Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Comment Sought on Domestic 214 Transfer of Opticom to 3 Rivers

Download Options

Released: October 23, 2013


Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St., S.W.

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500


Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 13-2054

Released: October 23, 2013




WC Docket No. 13-241

Comments Due: November 6, 2013
Reply Comments Due: November 13, 2013

On September 24, 2013, Montana Opticom, LLC (Opticom) and 3 Rivers Telephone Cooperative,
Inc. (3 Rivers) (collectively, Applicants) filed an application pursuant to section 63.03 of the
Commission's rules1 to authorize the transfer of Opticom's interstate telecommunications facilities and
operations in the Big Sky exchange in the Madison and Gallatin Counties of Montana to 3 Rivers.
Opticom, a Montana limited liability corporation, provides interstate telecommunications and
other services as a competitive local exchange carrier (competitive LEC) to approximately 65 customers
within a private ski and golf community situated within the central portion of the Big Sky, Montana
exchange. Opticom's operations in the Big Sky exchange are limited to the ski and golf community, and
it does not currently compete with 3 Rivers in the surrounding portions of the Big Sky exchange.
Opticom was originally formed partially by a minority founder of the ski and golf community to provide
telecommunications and video services to the subdivision. Since that time, both the private and golf
development and Opticom have come under different ownership. Opticom has now determined that the
private ski and golf subdivision does not constitute a financially feasible or viable business for it in the
long term. Opticom has decided to focus its efforts and resources instead upon a fiber-optic system in the
Four Corners area near Bozeman, Montana for which it received a grant-loan in 2010 as part of the
Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS). The following U.S. citizens
own ten percent or more the equity and voting power of Opticom both before and after the proposed
transaction are: James J. Dolan (16.25 percent), Patricia D. Dolan (16.25 percent), James J. Dolan Jr.
(12.5 percent) and UGMA Trust for Minor (10 percent). No other individual or entity owns or controls
ten percent or more of the equity and voting power of Opticom.
3 Rivers, a Montana cooperative corporation, provides interstate telecommunications services as
an incumbent local exchange carrier (incumbent LEC) in twenty-six local telephone exchanges
(approximately 16,600 total access lines) throughout fourteen counties in rural western Montana. Its
operations include a cluster of seven exchanges in southwestern Montana which contains the Big Sky
exchange that encompasses the private ski and golf development. 3 Rivers also provides local exchange

1 47 C.F.R 63.03; see 47 U.S.C. 214.

service and exchange access as a competitive LEC in four exchanges in the counties of Pondera, Toole,
Cascade and Lewis and Clark). 3 Rivers resells intrastate and interstate long distance toll services to
business and residential customers throughout its service territories. No member of 3 Rivers holds a ten
percent or greater ownership interest.
Pursuant to the terms of the proposed transaction, 3 Rivers will purchase from Opticom of all of
its wireline telecommunications assets used to provide telecommunications services within the private ski
and golf development. These assets include, but are not limited to, fiber optic cable, switching and
routing devices, other transmission and termination equipment, subscriber lists and other property used in
the provision of Opticom's services within the Big Sky exchange.
Applicants state that the proposed transaction will serve the public interest. Applicants maintain
that upon completion of the proposed transaction, 3 Rivers will move as quickly as feasible to offer both
its existing and new Big Sky customers quality, affordable and reasonably comparable services. Opticom
no longer has a business office or technicians located in the private ski and golf development or other
portions of the Big Sky exchange. In contrast, 3 Rivers maintains a customer service office and a
permanent staff (two customer service representatives and seven technicians) in the Big Sky exchange
which completely surrounds and encompasses the private ski and golf subdivision. Applicants do not
request streamlined processing.
Domestic Section 214 Application Filed for the Acquisition of Certain Assets of Montana
Opticom, LLC by 3 Rivers Telephone Cooperative, Inc., WC Docket No. 13-241 (filed
Sept. 24, 2013).


The transfer of control identified herein has been found, upon initial review, to be
acceptable for filing as a non-streamlined application. The Commission reserves the right to
return any transfer application if, upon further examination, it is determined to be defective and
not in conformance with the Commission's rules and policies. Pursuant to section 63.03(a) of the
Commission's rules, 47 CFR 63.03(a), interested parties may file comments on or before
November 6, 2013,
and reply comments on or before November 13, 2013. Pursuant to section
63.52 of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. 63.52, commenters must serve a copy of comments
on the Applicants no later than the above comment filing date.
Pursuant to section 63.03 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 63.03, parties to this
proceeding should file any documents in this proceeding using the Commission's Electronic
Comment Filing System (ECFS):

In addition, e-mail one copy of each pleading to each of the following

1) Tracey Wilson, Competition Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau,;
2) Dennis Johnson, Competition Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau,;
3) David Krech, Policy Division, International Bureau,; and
4) Jim Bird, Office of General Counsel,
People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with
disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to

or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432
The proceeding in this Notice shall be treated as a "permit-but-disclose" proceeding in
accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules.2 Persons making ex parte presentations must
file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation
within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the
Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that
memoranda summarizing the presentation must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise
participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made, and (2) summarize all
data presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted in
whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter's
written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide
citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings
(specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be
found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to
Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and
must be filed consistent with rule 1.1206(b), 47 C.F.R. 1.1206(b). Participants in this
proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.
For further information, please contact Tracey Wilson at (202) 418-1394 or Dennis
Johnson at (202) 418-0809.
- FCC -

2 47 C.F.R. 1.1200 et seq.

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.


You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.