COMPETITIVE LOCAL EXCHANGE CARRIERS (CLECs)
On February 8, 1996, the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the Act) became law. In 1997 the Idaho Legislature gave the IPUC the authority to implement the Act, including promulgating rules and/or procedures necessary to carry out the duties required by the Act. Idaho Code § 62-615.
Idaho Code § 62-622 provides that CLEC services are not price regulated by the Commission. However, this section gives the Commission authority to determine the non-economic requirements for all telephone corporations providing basic local services, including but not limited to service quality standards, provision of access to carriers providing MTS, filing of price lists, customer notice and customer relations rules. Additionally, the Commission has authority to resolve disputes between or among telephone corporation(s) and provider(s) of services exempted from regulation under Idaho Code § 62-603(13)(Idaho Code §62-609 )and to investigate and resolve complaints made by subscribers to telecommunications services which are subject to the provisions of Title 62 (Idaho Code § 62-616). All telephone corporations are required to comply with the Idaho Universal Service Fund requirements (Idaho Code § 62-610 and § 62-610 A through F), the Telecommunications Relay Service requirements (Idaho Code § 61-1301 et seq), the Telephone Service Assistance Program (ITSAP) (Idaho Code§ 56-901 et seq) and the Annual Regulatory Fee (Idaho Code §62-611). In addition, all telephone corporations are required to file annually, on or before the 1st day of January of each year, the names, addresses, email addresses and toll-free customer service numbers for their corporations and their representatives. (Idaho Code § 62-604). Idaho Code § 62-620 provides for civil penalties not to exceed two thousand dollars per day for violations or failures to comply with Commission orders, rules or regulations.
All providers of local exchange service to residential and small business customers in Idaho must:
- be certified;
- file a price list giving the availability, price, terms and conditions of the telecommunications services offered;
- have one or more approved interconnection agreement(s).
Application for Certification
In Order No 26665 the Commission has determined that the certification or application process is the appropriate mechanism for examining applications to become a local telecommunications provider in Idaho and has established the procedural requirements for approval of certificates of public convenience and necessity for telecommunications providers desiring to provide local service in Idaho.
Applicants must file an original and seven copies of the Application with the Commission that includes all of the information requested in the Application for Certification. (There is no form to complete.) No filing fees apply. The average time for processing is approximately three months. Failure to follow instructions or become familiar with Idaho Laws and Rules could significantly extend the process time. Applicants should be familiar with the Idaho Law and all applicable Commission Rules.
Some common areas of concern are:
- CLEC Applicants that require security deposits must provide an escrow account sufficient to cover the total amount held for security deposits. The Commission may also determine that a security bond may be required if it determines that the financial position of the Applicant may not be sufficient to protect customers from company default.
- Advance Deposits are only acceptable insofar as they cover contingencies of special construction projects, and these deposits must be applied to the first bill where the special construction appears. They cannot be held over a period of time to cover ordinary bills.
- The Application for Certification includes a requirement for an "Illustrative Tariff" in order to provide some indication of the type of operation the Applicant will have, the types of products it will provide and Applicant's general compliance with Idaho rules and regulations. "Illustrative Tariffs" are usually required before Interconnection Agreements have been reached, and consequently are not required to include rates. Staff will review the Tariff along with other portions of the application and will work with the Applicant to ensure that it complies with IPUC requirements. After certification or when the Applicant is ready, it may submit the final "illustrative" copy, with prices and effective dates, as the Company's first tariff.
- If a company chooses to use any exculpatory liability statements in its tariff, the first or last paragraph must contain the following as a stand alone paragraph:
"The included tariff language does not constitute a determination by the Commission that a limitation of liability imposed by the Company should be upheld in a court of law. Acceptance for filing by the Commission recognizes that it is a court's responsibility to adjudicate negligence and consequential damage claims. It is also the court's responsibility to determine the validity of the exculpatory clause."
This link will bring up a "Model Tariff". Because no tariff can contain all of the contingencies of all telephone companies, this tariff is NOT INCLUSIVE, and it is NOT REQUIRED. It is provided for illustration purposes and to assist those applicants not familiar with tariffs.
If you need to change your certificate due to a name change or an acquisition, you must request such a change from the Commission: Amending/Withdrawing Certificates
Applicable portions of Idaho Code:
- Idaho Code § 61-1001 to 61-1005 - Annual Fees Payable to Commission by Public Utilities
- Idaho Code § 61-1301 to 61-1306 - Telecommunications Relay Services
- Idaho Code § 62-603 - Definitions
- Idaho Code § 62-604 - Applicability of Chapter
- Idaho Code § 62-609 - Commission Authority
- Idaho Code § 62-610 - Universal Service Fund
- Idaho Code § 62-610A through F - High Cost Fund
- Idaho Code § 62-616 - Commission Authority to Resolve Subscriber Complaints
- Idaho Code § 62-620 - Civil Penalty For Violation
- Idaho Code § 62-622 - Regulation of Basic Local Exchange Rates, Services and Price Lists
- Title 62 Code, Chapter 6 Telecommunications Act of 1988
- Title 56 Code, Chapter 9 Telecommunications Service Assistance
- Telephone Customer Relations Rules, IDAPA 31.41.01
- Rules for Telephone Corporations Subject to the Regulation of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission under the Telecommunications Act of 1988, IDAPA 31.42.01
- Rules for Universal Service Fund, IDAPA 31.46.01
- Rules for Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), IDAPA 31.46.02
- Operator Services/Pay Telephone Rules, IDAPA 31.51.01
- Automatic Dialing and Announcement Devices (ADADS) Rules, IDAPA 31.51.02
- IPUC Rules of Procedure, IDAPA 31.01.01