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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. Alaska Exchange Carriers Association, Inc. v. Regulatory Commission of Alaska (02/27/2009) sp-6339

Alaska Exchange Carriers Association, Inc. v. Regulatory Commission of Alaska (02/27/2009) sp-6339, 202 P3d 458

     Notice:   This opinion is subject to correction  before
     publication  in  the  Pacific  Reporter.   Readers  are
     requested to bring errors to the attention of the Clerk
     of  the  Appellate  Courts, 303  K  Street,  Anchorage,
     Alaska 99501, phone (907) 264-0608, fax (907) 264-0878,
     e-mail corrections@appellate.courts.state.ak.us.

               
            THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ALASKA

ALASKA EXCHANGE CARRIERS )
ASSOCIATION, INC.,)
) Supreme Court No. S- 12696
Appellant,)
) Superior Court No. 3AN-07- 4126 CI
v. )
) O P I N I O N
)
REGULATORY COMMISSION OF ) No. 6339 - February 27, 2009
ALASKA, )
)
Appellee.)
)
          Appeal  from the Superior Court of the  State
          of    Alaska,   Third   Judicial    District,
          Anchorage, Sen K. Tan, Judge.

          Appearances:   Robin  O.  Brena,  Anthony  S.
          Guerriero,  David W. Wensel,  Brena,  Bell  &
          Clarkson,  P.C.,  Anchorage,  for  Appellant.
          Robert   E.   Stoller,   Assistant   Attorney
          General,   Anchorage,   Talis   J.   Colberg,
          Attorney   General,  Juneau,   for   Appellee
          Regulatory   Commission  of  Alaska.   Martin
          Weinstein,   General   Communication,   Inc.,
          Anchorage,  for  Appellee  GCI.  A.   William
          Saupe,   Ashburn  &  Mason,  Anchorage,   for
          Appellee Alascom, Inc.

          Before:    Fabe,  Chief  Justice,   Matthews,
          Eastaugh, Carpeneti, and Winfree, Justices.

          WINFREE, Justice.



I.	INTRODUCTION
          A  local  telephone company proposed moving  its  first
point  of  switching  for routing telephone traffic.   Two  long-
distance  carriers affected by the proposal opposed  the  change,
and  an  association  of  local  telephone  companies  sought  to
intervene  in  the  ensuing regulatory  proceeding.   The  agency
denied  intervention,  the  superior  court  affirmed,  and   the
association  appeals.   We affirm denial of intervention  because
the  agency  reasonably concluded that the  association  did  not
qualify  for  mandatory  intervention  and  did  not  abuse   its
discretion in denying permissive intervention.
II.	FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS
          Long-distance    telephone   companies   (interexchange
carriers,  or  IXCs)  need  the  facilities  of  local  telephone
companies  (local exchange companies, or LECs) to  originate  and
terminate  intrastate toll calls.1  Prior to  1989  long-distance
carriers  compensated local telephone companies for use of  their
facilities  through a settlements process.2  In 1989  the  Alaska
Public   Utilities  Commission,  predecessor  to  the  Regulatory
Commission  of  Alaska  (collectively, Commission),  created  the
Alaska Exchange Carriers Association, Inc. (AECA), an association
of  local  telephone companies.3  Creation of AECA represented  a
shift  from  the  settlements process to one  involving  tariffed
access charges.4
          Under  the  old settlements process, each long-distance
telephone   company   negotiated   with   each   local    carrier
individually.5   Under the new system, AECA calculates  a  single
access charge tariff for all of its members.6  The tariff:
 		[R]efers   to   the   contract  of  the  21  members   of
          AECA  wherein  they agree to share facilities  and
          services  with intrastate long-distance companies,
          related to long-distance calls originating from or
          coming  into Alaska.  The tariff also lays  out  a
          system  of access charges that the local  carriers
          charge the long-distance carriers for use of their
          networks.
          
