About 30 states have begun (em
either through the legislature, the utility commission, informal working groups, or some combination of these (em to consider issues such as retail wheeling,...
Once again, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has chosen a revenue-sharing program to allocate earnings by local-exchange carrier (LEC) U S WEST Communications, Inc. to network modernization, rural zone rate reductions, and other system improvements, rather than to broad-based rate refunds.
U S WEST must share a portion of earnings with local-exchange callers under an alternate regulation plan it elected in 1989. During the plan's first two years, the PUC had directed available sharing funds returned to local subscribers as one-time credits. Since then it has told U S WEST to devote the majority of the funds to rural network improvements. The current case involved $5.89 in 1994 earnings eligible for sharing.
The PUC rejected a call to allocate shared earnings to improve access to the information superhighway for government agencies and medical firms. But it approved funding for distance-learning equipment for public schools and libraries. Re U S WEST Communications, Case No. USW-S-95-1, Order No. 26355, Mar. 7, 1996 (Idaho P.U.C.).
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