Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority - Telcom Issues Final Decision Regarding PURA 2012 Annual Report to the General Assembly on the...
(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority - Telcom Issues Final Decision Regarding PURA 2012 Annual Report to the General Assembly on the Status of Telecommunications in Connecticut
NEW BRITAIN, Conn., Dec. 19 -- The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority - Telcom issued the following final decision:
DOCKET NO. 12-01-11
PURA 2012 ANNUAL REPORT TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON THE STATUS OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS IN CONNECTICUT
December 19, 2012
By the following Directors:
Arthur H. House
John W. Betkoski, III
TABLE OF CONTENTS
II.ANALYSIS OF THE STATUS OF UNIVERSAL TELEPHONE SERVICE IN CONNECTICUT2
2.Status of Universal Service in the United States3
3.Universal Service - Connecticut4
4.Assistance for Hearing and Speech Impaired Persons: Docket No. 11-03-04, DPUC Review of the State of Connecticut Telecommunications Relay Service 2012-20074
5.Link Up America - Connecticut Telephone Connection Assistance Program (CTCAP) and the Lifeline Program5
6.Connecticut Disconnect Data6
C.JURISDICTIONAL SHIFTS IN TELEPHONE REVENUE REQUIREMENTS6
II.THE IMPACT OF COMPETITION IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKETS ON THE WORK FORCE OF THE STATE AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY IN THE STATE6
III.AN ANALYSIS OF THE LEVEL OF REGULATION THAT THE PUBLIC INTEREST REQUIRES AND THE STATUS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF sections 16-247F AND 16-247I OF THE GENERAL STATUTES OF CONNECTICUT8
B.FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION ORDER AND NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING11
IV.THE STATUS OF IMPLEMENTING THE PROVISIONS OF CONN. GEN. STAT. sections 16-247A TO 16-247C, INCLUDING ACHIEVING EACH OF THE OBJECTIVES OF THE GOALS SET FORTH IN CONN. GEN. STAT. section 16-247A; CONN. GEN. STAT. sections16-247E TO 16-247I, INCLUSIVE; AND CONN. GEN. STAT. section16-247K17
A.DOCKET NO. 10-08-16, DPUC INVESTIGATION INTO THE CONNECTICUT LIFELINE PROGRAM - 201017
B.DOCKET NO. 10-05-05, DPUC 2010 PROMULGATION OF QUALITY OF SERVICE REGULATIONS FOR CONNECTICUT TELEPHONE COMPANY AND CERTIFIED TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE PROVIDERS18
C.DOCKET NO. 01-08-01, APPLICATION OF FIBER TECHNOLOGIES NETWORKS, L.L.C. F/K/A FIBER SYSTEMS LLC FOR APPROVAL TO INSTALL FACILITIES UNDER AND OVER CERTAIN PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY19
D.DOCKET NO. 10-11-08, DPUC DETERMINATION OF A PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY-SPECIFIC CYBER SECURITY POLICY19
E.DOCKET NO. 11-11-02, PETITION OF FIBER TECHNOLOGIES NETWORKS, L.L.C. FOR AUTHORITY INVESTIGATION OF RENTAL RATES CHARGED TO TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROVIDERS BY POLE OWNERS......................................................................20
V.THE STATUS OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMPETITION20
A.REQUESTS FOR CERTIFICATES OF PUBLIC CONVENIENCE AND NECESSITY, ARBITRATIONS AND APPROVALS OF INTERCONNECTION AGREEMENTS20
B.NEW TARIFF OFFERINGS21
C.THE FCC REPORT, LOCAL TELEPHONE COMPETITION: STATUS AS OF JUNE 31, 201121
D.CLECS' ASSESSMENT OF THEIR STATUS IN THE MARKET22
VI.THE STATUS OF THE DEPLOYMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE STATE23
A.THE SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND TELEPHONE COMPANY D/B/A AT&T CONNECTICUT23
B.VERIZON NEW YORK, INC.23
C.COMPETITIVE LOCAL EXCHANGE CARRIERS AND FACILITIES BASED PROVIDERS24
VII.CONSUMER SERVICES STATISTICS24
AUTHORITY COMPLAINT STATISTICSERROR! BOOKMARK NOT DEFINED.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY COMPLAINT STATISTICS27
CALL CENTER STATISTICS28
This twenty-sixth annual report on the status of telecommunications service and regulation in Connecticut is submitted to the General Assembly pursuant to section16 247i of the General Statutes of Connecticut (Conn. Gen. Stat.). Under that statutory provision, the Public Utility Regulatory Authority (Authority or PURA) is charged with analyzing and reporting on various areas relating to telecommunications:
1.An analysis of Universal Service and any changes therein;
2.An analysis of the impact, if any, of competition in telecommunications markets on the work force of the state and employment opportunities in the telecommunications industry in the state;
3.An analysis of the level of regulation which the public interest requires and the status of the implementation of Conn. Gen. Stat. sections 16-247f and 16-247i;
4.The status of implementing the provisions of Conn. Gen. Stat. sections 16-247a to 16-247 inclusive, sections 16-247e to 16-247i, inclusive, and section 16-247k, including achieving each of the objectives of the goals set forth in Conn. Gen. Stat. section 16-247a as, amended;
5.The status of the development of competition for all telecommunications services;
6.The status of the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure in the state.
Lastly, the Authority discusses telecommunications company experience pertaining to customer performance in Connecticut.
To fulfill these charges, the Authority annually initiates a docket to conduct a general investigation of the relevant issues. Docket No. 12-01-11, PURA 2012 Annual Report to the General Assembly on the Status of Telecommunications in Connecticut, was established to gather the necessary information and data for 2012.
The following report presents the Authority's analyses and findings. The Authority has not drawn specific conclusions or made new recommendations in this report. It is a status report that summarizes the results of the Authority's investigation in Docket No. 12-01-11, as well as information or findings reached in other docketed proceedings completed during 2012 and information presented in pending dockets. Pertinent information from external sources, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other regulatory jurisdictions, is also included.
The report has seven major sections. The first, Analysis of the Status of Universal Service in Connecticut, addresses universal service in Connecticut and in the nation. This section also provides an analysis of statistics concerning low-income household participation in the Connecticut Lifeline program and the Connecticut version of the FCC's Link Up America telephone connection assistance program.
The second section, The Impact of Competition in Telecommunications Markets on the Work Force of the State and Employment Opportunities in the Telecommunications Industry in the State, addresses Conn. Gen. Stat. section 16-247i(2). This part of the report summarizes the telecommunications companies' responses to Authority interrogatories on the impact of telecommunications competition on telecommunications workers in Connecticut.