          In October 2006 AECA member Interior Telephone Company,
Inc.  petitioned  for authorization to move its  first  point  of
switching,  following procedures outlined in AECAs  tariff.   The
first point of switching is:
          The  first  exchange  carrier  location  at  which
          switching occurs on the terminating path of a call
          proceeding from the IXC terminal location  to  the
          terminating  end  office,  or  the  last  exchange
          carrier location at which switching occurs on  the
          originating  path  of a call proceeding  from  the
          originating   end  office  to  the  IXC   terminal
          location.[7]
          
Put  another  way,  a  switch is a device that  routes  telephone
traffic,   and  the first point of switching,  or  FPOS,  is  the
physical  point  where a local AECA member company  interconnects
with an interstate long-distance service provider.  According  to
Interior  Telephone, moving the FPOS would benefit  consumers  by
making  additional services available in a cost-efficient manner.
Two  long-distance  telephone companies, GCI Communication  Corp.
d/b/a  General Communication, Inc. and Alascom, Inc.  d/b/a  AT&T
Alascom, opposed Interior Telephones proposed FPOS change  partly
because they believed it would impermissibly shift some costs  to
them.
          The  Commission designated GCI and AT&T as  parties  to
the   regulatory  proceeding  without  requiring   petitions   to
intervene,  noting that AECAs tariff anticipates  that  objecting
access  customers  will  participate in a proceeding  before  the
commission.   The  Commission further  stated:   We  require  any
interested person wishing to file a petition to intervene in this
proceeding  to  file  that petition by  October  20,  2006.   Our
criteria for evaluating petitions to intervene are set out  at  3
AAC 48.110.8
          AECA timely filed a petition to intervene, arguing that
under  3 AAC 48.110 it had a statutory right to intervene  or  it
qualified   for  permissive  intervention.   Interior   Telephone
supported the petition; GCI and AT&T each filed an opposition.
          On  November 30 the Commission denied AECAs petition to
intervene,  likening  the case to Docket U-99-81,  in  which  the
Commission  had previously decided AECA neither had  a  statutory
right  to  intervene nor qualified for permissive  intervention.9
On  December  12  AECA  filed a petition for reconsideration  and
moved  for  expedited  consideration.  On  December  20  Interior
Telephone filed a memorandum supporting AECAs petition; that same
day, GCI and AT&T each filed an opposition.
          On  December 28 the Commission granted AECAs motion for
expedited    consideration   but   denied   its   petition    for
reconsideration.   The Commission reiterated  that  AECA  had  no
statutory right to intervene and that permissive intervention was
not warranted.  AECA appealed to the superior court, and Superior
Court  Judge  Sen  K.  Tan affirmed denial of AECAs  intervention
motion in April 2007.
          In  June  2007 the Commission held a public hearing  on
Interior  Telephones petition to change the FPOS.  The Commission
denied the petition in October.
          AECA appeals the denial of intervention.
III.	STANDARD OF REVIEW
          When a superior court acts as an intermediate court  of
appeals,  we  independently review the administrative decision.10
Where  questions  of  law do not involve  agency  expertise,  the
appropriate standard of review is substitution of judgment; where
agency  expertise  is  implicated, the  rational  basis  standard
applies.11  Under the substitution of judgment standard, we  make
our  own  legal  interpretations.12   Under  the  rational  basis
standard, we defer to agency interpretation if it is supported by
the  facts  and has a reasonable basis in law.13   We  review  an
agencys  application  of  its  own regulations  for  whether  the
agencys  decision was arbitrary, unreasonable,  or  an  abuse  of
discretion.14  Findings of fact are reviewed for clear error under
the substantial evidence standard.15  Findings are upheld if they
are supported by relevant evidence that a reasonable person might
          accept as adequate to support them.16
          Here,  the proper standards of review are (1)  rational
basis for whether AECA qualifies for intervention as a matter  of
right under 3 AAC 48.110, because the Commission is in a superior
position  to  interpret  its own regulation,  and  (2)  abuse  of
discretion for whether AECA qualifies for permissive intervention
under  3  AAC 48.110, because the Commission is applying its  own
regulation to the facts of the case.
IV.	DISCUSSION
     A. 	Arguments and Rulings Below
          AECA  first  argues  that it has a statutory  right  to
intervene under 3 AAC 48.110(a), which provides:  Any person  who
has  a statutory right to be made a party . . . will be permitted
to  intervene.  AECA concedes that there is no express  provision
of the Utilities Act stating that a utility or its ratepayers may
be  heard  with  regard to issues arising under  a  tariff.   But
according  to  AECA, the basic tenet, that a party may  be  heard
with  regard to disputes arising under its own tariff, is implied
in virtually every tariff-related provision of the Utilities Act.
AECA  argues that the issues in this case affect AECA as a whole,
as  well as AECAs tariff, AECAs billing and collection of  access
charges, AECAs distribution of access charge revenues, and  AECAs
twenty other member companies.
          AECA  also  argues  that  it qualifies  for  permissive
intervention  under  another portion of 3  AAC  48.110(a),  which
provides:  Any person whose intervention will be conducive to the
ends  of  justice and will not unduly delay the  conduct  of  the
proceeding  will, in the commissions discretion, be permitted  to
intervene.    3   AAC   48.110(b)  specifies   seven   permissive
intervention factors:
          In  passing  upon  a  petition to  intervene,  the
          following   factors,   among   others,   will   be
          considered:
          
