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On January 10, 2013, the Commission held its first regularly-scheduled meeting of the year.  It was a particularly short meeting, with no telecommunications items discussed on the regular agenda.  However, the Commission withdrew the Proposed Decision addressing Enhanced 9-1-1 PBX/MLTS customer education and tariff issues.  The Commission also held several important items, including Draft Resolution L-436 (addressing the confidentiality of documents held by the Commission) and the Proposed Decision modifying requirements for CPCN and WIR holders or applicants.  Although Commissioner Peterman has been appointed, she has not yet been sworn in, so she was not present at Thursday’s meeting.

CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS

opticAccess Granted a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (Item 23, adopted on consent) – This Decision grants opticAccess, LLC (“opticAccess”) a certificate of public convenience and necessity (“CPCN”) to provide resold and full facilities-based local exchange telecommunications services in the service territories of Pacific Bell Telephone Company d/b/a AT&T California, Verizon California, Citizens Telecommunications Company of California, Inc., and SureWest Communications, and access and interexchange service throughout the State of California.  opticAccess proposes to provide local exchange services to business customers through a combination of its own facilities and unbundled network elements from incumbent local exchange carriers.  It will offer wavelength and point-to-point services on a wholesale basis to large enterprise customers and resell local exchange and interexchange services of other carriers to business customers.  opticAccess will not offer residential services. 
 
Contemporaneously with its CLEC application, opticAcces also filed a motion requesting a shortened time period for protests and replies to the protests, and expedited issuance of the CPCN.  opticAccess claimed that the highly-competitive nature of the telecommunications industry warranted an expedited issuance.  The assigned Administrative Law Judge denied the motion on the basis that an expedited review process would not provide the public or the Commission with sufficient time to appropriately review the application.
 
The Decision determines that opticAccess’ proposed construction activities fall within the classes of projects that are exempt from CEQA, and an Environmental Impact Report and Negative Declaration will not be required.  The Decision further concludes that opticAccess meets the financial and technical requirements necessary to be granted a CPCN. 
 
A copy of the Proposed Decision underlying this item is available at the following link.

Citrix Granted Certificate of Public Convenience Necessity (Item 26, adopted on consent) – This Decision grants Citrix Communications LLC (“Citrix”) a certificate of public convenience and necessity (“CPCN”) to provide resold and full facilities-based local exchange telecommunications services in the service territories of Pacific Bell Telephone Company d/b/a AT&T California and Verizon California, and interexchange service in the State of California.  Citrix is an affiliate of the well-known desktop virtualization company that is used by many businesses.
 
Citrix proposes to provide local exchange services to business and residential customers by purchasing unbundled network elements from incumbent local exchange carriers, and selling the services of other certificated carriers.  Citrix will offer intraLATA and interLATA interexchange service through the resale of services of other certificated carriers.  Citrix will also offer intrastate switched access service, which will allow interexchange carriers to interconnect on a switched and dedicated basis with local exchange network in order to originate and terminate calls on Citrix’s network. 
 
This Decision determines that a CEQA review is unnecessary since Citrix does not intend to construct any facilities other than equipment to be installed in existing buildings or structures.  Additionally, Citrix meets the technical and financial requirements necessary to be granted a CPCN. 
 
A copy of the Proposed Decision underlying this item is available at the following link.
 
Statutory Deadline Extended in City of Santa Barbara v. Verizon Case (Item 24, adopted on consent)  – This Decision extends the statutory deadline for resolving a dispute between the City of Santa Barbara (“Santa Barbara”) and Verizon California, Inc. (“Verizon”) until January 19, 2014.  This dispute involves the interpretation of a tariff governing the undergrounding of existing telephone communications facilities where a city creates a new underground utility district.  Santa Barbara filed this complaint on January 19, 2010 and the parties initially agreed to resolve the dispute by filing motions for summary judgment based on a stipulated set of undisputed facts.  However, the parties were unable to stipulate to a set of facts.  Nevertheless, both parties filed Motions for Summary Judgment and the Administrative Law Judge “ALJ” issued a proposed decision based on the Motions.  After the proposed decision was issued, Southern California Edison Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company and the City of Santa Monica filed Motions for Party Status.  ALJ Ryerson subsequently retired from state service and the proposed decision was withdrawn from consideration.  The proceeding is now moving forward with ALJ Clopton, and both Verizon and Santa Barbara have filed renewed Motions for Summary Judgment.  This Decision finds that an extension of time is necessary to consider the pending Motions and to allow the additional parties to participate in this proceeding.
 
