DT 99-011
                         BELL ATLANTIC
  Petition for License to Construct and Maintain a Fiber Optic
Cable Line Over and Across the Public Waters of the Androscoggin
          River in the City of Berlin, New Hampshire 
Order Nisi Granting License for Fiber Optic Cable Line Over and
                      Across Public Waters
                    O R D E R   N O.  23,123
                        February 1, 1999
       The Petitioner, New England Telephone and Telegraph
     (Bell Atlantic), filed on January 19, 1999, a petition under RSA
     371:17 for authority to construct and maintain a fiber optic
     cable line at an existing electric line crossing of the
     Androscoggin River in the City of Berlin, New Hampshire.  The
     proposed fiber optic cable line is to provide economical voice,
     video, data, and local exchange switched services to their
     customers on a state of the art digital network.
       In support of its petition, Bell Atlantic submitted a
     locus map of the crossing and a plan view of construction.  The
     proposed crossing will be 305 feet of three-quarter inch diameter
     fiber optic cable line from Public Service of New Hampshire
     (PSNH) pole # 1 on the east bank of the Androscoggin River to
     PSNH pole # 200/98 on the west bank of the Androscoggin River.
       All construction will be done in upland areas and no
     impact to the surrounding waters will occur and no wetland permit
     will be required.  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
     fiber optic cable line.
       Bell Atlantic has attested and Staff agrees that the
     construction of the fiber optic cable line will meet or exceed
     the requirements of the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC).
       In order to establish reliable service to the public,
     Bell Atlantic must construct communication fiber optic cable
     lines over 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 across 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 the fiber optic cable line over and across The
     Androscoggin River in Berlin, New Hampshire depicted on drawings
     submitted January 19, 1999 and on file with this Commission; and
     it is
       FURTHER ORDERED, that all construction and future
     reconstruction to this approved crossing shall conform to the
     requirements of the NESC 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 February 8, 1999 and to be documented by affidavit
     filed with this office on or before February 16, 1999; and it is
       FURTHER ORDERED, that the petitioner notify the City of
     Berlin, New Hampshire of this matter by serving a copy of this
     order on the City Clerk by first-class mail postmarked no later
     than February 8, 1999; 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 February 22, 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 February 26, 1999; and it is
       FURTHER ORDERED, that this Order Nisi shall be
     effective March 1, 1999, unless the Commission provides otherwise
     in a supplemental order issued prior to the effective date. 
       By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
     Hampshire this first day of February, 1999.
           Douglas L. Patch       Susan S. Geiger     Nancy Brockway
               Chairman           Commissioner          Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Thomas B. Getz
     Executive Director and Secretary