Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Issues Final Decision Regarding DPUC Review of the State of Connecticut Telecommunications Relay...
(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Issues Final Decision Regarding DPUC Review of the State of Connecticut Telecommunications Relay Service 2012-2017
NEW BRITAIN, Conn., April 25 -- The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority issued the following final decision:
DOCKET NO. 11-03-04
DPUC REVIEW OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT TELECOMMUNICATIONS RELAY SERVICE 2012-2017
April 25, 2012
By the following Directors:
Kevin M. DelGobbo
John W. Betkoski, III
This docket concerns the award of the contract to provide Telecommunications Relay Service in Connecticut. In this Decision, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (formerly known as the Department of Public Utility Control) awards the contract for provision of this service to Sprint Communications Company, L.P. The contract provides that the current service offerings will continue and there will be a new service offering of optional wireless devices. Additionally, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority may reopen this docket in the future to consider the implementation of additional service offerings. All telecommunications providers, including wireless carriers and Voice over Internet Protocol providers, are required to participate in the funding for Telecommunications Relay Service. In this Decision, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority also accepts Sprint Communications Company, L.P.'s proposal to continue subcontracting with Solix, Inc. to provide the billing and collection functions so that telecommunications providers offering service in Connecticut are assessed their proportionate share of the cost for providing intrastate Telecommunications Relay Service.
B.BACKGROUND OF THE PROCEEDING
Sprint Communications Company, L.P. (Sprint or Company) currently provides Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS or Relay) in Connecticut pursuant to the April 25, 2007 Decision in Docket No. 06-05-08, DPUC Review of the State of Connecticut Telecommunications Relay Service 2007-2012. In that Decision, Sprint was awarded the contract to provide intrastate TRS from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2012.
TRS enables telephone communication between a hearing or speech impaired person using a Text Telephone (TTY) or a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) and people using the telephone for voice communications. TDDs are specialized equipment that permit a hearing or speech impaired person to communicate through a Company representative also using a TDD to a standard telephone user without a TDD. The relay person translates the TDD typed message into a verbal message for the hearing person, and, in turn, translates the verbal message into text for the TDD user.
On April 25, 2011, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (the Authority) issued its Request for Proposal (RFP) for the provision of intrastate TRS for the period July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2017. Responses to the RFP were required to by filed with the Authority by September 1, 2011. The Authority received responses to the RFP from Sprint (Sprint Proposal) and from Hamilton Telecommunications (Hamilton; Hamilton Proposal).
C.CONDUCT OF THE PROCEEDING
By Notice of Hearing dated November 2, 2011, a public hearing on this matter was held on February 2, 2012, at the Authority's offices, Ten Franklin Square, New Britain, Connecticut 06051, and continued to February 16, 2012. That hearing was cancelled. By Notice of Close of Hearing dated March 8, 2012, the hearing in this matter was closed.
The Authority issued a draft Decision in this docket on March 28, 2012. By Notice of Written Exceptions, Briefs and Oral Arguments dated March 28, 2012, all parties and intervenors were provided an opportunity to file written exceptions to and present oral arguments on the draft Decision. The Authority received no requests for oral arguments so none were held.
The Authority recognized the Office of Consumer Counsel, Ten Franklin Square, New Britain, Connecticut 06051; the Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired (CDHI), 67 Prospect Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut 06105-2980; Converse Communications, 34 Jerome Avenue, Bloomfield, Connecticut 06002; The Southern New England Telephone Company d/b/a AT&T Connecticut, 310 Orange Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06510; Sprint Communications Company, L.P., 2001 Edmund Halley Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191; Hamilton Telecommunications, 1001 12th Street, Aurora, Nebraska 68818; Verizon New York, Inc., 140 West Street, New York, New York 10007 and Sprint Relay, 34 Jerome Avenue, Bloomfield, Connecticut 06002, as parties to this proceeding.
