DE 98-141
                               BELL ATLANTIC
         Petition for License to Construct and Maintain Telephone
      Submarine Wires Under and Across Public Waters of Squam Lake in
                 the Town of Center Harbor, New Hampshire
      Order NISI Granting License for Telephone Submarine Wires Under
                         and Across Public Waters
                          O R D E R   N O. 23,003
                              August 31, 1998

         The Petitioner, New England Telephone and Telegraph
Company (Bell Atlantic), filed on August 3, 1998, a petition
     under RSA 371:17 for authority to construct and maintain a
     submarine telephone wire under and across Squam Lake within the
     town of Center Harbor.  The proposed submarine telephone wire is
     to provide telephone service to the southeasterly end of Long
     Island where a customer has requested telephone service.
         In support of their petition, Bell Atlantic submitted a 
     a topographic map location of the crossing and a field note plan
     of construction.  The proposed crossing will be 964 feet of BSW
     12-pair submarine telephone wire to be placed on the bottom of
     Squam Lake from the west section of Long Island to the east
         A new private property easement was obtained for this
     communication wire and a copy of the easement was filed with the
     petition.  Wetlands permit #98-00541 was also obtained for this
     construction and a copy of the permit was filed with the
     petition.  Bell Atlantic has stated, and Staff agrees, that the
     use and enjoyment by the public of these public waters will not
     be diminished in any way as a result of the proposed submarine
     telephone wire.  They agree as well that these communication
     wires are an integral part of the telecommunication network
     throughout New Hampshire.
         In order to establish reliable service to the public,
     Bell Atlantic must construct communications wires under and
     across certain public waters.  The definition of public waters
     contained in RSA 371:17 includes "all ponds of more than ten
     acres, tidewater bodies, and such streams or portions thereof as
     the Commission may prescribe."  The Commission prescribes this
     crossing to be under public waters.
         The Commission finds such crossings necessary for Bell
     Atlantic to meet its obligation to provide reliable telephone
     service within its authorized franchise area.  Accordingly, we
     find that the crossing is in the public good.  Therefore, we will
     approve the petition on a Nisi basis in order to provide any
     interested party the opportunity to submit comments on said
     petition or to request a hearing.
         Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby 
         ORDERED NISI, that Bell Atlantic is authorized,
     pursuant to RSA 371:17 et seq., to construct, maintain and
     operate submarine telephone wires under and across Squam Lake in
     Center Harbor, New Hampshire depicted on drawings submitted 
     August 3, 1998 and on file with this Commission, unless the
     Commission directs otherwise prior to the proposed effective
     date; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that all construction and future
     reconstruction to these approved crossings shall conform to the
     requirements of the National Electrical Safety Code and all other
     applicable safety standards in existence at that time; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that the Petitioner shall cause a copy
     of this Order Nisi to be published once in a statewide newspaper
     of general circulation or of circulation in those portions of the
     state where operations are conducted, such publication to be no
     later than September 8, 1998 and to be documented by affidavit
     filed with this office on or before September 14, 1998; 
     and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that the petitioner notify the Town of
     Center Harbor of this matter by serving a copy of this order on
     the Town Clerk by first-class mail postmarked no later than       
     September 8, 1998, with said notification to be verified by
     affidavit filed on or before September 14, 1998: and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that any party interested in
     responding to such comments or request for hearing shall do so no
     later than September 21, 1998; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that this Order Nisi shall be
     effective September 28, 1998, unless the Commission provides
     otherwise in a supplemental order issued prior to the effective
         By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
     Hampshire this thirty-first day of August, 1998.
       Douglas L. Patch    Bruce B. Ellsworth    Susan S. Geiger
           Chairman           Commissioner        Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Thomas B. Getz
     Executive Director and Secretary