The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) is responsible for balancing regulation and competition to encourage innovation in the telecommunications industry. This helps ensure high quality services to Oregon residents at just and reasonable rates. There are many types of telecommunications service providers with differing levels of PUC regulatory oversight:
The PUC regulates landline service providers for the following:
Retail telecommunications rates, which are charged by the service provider to the customer, are regulated by the PUC.
The rates for the majority of landline telecommunications customers are set under an alternative form of regulation (a Price Plan) that, once approved by the PUC, gives their utility latitude, within certain thresholds, to adjust rates without additional approval from the PUC.
Companies with less than 50,000 access lines not covered by Price Plans must notify their customers of any price increase at least 45 days prior to the proposed effective date. If at least 10 percent or 500 customers (whichever is less) file petitions with the PUC regarding that increase, the PUC will open a proceeding to determine the appropriate price level.
The PUC has oversight of certain wholesale telecommunications rates, which are those charged by one service provider to another. These include rates for intrastate access services and certain interconnection agreements. Telecommunications utilities are generally required to file access tariffs and interconnection agreements with the PUC for review.
The PUC also regulates the service quality of landline service providers, except cooperatives, to ensure safe and adequate service is provided. Many providers submit monthly information regarding their service quality. Learn more about service quality.
Service Providers in Oregon
In order to be a certified telecommunications service provider in Oregon, companies must submit various reports and filings to the PUC for review.
Assessment Fees, Surcharges, and Taxes
As a telecommunications service customer, there are local, state and federal fees added to your bill each month to fund programs designed to benefit residents. Learn more about these fees and what to expect on your bill.