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PUC to hold hearings on telecom competition

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The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC), a division of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), will hold four public hearings in early August to take public comment about whether effective competition for basic telephone service exists in certain geographic areas.

The four public comment hearings will be Aug. 3 in Fort Morgan, Aug. 4 in Denver, Aug. 5 and Aug. 6 in Delta. The hearing will be held in city council chambers, 360 Main Street, beginning at 4 p.m. and continuing until finished, but no later than 7 p.m.

The PUC last year determined that 56 CenturyLink wire centers, situated mostly along the densely-populated Front Range corridor from Fort Collins to Pueblo, offered multiple providers for basic local telephone service. The PUC decision relaxed regulation of basic telephone service in those areas, and eliminated high-cost funding in the wire centers.

The new proceeding is looking at 104 additional wire centers of CenturyLink and its subsidiaries, which are in more rural areas of the state. An administrative law judge has divided the proceeding into two phases. The first phase will examine 48 wire centers in which three or more providers offer basic telephone service. The second phase, expected to occur next year, will evaluate the remaining 56 wire centers.

Members of the public may also submit written comments about whether effective telecom competition exists in their area. Comments should be addressed to Docket No. 14M-0947T and sent to the PUC, 1560 Broadway, Suite 250, Denver, CO 80202. Comments may also be submitted via email to dora_puc_complaints@state.co.us or by using the PUC's on-line comment form.

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