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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
September 24, 2013, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 414, 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; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Kristen Edwards; Staff Analysts: Patrick Steffensen, Darren Kearney, Jason Simmons, Eric Paulson, Robin Meyerink, Brian Rounds, and David Henry; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Sherry Dickerson

Also present were:
Bill VanCamp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren & Reimers, P.C., representing AT&T Corp.; Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; Bob Mercer, Reporter; and Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier, & Brown, LLP, representing South Dakota Network, LLC.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Jay Shultz, Lynn, Jackson, Shultz and LeBrun, PC, representing Native American Telecom, LLC; Phillip Schenkenberg, Briggs and Morgan, PA, representing Sprint Communications Company, LP; Brian Lisle, Telrite Corporation; Talbot Wieczorek, Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson, & Ashmore, LLP, representing Sprint Communications Co., LP; Marlene Bennett, Consortia Consulting, representing FiberComm, L.C.; Andrew Gipson, Jones Walker, representing Telrite Corporation dba Life Wireless; Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy; Carey Roesel, Technologies Management, Inc., representing Sage Telecom Communications, LLC; and Scott Swier, Swier Law Firm, Prof. LLC, representing Native American Telecom, LLC.

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

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on August 27, 2013 (Staff: Joy Lashley)

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the Minutes of the Commission Meeting held on August 27, 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 114 contacts since the last report was prepared for the September 10, 2013 Commission meeting.

20 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 36 of the contacts involved electrical services, 7 of the contacts involved natural gas service, 11 contacts involved cell phone service, 27 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, 1 contact was related to Wind Energy, 1 contact was related to One Call and 11 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

1,347 of the 1,377 complaints received in 2013 have been resolved.

Natural Gas

1.     NG13-004     In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for Approval of Revisions to its Tariff Section No. 5 (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern), asked that the Commission approve its proposed tariff revisions. Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve NorthWestern's proposed tariff revisions effective October 1, 2013.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the proposed tariff revisions on less than 30 days' notice, effective October 1, 2013. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC09-098      In the Matter of the Complaint filed by South Dakota Network, LLC against Sprint Communications Company L.P. Regarding Failure to Pay Intrastate Centralized Equal Access Charges and to Immediately Pay Undisputed Portions of SDN's Invoices (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Ms. Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier, & Brown, LLP, representing South Dakota Network (SDN), asked that the Commission grant SDN's Stipulation for Dismissal and close the docket. Ms. Karen Cremer, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant SDN's request.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant the Stipulation for Dismissal with prejudice. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     TC11-069      In the Matter of the Filing by South Dakota Network, LLC for an Extension of an Exemption from Developing Company Specific Cost-Based Switched Access Rates (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Talbot Wieczorek, Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson, & Ashmore, LLP, representing Sprint Communications Company LP (Sprint), asked that the Commission grant Sprint's Motion to Withdraw. Ms. Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier, & Brown, LLP, representing South Dakota Network, LLC (SDN), stated SDN had no objection. Ms. Karen Cremer, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant Sprint's request.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant Sprint's Motion to Withdraw. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     TC11-087      In the Matter of the Application of Native American Telecom, LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Telecommunications Services and Local Exchange Services in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket TC11-087. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2013, September 24, 2013, recording located at:
http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2013/puc09242013.mp3.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant Sprint's Motion to Compel for Interrogatory 55. Motion carried 3-0.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant Sprint's Motion to Compel for Interrogatory 56, but limit it to terminating minutes of use from January 2013 to present, and those do not need to be identified by carrier. Motion carried 3-0.

     Sprint agreed to withdraw Interrogatory 59 based on NAT's statement that a witness would be available to address the issues.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant the Motion to Compel for Interrogatories 62, 63, and 64 regarding signature pages and/or electronic filing receipts. Motion carried 3-0.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant Sprint's Motion to Compel in Document Requests 13, 14, 15, and 16 regarding an ordinance and two Tribal Resolutions. Motion carried 3-0.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant Sprint's Motion to Compel in Document Request 17. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     TC13-009      In the Matter of the Filing by FiberComm, L.C. for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 2 (VoIP) (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Marlene Bennett, Consortia Consulting, representing FiberComm, L.C. (FiberComm), asked that the Commission approve the withdrawal of FiberComm's tariff filing. Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission approve FiberComm's request to withdraw its tariff filing.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the withdrawal of the tariff filing. Motion carried 3-0.

5.     TC13-022      In the Matter of the Application of Telrite Corporation dba Life Wireless, for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Andy Gipson, Jones Walker, representing Telrite Corporation dba Life Wireless (Telrite), asked that the Commission defer Telrite's docket. Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission defer Telrite's docket.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to defer the docket. Motion carried 3-0.

6.     TC13-108      In the Matter of the Filing by Sage Telecom Communications, LLC for Approval of its Access Service Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Robin Meyerink; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
        
Mr. Carey Roesel, Technologies Management, Inc., representing Sage Telecom Communications, LLC (Sage), asked that the Commission approve Sage's South Dakota Tariff No. 1. Ms. Robin Meyerink, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Sage's access tariff effective September 24, 2013.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the access tariff effective September 24, 2013. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 10:35 a.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

 

/S/Joy Lashley
Joy Lashley
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
September 24, 2013