STATE OF INDIANA
INDIANA UTILITY REGULATORY COMMISSION
IN THE MATTER OF THE INVESTIGATION ) CAUSE NO. 41083
ON THE COMMISSIONS OWN MOTION ) ORDER REOPENING
INTO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF NUMBER ) NUMBER PORTABILITY
PORTABILITY, PURSUANT TO ) INVESTIGATION
SECTION 251(b)(2) OF THE COMMUNICATIONS )
ACT OF 1934, AS AMENDED ) APPROVED:
BY THE COMMISSION:
Don R. Mueller, Administrative Law Judge
The Communications Act of 1934, as amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56 and hereinafter, the Act, provides at Section 251(b)(2) that each local exchange carrier has the duty to provide, to the extent technically feasible, number portability in accordance with requirements prescribed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Pursuant to this Commissions Interim Order On Bundled Resale and Other Issues, approved in Cause No. 39983 on July 1, 1996 (hereinafter, Interim Order), a task force was established to review and consider technological issues related to long-term number portability and the associated cost of each technology. The Commission approved the report and recommendations of the Indiana Number Portability Task Force by its Order on Number Portability Issues, issued in Cause No. 39983 on June 25, 1997. Pursuant to said Order On Number Portability Issues, the Commission found that a new Cause should be opened to consider cost recovery and other related issues as soon as the FCC Order on cost recovery (CC Docket No. 95-116) is issued. The FCC has yet to issue its order on cost recovery for number portability.
On or about October 10, 1997 the Commission received a written request by the Indiana Telecommunications Association (ITA) for the Commission, on its own motion, to open a new docket to deal with Number Portability Implementation. This request by ITA was subsequently appended to the report of the Number Portability Implementation Sub-Committee, received by the Commission on December 10, 1997 and attached hereto as Exhibit "A". The Commission now finds, upon its own motion, that the above-captioned investigation should be reopened for the purpose of investigating all matters related to the implementation of number portability, consistent with Section 251(b)(2) of the Act.
1. Commission Jurisdiction. Pursuant to I.C. 8-1-2-58, 8-1-2-69, 8-1-2.6 et seq. and the Act, the Commission has broad authority to investigate all matters relating to the provision of telecommunications services within Indiana, including the implementation of long term number portability ("LTNP") as prescribed by the Act and the authority delegated to the FCC and to this Commission. We have previously found such jurisdiction to conduct our investigation in Cause No 39983, Interim Order, wherein the Commission constituted the number portability task force (Finding No. 5(K)of Interim Order). We affirm our continuing jurisdiction herein to continue our investigation of number portability implementation.
The Commission finds that all Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs), all Alternative Local Exchange Carriers (ALECs), and Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) providers should be made respondents in this Cause. Accordingly, the Secretary of the Commission should cause a copy of this Order to be served upon all ILECs, ALECs and CMRS providers. Thereafter, all ILECs, ALECs and CMRS providers should appear, by counsel, to be included in the service list of this docketed investigation.
2. Task Force Report of December 10, 1997. Pursuant to the Commissions order of June 25, 1997 in Cause No. 39983, Order On Number Portability Issues, the Commission charged the task force with the following ongoing mission:
(Ordering Paragraph No. 1)
The Number Portability Implementation Sub-Committee (Sub-Committee), with the assistance of the Number Portability Task Force Steering Committee and Commission Staff, made the Report received by the Commission on December 10, 1997 which is attached hereto as Exhibit "A". We incorporate the attached Report, Exhibit "A", into the record of this Cause. We now address the matters raised in the Report.
(a) Preparation For Local Number Portability (LNP). The Sub-Committee continues to meet in preparation for planning and testing for the initial implementation of local number portability using Locator Router Number (LRN) solution for testing deployment in the State of Indiana. Following meetings on October 7, 1997 and November 10, 1997 , the Sub-Committee is scheduled to meet again on January 7, 1998 to continue work on LRN technical requirements, single point of contact/test plans and development project timeliness for the Metropolitan Statistical Area ( MSA) mandated by the FCC. The Sub-Committee also reviewed office selection master "pick" lists which will be used by the Sub-Committee members to select a "test town" location. The Commission will address the appropriate treatment of the individual "pick" lists before requesting a further report from the task force.
