Back to Dan Kegel's ISDN page

California ISDN Tariff Filings & News

California - Pac Bell

David C. Barry, Jr. is running a great PacBell Rate Hike Protest Page with the latest news, how to send in your protest, PacBell's full tariff proposal, a mailing list, and other good info.

The CPUC is now accepting comments via e-mail, at public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov. Be sure to mention the docket number, A.95-12-043.

I'd be happy to present Pac Bell's side of the story. Here's what they wrote not long ago about a much smaller rate increase: John Gueldner, Pacific Bell's vice president of regulatory affairs. "Pacific Bell has made a concerted effort to keep its prices for ISDN lines affordable. At the very time that ISDN is growing rapidly among small-to medium-sized businesses and in homes throughout the state, these price increases will severely curtail this growth -- and in some cases, even reverse it."

Gueldner continued, "The impact of the Commission's action will be far-reaching. Not only will future demand for ISDN be significantly reduced, but research and development to advance the technology will also be slowed or stopped."

More recently, they issued a press release and an FAQ to explain why rates are going up. They say there that "unlimited night and weekend usage has driven many to never turn their lines off during those times", and "nearly 30 percent are located three or more miles away from the nearest ISDN-equipped central office", compared to 5 percent a year ago.

Also, speaking for myself, I must confess that sometimes I leave my line idle 10% of the time. Doubling or tripling my monthly charge probably isn't an appropriate response, IMHO.


Subject: Re: Clarification Re ISDN Rate Proposal (long!)
Date: Sun, 18 Aug 1996 23:10:50 GMT
From: russ@internex.net (Russ Teasdale)
Organization: InterNex Information Services -- 800-595-3333
Newsgroups:  ba.internet, comp.dcom.isdn


bobd@well.com (Robert Deward) wrote:

>I'd like to clarify some misinformation that's been circulating
>concerning who opposed and who supported a proposal from
>Pacific Bell that FasTrak Home ISDN increase from $24.50
>monthly to $29.50 and include 200 free hours of "off-peak"
>usage. 

        Given that this posting contains several outright
misstatements of fact, this is obviously some new meaning
of the word "clarify" with which I have not previously
been acquainted.

        The word "propagate" might have been a wiser
choice. In any event, allow me to venture corrections where
those are required, and clarifications in the classical sense
where they will be helpful.

> During the peak usage period and if the 200-hour
>allowance were exceeded, users would have paid normal
>voice rates.  The proposal would have replaced an earlier
>rate increase request by Pacific Bell.

        Clarification: users would have paid normal voice rates 
for _ISDN_. 

        Normal voice rates for local calls over POTS are
free. Normal voice rates for local calls over ISDN are metered,
and expensive. A notable omission, that.

        Note that off-peak usage for residential users is free
under the current tariffs; Pacific wants to restrict this sharply.
This is not pointed out by Mr. Deward.

        I would not have expected Pacific Bell to highlight
this prominently, or to in any other way note that what they
are asking for does indeed raise rates markedly. I have yet
to be disappointed in this regard.

>In fact, the only parties who opposed this proposal were Intel
>and UCAN, a consumer group headquartered in San Diego.

        Factual correction:

        I have a very distinct memory of sitting in the hearing
room at the CPUC, raising my hand, identifying myself, and
speaking in opposition. However, far be it from Pacific Bell
to get the facts wrong; I must have been imagining it.

        Less facetiously, I believe the full list of parties in
active opposition to the proposal were Intel, Compaq, MCI, 
AT&T, UCAN, TURN, DRA, InterNex, and individual intervenors
Messrs. Hartogs and McWilliams.

        I believe Mr. DeLong of ConnXion abstained due to
absence on the hearing date. He was not a signatory party
to the proposed "settlement".

        Please note that the "settlement" proposal was
not signed by either UCAN or TURN. These two groups are 
the largest and most active pro-consumer organizations for
telecommunications issues in the state of California. 
        
        Nor was the "settlement" okayed by the DRA,
the Commission's own Division of Ratepayer Advocacy. 
These are the people charged officially with making sure
that consumers' interests are officially and fairly represented
in public proceedings and retariffings.
        
        Why did all three of the Big Three decline to sign
the settlement? Because, forsooth, they perceived that it
was a bad deal for Pacific Bell's ISDN customers. This is
not rocket science.

        Bear in mind also that none of these three have
any commercial interests whatsoever to color their judgements.

>Signing the proposal were the California Cable Television
>Association, Jetstream Communications, FlowPoint, and
>Siemens-Rolm.

        Factual correction:

        In yet another error of fact, Mr. Deward omits to 
mention that CIUG, the California ISDN Users' Group, was 
also a signatory to the proposal. 

        Let's take a quick look at those who settled,
and their motivations for doing so.

        I cannot speak to the motivations of FlowPoint
in the case. I do not in fact believe that they even filed
any testimony, nor did they appear in the hearing room.

        Siemens-Rolm appeared to be miffed that Pacific
has not moved more quickly to provision National ISDN-1.
I believe this is a barrier to sales for S-R. Pacific said in its
"settlement" that they'd see to it. S-R settled. I do not believe
that S-R voiced any objection to the rate increase proposal.

        CCTA is the cable TV industry association. They've
been pushing cable modems as ISDN competition. However,
their pace of deployment has been glacial. It may be assumed 
that CCTA would not be averse to seeing ISDN adoption rates
slowed down, too. A fat price hike surely would help with that.

        David Frankel of Jetstream has repeatedly told me
that he wants to see stable rates at a level which encourages
Pacific Bell to invest in the service. I would concur; he and I
simply disagree over where those rates should be. My take is
that even present rates are too high. He is apparently okay with
higher rates, and indicated as much by becoming a signatory
to the settlement.

        Bob Larribeau of the CIUG also signed on to the
"settlement". I do not know whether or not the CUIG member
base was given the opportunity to vote on this or not. My
definite impression is that they did not, based on comments
I've read on the Net from CIUG members who didn't like it.

        Note also that Mr. Larribeau admitted in his testimony, 
under cross-examination by Dhruv Khanna of Intel, that his
group is expecting to receive half a million dollars from Pacific
Bell for its 1996 operational budget:

        "I'm projecting about $500,000 that we'll receive from 
Pacific Bell." 
                -- Larribeau in response to Khanna, 
                   Cross-examination Transcript page 1040, 
                   Vol 7, August 6, 1996.

        I had not known this before Bob's testimony; I believe that
it constitutes a material conflict of interest, and I would if asked
recommend that CIUG recuse itself from participation and withdraw
its testimony. I don't doubt Bob's integrity, but there is a Caesar's
wife principle in supporting a settlement advanced by someone 
who is funding you handsomely. I would not do so, for example.

        [And while on the subject of Dhruv Khanna, I would note
that I have yet to see a more fierce and tireless crusader on behalf
of open and fairly priced Internet access. He was representing
Intel in this particular proceeding, but is now setting up his own
advocacy group, ICAG (Internet Communications Action Group).
He should have a site up soon at www.icag.org. Anyone in the ISP
side of the business who has RBOC worries, remember to get in
touch with ICAG ASAP. You've got a friend in Dhruv Khanna.]


>Unfortunately, opposition from Intel and UCAN scuttled
>the possibility that the California Public Utilities
>Commission would accept the proposal.   

        Factual correction: 

        The CPUC cannot accept any proposal that is
contested on any material point. There is a rule which flatly
states that even one participant who disagrees on one point
is enough to compel hearings to be held. As it should be.

        Withdrawal of the proposal as a base for further
negotiations is not mandatory under Commission rules. It
was entirely up to Pacific Bell. In fact, I watched the judge
overseeing the case ask Bob Mazique, counsel to Pacific,
if he was absolutely sure he wanted to withdraw the proposal
and that it was not necessary to do so. He flatly insisted.

>Now the
>Commission will hold full scale hearings on ISDN rates,
>which could result in rates higher than those sought by
>Pacific Bell and the other parties to the proposal.

        Our position on hearings, which I have repeatedly
stated on the record, is straight and simple. Pacific Bell
claims that its revenue from ISDN is below the true cost
of providing the service.

        My response was that we did not believe that
it was fair to force Pacific to sell below cost. We noted
that Pacific has a right to make a reasonable profit on
its ISDN offerings. We indicated that it was unfair to those
who did not use ISDN to allow cross-subsidy of the service.

        But with regard to Pacific's cost claims, our take
was elemental. They claim their costs are outrageous. If
so, and if they hold up under examination, we shall then
concede that they have prevailed on the merits, and will
not only withdraw our objections, but actively urge adoption
of Pacific's plan by the Commission.

        First, though, we want to have those numbers open
to scrutiny, and picked apart by outside ISDN experts who
have a solid understanding of Pacific's convoluted cost of
service methologies. Public fairness demands no less. And,
as a regulated utility, Pacific should be open to this.

        Have they been? 

        (a) Pacific initially resisted the idea of any public
        scrutiny of its numbers at all. It insisted on having
        a massive  nondisclosure agreement signed first.
        Attempts by intervenors to substitute a more usual
        and standardized NDA, one already routinely used
        in OANAD proceedings before the Commission, 
        were rejected by Pacific.

        (b) The NDA Pacific came up with had a clause
        indicating that signatories would be liable for full
        special and compensatory damages if Pacific were
        to suffer any competitive injury as a result. This is
        something so strong as to scare off most people from
        even trying to look at the numbers. The ALJ overseeing
        the case said that it should be removed; I recall her
        saying to Bob Mazique that she'd had a hand in many     
        NDAs but had never seen one as unusual as that.

        (c) Pacific has occasioned repeated complaints from
        intervenors in the case about noncompliance with their
        discovery process, and data and testimony requests.

        (d) Pacific's legal counsel has moved to have the complaint
        against it by Intel and Compaq dismissed, and to have
        the public hearings vacated before they even began.

        I believe that these actions speak more eloquently for
themselves than anything that I could say in opposition.


>Find further information at the Pacific Telesis Web site
>at http://www.pactel.com/cgi-bin/getrel?1250.
>*************************************
>Bob Deward, Pacific Telesis External Affairs, S.F.
>voice:  415-394-3646


        Been there, read that.

        It says, among other things, with regard to withdrawing
the settlement,

        " In fact, [Intel's] proposal to the commission in these 
proceedings is to decrease our rates, which are already the lowest in
the nation and clearly way below the cost necessary to maintain and
expand our ISDN infrastructure."

        Factual correction:

        Pacific's ISDN rates are assuredly not the lowest in the
nation, not when usage charges are considered. Many jurisdictions
already have _flat rate_ ISDN tariffs for residential service. 