The third section, An Analysis of the Level of Regulation that the Public Interest Requires, explains that the Authority has not considered any dockets this year affecting the level of regulation of telecommunications service providers in Connecticut. The Authority notes that no new legislation or reporting requirements were enacted in 2011.
The fourth section, The Status of Implementing the Provisions of Conn. Gen. Stat. sections 16-247a to 16-247, inclusive; 16-247e to 16-247i, inclusive; and 16-247k, including achieving each of the objectives of the goals set forth in Section 16-247a, discusses the various dockets the Authority has initiated to satisfy the goals and objectives of the above noted statutes.
The fifth section, The Status of the Development of Competition, discusses the level of competition for telecommunications services in the state. This section also discusses the tariff requirements for telecommunications services.
The sixth section, The Status of the Deployment of Telecommunications Infrastructure in the State, discusses the Authority's findings regarding the level of technology deployed in Connecticut and the status of infrastructure modernization.
The final section, Customer Service Statistics, summarizes the experience of the Authority's Consumer Service Unit in handling consumer complaints regarding telecommunications service providers.
II.ANALYSIS OF THE STATUS OF UNIVERSAL TELEPHONE SERVICE IN CONNECTICUT
Subsection (1) of Conn. Gen. Stat. section16 247i mandates that the Authority analyze the issue of universal service. This section of the report includes a discussion of universal service on a national basis and in Connecticut, a summary of data on the number of customers disconnected from telecommunications services in Connecticut, a discussion of Connecticut's version of the Link Up America telephone connection assistance plan for low-income households, a review of the impact on Connecticut telephone companies and ratepayers of FCC-mandated shifts in revenue requirements from the interstate side of telephone operations to states, and a description and status of the Lifeline Assistance Telephone Program in the state.
The Authority has defined universal service as the widespread availability of telephone service at a reasonable rate. The Authority has further defined widespread availability as the level of telephone penetration among households as measured in percentage points. A value of 90 percent or higher has been considered by the FCC to represent the achievement of universal service. In Connecticut, no particular level of penetration is accepted as an indicator of universal service; rather, it is a public policy goal to connect as many people desiring service to the public switched network as possible.
2.Status of Universal Service in the United States
According to the FCC Report entitled Telephone Subscribership in the United States, released in December of 2011 (FCC Report), 95.6% of all households in the United States had telephone service as of July 2011. This statistic is based on Census Bureau figures for March 2010, the most recent data available. Table I, below, compares the number of U.S. households with telephone service to those without telephone service for the period March July 2010 through July 2011.
View table at www.dpuc.state.ct.us/FINALDEC.NSF/0d1e102026cb64d98525644800691cfe/207cde094c56865885257ad90074e933/$FILE/120111-121912.doc
Source: The December 2011 FCC Telephone Subscribership Report, Table 1.
Further, the following figures show the annual average subscribership percentages for the United States as a whole and by state for the six New England states for the period 2008 through July 2011.
Average Annual Subscribership Data - New England States
View table at www.dpuc.state.ct.us/FINALDEC.NSF/0d1e102026cb64d98525644800691cfe/207cde094c56865885257ad90074e933/$FILE/120111-121912.doc
3.Universal Service - Connecticut
According to the FCC Report, Table 3, universal service in Connecticut is at 98.5%, compared to the national average of 95.6%. The July 2011 national subscribership percentage of 95.6% compared to the July 2010 national average of 96.0%. The July 2011 percentage of 98.5% for Connecticut households with telephone service increased from the July 2010 average according to the same FCC Report. Based on the FCC Report, all of the New England states have universal service rates higher than the national average as of July 2011. The most recent subscribership data shows Connecticut first among the New England states, followed by New Hampshire and Vermont.
4.Assistance for Hearing and Speech Impaired Persons: Docket No. 11-03-04, DPUC Review of the State of Connecticut Telecommunications Relay Service 2012-2007
Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. sections16-11 and 16-247e(a)(2), in order to promote public safety and the concept of universal service in Connecticut, the Authority initiated Docket No. 11-03-04 DPUC Review of the State of Connecticut Telecommunications Relay Service 2007-2012 (Relay Service Docket) to award the contract for the provision of Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) in Connecticut for the 2012 - 2017 time period. By its April 25, 2012 Decision in the Relay Service Docket, the Authority awarded the contract to Sprint Communications Company, L.P. The contract expires on June 30, 2017.
All telecommunications providers, including wireless service providers offering services in Connecticut, are required to participate in the funding for TRS. These companies are currently billed by Solix Inc. for their proportionate share of the cost for providing TRS in Connecticut. They may recover their TRS cost share from their end user customers.
5.Link Up America - Connecticut Telephone Connection Assistance Program (CTCAP) and the Lifeline Program
On April 16, 1987, in CC Docket No. 87-339, the FCC adopted a two-part plan, Link Up America, to connect low-income households to the public switched telephone network. Connection assistance is available for one telephone line per household at the subscriber's principal residence. The FCC established five criteria for participation in the program to ensure that assistance was properly targeted. States could design their own programs within the prescribed guidelines. All customers must meet state-determined income criteria. The Authority's plan for low-income residents of Connecticut, effective November 20, 1987, was one of the first approved by the FCC. Between October 1, 2010 and April 2012, The Southern New England Telephone Company d/b/a AT&T Connecticut (AT&T Connecticut or Telco) indicated that the number of CTCAP participants varied from 38 to 83 per month. Verizon New York, Inc. (Verizon) provided its response regarding CTCAP participants pursuant to protective order. Telco and Verizon Responses to Interrogatory TE-3.
Conn. Gen. Stat. section16-247e mandates a Lifeline program to ensure universal availability of affordable, high quality telecommunications services to all residents and businesses in the state regardless of income, disability or location. Lifeline participants, who must be receiving assistance from designated social service programs, receive a credit on their bills for basic, recurring monthly telephone service.
The Telco's Lifeline program served between 19,052 and 33,606 participants per month between October 1, 2010 and September 2012, with AT&T Connecticut having the vast majority of participants, with the number of participants participating consistently declining. AT&T Connecticut stated that the decline in Lifeline participation is due to customers moving to other services. Verizon provided its response regarding Lifeline participants pursuant to protective order. Telco and Verizon Responses to Interrogatory TE-3. Although a few providers sought protected treatment on their CTCAP and Lifeline numbers, the majority of competitive local exchange companies (CLECs) indicated that they had no participants in their respective Lifeline offerings. CLEC Responses to Interrogatory TE-3. Cox Connecticut Telecom (Cox) indicated that it had between 1,012 and 1,070 Connecticut Lifeline Customers per month between October 2011 and September 2012. Cox Response to Interrogatory TE-3.
