Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission
302 West Washington Street, Room 306
Indianapolis Indiana 46204
Contact: Mary Beth Fisher
For Immediate Release
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission today opened a formal investigation of Ameritech Indiana’s quality of service in Cause No. 41911.
As the state’s largest local telephone company the Commissioners feel it is crucial that Ameritech provide adequate telecommunications services that comply with the service quality requirements under Indiana law, Commission rule, and past Commission orders.
While the Commission recognizes that Ameritech’s service quality has shown improvement in the last few months, the Commission is concerned that during calendar year 2000 Ameritech did not meet the service quality standards required by law.
170 IAC 7-1.1-11(E)(1) requires that “[e]ach utility shall make all reasonable efforts to minimize the extent and duration of interruptions of service. Service repair practices shall be designed to restore service within twenty-four (24) hours from the time the interruption is reported to the utility (Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays excepted).”
Ameritech Indiana is not in compliance with 170 IAC 7-1.1-11(E)(1) because service is not restored within twenty-four (24) hours from the time the interruption is reported to the utility, Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays excepted. Proof of non-compliance for the year 2000 is reflected in Ameritech’s Quarterly Quality of Service Reports. These reports show the percentage of time that Ameritech clears out service reports within twenty-four (24) hours:
1st Quarter, 2000 85.3%
2nd Quarter, 2000 81.4%
3rd Quarter, 2000 66.2%
The Commission has reviewed weekly reports provided by the company that indicate the “mean” time for repairs by week. Ameritech’s weekly mean time of repairs for the month of December 2000, is as follows:
November 29, 2000 24.41
December 6, 2000 30.54
December 13, 2000 27.34
December 20, 2000 29.23
December 27, 2000 33.39
On the issue of installation of new service, the Commission also believes Ameritech remains deficient.
170 IAC 7-1.1-11(A)(2) states that “[w]here central office and outside plant facilities are readily available, at least ninety percent (90%) of all requests for primary service in any calendar month shall normally be satisfied within an interval of five (5) working days after receipt of application. . . .”
Ameritech Indiana was not compliance with 170 IAC 7-1.1-11(A)(2) during calendar year 2000. Ameritech’s non-compliance is set forth in Ameritech’s revised, Quarterly Quality of Service Reports on file with the Commission in Cause No. 40849. The Quarterly Quality of Service Reports routinely indicated that Ameritech was in compliance with this standard until an error in Ameritech’s calculations was discovered in June 2000. At the Commission’s request, Ameritech recalculated and revised to correct this error. The following table shows the percentage of installation requests for primary service that were satisfied within five (5) days for the first three quarters of last year.
1st Quarter, 2000 86.0%
2nd Quarter, 2000 85.5%
3rd Quarter, 2000 88.6%
Ameritech customers have also complained to the IURC that they have had trouble reaching the company to register a complaint.
170 IAC 7-1.1-11(H)(1)(b) requires each utility to provide equipment designed on the basis of realistic forecasts of growth and shall make all reasonable efforts to provide adequate personnel to meet the following service criteria so that under normal operating conditions, at least eighty percent (80%) of calls to business office and repair service shall be answered within twenty (20) seconds after the start of audible ring.
Ameritech Indiana has failed, during calendar year 2000, to comply with 170 IAC 7-1.1-11(H)(1)(b). The following Table demonstrates Ameritech’s non-compliance with regulatory requirements during this period.
2000 62.5 63.1 88.6 72.3 101.6 124.7 164.7 222.7
Based on the Commission’s review of the Table provided by Ameritech, it is apparent that the company failed to comply with legal requirements tied to Average Speed of Answer in Seconds and the Percentage of Calls Answered in Twenty Seconds or Less. While the legal standard is twenty (20) seconds, the Average Speed of Answer in Seconds portion of the table indicates that, based on information currently available for calendar year 2000, the shortest Average Speed of Answer is 62.5 seconds (January 2000) and the longest Average Speed of Answer is 222.7 seconds (August 2000). While the legal standard is eighty (80) percent, the largest percentage of calls answered in twenty (20) seconds or less was 55.5% (April 2000), and the smallest percentage of calls answered in twenty (20) seconds or less was 32.4% (August 2000).
This investigation will allow Ameritech to present all the evidence that it feels is necessary to provide an accurate and complete picture of the company’s quality of service during calendar year 2000. It will also require the company to convince the Commission why enforcement action should not be taken against Ameritech.