Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Case No. GNR-T-08-04, Order No. 30702

December 19, 2008

Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712



Pearl residents petition PUC for telephone service


Residents in the Gem County community of Pearl are petitioning the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to allow telephone service to be provided in the area.


About 24 residents have asked that Albion Telephone Company (or ATC Communications) be allowed to serve the area, generally located east of State Highway 16 and Emmett, northeast of Eagle and southwest of Montour.


The Pearl area is in Qwest Corporation’s service territory and Frontier Communications (formerly known as Citizens) has a service area about 2.5 miles to the northeast of Pearl.


The commission is inviting Albion Telephone and Qwest and any other telecommunications entities with the potential of serving the area to participate in the case. Qwest and other wireline companies have examined the possibility of providing service to the Pearl area for many years, with no success due primarily to the high cost of providing wireline service to such a remote area and disputes over who should pay the cost.


The commission has asked Qwest and Albion Telephone to file reports regarding current available facilities and the cost to extend services to the Pearl area. The commission has made Qwest and Albion official parties to the case and invites any other interested parties to file petitions to intervene with the commission by no later than Dec. 26. Later, a pre-hearing conference will be scheduled at which time the petitioners will be asked to describe in greater detail their complaints and concerns about the quality of local service.


Those interested can read more about this case by accessing the commission’s Website at Click on the telephone icon, then on “Open Telephone Cases,” and scroll down to Case No. GNR-T-08-04.