Participants in this docket stated that they did not receive any complaints or termination of service requests attributable to the Subscriber Line Charge or the Universal Service charge since October 2011. Participants' Responses to Interrogatory TE-2.
6.Connecticut Disconnect Data
For purposes of this Report, the Authority requested that the state's telecommunications companies provide the number of customers involuntarily disconnected from the public switched network. In response to Authority interrogatories, the Telco, Verizon and various CLECs provided under protective order, the number of customers whose telephone services were involuntarily disconnected for non-payment between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012. The Authority will continue to monitor the number of disconnected customers. Telco, Verizon and CLEC Responses to Interrogatory TE-4f.
C.JURISDICTIONAL SHIFTS IN TELEPHONE REVENUE REQUIREMENTS
For the year October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012, both the Telco and Verizon reported that there were no changes mandated by the FCC that would impact their intrastate revenue requirements in Connecticut. Telco and Verizon Responses to Interrogatory TE-7.
The Authority notes that the FCC-approved monthly federal subscriber line charges (SLC) for Connecticut's single-line residential local exchange service customers are $5.73 for Telco customers and $6.31 for Verizon customers. The federal subscriber line charge is under the jurisdiction of the FCC and is levied on the incumbent local exchange carrier (LEC) subscribers. The purpose of the charge is to compensate the local exchange carrier for a portion of the local network costs of making and receiving long distance calls.
II.THE IMPACT OF COMPETITION IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKETS ON THE WORK FORCE OF THE STATE AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY IN THE STATE
Subsection (2) of Conn. Gen. Stat. section 16-247i(a) requires the Authority to submit an "analysis of the impact, if any, of competition in telecommunications markets on the work force of the state and employment opportunities in the telecommunications industry in the state."
The Telco stated that facility based-competition from wireless, VoIP, and CLEC competitors has resulted in AT&T Connecticut primary access line losses and displacement of traditional wireline services, which, in turn, will likely impact its work force requirements. The Telco also stated that improvements in network and call center productivity, in addition to improvement in the State's economy will impact AT&T Connecticut's work force requirements. Telco Response to Interrogatory TE-10. The Telco was not able to quantify or isolate the impact of each factor on its work force requirements. Workforce levels will be commensurate with the demands of a competitive marketplace and opportunities presented by new offerings. Id.
Citing the most recent FCC Report, Local Telephone Competition: Status as of June 30, 2011 (Competition Status Report), AT&T Connecticut stated that the accelerating decline in switched access lines in Connecticut is continuing. Specifically, total ILEC switched access lines declined from 1,266,000 in June 2010 to 1,127,000 in June 2011, an 11% decline. At the same time, the number of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) lines grew by 18% between June 2011 and June 2012. Non-ILECs also remain a viable competitive option, according to the Telco. Telco Response to Interrogatory TE-11. The Telco stated that it is clear that the number of traditional access line service customers has decreased significantly due to competition and that, as a result, has caused it to continually examine its workforce levels and adjust them, as necessary. Telco Response to Interrogatory TE-18. AT&T Connecticut indicated that in 2011, it had a total of 3,032 employees in Connecticut, down slightly from 2010, when it had 3,055 employees. Telcom Response to Interrogatory TE-9.
Verizon also indicated that its wireline business Connecticut has been affected by wireless substitution and competition. From July 2011 to June 2012, its access lines decreased by 5%, from 22,710 to 21,558. Verizon has no current plans to make significant permanent changes to its workforce. Verizon Response to Interrogatory TE-10. Verizon stated that, according to the Competition Status Report, there are more wireless access lines than wireline access lines. Verizon Response to Interrogatory TE-11.
Verizon's workforce has remained constant since July 2011 in the Port Chester, New York Work Center which serves the Town of Greenwich service area. The Port Chester center has 56 field technicians, 19 of whom are assigned to installation and repair and 37 to cable maintenance and construction. Six field technicians cover Verizon's FiOS in the Mount Kisco Work Center, which also serves the Town of Greenwich. Verizon Response to Interrogatory TE-18. Verizon also shifts additional resources on a temporary basis to Greenwich as required. Verizon Response to Interrogatory TE-19.
The majority of CLECs reporting to the Authority indicated that they have no employees in the state. CLEC Responses to Interrogatory TE-9.
The Telco stated that it began negotiations with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) for contracts covering wireline employees in March 2012. While a settlement between the parties was not reached by the April 7, 2012 expiration date, negotiations on issues such as wages, benefits and work rules are continuing. Executives from AT&T Connecticut and CWA officials periodically meet to share information and to discuss the current state of the Telco and its short and long term plans. The impact of competition on products, revenues and costs and the attendant effects on the workforce are discussed at these and informal meetings between AT&T Connecticut and the CWA. Telco Response to Interrogatory TE-20.
Similarly, Verizon stated that discussions between it and union representatives regarding the effect of competition on employees are ongoing and constant. Verizon included examples of the type of discussions that routinely take place including the following: daily tailgate meetings with technicians; flow of competitive information at least every other week; updated bulletin boards, monthly competition letter and monthly meetings between a Director of Verizon and the union's Executive board. Verizon Response to Interrogatory TE-20.
Most CLECs indicated that they either have no Connecticut employees or that the employees they have are not unionized. Four companies stated that they have not had discussions with their employees regarding changes and concerns in the work force brought about by competition and new technologies. ComTech 21, NorthEast Optic Network of Connecticut, Inc., Sidera Networks, L.L.C. and Easton Telecom Services, L.L.C. Responses to TE-20. AT&T Corp and TCG Connecticut stated that discussions will continue to take place with the unions regarding the effects of competition and new technologies on the workforce and that there are formal mechanisms in place that include sub-committees. In addition, there is an executive meeting structure for the company and union leadership, the Presidential Council. AT&T and TCG Connecticut Response to Interrogatory TE-20. Finally, although Lightpath does not have a unionized workforce, its senior management meets with its employees on a regular basis to discuss the effects of competition and new technologies on employee staffing levels. Lightpath Response to Interrogatory TE-20.
Connecticut ILECs also reported on their efforts to educate workers on technological changes and to increase employee knowledge and awareness of public safety and innovations. The Telco provided an exhibit showing a sample of several thousand technical training courses available to employees. Many of the courses are now delivered via web-based training systems as well as leader-led training. Telco Response to Interrogatory TE-21.
