(1) These rules establish service quality requirements for facilities-based local exchange carriers. The carrier shall be expected to meet generally accepted industry standards for quality on any service provided by the carrier that is not covered by these rules.
(2) Based on commission receipt of increasing consumer complaints or other relevant information about the level of service being provided by a carrier to which these service quality requirements apply, the commission may require the carrier to begin documenting its compliance with any or all of these service requirements and providing periodic service quality reports containing such documentation to the commission. If a carrier is required by the commission to provide records or documentation regarding its compliance, the records or documentation must be reported on individual exchange and statewide aggregate bases.
(3) Regarding installation of local exchange service, the carrier shall complete 95 percent of its installation orders within five business days of the application date, excluding those orders where the customer specifically requests a later due date. Ninety-five percent of the orders where the customer specifically requested a later due date must be completed on the customer-requested due date.
(a) The carrier shall complete 100 percent of all orders for service installation, excluding those orders where the customer specifically requested a later due date, within 180 calendar days of the application date.
(b) Each carrier shall make commitments to customers as to the date of installation of all service orders.
(c) Violations of the installation requirements do not exist if the carrier is unable to comply due to customer reasons, or work stoppages directly affecting provision of service in Montana, or other circumstances outside the carrier's control that can be documented by the carrier. A carrier may not exclude orders from this measurement in those instances where the installation required access to the customer's location and no access was available, but the carrier either did not schedule an installation appointment with the customer for on-premises access or did schedule an appointment, which may not exceed a four-hour appointment window, but did not arrive at the customer's premises at the appointed time.
(d) A carrier shall not cancel customer installation orders at its own discretion. An installation order received by a carrier shall remain a pending order until the installation is completed or the customer requests cancellation at his or her own initiative or in response to the carrier's inquiry. An installation order may be cancelled if the carrier has made a good faith effort to contact the customer and the customer has not responded to the carrier's inquiries.
(4) Calls requiring timing shall be accurately timed. Each carrier shall maintain adequate personnel to provide an average operator answering performance on a monthly basis as follows:
(a) Eighty-five percent of toll and/or local assistance operator calls answered within ten seconds (equivalent measurements as approved by the commission may be used) .
(b) Eighty percent of directory assistance and intercept calls shall be answered within ten seconds (equivalent measurements as approved by the commission may be used) .
(5) Sufficient central office and interoffice channel capacity and equipment shall be provided by the carrier to meet the following requirements during the average busy season, busy hour without encountering blockages, or equipment irregularities:
(a) Dial tone within three seconds on 98 percent of calls.
(b) Proper completion of 97 percent of correctly dialed intraoffice calls.
(c) Proper completion of 97 percent of correctly dialed interoffice calls within the local calling area.
(d) Proper completion of 97 percent of correctly dialed interexchange toll calls.
(6) All facilities shall meet accepted industry design standards and shall conform to the following transmission and noise design parameters:
(a) Newly constructed and rebuilt subscriber lines shall be designed for no more than 8 dB transmission loss at 1000 + 20 Hz from the serving central office to the customer premises network interface. Subscriber lines shall be maintained so that transmission loss does not exceed 8 dB. Subscriber lines shall be designed and constructed so that metallic noise does not exceed 25 dB above reference noise level ("C" message weighting) on 90 percent of the lines. Subscriber lines shall be maintained so that metallic noise does not exceed 30 dB above reference noise level ("C" message weighting) .
(7) Customer trouble reports regarding local exchange service must meet, at the minimum, the following requirements:
(a) Service shall be maintained by the carrier in such a manner that the monthly rate of all customer trouble reports, excluding reports concerning interexchange calls or nonregulated customer premises equipment, does not exceed six per 100 local access lines per month per exchange.
(b) Ninety percent of out of service trouble reports shall be cleared within 24 hours, excluding Sunday (except where access to the customer's premises is required but not available, or where interruptions are caused by unavoidable causalities and acts of God affecting large groups of customers) .
(c) The carrier shall provide to the customer a commitment time by which the trouble will be cleared.
(d) Carriers may charge customers for investigating trouble reports only when:
(i) dispatch of carrier personnel to the customer site is required;
(ii) the customer has been notified, prior to the dispatch, that a charge may apply;
(iii) the carrier is able to identify the exact nature of the problem that prompted the trouble report; and
(iv) the problem exists on the customer side of the service.