        From my CPUC testimony:

        "All states served by BellSouth, including Tennessee,
[which has $29.50 monthly unmetered, unlimited ISDN residence
service -- RT] have flat rate ISDN tariffs for residential service.
Four of the five Midwestern states which are served by Ameritech
(Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin) have flat rate residential
ISDN service at tariffs ranging from $28 per month to $35 per month.
Outside the large RBOCs, many smaller local exchange carriers offer
flat rate ISDN service. Within California, the Roseville Telephone
Company, which serves areas of Sacramento and Placer Counties,
offers a flat rate of $29.50 for unlimited usage. It should be
reasonably clear that a low standardized flat rate is an attainable
goal."

        With regard to Pacific's assertions above about costs:

        "The NRRI and the Tennessee PSC studies [which showed
that the incremental cost of ISDN was $9.77 per month per line] are
echoed and corroborated by other staff studies and by those of
consumer organizations. These non-RBOC experts, including the 
Consumer Federation of America, have consistently estimated the true 
incremental cost of ISDN to be less than $10 per month per line.
In a recent proceeding before the Delaware PSC, Dr. Scott Rafferty
estimated the true incremental cost of providing ISDN to be less than
$4 per month per line."

        (Rafferty and company won. Bell Atlantic has been ordered
to provide a low flat rate ISDN service by the Delaware regulators.
We shall soon get a comparable chance to see how well Pacific Bell's 
case stands up to scrutiny.)



Russ Teasdale
Director of Product Marketing           
InterNex Information Services           
2302 Walsh Ave.                              
Santa Clara, CA  95051                    

Subject: UCAN's ISDN rate hike update
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 1996 11:45:58 -0800 (PST)
From: Barry Fraser 

Hi everyone,

I'm sending this to a host of people who have expressed interest in
either working with UCAN or keeping informed about the Pac Bell ISDN rate
hike. The pre-hearing conference was yesterday (Feb. 21).  Generally,
the conference went well for our side.  The very large trunout was
favorable as was the tone of the conference in general.

I heard Pac Bell arguing profusely that they must prepare for
immediate competition in the ISDN market (???), yet their application
implies that they are unable to provide the service at competitive
rates!  This is classic behavior of a monopolist trying to cash in on
excess profits prior to the entry of expected competition.

For those who did not attend the conference, it was very interesting to
note Pac Bell's obvious fear of the online community.  Bell wanted all
parties to sign a "non-disclosure agreement" in order to access their
sealed cost studies supporting the proposed rate increases.  This
agreement provided for outrageously harsh and punitive penalties if the
cost studies are even unintentionally made available to the public. They
have never obtained such a harsh agreement in past rate hearings, even
those with much more revenue at stake.  My sense is that the judge will
never allow such an agreement.

Their argument voiced a concern that there are already web pages online
contesting this issue, and it will take such an agreement to keep these
materials off the net.

Are they really that much more afraid of web sites than, say, newspaper or
television journalists?  Perhaps they should be.  I believe this stance
by Pac Bell highlights just how much power the net can wield, when all
its resources are focused on an objective.

Which leads me to the main reason for this message.  We need to mobilize
the online community to focus all our resources in the most efficient
manner.  I know some of you are already taking steps to gather
information about the harmful effect of the rate increases on ISDN users.
I would ask you to please keep us posted of your efforts.  Additionally,
I believe we need to take the following steps:

     1) The PUC will be very appreciative if we present a
very organized and co-ordinated effort.  THerefore, if you are
considering submitting testimony or otherwise participating, please let
UCAN know about your plans.  If we can focus all our energy under one
umbrella position, we can be much more effective.

     2) We will need to utilize the net to gather documented cases
of harm to ISDN users resulting from the proposed rate hikes.
THerefore, if you expect a large bill increase, have invested
substantially in hardware, software and/or service agreements, or would
otherwise be substantially harmed by the increases, we need to hear from
you.  I know some of you have plans to collect this information, please
keep me posted of your results.  Dave Barry has some great ideas for
utilizing his protest page to calculate billing increases, so others
might work through him. (http://www.pacificnet.net/~dcbarry/isdn/main.html)
Also, Bob Larribeau of the Ca. ISDN Users Group will be doing some
polling of the user group members. (bob@larribeau.com)

     3) We want to make a lot of noise about this, so any of you with web
sites, listservs, newsletters, etc. might want to post notices about
this proposal on a regular basis.

     4) The next step is to see what Pac Bell does with the cost studies.
We should know by next Friday what parts, if any, can be made public.  When
that happens, we need to get the public parts out so they can be scrutinized
by the online community.  We will want to solocit comments from anyone
with ISDN expertise concerning the validity of the studies.

However, we want to be careful not to disclose anything that remains
protected.  My sense is that the judges yesterday are sympathetic to our
side.  We do not want to do anything that may create tension or make them
less receptive to our position.  So please be careful with any materials
that remain under seal.

We are off to a great start. Pac Bell is already on the run.  Let's keep
them on the defensive.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*Barry D. Fraser, Esq.                  fraser@acusd.edu        *
*Electronic Communications Advocate     619-999-7596 voice mail *
*---------------------------------------------------------------*
*UCAN                                   619-696-6966            *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

