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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
November 20, 2012, at 9:30 A.M. CST
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 and Kristen Edwards; Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Brian Rounds, Chris Daugaard, Matthew Tysdal, and Patrick Steffensen; and Staff: Sherry Dickerson

Also present were:
Charles Rea, MidAmerican Energy Company; Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier, and Northrup LLP, representing Midstate Telecom, Inc.; Jerry Heiberger, Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc; Ryan Taylor and Daniel Doyle, Cutler & Donahoe LLP, representing Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative Inc., Stockholm-Strandburg Telephone Co. and SSTELECOM, Inc.; Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; Mark Benton, Midstate Telecom, Inc.; and Bill VanCamp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren & Reimers, P.C., representing AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Linda Stevens, Verizon Wireless; Talbot Wieczorek, Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore, LLP, representing Verizon Wireless; Jennifer Moore, MidAmerican Energy Company; Wayne Johnson, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC; Tim Eklund and Marlene Bennett, Consortia Consulting, representing Midstate Telecom, Inc.; Eric Big Eagle, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and Utilities; Lance Steinhart, representing Airespring, Inc.; and Arno Vigen, Airespring, Inc.

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on November 6, 2012 (Staff: Joy Irving)

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission Meeting on November 6, 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 85 contacts since the last report was prepared for the November 6, 2012 Commission meeting.

19 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 15 of the contacts involved electrical services, 14 contacts involved natural gas service, 1 contact involved gas and electric service, 4 contacts involved cell phone service, 18 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry and 14 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

1,698 of the 1,737 complaints received in 2012 have been resolved.

Gas & Electric

1.     GE12-005     In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for the Approval of Energy Efficiency Plan for 2013-2017 (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding Docket GE12-005. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC Web site under Commission Actions; Commission Meeting Archives; 2012; November 20, 2012, for Docket GE12-005, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/PUC11202012.mp3.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve MidAmerican's 2013-2017 Energy Efficiency Plan. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC12-109     In the Matter of the Filing by AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Tariff (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Chris Daugaard, staff analyst, requested that the Commission approve AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc. (AT&T) tariff revisions, with an August 2, 2012, effective date, to comply with the April 25, 2012, FCC Second Order on Reconsideration.  Mr. Daugaard stated that the Second Order on Reconsideration became effective on July 13, 2012. Mr. Daugaard recommended that the Commission approve the requested tariff changes with the filed effective date of August 2, 2012.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the requested tariff changes.  Motion carried 3-0.

2.     TC12-133     In the Matter of the Petition of Midstate Telecom for Approval of its Cost Based Switched Access Rates and for a Phase-In (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding Docket TC12-133. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC Web site under Commission Actions; Commission Meeting Archives; 2012; November 20, 2012, for Docket TC12-133, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/PUC11202012.mp3.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to require Midstate to file a cost study that reflects a historical test year as required by ARSD 20:10:27:14.

     Commissioner Nelson made a substitute motion to grant Midstate a waiver of the administrative rule's 6 month limitation.

     Commissioner Fiegen made a motion to defer the docket until the next Commission meeting.  Motion carried 3-0.

3.     TC12-158     In the Matter of the Petition of WWC License, LLC dba Verizon Wireless and RCC Minnesota, Inc. dba Verizon Wireless of Relinquishment of its Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding Docket TC12-158. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC Web site under Commission Actions; Commission Meeting Archives; 2012; November 20, 2012, for Docket TC12-158, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/PUC11202012.mp3.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant relinquishment of ETC designation for WWC License, LLC dba Verizon Wireless and RCC Minnesota, Inc. dba Verizon Wireless with the condition as recommended by staff. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     TC12-160     In the Matter of the Approval of an Collocation Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and OrbitCom, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, stated that the docket was properly filed, properly executed, and does not appear to contain discriminatory provisions, and no comments were filed. Staff recommended that the Commission approve the amendment to the interconnection agreement.

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

5.     TC12-180     In the Matter of the Application of Airespring Inc. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange Services in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen, Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Arno Vigen, Airespring, Inc. (Airespring), requested that the Commission approve Airespring's Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange Services in South Dakota. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, stated that on October 22, 2012, Airespring filed an application for a Certificate of Authority to provide local exchange service in accordance with the Commission's Administrative Rules. Mr. Steffensen explained that Airespring has satisfactorily responded to all data requests, and Staff recommended the Commission grant the Certificate of Authority to provide local exchange services to Airespring with the following conditions: 1) Airespring is not to offer any prepaid services to retail customers, including prepaid calling cards, 2) Airespring is not to accept or require deposits or advance payments from retail customers without prior approval from the Commission, and 3) the certificate is subject to the rural safeguards.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant the Certificate of Authority to provide Local Exchange Services to Airespring. Motion carried 3-0.

6.     In the Matter of the Request for approval of Intercarrier Compensation Bill and Keep Amendments to an Interconnection Agreement in Dockets TC12-181 and TC12-183.

     TC12-181     In the Matter of the Approval of an Intercarrier Compensation Bill and Keep Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Cellco Partnership dba Verizon Wireless; Cellular Inc. Network Corporation dba Verizon Wireless; Cellular, Inc. Financial Corporation dba Verizon Wireless; Midwest Wireless Communications, LLC dba Verizon Wireless; Rural Cellular Corporation dba Verizon Wireless; Verizon Wireless (VAW) LLC dba Verizon Wireless; WWC Holding Co., Inc. dba Verizon Wireless and West River Cooperative Telephone Company (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen, Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)  

     TC12-183     In the Matter of the Approval of an Intercarrier Compensation Bill and Keep Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Cellco Partnership dba Verizon Wireless; Cellular Inc. Network Corporation dba Verizon Wireless; Cellular, Inc. Financial Corporation dba Verizon Wireless; Midwest Wireless Communications, LLC dba Verizon Wireless; Rural Cellular Corporation dba Verizon Wireless; Verizon Wireless (VAW) LLC dba Verizon Wireless; WWC Holding Co., Inc. dba Verizon Wireless and Alliance Communications Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen, Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, stated that the amendments in dockets TC12-181 and TC12-183 were properly filed, properly executed, and do not appear to contain discriminatory provisions, and no comments were filed. Staff recommended that the Commission approve the amendments to the interconnection agreements.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the amendments to the interconnection agreements for the above dockets. Motion carried 3-0.

7.     TC12-182     In the Matter of the Application of Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. for an Amended Certificate of Authority (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen, Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Ryan Taylor, Cutler & Donahoe LLP, representing Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative Inc., Stockholm-Strandburg Telephone Co. and SSTELECOM, Inc., requested that the Commission grant the amended Certificates of Authority.  Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission: 1) grant waiver of ARSD 20:10:32:03: (6), (7), (8)(c), (10), (13), (14), (15), (18), (19), (20), and (22), as ITC, Stockholm, and SSTI have previously submitted the information required with these provisions; 2) approve the ITC and SSTI amended COAs with a January 1, 2013 effective date and contingent on completion of the merger; 3) waive the SSTI surety bond requirement established in docket TC05-223, and 4) if deemed necessary by the Commission, approve the transfer of the SSTI COA to ITC.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant the waiver of ARSD 20:10:32:03: (6), (7), (8)(c), (10), (13), (14), (15), (18), (19), (20), and (22), moved to approve ITC's amended Certificate of Authority,  moved to approve SSTELECOM, Inc.'s amended Certificate of Authority, and its transfer to ITC, and moved to waive SSTELECOM's Surety Indemnity Bond requirement.  Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 11:16 a.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/S/Joy Irving
Joy Irving
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
November 20, 2012