Attorney General: The Honorable Kevin B. Sullivan, Legislative Office Building, Room 3300, 1997-013 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut

Attorney General's Opinion

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal

May 27, 1997

The Honorable Kevin B. Sullivan
Senate President Pro Tempore
Legislative Office Building, Room 3300
Hartford, CT 06106-1591

Dear Senator Sullivan:

You have asked for an opinion with regard to the implementation of Public Act No. 94-83, An Act Implementing the Recommendations of the Telecommunications Task Force. Specifically, you have asked for an opinion on each of the following three questions:

What provisions, if any, in the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, (P.L. 104-104) would preempt the service reclassification standards and procedures established in Public Act No. 94-83?

Can a telephone company, as defined in C.G.S. Sec. 16-1, relieve itself of its obligations under the state Act by restructuring itself into separate but affiliated wholesale and retail companies whereby the retail affiliate, as defined in C.G.S. Sec. 16-247a(b)(1), retains the entire customer base of its predecessor?

As a result of the federal Act and the FCC's First Report and Order, dated August 8, 1996, interpreting the federal Act to require all services to be resold at a rate discounted below the rate sold to end users, please explain whether the creation of separate wholesale and retail telecommunications entities is consistent with the intent of the state Act, to create a level playing field, by regulating services not providers and treating all providers of competitive services equally.

The legal issues you have raised are presently under review and consideration in a pending administrative docket of the Department of Public Utility Control (the "DPUC"), the state agency having responsibility for the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of both Public Act 94-83 and the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996. In the DPUC's docket 94-10-05 entitled DPUC Investigation of the Southem New England Telephone Company Affiliate Matters Associated with the Implementation of Public Act 94-83, the DPUC has conducted extensive hearings and will be receiving legal briefs on the issues raised in your letter from the participants in the proceedings. Since the issues you have raised are under active consideration by the DPUC in a contested case, I must respectfully decline to answer your questions at this time.

If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

RICHARD BLUMENTHAL
ATTORNEY GENERAL


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