A copy of the Proposed Decision underlying this item is available at the following link.

Customer Complaint Against Verizon Dismissed (Item 2, adopted on consent) – This item would grant MCI Communications Services, Inc. d/b/a Verizon Business Services (“Verizon”)’s Motion to Dismiss Cinderella Hair Inc. (“Cinderella”)’s Complaint.  Cinderella’s complaint alleged that the T-1 system installed by Verizon caused it to lose an entire day of business.  Cinderella demanded reimbursement for its daily loss of business, a local point of contact, and a replacement of copper lines as backup at no charge.  The Decision would grant the Motion to Dismiss on the basis that the Verizon Business Service Agreement contains a mandatory arbitration clause.  Moreover, the Decision notes that the facts were undisputed and as a matter of law, the Commission would have to rule in the Verizon’s favor. 
 
A copy of the Proposed Decision underlying this item is available at the following link.
 
Customer Complaint Against T-Mobile West Corporation Dismissed (Item 18, adopted on consent) – This Decision dismisses a complaint against T-Mobile West Corporation (“T-Mobile”) from one of its customers (“Complainant”) for lack of prosecution.  Both Complainant and T-Mobile failed to appear at a duly-noted hearing on December 3, 2012.  In this complaint, the Complainant asserted that a T-Mobile sales representative engaged in deceptive sale practices that resulted in $1,600 worth of charges over the course of a year and a half.  Specifically, Complainant claimed that the sales representative failed to mention an equipment installment plan and deliberately omitted relevant pages of the Retailer Installment Contract.
 
A copy of the Proposed Decision underlying this item is available at the following link.

WITHDRAWN ITEMS

 
Public Safety Concerns Related to 9-1-1 Emergency Response to Multi-Line or Large Business Locations (Item 31, withdrawn) – This Proposed Decision would have addressed public safety concerns related to California’s 9-1-1 emergency response system for Private Branch Exchanges (“PBX”)/Multi-Line Telephone Systems (“MLTS”) locations.  The Proposed Decision would have required carriers to update their tariff language with ambiguous language intended to inform customers of their responsibilities relative to accurate caller location information.  In addition, carriers would also have been obligated to provide links on their websites to the Commission’s CalPhoneInfo website and to the Commission’s 911/MLTS brochure. 
 
A copy of the Proposed Decision underlying this item is available at the following link

SIGNIFICANT HELD ITEMS

 
Draft Resolution L-436 Modifying Confidentiality Standards Applicable to Documents Held by the Commission (Item 33, held by Staff until 1/24/13) – This Draft Resolution would propose new regulations governing public access to Commission records and utility records held by the Commission.  The revised General Order (“G.O.”) would effectively repeal the long-standing  procedures for obtaining information and records from the Commission, now embodied in G.O. 66-C.  These rules would be replaced with a new G.O. 66-D, which would be adopted following additional workshops and the development of confidentiality matrixes.  G.O. 66-D would eliminate the current protections for documents which, if revealed, would create an “unfair business disadvantage.”  It would also shift the burden of proving confidential designation of utility information and data to the utility at the point of submission.  The Draft Resolution directs the Staff to develop a publicly-accessible index of information on the confidentiality presumptions applicable to broad classes of records, and, where applicable, establish the legal basis for withholding records from the public.

The Draft Resolution would also increase public access to safety-related documents and records by ordering the creation of a safety information portal on the CPUC’s website.  Under the Draft Resolution, the Staff would be directed to maintain a publicly-accessible index or database of safety related records and information in the custody of the CPUC.  The index or database would provide links to such safety-related records. 
 
A copy of the Draft Resolution underlying this item is available at the following link.