Sprint has been providing TRS in Connecticut for the past 19 years and actively participates in the Equipment Distribution Program with Converse Communications (Converse). Tr. 2/2/12, pp. 19 and 31. According to Sprint, the telecommunications facilities, equipment and software it will use in providing Relay services for Connecticut are: local exchange carriers' (LECs) and interexchange carriers' facilities to complete calls, an all-digital switching system and PC-based Communication Assistant (CA) terminals with Sprint developed software on a Local Area Network (LAN). Sprint Proposal, pp. 72 and 73. Customers will dial the appropriate toll-free number, and through their local exchange company, reach the Sprint switching network. Once in the Sprint network, the call will be routed to the next available CA for action. Id., p. 75.
During its current contract, Sprint invested over $12 million to completely upgrade the TRS and Internet Protocol (IP) operating platforms. Upgrades included the TRS platform, Call Management System (CMS) and CA Software. The Company's third generation relay platform makes use of an Avaya S87XX switch with Media Gateways to ensure the highest reliability and availability. Id., p. 55. Sprint finds its redesigned call processing software, referred to as Phoenix, to be far more intuitive and automated than other software systems. Id., pp. 55-57.
Sprint states that it will continue to furnish the necessary telecommunications equipment and facilities for its entire TRS operation. The Company maintains that telephone facilities servicing its 10 domestic call centers will be appropriately sized to accommodate all of Connecticut's relay traffic. Sprint also has an expansion plan in place to accommodate any system changes necessary to maintain its required service standards. Id., pp. 61, 71 and 72; Tr. 2/2/12, p. 18. Sprint confirms an ongoing commitment to maintain a superior transmission quality and provide for a minimum of 99% of its calls having unrestricted and immediate access to the TRS call center during the busiest time of day. Sprint Proposal, p. 74. Finally, Sprint maintains an active business continuity program that consists of business resumption, disaster recovery and incident management. Id., p. 63.
Sprint proposes to offer TRS users an array of convenience features. These include, but are not limited to: Enhanced Turbo Code (E-Turbo Code), which speeds up transmission and allows the TTY users to enter the called number and their relay preferences, eliminating the dialogue required to transfer that information to the CA; Caller ID for all calls on the Sprint network, along with the ability to disable or block Caller ID information on a per call or per line basis; and Captioned Telephone Relay Service (CapTel), which provides certain equipment with text displays offering captions to assist in Voice-Carry-Over (VCO) calls, including the ability to handle CapTel pay-per-call service and 2-line CapTel Services. Id., pp. 176 - 205. Sprint also proposed to offer Video Relay Services (VRS), which provide communication through high speed telecommunications lines and video conferencing equipment; however, a recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Order prohibits the provision of VRS through third-party vendors. Accordingly, Sprint was unable to provide VRS to the end user community effective January 4, 2012. Sprint Supplemental Response to Interrogatory RA-12.
Sprint proposed rates for its provision of intrastate TRS for a 60-month period. Specifically, Sprint proposed pricing on a per completed session minute and per conversation minute basis. Sprint also estimated the monthly cost associated with the provision of features such as a TRS Newsletter, an Education and Training Program and funding for the existing TDD Distribution Program. Sprint Proposal, pp. 241-244. Finally, Sprint proposed to offer other features and optional wireless devices and included the estimated cost to offer both in Connecticut. Id., pp. 176, 241-244.
Hamilton has provided local telephone service in Nebraska since 1901. Since that time, Hamilton has grown into a multi-faceted telecommunications firm providing telephone, relay, cable television, internet access and more. Hamilton Proposal, ES-4. More recently, Hamilton has contracted to provide CapTel service in Massachusetts, Tennessee and Virginia. Id., ES-7. Hamilton currently has six relay centers with redundant networking and switching facilities in operation, though Connecticut call processing will be handled by five of those centers. Id., p. 4-1; Tr. 2/2/12, p. 45. By having six relay centers, two main switching points with dual processors, many alternate facilities for the routing of relay calls and backup switching equipment, Hamilton is in a position to ensure minimal downtime for Relay in Connecticut. Id., p. 4-95. To guarantee that no aspect of Relay service is impaired, Hamilton has established a Disaster Recovery Plan to respond to all types of natural and man-made problems that may occur. Id., Attachment M.