Verizon stated that that its use of programs related to leadership, career development and industry certifications demonstrates its commitment to maintaining the best trained workforce in the industry. Guidance is provided by Training Advisory Panels and representatives from each line of business on the training needed to support the deployment of new technology. Mandatory safety training reinforces Verizon's commitment to safety and the public. Verizon offers both traditional classroom-based training and "virtual training" to facilitate the open exchange of expertise and ideas across the employee base. Verizon Response to Interrogatory TE-21.
III.AN ANALYSIS OF THE LEVEL OF REGULATION THAT THE PUBLIC INTEREST REQUIRES AND THE STATUS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF sections 16-247F AND 16-247I OF THE GENERAL STATUTES OF CONNECTICUT
The third area to be addressed under Conn. Gen. Stat. section16 247i is an analysis of the level of regulation that the public interest requires. During 2006, legislation was enacted that reclassified the competitive classification of telecommunications services offered by the ILECs in the state. In particular, telephone company services offered to a business or residential customers subscribing to two or more telephone company services, including basic local exchange service, any vertical feature or interstate toll provided by a telephone company affiliate (offered by the telephone company on or before July 1, 1994), would be deemed competitive services.
As a requirement of that legislation, the ILECs were also required to report the following competitive provisioning information:
a.the company's aggregate number of telephone access lines in service, not including resold lines or other wholesale lines;
b.the total annual change in such telephone company's access lines over the preceding five years;
c.the number of active wholesale customers served by the telephone company;
d.a discussion of the nature of the wholesale services provided;
e.the number of wholesale service requests;
f.the number of competitive local exchange carriers;
g.how long it takes the company to respond to a wholesale service request;
h.a discussion of the impact of competition on the work force of the telephone company;
i.a discussion of the state of the industry, industry trends, and competitive alternatives available in the market, including, but not limited to, technological changes affecting the market.
The ILEC's responses to Interrogatory TE-45 are as follows for items a through g. The Telco responses cover data from December 31, 2008 through August 31, 2012, and Verizon's reports the period from September 30, 2009 through September 30, 2012.
a. The Company's aggregate number of telephone access lines in service, not including resold lines or other wholesale lines:
August 31, 2012928,826
September 30, 201220,913
b. The total annual change in such telephone company's access lines over the preceding five years:
December 31, 2008(173,401)
December 31, 2009(349,109)
December 31, 2010(487,774)
December 31, 2011(618,601)
August 31, 2012(706,834)
September 30, 2009(3,734)
September 30, 2010(3,045)
September 30, 2011(1,326)
September 30, 2012(1,076)
c. The number of active wholesale customers served by the telephone company in 2012:
d. A discussion of the nature of the wholesale services provided:
The Telco provides resold telecommunications services and unbundled network elements to wholesale customers in accordance with federal and Authority rulings. Verizon provides resale, interconnection and network element services pursuant to interconnection agreements and tariffs. Additionally, Verizon provides wholesale services under commercial agreements.
e. The number of wholesale service requests in 2012: (For the Telco, the number is as of September 30, 2012. For Verizon, the number is the average number of wholesale order requests per month.)
f. The number of competitive local exchange carriers in 2012:
g. How long it takes the company to respond to a wholesale service request:
The Telco reports that it responds promptly to all wholesale service requests, but that response intervals vary depending on the type of service requested. The Telco also reports that its response intervals are consistent with its intervals for retail service provisioning for equivalent services. Verizon reports its wholesale response metrics range from the same response time for equivalent retail services to not more than four to ten seconds above the retail response. Verizon also claims that it has been very successful at meeting these standards since their implementation.
h. A discussion of the impact of competition on the workforce of the telephone company:
AT&T Connecticut stated that competition from wireless, cable, broadband, VoIP and CLECs has resulted in significant primary access line losses for traditional wireline providers. While the Telco was unable to measure or estimate the impact of future technological advancements, it stated that competitors bring different solutions to the market to attempt to win customers. In addition, the Telco was unable to isolate or quantify the influence of competition on its work force, citing other factors such as technology changes, economic conditions and the changing market. Telco Responses to Interrogatories TE-10, TE-11, and TE-18.
Verizon states that its wireline business in Connecticut continues to be impacted by wireless substitution and wireline/VoIP competition and that it continues to deploy fiber to the premise (FTTP/FiOS) service in Greenwich. Verizon also stated that there are currently no plans to make significant permanent changes to the workforce. Verizon also points to the decrease in the number of wireline access lines as an important factor affecting workforce requirements. Verizon Response to Interrogatory TE-10.
i. A discussion of the state of the industry, industry trends, and competitive alternatives available in the market, including, but not limited to, technological changes affecting the market:
The Telco again cites increased competition from wireless, cable, broadband, VoIP and CLECs as prime factors regarding the loss of primary access lines for wireline providers. AT&T Connecticut acknowledged that competitors are bringing different product solutions to win customers. Telco Responses to Interrogatories TE-10 and TE-11.
Verizon also cites increased competition in the market place from entities such as CLECs, cable providers, VoIP providers and wireline providers. Verizon cites to the FCC's Local Competition Report and notes that as of June 30, 2011, non-ILECs provided service to 44% of the residential wirelines and 31% of the business wirelines in Connecticut. As of June 30, 2010, non-ILECs provided service to 39% of the residential wirelines and 27% of the business wirelines in Connecticut. Verizon further notes that that there are more wireless telephones in Connecticut than wireline customers. Verizon Response to Interrogatory TE-11.
B.FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION ORDER AND NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING
On October 27, 2011, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission), in WC Docket No. 10-90 Connect America Fund; GN Docket No. 09- 51 A National Broadband Plan for Our Future; WC Docket No. 07-135 Establishing Just and Reasonable Rates, for Local Exchange Carriers; WC Docket No. 05-337 High-Cost Universal Service Support; CC Docket No. 01-92 Developing an Unified Intercarrier Compensation Regime; CC Docket No. 96-45 Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service and WC Docket No. 03-109 Lifeline and Link-Up, adopted support for broadband-capable networks as an express universal service principle under section 254(b) of the Communications Act. The Commission also set specific performance goals for the high-cost component of the Universal Service Fund (USF) that it was reforming by its October 27, 2011 Order to ensure that these reforms are achieving their intended purposes. The goals are to (1) preserve and advance universal availability of voice service; (2) ensure universal availability of modern networks capable of providing voice and broadband service to homes, businesses, and community anchor institutions; (3) ensure universal availability of modern networks capable of providing advanced mobile voice and broadband service; (4) ensure that rates for broadband services and rates for voice services are reasonably comparable in all regions of the nation; and (5) minimize the universal service contribution burden on consumers and businesses.
