Designation as a Telecom Provider

Wisconsin statutes allow telecommunications carriers to be certified and/or registered under several different categories and statutory provisions.;

These include categories:

  • Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs)

  • Telecommunications Resellers

  • Commercial Mobile Radio Service/Cellular Providers (CMRS)

  • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

  • Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC)

All petitions for registration or certification must be filed using the online PSC Telecommunications Provider Application. Instructions on using the online system are below.

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Further Information on Provider Types

Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs)

The broadest and most general category. If a provider is offering services which might fall into multiple categories, CLEC certification is appropriate. Under Wisconsin statutes, CLEC status is not restricted to any particular technology or mix of technologies, and allows the provider to offer all forms of telecommunications service, including broadband. CLECs are certified under Wis. Stat. § 196.01(1d)(f) as an Alternative Telecommunications Utility – Other.

Telecommunications Resellers

Reseller is for providers that only provide services via resale, and do not own or operate transmission facilities.

Interconnected VoIP providers

This category is for providers that serve primarily or exclusively via VoIP. Providers that offer a mix of services should certify as CLECs.

Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS / cellular)

CMRS designation is for cellular and mobile wireless providers.

Traditional Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs)

ILEC is a legacy category, with a higher level of regulation. New entrants should be probably be certified as CLECs instead of ILECs.

Prerequisites to Using the Online Application Form

To complete the application process, you will need the following:

  • A PSC Electronic Records Filing (ERF) system account.​
  • A PDF copy of the copy of the provider’s articles of incorporation, registration as an LLC or LLP, or equivalent.
  • For out of state corporations, A PDF copy of the certificate from the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) authorizing the petitioner to transact business in Wisconsin as a corporation.
  • If the company is not registered with Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, you may contact them through:

How to Use the Online Application Form

All telecommunications providers, including CLECs, resellers, VoIPs and CMRS providers use the same basic application form. The form is completed online, then saved as a PDF and uploaded to the Commission’s website.

When you launch the application, make note of the application number. You can use that number to edit your unsubmitted application at a later date.

Part I: Choose Provider Type

The first step in completing the application is to choose the type of provider: CLEC, CMRS, VoIP or Reseller. Details on these above. The app does not allow a provider to choose multiple types, but some combinations are allowed. Here are some rules / guidelines based on Wisconsin statutes and prior PSC decisions:

  • Telecom reseller cannot be combined with other types. All other provider types are allowed to resell services without a “reseller” certification.
  • If a provider is seeking certification as a CLEC and any other type, file as a CLEC. Add a note that the provider is also registering as a CMRS and/or VoIP in the section of Part V on services.
  • If a provider is seeking to register as both a CMRS and VoIP, file as either type, and add a note that the provider is also registering as a CMRS and/or VoIP in the section of Part V on services.

Part II: Provider Contact Information

Part II of the application form requires contact information for the provider itself, plus the billing agent, the regulatory/legal contact, the complaints processor and the accounting and annual report contact. Physical addresses are required for the provider and the billing agent. The other three only require names, telephone numbers and email addresses.

Part III Business Name(s)

Part III of the application form asks for information on any business or marketing names the provider may use in Wisconsin, and for any former names the provider may have used.

Part IV Services Offered

Part IV ask which services the provider will offer. The form also asks for telephone numbers and websites that potential customers can use to contact the provider, and for the d/b/as (if any) used for those services. The application does not have a separate line for VoIP service – VoIP providers should just use the business and/or residential wireline voice service entries.

Part V Narratives

Part V calls for short narratives on several topics:

  • A technical explanation of how the provide will offer 911 service, and ensure that emergency calls are routed correctly.
  • A description of the service the provider is offering.
  • A statement showing that the provider has the technical, fiscal and managerial expertise necessary to operate as a telecommunication provider.
  • A list of other state in which the provider is certified and/or registered.
  • A space to explain any prior decertifications, and the actions taken to prevent reoccurrence. If the provider has never been decertified, enter “n/a.” Once the provider completes the form, it will need to create a PDF copy and upload that PDF, together with the PDFs covering registration and incorporation. Remember to save the PDF to your computer as well, if you want a copy.

Is local counsel required when filing a registration or petition for certification?

Local counsel is not required. If you have questions about the application form or application process, please contact Peter Jahn at

Completed Application

The completed application must be submitted to the PSC using the Electronic Records Filing (ERF) system.

Access ERF system

Questions or Comments

Questions or comments about ETC designation should be addressed to Peter Jahn at 608-267-2338, or via email at

Questions about using the Electronic Records Filing System should be directed to the Records Management unit at (608) 261-8524 or via email at