DE 98-204
                        HARVARDNET, INC.
   Petition for Authority to Provide Local Telecommunications
              Order NISI Order Granting Authority
                    O R D E R   N O.  23,094
                       December 21, 1998
       The Petitioner, HarvardNet, Inc. (HarvardNet), on
     November 30, 1998, filed with the New Hampshire Public Utilities
     Commission (Commission) a petition for authority to provide
     switched and non-switched 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 HarvardNet's
     petition for compliance with these standards.  Staff reports that 
     the company has provided all the information required by Puc
     1304.02.  The information provided supports HarvardNet's
     assertion of financial resources, managerial qualifications, and
     technical competence sufficient to meet the standards set out in
     Puc 1304.01(b), (e), (f), and (g).  Staff, therefore, recommends
     approval of HarvardNet as a New Hampshire CLEC.
         We find that HarvardNet has satisfied the requirements
     of Puc 1304.01(a)(1) and (2).  In addition, we find that
     certification of HarvardNet 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 HarvardNet has satisfied the requirements of Puc
     1304.01(a), we will grant certification.
         As part of its application, HarvardNet 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,
     HarvardNet seeks to exceed Bell Atlantic's access rates it shall
     first contact the 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 TAct.
         Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby
         ORDERED NISI, that HarvardNet'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 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 28, 1998 and to be documented by affidavit filed with
     this office on or before January 4, 1999; 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 January 11, 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 18, 1999; and it is
         FURTHER ORDERED, that this order NISI shall be
     effective January 20, 1999, 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 twenty-first day of December, 1998.
           Douglas L. Patch       Susan S. Geiger     Nancy Brockway
               Chairman           Commissioner          Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Thomas B. Getz
     Executive Director and Secretary