From: "Cyrus K. Namazi" Newsgroups: comp.dcom.isdn Subject: Pacific Bell Is Reconsidering ISDN Rate Increase Date: 22 Feb 1996 17:15:35 GMT Here is some potentially good news... > Cyrus Namazi ---------------------------------- Source: Computer Reseller News - Excerpts San Francisco-Pacific Bell is reconsidering its recently proposed ISDN rate hike after the ISDN community flew into an uproar over the possible increase. Last month Pacific Bell, based here, outlined plans to double per-minute charges after the first minute, to 2 cents, and place a cap of 20 hours on its monthly flat-rate service, which previously was unlimited. Harsh criticisms of Pacific Bell's plans appeared on Web sites, and Intel Corp.'s Patrick Gelsinger, vice president and general manager of the Personal Conferencing Division, began his own campaign of speaking out against the rate hikes. Now, as Pacific Bell is about to take its proposal before the California Public Utilities on Wednesday, it is rethinking its strategy. The company is considering raising its proposed 20-hour-per-month limit to an unspecified amount of additional hours, said Tom Bayless, director of ISDN at Pacific Bell. "We've seen a lot of concern over the 20-hour [limit], and we're taking that into consideration," he said. "Everything still has to be tariffed with the FCC, so the first wave [of a price war] hasn't hit yet . . . but the general buying public will now expect lower rates with the same level of service," said Tom Henderson, vice president of engineering for Unitel Inc., Indianapolis.
Date: Tue, 6 Feb 1996 15:16:03 -0500 (EST) From: Richard Kashdan To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Protest by TURN The following is a protest by TURN that was filed last week with the California PUC. I am not associated with TURN in any way. I am posting this solely because I received it in the mail and I have a scanner with OCR software, so I am doing my part to make this proceeding very open to the Internet community. I wish you guys could see the original paper copy that I received. It is printed on this weird greenish off-color recycled paper that has threads in it almost like the paper that money is printed on, and the toner or ink, whatever printing process they are using, doesn't stick very well so the printing is light and spotty. I bet they spend twice as much to buy this paper as they would on regular copy paper just to prove they are ecologically correct. ------------------------------------------------------------------ BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA In the Matter of the Application of Pacific Bell for Authority to Increase and Restructure Certain A.95-12-043 Rates of its Integrated Services Digital Network Services-. PROTEST OF TOWARD UTILITY RATE NORMALIZATION (TURN) Pursuant to Article 12 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, Toward Utility Rate Normalization (TURN) hereby protests the Application of Pacific Bell for Authority to Increase and Restructure Certain Rates of its Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) Services ("Application"). On December 5, 1995, Pacific Bell filed an application to restructure and increase the rates for its ISDN services. The Application appeared in the Commission's Daily Calendar on December 20, 1995. The deadline for protesting the Application was extended to February 2, 199 6 by ALJ Malcom. I. PACIFIC PROPOSES SUBSTANTIAL CHANCES TO ITS ISDN RATES The desired changes are substantial, with significant implications for Pacific's customers. Pacific proposes to: - Increase the monthly recurring charge for Centrex ISDN by $8.00; - Double the price for additional minutes of use for both Home and Business - Eliminate the wavier of installation charges for customers who commit to a two year term agreement; - Cap currently unlimited local usage for Home ISDN at 20 hours per month; - Eliminate the $4.00 charge for certain optional ISDN features (Hold, Consultation Hold, Three-way Conferencing and Call Transfer); - Establish new volume and term discounts; and - Implement a toll discount plan designed to give large toll discounts to ISDN customers. Pacific claims that these changes are needed to assure that ISDN services better reflect their costs and are attractive and marketable to customers. The changes proposed are significant. It is unclear to TURN, how the proposal to significantly increase rates and eliminate unlimited usage for Home ISDN (analogous to residential ISDN) will make the service more attractive and marketable to customers. Moreover, there has been no opportunity to assess Pacific's claim that the restructured prices will better reflect the costs of ISDN services because the cost studies were filed under seal. When Pacific filed its Application, it also filed a companion ex-parte motion asking the Commission to accept its cost studies under seal. Administrative Law Judge Econome granted Pacific's motion on January 3. TURN has contacted Pacific to request the cost information and has been told that we may receive the information under the terms of a nondisclosure agreement if we are a party to the proceeding. The need to review Pacific's cost information is one reason that TURN is protesting the Application and is obtaining party status to the proceeding. II. THE PROPOSED CHANGES TO ISDN RATES COULD DAMPEN USE OF INNOVATIVE TELECOMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION SERVICES. The proposed changes to ISDN rates have the potential to dampen the use of innovative telecommunications and information services. Customers who use ISDN do so because they need the ability-to rapidly transfer and receive information. ISDN is used to access the Internet, for various on-line services and for telecommunications-dependent activities such as telecommuting. Companies and individuals who have subscribed to ISDN did so under a substantially lower set of prices than those Pacific is proposing. The proposed rate increases may force customers to either curtail their use of telecommunications and information services, or abandon ISDN altogether and opt to use a less expensive, although technically less desirable, alternative. At the present time, interim local competition rules not-withstanding, customers have no other options for receiving a service comparable to ISDN. Until there is demonstrable competition, customers desiring faster speeds. and more bandwidth will be held captive by Pacific. If the proposed rate increases were approved, customers would have two choices: either pay the higher rates or use a less effective service. Pacific's request to significantly raise price of ISDN service is ironic given the company's claim in several proceeding that it is facing tremendous competition. The decision to double the usage rate for ISDN service does not appear to be the act of a, firm that is worried about competition. The possibility exists that Pacific is attempting to extract monopoly profits from its ISDN service as a means of leveraging its position in other markets or subsidizing competitive services. Such anticompetitive activity would be harmful to customers because Pacific would be able to use its deep pockets to discourage or stifle competition. If this were to happen, telecommunications companies with unique and innovative telecommunications services would be unable to compete and such services might never be available to customers. III. THE PROPOSED CHANGES MAY BE ANTICOMPETITIVE AND DISCRIMINATORY. The proposed volume discounts for ISDN services are cause for concern. From the public information provided to support the application, it is impossible to tell whether the proposed volume discounts are justified by the cost data. Pacific's proposal to provide large toll discounts tied to ISDN service may be discriminatory. Moreover, ISDN services are currently classified as Category I services. Pacific should not be granted permission to flexibly price these services unless and until they are reclassified as Category II services. Furthermore, such price floors should be supported by cost data which is examined and tested by interested parties, and the Commission. IV. PACIFIC'S CLAIMS MUST BE CAREFULLY SCRUTINIZED. Pacific asserts that the proposed increases to ISDN service are necessary because two assumptions underlying its original ISDN tariff have proved to be inaccurate. First, Pacific claims that its original studies incorrectly estimated the percentage of ISDN customers who would be located more than 15 kilofeet from a central office. Pacific asserts that this percentage proved to be higher than expected. Second, Pacific claims that the price for Home ISDN was designed to cover costs associated with a lower level of average usage than exists in actual practice. (Application, p. 4-5) The Commission and interested parties should have the opportunity to carefully scrutinize these claims. V. CONCLUSION The Commission should look carefully at Pacific's proposal to double ISDN rates and limit flat rate residential ISDN service at a time when the demand for internet access is increasing. TURN believes that such a proposal should not be approved in the absence of a thorough and critical review of the Company's justifications for its proposed changes. Pacific's cost data and proposed rates must be carefully scrutinized to ensure that customers are not subjected to unfair and prohibitive rate increases which could harm the development and provision of innovative telecommunications and information services. Dated: February 2, 1996 Respectfully submitted, Regina Costa Telecommunications Analyst Toward Utility Rate Normalization 625 Polk St., Ste. 403 San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 929-8876
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 1996 18:57:40 -0500 (EST) From: James Love To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Intel and Compaq file ISDN rate hike protest in California This is the new Intel and Compaq protest of the PacBell proposed hike of ISDN tariffs. jamie BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA Application of Pacific Bell for ) Authority to Increase and Restructure ) A.95-12-043 Certain Rates of its Integrated ) Services Digital Network Services ) ____________________________________) LATE-FILED PROTEST OF COMPAQ COMPUTER CORPORATION AND INTEL CORPORATION I. INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY Pursuant to Rule 8 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, Compaq Computer Corporation and Intel Corporation ("collectively, "Protestants"), hereby submit this protest to Pacific Bell's above-captioned application (the "Application") to double its usage rates for its Integrated Services Digital Network ("ISDN") services and otherwise increase its ISDN rates. Simultaneously herewith the Protestants have filed: (i) a complaint under Section 1702 of the California Public Utilities Code (the "Code") on the grounds that Pacific Bell's current ISDN rates are unreasonably and unjustly high, its customer service for ISDN services is inadequate and inefficient, and its practices in providing the service are unjust and unreasonable -- all in violation of Sections 451, 453, 489, 728, 761 and 762 of the Code (the "Complaint"); and (ii) a motion to consolidate this Application proceeding with the Complaint proceeding. II. IDENTITY OF PROTESTANTS Protestant Compaq Computer Corporation and Protestant Intel Corporation are Delaware Corporations. The mailing address, phone and fax numbers for Compaq Computer Corporation are as follows: Jeffrey A. Campbell, Esq., Compaq Computer Corporation, 1300 I Street, N.W., Suite 490E, Washington D.C. 20005, ph. (202) 962-3830 and fax (202) 962-3838. The mailing address, phone and fax numbers for Intel Corporation are as follows: Dhruv Khanna, Esq., Intel Corporation, M/S: HF3-03, 5200 N.E. Elam Young Parkway, Hillsboro, OR 97124, ph. (503) 696-7162 and fax (503) 696-1809. III. EFFECT OF THE APPLICATION ON THE PROTESTANTS AND GROUNDS FOR THE PROTEST A. Protestants' Interest in ISDN PC Communications and this Application Protestant Compaq Computer Corporation is the world's largest manufacturer of personal computers, and Protestant Intel Corporation is the world's largest chip maker. Compaq Computer Corporation and Intel Corporation are also leading innovators in and manufacturers of communications products for personal computers. The PC has been transformed into a powerful, interactive, communications tool which uses the telecommunications services of Pacific Bell. The computing power of PCs has roughly doubled every 18 months at constant prices. Customers have already purchased millions of PCs that are communications-ready and able to perform a variety of multi-media functions. PCs are increasingly able to provide high-quality performance of a variety of interactive multimedia applications, including access to the Internet and other on-line services, remote-Local Area Network ("LAN") access, and simultaneous data, audio and videoconferencing. More than a third of all U.S. households have PCs. Internet use is increasing dramatically. The use of telecommuting, videoconferencing and remote LAN access is also poised to increase dramatically. However, the only affordable two-way telecommunications service that is currently available ubiquitously is analog POTS (plain old telephone service). Analog POTS affords limited bandwidth, and recent developments in the PC industry and in customer preferences are highlighting the inadequacies of analog POTS as means for PC communications. For example, access to the Internet, access to commercial online services, remote-LAN access and videoconferencing over analog POTS is significantly inferior (4 times as slow) than over ISDN services. While analog POTS affords up to 28.8 kilo bits per second ("kbps") transmission speeds over top POTS modems, ISDN provides digital connectivity at up to 128 kbps (two 64 kbps channels) over the same ubiquitous copper local loop and digital switches that are currently used for analog POTS. Many PC users have already invested in powerful, multimedia-capable PCs. The PC industry (hardware and software companies), the on-line service industry and others have invested heavily and continue to invest heavily in a wide array of ISDN-related products. The Protestants desire the growth of a mass-market for ISDN hardware and software products. Unjust and unreasonable ISDN pricing, as proposed by Pacific Bell in this Application, will preclude the development of a mass-market ISDN industry, and will certainly retard its growth. B. Grounds for Protest of this Application For home PC users, Pacific Bell is the only provider of, and only available source for, ISDN communications services. Pacific Bell is unable to satisfy the existing demand for its ISDN services, and is responding to such demand by proposing to increase its prices for the services instead of increasing the ease of availability of the services. California customers of ISDN frequently have to wait many weeks if not months after ordering Pacific Bell's ISDN service before actually receiving it. The rate increases proposed by Pacific Bell in the Application will adversely affect the public interest as follows: The growth of ISDN-based PC communications is essential to enable the continued growth of California's (and the nation's) high-technology industry. The growth of such communications is necessary to deliver educational, environmental, productivity, competitive, and a host of related benefits to the California public -- school children, teenagers, seniors, deaf and disabled customers, small and large businesses, health care providers, and others -- and quality of life benefits to telecommuters and the online community. The growth of ISDN-based PC communications will be severely retarded if the Application is granted. IV. FACTS TO BE DEVELOPED BY PROTESTANTS AT THE HEARING The Protestants will show at the hearing on the Application that: (i) the current demand for ISDN is overwhelming and is not being met by Pacific Bell; (ii) Pacific Bell is the sole available source of ISDN services for residential customers; (iii) Pacific Bell has very few customers currently subscribing to its ISDN services; (iv) the rates proposed by Pacific Bell in this Application are unjust and unreasonable because they will retard the growth in demand for ISDN service, retard the development of a mass-market for ISDN, and will preclude cost reductions that will be driven by the growth of a mass-market for ISDN; (v) the customer service provided by Pacific Bell for its ISDN services is currently unreasonable in relation the tariffs for such services, and any increase in the rate as proposed by the Application is therefore unjust and unreasonable; (vi) the development of a mass-market for ISDN services will afford Pacific Bell a variety of business opportunities to increase its revenues and earnings; and (vii) such other evidence Protestants may develop after discovery and further investigation. V. CONCLUSION Based on the foregoing, the Protestants respectfully request that the Application be denied, or scheduled for hearing to hear this protest. Dated: February 1, 1996 Respectfully submitted, __________________________________ ____________________________________ FRANK GILL DHRUV KHANNA Senior Vice President Dhruv Khanna, Esq. Intel Corporation Senior Attorney Intel Corporation Mail Stop: HF3-03 5200 N. E. Elam Young Parkway Hillsboro, OR 97124 (503) 696-7162 fax (503) 696-1809 ____________________________________ JEFFREY A. CAMPBELL Jeffrey A. Campbell, Esq. Manager, Federal Government Affairs, Compaq Computer Corporation 1300 I Street, N.W., Suite 490E Washington D.C. 20005 (202) 962-3830 fax (202) 962-3838 VERIFICATION I am a Senior Vice President of Intel Corporation, a protestant herein, and am authorized to make this verification on its behalf. The statements in the foregoing document are true of my own knowledge, except as to the matters which are therein stated on information and belief, and as to those matters I believe them to be true. Executed on February 1, 1996 at Hillsboro, Oregon. ____________________________________ FRANK GILL
