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Application Requirements for Requesting Certification to Provide Competitive Local Exchange Services

(Based on administrative requirements beginning with a Commission order dated July 20, 1995.)

A telecommunications provider seeking to provide local exchange services (other than as a reseller) shall file a petition with the Commission to obtain certification as an Alternative Telecommunications Utility - Other. Please file application and all supporting documents via the Public Service Commission's (PSC) Electronic Regulatory Filing (ERF) system. There is NO FILING FEE, although applicant will be subject to assessment for Commission expenses pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 196.85. Applications are normally processed within 90 days from receipt of a completed application and average 45 days to process. Please do not submit financial statements, resumes, or tariffs with your application. The petition must contain the following information:

(a.) The name and address of the telecommunications provider (including any trade or "doing business as" names), with the name, title, and telephone and facsimile numbers of a responsible contact officer.
(b.) The name, title, and telephone and facsimile number of the person responsible for submitting the Annual Report.
(c.) The names and corporate relationships of all companies which are in a holding company system with petitioner.
(d.) A description of the types of service to be offered and the classes of customers to be served.
(e.) The geographic market and originating exchanges to be served.
(f.) The identity of all underlying carriers from which service is to be obtained.
(g.) The location and description of switching facilities.
(h.) A description of any affiliated interest contracts or arrangements as defined in § 196.52, Stats., specifically pertaining to contracts or arrangements with Wisconsin Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers.
(i.) A description of the quality of service to be offered to all customers, including plans for assurance of 911 service.
(j.) A copy and description of all certifications that applicant has previously received from the Commission.
(k.) If applicable, a copy of the certificate from the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) (see note below) authorizing the petitioner to transact business in Wisconsin as a corporation. Do not submit your application to DFI or any non Wisconsin incorporation documents. If applicable, submit your Wisconsin corporation documents. If you are not registered with that office, call (608) 261-7577 for information or write to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, Attention Division of Corporate and Consumer Services, PO Box 7846, Madison WI, 53707 7846. You may also contact them through their website at
(l.) A notorized affidavit signed by a corporate officer authorized to bind petitioner which verifies that all information provided in the petition is true and correct, to the best of the officer's knowledge or belief.
(m.) Any other information required by the Commission.

In enacting 2011 Wisconsin Act 22 (Act 22), also known as the Telecommunications Modernization Act, effective June 9, 2011, the Wisconsin legislature significantly modified Wis. Stat. ch. 196 relating to the regulation of telecommunications utilities and telecommunications services in Wisconsin. Act 22 removed geographical limitations for private carrier entrants, and implemented a clear legislative intention to level the regulatory playing field among competitors by imposing similar regulations on competing entities. Act 22 permits traditional utilities to reduce regulatory requirements by converting to alternative telecommunication utility (ATU) certification, or to remain a telecommunications utility but apply to secure a reduced number of statutes governing the carrier’s operations. These certification paths include a “parity provision” to ensure a practical equivalence in the regulatory requirements imposed on traditional telecommunications utilities and competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs). Specifically, Wis. Stat. § 196.203(3) provides that “[i]f the commission imposes a provision of this chapter specified in sub. (4m)(a) on an [ATU] under this subsection, the commission shall impose the same provision at the same level of regulation on all other alternative telecommunications utilities.”

In a Final Decision issued July 12, 2011, in docket no. 6720-NC-100, the Commission granted a recertification to Wisconsin Bell, Inc., d/b/a AT&T Wisconsin, that addressed many issues of first impression related to the new recertification processes arising from Act 22. Since the AT&T Wisconsin recertification was also as an ATU, the Final Decision in that case also addressed the application of the “parity provision” in Wis. Stat. § 196.203(3). Following its determinations in docket 6720-NC-100, the Commission has also certified numerous new entrants and recertified existing telecommunications utilities, specifically affiliates of CenturyTel, Frontier, and TDS Telecom. Due to the enactment of Act 22 and the above-cited decisions, the Commission normally grants CLEC applications with a reduced level of regulation, subject to the parity provision.

There is a separate application process to become a reseller, which is considered to NOT be facilities based. Facilities in Wisconsin are defined as transmission facilities (generally, owned or leased microwave, fiber or copper). A reseller cannot exceed a value (ownership or capitol lease) of $400,000 of transmission facilities without upgrading their certification to that of a CLEC. A reseller in Wisconsin is subject to the provisions of Wis. Adm. Code ch. PSC 168 which, among others, contains no limitation on ownership of Central Office Equipment and, generally, provides a lesser level of regulation than for CLEC's.


PSC Staff Contacts Phone E-mail Address
Peter Jahn (608) 267-2338 Peter Jahn