Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Case No. TIM-T-08-01, Order No. 32059
August 31, 2010
Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712
Commission denies Time Warner reconsideration
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission said it will not reconsider a February order that said Time Warner does not need a certificate to provide wholesale telecommunications services in Idaho.
Time Warner wants to provide VoIP services (Voice over Internet Protocol) to commercial customers who then may sell to residential and/or small-business customers. Time Warner asked the commission to grant it a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN).
Incumbent local exchange telecommunications providers – such as Qwest, Frontier Communications (formerly Verizon) and competitors that use the facilities of incumbent providers – must obtain a CPCN to provide residential exchange service to end-users in Idaho.
The commission said it has no authority or jurisdiction to grant the certificate because Time Warner does not intend to provide services at a retail level, or directly to residential or small-business end-users. Instead, it will provide services on a purely wholesale basis. “Time Warner will essentially be a carrier’s carrier,” the commission said.
Time Warner alleges that without a certificate, it won’t be able to interconnect with local exchange services and it will have difficulty obtaining telephone numbers for its customers from a national agency that allocates numbers. Time Warner plans to interconnect with Qwest in southern Idaho and Frontier Communications in northern Idaho. By not issuing it a certificate, Time Warner alleges the state is creating a barrier to competition, a violation of both federal and state law.
But the commission said denial of the CPCN does not mean the company cannot operate in the state.
“If any Idaho local exchange company refuses to enter into an interconnection agreement with Time Warner, Time Warner’s remedy is to file a complaint with the commission,” the commission said. Federal law requires telecommunication carriers to interconnect with competitors. The incumbent companies have a duty to negotiate in good faith and interconnect with any requesting telecommunications carrier, the commission said.