Date: Sat, 3 Feb 1996 11:29:16 -0800 (PST) From: Barry Fraser Subject: UCAN's ISDN Protest To: dank@alumni.caltech.edu cc: dcbarry@pacificnet.net, love@essential.org The following was filed with the CPUC on Friday. Please post freely on the net. ------------------------- Michael Shames, Esq. Lisa Briggs, Esq. Barry D. Fraser, Esq. Utility Consumers' Action Network 1717 Kettner Blvd., #105 San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 696-6966 BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA ) In the Matter of the Application of ) Application 95-12-043 Pacific Bell (U 1001 C) for Authority ) (Filed Dec. 5, 1995) to Increase and Restructure Certain ) Rates of its Integrated Services ) Digital Network Services ) ) _______________________________________ ) UCAN'S PROTEST AND REQUEST FOR HEARING I. INTRODUCTION On December 5, 1995, Applicant Pacific Bell ("Pacific") served an application to increase and restructure its rates for Integrated Services Digital Network ("ISDN") services. ISDN is a network platform for transmitting digital voice and data services at high speeds over traditional analog telephone lines. Pursuant to Public Utilities Commission ("Commission") Rule 8, UCAN protests the Application and requests that the Commission conduct an evidentiary hearing to address the issues set forth below, and provide any other appropriate relief. As a consumer advocacy group and recognized intervenor in Commission proceedings, UCAN is concerned that the rate increases proposed in this Application will adversely affect California ratepayers. Specifically, Pacific requests that the metered charge for additional minutes of local daytime ISDN use be doubled from $0.0105 to $0.0210, that the current practice of waiving installation charges for a 2-year term agreement be eliminated, and that Centrex ISDN prices be increased by $8 per month. Additionally, Pacific seeks to impose upon home ISDN users a metered rate of $0.0146 for each additional minute for evening use and $0.0084 for each additional minute for weekend use over and above an initial 20 hour cap. Currently, home customers have unlimited, unmetered evening and weekend service. UCAN has several concerns about this Application. First, the proposed rate increases will severely inhibit the development of advanced communications services in California. Second, the rate increases will harm current ISDN users who have invested heavily in user-end equipment relying on Pacific's current ISDN rates. Third, Pacific's specified reasons for requesting the rate increases are unconvincing and unsupported by sufficient evidence. Finally, even if Pacific can show that it has incurred higher ISDN costs, imposition of metered charges for evening and weekend use is not the proper way to recoup those costs. As no service list has been established in this matter, this Protest and Request for Hearing will be served only upon the Applicant, Pacific Bell. When a service list is established, UCAN will serve this Protest on the appropriate parties. II. PACIFIC BELL'S PROPOSED ISDN RATE CHANGES WILL SEVERELY INHIBIT THE DEVELOPMENT OF ADVANCED COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES IN CALIFORNIA. Continuing advances in personal computers and communications technologies have improved the speed, accuracy, and volume of information transfer between remote sites. These advances have made possible a variety of new interactive applications, including access to the Internet, remote access to Local Area Networks ("LANs") and Wide Area Networks ("WANs"), and simultaneous data, audio, video and multimedia information transfers. However, there are limits to the ability of traditional analog telecommunications lines to support such advanced services. Many of these services become slow and inefficient over analog lines, even when accessed by the fastest available modems. ISDN service allows the traditional copper wire infrastructure to support the high-speed and high-volume data transfer capabilities required by these advanced communications technologies. ISDN is currently the only affordable way for small businesses and residential users to take full advantage of the advanced services now available. The Commission has acknowledged the benefits to be gained by California business and residential users from access to these new services. In its Report to the Governor, Enhancing California's Competitive Strength: A Strategy for Telecommunications Infrastructure (November 1993), the Commission notes: Advanced telecommunications offers California the opportunity to gain competitive advantage in the global marketplace. That advantage will strengthen our economy and create tens of thousands of jobs. Expanded use of telecommunications will create new products and services, new businesses, new job opportunities and could increase the productivity of the state's businesses by billions of dollars. . . . Many of the benefits will flow beyond the private sector to enrich our educational system; the health care sector; libraries; public safety organizations; and other important institutions. . . . Equally important, public sector agencies and non-profit organizations can exploit advanced telecommunications to develop new and valuable services that would otherwise not be possible using traditional methods. Today, the ability to take advantage of these advanced technologies depends in large part upon affordable access to ISDN. Pacific Bell's proposed rate increase, particularly its proposal to institute per-minute charges for off-peak usage periods, will prevent many residential and small business customers from taking full advantage of new telecommunications services. UCAN expects to offer evidence that the proposed rate increases will cause some users' monthly bills to rise by more than $100.00. This will put such services beyond the financial reach of many customers. Pacific itself has argued that ISDN price increases will limit access to advanced services by small businesses and residential users. In a recent Petition for Waiver of a proposed monthly $3.00 increase in ISDN Subscriber Line Charges by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC"), Pacific Bell made the following remarks: By waiving this rule, the public interest will be served since affordable and economic ISDN will be made available to the many small business, residence and large business customers who need an efficient and effective means of transmitting information, getting access to the Internet, and becoming users of the information highway. Unique circumstances exist in California which underscore how critical affordable ISDN is to our customers. The federal Clean Air Act and the California Clean Air Act require air quality agencies to institute "Employer Based Employee Trip Reduction" regulations. . . . Telecommuting--moving the work to the worker, rather than the worker to the work--is credited in each region as a commute alternative to carpooling, vanpooling or riding public transit. Millions of employees telecommute using the existing telecommunications network. But many are demanding higher telecommunications speeds in order to be more productive. Still others tell us they need high speed access to the workplace before they can even start telecommuting. . . . The natural disasters in California have also created a need for affordable ISDN. The Loma Prieta Quake, Northridge Quake, Oakland Hills Fire and Sonoma County floods have all prompted an increased need to telecommute from home or from telecommuting hubs. . . . Pacific has also instituted an aggressive Education First initiative in order to encourage schools, libraries, and community colleges to use ISDN to gain access to the information superhighway. In a state where public education budgets are severely strained, an increase in monthly charges could force schools to forgo this opportunity. Clearly, Pacific recognizes the potential threat of a mere $3.00 ISDN price increase to the development and growth of advanced services. Yet the company would multiply that very same threat many times over if it is allowed to implement the rate structure proposed in its Application. It is a basic economic tenet that an increase in price will reduce demand for a product. In light of the Commission's interest in developing access to advanced communications services and the recognized threat to development posed by Pacific's proposed rate increases, the Commission should grant this request for a hearing. III. THE PROPOSED RATE INCREASE WILL HARM EXISTING ISDN BUSINESS AND RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE MADE SUBSTANTIAL USER-END EQUIPMENT PURCHASES IN RELIANCE UPON PACIFIC BELL'S CURRENT RATE STRUCTURE. Utilizing ISDN to access advanced services entails much more than simply purchasing ISDN service. Home and business users must incur various additional costs, including purchase of computer terminals, modems, routers, and specialized software. Users must subscribe with various service providers, which often require advance payments and long-term service agreements. Small business and institutional users often must invest in LAN or WAN technology in order to successfully implement telecommuting, Internet access, videoconferencing, and other services. These initial costs can be substantial, easily running into the thousands of dollars. ISDN users making these substantial investments have relied on the current Pacific price structure in developing their advanced services plans. If Pacific is allowed to implement the proposed rate increases, many small business and residential users may be forced to limit or even cancel their ISDN service, and incur large losses due to these high start-up costs. UCAN will provide testimony that many users, especially those who have invested thousands of dollars in LAN and WAN technology, will be substantially harmed by the price increases imposed by this rate change. Because of this potential for substantial harm to customers who have made investments in end-user technology relying upon the current costs of ISDN service, the Commission should grant this request for a hearing in this matter. IV. PACIFIC BELL'S SPECIFIED REASONS FOR THE ISDN RATE INCREASE ARE UNCONVINCING AND NOT SUPPORTED BY SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE. Pacific seeks to increase ISDN rates because it claims to have erred with respect to two assumptions when initially calculating ISDN tariffs. First, Pacific claims that higher percentages of ISDN customers than originally anticipated live more than 15 kilofeet from the central office. Second, the company claims that a minority of users are "maximizing their usage on evenings and all weekend long." Calls during such periods are currently not subject to metered charges. Pacific argues that these two miscalculations have resulted in actual ISDN costs exceeding current revenues. However, the company provides little evidence to support this claim in its application. Since Pacific's actual cost studies were submitted under seal and are unavailable to UCAN, it is impossible to determine whether any rate increases are justified. Despite this limitation, UCAN expects to provide testimony from expert witnesses which will show that Pacific's reasoning in this matter is flawed. First, Pacific receives a substantial financial benefit from increased ISDN usage, which more than offsets any additional costs incurred by this increased use. ISDN customers make more efficient use of the existing telecommunications infrastructure by transporting more data at higher speeds without having to physically expand the system's capacity. Thus, ISDN use actually saves Pacific substantial costs which might otherwise be incurred to perform extensive upgrades to handle the same amount of data via analog methods. This benefit outweighs any additional costs that Pacific failed to factor into its existing tariff. Second, Pacific's claim that excessive usage during off-peak time periods has increased its costs is unconvincing. Off-peak use of ISDN simply makes more efficient use of telecommunications infrastructure that would be sitting idle as excess capacity during these time periods. The total required capacity of ISDN plant is determined by the level of business-day peak demand. Customers using ISDN during these peak times justifiably bear the cost of the high capacity infrastructure (through metered charges for these peak times). However, during off-peak times, the incremental cost for supplying ISDN connections is much lower. Users who arrange their schedules to take advantage of off-peak evening and weekend rates should not be required to subsidize the costs required to maintain the infrastructure at peak capacity. Pacific's specified reasons for requesting these rate changes are unconvincing and insufficient. Therefore, the Commission should grant this request for a hearing to determine whether Pacific's actual costs exceed its estimated costs for ISDN service, and if so, whether these additional costs are substantial. V. EVEN IF PACIFIC BELL INCURS HIGHER COSTS AS A RESULT OF INCREASED ISDN USE, IMPOSITION OF METERED CHARGES FOR EVENING AND WEEKEND USE IS NOT THE PROPER WAY TO RECOUP THOSE COSTS. Pacific claims that actual ISDN service costs are higher than current revenues under the existing rate structure. Even if the company can establish that a price increase is justified, there is no evidence that a per-minute charge for local ISDN calls made in low-peak time periods is the proper way to recoup those additional costs. One of Pacific's arguments seems to be that users who establish connections with advanced service providers tend to leave these connections open continuously during off-peak time