Eligible Telecommunications Carriers

Commission rules for designating telecommunications carriers eligible for universal service funds (ETCs)

  Telephone companies that provide service in challenging rural areas of the country are often elgible for financial support from part of the federal Universal Service Fund, which helps keep customers' phone bills low and quality high.

The UTC determines whether a company is eligible to receive those funds in Washington. These companies are known as eligible telecommunications carriers, or ETCs.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) changed its rules for designating new ETCs on March 17, 2005.

The FCC encouraged states to adopt the same, or a similar, approach to ETC designation (here is a link to a PDF version of the FCC's Report and Order FCC 05-46).

The commission has adopted rules to implement the FCC’s new process for designating and certifying telephone companies that are eligible to receive federal universal service funding. The UTC adopted its new rules in June 2006. Please check WAC 480-123 for details.