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Delaware Reconsideration

  Two days before the ISDN hearing in Delaware, Bell Atlantic proposed new,
  region-wide rates.  If adopted, these rates would reduce a nailed-down line
  from $1828 to $249.  Bell Atlantic objected to any discussion of the new
  proposal, but the parties testified that any rate substantially over $20 was
  unreasonable.  Bell Atlantic continues to charge the OLD rates.  The Hearing
  Examiner agreed, and proposed $28.  The Commission adopted this position.
  Bell Atlantic now claims that its due process has been violated because its
  revised rates were not considered.  This principle would paralyze regulation.
  Every time a telco faced a hearing, it could issue a new proposal two days
  before, and start the process all over from scratch -- meanwhile charging the
  OLD rates.
  Bell Atlantic's substantive argument is that the new rates are among the
  lowest of any Bell company in the nation -- largely because no state other
  than Utah has held a full-dress hearing.  Other states have yet to challenge
  or have entered settlements that are not favorable to ratepayers.  Still,
  this argument may have some force.
  -- Scott Rafferty