periods. However, UCAN expects to produce evidence that leaving these lines open takes advantage of other efficiencies, and actually costs less than making repeated calls to a service provider. The nature of many advanced communications services, such as Internet access, often requires lengthy connections to various service providers. However, the line may not actually be in use for a large part of this time. Services such as the World Wide Web ("Web") allow the user to "download" large text and data files and search them on the user's computer device. During this search period, although there is a connection established between the user and the service, there is no actual transfer of information through the lines. The cost of maintaining such an open line is low compared to a line maintaining a continuous flow of information. The current rate structure which allows unlimited usage for off-peak times encourages users to take advantage of Web services while maintaining an open line with the service. However, if metered charges are imposed for these off-peak time periods, users might be encouraged to repeatedly connect and disconnect with their service provider in order to reduce their per-minute costs. This continuous dialing and redialing is less efficient than leaving a line open continuously for a period of time. This practice will be awkward and time-consuming for the ISDN customer, and may actually result in increased costs to Pacific. Additionally, Pacific proposes a set of "toll discount plans" designed to "mirror the pricing on applications such as Internet access services." These packages set up a fixed discount for purchasing a specified amount of service in advance. Pacific evidently seeks to equate its ISDN service with services offered by Internet Service Providers ("ISPs") employing similar types of pricing plans. However, Pacific provides no evidence that its ISDN services are comparable to Internet access services. In fact, many significant differences exist between these types of services. ISDN is primarily a switching and transmission technology, while ISP service includes access to a "client server," essentially a computer which can link the customer to various Internet services. Pacific offers absolutely no evidence that these two diverse types of services should be priced similarly. The Commission should grant this request for a hearing because there is substantial evidence that Pacific's proposed rate structure will actually encourage activity which is less efficient and creates higher costs than current usage. VI. CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, UCAN requests the following: 1) that Pacific hold an informational workshop to explain specifically the necessity of these proposed rate increases; 2) that informal meetings with the parties be conducted to discuss a resolution of these issues; and 3) if these meetings do not lead to resolution, that a hearing be held in the above proceeding to determine the advisability and necessity of these rate increases, and if such an increase is actually required, to determine whether Pacific's proposed tariff is indeed the most efficient way of recovering the costs of providing ISDN service. DATED: Friday, February 2, 1996 Respectfully Submitted, Michael Shames, Esq. Lisa Briggs, Esq. Barry D. Fraser, Esq. Attorneys for Utility Consumer's Action Network * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Barry D. Fraser, Esq. fraser@acusd.edu * *Electronic Communications Advocate 619-999-7596 voice mail * *---------------------------------------------------------------* *UCAN 619-696-6966 * *1717 Kettner Blvd., # 105 * *San Diego, CA 92101 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 14:24:51 -0800 To: Dan Kegel From: Richard Kashdan Subject: I filed this with the PUC today BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA In the Matter of the Application ) of Pacific Bell (U 1001 C), a ) corporation, for Authority to ) Application 95-12-043 Increase and Restructure Certain ) Rates of its Integrated Services ) Digital Network Services ) MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE'S RULING GRANTING MOTION TO ACCEPT PACIFIC BELL'S COST STUDIES UNDER SEAL, AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS Pacific Bell filed an application with the Commission on December 5, 1995, for authority to increase and restructure certain of its ISDN rates. This application was not published in the Daily Calendar until December 20, 1995. Pacific Bell also filed a motion along with the application asking that the cost studies attached to the application be accepted under seal. Administrative Law Judge Janet Econome granted this motion on January 3, 1996. The Daily Calendar entry on December 20 did not mention the motion. I am a customer of Pacific Bell's residential ISDN service and I use my ISDN line for both voice and data calls during the weekday daytime hours and during the evening and weekend hours. My evening and weekend usage exceeds 20 hours per month. I will be directly affected by any rate increase that may be granted by this application and I intend to become a party to this proceeding at the Pre-Hearing Conference. Pacific Bell's application and motion both state that current customers of their ISDN service like myself will be sent a notice by mail of the filing of the application and motion. The Declaration of Larry S. Bercovich attached to the motion explains the notice in these words: "... we intend to comply with the notice requirements of Rule 24 for both the application and the motion. We do not intend to serve the actual application or motion. Attached to my declaration as Exhibit A are copies of the form of notice which we intend to ... mail to ... our current customers of ISDN ..." Both sample notices in his Exhibit A contain the words: "We have also filed a motion with the CPUC to seal Exhibit F (cost studies) of the application." "A copy of said application, the related exhibits, and the motion may be examined at the offices of the California Public Utilities Commission ..." I did not receive my copy of this notice in the mail until yesterday, January 17, and the envelope was postmarked January 16. I am not aware of any difference between my ISDN account and any other customer's, so I must assume that this notice was mailed to the other ISDN customers at about the same time. A true and correct copy of the notice and envelope are attached as Exhibit 1. The notice that I received discusses the application, but the motion is not mentioned. All of the above wording about the filing of the motion and rights to examine the motion were removed. Even if the notice had mentioned the motion, it would have been too late as the motion was granted long before on January 3. I was aware of the application approximately two weeks ago, but only because I saw it mentioned by another user in an Internet Newsgroup message. I was not aware of the motion, or the ruling granting it, until January 11, 1995, when I visited the Commission's Central File room and reviewed the complete file on the application. ALJ Econome's ruling granting the motion appears to be based exclusively on the fact that no opposition to the motion was received: "Based on the current record, no opposition to the motion has been submitted and the time for submission of such opposition has expired. No hearing on the motion is necessary." "Good cause having been shown, and no opposition having been submitted, IT IS HEREBY RULED that ..." The ALJ seemed to believe that Pacific Bell had already served all of the notices by mail at the time the application and motion were filed, but Pacific Bell made no such claims. The application and motion simply stated that notices would be made in the future. As my exhibits show, the notice of the motion was never made at all -- at least not to the ISDN customers. I ask that this ruling be re-considered on the grounds that there are people, including myself, who would have submitted an opposition to the motion if they had been aware of it in time. My opposition would have been based on these grounds: (1) Rule 24 requires public access to all exhibits to a rate increase application: "... Said notice shall also state that a copy of the application and related exhibits will be furnished by applicant upon written request ..." "... Such notice shall state that a copy of said application and related exhibits may be examined at the offices of the California Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco or Los Angeles and in such offices of the applicant as are specified in the notice, ..." (2) Public Utilities Code Section 583 and General Order 66-C do not apply to this motion because the Commission, via Rule 24, has ordered this type of information to be made public as part of a rate increase application. (3) It is impossible for me and other customers of the ISDN service to know if the rate increase is justified or to attempt to oppose it without knowing the cost basis for the application. (4) Pacific Bell has not submitted any evidence or explanation about why the cost studies are confidential and proprietary, or why release of them to competitors would place Pacific Bell at an unfair business disadvantage and cause irreparable harm to their operations. Their attorney makes these conclusory statements in the body of the motion, but there are no declarations attached which explain why these statements are true. For these reasons the ALJ Ruling should be reconsidered, the motion of Pacific Bell to file their cost studies under seal should be denied, and all exhibits to the application should be made available to the public. REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS FOR VIOLATION OF RULE 1 Pacific Bell mislead the Commission by promising in their motion to give notice of the motion to their ISDN customers. They finally mailed a notice to ISDN customers about the application itself, but did not mention the motion. I request that Pacific Bell be sanctioned for this violation of Rule 1 and suggest that an appropriate sanction would be to allow the public to view the cost studies even if the Commission determines that Pacific Bell has good cause for sealing the exhibit. Dated: January 18, 1996 Respectfully submitted, Richard L. Kashdan Law Office of Richard L. Kashdan 25 Van Ness Ave. #710 San Francisco, CA 94102 (415)621-4080 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE On this date I deposited in the mail at San Francisco, California, copies of the attached document in sealed envelopes, with postage fully prepaid, addressed to: Mr. Larry S. Bercovich, Esq. Pacific Bell Legal Department, Room 2W804 2600 Camino Ramon San Ramon, CA 94583 Mr. Dhruv Khanna, Esq. Intel Corporation Mail Stop: HF3-03 5200 N.E. Elam Young Parkway Hillsboro, OR 97124 Ms. Janet A. Econome Administrative Law Judge Public Utilities Commission 505 Van Ness Ave. San Francisco, CA 94102 Ms. Kim Malcolm Administrative Law Judge Public Utilities Commission 505 Van Ness Ave. #5115 San Francisco, CA 94102 I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on January 18, 1996 Richard L. Kashdan __________________________________________________________________________ Richard L. Kashdan, Esq. WB6AWJ San Francisco, CA Voice:(415)864-5678 Fax:(415)621-9554 http://www.wideweb.com/rkashdan/ I can't use Internet providers that only give you 30 free hours per month. I'm on that much every day! But no, I'm NOT addicted. Really, I'm not...
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 11:48:00 -0800 (PST) From: Robert Feraru Subject: Re: I vote YES! for ISDN rate hike! To: Pardner Wynn Cc: public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov, dank@alumni.caltech.edu Yours is the first that supports the rate hike... -Rob Thank you for your comments on Pacific Bell's proposal to raise ISDN rates. This proposal has been the topic of many postings and mail on the Internet. Most of the information is accurate, however, there is one mistatement concerning protests and the deadline for protests and comments. As explained below, there is no deadline yet for comments. This information is provided by the Public Advisor's Office of the California Public Utilities Commission. Pacific Bell filed an application (known as A.95-12-043) to raise ISDN rates for home and business users. Copies of a summary of the application are available from Pacific Bell by calling Debra Reckling at (510) 823-7420. Copies of the full application are also available at no cost by calling Debra Reckling. There are two different ways to be involved in Pacific Bell's application at the CPUC. You can: - write an informal letter expressing your opinions about PacBell's proposal. This letter (or fax or e-mail) will be circulated to the five Commissioners before being sent to the formal correspondence file. All protests/comments/faxes/email that has been recieved will be forwarded to the 5 Commisioners,and then sent to the formal correspondence file. - participate in the formal evidentiary hearings. You can become a party to the case yourself or you can work with groups who may already be planning to participate. For those thinking about the latter path of formal participation in the evidentiary hearings, here is the outline of the next steps. You should request to be put on the list to receive notice of the prehearing conference (PHC). The PHC is called to establish the parties to the case, learn how many witnesses each party will call, and set the dates for the evidentiary hearings. To get on the list to be notified of the PHC, simply contact the Commission's Public Advisor's office and request notice.Call (415) 703- 2074 or FAX (415) 703-1758 or email to public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov . The next step in the formal case after the prehearing conference is the evidentiary hearings (EH) themselves. These hearings will be conducted by Administrative Law Judge(ALJ) Kim Malcolm. These EH are conducted in courtroom style, with witnesses giving testimony and being subject to cross-examination. At these EH, some of the issues will include: - Does the cost of providing the service exceed the revenues from ISDN rates? If so, by how much? - What is the best/fairest way to allocate any rate increases to ISDN users? Various representatives of a variety of viewpoints may be participants in the EH. These participants may include the Commission's Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) an independent ratepayer division within the CPUC, whose job is to advocate for the long-term interests of all classes of customers (such as business and residential). DRA's lead staff on this case is Marty O'Donnell. There may also be participation by other groups such as the Utility Consumers Action Network (UCAN) in San Diego and California ISDN Users Group (CIUG).You can reach UCAN by email to mshames@powergrid.electriciti.com or by calling 619-696-6966.CIUG can be reached at info@ciug.org Finally, the Public Advisor's Office publishes a Guide for CPUC Intervenors. It is available on request, at no charge, from the Public Advisor's office. It is also available from the CPUC's gopher at gopher.cpuc.ca.gov or ftp.cpuc.ca.gov . Copies of the CPUC Rules of Practice and Procedures can also be obtained from the Public Advisor's office. Protests are not required by January 5th as indicated in several places on the Internet. Informal protests and comments are timely during the entire formal process, which may take 4-6 months or more. Informal comments/protests/opinions may be sent to the Commissioners of the CPUC. Their names and addresses are: President Daniel Wm. Fessler Commissioner P. Gregory Conlon Commissioner Jessie J. Knight, Jr. Commissioner Henry M. Duque Commissioner Josiah L. Neeper They can all be reached directly by sending your individually addressed fax to (415) 703- 1758. You can send them e-mail in care of the Public Advisor's Office at public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov. Mail can also be sent to them directly at California Public Utilities Commission, 505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102. Sincerely, Robert Feraru and Michelle Diamonon Public Advisor's Office On Thu, 18 Jan 1996, Pardner Wynn wrote: > As President of a Washington State software manufacturer, I sincerely hope > you folks in California go ahead as planned and double the ISDN rates and > elimnate the flat rate. > > That effort failed here in WA (we still have the $60/mo flat rate). That > means that (because of rising consumer demand for affordable, exciting new > digital services) Washington will rapidly develop a fast, efficient, > DIGITAL communications network which will quickly make WA a much more > telecom-enabled state than CA. > > Which means that my business will soon have an unparalleled advantage over > my CA competitors! > > So PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do everything you can to discourage widespread > digital communications in California! > > > Pardner Wynn > >
