165:55-17-7 - Procedures for negotiation, arbitration and approval of agreements

165:55-17-7. Procedures for negotiation, arbitration and approval of agreements

(a) Agreements arrived at through voluntary negotiations. Upon receiving a request for interconnection, services, or network elements pursuant to OAC 165:55-17-5, an incumbent LEC may negotiate and enter into a binding agreement with the requesting telecommunications service provider or providers without regard to the standards set forth in OAC 165:55-17-5(b) and (c). The agreement shall include a detailed schedule of itemized charges for interconnection and each service or network element included in the agreement. The agreement, including any interconnection agreement negotiated before the date of enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (February 8, 1996), shall be filed with the Commission under subsection (e) of this Section.

(b) Mediation. Any party negotiating an agreement under this Section may, at any point in the negotiations, ask the Commission to participate in the negotiations and mediate any differences arising in the course of the negotiations. The Public Utility Division shall provide the mediator, unless otherwise directed by the Commission.

(c) Agreements arrived at through compulsory arbitration. During the period from the 135 th to the 160 th day (inclusive) after the date on which an incumbent LEC receives a request for negotiation under this Section, the incumbent LEC or any other party to the negotiation may seek arbitration at the Commission of any open issues. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude negotiating parties from filing a joint application.

(1) Responsibilities of the applicant with regard to the Commission. A party that seeks arbitration from the Commission pursuant to this subsection shall, contemporaneously with the filing of its application, provide the Commission all relevant documentation concerning:

(A) The unresolved issues and the position of each of the parties with respect to those issues; and,

(B) Any other issue discussed and resolved by the parties.

(2) Responsibility of the applicant with regard to other parties. A party that seeks arbitration from the Commission pursuant to this subsection shall, provide a copy of the application and any documentation to the other party or parties not later than the day on which the application is filed.

(3) Opportunity to respond. A nonpetitioning party to a negotiation under this Section may respond to the other party's petition and provide such additional information as it wishes within twenty-five (25) days after the Commission receives the petition.

(4) Action by the Commission. When an application for arbitration is filed, the Commission will utilize the following procedures.

(A) The Commission will limit its consideration of any petition under this subsection, and any response thereto, to the issues set forth in the petition and in the response, if any, filed under paragraph (3) of this subsection.

(B) The Commission may require the petitioning party and the responding party to provide such information as may be necessary for the Commission to reach a decision on the unresolved issues. If any party refuses or unreasonably fails to respond on a timely basis to any request from the Commission, then the Commission may proceed on the basis of the best information available to it, from whatever source derived.

(C) The Commission will resolve each issue set forth in the petition and the response, if any, by imposing appropriate conditions as required to implement subsection (d) of this Section upon the parties to the agreement, and shall conclude the resolution of any unresolved issues not later than nine (9) months after the date on which the telecommunications service provider received the request under this Section.

(5) Refusal to negotiate. The refusal of any other party to the negotiation to participate further in the negotiations, to cooperate with the Commission in carrying out its function as an arbitrator, or to continue to negotiate in good faith in the presence, or with the assistance, of the Commission shall be considered a failure to negotiate in good faith.

(d) Standards for Arbitration. In resolving by arbitration, under subsection (c) of this Section, any open issues and imposing conditions upon the parties to the agreement, the Commission will:

(1) Ensure that such resolution and conditions meet the requirements of OAC 165:55-17-5 and applicable FCC requirements;

(2) Establish rates for interconnection, services, or network elements consistent with OAC 165:55-17-27; and,

(3) Provide a schedule for implementation of the terms and conditions by the parties to the agreement.

(e) Approval by the Commission and grounds for rejection. Any interconnection agreement adopted by negotiation or arbitration shall be submitted for approval by filing an application with the Commission's Office of the Court Clerk and comply with OAC 165:55-17-13(e). After review of the application, the Commission will approve or reject the agreement, with written findings as to any deficiencies. The Commission will only reject an agreement, or any portion thereof, if it finds that:

(1) The agreement, adopted by negotiation under subsection (a) of this Section, either:

(a) Discriminates against a telecommunications service provider that is not a party to the agreement; or,

(b) The implementation of such agreement or portion is not consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity.

(2) The agreement adopted by compulsory arbitration under this Section does not meet the requirements of OAC 165:55-17-5 or the agreement does not meet the standards in OAC 165:55-17-27.

(3) Notice requirements. Applicants seeking approval of an Interconnection Agreement shall provide Notice of the Application to be given by mail, electronic mail or personal service to the Attorney General of the State of Oklahoma.

(f) Reservation of authority. Notwithstanding subsection (e), the Commission, consistent with the requirements of 47 § 253, shall enforce other requirements of State law in its review of an agreement, including requiring compliance with Subchapter 13 of this Chapter.

(g) Statement of generally available terms. In conformance with 47 U.S.C. § 252(f), SWBT may prepare and file with the Commission a statement of the terms and conditions that SWBT generally offers within Oklahoma to comply with the requirements of 47 U.S.C. § 251, and the regulations thereunder and the standards applicable under this Section. In the event SWBT files such a statement, the Commission will:

(1) Approve the statement provided the statement complies with Subchapter 13 of this Chapter, OAC 165:55-17-5 and OAC 165:55-17-27 and is consistent with 47 U.S.C. § 253;

(2) Complete the Commission's review of SWBT's statement not later than 60 days after the date of such submission, (including any reconsideration thereof), unless SWBT agrees to an extension of the period for such review; or permit such statement to take effect.

(h) Continued review of SWBT's statement of generally available terms. In the event the Commission has permitted the statement of SWBT to take effect pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection (g), the Commission may continue to review said statement after it is effective and the Commission may approve or disapprove said statement if it does not meet the requirements of paragraph (1) of subsection (g).

(i) Duty to negotiate not affected. The submission or approval of a statement under subsection (g) shall not relieve SWBT of its duty to negotiate the terms and conditions of an agreement pursuant to OAC 165:55-17-5.

(j) Consolidation of proceedings. Where not inconsistent with the requirements of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Commission may, to the extent practical, consolidate proceedings under OAC 165:55-17-5 and OAC 165:55-17-7, in order to reduce administrative burdens on telecommunications service providers, other parties to the proceedings, and the Commission in carrying out its responsibilities under the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

(k) Availability for public inspection. The Commission will make a copy of each agreement approved under subsection (e) and each statement approved under subsection (g) available for public inspection and copying within 10 days after the agreement or statement is approved. The Commission will charge the fees set forth in OAC 165:5-3-1 to cover the costs of processing an application and copying.

(l) Availability to other telecommunications service providers. A telecommunications service provider shall make available any interconnection, service, or network element provided under an agreement approved under this Section to which it is a party, to any other requesting telecommunications service provider; upon the same terms and conditions as those provided in the agreement.

(m) Each TSP shall have the duty to comply with 47 U.S.C. § 252 and 17 O.S. § 139.101et seq.

(Amended by Oklahoma Register, Volume 32, Issue 23, August 17, 2015, eff. 8/27/2015 Amended by Oklahome Register, Volume 33, Issue 23, August 15, 2016, eff. 8/25/2016)

Added at 13 Ok Reg 2437, eff 7-1-96 ; Amended at 16 Ok Reg 2261, eff 7-1-99 ; Amended at 30 Ok Reg 1565, eff 7-11-13

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