Hamilton states that it manages its TRS operations in a manner that emphasizes personalized outreach programs, low call answer times, dedicated and knowledgeable CAs and the use of high level technical features. Id., ES-9 through ES-17. Hamilton maintains that it has the financial means, experienced staff, knowledge, resources and capabilities to establish and offer TRS in Connecticut. Id., ES-10 through ES-15. Hamilton states that it has experience in transitioning Relay services from other providers, including transitions where it had an extremely short start-up period. Hamilton intends to make the transition as smooth as possible if chosen to provide service in Connecticut. Hamilton Response to Interrogatory RA-7; Hamilton Brief, p. 11.
Hamilton is a family owned and operated telephone company, which has developed Relay service as a core competency during the past 21 years. Currently, TRS makes up nearly 50% of Hamilton's total revenue. Hamilton Proposal, ES-1; Tr. 2/2/12, p. 49; Brief, p. 1. Additionally, Hamilton proposes to offer TRS users an array of convenience features, including, but not limited to; Speech to Speech, Turbo Code, VCO and CapTel. Hamilton Proposal, Tab 4; Attachment C. Hamilton states that its focus is on the satisfaction of its users' individual needs, emphasizing design and implementation of customized Relay solutions for the community. Tr. 2/2/12, p. 49 and 64. If chosen to provide Relay service in Connecticut, Hamilton would also participate fully in the Equipment Distribution Program with Converse. Id., p. 66.
Hamilton proposed intrastate TRS rates under protective order, for a 60-month period. Specifically, Hamilton separately proposed pricing on a per completed session minute and per conversation minute basis, assuming it a) constructed and maintained its TRS operations/facilities/employees in Connecticut; and b) did not maintain its facilities in Connecticut, but used those currently located in other jurisdictions. Hamilton also estimated the monthly cost associated with the provision of other features such as a TRS Newsletter, an Education and Training Program and funding for the existing state TDD Distribution Program. Hamilton Proposal, Tab 5.
Hamilton maintains that its proposal offers a package of programs and services using state of the art technology at an extremely competitive price. Hamilton Brief, p. 1. Hamilton believes its commitment and dedication to meeting its customers' desires and needs rather than using a standardized approach for all states in which it operates distinguishes it from its competitors. According to Hamilton, its size allows for quick responses to customer requests and implementation of specific services and features without many training and technical issues. Id., p. 2. Hamilton offers a Relay service that is personal, responsive, technologically advanced, and most importantly, customized; all elements that combine to make Hamilton ideally suited to provide quality Relay service in Connecticut. Id., p. 13.
A.JULY 1, 2007 - JUNE 30, 2012 CONTRACT
Sprint is the incumbent provider of Connecticut TRS and has served continuously as the state's Relay provider since 1993. During its approximately 19-year tenure as the state's Relay provider, Sprint forged a productive partnership with the Authority and the CDHI to bring the highest quality Relay service to Connecticut citizens. Sprint also claims formidable working relationships with the individual end users of Relay and the Relay Connecticut Advisory Board. Tr. 2/2/12, pp. 77-79 and pp. 87-107; Sprint Brief, p. 2.
Currently, Sprint provides TRS for 32 states utilizing 10 domestic call centers. In addition, Sprint provides TRS for the federal government, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and New Zealand, for a total of 35 TRS contracts. Tr. 2/2/12, p. 18; Sprint Brief, p. 4. Sprint's network solutions take advantage of the inherent efficiencies of having multiple call centers with redundant features. All network facilities used in conjunction with Relay in Connecticut will be adequately sized to handle the projected call volume and will have sufficient capacity to accommodate excess call volumes. Sprint Proposal, pp. 67 and 68. Sprint's intelligent call routing instantly recognizes a problem anywhere in the relay system and routes calls to other operating call centers within seconds with no manual intervention. Id., p. 61. According to Sprint, its offering of TRS from these facilities meets, and/or exceeds, FCC standards. Sprint asserts that it has demonstrated its ability to fully satisfy all of the operational, technical and functional standards required in the TRS contract. Id., p. 53.
