Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Corporation Commission Set to Consider Cox Bond

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Corporation Commission Set to Consider Cox Bond

Article excerpt

The three members of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission will consider opposing orders on Tuesday regarding whether or not Cox Oklahoma should have to put up millions of dollars in order to put a commission order on hold.

Though the commission voted July 28 to grant SBC the ability to set its own prices, SBC has yet to enjoy such freedom because Cox appealed the decision to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Cox also requested the commission stay the order, that is, delay implementation of the order, until the court can deal with the appeal.

Traditionally, the party requesting a stay of a commission order would have to put up a bond. The funds would be used to compensate the defending party for losses incurred due to the delay caused by the appeals process. First Assistant Attorney General Tom Gruber said such a bond helps ensure that the party appealing is in good faith.

We're asking you (the party requesting the appeal) to put up some real money - not any hot air or lawyers fees, Gruber told the commission.

The attorney general's office has recommended that the commission require Cox to post a $140 million bond if the company wants to put the commission's July 28 order on hold. SBC officials had recommended a $195 million bond, while Cox officials asked the commission to waive the bond requirement.

Commissioner Denise Bode said she intends to sponsor an order on Tuesday that would stay the commission's July 28 order and set a bond for the $140 million recommended by the attorney general.

Commissioner Bob Anthony, on the other hand, said he plans to offer an order that would only put part of the commission's July 28 order on hold - the part which grants SBC pricing freedom. Anthony recommended that the portion of the order directing SBC to extend DSL high-speed Internet access to 68 rural Oklahoma communities remain in effect throughout the appeals process. …

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