DR 97-253
     Tariff to introduce Local Service (Digital Link) in the State of
                               New Hampshire
                    Order Setting Procedural Schedule 
                         O R D E R   N O.  22,867
                              March 10, 1998
         On December 19, 1997, AT&T Communications of New
     Hampshire, Inc. (AT&T) filed with the New Hampshire Public
     Utilities Commission (Commission) a tariff for local
     exchange services, a motion asking the Commission to accept
     the tariff and, in the alternative, asking the Commission to
     waive its rules to the extent filing of the tariff is
     precluded.  On February 11, 1998, the Commission issued an
     Order of Notice setting a prehearing conference for March 3,
         At the prehearing conference, which was held
     before a Hearings Examiner, AT&T, the Office of the Consumer
     Advocate (OCA) and Commission Staff (Staff) stated their
     positions.  AT&T urges the Commission to allow filing of a
     full tariff along with the rate schedules contemplated by
     Puc 1300.  AT&T contends that by not having a tariff on file
     it suffers a competitive disadvantage for local exchange
     service and substantial transaction costs, as compared to
     Bell Atlantic, because it is then required to negotiate a
     contract with each customer.  The OCA generally supports
     AT&T's position and urges as well consideration of standard
     tariff language.  
         Staff set forth four options available to the
     Commission, including: 1) the status quo, which allows
     filing of rate schedules only; 2) filing of a full tariff as
     recommended by AT&T, which would require Commission review
     and approval; 3) a repository alternative which involves
     filing of a full tariff but without Commission review or
     approval; and, 4) establishment of standard tariff language
     that would be applicable to all Competitive Local Exchange
     Carriers (CLECs).  Staff especially opposes full tariff
     filing with Commission review and approval because of the
     excessive administrative burden and because the Puc 1300
     rules were intended to streamline the process and encourage
     competition through reduced regulatory oversight.  There
     were no interventions, but Vitts Corporation filed a letter
     in support of AT&T's position.
         Staff and the parties discussed a procedural
     schedule and agreed that there were no substantial facts in
     dispute and that exploration of standard tariff language
     would be worthwhile.  Accordingly, Staff and the parties
     agreed to the following procedural schedule.
        Technical Session/Settlement Discussion  April 14, 1998
        Filing of Stipulated Facts and Memoranda 
        or Settlement Agreement                  June 15, 1998
        Hearing, if necessary, at 10:00 a.m.          June 30, 1998
     The parties also agreed that additional technical sessions
     or settlement discussions could be scheduled if progress
         We have reviewed the Hearing Examiner's report and
     the proposed schedule and find the schedule reasonable.  In
     addition, the effort to reach settlement through the
     establishment of standard tariff language is reasonable, and
     we direct AT&T to mail all CLECs registered in New Hampshire
     a copy of proposed tariff language along with a copy of this
     order.  Moreover, any CLEC that desires to participate in
     the proceeding will be required to file a motion to
     intervene before the technical sessions/settlement
     discussions begin.  
         Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby
         ORDERED, that the procedural schedule set forth
     above is APPROVED; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that AT&T shall mail a copy of
     its proposed standard tariff language, along with a copy of
     this order, to all CLECs registered in New Hampshire by
     March 13, 1998 and file with the Commission by April 14,
     1998 an affidavit that such filing has taken place; and it
         FURTHER ORDERED, that any CLEC or other party
     desiring to participate in this proceeding should filed a
     motion to intervene by April 9, 1998 and that objections to
     intervention should be filed by April 13, 1998.
         By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
     Hampshire this tenth day of March, 1998.
        Douglas L. Patch    Bruce B. Ellsworth          Susan S.
            Chairman           Commissioner                  Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Thomas B. Getz
     Executive Director and Secretary