(1) Proprietary Treatment of "Pick" Lists. The attached task force report indicates that after each service provider ensures that the central offices "picked" are Bona-fide Switch Requests (BSRs), then the individual "pick" lists will be submitted to the Commission as proprietary information. We regard this proposition as problematic. Assuming that further review of the selected offices contained in Attachment "D" to Exhibit "A" is necessary, the individual "pick" lists intended for submission, once received by the Commission, are open for public inspection, pursuant to I.C. 8-1-2-29. If any company which is a telecommunications carrier intends to seek confidential treatment of a "pick" list to be submitted to this Commission, then such company must affirmatively show that its "pick" list qualifies for confidential treatment under I.C. 5-14-3-4(a)(4) and I.C. 24-2-3-2. This record must be made in a public hearing during which evidence is adduced in support of such confidential treatment and an in-camera inspection is made of the documents offered under seal. No motions are now pending on the confidential treatment proposed to be given to the individual "pick" lists.
The FCC encourages the carriers to reach a consensus on particular switches to be initially deployed. We consider Attachment D to Exhibit "A" to represent such consensus. Therefore, we will now consider the selection of central office switches for the Indianapolis MSA without review of the proposed filing of individual "pick" lists.
(2) Selection of Central Office Switches. The Commission concludes that the submission of the individual "pick" lists in the manner proposed by the task force in Exhibit "A" is unnecessary for the implementation of number portability. The FCC has provided guidelines for the selection of central office switches for initial deployment of number portability. We repeat below the relevant paragraphs of the FCCs First Memorandum Opinion and Order On Reconsideration.
59. Discussion. We agree with the majority of the parties commenting on this issue that it is reasonable to focus initial efforts in implementing number portability in areas where competing carriers plan to enter. This approach will permit LECs to target their resources where number portability is needed and avoid expenditures in areas within an MSA in which competitors are not currently interested. We further agree that such a procedure will foster efficient deployment, network planning, and testing, reduce costs, and lessen demands on software vendors. Moreover, we believe that limiting deployment to switches in which a competitor expresses interest in number portability will address the concerns of smaller and rural LECs with end offices within the 100 largest MSAs that they may have to upgrade their networks at significant expense even if no competitors desire portability. Limiting deployment to switches in which a competitor expresses interest in deployment will be consistent to a large extent with procedures suggested by Ameritech and BellSouth and already considered by several state commissions, as well as our past practice in implementing conversion to equal access for independent telephone companies.
60. We therefore conclude that LECs need only provide number portability within the 100 largest MSAs in switches for which another carrier has made a specific request for the provision of portability. We leave it to the industry and to state commissions to determine the most efficient procedure for identifying those switches in which carriers have expressed interest and which will be deployed with number portability according to the original deployment schedule for the 100 largest MSAs. We find, however, that any procedure to identify and request switches for deployment of number portability must comply with certain minimum criteria to ensure that minimal burden is imposed upon carriers requesting deployment in particular switches, and that carriers that receive requests for deployment in their switches have adequate time to fulfill the requests. As explained below, we require that: (1) any wireline carrier that is certified, or has applied for certification, to provide local exchange service in the relevant state, or any licensed CMRS provider, must be allowed to make a request for deployment; (2) requests for deployment must be submitted at least nine months before the deadline in the Commission's deployment schedule for that MSA; (3) carriers must make available lists of their switches for which deployment has and has not been requested; and (4) additional switches must be deployed upon request within the time frames described below.
61. First, any wireline carrier that is certified (or has applied for certification) to provide local exchange service in a state, or any licensed CMRS provider, must be given a reasonable opportunity to make a specific request for deployment of number portability in any particular switch located in the MSAs in that state designated in the First Report & Order. According to the Act, any carrier that desires number portability from a LEC must be able to obtain portability, in accordance with the requirements established by the Commission. A state commission, however, may review whether the requests made by a carrier are unreasonable, given the state commission's knowledge of that carrier's plans to enter the state. Based on the limited information available to us at this time, the states that are reviewing seemingly unreasonable requests appear to be acting in good faith to accommodate carriers' interests in number portability capabilities. If we receive evidence in the future that states are unreasonably limiting deployment, then we can revisit this issue at that time.