          (1)  the  nature  of the petitioners  right  under
          statute to be made a party to the proceeding;
          
          (2)   the  nature  and  extent  of  the  property,
          financial, or other interest of the petitioner;
          
          (3)  the  effect  on petitioners interest  of  the
          order which may be entered in the proceeding;
          
          (4)  the availability of other means by which  the
          petitioners interest may be protected;
          
          (5)  the extent to which petitioners interest will
          be represented by existing parties;
          
          (6)  the extent to which petitioners participation
          may  reasonably  be  expected  to  assist  in  the
          development  of  a  sound  record,  including  the
          issues  that petitioner intends to address in  the
          proceeding; and
          
          (7)  the  extent  to  which participation  of  the
          petitioner  will broaden the issue  or  delay  the
          proceeding.
          
          The  Commission  found the facts and  circumstances  of
this case substantially identical to those in Docket U-99-81 and,
for the same reasons as in that case, denied AECAs petition.  The
local  telephone  company in Docket U-99-81 had moved  its  first
point  of  switching from North Pole to Fairbanks.17  The  tariff
then in effect required local and long-distance carriers to agree
to  change the first point of switching, but the carriers had not
reached an agreement.18  AECA attempted to intervene, arguing  as
it  does in this case  that it had a statutory right to intervene
in  any proceeding in which the interpretation and application of
its tariff is at issue.19  The Commission rejected that argument.20
The Commission considered the permissive intervention factors  of
3  AAC  48.110(b),  but denied AECAs motion to intervene,  noting
that:   (1)  neither AECAs property nor financial interests  were
affected;  (2)  although AECAs input could  arguably  assist  the
Commission,  proper interpretation of the tariff was  within  the
Commissions purview; (3) AECAs participation could not reasonably
assist  in developing a sound record because the local and  long-
distance carriers already had presented both sides of the  issue;
and (4) AECAs participation could actually delay proceedings.21
          The  Commission  also  noted  that  AECA  fail[ed]   to
acknowledge  [the order in Docket U-99-81] in its  petition.   In
denying   AECAs   subsequent  motion  for  reconsideration,   the
Commission  stated that AECA had no statutory right to  intervene
and  that  intervention  based on the discretionary  intervention
factors was not warranted.
          The  superior court affirmed the Commissions  decision,
first reiterating that no express statutory right of intervention
existed.   The court reasoned that whether the term statutory  in
3 AAC 48.110(a) encompassed implied statutory rights was a matter
of  the  Commissions interpretation of its own  regulations,  and
thus  subject  to the reasonable basis standard of  review.   The
court concluded that [b]ased on the language of the regulation, a
reasonable  basis  existed  for  the  Commission  to  deny   AECA
intervention.
          The  court  then  stated  that  while  some  permissive
intervention  factors weighed in favor of allowing  intervention,
others  weighed  against it, and it concluded the Commission  had
not  abused its discretion in denying AECAs motion for permissive
intervention.   The  court noted that the  only  section  of  the
tariff  at  issue was  2.6, which deals only with obligations  of
the  parties before a petition is filed, and that the tariff  did
not  address  what happens after the petition is filed  with  the
Commission.  Thus, the court reasoned, the tariff is  really  not
central  to  the issue currently before the Commission.   Rather,
the  docket is concerned with how the Commission will decide  the
FPOS issue.
     B.	The  Commission Reasonably Concluded that AECA  Does  Not
          Qualify for Express or Implied Mandatory Intervention.
          