Revisions to the Certification Processes for Telephone Corporations Seeking or Holding CPCNs and WIRs
(Item 32, held by Peevey until 1/24/13 ) – This Proposed Decision would adopt revisions to the certification process for telephone corporations seeking or holding Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity (“CPCN”) and wireless carriers seeking or holding Wireless Identification Registration (“WIR”).  The changes to the certification processes are intended to increase accountability for carriers, reduce the need for enforcement actions to be brought, and improve the Commission’s ability to collect fines, penalties, and bring restitution.  The Proposed Decision was recently revised and would establish a Phase II of the proceeding to determine performance bond requirements as discussed below.
 
The Proposed Decision would require all applicants seeking or holding a CPCN or WIR to post a bond to facilitate the collection of fines, fees, surcharges, taxes, penalties, and restitution.  ILECs are specifically exempted from the bond requirement.  The bond amount for applicants seeking or holding a CPCN or a WIR would be initially set at $25,000.  In Phase II of the rulemaking, the Commission will determine, starting with input in workshops, a reasonable performance bond amount based on intrastate revenue and/or consumer protection considerations.  The bond amount for new applicants granted a CPCN or WIR that have not reported annual intrastate  revenues to the Commission would be $25,000. 
 
The Proposed Decision would also: (1) require CPCN applicants and wireless registrants to provide the Commission with resumes and detailed information on key officers, directors, and certain owners; (2) require applicants seeking to transfer licenses or registrations to verify compliance with Commission reporting, fee, and surcharge transmittals; (3) increase the application fee for new and transferred CPCN authority from $75 to $500, subject to legislative approval; (4) require wireless registrants to pay a $250 fee for new and transferred registration; (5) establish a minimum annual user fee of the Commission-established rate in effect at the time or $100, whichever is greater; and (5) require a new verification with specified language that certain key officers, directors, and owners were never associated with a telecommunications carrier that filed for bankruptcy, was sanctioned by the FCC or state regulatory agency, or was ever found civilly or criminally liable by a court.
 
A copy of the Proposed Decision underlying this item is available at the following link.
 
RTIGP Funding for the Channel Islands Project (Item 5, held by Staff until 1/24/13) – This Draft Resolution would authorize a Rural Telecommunications Infrastructure Grant Program (pursuant to AB 140) (“RTIGP”) grant in the amount of $2,693,000 to the Channel Islands Telephone Company (“Channel Islands”) for the construction of the Channel Islands Telephone Company Grant Project (“Channel Islands Project”).  Channel Islands currently has a limited-facility-based certificate of public convenience and necessity; however, it will need a full-facilities-based CPCN for this grant to become effective and this application is pending before the Commission (A.10-02-009).  The Channel Islands Project proposes to provide telephone service to four of the eight Channel Islands, San Miguel, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Santa Rosa.  The Draft Resolution would include a $10,000 allotment intended to supplement funds previously allocated under Resolution T-17151 to complete a CEQA review.  Additionally, the Draft Resolution would also authorize the Commission’s Executive Director to enter into a contract with the County of Ventura to act as a fiscal agent for the Channel Islands Project. 
 
A copy of the Draft Resolution underlying this item is available at the following link.
 
Commission Comments to ATT’s Petition to the FCC to Launch TDM-to-IP Transition, (Item 34, held by Staff until 1/24/13) – In this item, Staff is requesting authorizing to file comments with the FCC in response to two petitions: (1) AT&T’s petition requesting that the FCC open a proceeding “to facilitate the telephone industry’s continued transition from legacy transmission platforms and services to new services based fully on the Internet Protocol” and proposing that the FCC conduct trials where some equipment would be retired and Internet Protocol-based services offered, and (2) National Telecommunications Cooperative’s petition asking the FCC to open a rulemaking to examine the means of proposing and sustaining the evolution of the Public Switched Telephone Network to an IP-based network.  Comments would be due on January 28, 2013. 
 
A copy of the FCC’s public notice requesting comments is available at the following link.
 
A copy of AT&T’s Petition is available at the following link.
 
A copy of the National Telecommunications Cooperative’s Petition is available at the following link.
 
NOTES AND COMMISSIONER REPORTS

President Peevey announced that Carla Peterman was appointed as former-Commissioner Simon’s replacement.  She will be sworn in on January 15th and will be attending the January 24th Commission Meeting. 
  


If you have questions regarding any of the above items, or the underlying proceedings in which they arose, please feel free to contact us.
 
 

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