Update on PUC looking into LTD Broadband: LTD doesn’t want to file long form

This is an ongoing saga. If you are new to the topic, here’s a very quick recap…

LTD was awarded an opportunity to apply for $311 million in federal RDOF funding. They needed the ETC designation from the MN PUC to qualify; industry folks asked the MN PUC to rethink their designation because there were concerns about LTD being able to fulfill the contract. Last month, their application for RDOF was rejected. On April 23, they held a preconference to decide whether or not to continue to look into revoking their ETC status.

Yesterday, the PUC posted a few documents I could view and I few that I couldn’t. Mane submitted document would include protected information; that may be the reason. (I have asked about it and hope to hear more about that later.)

I was able to view a letter from LTD Broadband lawyers saying they didn’t want to file their RDOF long form, because thye had already shared that information with engaged parties and a letter from MN Telecom Alliance saying they have received the Long Form from LTD.

From LTD Broadband lawyers

Towards the end of the prehearing conference last Monday, Your Honor indicated that LTD Broadband, LLC (“LTD”) had not “filed” its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund long form application pursuant to your September 1, 2022 Second Prehearing Order. In the context of the proceedings at that time, LTD viewed the order as a memorialization of LTD’s voluntary agreement to “serve” the long form available on the state agencies and the petitioners and did not appreciate that there may have been a separate requirement to “file” the long form in the docket. LTD provided the parties with the long form on the afternoon of August 26, 2022 and believed that it had complied with its voluntary agreement with the other parties, which raised no objections to the documents served, and with Your Honor’s order.
LTD believes that any separate requirement to “file” the long form would be unnecessary. First, all of the parties that have signed the Protective Order have received the long form, such that filing it in the public docket would appear to be duplicative given the uncertainty over whether future proceedings will even be necessary. In addition, LTD notes that its long form is not pending with the FCC and unless or until that status changes, there is no value in further dissemination and disclosure of its contents, which remain highly sensitive and proprietary to LTD.
Every time these documents change hands, particularly through electronic transmission, it poses a risk of unintended disclosure of highly confidential financial, technical, and other business information with potentially very damaging consequences for LTD. Second, separately filing highly confidential, confidential, and public versions of more than 1,500 pages will take significant time and effort, at a time when Your Honor is considering action on the petitioners’ Motion to Stay and Motion to Certify. …

From MTA

This letter is sent to address the following statement, which I made at the Prehearing on April 24, 2023, concerning information provided on August 26, 2022, by LTD in relation to LTD’s long form application before the FCC:
We received approximately 200 pages of material. We saw Bates stamps on the material that went up to approximately page 1500. We do not know as a matter of certainty whether or not we have all of the materials that have been submitted to the FCC, but it appears to us that we do not. (Tr. p. 30, lines 15-21).
Mr. Coran, as counsel for LTD, recently provided information to us as to the manner in which the LTD information was transmitted on August 26, 2022, to the Department, Office of Attorney General, and our office (as counsel for Petitioners).
We have determined that we did, in fact, receive 1562 pages of Bates stamped materials from LTD on August 26, 2022. Through inadvertence, the statement that we received approximately 200 pages of material recognized only the Highly Confidential Trade Secret information provided by LTD and did not recognize the significantly larger part of non-confidential information also provided.


This entry was posted in MN, Policy and tagged , , by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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