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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 97-533



Petitions of Rural and Small Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers

[27 Pa.B. 1709]

   PUC Docket No. P-00971177: Petition of Rural and Small Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers for Commission Action under Section 251(f)(2) and 253(b) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

   PUC Docket No. P-00971188: Petition of Citizens Telephone Company of Kecksburg to Intervene in PUC Docket No. P-00971177 and to suspend the Interconnection Requirements of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 under Sections 251(f)(2) and 253(b).

   On February 20, 1997, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) received a filing (Petition) by several rural and small local exchange companies (Petitioners). The Petition asks the PUC to grant an immediate stay of the interconnection requirements under section 251(f)(2) of the 1996 Act. The Petition also asks the PUC to suspend, for at least 24 months following final action by the FCC on Universal Service and access charge reform, the Petitioners' section 251(b) and 253(c) interconnection obligations under the 1996 Act. The Petition further wants the PUC to refuse to certify additional facilities based carriers in the rural and small service territories in exchange for a commitment to file Chapter 30 filings by July 8, 1997.

   On March 13, 1997, Citizens Telephone Company of Kecksburg submitted a Petition to Intervene in PUC Docket No. P-00971188 and for relief from the 1996 Act pursuant to Sections 251(f)(2) and 253(b) of the Act.

   Given the related nature of these procedings, the Commission seeks any comment from interested parties on both Petitions. The Commission also seeks particular comment on four issues.

   The PUC wants to know what, if any, factors should govern any grant of the requested stay.

   The PUC wants to know what weight should be given to the fact that some rural telcos, with video programming operations in existence before enactment of the 1996 Act, are expanding those video programming operations while seeking an exemption from rural competition under the Act.

   The PUC also wants to know what, if any, harm to competition is experienced from rural telco expansion of video programming operations during the pendency of this matter.

   The deadline for comments is April 14, 1997. The deadline for Reply Comments is April 21, 1997. An original and 15 copies of any comments or Reply Comments must be submitted to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, P. O. Box 3265, Office of the Prothonotary, Harrisburg, PA. Filings must refer to PUC Docket Nos. P-00971177 and P-00971188 collectively and filed in both dockets.

   Copies of the Petition may be obtained from the Prothonotary at the PUC's offices in Harrisburg. The contact person at the PUC is Joseph K. Witmer, Esq., Law Bureau, (717) 787-3663.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 97-533. Filed for public inspection April 4, 1997, 9:00 a.m.]

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