DS 98-125
                    Contoocook Valley Telephone Co.
       Request to Introduce Advanced Digital Services Basic Rate
             Order Extending the Time for Review by 30 days
                        O R D E R   N O.  22,994
                             August 4, 1998
                                        On July 8, 1998, Contoocook Valley Telephone Co. (CVT
     or Company) petitioned the New Hampshire Public Utilities
     Commission (Commission) for authority to introduce Advanced
     Digital Services Basic Rate Interface (BRI) pursuant to RSA
     374:22 and RSA 374:26. 
          The introduction of BRI service, according to CVT,
     reflects the conversion of the Henniker switch on July 17, 1998
     to a Siemens EWDS switch.  BRI enables customers to send, receive
     and modify information using regular telephone lines over the
     public switched network.  BRI services are based on the National
     Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) standards.
          CVT claims BRI capabilities and services are inherent
     in the new Siemens switch. Therefore, no incremental costs will
     incurred by CVT.  The proposed monthly rate for BRI service is
     $35.00. In addition, CVT proposes a one time service
     establishment charge of $35.00.
          Because CVT has not provided cost support along with
     this petition, Staff recommends that the Commission extend the
     time for review.  Staff has made a request to CVT for
     supplemental information that would provide greater detail in
     support of the Company's petition.  However, Staff will not have
     sufficient time to review this information prior to August 7,
     1998, the effective date of this filing.
          Staff recognizes that BRI services can provide advanced
     telecommunications services, a type of service that is in demand
     by certain customers throughout New Hampshire. Nevertheless, it
     is not clear whether that same level of demand exists in CVT's
     service territory.  Staff is aware that providing BRI services
     requires the installation of additional electronic cards in the
     Siemens switch when the service is ordered by a customer.  This
     petition, however, does not include cost support information
     about these cards.  Staff is concerned that the cost to implement
     BRI service may be higher than anticipated by the Company and
     demand lower than anticipated. In such a scenario, the proposed
     rates will not exceed the cost of providing the service.    
          We have reviewed the petition and Staff's
     recommendation. We commend the Company for attempting to
     introduce new services that potentially provide customers access
     to advanced telecommunication services. However, we are concerned
     by the Company's lack of detail in support of its proposal. 
     Therefore, consistent with RSA 378:6,IV, we will extend the time
     for review of this petition for 30 days and order CVT to provide
     the information necessary to insure that BRI customers or CVT
     stockholders fully cover the cost of providing BRI services.
          Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby
          ORDERED, that pursuant to RSA 378:6,IV the time for
     review of this petition is extended for 30 days; and it is 
          FURTHER ORDERED, that CVT file information necessary to
     insure that either BRI customers or stockholders cover the cost
     of BRI under the proposed rates.
          By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
     Hampshire this fourth day of August, 1998.
        Douglas L. Patch    Bruce B. Ellsworth        Susan S. Geiger
            Chairman           Commissioner            Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Claire D. DiCicco
     Assistant Secretary