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Railroad Commission's opinion and order under Application No. 8145 herein, to the Southern California Telephone (':ompany to submit for the approval of the Commission within thirty days a comprehensive and adequate program for the improvement of service and supplying the demands for telephone service in the territory served by it, a proieeding be had as soon as possible thereafter to enable all parties interested in said program, as well as the Commission, to examine and investigate the program submitted as to its adequacy and as to the company's ability to provide for an early realization of the program recuired.

October 23, 1923.

ILLINOIS.

Commerce Commission.

In re PROPOSED ADVANCE IN RATES BY THE CAPRON HOME

TELEPHONE COMPANY.

Case No. 13073.

Decided September 12, 1923. Increase in Rates Authorize! Additional Charge to be Made Where

Bills are not Paid within Specified Time.

OPIXION AND ORDER. On February 7, 1923, the Capron Home Telephone Company filed with the Commission Rate Schedule Ill. C. C. 1, in which it proposed to increase the rates now in effect as follows: individual line business stations from $18.00 to $24.00 and party line business stations from $15.00 to $20.00 per annum, with a discount of $2.00 per annum from the new rate if the bills are paid semi-annually in advance. A hearing in the matter being deemed necessary the Commission, on March 20, 1923, entered an order suspending the proposed increases in rates until July 27, 1923, and on July 18, 1923, resuspended the proposed increases in rates until January 27, 1924.

All interested parties having been notified, the matter came on for hearing b·fore the Commission on April 10, 1923, at which hearing the Capron Home Telephone Company was represented by counsel and no one appeared objecting. Testimony was submitted in reference to the annual operating revenues and expenses of the company, the population of the t rritory served, the number of stations operated by the company, the radius of territory served, and also the muner of collecting rentals and tolls. Evidence was also pr sented to the effect that the part of the proposed increase in rates is to be offered as a discount for prompt payment of bills. Testimony was

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also submitted as to the publication and posting of notice of intention to apply for authority to increase rates.

From the record it appears that the annual operating revenue is not sufficient to meet the necessary operating expenses without providing a reserve against depreciation or yielding a fair return upon the invested capital, either under the present or the proposed rates. Furthermore, it appears that the annual rentals for the year 1922 outstanding amount to a large sum by reason of the subscribers being scattered over an extended rural territory, making the collection of bills difficult. The expense of making collections under present conditions is a substantial item in the operation of the Capron Home Telephone Company.

For the purpose of facilitating collection of bills, the company proposes to offer a discount from the new rate when bills are paid semi-annually in advance. The Commission does not approve of that part of the increase requested for the purpose of allowing a discount for the prompt payment of the bill, but is of the opinion that a rule which provides for the collection of an additional charge when bills are not paid when due, is a reasonable rule, and the Commission will approve of a rule which provides for the collection of a charge of $1.00 semiannually in addition to the regular charge when bills are not paid when due.

It is, therefore, ordered by the Illinois Commerce Commission as follows:

Section 1. That Rate Schedule Ill. C. C. 1 of the Capron Home Telephone Company, applying to telephone service furnished in Capron, county of Boone, and vicinity, be, and the same is hereby, permanently suspended, cancelled and annulled.

Section 2. That the Capron Home Telephone Company be, and the same is hereby, permitted and authorized to file with the Commission Rate Schedule Ill. C. C. 2, covering telephone service furnished in the village of Capron, county of Boone, and vicinity, effective September 1, 1923,

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which said schedule of rates shall include a rule providing for an additional charge of $1.00 semi-annually when bills are not paid on or before the expiration of thirty days following the issuing of the statement covering the period for which the service is rendered. The said schedule of rates shall read as follows:

Rate Per Annum Individual line stations...

$22 00 Party line stations...

18 00

and when filed with the Commission as required by the Illinois Commerce Commission Law, and General Order No. 28,* adopted by the Commission, shall be the legal rates covering telephone service in Capron, county of Boone, and vicinity.

By order of the Commission, at Springfield, Illinois, this twelfth day of September, 1923.

In re JOINT APPLICATION OF THE ILLINOIS TELEPHONE

COMPANY AND HOME TELEPHONE COMPANY OF BLUFFS
FOR AN ORDER AUTHORIZING THE SALE BY THE FORMER
AND THE PURCHASE BY THE LATTER OF THE EXCHANGE
AT BLUFFS AND CERTAIN TOLL LINES.

Case No. 13509.

Decided October 3, 1923.

Sale and Purchase of Property Authorized.

OPINION AND ORDER. The joint application filed herein by The Illinois Telephone Company, a corporation, and Home Telephone Company of Bluffs, Illinois, a corporation, asks for the consent to and approval of the sale by The Illinois Telephone Company and the purchase by the Home Telephone Company of Bluffs, Illinois, of a certain portion of said The Illinois Telephone Company's property described as

• See Commission Leaflet No. 54, p. 21.

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"the Bluffs exchange property; the toll pole line running north to Meredosia by way of Sycamore Grove, with fixtures and one No. 12 iron circuit; and the toll pole line running from Bluffs to Meredosia by way of Naples (recently purchased from the Illinois Bell Telephone Company), together with fixtures and one No. 12 iron circuit, with pay station at Naples and the booth and telephone in Meredosia";

for a consideration to be paid in cash equal to the cost of reproduction, less depreciation, as shown by the appraisal made by L. V. Estes and Company, less 5.45 per cent. per annum from the date of said appraisal to the date of the transfer of the property.

The matter came on for hearing before the Commission on September 19, 1923, at which time the joint petitioners were represented by Ben B. Boynton. No one appeared objecting.

The record shows that The Illinois Telephone Company and the Home Telephone Company of Bluffs, Illinois, own and operate competing exchanges in the city of Bluffs. There is no physical connection between these competing exchanges, and therefore the service furnished is limited and in order to obtain full and complete local telephone service, subscribers are required to maintain two stations. On September 1, 1923, the Home Telephone Company of Bluffs, Illinois, had 479 stations and The Illinois Telephone Company had 157 stations, making a total of 636 stations. Of this number, 53 stations were duplicates.

The proposed merger, if consummated, will enable the present duplicate subscribers to do away with one station and will enable the non-duplicate subscribers to substantially increase the number of local stations to which they may obtain direct telephone connection.

In Case No. 11734,* the company introduced in evidence an inventory and a reproduction appraisal of all of its property as of March 1, 1921. This inventory and

See Commission Leaflet No. 125, p. 1235.

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