PSCW Opens Docket to Determine whether to continue ETC for Wireless Providers

by preferred on November 5, 2009

This investigation, opened on the Commission’s own motion, will determine whether the different requirements adopted as part the Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) designation of various wireless providers should be repealed and, if so, whether to make all ETCs subject to the same requirements and obligations. ETC status was created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and codified in 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(2). Under FCC rules, the state commissions are required to designate providers as ETCs. 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(2), 47 C.F.R. § 54.201(b). If a provider seeks to be designated as an ETC, it must follow the procedures and requirements in Wis. Admin. Code § PSC 160.13 and, if such a designation is granted, that designation serves to qualify the provider for both state and federal universal service funding. However, Wis. Admin. Code § PSC 160.01(2)(b) provides that: Nothing in this chapter shall preclude special and individual consideration being given to exceptional or unusual situations and upon due investigation of the facts and circumstances involved, the adoption of requirements as to individual providers or services that may be lesser, greater, other or different than those provided in this chapter.
For certain wireless providers, the Commission determined that an unusual situation exists and adopted different requirements than those in Wis. Admin. Code § PSC 160.13. These providers are only required to meet the federal eligibility requirements for ETC designation and are only required to fulfill the federal ETC obligations. This investigation will determine whether to continue applying those different requirements to any wireless provider and, if not, whether to apply all of the requirements and obligations found in ch. PSC 160.

Docket 5-TI-1972

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