Also as part of that Order, the Commission established a firm and comprehensive budget for the high-cost programs within the USF. Specifically, the FCC has set an annual funding target of no more than $4.5 billion over the next six years, the same level as the high-cost program for Fiscal Year 2011, with an automatic review trigger if the budget is threatened to be exceeded. According to the Commission, this will provide for more predictable funding for carriers and will protect consumers and businesses that ultimately pay for the fund through fees on their communications bills. The FCC claims to be taking these steps to control costs and improve accountability in USF, and the estimated funding necessary for components of the Connect America Fund (CAF). The FCC states that it may revisit and adjust accordingly the appropriate size of each of these programs by the end of the six-year period, based on market developments, efficiencies realized, and further evaluation of the effect of these programs in achieving our goals.
Regarding the CAF, it is anticipated that this fund will replace all existing high-cost support mechanisms. The CAF will help make broadband available to homes, businesses, and community anchor institutions in areas that do not, or would not otherwise, have broadband, including mobile voice and broadband networks in areas that do not, or would not otherwise, have mobile service, and broadband in the most remote areas of the nation. The CAF will also help facilitate the Commission's intercarrier compensation (ICC) reforms. The CAF will rely on incentive-based, market-driven policies, including competitive bidding, to distribute universal service funds as efficiently and effectively as possible.
According to the FCC, more than 83 percent of the approximately 18 million Americans that lack access to residential fixed broadband at or above the Commission's broadband speed benchmark live in areas served by price cap carriers--Bell Operating Companies and other large and mid-sized carriers. In these areas, the CAF will introduce targeted, efficient support for broadband in two phases. To spur immediate broadband buildout, the FCC intends to provide additional funding for price cap carriers to extend robust, scalable broadband to hundreds of thousands of unserved Americans beginning in early 2012. To enable this deployment, all existing legacy high-cost support to price cap carriers will be frozen, and an additional $300 million in CAF funding will be made available. Frozen support will be immediately subject to the goal of achieving universal availability of voice and broadband, and subject to obligations to build and operate broadband-capable networks in areas unserved by an unsubsidized competitor over time. Any carrier electing to receive the additional support will be required to deploy broadband and offer service that satisfies the Commission's new public interest obligations to an unserved location for every $775 in incremental support. Specifically, carriers that elect to receive this additional support must provide broadband with actual speeds of at least 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream, with latency suitable for real-time applications and services such as VoIP, and with monthly usage capacity reasonably comparable to that of residential terrestrial fixed broadband offerings in urban areas. In addition, to ensure fairness for consumers across the country who pay into the USF, the FCC intends to reduce existing support levels in any areas where a price cap company charges artificially low end-user voice rates.
In the second CAF phase, the FCC intends to use a combination of a forward-looking broadband cost model and competitive bidding to efficiently support deployment of networks providing both voice and broadband service for five years. The FCC expects that the CAF will expand broadband availability to millions more unserved Americans.
The FCC will undertake a public process to determine the specific design and operation of the cost model to be used for this purpose, with stakeholders encouraged to participate in that process. The model will be used to establish the efficient amount of support required to extend and sustain robust, scalable broadband in high-cost areas. In each state, each incumbent price cap carrier will be asked to undertake a "state-level commitment" to provide affordable broadband to all high-cost locations in its service territory in that state, excluding extremely high cost areas as determined by the model. Importantly, the CAF will only provide support in those areas where a federal subsidy is necessary to ensure the buildout and operation of broadband networks. The CAF will not provide support in areas where unsubsidized competitors are providing broadband that meets the Commission's definition. Carriers accepting the state-level commitment will be obligated to meet rigorous broadband service requirements--with interim buildout requirements in three years and final requirements in five years--and will receive CAF funding, in an amount calculated by the model, over a five-year period, with significant financial consequences in the event of non- or under-performance. The FCC anticipates that CAF obligations will keep pace as services in urban areas evolve, and will ensure that CAF-funded services remain reasonably comparable to urban broadband services over time. After the five-year period, the Commission expects to use competitive bidding to distribute any universal service support needed in those areas.
In those areas where the incumbent declines the state-level commitment, the FCC states that it will use competitive bidding to distribute support in a way that maximizes the extent of robust, scalable broadband service subject to an overall budget. The Commission has proposed a structure and operational details for the competitive bidding mechanism, in which any broadband provider that has been designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) for the relevant area may participate. During the second phase of the CAF, the Commission will distribute a total of up to $1.8 billion annually in support for areas with no unsubsidized broadband competitor. The Commission also expects that the model and competitive bidding mechanism will be adopted by December 2012, and disbursements will ramp up in 2013 and continue through 2017.
The Commission has also created the Mobility Fund, the first universal service mechanism dedicated to ensuring availability of mobile broadband networks in areas where a private-sector business case is lacking. Mobile broadband carriers will receive significant legacy support during the transition to the Mobility Fund, and will have opportunities for new Mobility Fund dollars. The providers receiving support through the CAF Phase II competitive bidding process will also be eligible for the Mobility Fund, but carriers will not be allowed to receive redundant support for the same service in the same areas. Mobility Fund recipients will be subject to public interest obligations, including data roaming and collocation requirements. As part of the Mobility Fund distribution process, the Commission commits to providing up to $300 million in one-time support to immediately accelerate deployment of networks for mobile voice and broadband services in unserved areas.
During Phase II, in order to ensure universal availability of mobile broadband services, the Commission expects that the Mobility Fund will provide up to $500 million per year in ongoing support. The Commission expects that the Fund will expand and sustain mobile voice and broadband services in communities in which service would be unavailable absent federal support. The Mobility Fund will include ongoing support for Tribal areas of up to $100 million per year as part of the $500 million total budget. The Commission expects to adopt the distribution mechanism for Phase II in 2012 with implementation in 2013.
In light of the new support mechanisms, the Commission will eliminate the identical support rule that determines the amount of support for mobile, as well as wireline, competitive ETCs today. The Commission will freeze identical support per study area as of year-end 2011, and phase down existing support over a five-year period beginning on July 1, 2012. The gradual phase down will ensure that an average of over $900 million is provided to mobile carriers for each of the first four years of reform (through 2015). The phase down of competitive ETC support will stop if Mobility Fund Phase II is not operational by June 30, 2014, ensuring approximately $600 million per year in legacy support will continue to flow until the new mechanism is operational.
