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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