013. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     TC13-039     In the Matter of the Filing by OrbitCom, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 2 (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Ms. Meredith Moore, Cutler & Donahoe, LLP, representing OrbitCom, Inc. (OrbitCom), asked that the Commission approve OrbitCom's switched exchange access tariff, Tariff No. 2. Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve OrbitCom's request effective July 1, 2013.

      Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the requested tariff revisions with counsel's changes effective July 1, 2013. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     TC13-044     In the Matter of the Filing by Knology of the Black Hills, LLC for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Melissa Marks, Knology of the Black Hills, LLC (Knology), asked that the Commission approve Knology's revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 1. Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Knology's request effective July 2, 2013.

      Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the requested tariff revisions. Motion carried 3-0.

5.      TC13-073     In the Matter of the Filing by Neutral Tandem-South Dakota, LLC for Approval of Revision of its Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Robin Meyerink; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Carey Roesel, Technologies Management, Inc., representing Neutral Tandem-South Dakota, LLC. (Neutral Tandem), asked that the Commission approve Neutral Tandem's revisions to its South Dakota Tariff No. 1 effective July 1, 2013. Ms. Robin Meyerink, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Neutral Tandem's request.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant the requested tariff revisions effective July 1, 2013.Motion carried 3-0.

6.     TC13-087     In the Matter of the Filing by Ionex Communications North, Inc. dba Birch Communications for Approval of Revisions to its Tariff No. 6 (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Carey Roesel, Technologies Management, Inc., representing Ionex Communications North, Inc. dba Birch Communications (Birch Communications), asked for Commission approval of Birch Communications' revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 6. Mr. Darren Kearney, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant approval to Birch Communications' request effective July 1, 2013.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the requested tariff revisions effective July 1, 2013. Motion carried 3-0.

ADDENDUM TO THE
AGENDA OF COMMISSION MEETING

Gas & Electric

1.     GE13-002     In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for Approval of Tariff Revisions (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern), asked that the Commission approve NorthWestern's proposed natural gas and electric bill format. Mr. Decker stated that modifications include usage charts, temperature and usage statistics, more billing detail, and rate information. Mr. Eric Paulson recommended that the Commission grant approval to NorthWestern's request effective September 1, 2013.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the requested tariff revisions effective for service on and after September 1, 2013. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 2:25 p.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

 

/S/Joy Lashley
Joy Lashley
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
August 27, 2013