Additionally, the Commission allocates at least $100 million per year to ensure that Americans living in the most remote areas in the nation, where the cost of deploying traditional terrestrial broadband networks is extremely high, can obtain affordable access through alternative technology platforms, including satellite and unlicensed wireless services. The Commission further proposes a structure and operational details for that mechanism, including the form of support, eligible geographic areas and providers, and public interest obligations. The FCC expect to finalize the Remote Areas Fund in 2012 with implementation in 2013.
Further, the FCC establishes a national framework for certification and reporting requirements for all universal service recipients to ensure that their public interest obligations are satisfied, that state and federal regulators have the tools needed to conduct meaningful oversight, and that public funds are expended in an efficient and effective manner. The Commission also adopts rules to reduce or eliminate support if public interest obligations or other requirements are not satisfied, and seek comment on the appropriateness of additional enforcement mechanisms.
As a safeguard to protect consumers, the Commission provides for an explicit waiver mechanism under which a carrier can seek relief from some or all of its reforms if the carrier can demonstrate that the reduction in existing high-cost support would put consumers at risk of losing voice service, with no alternative terrestrial providers available to provide voice telephony.
Moreover, the Commission takes immediate action to curtail wasteful arbitrage practices, which cost carriers and ultimately consumers hundreds of millions of dollars annually:
Access Stimulation. The Commission adopts rules to address the practice of access stimulation, in which carriers artificially inflate their traffic volumes to increase ICC payments.
Phantom Traffic. The Commission also adopts rules to address "phantom traffic," (i.e., calls for which identifying information is missing or masked in ways that frustrate intercarrier billing). Specifically, the FCC requires telecommunications carriers and providers of interconnected VoIP service to include the calling party's telephone number in all call signaling, and requires intermediate carriers to pass this signaling information, unaltered, to the next provider in a call path.
Comprehensive ICC Reform. The FCC adopts a uniform national bill-and-keep framework as the ultimate end state for all telecommunications traffic exchanged with a LEC. Under bill-and-keep, carriers look first to their subscribers to cover the costs of the network, then to explicit universal service support where necessary. As a result, the Commission will abandon the calling-party-network-pays model that dominated ICC regimes of the last century. Although the Commission adopts bill-and-keep as a national framework, governing both inter- and intrastate traffic, states will have a key role in determining the scope of each carrier's financial responsibility for purposes of bill-and-keep, and in evaluating interconnection agreements negotiated or arbitrated under the framework in sections 251 and 252 of the Communications Act.
Multi-Year Transition. The Commission focuses its initial reforms on reducing terminating switched access rates, which are the principal source of arbitrage problems today. This approach will promote migration to all-IP networks while minimizing the burden on consumers and staying within our universal service budget. For these rates, as well as certain transport rates, the FCC will adopt a gradual, measured transition that will facilitate predictability and stability. First, the Commission requires carriers to cap most ICC rates as of the effective date of its Order. To reduce the disparity between intrastate and interstate terminating end office rates, the FCC will require carriers to bring these rates to parity within two steps, by July 2013. Thereafter, the Commission will require carriers to reduce their termination (and for some carriers also transport) rates to bill-and-keep, within six years for price cap carriers and nine for rate-of-return carriers. The framework and transition are default rules and carriers are free to negotiate alternatives that better address their individual needs.
New Recovery Mechanism. The FCC also adopts a transitional recovery mechanism to mitigate the effect of reduced intercarrier revenues on carriers and facilitate continued investment in broadband infrastructure, while providing greater certainty and predictability going forward than the status quo. Although carriers will first look to limited increases from their end users for recovery, the FCC does not believe that all recovery should be borne by consumers. Rather, carriers should have the opportunity to seek partial recovery from all of their end user customers. Therefore, the Commission will permit incumbent telephone companies to charge a limited monthly Access Recovery Charge (ARC) on wireline telephone service, with a maximum annual increase of $0.50 for consumers and small businesses, and $1.00 per line for multi-line businesses, to partially offset ICC revenue declines. To protect consumers, the Commission has adopted a ceiling that prevents carriers from assessing any ARC for any consumer whose total monthly rate for local telephone service, inclusive of various rate-related fees, is at or above $30. Although the maximum ARC is $0.50 per month, the FCC expects the actual average increase across all wireline consumers to be no more than $0.10-$0.15 a month, which translates into an expected maximum of $1.20-$1.80 per year that the average consumer will pay. Furthermore, the ARC will phase down over time as carriers' eligible revenue decreases, and the FCC will prevent carriers from charging any ARC on Lifeline customers or further drawing on the Lifeline program, so that ICC reform will not raise rates at all for these low-income consumers.
Likewise, while the FCC does not adopt a rate ceiling for multi-line businesses customers, it adopts a cap on the combination of the ARC and the existing SLC to ensure that multi-line businesses do not bear a disproportionate share of recovery and that their rates remain just and reasonable. Specifically, carriers will not be permitted to charge a multi-line business customer an ARC when doing so would result in the ARC plus the existing SLC exceeding $12.20 per line. Moreover, to further protect consumers, the FCC adopted measures to ensure that carriers must apportion lost revenues eligible for ICC recovery between residential and business lines, appropriately weighting the business lines (i.e., according to the higher maximum annual increase in the business ARC) to prevent carriers that elect not to receive ICC CAF from recovering their entire ICC revenue loss from consumers. Carriers may receive CAF support for any otherwise-eligible revenue not recovered by the ARC. In addition, carriers receiving CAF support to offset lost ICC revenues will be required to use the money to advance Commission goals for universal voice and broadband.
CMRS-Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) Compensation. In its Order, the FCC clarifies certain aspects of CMRS-LEC compensation to reduce disputes and address existing ambiguity. The Commission adopts bill-and-keep as the default methodology for all non-access CMRS-LEC traffic. The FCC has also clarified the relationship between the compensation obligations in the Commission's rules and the reciprocal compensation framework, thus addressing growing concerns about arbitrage related to rates set without federal guidance.
IP-to-IP Interconnection. The FCC recognizes the importance of interconnection to competition and the associated consumer benefits. The FCC anticipates that the reforms it adopts will further promote the deployment and use of IP networks, and seeks comment regarding its policy framework for IP-to-IP interconnection. The FCC also clarifies that even while its investigation is pending, it expects all carriers to negotiate in good faith in response to requests for IP-to-IP interconnection for the exchange of voice traffic.
