Panel Approves Alternative Telecommunications Rules

Article excerpt

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission by a 3-0 vote completed the second half of its telecommunications rules updates Thursday with approval of alternative ratemaking regulations.

Approval of the alternative ratemaking rules follows on the heels of the commission's approval of universal service regulations earlier this week. The commission said taken together the two rulemakings address through regulation the major issues facing the Legislature in House Bill 1815, the Telecommunications Act of 1997.

A main part of the alternative regulation is creation of a streamlined tariff procedure. "We had to acknowledge that we would respond quicker to technology changes," explained Commission Chair Cody Graves. "Instead of taking three to six months as under traditional ratemaking, the new process will allow us to respond within 30 to 45 days. "Regulatory policy in the future will be materially different. This is a recognition we need to tighten up the regulatory time frames," Graves said. "We need to make decisions quickly so companies can take advantage of competition. …

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