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MPSC marks end of access restructuring mechanism for providers of phone service in Michigan

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The MPSC today marked the end of an era with the conclusion of a temporary fund set up to help ease the loss of revenues for rural incumbent local exchange telephone carriers created when state government in 2009 reformed the system of compensation that providers charge each other for originating and terminating calls on their networks (Case No. U-16183).

The Michigan Legislature, in Public Act 182 of 2009, sought to reform the decades-old system of switched toll access charges that phone service providers charge to each other — charges that had been in effect long before mobile phones and broadband/voice over internet protocol (VoIP) existed. The MPSC in 2010 commenced Case No. U-16183 to implement Public Act 182’s amendments to Section 310 of the Michigan Telecommunications Act.

As part of the reform, the Commission created the Intrastate Switched Toll Access Restructuring Mechanism (ARM), a fund to provide temporary assistance to rural incumbent local exchange carriers to soften the revenue loss associated with the lowered intrastate access rates mandated under PA 182.

The ARM, administered by the MPSC, was established to be active for 12 years, and was funded through mandatory monthly contributions from all providers of intrastate retail telecommunications service and commercial mobile voice services operating in Michigan. ARM funds were distributed monthly to eligible providers, and the final disbursements to 38 eligible providers have been made, marking the end of the ARM.

During its dozen years of operation, the ARM collected about $162 million from a monthly average of 240 contributing providers, and of that amount, $157 million was disbursed to eligible providers, with the remainder used for administration of the fund.

Today’s order closes the docket in Case No. U-16183. The MPSC will issue its final annual ARM report to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Legislature by Dec. 1, 2022. More information on the ARM, including previous annual reports, is available on the MPSC’s ARM web page.


The MPSC today extended the deadline for investor investor-owned utilities to file their capacity demonstrations from Dec. 1, 2022, to Dec. 21, 2022, and permitted the utilities to supplement or amend these capacity demonstration filings, if necessary (Case No. U-21225). The adjusted deadline was made, at the request of MPSC Staff and the utilities, to allow the electric providers time to incorporate seasonal capacity accreditation values that the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, the regional transmission organization covering much of Michigan, will publish Dec. 15. The Commission also directed Michigan load serving entities to file upcoming capacity demonstrations based on the summer peak and instructed MPSC Staff to update filing templates to accommodate changes and post them to the MPSC’s website by Nov. 21, 2022.


The Commission today grated a joint request by Indiana Michigan Power Co. and MPSC Staff to extend statutory deadlines in the review of the utility’s integrated resource plan, or IRP (Case No. U-21189). IRPs, which are required for each electric utility whose rates are regulated by the MPSC, lay out an electric utility’s long-range forecasts for ensuring reliable service over the next 20 years, with specific requirements for reporting 5-, 10- and 15-year projections. Today’s order extends the statutory 300-day order to Feb. 23, 2023, and 360-day order to April 24, 2023. If a Nov. 14 settlement agreement in the case is contested, today’s order directs parties wishing to file direct testimony to do so by 5 p.m. Dec. 7, 2022, with rebuttal testimony filed by 5 p.m. Dec. 13; an evidentiary hearing would be held Dec. 20-22 or on a date as modified by an administrative law judge; initial briefs addressing the proposed settlement must be filed by 5 p.m. Jan. 5, 2023, and reply briefs by 5 p.m. Jan. 12, 2023.

To look up cases from today’s meeting, access the MPSC’s E-Dockets filing system.

Watch recordings of the MPSC’s meetings on the MPSC’s YouTube channel.

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DISCLAIMER: This document was prepared to aid the public’s understanding of certain matters before the Commission and is not intended to modify, supplement, or be a substitute for the Commission’s orders. The Commission’s orders are the official action of the Commission.

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