DE 98-007
                            Relay New Hampshire
          Order Directing Local Exchange Carriers to Adjust Basic
             Exchange Rates to Increase Revenue Collected for
                     Telecommunications Relay Service
                         O R D E R   N O.  22,850
                             February 17, 1998
         On November 8, 1991, Sprint began providing
     Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) in New Hampshire to enable
     hearing people and people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech
     impaired to talk with each other over the telephone.  The cost of
     operating TRS is included in basic exchange rates.
         On August 16, 1994, the New Hampshire Public Utilities
     Commission (Commission) issued Order No. 21,324 which reduced the
     revenue collected to operate TRS in basic exchange rates from 10
     cents to 2 cents per access line per month, and also reduced
     seasonal rates during the off season from 5 cents to 1 cent per
     access line per month.  The amount collected was reduced below
     the actual cost to operate TRS, to 2 cents,  due to an over-collection of revenue produced by 10 cents per access line.
         In July 1994, the over-collection amounted to
     approximately $865,000.  Since then, the balance of the fund has
     reduced to approximately $163,000.  House Bill 1515, Chapter 240,
     Laws of 1996, allocated $160,000 of this money to establish a
     telecommunications equipment distribution program through the
     Governor's Commission on Disability.
         According to current calculations, the cost of
     operating TRS is approximately $41,000 per month.  Because the
     fund is fully depleted, Staff has recommended local exchange
     carriers collect 8 cents per access line per month, and 4 cents
     per access line a month for seasonal rates to accommodate
     potential future growth in relay traffic.  We will accept Staff's
     recommendation and direct Staff to analyze this charge again in
     December 1998 to insure over-collection does not recur.   
         Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby
         ORDERED, that the amount collected for TRS in basic
     exchange rates be increased by all New Hampshire local exchange
     carriers (LECs) from 2 cents per month to 8 cents per month and
     the amount collected in seasonal rates, during the off season, if
     applicable, be increased from 1 cent per month to 4 cents per
     month; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that the incumbent local exchange
     carriers file revised tariff pages and that facilities-based
     competitive local exchange carriers file revised price sheets
     reflecting this change for effect with the first full billing
     cycle on or after April 1, 1998, in accordance with N.H. Admin.
     Rules, Puc PARTs 1600 and 1300; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that all local exchange carriers
     notify customers of this increase with a bill insert provided
     concurrently with the increase.
         By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
     Hampshire this seventeenth day of February, 1998.
        Douglas L. Patch    Bruce B. Ellsworth        Susan S. Geiger
            Chairman           Commissioner            Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Thomas B. Getz
     Executive Director and Secretary