DE 98-205
                      BELL ATLANTIC/NETWORK PLUS INC 
         Order Nisi Approving Interconnection Agreement
                    O R D E R  N O.  23,086
                       December 14, 1998
         On November 30, 1998, Network Plus Inc. (NPI)  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 adopts the terms and conditions of
     the interconnection agreement between Bell Atlantic and New
     England 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.  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 agreement.  
         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 NPI 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
     NPI 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 NPI 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
     NPI 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 NPI 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 NPI and Bell Atlantic is approved; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that NPI 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 21, 1998 and to be documented by affidavit filed with
     this office on or before December 28, 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 January 4, 1999; 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 11, 1999; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that this Order Nisi shall be
     effective January 13, 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 fourteenth day of December, 1998.
       Douglas L. Patch        Susan S. Geiger       Nancy Brockway 
           Chairman             Commissioner          Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Thomas B. Getz
     Executive Director & Secretary