Sprint did not provide the estimated cost associated with the installation of facilities and construction of a Connecticut TRS operations center. Instead, Sprint proposed pricing for the continuation of its existing Connecticut TRS service offering. Sprint Proposal, pp. 106, 241 and 242. The record does not reflect any complaints concerning Sprint's performance during the existing contract.
B.JULY 1, 2012 - JUNE 30, 2017 CONTRACT
Hamilton is a strong competitor for award of the contract to provide TRS in Connecticut. Hamilton has proven itself to be a responsible and competent Relay provider during the past 21 years. Hamilton Proposal, ES-1; Tr. 2/2/12, p. 49. Furthermore, Hamilton's staff has exhibited a high level of professionalism throughout these proceedings.
While offering Relay service to 19 states and U.S. Territories, Hamilton has gained a reputation for performance, responsiveness and customized service. Id. Hamilton's proposal demonstrates its thorough understanding of Relay user needs and its ability to serve these consumers at the highest level. Due to the importance of TRS to its board of directors and other executives, Hamilton is constantly working to ensure the best Relay service possible. Hamilton Proposal, ES-1; Tr. 2/2/12, p. 67.
Hamilton is also committed to providing an extensive outreach program to Connecticut, supporting the growth and development of organizations that serve relay users. Hamilton is prepared to spend $50,000 annually to fund its Connecticut TRS and CapTel outreach programs. Hamilton Proposal, pp. 4-143 through 4-175, Attachment E; Hamilton Response to Interrogatory RA-15; Tr. 2/2/12, p. 65. In the past five years, Hamilton has performed four transitions from other relay providers with extremely short start-up periods, all of which were performed seamlessly with no interruption in service. Hamilton Response to Interrogatory RA-7. Hamilton provided customer complaint information demonstrating that it experiences a low level of customer complaints in relation to the volume of calls that it carries. Hamilton Response to Interrogatory RA-13; Late Filed Exhibit No. 3. According to Hamilton, it will deliver high quality Relay services and a high level of responsiveness to its Relay Connecticut users. Hamilton has the experienced staff people, outstanding financial resources and a strong desire to deliver the best possible services utilizing the latest communications technology to its relay users in Connecticut. Hamilton Proposal, ES-9 through ES-20.
Sprint and Converse have been working together since 1993 to provide the TRS Newsletter, TTY Directory, Education and Training Programs and the TDD Distribution Program. During the existing contract period, the Authority has found them to be valuable and intricate components of Relay in Connecticut. The TRS Newsletter has provided the Relay user community with various information including TDD/TTY Information, Relay Connecticut Enhanced 911 Services, TDD Repair Service and Loan Program, and new relay service features. Sprint and Hamilton have each committed to collaborate with Converse to continue the statewide TTY Distribution Program that Connecticut residents have access to under the current contract. Furthermore, each company would continue publishing and distributing the newsletter and a TTY Directory with Converse over the new contract period. Sprint and Hamilton would also continue conducting outreach projects to educate and train the public regarding TRS and would continue the existing TDD Distribution Program. Under the terms of this program, one TDD per household will be available for loan for an unlimited term of time free of charge. Sprint Proposal, pp. 241 and 242; Sprint Response to Interrogatory RA-6; Hamilton Proposal, Attachment D. For the first time, each company proposed to offer Optional Wireless Devices during the 2012-2017 contract. This offering would be handled exactly the same way as the current Equipment Distribution Program is handled. Id.
