BEFORE THE STATE CORPORATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF KANSAS
In the Matter of a General Investigation into Competition within the Telecommunications Industry in the State of Kansas.
Docket No. 190,492-U 94-GIMT-478-GIT
WHEREAS the parties hereto are independent local exchange telephone companies (hereinafter "ILECs") providing local telecommunications services to business and residential customers in Kansas under certificates of convenience and authority issued by the State Corporation Commission of Kansas (hereinafter "Commission"), and
WHEREAS, each party hereto is a "rural telephone company" as defined in Section 2(c), Chapter 268, 1996 Session laws of Kansas, (hereinafter the "Kansas Act"), and
WHEREAS, the Kansas Act creates the Kansas Universal Service Fund ("KUSF"); directs the Commission to require every telecommunications carrier, telecommunication public utility and wireless telecommunication services provider that provides intrastate telecommunications service to contribute to the KUSF, on an equitable and nondiscriminatory basis; and authorizes such contributors to recover such contributions from their respective customers, and
WHEREAS, the Commission has under consideration issuance of Orders in Phase II of its Docket #190,492-U, entitled In the Matter of a General Investigation into Competition in the Telecommunications Industry in the State of Kansas, which Orders may include specific provisions for these parties' contributions to KUSF and recovery thereof from their customers, and
WHEREAS, some parties hereto are subject to the provisions of Section 6(d) of the Kansas Act requiring an increase in local service rates or alternatively a partial loss of KUSF funding, and
WHEREAS, the parties desire to continue their respective efforts to provide high quality telecommunications services to their customers at reasonable and affordable rates,
NOW THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual agreements and undertakings hereafter set forth, and subject to the approval and order of the Commission, the undersigned companies agree and stipulate as follows:
1. All terms of this Stipulation and Agreement are contingent upon and subject to final determination by the State Corporation Commission of Kansas that the Kansas Universal Service Fund (KUSF) will include contributions by each ILEC of a percentage of net revenues. As reflected in the record of Phase II hearings in Docket #190,492-U, the parties hereto have supported and continue to support different methods of funding the KUSF, but believe funding through a percentage of net revenues could be reasonable if such funding were to include the terms of this Stipulation and Agreement.
2. The amount of the contribution of each of these parties to the KUSF shall be determined by the KUSF Administrator; the administrator shall determine contribution responsibility by
(1) applying a uniform percentage to the net retail intrastate telecommunications revenues of each ILEC,
(2) adding together the result for all ILECs, and
(3) allocating responsibility for the result among all ILECs proportionately based on the number of access lines served by each ILEC.
3. The total of contributions of these parties to the KUSF, each of which contribution is recoverable from its customers by the company making the same, shall be subject to a uniform opportunity for recovery from all customers of all parties hereto. In order to determine the amount of such uniform opportunity the total of all ILEC contributions to KUSF should be added together, and the resulting sum divided by the total number of access lines served by all parties hereto. Each ILEC may then achieve recovery of all or any portion of its KUSF contribution, at its sole election, by assessment of an amount not greater than that result, applied equally to each of its access lines.
4. In order to avoid multiple simultaneous increases in charges and
the possibility of "rate shock" to customers of parties subject
to the provisions of Section 6(d) of the Kansas Act, the recovery of sums
from such parties' customers as set forth in Paragraphs 1 and 2 hereof
shall be deemed increases in such parties' monthly basic local residential
and business service rates and shall constitute compliance with the provisions
of Section 6(d) of the Kansas Act, to the end that those parties to this
agreement whose local residential service rates and/or local business service
rates are below the statewide rural telephone company average rates for
such services will be deemed to have increased such rates by the amount
of per-line recovery as herein provided; any reduction of KUSF funding
for any such company pursuant to the terms of Section 6(d) shall be equal
to the amount of local
rate increases necessary to achieve statewide rural telephone company average
residential and/or business rates after inclusion of the per-line recovery as a portion of basic local rates, and any such reduction shall not occur until the per-line monthly amount of KUSF contribution recovery is exhausted at the rate of one dollar (or remaining fraction thereof) increase per year beginning March l, 1997.
5. Upon execution by all Kansas rural telephone companies, as defined in Section 2(c), Chapter 268, 1996 Session Laws of Kansas, this stipulation and agreement shall be submitted to the Commission for approval and adoption by order in its Docket #190,492-U. In the event one or more of such companies elects not to participate herein such submission shall occur only by unanimous consent of the participating companies, in which case the terms hereof shall not be applicable to the company or companies not participating herein.
6. All provisions of this stipulation and agreement are interdependent, and failure or refusal of the Commission to approve and adopt any portion hereof shall cause a rescission of the entirety of this stipulation and termination of this agreement by all parties hereto. This stipulation and agreement is not intended to suggest or represent and does not constitute acquiescence or agreement by any party to adoption by the Commission of less than the entirety of the terms hereof.
7. Each party hereto reserves all rights to oppose any order of the Commission in its Docket 190,492-U adopting less than the entirety hereof, and to support or oppose any provision of any such order not within the scope of this stipulation and agreement; such rights include without limitation the right to seek reconsideration, modification or amendment of any such order and the right to seek judicial review of any such order as by law provided.
8. This agreement and execution hereof may take the form of multiple copies, each of which may bear the execution of one or more but fewer than all of the parties thereto. The substantive provisions of each such copy shall be deemed an original, and each of such copies when accompanied by originals or copies of the execution of all parties hereto, shall be effective as the original agreement of all parties.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the parties hereto, each by its respective officer, manager or agent authorized in the premises, have set their hands on the date shown for each party.
Independent Telecommunications Group, Columbus et al.:
State Independent Alliance: