DE 98-072
                    Petition For Authority to Provide 
                     Local Telecommunications Services
                     Order Nisi Granting Authorization
                          O R D E R  N O.  23,009
                             September 1, 1998

         The Petitioner, Business Communications Networks
Corporation d/b/a Lightship Telecom L.L.C. (Lightship), filed on
     May 5, 1998, a petition with the New Hampshire Public Utilities
     Commission (Commission) for authority to provide switched and
     non-switched competitive local exchange telecommunications
     services, pursuant to the policy goals set by the New Hampshire
     Legislature in RSA 374:22-g, effective July 23, 1995.
         The Legislature directed the Commission to adopt rules 
     on or before December 31, 1996, to enforce the provisions of RSA
     374:22-g.  Effective December 4, 1996, the Commission adopted
     N.H. Admin. Rules, Puc Chapter 1300 which governs the petition of
     applicants to become competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs).
         Pursuant to Puc Chapter 1300, an applicant's petition
     for certification shall be granted when the Commission finds that
     (1) all information listed in Puc 1304.02 has been provided to
     the Commission; (2) the applicant meets standards for financial
     resources, managerial qualifications, and technical competence;
     and (3) certification for the particular geographic area
     requested is in the public good.
         The Commission Staff (Staff) has reviewed Lightship's
     petition for compliance with these standards.  Staff reports that
     Lightship has provided all of the information required by Puc
     1304.02.  The information provided supports Lightship's assertion
     of financial resources, managerial qualifications, and technical
     competence sufficient to meet the standards set forth in Puc
     1304.01(b), (e), (f), and (g).  Staff, therefore, recommends
     approval of Lightship as a New Hampshire CLEC.
         Lightship has provided a sworn statement and request
     for waiver of the surety bond requirement in Puc 1304.02(b)
     stating that they do not require advance payments or deposits of
     their customers.  Staff recommends granting the waiver.
         We find that Lightship has satisfied the requirements
     of Puc 1304.01(a)(1) and (2). In addition, we find that
     certification of Lightship in its intended service area, Bell
     Atlantic's current service area, is in the public good, thus
     meeting the requirement of Puc 1304.01(a)(3). In making this
     finding, as directed by RSA 374:22-g, we have considered the
     interests of competition, fairness, economic efficiency,
     universal service, carrier of last resort, the incumbent's
     opportunity to realize a reasonable return on its investment, and
     recovery by the incumbent of expenses incurred.  This finding is
     further supported by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (TAct). 
     Because Lightship has satisfied the requirements of Puc
     1304.01(a), we will grant certification.
          As part of its application, Lightship agreed to abide
     by Bell Atlantic's present and future rates for intraLATA
     switched access or to charge a lower rate.  If at any point,  
     Lightship seeks to exceed Bell Atlantic's access rates it shall
     first contact Staff to review the proposal.  The Commission will
     monitor access rates as the intraLATA toll and local exchange
     markets develop.  CLECs charging higher access rates than they,
     in turn, pay Bell Atlantic could inhibit intraLATA toll
     competition which would call into question Section 253 of the
         Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby 
         ORDERED NISI, that Lightship's petition for authority
     to provide switched and non-switched intrastate local exchange
     telecommunications services in the service territory of Bell
     Atlantic, is GRANTED, subject, inter alia to the requirements of
     Puc 1304.03;  and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that request for waiver of the surety
     bond requirement per Puc 1304.02(b) is granted; 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, such publication to be no later than
     September 8, 1998 and to be documented by affidavit filed with
     this office on or before September 15, 1998; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that all persons interested in
     responding to this Order Nisi shall submit their comments or file
     a written request for a hearing on this matter before the
     Commission no later than September 22, 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 29, 1998; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that this Order Nisi shall be
     effective October 1, 1998, unless the Commission provides
     otherwise in a supplemental order issued prior to the effective
     date; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that the Petitioner shall file, ten
     days prior to commencing service, a rate schedule including the
     name, description and price of each service, with the Commission  
     in accordance with N.H. Admin. Rules, Puc 1304.03(b).
         By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
     Hampshire this first day of September, 1998.
        Douglas L. Patch    Bruce B. Ellsworth        Susan S. Geiger
            Chairman           Commissioner            Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Thomas B. Getz
     Executive Director and Secretary