Dec. 5, 2006 — With only three weeks left until the end of the current administration, and after more than a year of postponing discussion on matters relating to Innovative Communications Corp., Public Services Commission members have suddenly called a series of meetings to discuss, among other things, whether or not Choice Communications will be able to offer competitive telephone service in the territory.
In April, the commission was given 60 days to further define its determination on the matter, after federal District Court Judge Stanley Brotman ordered the PSC to revisit its decision to disallow telephone competition based on the assumption that it would increase telephone rates (See "Competitive Phone Service Again Before the PSC").
The two parties were ordered to provide briefs on the matter for an August meeting that didn't materialize. Again, they were ordered to be prepared to present their arguments in September, and again a meeting was canceled.
According to a letter recently sent by PSC Vice Chairman Raymond Williams, the commission is set to hear arguments from both Innovative and Choice at a special meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday. The issue has also been placed on the agenda of another PSC meeting set for Friday, Dec. 15.
It is unclear why the meetings on Vitelco matters, which also include discussion of Vitelco's financial viability, have been called at this time, particularly since PSC Chairwoman Alecia Wells sent a letter last February to Vitelco and its creditors saying the commission was stepping out of the fray and would allow the entities to work things out through the courts.
It is also unknown what a rather cryptic agenda item — listed on the Dec. 15 docket as "Vitelco Change of Control Proceedings (Pending Chairwoman Approval for Docket Number)" –means.
Several calls placed to Williams over the past two days have not been returned. Calls made to Wells, along with the commission's legal counsel Jeffery Moorhead, have also not been returned.
The PSC will also be discussing issues relating to the V.I. Water and Power Authority during a meeting scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 14.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.