The TRS Newsletter, TTY Directory and Education and Training Programs provide TRS users with the necessary information concerning Relay, increasing their awareness of the state's program and ensuring accessibility to Connecticut's telecommunications network. The Authority finds that the continued offering of these features is in the public interest and therefore, should be a part of the 2012-2017 contract. Accordingly, the Authority will require that they continue to be offered during the life of the 2012-2017 contract and that funding for these features be provided.
Sprint has an extensive TRS system currently in place. The Company appears to have deployed its TRS network in a most efficient and cost effective manner. Sprint has also provided for increases in TRS demand and usage by establishing policies and procedures that require it to review and adjust the level of deployed TRS facilities systematically when conditions warrant. In the Authority's opinion, Sprint has constructed its TRS network to efficiently provide Relay service, with a minimal level of deployed facilities at a low cost. Any requirement imposed on Sprint to deploy additional facilities and locate employees in Connecticut is not in the public interest because it may disrupt current efficiencies and add to the overall cost of providing TRS, not only for Connecticut telecommunications services users, but for users in other jurisdictions as well. The Authority finds that the incremental cost associated with the location of Relay facilities and employees in the state does not warrant requiring Sprint to establish its TRS operations beyond those currently in place or those proposed by the Company to meet its estimated Connecticut Relay demand.
Both proposals were extremely effective in demonstrating Hamilton and Sprint's respective technical abilities and managerial expertise in the provision of TRS. The Authority received numerous letters in support of both Hamilton and Sprint throughout this proceeding. The Connecticut deaf and hearing impaired community overwhelmingly supported Sprint's proposal to continue offering its services throughout the state. Many Connecticut relay users attended the February 2, 2012 hearing, encouraging the Authority to choose Sprint as the TRS provider for the new contract period. Sprint Proposal, Appendix L; Tr. 2/2/12, pp. 77-79 and pp. 87-106. Due to the fact that both Sprint and Hamilton presented extremely competitive responses to the Authority's RFP and that both companies could adequately provide intrastate TRS services, the Authority determined that the preference of Connecticut relay consumers provided a persuasive component in its decision.
Additionally, the Authority is aware of the pricing difference between the proposals, and agrees that contract price is an important factor in choosing a TRS provider, although not the determinative factor. Both companies have provided detailed pricing information to offer TRS in Connecticut. Sprint Proposal, pp. 241-244; Sprint Response to Interrogatory RA-17; Hamilton Proposal, Tab 5; Hamilton Response to Interrogatory RA-17. In this case, the difference in the proposed pricing is small enough to be considered inconsequential in the Authority's final Decision. Sprint has established an extremely close relationship with the deaf and hearing-impaired community and TRS users in Connecticut. The Authority considers this close relationship and the preference of the deaf and hearing-impaired community, an important factor in identifying and satisfying the needs and requirements of this specific segment of the Connecticut public since those are the customers utilizing TRS services. The Authority believes that both proposals were first-rate; however, in light of both proposals, it considers the opinion of the actual users of TRS in Connecticut to be an important consideration in the determination of this award. Although Hamilton presents an extremely capable option, the Authority finds only minor differences between the two proposals. Accordingly, the Authority finds that the public interest does not warrant a change of TRS provider at this time. Therefore, the Authority will award Sprint the TRS contract for the 2012-2017 contract period.
C.EDUCATION AND OUTREACH BUDGET
Connecticut Relay is an intrastate telecommunications service provided by Sprint, and subject to Authority oversight. As the current Connecticut Relay provider, Sprint is required to develop and implement consumer outreach and education goals and objectives, and to ensure that the deaf and hearing-impaired consumers have the benefit of a wide spectrum of information on the products and training that is available with regard to TRS and CapTel. As part of its TRS contractual obligations, Sprint also is required to conduct consumer outreach and education initiatives to educate the public about important FCC and Authority regulatory programs and Decisions.
