The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) wants to hear from you! A Public Participation Hearing (PPH) has been scheduled to receive your comments about The Siskiyou Telephone Company's (Siskiyou) rate case application to adjust its rates and for other further relief, as discussed more fully below. The remote hearing location, date and time, and details on how to view and participate are listed above. Any customer may observe the remote PPH via the webcast information provided above. To participate and provide public comment, dial the toll-free telephone number and provide the passcode noted above. When it is time for public comment, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will make an announcement through the telephone line for those who wish to speak. Participants who wish to speak must then press “star one (*1)” to alert the operator, who will queue the speakers one-at-a-time and announce each speaker’s name at the allotted time.
If you need a language or sign interpreter, or would like to request assisted listening devices, please contact the CPUC's Public Advisor's Office (PAO) at least five business days prior to the hearing. An ALJ from the CPUC will be presiding at this PPH to listen to concerns, comments, and opinions on the rate case application. One or more Commissioners or their advisors may attend, but no decisions will be reached at this PPH. In addition, representatives of Siskiyou and the Public Advocates Office will attend the PPH and be available to answer any questions. All public comments from this PPH will be included in the administrative record of this proceeding and become public record. You may also submit written public comments at any time directly to the PAO at the address noted at the bottom of this notice.
You may also submit written public comments by using the “Add Public Comment” button on the “Public Comment” tab of the Docket Card for A.21-11-007 at apps.cpuc.ca.gov/c/A2111007.
ABOUT THE APPLICATION
On November 1, 2021, Siskiyou filed an application with the CPUC requesting a review of its intrastate rates, revenue requirement, and rate design. Siskiyou has proposed to increase the prices for its basic residential and basic business rates by $1 per month. After a $1 per month increase, Siskiyou’s rate for basic residential service would be $25.00 per month, and its rate for basic business service would be $27.00 per month. Siskiyou’s application includes a request to review the California High Cost Fund-A (CHCF-A) amounts that the company receives.
Siskiyou's proposed basic residential service rate of $25.00 per month results in a monthly charge of approximately $35.95 when applicable federal and state fees and surcharges are included. This rate is consistent with the Commission’s decision resolving Phase 2 of the CHCF-A proceeding, Decision 21-06-004, which found that small incumbent local exchange carriers' residential basic rates must be set within a range of $30.00 to $40.00, including federal and state fees and surcharges.
In setting rates in this proceeding, the Commission will consider input from other parties, including Cal Advocates, who may propose rates for basic residential service that are higher or lower than Siskiyou’s proposed rates, but also within the Commission’s required residential all-inclusive rate range of $30.00 to $40.00 mentioned above. In resolving this proceeding, the Commission may adopt any party’s proposal, or it could adopt a proposal of its own, which could involve rates that are higher or lower than the rates presented.
Siskiyou believes that its proposal is necessary to preserve its access to universal service support from state and federal sources and to ensure that it can continue to provide safe, reliable, modern telecommunications services to its customers, while covering its expenses and earning a reasonable rate of return on its investments.
Further information may be obtained by contacting Siskiyou's Business Office toll free at 1-866-467-6001. A copy of Siskiyou's application and its related exhibits are available at Siskiyou's Business Office located at 30 Telco Way, Etna, California 96027. An electronic copy of the application and its related exhibits may be examined on the CPUC’s website at www.cpuc.ca.gov.
PUBLIC ADVOCATES OFFICE PARTICIPATION
Parties to the proceeding will review Siskiyou Telephone’s application, including the Public Advocates Office, which is an independent consumer advocate within the CPUC. For more information about the Public Advisor’s Office, please call 1-415-703-1584, email PublicAdvocatesOffice@cpuc.ca.gov, or visit PublicAdvocates.cpuc.ca.gov.
The assigned ALJ will determine how to receive evidence and other related documents necessary for the CPUC to establish a record upon which to base its decision. Evidentiary Hearings (EHs) will be held where utilities, consumer advocacy groups, and other entities which have been given official status as “parties,” will present their testimony and may be subject to cross-examination by other parties. The schedule for these EHs will be determined in the forthcoming scoping memo and ruling from the assigned ALJ for this proceeding. The parties expect these hearings to be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic or in San Francisco and are open to the public, but only those who are parties may participate. The hearings and documents submitted in the proceeding become what the assigned ALJ relies upon when writing a proposed decision to present to the Commissioners for their consideration.
After considering all proposals and all evidence presented during the formal hearing process, the assigned ALJ will issue a proposed decision determining whether to adopt Siskiyou's request, modify it, or deny it. Any CPUC Commissioner may sponsor an alternate decision. The proposed decision, and any alternate decisions, will be discussed and voted upon at a Commission Voting Meeting.
If you would like to follow this proceeding, or any other issue before the CPUC, you may use the CPUC's free subscription service. Sign up on the CPUC website at subscribecpuc.cpuc.ca.gov/. The proceeding number is A.21- 11-007.
If you would like to learn how you can participate in the proceeding, or if you have informal comments or questions about the CPUC processes, you may access the CPUC's PAO webpage at www.cpuc.ca.gov/pao. You may also contact the PAO as follows:
Please reference "The Siskiyou Telephone Company, Application No. A.21-11-007" in any communications you have with the CPUC regarding this matter. All public comments will be part of the public correspondence file for this proceeding and available for review by the assigned ALJ, the Commissioners, and appropriate CPUC staff.