          AECA  concedes  it  has no express statutory  right  to
intervene,  but asserts that a regulated entity is  automatically
          given party status in a proceeding in which its own tariff is at
issue  without  the  need to intervene at all.   AECA  relies  on
  603(b)  of the Commissions access charge manual22 and   1.3  of
AECAs tariff to support this assertion.23  AT&T contends that the
access  charge  manual  and  relevant  statutory  and  regulatory
authority  evince a narrow role for AECA, focused exclusively  on
assessing, collecting, and distributing access charges.  GCI  and
the Commission make similar arguments.
          AECAs  argument  fails because its role is  essentially
that of an administrator.  The Alaska Public Utilities Regulatory
Act24  authorized the Commission to form an association to assist
in  administering  the  system of  access  charges.25   When  the
Commission created AECA in 1989, it stated:
               [We believe] that organization of an ECA will
          be  of  significant  benefit in  the  development,
          implementation,  and  administration   of   access
          charges.  The ECA will have primary responsibility
          for  preparing, filing, and supporting the single,
          statewide average access charge tariff required by
          the  Commission  and for recommending  ratios  for
          distributing  resultant  revenues  to  the   LECs.
          Further,  the  ECA  will handle the  functions  of
          collecting the approved rates and distributing the
          carrier  access revenues pursuant to the  approved
          distribution    ratios   and   other    applicable
          Commission   rules.   The  ECA  will   also   have
          monitoring  report  filing  responsibilities   and
          other obligations to its members. . . .
          
               None  of  the foregoing functions of the  ECA
          involve  any delegation by the Commission  of  its
          duties  and powers.  The Commission, not the  ECA,
          will  approve  tariffs for, and  rules  governing,
          access   charges   and  ratios   for   appropriate
          distribution  of  access  charge  revenues   among
          LECs.[26]
          
          A  change in FPOS relates to AECAs tariff only  in  the
sense  that  AECA  will need to prepare, file, and  distribute  a
revised  access  charge.  The statute authorizing AECAs  creation
explicitly refers to AECAs role in administering access charges.27
The  tariff language states that AECAs role is limited to billing
and   collecting  access  charges,  distributing  access   charge
revenues, and similar functions.  The Commission expressly stated
that it did not cede any of its duties or powers to AECA.28  Thus,
although  AECAs tariff is at issue in the sense that it  provides
the  context for the proposed change in FPOS, AECAs  role  as  an
administrator is insufficient to warrant automatic  party  status
in the proceeding.29

