Delaware Public
Service Commission

Telecommunications Regulation

Table of Contents

Get Connected, Stay Connected!

The Lifeline and Link-Up Assistance programs are funded through the federal Universal Service Fund. Under the Lifeline program, telephone customers who participate or are eligible for certain public assistance programs are entitled to receive a basic telephone service discount. Link-Up can provide a 50 percent reduction on telephone service installation charges for qualifying households that do not currently have telephone service.

For more information on these programs, including eligibility requirements, visit Opens in new window or contact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322). To apply for Lifeline or Link-Up with Verizon Delaware, LLC call 1-800-837-4966, or visit Verizon’s website Opens in new window and search for “Lifeline.”

Role of the Commission

The role of the Delaware Public Service Commission (“DE PSC”) has changed dramatically with the passage of HB96 and its amendments which became effective on June 26, 2013. This legislation was enacted to recognize the competitive choices consumers in Delaware have and give telecommunications service providers flexibility to compete, while protecting the interests of consumers. Telecommunications services now fall into 2 categories: (1) basic services which are still regulated include (a) individual residential dial tone line service and local usage in an area where there is no alternative provider available such as wireless, cable or other telecommunications service providers; and (b) switched access service; and (2) competitive services which are all the other intrastate telecommunications services, any bundled service and any new service other than switched access service offered after July 15, 2008. The DE PSC no longer regulates the rates, terms, and conditions of competitive services offered by telecommunications service providers. The legislation states that the Commission may not investigate or mediate retail customer complaints for competitive services. The Commission Staff can only direct your call to your telecommunications service provider for resolution of your complaint.

The DE PSC does require all telecommunications service providers to obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to provide intrastate telecommunications services before offering service to customers in Delaware.

Wireless and cell phone services are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. The DE PSC does not regulate wireless and cell phone services or voice over the internet services. If you believe that there is possible fraud involved with any of these providers, you may contact the Federal Trade Commission Opens in new window or the Delaware Department of Justice’s Fraud & Consumer Protection Division Opens in new window.

Consumer Information

Delaware Public Service Commission Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Verizon’s Customer Support Opens in new window page provides a variety of tools for its customers, such as billing options and requesting repairs. Verizon Delaware, Inc. has also created a listing and description of charges Opens in new window applicable to its Delaware customers (updated April 2007).

The following websites offer important consumer information about telecommunications issues:

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Opens in new window – The FCC is the primary regulatory body for telecommunication services. Complaints regarding wireless and cell phone service providers, which are not regulated by the Delaware PSC, should be filed Opens in new window with the FCC. Additionally, a number of consumer alerts and fact sheets Opens in new window relating to telecommunications are available on the FCC’s website, including:

Early Termination Fees Opens in new window – The FCC has created a “tip sheet” to help cell phone users better understand “early termination fees” (the fees charged by a provider when ending a service contract before it expires). The Delaware PSC has no jurisdiction over wireless cell phone providers or the fees they charge.

Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Opens in new window – Telephone services for hearing or speech disabled customers

National Do-Not-Call Registry Opens in new window

Slamming Opens in new window – When your telephone service is switched without your permission

Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) Opens in new window – The USAC administers the Universal Service Fund (USF), which provides communities across the country with affordable telecommunication services. Visit the Lifeline and Link-Up for Customers in Delaware Opens in new window page for eligibility information and instruction for applying.

Telecommunications Tariffs

Price List Opens in new window Issued by Spectrotel, Inc. d/b/a Surftone d/b/a One Touch Communications d/b/a Touch Base Communications

Important or Pending Cases

PSC Docket No. 02-001 – On July 13, 2015, Verizon Delaware LLC provided formal notice of the submission of revised “Carrier-to-Carrier Guidelines Performance Standards and Reports” for Verizon-DE for consideration by the Commission.

All case related documents are available for review through the DelaFile E-filing system Opens in new window.

A complete list of any telecommunications related cases filed with the Commission is available on the Commission’s Regulated Utility Filings Opens in new window page. Filings made after December 31, 2014 can be found on the Commission’s DelaFile Opens in new window website.

Local, Regional and National Issues

Internet Voice or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP): As described by the FCC in its consumer fact sheet Opens in new window, “Internet Voice”, also known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is a technology that allows you to make telephone calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line.” While not currently regulated at the federal or state levels, the FCC has created an Internet Policy Working Group Opens in new window (IPEG) to examine potential policy issues relating to this technology.

Broadband is a generic term used to describe the high-speed transmission services that allow consumers to access the internet much higher speeds than traditional “dial-up” modems, and includes technologies such as Digital Subscriber Line(DSL) Services and Cable Modems (CM), as well as emerging wireless technologies. The FCC offers a consumer fact sheet on broadband Opens in new window which describes and compares the available technologies.

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