DE 98-193


               Order Nisi Approving Interconnection Agreement
                           O R D E R  N O.  23,078
                              December 7, 1998
  On November 2, 1998, New England Voice and Data (NEVD) 
filed with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission
(Commission) a negotiated Interconnection Agreement
(Agreement)with New England Telephone and Telegraph Company (Bell
Atlantic).  The Agreement was filed for approval pursuant to
section 252(e) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (TAct).
  The agreement filed is an adoption of the
interconnection agreement between Bell Atlantic and New England
Brooks Fiber Communications (Brooks) which was approved by
Commission Order No. 22,753 dated October 13, 1997.  The initial
term of the agreement expires on July 16, 2000 which is the same
as the Brooks agreement.  Absent sixty days notice from either
party, the agreement remains in effect beyond the initial term
after which a ninety day notice is required to terminate the
  This Agreement provides, inter alia, for
transmission/routing of exchange service traffic and exchange
access traffic, transmission/termination of other types of
traffic and joint network configuration.  It further provides for
unbundled access, resale, collocation, number portability,
dialing parity, access to rights of way, access to data bases,
and directory assistance service.  The parties will exchange
technical and traffic information which will be kept proprietary;
each party will maintain facilities within its own network and
will not interfere with the other party's systems.
  This Agreement is a comprehensive set of terms and
conditions that will facilitate the entry of NEVD as a
competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) in New Hampshire.  The
parties agree to jointly engineer, plan and operate a diverse
transmission system with which they will interconnect their
respective networks.  The Agreement specifies the designation of
interconnection points, provides for a joint grooming plan, and
provides for the physical interface of facilities. 
   The interoffice facilities are priced on an unbundled
basis to allow for use with other unbundled network elements,
thus creating numerous facilities based and/or resale options to
NEVD in the provisioning of exchange and exchange access
services.  The Agreement also includes detailed unbundling of
local outside plant and central office facilities that would
allow NEVD to provide digital and other high-tech services with
minimal future negotiating or "grooming" of the Agreement.         
  Prices in this filing are virtually the same as those
in previously approved non-cellular interconnection agreements
for the services/elements that are common.  Staff points out that
the TAct does not require that a telecommunications company sell
each service/element for the same price or terms to each
requesting party.  A CLEC can request the entire agreement of
another CLEC as demonstrated by this filing.  
   A Statement of Generally Available Terms (SGAT) was
filed by Bell Atlantic on July 11, 1997 and took effect October
20, 1997 per order 22,692 (August 25, 1997) subject to continued
review pursuant to section 252(f)(4) of the TAct.  This allows
NEVD and other competitors to purchase services or unbundled
elements that may not be covered by their interconnection
  The Staff has recommended approval of the Agreement
between NEVD and Bell Atlantic based on a review of the petition,
the Agreement and verbal clarification provided by Bell Atlantic.
  We have reviewed the filing and find it meets the
standards of section 252(e)(2)(A) of the TAct for approval of a
negotiated Agreement.  The Agreement does not appear to be
discriminatory to any carrier not a party to the negotiations and
is consistent with the public interest, convenience, and
necessity.  We will approve it on a nisi basis in order to
provide any interested party an opportunity to submit comments or
request a hearing pursuant to RSA 374:26.
  Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby
  ORDERED NISI, that the Interconnection Agreement
negotiated between NEVD and Bell Atlantic is approved; and it is
  FURTHER ORDERED, that NEVD will notify the Commission
within ten days of making their first facility-based commercial
call in any exchange that has not already been opened to a "fresh
look opportunity" as ordered in Docket DE 96-420.  The
recommended method of notifying the Commission is to provide a
copy of the "Confirmation of Code Activation Form" which is used
to notify the North American Numbering Code Administrator.
  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
December 14, 1998 and to be documented by affidavit filed with
this office on or before December 21, 1998; and it is
  FURTHER ORDERED, that all persons interested in
responding to this petition be notified that they may submit
their comments or file a written request for a hearing on this
matter before the Commission no later than December 28, 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 January 4, 1999; and it is
  FURTHER ORDERED, that this Order Nisi shall be
effective January 6, 1999, 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 seventh day of December, 1998.

  Douglas L. Patch        Susan S. Geiger       Nancy Brockway 
      Chairman             Commissioner          Commissioner

Attested by:

Thomas B. Getz
Executive Director & Secretary