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Telephone service regulation was added to the Commission's responsibilities in 1907. In 1950, the legislature gave the Commission the power to mandate telephone service in areas of the state that needed it. By giving the Commission this authority, lawmakers made clear the State's intent to provide all citizens with at least a minimal level of telephone service. However, passage of the Telecommunications and Competition Development Act of 1995 (Senate Bill 137) significantly changed the Commission's regulatory responsibilities. Instead of setting prices for telecommunications services, the Commission now manages and facilitates the transition to competitive markets, establishes and administers a Universal Access Fund (UAF) to assure reasonable access to services in high cost areas, monitors rates and service quality, and mediates disputes between competitors.
As of January 1, 2020, there are 35 incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) and 225 competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) authorized to provide local service in the State. In addition, there are 336 carriers authorized to provide long distance services. This number includes 79 facilities-based Interexchange Carriers (IXCs), 216 Resellers, and 41 providers of Alternative Operator Services (AOS).
The Commission also regulates other telecommunications services. As of January 1, 2020, there are 419 active licenses to use Telephone Service Observing Equipment (TSOE) and 202 active permits to use Automatic Dialing and Announcing Devices (ADAD). In addition, there are 238 registered Payphone Service Providers (PSPs) and 21 certificated Institutional Telephone Service (ITS) providers.