As discussed in Section 3 of this decision, the Commission reviews a number of criteria in assessing whether a CPCN should be granted. In addition to reviewing whether the applicant or an affiliate have been sanctioned by a regulatory agency, and the fitness of the applicant's management team to manage the entity applying for the CPCN, the Commission also assesses the applicant's compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the financial qualifications required by Decision (D.) 95-12-056, whether the proposed tariffs filed with its application are in compliance with Commission rules and regulations, whether the applicant provided a map of its proposed service territory, and what the expected number of customers are as of its first and fifth years of operation.
CEQA requires the Commission act as the designated lead agency to assess the potential environmental impact of a project so that adverse effects are avoided, alternatives are investigated, and environmental quality is restored or enhanced to the fullest extent possible. Since NBVS does not intend to construct any facilities, the granting of this application will not have an adverse impact upon the environment.5
Pursuant to Rule 4.B of D. 95-12-056, an applicant for a CPCN for authority to provide limited facilities-based and resold local exchange and interexchange service must demonstrate that it has $100,000 cash or cash equivalent to meet the firm's start-up expenses. The applicant must also demonstrate that it has sufficient additional resources to cover all deposits required by other telecommunications carriers in order to provide service in California.
At Exhibit D to the Amended Application, NBVS provided a recent bank statement, demonstrating that it has access to $100,000 cash or cash equivalent, an amount sufficient to cover start-up expenses that is reasonably liquid and available.
NBVS proposes to offer service within the territories of AT&T, Verizon, SureWest, and Citizens. If deposits are required by these providers in the future, NBVS has demonstrated that it has sufficient funds to pay deposits, based on its own bank statement shown in Exhibit D to the Amended Application.
To be granted a CPCN for authority to provide local exchange and interexchange service, an applicant must make a reasonable showing of managerial and technical expertise in telecommunications or a related business.6 In Exhibit C to its Amended Application, NBVS supplied biographical information of its management that demonstrated that it has sufficient expertise and training to operate as a telecommunications provider.
In Section 4 of its Amended Application, NBVS verified that, except as noted below, no one associated with or employed by NBVS as an affiliate, officer, director, partner, or owner of more than 10% of NBVS was previously associated with a telecommunications carrier that: 1) filed for bankruptcy; 2) was sanctioned by the Federal Communications Commission or any state regulatory agency for failure to comply with any regulatory statute, rule, or order; or 3) that has been found either civilly or criminally liable by a court of appropriate jurisdiction for a violation of § 17000, et seq. of the California Business and Professions Code, or for any actions which involved misrepresentations to consumers, nor is currently under investigation for similar violations.
In its Amended Application, NBVS disclosed that its affiliate, NobelTel, LLC, which shares a management team with NBVS, has committed several infractions by failing to: file reports, certificates, and worksheets with regulatory bodies when due; comply with applicable regulations; and pay required fees. The regulatory bodies include the FCC, the Commission, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, the Florida Public Service Commission, the Public Service Commission of Nebraska, and the Nebraska Telecommunications Infrastructure and Public Safety Department. We find that the terms of the Settlement Agreement discussed in Sections 3 and 4 of this decision, resolve CPSD's concerns regarding these violations.
For the above reasons, we find that NBVS is in compliance with these requirements of D.95-12-056.
Commission staff reviewed NBVS's draft tariffs for compliance with Commission rules and regulations. The deficiencies are noted in Attachment A to this decision. In its compliance tariff filing, NBVS shall correct these deficiencies as a condition of our approval of its application.
To be granted a CPCN for authority to provide local exchange service, an applicant must provide a map of the service territories in which it proposes to serve.7 In Exhibit B to its Amended Application, NBVS provided a map of the service territories it proposes to provide service in.
NBVS provided its estimated customer base for the first and fifth years of operation in Exhibit F of its Amended Application. Therefore, NBVS has complied with this requirement.
We conclude that the Amended Application conforms to our rules for certification as a competitive local exchange carrier. Accordingly, we grant NBVS a CPCN to provide limited facilities-based and resold competitive local exchange telecommunications service in the service territories of AT&T, Verizon, SureWest, and Citizens, subject to compliance with the terms and conditions set forth in the Settlement Agreement and the Ordering Paragraphs of this decision.
5 It should be noted that the Commission adopted General Order (GO) 170 on December 16, 2010 in Decision 10-12-056. GO 170 implements the Commission's responsibilities pursuant to CEQA to review possible environmental impacts of construction projects consisting of any new telephone or telegraph line; or the repair, replacement, modification, alteration, or addition to an existing telephone or telegraph line in the State of California. NobelBiz will be subject to the GO when it is implemented by the Commission. Upon implementation, the GO will eliminate the Limited Facilities based authority designation, which identifies types of construction activities a carrier may undertake pursuant to their CPCN. However, the GO will not require any additional filings to be made by NobelBiz additional authority to be granted by the Commission for the types of construction activities currently proposed by NobelBiz.
6 D.95-12-056 at Appendix C, Rule 4.A.
7 D.95-12-056 at Appendix C, Rule 4.E.