          AECA  contends  that proceedings before the  Commission
involved  considerable  evidence on the  proper  application  and
interpretation  of AECAs tariff and that evidence concerning  the
proper  interpretation and application of AECAs  FPOS  provisions
          was actually introduced in the underlying docket over the
objections of GCI and AT&T.  Interpretation of the tariff was  at
issue  in  those  proceedings only insofar as ITC  unsuccessfully
argued  that  the  tariff  contained standards  relevant  to  the
Commissions   decision  on  the  proposed  FPOS  change.30    The
Commission flatly rejected this argument, noting that the  tariff
merely provided for alternative dispute resolution procedures for
a  proposed FPOS change, and that [o]nce a petition is filed, the
role of the tariff ends.31  Because the tariff was not actually at
issue, the Commissions decision that AECA did not have an implied
statutory  right to participate in the proceedings is  reasonable
in light of AECAs narrow administrative role.
          AECA  also  asserts that its authorized activities  are
nearly  identical  to  those  of the  National  Exchange  Carrier
Association (NECA).  The Federal Communications Commission  (FCC)
has  stated  that NECA may freely express its views  before  [the
FCC]  whenever it chooses to do so and that it would be an  error
to  restrict  .  .  .  the  free expression  of  NECAs  views  in
proceedings before the FCC.32  NECAs role as an administrator  is
indeed analogous to that of AECA.  A National Regulatory Research
Institute  report on NECA lists NECAs purposes as  filing  common
access charge tariffs for exchange carriers, administering access
charge  revenue  pools,  and distributing  the  pool  revenues.33
Regarding legal matters, the report states:  NECAs functions  are
confined  to  those  activities related to  the  development  and
filing  of access charges and the collection and distribution  of
access charge revenues, including involvement in related judicial
and  regulatory  proceedings.  Any other activity  is  prohibited
unless prior Commission approval has been granted.34  Title 47 of
the   Code   of   Federal   Regulations  supports   the   reports
characterization:
          Section 69.603 Association functions.
          (a)  [NECA] shall not engage in any  activity
          that  is  not  related to the preparation  of
          access  charge tariffs or the collection  and
          distribution of access charge revenues or the
          operation of a billing and collection pool on
          an  untariffed basis unless such activity  is
          expressly authorized by order of the [FCC].
          
          (b)   Participation   in   [FCC]   or   court
          proceedings   relating   to   access   charge
          tariffs, the billing and collection of access
          charges,  the  distribution of access  charge
          revenues,  or the operation of a billing  and
          collection pool on an untariffed basis  shall
          be    deemed   to   be   authorized    [NECA]
          activities.[35]
          
          However, AECAs reliance on NECA is unpersuasive for two
reasons.   First,  the authority AECA cites  does  not  expressly
provide NECA an unfettered right to intervene as a party  in  all
regulatory proceedings involving its members that may touch  upon
its tariff,36 nor have we found any such authority.37  Second, the
          Commission is not bound to follow the FCC.  Thus the Commission
had a reasonable basis for concluding that AECA may not intervene
as  a matter of right:  no statute expressly provides for such  a
right,  and no implied right exists because AECAs role is limited
to administering the system of access charges.
     C.	The  Commission Was Within Its Discretion To Deny AECA  	
          Permissive Intervention.
          