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 17:39:32 -0800 From: dcbarry@pacificnet.net (David C. Barry, Jr.) Subject: Pacific Bell ISDN rate increases - Protest Web Site Dear ISDN user: I made the following post to the various nesgroups noted below today. I am forwarding you copy so that I can keep you up-do-date on what is happening on the front. Again, just let me know if you wish to be removed from this list. There are still major sections of the website that need work, but I felt it better to get something up fast, than everything too late. Hope you agree. Again, please write me if you can volunteer any kind of service in the battle, and send me any *confirmabe/verifiable* information you have. I definitely want to keep the rumor and FUD (Fear, uncertainty and doubt) factor to a minimum. If you can help me in setting up / running a listserver on this issue, please let me know. Right now, I'm using Eudora to handle all this, but as the list grows, it may become inpractical. Thanks!!!! News Posting follows: ======================================================================= If you are a user of Pacific Bell ISDN, or are considering subscribing to PacBell ISDN, you should be aware of some *very* important information. Even if you are not in PacBell land, you may still find this of interest if you follow ISDN issues. Your utility could bve next! On December 21, Pacific Bell filed application A95-12-043 with the California Public Utilities Commision. In short, the application requests very significant rate hikes for all PacBell ISDN users, and would all but end unmetered calling for Home ISDN users. I have created a web site that spells out exactly what the application contains, and what it means to you as consumer. It also contains information on what you as a public citizen can do to help block these proposed hikes. Please visit my protest website: http://www.pacificnet.net/~dcbarry/isdn.html to obtain essential information on this application. I encourage you to register your name and email address so that we can keep you up-to-date on the application as it weaves its' way through the regulatory maze. Please share this information! You might wish to add a line to your .sig referencing the protest pages. Do what you can to spread the word. Note: I have cross-posted this message to the following newsgroups: alt.dcom.telecom alt.internet.services alt.business.telecommunication.services comp.dcom.isdn comp.dcom.telecom comp.sys.mac.comm comp.os.ms-windows.apps.comm comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.comm la.general oc.general If you believe there are additional appropriate places where this notice should be posted, please email me a note, so that we can avoid duplicate postings. If my provider does not carry that group, I may ask you to re-post for me. Please email me on all replies to this post, as I do not scan each of these groups on a regular basis. Thank you! ============================================================================= David Barry email:dcbarry@pacificnet.net homepage: http://www.pacificnet.net/~dcbarry ============================================================================= ***Fight the Pacific BEll ISDN rate increases!!!! Visit: http://www.pacificnet.net/~dcbarry/isdn.html ============================================================================ =
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 1996 01:45:39 -0500 (EST) From: James Love To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: INTEL's Motion in California ISDN Case This is a motion Intel filed in the California Pac Bell ISDN tariff proceeding. Also, i might add that on friday CPT was told by the California PUC that they protests filed after the 5th would be accepted, and that they were processing the comments filed by electronic mail at public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov, and these comments were considered to be thoughtful and useful to the PUC staff. jamie BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA Application of Pacific Bell for ) Authority to Increase and Restructure ) A.95-12-043 Certain Rates of its Integrated ) Services Digital Network Services ) ___________________________________________) EX PARTE MOTION FOR EXTENSION FOR FILING OF PROTESTS I. Introduction and Summary Intel Corporation ("Intel") hereby moves to extend the date for filing protests to the above-captioned application (the "Application") from January 19, 1996 to February 19, 1996. In the Application, Pacific Bell is seeking to increase the rates for its Integrated Services Digital Network services ("ISDN services"). This motion should be granted because: (i) Intel first received a copy of the Application on January 3, 1996 (para. 2, attached Declaration of Dhruv Khanna ("Khanna Decl.")) -- almost a full month after it was originally filed; (ii) this Application is of enormous public significance; (iii) numerous high-technology companies, Internet access providers, on-line service providers and users of personal computers ("PCs") and others have a vital stake in this Application -- who have not been served with the Application, and will require adequate time to review the Application and respond accordingly (para. 3., Khanna Decl) ; (iv) the public interest will be served by participation of PC industry and on-line community in this proceeding; (v) the due process rights of the PC and on-line industry participants should be safeguarded; and (vi) Pacific Bell will not be unfairly prejudiced by the grant of this motion. II. Public Interest in ISDN PC Communications and this Application Intel, a leader in the computer industry, is playing an instrumental role in transforming the PC into a powerful, interactive, PSTN-connected communications tool. Over the years, Intel has roughly doubled the computing power of PC microprocessors available every 18 months at constant prices. As a result, PCs are increasingly able to provide high-quality performance of a variety of interactive multimedia applications, including access to the Internet and other on-line services, remote-Local Area Network ("LAN") access, and simultaneous data, audio and videoconferencing. More than a third of all U.S. households have PCs. Internet use is increasing dramatically. The use of telecommuting, videoconferencing and remote LAN access is also poised to increase dramatically. However, the only affordable bandwidth that is currently available ubiquitously on the PSTN is limited to analog POTS (plain old telephone service). Analog POTS affords limited bandwidth, and recent developments in the PC industry and in customer preferences are highlighting the inadequacies of analog POTS as means for PC communications. For example, access to the Internet, access to commercial online services, remote-LAN access and videoconferencing over analog POTS is significantly inferior (4 times as slow) than over ISDN services. While analog POTS affords up to 28.8 kilo bits per second ("kbps") transmission speeds over 28.8 kbps POTS modems, ISDN provides digital connectivity at up to 128 kbps (two 64 kbps channels) over the same ubiquitous copper local loop and digital switches that are currently used for analog POTS. Many PC users have already invested in powerful, multimedia-capable PCs. The PC industry (hardware and software companies), the on-line service industry and others have invested heavily and continue to invest heavily in a wide array of ISDN-related products. An entire industry is poised to deliver mass-market ISDN products. Unreasonable ISDN pricing, as proposed by Pacific Bell in this Application, may preclude the development of a mass-market ISDN industry, and will certainly retard its growth. III. Service of this Application on the PC Industry and On-line Community Intel and other PC companies and on-line industry participants have not historically been actively involved in the regulatory processes related to telecommunications carriers at this Commission or elsewhere. Based on Intel's previous, and highly limited, but ISDN-focused, participation in regulatory matters at the Commission, Pacific Bell should have reasonably known that service of this Application at least on Intel, and on similar PC industry participants and on-line service providers was necessary when it was filed on December 5, 1995. (Para. 4, Khanna Decl.) Intel was not served with this Application when it was filed and obtained a copy on January 3, 1996 only after making repeated requests. (Para. 2, Khanna Decl.) Thus Intel has received the Application almost a whole month after it was originally filed. Intel believes that other PC industry participants who are selling ISDN hardware and software, and on-line service providers also have not been served with the Application, even though Prodigy in 1993 submitted a formal protest to Pacific's ISDN tariff as originally proposed. (Para. 3, Khanna Decl.) Granting this motion is in the public interest: the Commission, the state of California and the California public have an enormous stake in the rapid growth of ISDN-based PC communications: The growth of ISDN-based PC communications will directly and substantially enable the continued growth of California's (and the nation's) high-technology industry. It will also deliver educational, environmental, productivity, competitive, and a host of related benefits to the California public -- school children, teenagers, seniors, small and large businesses, health care providers, and others -- and quality of life benefits to telecommuters and the online community. The growth of ISDN-based PC communications will be severely retarded unless ISDN rates in California are reduced. The Commission and the public will benefit from the considered participation of the PC industry, on-line industry, and the on-line community in this matter. The Commission should allow for more time for the PC industry, on-line industry and the vast community of on-line users to receive, review, consider and respond to Pacific's Application, and not accept Pacific's invitation to proceed with haste on this Application. IV. Conclusion Based on the foregoing, Intel respectfully requests that the Commission extend the deadline for the filing of protests to this Application through February 19, 1996. Intel respectfully requests that the Commission issue a ruling extending the current deadline of January 19, 1996 as soon as feasible and fax such ruling to Intel counsel indicated below. Date: January 4, 1996 Respectfully submitted, INTEL CORPORATION ____________________________ Dhruv Khanna, Esq. Intel Corporation Mail Stop: HF3-03 5200 N.E. Elam Young Parkway Hillsboro, OR 97124 (503) 696-7162 fax: (503) 696-1809 Attorney for Intel Corporation DECLARATION OF DHRUV KHANNA 1. My name is Dhruv Khanna. I am an active member of the California State Bar, and I am currently employed by Intel Corporation as a Senior Attorney in Hillsboro, OR. 2. Pacific Bell filed the above-captioned application with the Commission on December 5, 1995 and did not serve Intel with this Application. Since receiving the Commission's daily calendar dated December 20, 1995, which notes the filing of Pacific Bell's ISDN rate increase application, A.95-12-043, I have made numerous attempts to reach the appropriate individuals at Pacific Bell in order to obtain a copy of the Application. I was directed from Ms. Mary Van Der Pan to Mr. Robert Mazique to Mr. Larry Bercovich to Mr. Larry Green. I received a copy of Pacific Bell's Application on January 3, 1996, almost a full month after it was originally filed by Pacific Bell. 3. On information and belief, I declare that numerous PC industry participants, Internet access providers, and on-line users are vitally interested in and affected by this Application. I am aware that Prodigy, a commercial on-line service provider, filed a formal protest to Pacific Bell's advice letter submitting its 1993 ISDN tariff. I am informed and believe that such entities and individuals have not yet received, and have therefore not yet reviewed this Application. 4. Intel's previous participation at the Commission on telecommunications matters has been focused on ISDN matters of which Pacific Bell has had actual notice. To the best of my knowledge and belief, and under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California, I declare that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed this 4th day of January, 1996, at San Francisco, California. _________________________________ DHRUV KHANNA CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that I have had served this day the foregoing document by fax on Larry Bercovich, attorney for Pacific Bell, at (510) 867-0150. I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct and that this declaration was executed on January 4, 1996, at San Francisco, CA. ________________________________ Dhruv Khanna BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA Application of Pacific Bell for ) Authority to Increase and Restructure ) ) A.95-12-043 Certain Rates of its Integrated ) Services Digital Network Services ) ____________________________________ ) [PROPOSED] ALJ RULING GRANTING EX PARTE MOTION FOR EXTENSION FOR FILING OF PROTESTS For good cause shown, Intel's Ex Parte Motion For Extension for Filing of Protests to the above application is hereby granted. The deadline for filing of protests to the application shall be extended through February 19, 1996. This order is effective today. Dated: _________, at San Francisco, CA __________________________________________ Administrative Law Judge
