The following information has been prepared by the staff of the Department of Public Service in order to assist you in applying for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. Although it is intended to be self-explanatory, the Department's staff is available to answer any questions that might arise. Please address your inquiries to Office of Telecommunications, NYS Department of Public Service, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223-1350, or call the Office of Telecommunications at 518-474-4500.
What is a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity?
Pursuant to Section 99 of New York State Public Service Law, firms seeking to offer telephone services in New York State for a fee must obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience & Necessity (CPCN) from the Public Service Commission (PSC) before constructing facilities and/or offering telecommunications services to the public for profit.
Who Does it Apply to?
The statute applies to providers of local exchange (dial tone), long distance, alternative operator, and other types of telephone services, whether they utilize their own facilities or resell the services of other telephone companies. Providers of cellular telephone service or providers of telephone service by means of customer-owned or leased, currency or credit card operated telephones (COCOTs), and motels, hotels or hospitals are not required to obtain a CPCN from the PSC.
Types of CPCNs
In executing its statutory responsibility, the Commission has adopted certain procedures governing certifications. Under these procedures, a firm may apply to operate as a facilities-based provider or as a reseller. A facilities-based provider is an entity that provides telephone service by constructing and operating its own facilities for the switching and/or transmission of telecommunications between exchanges. A reseller is an entity that subscribes to telecommunications services and/or facilities of another facilities-based provider or another reseller and reoffers those services to the public for hire. Firms certified as facilities- based providers are authorized to provide telephone service via their own facilities, via a mix of their own facilities and resale, or through resale only. Firms certified as resellers are only authorized to provide services through resale.
A firm that wants to operate only as a reseller should apply for certification as a reseller. If a firm wants to begin operations as a reseller and become a facilities-based provider later on, it might be advantageous to apply for certification as a facilities-based provider. The firm would then be able to operate as a reseller (subject to having an effective tariff on file with the Commission) and be able to transition to facilities-based provider later on, without having to obtain additional authority from the Commission.
Submitting a Petition for Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN)
CPCN’s are granted to; a) resale carriers, who buy telecommunications services from other carriers and then resell them to subscribers; and b) facilities-based carriers who provide service over their own facilities or facilities purchased or leased from other New York certified carriers as their own.
The information required to be provided in a petition for a CPCN is pursuant to Section 99 of Public Service Law. The petition will be reviewed for completeness. If the petition is complete and it is approved, the company must comply with all applicable rules and regulations of the Public Service Commission. If it is not complete, it may be returned to the petitioner with the missing information noted. Follow instructions on the linked petition and fill in the appropriate information as required.
Important Note: The petitioner must sign and date the linked CPCN petition before filing it electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once the CPCN petition is submitted an electronic tariff must be filed separately. Be advised that, without a completed tariff submitted WITH your application for a CPCN, your application WILL NOT be approved. The petitioner must be registered to file a tariff. For questions regarding registering to file an electronic tariff, please contact Judy Sylvester at (518) 473-8074 or email email@example.com
You must also submit the Telecommunications Carrier Critical Information (TCCI) electronically. An electronic version of this form is available at the following link: Telecommunications Carrier Critical Information Form
Electronic Tariff System
No paper copy is needed for submission when using the Electronic Tariff System. In an effort to maintain a greener environment, reduce paper consumption and to make tariffs more readily available to the public, companies are strongly encouraged to file tariffs using our Electronic Tariff System. More information
Along with your application for certification, you must also file an electronic tariff containing the terms, conditions and provisions of the services to be offered for approval prior to providing service. As an aid to new companies seeking certification as a reseller, the Commission has a model retail tariff for local exchange services. The Commission also has a model retail tariff and model access tariff for companies seeking certification as a facilities-based provider. In addition,facilities-based providers must have an approved interconnection tariff or interconnection agreement before they can begin providing service. The model tariffs are meant to help you organize and structure your tariff and not intended to specify or limit what services you offer.
Be advised that, without a completed tariff submitted WITH your application for a CPCN, your application WILL NOT be approved.
When you file your initial tariff, there should be a spread of at least 90 days between the issue date of the tariff and its effective date. The issue date of the tariff should be the date it is received by the Commission or any date soon thereafter. If provisions in your proposed tariff do not comport with Commission requirements, revisions will be required before the tariff can take effect.
Post Certification Process
The applicant will be notified in writing when the certification is granted. Notification will also be given of the approval and effective date of the initial tariff.
The applicant may not begin to offer telephone service until certification has been granted and its tariffs have been authorized to become effective. At that point, it is subject to and must comply with all pertinent Commission rules and regulations governing telephone companies. All carriers are required to file various reports with the Commission; refer to Report Filing Requirements for assistance.
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