In the instant docket, the Authority reviewed the actual education and outreach costs that Sprint considered recoverable through the TRS fund for the 2007-2012 contract year, specifically, the inclusion of its own administrative fees on the Converse contract. Sprint Responses to Interrogatories RA-2 and RA-6; Tr. 2/2/12, pp. 39 and 40. From this review the Authority discovered that, although the actual amount for those administrative fees was small, they should not be recovered from the TRS fund. In fact, in the Decision dated April 25, 2007 in Docket No. 06-05-08, DPUC Review of the State of Connecticut Telecommunications Relay Service 2007-2012 (2007 Decision), the Authority was reassured by Sprint that its proposed contract with Converse for 2007-2012 did not include any markup. 2007 Decision, p. 9. Therefore, the Authority believes that Sprint should simply pass through Converse charges without adding in its own administrative costs, since such costs should be included in the salary of the outreach coordinator. The Authority expects that the Converse contract for 2012-2017 will not include any markup. Sprint Responses to Interrogatories RA-2 and RA-6; Tr. 2/2/12, pp. 39 and 40.
D.BILLING AND COLLECTIONS
In the January 26, 1994 Decision in Docket No. 89-03-03, The Southern New England Telephone Company Agreement with the Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired to Support a Joint Proposal for Assistance for Hearing & Speech Impaired Persons, the Authority determined that the best funding mechanism for the TRS program was an assessment on all telecommunications service providers based on their proportionate market share, measured by total intrastate revenues. The Authority made this determination because it apportioned the TRS funding burden as broadly and fairly as possible. In that same Decision, the Authority directed Sprint to bill the state's telecommunications companies for their respective portion of the monthly TRS costs.
For the new contract period of July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2017, the Authority accepts Sprint's proposal to continue subcontracting with Solix to perform the billing and collection functions. In the instant proceeding, Sprint provided the estimated nonrecurring and recurring costs associated with Solix's billing and collection functions. Sprint Proposal, pp. 242 and 243; Sprint Response to Interrogatory RA-5. Sprint offered advantages to subcontracting with Solix, including the fact that Solix is a neutral third party fund administrator, and that it is well-respected by regulators at state levels as well as by telecommunications carriers. Solix has developed an up-to-date database of points of contact and addresses for the providers. Sprint Proposal, p. 243; Late Filed Exhibit No. 2. The Authority concurs that Solix is a good choice for the billing and collection functions of TRS. However, the Authority believes there may be a chance for substantial savings in the next contract period, were Sprint to solicit bids for the billing and collection functions. Tr. 2/2/12, p. 38; Late Filed Exhibit No. 2. Furthermore, the fact that Sprint's proposal includes an administrative fee for the management of the Solix contract leaves the Authority with reservations about the necessity of that charge. Sprint Response to Interrogatory RA-5; Tr. 2/2/12, pp. 35 and 36. However, for this contract period, the Authority will permit the admilnistrative fees for billing and collections.
The Authority finds no difference between the FCC requirements of what constitutes a Lifeline Service offering and TRS. In the Authority's opinion, the offering of TRS provides hearing and speech impaired users with the ability to access the same functions and features that the FCC has required to be a part of Lifeline. Therefore, the Authority will maintain its requirement that all telecommunications service providers offering services in Connecticut, including commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) and VoIP providers, shall contribute to the State's TRS program.
The number of certificated companies offering telecommunications services in Connecticut is approximately 300. As a requirement of certification, all telecommunications companies are required to share in the costs of providing TRS in the state. Therefore, on an annual basis, the Authority will reopen this proceeding to include any newly certified intrastate telecommunications service and VoIP providers into the TRS funding mechanism so that they too can share in funding the costs of providing TRS. During these reopened proceedings, the Authority will also review Sprint's performance over the previous year, the estimated Relay costs for the next fiscal year and entertain requests to modify the existing contract to include the offering of new services.
Accordingly, Sprint is hereby directed to continue providing TRS and to continue subcontracting with Solix to begin billing each telecommunications service provider for its portion of the cost of providing TRS in Connecticut. Each telecommunications service provider, including wireless carriers, CMRS and VoIP providers, shall remit payment to Solix within 30 days of receipt of the Connecticut Relay bill.