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 1996 01:40:18 -0500 (EST) From: James Love To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Protest PacBell ISDN rate hike (fwd) ----------------------------------------------------------------- TAP-INFO - An Internet newsletter available from listproc@tap.org ----------------------------------------------------------------- TAP/CPT - INFORMATION POLICY NOTES January 4, 1996 JANUARY 5, 1996 DEADLINE TO PROTEST PACIFIC BELL'S ISDN TARIFF BEFORE THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION - Pac Bell Proposes huge increases in residential ISDN tariffs. Pac Bell proposed to double the daytime metered usage rate, and to introduce, for the first time, per minute metered charges in off-peak hours. - Deadline for Comments to California PSC is Friday, January 5, 1996. - Public may file comments by fax, at (415)-703-1758. If your fax is received by the deadline it will be accepted by the CPUC as an official protest. Faxes may be accepted beyond the 5th, at the discretion of the Commission. - The California PUC Public Advisor also receives email at public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov. The status of protests filed by email is uncertain, but we are hoping that these comments will be processed by the Commission staff. (The Washington State WUTC just announced that it will receive comments on the Washington State US West ISDN Tariff at isdn@wutc.wa.gov). WHAT WILL THE RATE HIKES DO? The following is from Jim Warren's excellent newsletter, GovAccess (available from Majordomo@well.com), in a December 27 article titled "Telco Monopoly Ripoffs Begin: Pac Bell Wants to Double Home, Business ISDN Rates." Seasons Greetings! . . . on Dec 5th, Pac Bell applied to the Calif Public Utilities Commission to *double* its per-minute rates for residential and business ISDN victims, uh, subscribers -- jacking it up to 2.1-cents per minute for daytime phone use; [and adding new charges of ] 1.46-cents per minute for evening calls; [and] 0.84-cents per minute for nights and weekends. They also propose to eliminate their current waiver of installation charges for customers who subscribe for at least a two-year term. All sorts of other ISDN charges are also escalated, and previous benefits are eliminated or capped. Dan Kegel's description of the Pac Bell rate increases is as follows: Centrex rates: increasing by $8/mo. Business rates: Old Each Additional Minute New Each Additional Minute Day $.0105 $.0210 Evening $.0073 $.0146 Night/Weekend $.0042 $.0084 Home rates: same as business, but with 20 free hours of off-peak/month. [TAP/CPT Note, current residential tariff is unmetered for evening, night and weekend use] Pac Bell's proposed increases are clearly an attempt exploit its monopoly power. The practical result of the rate hike will be an extreme limiting of residential ISDN as a popular option for Internet access. WHAT YOU CAN DO. You may send faxes to the California Public Utilities Commission that will be filed as official protests to this action if received by close of business in California on January 5, 1996. The CPUC Public Advisor's voice number if you have any questions is (415) 703-2074. The cover sheet of your fax should be marked to the attention of the "Public Advisor" and should also be marked "Urgent" in large, distinctive type. The CPUC's fax number is: (415)-703-1758 On the cover of the fax as well as in the heading of your faxed protest letter, you should also reference the docket number: A95-12-043. The protests should be addressed to: Public Advisor's Office California PUC 505 Van Ness Ave or 107 S. Broadway San Francisco CA 94102 Los Angeles CA 90012 via fax (415)-703-1758 Re: A95-12-043, Pac Bell proposed ISDN tariffs TALKING POINTS - Pac Bell should not be allowed to impose per minuted metered charges for off-peak hours - Pac Bell is proposing to charge residential consumers 39 percent more for off-peak use than it currently charges commercial users during peak hours. (1.46 cents compared to 1.05 cents per minute. - It is in the public interest to promote ISDN deployment, and the use of new information services that are connected for longer periods of time (as we use the Internet to deliver new services). Per minute charges for the service should be avoided. - ISDN has tremendous application in education, entertainment, civic participation, and self-improvement. It is a general consumer technology not confined to a niche market, and it should be encouraged rather than made inaccessible by an unjust and unwarranted rate hike. Please get your faxes out as soon as possible. Stress to the CPUC that ISDN is an important technology representing the next step in the evolution of the information superhighway, and Pac Bell's proposal would prevent ISDN from reaching its potential in opening up new services and telecommunication advances on the Internet. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ INFORMATION POLICY NOTES is a free Internet newsletter sponsored by the Taxpayer Assets Project (TAP) and the Consumer Project on Technology (CPT). Both groups are projects of the Center for Study of Responsive Law, which is run by Ralph Nader. The LISTPROC services are provide by Essential Information. Archives of TAP-INFO are available from http://www.essential.org/listproc/tap-info/ TAP and CPT both have Internet Web pages. http://www.tap.org/tap http://www.essential.org/cpt Subscription requests to tap-info to listproc@tap.org with the message: subscribe tap-info your name TAP and CPT can both be reached off the net at P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC 20036, Voice: 202/387-8030; Fax: 202/234-5176 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From: john@bovine.ati.com (John Higdon) Newsgroups: comp.dcom.isdn,comp.dcom.modems,comp.infosystems.www.misc,comp.infosystems.www.advocacy Subject: Re: Pac Bell ISDN Tariff Protest Info Date: Fri, 05 Jan 1996 12:33:26 -0800 Organization: Green Hills and Cows Lines: 22 In article <4chg3v$6a0@news2.aimnet.com>, janb@pmatrix.com (Jan Bottorff) wrote: > There seems to be some confusion on exactly which rates PacBell want's > to increase. I read the OCR'ed version of the actual proposal and it > says they want to increase BUSINESS rates too. Basically doubling > the additional minute rate. This is what Pac*Bell wanted last year when it was forced to give up the monopoly on intraLATA toll calls. The PUC denied the doubling of the additional minute rate on measured local calls. Looks like the company is back trying to get what it wanted in the first place. If they get it, it will result in a basic doubling of business phone bills. Since Pac*Bell still has the defacto monopoly on local telephone traffic, this is the one last place that it can raise the rates without fear of losing customers. -- John Higdon | P.O. Box 7648 | +1 408 264 4115 | FAX: john@ati.com | San Jose, CA 95150 | +1 500 FOR-A-MOO |+1 408 264 4407 | http://www.ati.com/ati |
From: Richard Kashdan Date: Thu, 04 Jan 1996 14:06:37 -0800 To: tsikes@netcom.com (Terry Sikes) Subject: Longer time to protest Pac Bell ISDN application Cc: Dan Kegel I am an attorney in San Francisco and I do some legal work before the Public Utilities Commission. I noticed the information you had posted on the web about Pacific Bell application A.95-12-043 and your request that people send in protests to the PUC, and you stated that there was a deadline for these protests of 30 days after the filing date of December 5, 1995. I just noticed your call for protests today and I started to panic to get one in because today is the 30th day. But then I did a little research about this and I protests can actually be received by January 19 and perhaps later. Furthermore I talked to Rob Feraru of the Public Advisor's Office and he said that this type of protest isn't even needed for this application because there will be period of time for public participation in the hearing process and there is plenty of time for anyone to register their interest in that. He told me that he might post a message himself this evening in comp.dcom.isdn about this. My argument about the January 19'th date for protests instead of January 4th is that CPUC Rule 8.3 governs the time period for filing a protest: "Unless otherwise provided by rule or General Order, a protest shall be filed within 30 days after the latest of the following dates: (a) The date that copies of the application or petition, or notices thereof, were mailed to other persons, as evidenced by a certificate of service by mail; (b) The date that notice of the filing of the application or petition first appears in the Daily Calendar...." I subscribe to the Daily Calendar and I searched through the back issues to seen when this application appeared. It was not until the issue of December 20, therefore under (b) protests can be received until 30 days after that. There may be an even longer period under (a) because it is not clear when Pac Bell actually mailed the required notices to other utilities, etc. __________________________________________________________________________ Richard L. Kashdan, Esq. WB6AWJ San Francisco, CA Voice:(415)864-5678 Fax:(415)621-9554 http://www.wideweb.com/rkashdan/ I can't use Internet providers that only give you 30 free hours per month. I'm on that much every day! But no, I'm NOT addicted. Really, I'm not...
From: Phil Karn Newsgroups: comp.dcom.isdn,comp.infosystems.www.advocacy Subject: My own fax to the California PUC Date: Mon, 01 Jan 1996 03:07:29 -0800 7431 Teasdale Ave San Diego, CA 92122 January 1, 1996 619-587-8281 karn@ka9q.ampr.org Public Advisor California Public Utilities Commission 415-703-1758 (fax) ~Subject: Pacific Bell's proposed Home ISDN rate increase Sirs: I have read on the Internet that Pacific Bell has filed to substantially raise local usage rates for Home ISDN. As you know, Home ISDN usage is presently flat-rated for local calls outside business hours. I understand Pacific Bell intends to charge 2 cents per minute per B channel for non-peak calls beyond 20 hours per month. (Even peak usage is now only 1 cent per minute, beyond a $3/mo credit). I estimate that my own bill would jump by about $100/month if this rate increase goes through. Many of us have made substantial personal investments in ISDN equipment based on non-peak local calls being flat rated. Now we feel like we've been had. This is a completely outrageous, unwarranted and unacceptable increase. You should understand that while Pacific Bell's current Home ISDN tariff is relatively low compared to other ISDN tariffs around the country, it is certainly no bargain in absolute terms. Despite all the hype, circuit-switched ISDN is not particularly well suited to packet data. I use ISDN for Internet access because the only alternative is even worse: dialup modems. The market for local residential communications is still a Pacific Bell monopoly. As you know, ISDN is strictly an "access" technology. That is, it digitizes the access line between my house and the central office. Because ISDN gives me the equivalent of two analog lines, a higher monthly rate is reasonable. And this I already pay: $24.50/mo vs $14.75 for analog service. This is about right considering that Pacific Bell need supply and maintain only one copper pair, not two. But the Pacific Bell switch to which I'm connected and the network beyond it are already digital; that's long been the most efficient way to handle voice. In other words, my ISDN B channels look like ordinary analog POTS lines as far as Pacific Bell's switch is concerned. So there is simply no cost-based justification for ANY kind of per-minute ISDN charge when analog calls using the exact same switch and network resources are flat-rated at all times. Except, of course, to exploit a captive market. I strongly urge the Commission to reject this proposed increase, and further to investigate whether Pacific Bell's Home ISDN tariff should provide for flat-rated local service at all times. I note that some months ago, Pacific Bell orchestrated a protest to the FCC against an additional $3.50 Access Charge for BRI ISDN. They correctly argued that increasing the cost of ISDN would severely stunt its growth as an Internet "on ramp" just as it was getting started. Perhaps only rate increases that Pacific Bell can't keep for itself are capable of stunting the growth of ISDN? I also note the following in a December 20, 1995 Pacific Bell press release: The commission also froze prices of phone service for homes and businesses for three years. I respectfully suggest that the Commission keep to its word and freeze ISDN rates at least until the cable TV companies have had a chance to deploy high speed two-way Internet connections to residential customers. Then I would allow Pacific Bell to raise its ISDN rates as much as it wants. Sincerely, Phil Karn
From: tsikes@netcom.com (Terry Sikes) Subject: Pac Bell ISDN Tariff Protest Info Date: Sun, 31 Dec 1995 14:54:22 GMT Here is some useful information for those that'd like to express their opinion about Pacific Bell filing to raise their residential ISDN rates from unlimited off-peak usage to 2 cents per minute after the first 20 hours. This motion was filed on December 5, 1995 so we only have a few more days until the 30 day protest period has passed. You may send faxes to the Californial Public Utilities Commission that will be filed as official protests to this action to: (415)-703-1758 The cover sheet should be marked to the attention of the "Public Advisor", should reference the docket number, A95-12-043, and should also be marked "Urgent". I'd suggest that the following points be stressed: 1) Off-peak residential ISDN is leveraging equipment that would be sitting idle as excess capacity during these time periods. 2) Commercial customers only pay 1 cent per minute during _peak_ hours. 3) The target audience for residential ISDN tends to spend lots of time connected to the Net. 20 hours at a flat rate (really a little over $1 per hour) is not nearly sufficient. 4) ISDN has tremendous application in education, entertainment and self-improvement. It is a general consumer technology, not confined to a niche market. If you intend to respond at all, please use the fax number. There's no longer time for snail mail. Good luck! -- Terry Sikes | Software Developer++ tsikes@netcom.com | C++ isn't a language, its an adventure! finger for PGP pub key | "Anyone programming in a 16-bit environment My opinions - mine only! | isn't playing with a full DEC."
From: Tim Wood Newsgroups: comp.dcom.isdn Subject: Re: PacBell ISDN: by the line, or by the B channel? Date: 19 Dec 1995 18:11:59 GMT dyoung@netcom.com (David Young) wrote: >David Lesher (wb8foz@netcom.com) wrote: >: They are not new rates until the CPUC lets them be such. >: It's up to the [present & potential] users to let them know >: how they feel... > > >So how does one get in touch with the CPUC? California Public Utilities Commission 505 Van Ness Ave. San Francisco, CA 94102 Attn: Daniel Fessler, President (415) 703-3703 (direct). Also consider joining TURN, Toward Utility Rate Organization. This scrappy non-profit has been incredibly effective (especially for its size) at researching, publicizing and challenging utility rate and service proposals. TURN 625 Polk St., Suite 403 San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 929-8876 vox (415) 929-1132 fax Let's PacBell customers emulate the success of the USWest and Bell Atlantic customers who got their PUC's to take notice of ISDN tariff issues! -TW
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 1995 23:36:44 -0800 To: dank@alumni.caltech.edu From: scf@w0x0f.com (Steve Fenwick) Subject: PacBell files to raise Home ISDN rates I spoke with a PacBell ISDN rep today who informed me, based on a memo she had received, that PacBell was filing today to raise Home (Residential) ISDN rates. The notice of public hearings would probably be in major California papers this weekend. In short, PacBell wants to cap the free usage (i.e., outside the M-F 8AM-5PM peak window) from its current unlimited free usage to 20 hours per month free, then billed at $0.03 for the first minute and $0.02 per minute per call thereafter. Yes, the $0.02 per minute is double the current $0.01/minute currently in place for peak-hour calls. The also want to change the name of the service to Personal ISDN, remove the provisional nature of the tariffs (i.e., make them permanent) and modify the installation fee. This is pretty bad to me. I had been looking seriously at Ascend routers (multiple systems to connect, currently over POTS line modems) and researching the complexities of running multiple IPs behind a single ISDN connection. I've now gone completely off ISDN, as this rate structure could easily boost my monthly household phone bill by $150 to $200 per month (two heavy modem users.) Yes, the speed would help with downloads, but that's not most of my usage--reading news is heaviest, followed by browsing. Loading graphics would be faster, but I'd just visit more sites with a faster connection. I'd be happy to discuss this more. Steve ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Steve Fenwick scf@w0x0f.com http://www.w0x0f.com