          AECA  asserts that it meets the permissive intervention
criteria set out in 3 AAC 48.110(a) and (b).  Specifically,  AECA
claims  that:   (1)  it  has  a direct interest  in  the  tariffs
interpretation   and  application;  (2)  any  Commission   ruling
concerning  the tariff will impact it and its members;  (3)  only
through  intervention can it protect its interests; (4) no  other
party  can  represent its unique interest or present  its  unique
perspective; (5) its institutional knowledge about development of
2.6  of  the tariff will assist in developing a complete  record;
and  (6)  far  from  intending  to broaden  the  issue  or  delay
proceedings, it already had timely filed testimony and agreed  to
an expedited procedural schedule.
          Our  inquiry  is  limited  to whether  the  Commissions
application of the permissive intervention factors to  the  facts
of  this  case  was  arbitrary,  unreasonable,  or  an  abuse  of
discretion.38  Although the Commissions initial ruling was limited
to   analogizing  this  case  to  Docket  U-99-81,   in   denying
reconsideration the Commission explicitly stated that AECA failed
to satisfy the second, sixth, and seventh permissive intervention
factors.   It  found AECAs claimed interest in the interpretation
and  application of its tariff was insufficient, and although its
members  property  or financial interests may  qualify  them  for
intervention, AECA as an organization has not demonstrated such a
property  or  financial interest.  Additionally,  the  Commission
found AECAs institutional knowledge about adoption of  2.6 of the
tariff  would  not  assist  in  developing  a  sound  record  and
intervention  on  the part of AECA to provide this  institutional
knowledge  may  delay  the proceeding.  Those  findings  are  not
clearly  erroneous, and based on those findings,  the  Commission
reasonably denied AECAs petition to intervene.
V.	CONCLUSION
          Because  the Commission reasonably concluded that  AECA
does  not qualify for mandatory intervention under 3 AAC  48.110,
and  because  the  Commission did not  abuse  its  discretion  in
denying permissive intervention under that regulation, we  AFFIRM
the  denial  of  AECAs intervention in the underlying  regulatory
proceeding.
                                             
_______________________________
     1	See,   e.g.,  Alaska  Pub.  Util.  Commn,  Re   Intrastate
Access  Charges & Subscriber Line Charges, 10 A.P.U.C. 34,  36-37
(1989).

     2	Id.

     3	See id. at 39.

     4	Id.  at  38.   AS 42.05.830 provides for the establishment
of  a  system  of  access  charges to be paid  by  long  distance
carriers  to compensate local exchange carriers for the  cost  of
originating and terminating long distance services.

     5	Id. at 37.

     6	Id.  at  39.  In Alaska, a tariff specifies the terms  and
conditions  under which a utility offers services to the  general
public.  AS 42.05.990(7).

     7	Newtons Telecom Dictionary 393 (22d ed. 2006).

     8	3   Alaska  Administrative  Code  (AAC)  48.110(a)  (2008)
provides:

          Petitions for permission to intervene as  a  party
          will be considered only in those cases that are to
          be decided upon an evidentiary record after notice
          and hearing.  Any person who has a statutory right
          to  be  made  a party to that proceeding  will  be
          permitted   to   intervene.   Any   person   whose
          intervention  will be conducive  to  the  ends  of
          justice  and will not unduly delay the conduct  of
          the    proceeding   will,   in   the   commissions
          discretion, be permitted to intervene.
          
     9	GCI  Commcn  Corp. v. Tel. Utils. of the Northland,  Inc.,
Docket  U-99-81, Order No. 1, at 12 (Regulatory Commn of  Alaska,
Nov. 1, 1999).

     10	E.g.,  Cook  Inlet Pipe Line Co. v.  Alaska  Pub.  Utils.
Commn,  836  P.2d  343, 348 (Alaska 1992) (citing  Tesoro  Alaska
Petrol.  Co.  v. Kenai Pipe Line Co., 746 P.2d 896,  903  (Alaska
1987)).

     11	Tesoro,   746  P.2d  at  903  (citing,  e.g.,  Matanuska-
Susitna Borough v. Hammond, 726 P.2d 166, 175-77 (Alaska 1986)).

     12	Id.

     13	Id.

     14	Griffiths  v.  Andys Body & Frame, Inc.,  165  P.3d  619,
623  (Alaska 2007) (quoting Hodges v. Alaska Constructors,  Inc.,
957 P.2d 957, 960 (Alaska 1998)).

     15	Matanuska Elec. Assn, Inc. v. Chugach Elec.  Assn,  Inc.,
53  P.3d 578, 583 (Alaska 2002) (citing Tlingit-Haida Regl  Elec.
Auth. v. State, 15 P.3d 754, 761 (Alaska 2001)).

