Consumer Information Energy Telecommunications
Elizabeth S. Jacobs
Nick Wagner
Board Member
Sheila K. Tipton
Board Member

TCU - Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How do I obtain Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) Status?
A1. Please review this web site under "To Whom Does Certification Apply? ", "How to File" and "The Application Process."

Q2. Do I just fill out a form to apply?
A2. No. There is no simple form by which to apply. Please refer to "The Application Process" on this web site.

Q3. Can we serve the entire state of Iowa?
A3. Each certificate shall define the service territory in which land-line local telephone service will be provided. Each local exchange utility has an obligation to serve all eligible customers within the utility’s service territory.

Q4. What is appropriate map documentation? Will a photocopy of the state be adequate?
A4. Appropriate map documentation is defined in 199 IAC 22.20(3) entitled Map Specifications. Photocopies of any kind are not appropriate and the applicant will be required to meet one of two methods for providing map documentation.

  1. Language adopting the maps of another utility on file with Iowa Utilities Board is acceptable. (One caveat: other utilities’ maps are subject to change.) In addition, the applicant must list, by name, the exchanges in which service is to be offered in the tariff.
  2. The map documentation conditions in 199 IAC 22.20(3) are listed below.

    22.20(3) Map Specifications. All Utilities shall have on file with the board maps which identify their exchanges and both internal exchange boundaries where the utility’s own exchanges abut and ultimate boundaries where the utility’s exchanges abut other utilities.

    a. Each utility’s maps shall be on a scale of one inch to the mile. They shall include information equivalent to the county maps which are available from the Iowa department of transportation, showing all roads, railroads, waterways, plus township and range lines outside the municipalities. A larger scale shall be used where necessary to clarify areas. All map details shall be clean-cut and readable.

    (1)Each filed map shall clearly show the ultimate utility boundary line; this line shall be periodically marked with the letter "U." Exchange boundaries where the utility’s own exchange abut shall be periodically marked with the letter "E." Ultimate and exchange boundary lines shall be drawn on a section, half-section, or quarter-section line. If not, the distance from a section line or other fixed reference point shall be clearly noted. When using a fixed reference point, measurement shall always be from the center of the fixed point.

    (2) The map shall also identify the utility serving each contiguous exchange. The utility names shall be placed about the exterior of the ultimate boundary. The points at which the adjacent exchange meets the ultimate boundary will be marked with arrows.

    (3) Plant facilities shall not be shown on the boundary map. Approximate service locations may be shown but are not required.

    (4) The name of the utility filing the map shall be placed in the upper right hand corner of the map. This will be followed by the names of each exchange shown on the map and served by that utility. The last item will be the date the map is filed and the proposed effective date, which will be 30 days after the filing date unless the board sets a different date.

    b. If requested by the board, a legal description shall be filed to clarify an ambiguous boundary between utilities. The legal description shall conform with the standards set in Iowa Code section 114A.9.

Q5. Do I need to apply for certification for long distances services?
A5. No. Certificates are required by statute for local exchange service providers only. Most long distance telecommunications services are deregulated in Iowa except for alternative operator services. See Iowa Code § 476.91.

Q6. How do I know that the company has been certified and can begin offering telecommunication services?
A6. In a TCU docket the Board must make a determination of the applicant’s technical, financial, and managerial ability to provide service within 90 days of the applicant’s filed request for certification. In addition, the Board must approve the applicant’s tariffs and maps, and must receive a statement of 2-PIC dialing parity. When all of these requirements are met, the Board will issue a certificate. The actual certificate number is stated on the Board order. No lines or equipment shall be constructed, installed, or operated for the purpose of furnishing the service before a certificate has been issued.

Q7. What does it mean that my ‘application has been approved,’ but I am still not certified to offer local exchange service?
A7. When the Board has made a determination of the applicant’s technical, financial, and managerial ability to provide service it will issue an "Order Granting Application." This is only one step in the process of becoming a local exchange carrier in Iowa. There are three other conditions that need to be met before an applicant becomes certified. The order will state the conditions for map documentation, a tariff, and a dialing parity plan that will need to be met by the applicant before certification is approved.

Q8. Where can I obtain a copy of the list to notify all the local exchange providers in Iowa?
A8. Each applicant must determine the affected carriers entitled to notice under Iowa Code § 476.29(2). There are approximately 300 names currently on the list of local exchange providers in Iowa. As a convenience, the Board has made an electronic copy of the company contact data in MS Excel format available for your use with various mail merge technologies and/or label formats.

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