62. Second, a carrier must make its specific requests for deployment of number portability in particular switches at least nine months before the deadline for completion of implementation of number portability in that MSA. We conclude that this deadline will enable a LEC to plan ahead for the deployment of number portability in multiple switches in a given MSA. We encourage carriers to make such requests earlier than the nine-month deadline to give the LEC that operates the switch in which portability is requested more time to implement number portability capabilities. In addition, carriers may agree among themselves, or state commissions may require carriers, to comply with a deadline for submitting requests that is more than nine months prior to the implementation deadline.
63. We encourage carriers, before requests for deployment are submitted, to seek to reach a consensus on the particular switches that initially will be deployed with number portability. We note, moreover, that the state commission may decide, or carriers affected in the state may agree, that it would be preferable for the state commission to aggregate the requests to produce a master list of requested switches. In addition, we conclude that carriers may negotiate private agreements specifying that a carrier will not request that certain switches be deployed according to the Commission's schedule if the LEC from which deployment is requested agrees to deploy other number portability-capable switches, either inside or outside the 100 largest MSAs, at an earlier date than the deadlines in the Commission's schedule.
64. Third, after carriers have submitted their requests, a carrier must make readily available upon request to any interested parties a list of its switches for which number portability has been requested and a list of its switches for which number portability has not been requested. We find that simplifying the task of identifying the switches in each MSA in which number portability is initially scheduled to be deployed is consistent with our policy of facilitating the deployment of number portability in areas where new competitors plan to enter.
65. Fourth, carriers must be able to request at any time that number portability be deployed in additional switches. LECs must provide portability in these additional switches upon request, after the deployment deadline mandated by the Commission's schedule for that MSA, within the time frames that we adopt here, unless requesting carriers specify a later date. Although carriers may make specific requests for deployment in additional switches in a particular MSA at any time, the time frames set forth below will commence after the deadline for deployment in that particular MSA in our implementation schedule. We agree with Sprint and Time Warner that specific time frames within which number portability must be deployed in all switches that were not initially requested are necessary to ensure that competitive LECs can be certain that portability will be available in areas in which they plan to compete and can formulate their business plans accordingly. Absent this certainty, competing carriers would have an incentive to request more switches during the initial request process, including those serving markets which they do not plan to enter in the near future, in order to ensure deployment of portability in any switch in which they might ever want portability. We find, therefore, that establishing specific time frames for deployment in all additional switches will benefit competitive LECs by ensuring that portability will be available to them at a designated future time, and will benefit incumbent LECs by reducing their initial deployment burdens.
66. We find that the time frames developed by the carriers participating in the ICC Workshop generally successfully balance the needs of competitive LECs for certainty of deployment and the burdens faced by incumbent LECs in deploying number portability in additional switches that require different levels of upgrades. We therefore adopt, with slight modification, the time frames developed by the ICC Workshop for the conversion of additional exchanges: (1) Equipped Remote Switches within 30 days; (2) Hardware Capable Switches within 60 days; (3) Capable Switches Requiring Hardware within 180 days; and (4) Non-Capable Switches within 180 days. For example, if carriers request deployment in a certain number of switches in the Pittsburgh, PA MSA nine months before that MSA's Phase III deadline of June 30, 1998 (i.e., they make requests by September 30, 1998), and a carrier requests on April 1, 1998, deployment in an additional Equipped Remote Switch in Pittsburgh, then the additional switch must be equipped with number portability capability on or before July 30, 1998 (i.e., 30 days after June 30, 1998). We note that the ICC Workshop developed the time frames for the first three switch categories, but did not reach agreement on a time frame for converting a Non-Capable Switch. Since we find, as discussed above, that specific time frames for deployment of all additional switches are necessary, we find that it is reasonable to allow no more time for deployment of any switches within the 100 largest MSAs than is allowed for deployment of switches outside the 100 largest MSAs. Deployment in additional switches will be less burdensome for carriers with networks within the 100 largest MSAs that have already made network-wide upgrades, e.g., SCP hardware and OSS modifications, to support number portability in the initially requested switches.
