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Telephone network transition

May 24, 2016

The telecommunications industry is rapidly changing across America. In an effort to transition Ohio’s telecommunications industry to new and advanced technologies, the network transition law, House Bill 64, requires the PUCO to establish a collaborative process to address the Internet-protocol transition. Additionally, it ensures all Ohioans will continue to have access to public safety services, such as 9-1-1, through alternative suppliers.

Through a Commission order on Sept. 23, 2015, proposed rules were filed. Please see case 14-1554-TP-ORD to view the proposed rules.

A few points regarding the PUCO's involvement in this important issue include:

Developing a collaborative coalition to guide this process

The PUCO will join together with the Ohio Consumers' Counsel, incumbent telephone providers, alternative providers, members of the General Assembly and other interested parties to form a collaborative to address the IP network transition. 

As the collaborative process begins, the PUCO is seeking public comments. If interested in providing comment, please click below or visit the comments section of this page.

View responses (.csv file updated 3/9/17)

Creating safeguards to protect those who need telephone service

Pending the outcome of analyses being done by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Ohio law will allow a telecommunications company to withdraw basic telephone service (sometimes referred to as basic local exchange service, or BLES), while protecting Ohioans against losing their telephone service without an available alternative. The collaborative process will proactively work to identify populations that could be impacted by the transition to Internet-protocol technology and/or withdrawal of basic telephone service. Once those areas or groups are identified, the PUCO, may then put in place safeguards to ensure the continuation of their telephone service.

Keeping the process transparent for Ohioans

The collaborative group is also tasked with ensuring Ohioans are informed about the transition and alternative services, such as Voice over Internet Protocol, broadband and other advanced networks.

Collaborative meetings

Dec. 3, 2015 agenda

Dec. 3, 2015 meeting minutes

Jan. 19, 2016 agenda

Jan. 19, 2016 meeting minutes

Feb. 23, 2016 agenda

Feb. 23, 2016 meeting minutes

April 7, 2016 agenda

April 7, 2016 meeting minutes with VRI questions addendum

May 19, 2016 agenda

May 19, 2016 meeting minutes

Oct. 4, 2016 agenda

Oct. 4, 2016 meeting minutes

Additional information

FCC: Protecting consumers in the transition from copper networks

FCC: FCC Adopts Rules to Help Americans Communicate During Emergencies

FCC: Tech transition

FCC: Consumer guide