GTE California

Date: Sat, 30 Dec 1995 12:38:53 -0800
From: Russell Elloway 
To: dank@alumni.caltech.edu
Subject: California GTE Rates

I spoke yesterday with a GTE rep who told me that GTE was filing 
a new ISDN tariff on Jan. 2, that would create a new residential 
ISDN rate.  He said that it would be non-metered and be between 
$25-$30.  This is much more reasonable than anything I've read 
to date...  and also opposite of the direction that PacBell is 
going.  My limit is within a few dollars of what I already pay 
for my second analog line.  The thing is that from a business 
perspective, I could probably justify this cost.  But most of 
the people I know who might consider a second line, and have 
considered ISDN, would dismiss it if it costs double an analog 
rate, or metering is involved for what is essentially a hobby.

What's incredible to me is how dense some of these companies 
are.  I've been witness to this 'revolution' since 1972 and I've 
noticed one thing.  The guys who price things reasonably, 
succeed in almost every way.  The guys who price things with 
greed... well... what goes around, comes around, witness Apple, 
Lotus, Novell, IBM, where they have been reasonable they have 
succeeded beyond any practical measure, but greed just keeps 
popping it's ugly little head up.  Apple could have been so much 
more that they are, same for Novell, Lotus, but they piss off 
the little guys like me, and we get even when we can, and we 
REMEMBER.  Yes, for the little guy it isn't just business, they 
hurt us at home, which makes it personal.


California - not yet sorted

From isdn@essential.org  Sat Feb 24 11:26:31 1996
Return-Path: 
Received: from essential.essential.org by alumnae.caltech.edu with ESMTP 
	(8.6.12/DEI:4.45) id LAA14481; Sat, 24 Feb 1996 11:26:29 -0800
Received: from essential (localhost [127.0.0.1]) by essential.essential.org (8.7.2/8.6.10) with SMTP id OAA09790; Sat, 24 Feb 1996 14:23:46 -0500 (EST)
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 1996 14:23:46 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <2.2.32.19960224190241.00321cb0@SanFrancisco01.pop.internex.net>
Errors-To: isdn-owner@essential.org
Reply-To: bob@larribeau.com
Originator: isdn@essential.org
Sender: isdn@essential.org
Precedence: bulk
From: bob@larribeau.com (Bob Larribeau)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: CPUC Preliminary Hearing
X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Pro Version 2.2 (32)
Status: RO

Pacific Bell ISDN Tariff Increase Application
CPUC Preliminary Hearing
February 21, 1996

The California Public Utilities Commission held its preliminary hearing to
review the Pacific Bell ISDN Tariff Increase Application.  The purpose of
this hearing was to set the schedule for the hearing.  The Administrative
Law Judge will set the schedule based on what was presented in the hearing.
She said she was considering a schedule where the formal hearings would
start on June 26.

The meeting room was full.  There were the normal complement of lawyers from
Pacific Bell, AT&T, and so on.  Intel was there.  Consumer groups like TURN
and UCAN.  There were also a lot of regular people there who are opposing
this price increase.  The California ISDN Users' Group signed up as a party
to the hearings to protest the tariff.

The main issue discussed was the Non-Disclosure Agreement that was
distributed by Pacific Bell to receive a copy of the cost data supporting
the tariff.  Pacific Bell has requested that this cost data be kept under
seal.  The Administrative Law Judge did not accept Pacific's simple
statement that this information should be sealed.   She told Pacific that
they have to provide justification.

The Non-Disclosure Agreement was particularly onerous.  It includes a
consequential damages clause and requires that the signature be notarized.
The Administrative Law Judge gave the parties one week to come to agreement
on a Non-Disclosure Agreement or she would issue one herself on Friday,
March 1.  She made it clear that she does not find consequential damages
clauses acceptable.

In response to a question about why Pacific Bell added the consequential
damages clause and the notarized signatures, they said it was due to the
broad interest that this tariff application was generating.  Normally only
Pacific Bell, AT&T, MCI, etc. are involved in these hearings.  They seem to
find all of us regular people there somewhat scary.  What really scares them
is our ability to distribute information on the Web!

The Administrative Law Judge was also sympathetic to a request to make an
abridged version of the cost data available to the general public.  Strong
requests were made to Pacific Bell to publish their methodology at a minimum.

This hearing was a preliminary skirmish in what looks to be a long and
interesting process.  The CIUG will be doing everything we can to defeat or
ameliorate this price increase.  We need your support.

You can subscribe to our mail group by sending email to
"majordomo@internex.net" with "subscribe ciug" in the body of the message.
We will also be posting information on our web page at
"http://www.ciug.org".  You can contact us at "info@ciug.org".

*****************************************************************
* California ISDN User's Group                   info@ciug.org  *
* P.O. Box 27901-318                       http://www.ciug.org  *
* San Francisco, CA 94127                 Voice: (415)241-9943  *
* A California nonprofit corporation      Fax:   (415)753-6942  *
*                                                               *
* Send us your postal address               Spring Conference   *
* and we will send you our                  June 5 & 6          *
* latest newsletter and                     Los Angeles Airport *
* information on our next conference        Hilton Hotel        *
*****************************************************************