BEFORE THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI

 

 

In Re: 1st Amendment to the CMRS Interconnection   )

Agreement by and Between Northwest Missouri          )

Cellular LLP and Embarq Missouri, Inc., Pursuant       )    File No. TK-2013-0123

To Sections 251 and 252 of the Telecommunications  )

Act of 1996                                                               )

 

 

ORDER APPROVING AMENDMENTS

TO INTERCONNECTION AGREEMENT

 

Issue Date:  October 19, 2012                              Effective Date:  October 19, 2012

 

 

This order approves the amendments to the interconnection agreement between the parties filed by Embarq Missouri, Inc., d/b/a CenturyLink (CenturyLink).

On October 1, 2012, CenturyLink filed an application with the Commission for approval of amendments to its interconnection agreement with Northwest Missouri Cellular, LLC (Northwest).  CenturyLink and Northwest currently have a Commission-approved interconnection agreement between them.  In the current application, the parties have agreed to amend the interconnection agree­ment.  The amendments were filed pursuant to Section 252(e)(1) of the Telecommunica­tions Act of 1996.[1]  The amendments would change the current state of applicable law with respect to, among other things, requirements surrounding the exchange of traffic between the companies.  CenturyLink holds a certificate of service authority to provide basic local exchange telecommunications services in Missouri.  Northwest is a wireless communications company not regulated by the Commission.

Although Northwest is a party to the agreement, it did not join in the application.  On October 2, 2012, the Commission issued an order making Northwest a party in this case and directing any party wishing to request a hearing to do so no later than October 17, 2012.

Under Section 252(e) of the Act, any interconnection agreement adopted by negotiation must be submitted to the Commission for approval.  The Commission may reject an agreement if it finds that the agreement is discriminatory or that it is not consistent with the public interest, convenience and necessity.

On October 3, 2012, the Staff of the Commission filed a memorandum and recom­mendation.  The Staff memorandum recommends that the amendments to the agreement be approved and notes that the agreement meets the limited requirements of the Act in that it is not discriminatory toward nonparties and is not against the public interest.  Staff recom­mends that the Commission direct the parties to submit any further amendments to the Commission for approval.

Findings of Fact

The Commission has considered the application, the supporting documentation, and Staff's verified recommendation.  Based upon that review, the Commission finds that the agreement as amended meets the requirements of the Act in that it does not discriminate against a nonparty carrier and implementation of the agreement as amended is not inconsistent with the public interest, convenience and necessity.  The Commission finds that approval of the agree­ment as amended shall be conditioned upon the parties submitting any further amendments to the Commission for approval pursuant to the procedure set out below. 

Amendment Procedure

The Commission has a duty to review all interconnection agreements, whether arrived at through negotiation or arbitration, as mandated by the Act.[2]  In order for the Commission's role of review and approval to be effective, the Commission must also review and approve or recognize amendments to these agreements.  The Commission has a further duty to make a copy of every interconnection agreement available for public inspection.[3]  This duty is in keeping with the Commission's practice under its own rules of requiring telecommunica­tions companies to keep their rate schedules on file with the Commission.[4]

The parties to each interconnection agreement must maintain a complete and current copy of the agreement, together with all amendments, in the Commission's offices.  Any proposed amendment must be submitted pursuant to Commis­sion rule 4 CSR 240‑3.513(6).

Conclusions of Law

The Commission, under the provisions of Section 252(e)(1) of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996,[5] is required to review negotiated interconnection agreements.  It may only reject a negotiated agreement upon a finding that its implementa­tion would be discriminatory to a nonparty or inconsistent with the public interest, conven­ience and necessity.[6]  Based upon its review of the amendments to the agreement between CenturyLink and Northwest and its findings of fact, the Commission concludes that the agreement as amended is neither discriminatory nor inconsistent with the public interest and shall be approved.

The Commission notes that prior to providing telecommunications services in Missouri, a party shall possess the following:  (1) an interconnection agreement approved by the Commission; (2) except for wireless providers, a certificate of service authority from the Commission to provide interexchange or basic local telecommunications services; and (3) except for wireless providers, a tariff approved by the Commission.

THE COMMISSION ORDERS THAT:

1.          The amendments to the CMRS Interconnection Agreement between Embarq Missouri, Inc., d/b/a CenturyLink and Northwest Missouri Cellular, LLC, filed on October 1, 2012, are approved.

2.          Any changes or amendments to this agreement shall be submitted in compliance with 4 CSR 240‑3.513(6).

3.          This order shall become effective on October 29, 2012.

4.          This file may be closed on October 30, 2012.

 

BY THE COMMISSION

 

 

 

 

Steven C. Reed

Secretary

 

( S E A L )

 

Harold Stearley, Deputy Chief Regulatory

Law Judge, by delegation of authority

pursuant to Section 386.240, RSMo 2000.

 

Dated at Jefferson City, Missouri,

on this 19th day of October, 2012.



[1] See 47 U.S.C. § 251, et seq.

[2] 47 U.S.C. § 252.

[3] 47 U.S.C. § 252(h).

[4] 4 CSR 240‑3.545.

[5] 47 U.S.C. § 252(e)(1).

[6] 47 U.S.C. § 252(e)(2)(A).