IV.THE STATUS OF IMPLEMENTING THE PROVISIONS OF CONN. GEN. STAT. sections 16-247a TO 16-247c, INCLUDING ACHIEVING EACH OF THE OBJECTIVES OF THE GOALS SET FORTH IN CONN. GEN. STAT. section 16-247a; CONN. GEN. STAT. sections16-247e TO 16-247i, INCLUSIVE; AND CONN. GEN. STAT. section16-247k
The fourth section discusses the various dockets the Authority has initiated to satisfy the goals and objectives of the above-noted statutes.
A.DOCKET NO. 10-08-16, DPUC INVESTIGATION INTO THE CONNECTICUT LIFELINE PROGRAM - 2010
The PURA established, on its own motion, an investigation into the Connecticut Lifeline Program. The PURA issued interrogatories to all ILECs, CLECs, wireless providers and providers of Internet Protocol-based telecommunications services and high speed Internet access. The PURA has received responses to those data requests from the various participants of this proceeding.
The PURA notes that the FCC recently conducted a lengthy, comprehensive review of the Federal Lifeline and Linkup programs. See Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization; Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service; and Link Up, WC Docket Nos. 11-42, 03-109, CC Docket No. 96-45, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). In its NPRM, the FCC the sought public comment on proposed reforms that would significantly bolster protections against waste, fraud, and abuse; control the size of the program; strengthen program administration and accountability; improve enrollment and outreach efforts; and support pilot programs that would assist the FCC in assessing strategies to increase broadband adoption, without increasing overall program size. According to the FCC, there are four issues in particular which merit further inquiry: designing and implementing a Lifeline/Link Up broadband pilot program to evaluate whether and how Lifeline/Link Up can effectively support broadband adoption by low-income households; limiting the availability of Lifeline support to one discount per residential address; revising the definition of Link Up service, as well as the possible reduction of the $30 reimbursement amount for Link Up support; and improving methods for verifying continued eligibility for the program. The FCC adopted its Report and Order on January 31, 2012, and issued it on February 6, 2012. The Report and Order included a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, in which the FCC requested comment on many matters addressed in the Report and Order.
The PURA has withheld issuing its Decision in Docket No. 10-08-16 as it continues to review the Commission's implementation of the lengthy FCC Report and Order and related filings and comments from other stakeholders.
B.DOCKET NO. 10-05-05, DPUC 2010 PROMULGATION OF QUALITY OF SERVICE REGULATIONS FOR CONNECTICUT TELEPHONE COMPANY AND CERTIFIED TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE PROVIDERS
In the May 13, 2010 Decision in Docket No. 08-07-15PH02, Petition of the Office of Consumer Counsel for Enforcement of Quality of Service Standards for The Southern New England Telephone Company d/b/a/ AT&T Connecticut Phase - II, the PURA recognized that the Connecticut marketplace had changed since the existing retail service quality standards were promulgated, and in light of those changes, the service standards and their applicability to providers, required revision and should be superseded by new standards that more accurately reflect the current telecommunications environment. Consequently, this docket was initiated to be the administrative vehicle used to conduct the PURA's review and if necessary, promulgate revised regulations.
Any policies, programs, protocols, rules and/or regulations adopted in this proceeding may be binding upon all Connecticut telephone companies and telecommunications service providers certified pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. section 16-247g. Also, all Connecticut telephone companies and certified telecommunications providers subsequently authorized to operate in Connecticut may be subject to the requirements set forth in this docket. Therefore, the PURA notified all Connecticut telephone companies and certified telecommunications service providers of this proceeding and encouraged their full participation in this docket.
The PURA requested written comments that addressed current regulations, and the applicability on all telecommunications companies offering services in the state. The PURA also requested comments regarding the application of exclusions from the regulations and the applicability of penalties should the standards not be met. Comments have been received and are currently being reviewed by the PURA.
On June 27, 2011, the PURA forwarded the proposed regulations to the Governor's office for its review and approval.
C.DOCKET NO. 01-08-01, APPLICATION OF FIBER TECHNOLOGIES NETWORKS, L.L.C. F/K/A FIBER SYSTEMS LLC FOR APPROVAL TO INSTALL FACILITIES UNDER AND OVER CERTAIN PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY
Since issuance of the Telecommunications Status Report in Docket No. 10 01 08, the PURA has received a number of requests from certified providers to construct their facilities in the public rights of way. One carrier, Fiber Technologies Networks, LLC (Fibertech) has been very active before the PURA seeking its approval to build its telecommunications facilities in the state. The purpose of the proposed construction was to expand Fibertech's network and to connect new customers to the network at various locations in Connecticut. Fibertech maintains that these connections would permit each customer to install its own electronic equipment, lease as much or as little capacity as it desires, and improve its telecommunications system with feature-rich technology and network protocols. Fibertech's anticipated customers are leading Connecticut businesses, institutions, and government entities, including the Bureau of Enterprise Systems and Technology, formerly known as the Connecticut Department of Information and Technology.
In five separate Decisions in Docket No. 01-08-01 issued in 2012, the Authority approved Fibertech motions to construct approximately 181 miles of fiber optic cable throughout Connecticut.
D.DOCKET NO. 10-11-08, DPUC DETERMINATION OF A PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY-SPECIFIC CYBER SECURITY POLICY
The PURA initiated this docket to investigate the state's public service companies and licensed electric and telecommunications service providers' cyber security principles, policies and practices that they employ in order to protect their respective infrastructure and computer networks from cyber attacks. During this proceeding, the PURA is reviewing current company practices that are employed to protect proprietary information and customer personal information. Additionally, the PURA is using this docket to investigate the potential threat of electromagnetic pulse on public service company and licensed provider day-to-day operations. Finally, the PURA is using this proceeding as a means of establishing an ongoing dialog between the PURA and companies concerning their cyber security procedures.
Since this proceeding has been initiated, the PURA has issued interrogatories and received responses to those data requests from the participants. The PURA is currently conducting on-site visits to the participants' state locations to get a better understanding of their cyber security practices. The Authority anticipates conducting additional on-site visits in 2013 before issuing a Decision.
E.DOCKET NO. 11-11-02, PETITION OF FIBER TECHNOLOGIES NETWORKS, L.L.C. FOR AUTHORITY INVESTIGATION OF RENTAL RATES CHARGED TO TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROVIDERS BY POLE OWNERS.