IV.FINDINGS OF FACT
1.TRS enables telephone communication between a hearing or speech impaired person using a TTY or a TDD and a standard telephone user without a TDD.
2.Sprint's offering of TRS from its existing facilities meets the requirements of the FCC.
3.Hamilton's proposal demonstrates that it is qualified to offer TRS services in Connecticut in compliance with FCC requirements.
4.Sprint has an extensive TRS system currently in place.
5.Sprint currently offers the TRS Newsletter, Education and Training Program and TDD Distribution Program that provide TRS users with information concerning Relay, increasing their awareness of the state's TRS program and ensuring accessibility to Connecticut's telephone network.
6.Hamilton has agreed to work in conjunction with Converse to continue providing the TRS Newsletter, Education and Training Program and TDD Distribution Program that provide TRS users with information concerning Relay, increasing their awareness of the state's TRS program and ensuring accessibility to Connecticut's telephone network.
7.Connecticut TRS end users are interested in the consistency of TRS services.
8.Many Connecticut TRS end users prefer retention of Sprint as the TRS provider.
9.The number of certificated companies offering telecommunications services in Connecticut is approximately 300.
10.As a requirement of certification, all telecommunications companies, CMRS and VoIP providers are required to share in the costs of providing TRS in Connecticut.
V.CONCLUSION AND ORDERS
The Authority hereby awards the contract to provide TRS in Connecticut to Sprint, for the period July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2017. All service providers currently providing telecommunications services in Connecticut as of January 31, 2012, will be responsible for a portion of the total TRS costs incurred during this period and shall remit payment to Solix within 30 days of receipt of the monthly Relay bill. On an annual basis, the Authority will reopen this proceeding to include any newly certified intrastate telecommunications service providers, CMRS and VoIP providers into the TRS funding mechanism so that they too can share in funding the costs of providing TRS. During these reopened proceedings, the Authority will also review Sprint's performance over the previous year, the estimated costs of providing Relay for the next fiscal year and entertain requests to modify the existing contract to include the offering of new services.
For the following Orders, please submit one original of the required documentation to the Executive Secretary, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051, and file an electronic version through the Authority's website at www.ct.gov/dpuc. Submissions in compliance with Authority Orders must be identified by all three of the following: Docket Number, Title and Order Number.
1.No later than June 20, 2012, Sprint shall submit a revised Connecticut Relay cost estimate for fiscal year 2012/2013 based on the September 1, 2011 Sprint response.
2.Sprint shall contract with Solix to bill each telecommunications company for its respective portion of each company's monthly TRS cost, based on the percentages provided by the Authority.
3.All billed telecommunications service providers, CMRS and VoIP providers shall remit payment to Solix within 30 days of receipt of its bill.
4.Solix shall be instructed by Sprint to promptly notify the Authority if a telecommunications service provider, CMRS or VoIP provider fails to remit payment within 30 days, or regularly makes late payments.
The Authority is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and service provider. In conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Authority makes every effort to provide equally effective services for persons with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities who need this information in an alternative format to allow them to benefit and/or participate in the agency's programs and services, should call 860-424-3035 or e-mail the ADA Coordinator, at DEP.firstname.lastname@example.org. Persons who are hearing impaired should call the State of Connecticut relay number 711. Requests for accommodations must be made at least two weeks prior to the meeting date (Emphasis added).
DOCKET NO. 11-03-04
DPUC REVIEW OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT TELECOMMUNICATIONS RELAY SERVICE 2012-2017
This Decision is adopted by the following Directors:
Kevin M. DelGobbo
John W. Betkoski, III
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
The foregoing is a true and correct copy of the Decision issued by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, State of Connecticut, and was forwarded by Certified Mail to all parties of record in this proceeding on the date indicated.
Date April 26, 2012
Kimberley J. Santopietro
Authority of Energy and Environmental Protection
Public Utilities Regulatory Authority
TNS mv45 120427-3857512
(c) 2012 Targeted News Service
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