     16	Amerada  Hess  Pipeline  Corp.  v.  Regulatory  Commn  of
Alaska,  176 P.3d 667, 673 (Alaska 2008) (citing Alyeska Pipeline
Serv. Co. v. DeShong, 77 P.3d 1227, 1231 (2003)).

     17	Docket U-99-81, supra note 9, at 12.

     18	Id. at 10, 12.

     19	Id. at 7.

     20	See id. at 17.

     21	Id. at 16-17.

     22	Regulatory    Commn   of   Alaska,   Alaska    Intrastate
Interexchange  Access Charge Manual  603(b) (2006)  available  at
.   The
manual   provides:    Participation  in   Commission   or   court
proceedings  relating to the Associations access  charge  tariff,
the billing and collection of the Associations access charges, or
the distribution of the Associations access charge revenues shall
be deemed to be authorized Association activities.

     23	Alaska Pub. Util. Commn Access Services Tariff  999   1.3
(1997),  provides  that AECA has the primary  responsibility  for
preparing,  filing,  and  supporting  this  tariff;  billing  and
collecting  access charges; handling disputes;  and  distributing
access charge revenues to the individual companies.

     24	AS 42.05.

     25	AS  42.05.850  provides: The commission may  require  the
local  exchange  carriers  to form an association  to  assist  in
administering  the system of access charges and may  require  the
association to file tariffs and to engage in pooling of  exchange
access  costs and revenue if necessary . . . .  A local  exchange
carrier  is  any carrier certificated to provide local  telephone
services.  AS 42.05.890(1).

     26	Intrastate Access Charges, supra note 1, at 39.

     27	See AS 42.05.850.

     28	Intrastate Access Charges, supra note 1, at 39.

     29	AECA   claims   that   2.6  of  its   tariff   authorizes
intervention.   But that section merely requires local  telephone
companies  to give the Commission and access customers notice  of
any  proposed changes to the FPOS and delineates the  process  by
which  access  customers may object to proposed changes.   Access
Services Tariff, supra note 23 at  2.6 (A-F).

          AECA  also  points  to  Docket U-00-88,  in  which  the
Commission  allowed an oil company and two natural gas  companies
to  intervene  because  [c]ustomers of a public  utility  have  a
statutory  right  to  participate as a  party  [sic]  in  utility
proceedings  and  the companies would have had standing  to  seek
judicial   review.   In  Re  Investigation  into   2000   Revenue
Requirement & Cost of Svc. Studies, Docket U-00-88, Order  No.  2
at  4 (Regulatory Commn of Alaska, Feb. 5, 2001).  Docket U-00-88
is  distinguishable from this case because AECA is not a customer
of a public utility.

     30	In  Re  Petition  Filed by Interior  Tel.  Co.,  Inc.  to
Implement  a  Proposed  Network  Change  Under  Alaska   Exchange
Carriers  Assn,  Inc.,  Tariff Section 2.6(f),  Docket  U-06-109,
Order No. 10 at 3 (Regulatory Commn of Alaska, June 6, 2007).

     31	Id. at 4.

     32	In   re  Amendment  &  Clarification  of  Part  69  Rules
Governing  the  Natl  Exch. Carrier Assn,  2  F.C.C.R.  381,  382
(1987).

     33	Jane  L.  Racster,  Natl Regulatory Research  Inst.,  The
Natl Exch. Carrier Assn: Structure and Operation, 1-2 (1985).

     34	Id. at 10.

     35	47 C.F.R.  69.603(a)-(b) (2007).

     36	See 2 F.C.C.R. at 381-85.

     37	But  see,  e.g., In re C.F.Commcns Corp.  v.  Mich.  Bell
Tel.  Co., 12 F.C.C.R. 2134, 2144 (1997) (granting NECA leave  to
intervene as amicus curiae).

     38	Griffiths,  165  P.3d at 623 (quoting  Hodges  v.  Alaska
Constructors, Inc., 957 P.2d 957, 960 (Alaska 1998)).

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