PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: The Washington utilities and transportation commission (commission) commences this inquiry to consider the development of proposed rules to implement 2ESHB 1087, chapter 50, Laws of 2011, which authorizes the commission to establish filing fees to recover the specific costs of performing activities caused by telecommunication company filings, specifically reviewing, and if necessary arbitrating, interconnection agreements (ICAs) and analyzing petitions requesting eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) certifications and subsequent reporting requirements if the commission grants ETC status.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Sections 3, 4, 8 and 29, chapter 214, Laws of 2011, RCW 80.01.040.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The commission is authorized but not required by the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 and state law to perform such services as: Processing negotiated ICAs; examining the public interest and compliance requirements associated with ETC certifications; arbitrating ICAs; resolving disputes between telecommunications carriers; and designating carriers as ETCs. The commission will consider establishing filing fees for providing these services to ensure that companies that currently are not paying regulatory fees will reimburse the commission for the costs it incurs to provide these services. This will help reduce the shortfall between the revenues from regulatory fees and commission expenses related to the agency's telecommunications activities.
Rules may be necessary to implement 2ESHB 1087. Rules in chapter 480-07 WAC, Procedural rules, chapter 480-120 WAC, Telephone rules, and chapter 480-123 WAC, Universal service, will be reviewed for additions or revisions.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Federal laws and rules apply. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also regulates telecommunications activities and will resolve disputes between providers if the state commission declines to do so. That being said, the FCC would be notified if the commission ultimately declined to resolve disputes between providers due to the substantial expense to process these cases.
Process for Developing New Rule: Agency study; and the commission will sponsor at least one rule-making workshop for commission regulatory staff, industry representatives, and other interested stakeholders and circulate for comment one or more drafts of regulations before issuing a CR-102 and holding a hearing for consideration of a proposed set of rules.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Interested persons may file comments with the Executive Director and Secretary, Utilities and Transportation Commission, P.O. Box 47250, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504-7250, phone (360) 664-1234, fax (360) 586-1150, by 5:00 p.m., Monday, November 7, 2011.
WRITTEN COMMENTS AND STAKEHOLDER WORKSHOP: Written comments may be submitted to the commission at the address given above and should be filed with the commission no later than November 7, 2011, for consideration at the November 30, 2011, stakeholder workshop.
Electronic copies. The commission requests that comments be provided in electronic format to enhance public access, for ease of providing comments, to reduce the need for paper copies, and to facilitate quotations from the comments. Comments may be submitted via the commission's web portal at www.utc.wa.gov/e-filing or by electronic mail to the commission's records center at email@example.com. Please include:
|•||The docket number of this proceeding (UT-111634).|
|•||The commenting entity's name.|
|•||The title and date of the comment or comments.|
Opportunity for further comment is anticipated. Information about the schedule and other aspects of the rule making, including comments, will be posted on the commission's web site as it becomes available. If you wish to receive further information on this rule making you may (1) call the commission's records center at (360) 664-1234, (2) e-mail the commission at <firstname.lastname@example.org>, or (3) mail written comments to the address above to the attention of David W. Danner, executive director and secretary. When contacting the commission, please refer to Docket UT-111634 to ensure that you are placed on the appropriate service list. Questions may be addressed to Sharyn Bate, (360) 664-1295 or e-mail at email@example.com.
October 5, 2011
David W. Danner