DE 98-213
                  EZ Talk Communications, LLC 
               Petition for Authority to Provide
               Local Telecommunications Services
               Order Nisi Granting Authorization
                    O R D E R   N O.  23,150
                       February 22, 1999
       On December 3, 1998, EZ Talk Communications LLC (EZT)
     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 EZT'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 EZT'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 EZT as a New Hampshire CLEC.
       EZT has provided a sworn statement and request for
     waiver of the surety bond requirement in Puc 1304.02(b) stating
     that they will not require advance payments or deposits of their
     customers until such time that they post a surety bond.  Staff
     recommends granting the waiver.  
       We find that EZT has satisfied the requirements of Puc
     1304.01(a)(1) and (2).  In addition, we find that certification
     of EZT 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 EZT has satisfied
     the requirements of Puc 1304.01(a), we will grant certification.
       As part of its application, EZT 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, EZT 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 EZT'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 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      
     March 1, 1999 and to be documented by affidavit filed with this
     office on or before March 8, 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 March 15, 1999; and it is
       FURTHER ORDERED, that this Order Nisi shall be
     effective March 24, 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-second day of February, 1999.
           Douglas L. Patch       Susan S. Geiger     Nancy Brockway
               Chairman           Commissioner          Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Thomas B. Getz
     Executive Director and Secretary