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tion of the matter was not reached. Afterward, a representative of the Commission visited the town of Cedar Fort; various estimates were made and discussed; estimates were made covering different types of service; but no substantial progress was made.
Thereupon, the Commission set the case for hearing, and the cause came on regularly for hearing, in Cedar Fort, May 11, 1921, at which time testimony was offered upon the part of the respective parties.
It appeared from the testimony that the complainants were at variance among themselves as to the kind of telephone service that should be installed. It was suggested by the Commission that the citizens of Cedar Fort call a meeting, with a view of becoming unified as to the service wanted by the community, and at the same time it was suggested by the Commission that the defendant submit to the complainants and to the Commission, estimated costs of the two types of service proposed by the defendant as the most feasible and satisfactory for the complainants. The respective parties agreed to the suggestions of the Commission and to report at an early date accordingly. No further tangible progress has been made.
The Commission has held the case under advisement since that time, and it has become apparent that upon this record no conclusion can be reached.
Public utilities should be required to render service to subscribers under conditions that are just and reasonable to the subscribers and to the utility. The ability of the utility to render adequate and continuing service depends upon the revenues derived from the rates applied to all of the subscribers. If the revenue derived from a particular subscriber or the subcribers of a particular community in relation to the special or extra investment made to serve the subscriber or the community, is not a reasonable amount, such subscriber or community, in that event, becomes a burden upon the general rate-paying public and, in effect, there is unlawful discrimination. Hence, the rule is that the subscriber or all of the subscribers of a com[Uta munity living at a too great distance from existing lines or having some special or peculiar condition of service, are required to share in the investment made to serve them, depending upon the amount and kind of service rendered. Part or all of the investment necessary to secure service, made by the subscriber or class of subscribers is returned within a reasonable time.
The case is accordingly dismissed, without prejudice.
This case being at issue upon complaint and answer on file, and having been duly heard and submitted by the parties, and full investigation of the matters and things involved having been had, and the Commission having, on the date hereof, made and filed a report containing its findings, which said report is hereby referred to and made a part hereof,
It is ordered, That the complaint herein be, and it is hereby, dismissed, without prejudice.
January 11, 1924.
In re INVESTIGATION OF THE MOUNTAIN STATES TELEPHONE
AND TELEGRAPH COMPANY COVERING RURAL EXTENSIONS.
Case No. 488.
Decided January 17, 1924. Construction of Individual Line Extensions into Sparsely Settled Ter
ritcry Outside Base Rate Areas Considered Subscribers Required to Share in Construction Cost and to Pay Higher Rate Than Exists Within Base Rate Complaint as
to Construction an! Other Costs Dismissed.
This case was initiated January 19, 1922, on the Commission's own motion, and grew out of a letter of com
plaint as to construction and other costs incurred in rendering individual line service beyond base rate areas.
The case has been continued from time to time, and, after investigation, the Commission is convinced that the cause should be dismissed.
The general level of telephone rates is not sufficiently high so that we may require individual line extensions into comparatively thinly settled territory without base rate areas, unless the subscriber shares in construction costs and pays a higher rate than obtains within the base rate area. If individual line circuits were extended to subscribers, irrespective of distance from the exchange, investment costs incurred would soon reach such a figure that necessarily the majority of the subscribers who would not incur this expense would be called upon to pay increased rates to take care of the extraordinary requirements of a few.
Accordingly, the case is dismissed, without prejudice.
ORDER. This case being at issue upon the Commission's own motion, and full investigation of the matters and things involved having been had, and the Commission having, on the date hereof, made and filed a report containing its findings, which said report is hereby referred to and made a part hereof,
It is ordered, That the case herein be, and it is hereby, dismissed.
January 17, 1924.
In re APPLICATION OF THE AMBERG TELEPHONE AND TELE
GRAPH COMPANY FOR AUTHORITY TO INCREASE RATES,
Decided January 21, 1924. Standard of Service Considered Increase in Rates Authorized.
OPINION AND DECISION.
This application was filed October 18, 1923.
The applicant is a public utility owning and operating a telephone system serving the communities of Amberg, Wausaukee, Crivitz, and Woodman, and adjacent rural territory. The lines are spread out over a great extent of territory with a sparse development, and it appears that the total number of subscribers served is about 320. The record is not entirely clear as to whether or not all of these are on lines owned by the company. Some may be on lines which receive switching service from the Amberg Telephone and Telegraph Company. The applicant states that its rates for telephone service are $1.50 per month for business telephones and $1.25 per month for residence telephones. There is no recital in the petition of the rates being charged for switching service. The foregoing rates are less than those which are lawfully on file with the Commission for the system of the Crivitz Rural Telephone Company which is now a part of the Amberg Telephone and Telegraph Company, but apparently upon the acquisition of the property of the Crivitz Rural Telephone Company by the Amberg company, the schedule of the Amberg company was placed in effect.
The applicant asks authority to discontinue its present
C. L. 146]
schedule of rates and to put in the following schedule of net monthly rates:
Mļetallic Service Grounded Service
In addition to the schedule of rates for exchange service, the company has on file with the Commission a schedule of rates for inter-zone service, the system of the company being divided into five zones. These inter-zone rates are not involved in the present case.
Hearing on this application was held at Wausaukee December 4, 1923, with the following appearances entered: for the petitioner, A. F. Murphy and E. E. Busby; for the village of Crivitz, H. S. Duquaine and Joseph Danna; for the village of Wausaukee, James G. Morgan.
At the time of the hearing much was made of the rates for switching service, but there is nothing in the record which would enable us to fix a proper rate for this service. We can only suggest, therefore, that the Amberg company and the rural organizations for which it does switching service attempt to agree on a proper rate for this service. If this cannot be fixed by agreement, the matter may be brought before the Commission for adjudication, at which time the necessary testimony should be introduced.
The petitioner introduced an exhibit showing the results of operation for a portion of the year 1923. This statement covered the operations of the Amberg system for the first ten months, and for the Wausaukee and Crivitz systems, which were formerly operated by separate companies, for four months from July 1 to October 31, 1923. This statement shows total operating revenues, less amounts paid to the Wisconsin Telephone Company for its proportion of long distance messages, amounting to