67. Carriers seeking relief from these deadlines may file a petition for waiver under the procedures set forth in the First Report & Order. We note that the deadlines for switches in categories (1) and (2) are shorter than switches in categories (3) and (4) because the former require less extensive upgrades. We realize that the shorter deadlines for switches in categories (1) and (2) do not allow time for carriers to file a petition for waiver under the procedure established in the First Report & Order on the grounds of extraordinary circumstances that prevent it from complying with the Commission's deployment requirements. We therefore will suspend the deadlines for switches in categories (1) and (2) during the period that the Commission is considering a carrier's petition for waiver.
We find that Attachment D to Exhibit "A", Indianapolis MSA Selected Offices, is a master list of the aggregated requests for switches to receive number portability deployment. This master list has been compiled nine months before the FCCs deadline for deployment of the Indianapolis MSA. The listing of Indiana Local Number Portability Task Force Participants (Attachment A to Exhibit "A") indicates sufficient participation by the telecommunications carriers to reach a consensus on the particular switches to be initially deployed with number portability. Based upon Exhibit "A" and this Commissions review of the task force activities outlined in their report, we find that the minimum criteria established above for identifying requested switches for initial deployment has been satisfied. The Commission further concludes that the Indianapolis MSA Selected Offices, Attachment D to Exhibit "A", represents the most efficient procedure for identifying switches to be deployed for number portability. The Commission found above that the individual "pick" lists need not be further reviewed by this Commission as proposed by the task force. Accordingly, the Attachment D, Indianapolis MSA Selected Offices, should be approved for initial deployment of number portability in the Indianapolis MSA.
(b) Further Report of the Task Force. Following the conclusion of the task forces meeting of January 7, 1998 we request that the task force file in this Cause an updated report of its progress toward deployment of LNP. Also, the task force should include in its updated report its selection of central office switches for the Indiana side of the Cincinnati, Ohio MSA and Louisville, Kentucky MSA as well as the Gary and Ft. Wayne MSAs in Indiana. The guidelines established by the FCC as set out above should be followed in compiling these lists of central office switches selected.
(3) Additional Issues. In addition to the updating of testing and implementation matters and operational concerns addressed by the task force as reported in Exhibit "A", the Commission requests the task force to consider and make recommendations on the following:
(b) Representation of Indiana telephone companies within the regional limited liability corporation;
(c) Tracking total costs and projected costs for deployment of LTNP.
The above list of issues is not intended by way of limitation of the matters to be addressed in the updated task force report. However, as previously noted, we will defer collection of company-specific cost data until we address cost recovery issues following the FCCs order on rulemaking.
(4) Evidentiary Hearing. To expedite the record to be made in this investigation, the Commission finds that the updated task force report requested above should be prefiled on or before February 2, 1998 in this Cause. The co-chairpersons or other designated representative(s) should appear as testimonial sponsors of this report and be prepared for examination thereon, in an evidentiary hearing to be convened on Tuesday, February 10, 1998 at 10 am, EST, in Room TC-10 of the Indiana Government Center South, Indianapolis, Indiana. At the discretion of the presiding officers, the updated task force report should be admitted into the record in the manner prescribed by I.C. 8-1-1-5(b).
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED BY THE INDIANA UTILITY REGULATORY COMMISSION that:
1. The determinations set forth in Finding Nos. 1-4 of this Order are made a part of the record in this Cause and shall be binding on all present and future ILECs, ALECs and CMRS providers subject to the jurisdiction of this Commission.
2. The Secretary of the Commission shall cause a copy of this Order to be served upon all ILECs, ALECs and CMRS providers.
3. This Order shall be effective on and after the date of its approval.
McCARTY, HUFFMAN, KLEIN, SWANSON-HULL AND ZIEGNER CONCUR:
I hereby certify that the above is a true
and correct copy of this Order as approved.
Brian J. Cohee
Executive Secretary to the Commission