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PUC Isn't Relevant

June 30, 1985

"PUC Trying to Adapt to New Environment" (June 3) is of no small significance.

Last year, at a seminar sponsored by the commission at the Stanford University Law School, I questioned whether the new complexities created both by the AT&T divestiture and the general nature of the evolving telecommunications field might argue for a separate specialized new commission.

The commission said it was perfectly able to handle any and all new demands, this despite the fact that many of its talented people in the telecommunications field had been lured away from government employment. The professionalism of the current commission and its staff are really not the issue. It's a very hard-working agency. The point is that an agency like the PUC is not relevant to the new exigencies implicit in the telecommunications field.

The tremendous pressures to deal fairly with utilities as well as consumers will not be accomplished under the current framework.

It is in the public interest for utilities to be healthy and attractive investments. It is likewise in the public interest for a government agency to be able to handle what it can logically handle.

If this concern is ignored either because the sitting commissioners view the proposal as an affront, or because some legislators worry about the budgeting, we may find both energy utilities and telecommunications interests sadly bogged down, with the consumer caught in the middle.

JOSEPH J. HONICK

Encino

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