At the request of Fibertech, the PURA initiated a docket to investigate whether utility pole rental rates charged by pole owners to telecommunications service providers should be revised consistent with the FCC Report and Order on Reconsideration, In the Matter of Implementation of Section 224 of the Act (WC Docket No. 07-245), and A National Broadband Plan for Our Future (GN Docket No. 09-51), adopted on April 7, 2011 (Pole Attachment Order). The Pole Attachment Order revises existing utility pole rental rates to achieve competitive neutrality between cable and telecommunications attachers.
By its September 12, 2012 Decision in Docket No. 11-11-02, the Authority approved Fiber Tech's request to adopt the Pole Attachment Order utility pole rental formula. Revised pole rental rates charged by the Telco and Verizon will become effective on January 1, 2013. In addition, the Decision ordered The Connecticut Light and Power Company and the United Illuminating Company to file utility pole rental rates in accordance with the Pole Attachment Order in their next rate applications.
V.THE STATUS OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMPETITION
The fifth portion of this report provides an analysis of the status of the development of competition for all telecommunications services. Measures of this include the number of companies that have applied for a CPCN and are currently approved to provide services in Connecticut, the number of requests for arbitration filed with the Authority pursuant to section252(b)(1) of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, the number of interconnection agreements filed with the Authority, and the number of tariff filings.
A.REQUESTS FOR CERTIFICATES OF PUBLIC CONVENIENCE AND NECESSITY, ARBITRATIONS AND APPROVALS OF INTERCONNECTION AGREEMENTS
From the issuance of the Decision dated March 15, 1989 in Docket No. 87-08-24, DPUC Investigation into Authorization of Competition for Intrastate Interexchange Telecommunications Services Pursuant to Public Act 87-415, to the Decision dated July 7, 1993, in Docket No. 91-10-06, DPUC Review of Telecommunications Policies: Infrastructure Modernization, Competition, Pricing Principles and Methods of Regulation, and up to the present day, hundreds of companies have applied to the Authority for certification as intrastate long distance service carriers. Presently, 229 telecommunications service providers are certificated to provide long distance telecommunications services in Connecticut.
The Decisions dated February 28, 1995 and March 15, 1995, respectively, in Docket No. 94-07-07, DPUC Investigation of Local Service Options Including Basic Telecommunications Service Policy Issues and the Definition and Components of Basic Telecommunications Service; and Docket No. 94-07-03, DPUC Review of Procedures Regarding the Certification of Telecommunications Companies to Expand Authority Granted in Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, provided the basis for certificated companies to apply for authority to offer local services or to expand their existing authority to offer services in the state. There are approximately 120 telecommunications service providers that have approval from the Authority to offer local exchange and/or facilities-based services in Connecticut, with 4 applications pending. Currently, the Authority has 28 pay telephone service providers that are certified to offer competitive pay telephone services in Connecticut. The Authority also revoked one CPCN this year, pursuant to the company's request.
The Authority received for its approval, 10 proposed interconnection agreements between carriers, including addenda to existing agreements in 2012. These agreements and modifications have been posted on the Authority's website for other carriers to review and comment upon.
B.NEW TARIFF OFFERINGS
Conn. Gen. Stat. section 16-247f (e) prescribes the effective dates for noncompetitive, competitive and emerging competitive tariffs filed with the Authority. Specifically, this subsection requires advance written notice to the Authority of 5 days before the proposed effective date for competitive service tariffs, and 21 days before the proposed effective date for non-competitive and emerging competitive service tariffs. Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 16-247f(e) also requires that changes to previously approved tariffs consisting of a minimum and a maximum rate become effective on 5 days' written notice to the Authority, provided the new rate is within an approved rate band. Conn. Gen. Stat. section 16-247f(e) permits promotional offerings for previously approved competitive tariffed services or emerging competitive services to be placed into effect upon a three-day advance written notification to the Authority. In the Decision dated March 13, 1996, in Docket No. 95-03-01, Application of the Southern New England Telephone Company for Financial Review and Proposed Framework for Alternative Regulation, the Authority required 14 days' advance notice for promotional filings for noncompetitive services. The Authority processed 362 tariff applications using streamlined web-filing tariff procedures during 2011.
C.THE FCC REPORT, LOCAL TELEPHONE COMPETITION: STATUS AS OF JUNE 31, 2011
In the FCC report, Local Telephone Competition: Status as of June 30, 2011 (Study), released in June 2012, CLECs nationwide are experiencing a 36% share of the local exchange market, up from 34% last year. Connecticut CLECs are shown possessing a 39% share of the local exchange market, up from 37% last year. This most recent Study also shows Maine CLECs with a 40% share, up from 39% last year. Rhode Island CLECs post a 60% share, up from 58% last year, and New Hampshire CLECs were at 55% share, up from 54% last year. Massachusetts CLECs post a 52% share, up from 49% last year. Finally, Vermont CLECs post a 35% share, up from 32% last year.
The Telco also cited the Study. According to the Telco, the Study demonstrates the continuing and persistent decline in ILEC switched access lines in Connecticut. Specifically, the total number of ILEC switched access lines declined from 1,266,000 in June 2010, to 1,127,000 in June 2011, a decline of 11%. The Telco asserts that the Study provides a clear indication of the other communications choices customers are making. Specifically, the Study demonstrates that non-ILEC VoIP lines in Connecticut grew 18% from June 2010 to June 2011, to a total of 574,000 lines. In addition, non-ILEC switched access lines remain a viable competitive option with 218,000 lines reported to the FCC as of June 2011. In addition, the number of wireless subscribers in Connecticut grew to 3,305,000, a 3.5% increase from the June 2010 data. Telco Response to Interrogatory TE-11.
Verizon stated that the local exchange market in Connecticut is robustly competitive today with service available from many providers, including competitive local exchange carriers, and VoIP, cable and wireless providers. Verizon also cites the Study, pointing out its finding that non-ILECs provide service to 44% of residential wirelines and 31% of the business wirelines in Connecticut. Verizon Response to Interrogatory TE-11.
Cablevision Lightpath - CT, Inc. (Lightpath) believes that the PURA's efforts to promote retail competition, including refraining from regulating VoIP services or expanding CLEC regulation are working. Lightpath recommends that the PURA should however, continue close oversight of wholesale services, such as transit services, where competitive levels are inadequate. Lightpath also stated that the Study shows that CLECs face substantial retail competition in Connecticut. Lightpath Responses to Interrogatories TE-11 and TE-18.
View the rest of the document at www.dpuc.state.ct.us/FINALDEC.NSF/0d1e102026cb64d98525644800691cfe/207cde094c56865885257ad90074e933/$FILE/120111-121912.doc
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