FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- JUNE 15, 2012
Contact: Kevin Kelly (573) 751-9300
PSC Staff Files Complaint Against Cintex Wireless
Staff Seeks To Keep Company From Receiving Federal USF Reimbursement
JEFFERSON CITY—The staff of the Missouri Public Service Commission has filed a complaint against Cintex Wireless, LLC seeking to have the wireless carrier’s designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) in Missouri provisionally revoked pending further investigation.
The PSC staff complaint alleges Cintex: 1) omitted material facts in its application for designation or in its responses to PSC staff data requests; 2) marketed and provided service to customers outside its area of designation; 3) engaged in misleading marketing; 4) falsely responded to a properly propounded data request from the PSC staff; and 5) engaged in other acts or practices that should disqualify it from ETC designation in Missouri.
The complaint involves the federal Universal Service Fund (USF) and disbursements from that federal fund to a commercial mobile radio service provider (such as a cell phone or wireless carrier). Cintex is a wireless carrier. According to the PSC staff, Cintex has not nor is it currently receiving federal USF support for its Missouri Lifeline customers.
A carrier designated as an ETC is authorized to offer telephone discounts to eligible low income and disabled customers through the state and federal Lifeline program. Eligible customers receive the discounts to help them to maintain vital telephone service. The ETCs receive reimbursement for providing the discounts through the federal or state universal service fund.
Based upon its investigation, the PSC staff complaint questions whether it was in the public interest to grant Cintex ETC status in December of last year and whether it is in the public interest to allow Cintex to continue to be eligible for federal reimbursement.
As part of its complaint, the PSC staff is seeking to have the Commission issue a Show Cause Order as to why the Commission should not provisionally revoke Cintex’s ETC designation during the pendency of the complaint proceeding.
The staff complaint also seeks a Commission order making Cintex continue to serve its Missouri customers until they can be migrated to another provider. In addition, staff asks that Cintex be ordered to migrate to another provider, within a specified period of time, those customers who are not within Cintex’s authorized service area in Missouri.
In May, the Missouri Public Service Commission also opened a file to collect information regarding a PSC staff investigation into the practices and procedures of ETCs concerning the use of universal service funds to offer telephone discounts to eligible low income and disabled customers.
The PSC staff has indicated that it will file a report with the Commission regarding its investigation as well as plans to propose certain revisions to current PSC rules to address any problems that the staff identifies in its report.
Setting up a file will enable any person with an interest in this matter to view documents and submit any pertinent responsive comments or documents. This is not a contested case therefore any person may file a comment without counsel and without ex parte constraints.
The public is also welcome to submit comments by forwarding electronic communications through the Commission’s electronic filing and information system (EFIS) or by mailing written comments to the Missouri Public Service Commission, P.O. Box 360, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102. Please reference the file number TO-2012-0364.
Electronic comments may be submitted to the Commission’s website (http://www.psc.mo.gov) . Click on the EFIS/Case Filings link on the left side of the page. Scroll down and click on the public comment link. Please refer to file number TO-2012-0364.
Case Nos. RC-2012-0421 & TO-2012-0364