WSR 97-20-021




[Filed September 19, 1997, 3:25 p.m.]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Adopt a methodology for determination of just and reasonable rates for attachments to transmission facilities. Docket No. UT-970723.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 80.54.060 and 80.01.040.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The emergence of competition in the state utility market creates a need for an efficient and effective methodology for determining fair, consistent and effective rates for attachments to transmission facilities. The lack of a prescribed methodology creates uncertainty and unpredictability resulting in unnecessary burdens on the commission and affected companies. The lack of rules also creates uncertainty as to whether Washington regulates pole attachment rates sufficiently to preempt Federal Communications Commission regulation of the subject. The adoption of rules implementing chapter 80.54 RCW will alleviate these problems. It also will comply with the commission's mandate under RCW 80.54.060 to adopt rules, regulations and procedures relative to the implementation of chapter 80.54 RCW. The commission is considering adopting the FCC methodology, which is found at 47 CFR 1404(g).

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The commission is not aware of any other federal or state agency that regulates this subject in Washington state. The FCC regulates cable television attachments and will be adopting rules regulating all telecommunications attachments, but is preempted from regulating attachments when a state regulates them. The FCC has identified Washington as a state in which rates, terms and conditions of attachments are regulated at the state level.

Process for Developing New Rule: Negotiated rule making; and workshop type meetings with regulated utilities, interested parties and consumer representatives in which information and views are exchanged in an effort to reach consensus on the issues.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. All utility companies and interested persons listed with the Commission's Records Center will be notified of the proposed rule process.

It is envisioned that there will be at least one meeting scheduled to discuss the proposed rule making with industry representatives in 1997. All persons filing comments will be notified of the dates of the meetings. After evaluating comments of interested persons, the commission will determine whether additional public input is appropriate, and establish procedural requirements at that time.

Interested persons may contact the Secretary, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504-7250, (360) 753-6451, FAX (360) 586-1150.

Written Comments: Written comments from persons interested in the subject matter of this proposed rule making may be filed with the Commission Secretary, referencing Docket No. UT-970723, not later than November 10, 1997. All commenters are asked, but not required, to file an original and eleven copies of their written comments. The commission also requests, but does not require, that comments be provided on a 3 1/2 inch IBM formatted high-density disk, in WordPerfect version 51. [5.1], 6.0 or 6.1, labeled with the commenter's name and type of software used. Interested persons may also file additional written comments and attend and participate in any workshops, to be announced by written notice to all commenters and to other persons specifically asking to receive notice in this rule-making proceeding.

Notice of Workshop: A workshop will be held on December 3, 1997, beginning at 9:30 a.m., in Room 206 of the Commission's Headquarters Office, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA.

September 15, 1997

Terrence Stapleton

for Steve McLellan


Legislature Code Reviser


Washington State Code Reviser's Office