Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Case No. GNR-T-11-01, Order No. 32277

July 5, 2011

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

www.puc.idaho.gov

 

PUC creates registration process for wholesale telecoms

 

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has created a process that allows telephone companies who provide services other than traditional local exchange to register as wholesale providers of telecommunications services in Idaho.  Companies that do provide local exchange services must be issued a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) from the commission. 

 

The wholesale providers said the registration process will make it easier for them to enter into interconnection agreements with existing companies that have telecommunications infrastructure in place. 

 

The need for the registration process surfaced in 2010 when Time Warner Cable Information Services applied to the commission to receive a CPCN. The commission denied the certificate because Time Warner did not plan to offer local exchange service, but sought only to offer Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services to commercial customers in Idaho using facilities owned by its cable affiliate. The commission said the CPCN was not necessary because Time Warner is a wholesale provider that offers services to other telecommunications companies, not to the public or end-users.  The commission said Time Warner was free to offer its wholesale service without commission involvement. 

 

However, Time Warner officials asserted that existing providers in Idaho wouldn’t interconnect with them without a certificate. Further, Time Warner alleged that without a certificate it won’t be assigned telephone numbers and connections with E-911 emergency service. 

 

The Time Warner case led to a commission investigation that determined there are a number of competitive local exchange companies that, while operating with a certificate, are still not providing local service to end-users. A number of the companies objected to a commission letter suggesting the commission may rescind their certificates. 

 

In response, the commission opened a docket to investigate whether a process short of issuing a CPCN could be created for competitive providers who do not offer local exchange services.  As a result, the commission created the registration process, which allows companies to use Sections 1 and 5-8 of its existing Rule 114 to register.  Those sections require the companies to provide certain identifying information and a commitment to adhere to number pooling and reporting requirements to assist the commission in preserving telephone numbers and delaying further the creation of more than one area code in the state. 

 

A full text of the commission’s order, along with other documents related to this case, is available on the commission’s Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on “File Room” and then on “Telecommunications Cases” and scroll down to Case No. GNR-T-11-01.

 

Interested parties may petition the commission for reconsideration by no later than July 21. Petitions for reconsideration must set forth specifically why the petitioner contends that the order is unreasonable, unlawful or erroneous. Petitions should include a statement of the nature and quantity of evidence the petitioner will offer if reconsideration is granted.

 

Petitions can be delivered to the commission at 472 W. Washington St. in Boise, mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID, 83720-0074, or faxed to 208-334-3762.