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GENERAL TELEPHONE COMPANY PENNSYLVANIA v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION. (06/15/60)

June 15, 1960

GENERAL TELEPHONE COMPANY OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION.



Appeal, No. 31, April T., 1960, from order of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Application Docket No. A. 85902, Folders 1 and 2, in case of General Telephone Company of Pennsylvania v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

John C. Kelley, with him Frank B. Quinn, and Quinn, Leemhuis, Plate and Dwyer, and Hull, Leiby and Metzger, for appellant.

Miles Warner, Assistant Counsel, with him Thomas M. Kerrigan, Counsel, for Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, appellee.

W. Russel Hoerner, with him Rhoads, Sinon & Reader, for applicant, intervening appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, Watkins, and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Wright

[ 192 Pa. Super. Page 564]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.

We are here concerned with an appeal by General Telephone Company of Pennsylvania, hereinafter referred to as General, from those portions of an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, dated June 22, 1959, which direct (1) that General file tariff

[ 192 Pa. Super. Page 565]

    supplements excluding any and all portions of the certificated territory of Wattsburg Telephone Corporation, hereinafter referred to as Wattsburg, and (2) that overlapping conditions now existing shall be restricted to geographic location and contract life. Wattsburg was granted permission to become an intervening appellee. It will be necessary to set forth the factual background in considerable detail.

Some fifty-five years ago a number of groups of farmers in Erie County formed partnerships to build, maintain, and operate their own telephone facilities along country roads converging upon the Borough of Wattsburg. About the year 1920 the Wattsburg Telephone Company was organized, built an exchange, coordinated the facilities of the smaller groups, and began to furnish telephone service. Commission records in the form of tariffs, annual reports, and assessment payments indicate that a de facto utility service was provided until January 31, 1950. As of that date the Wattsburg Telephone Cooperative Association, hereinafter referred to as Association, was organized under the Act of June 7, 1887, P.L. 365, 14 P.S. Sec. 1 et seq. The facilities of the unincorporated Wattsburg Telephone Company were acquired by Association and telephone service has continued until the present time. While Association was not subject to regulation under the Public Utility Law,*fn1 there is no question, as found by the Commission, that it "succeeded to the interests of Wattsburg Telephone Company by the continuous rendition of service since January 31, 1950, to all persons in its territory desiring same".

General was formerly known as the Mutual Telephone Company, which had been incorporated on February 1, 1897. By ...


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