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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 98-1586


Solicitation of Public Comment Regarding Reporting Guidelines for Biennial Updates of Network Modernization Plans under Chapter 30 of the Public Utility Code; Doc. No. M-00930441

[28 Pa.B. 4853]

   On August 27, 1998, the Commission adopted a motion which reopened the docket in Re Implementation of Chapter 30 of the Public Utility Code, Docket No. M-00930441, to receive comments from interested parties to assist in developing reporting guidelines for use by all companies required to file biennial updates of their Network Modernization Plans under section 3003(b)(6) of the Public Utility Code.

   By order entered August 27, 1993, in this docket, the Commission provided guidance with respect to what information should be included in a company's Network Modernization Plan. Since this original order, and especially since enactment of Chapter 30 of the Public Utility Code, the telecommunications industry has experienced substantial technological, market and legislative changes. These changes have had a major impact on how telecommunications carriers intend to and will carry out their responsibilities to modernize their networks under Chapter 30. For example, the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 has impacted how incumbent local exchange carriers will meet their interconnection responsibilities and how they will offer unbundled network elements to new entrants. Similarly, in light of evolving technology, the Commission needs to examine closely how to define ''broadband'' availability and to determine how a company's Network Modernization Plan accelerates deployment of a universally-available, state-of-the-art, interactive, public-switched broadband telecommunications network.

   Further, in previous updates to Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania, Inc.'s Network Modernization Plans, the Commission has requested the following information: (1) detail on the location for upgrades in switches, the location for the placement of fiber access lines, and other upgrades or expansions; (2) statement of actual and projected investment to build the modified network; (3) description of network architecture; (4) projection of deployment schedule; (5) statement of progress toward universal broadband capability as measured in percentages referenced to access lines in urban, suburban and rural categories, as well as percentages referenced to total access lines; and (6) detail on broadband deployment, including use of consistent school listings. Based again on evolving technology and market forces, the Commission feels that it must develop parameters for reporting so that it is able to fairly and consistently evaluate what is provided by each company. For example, if, in addition to the information it has sought to date, the Commission seeks reporting information which provides specificity with respect to services which are available and being subscribed to, broken down by customer class, that is, residential, business and institutional, how should that level of detail be provided?

   The Commission is inviting public comment on appropriate reporting guidelines for filing biennial Network Modernization Plan updates, including but not limited to the issues set forth above. The deadline for filing initial comments is October 20, 1998. Reply comments may be filed no later than October 27, 1998. Anyone submitting comments or reply comments must file an original and four copies with the Commission's Secretary for filing at Docket No. P-00930441. Any person submitting comments or reply comments should also file a diskette containing an electronic read-only version of their comments in Microsoft Word 6.0 format, clearly identifying the party, docket number, nature of filing and contact person.

   The contact persons at the Commission regarding this proceeding are Carl S. Hisiro, Assistant Counsel, Law Bureau (717) 783-2812 (legal), and James B. Strausbaugh, Bureau of Fixed Utility Services (717) 787-4700 (technical). A copy of the August 27, 1998 motion as well as the subsequent Commission order memorializing the motion may be obtained from the Office of the Secretary at (717) 787-1013.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 98-1586. Filed for public inspection September 25, 1998, 9:00 a.m.]

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