What is a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity?
Preface: The following information has been prepared by the Department of Public Service (DPS) to assist applicants in applying for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN). Although it is intended to be self-explanatory, the Department's staff is available to answer any questions that might arise. For inquiries please call the Office of Telecommunications at the following number: 518-474-4500.
Pursuant to Section 99 of New York State Public Service Law, firms seeking to offer telephone services in New York State for profit must apply for and obtain a CPCN from the Public Service Commission (Commission) before constructing facilities and/or offering telecommunications services to the public.
The applicant may not begin to offer telephone service until a CPCN has been granted and its tariff(s) and/or Customer Service Guide, as applicable, have been approved to become effective. At that point, the applicant is subject to and must comply with all pertinent Commission rules and regulations governing telephone corporations.
What Types of Providers Must Obtain a CPCN?
A CPCN is required for retail and wholesale providers of local exchange (dial tone), long distance, alternative operator, and other types of telephone services, whether they utilize their own facilities, leased facilities, or resell the services of other telephone companies.
A CPCN is not required for providers of wireless (cellular) telephone services, providers of only Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, providers of only broadband/internet services, or providers of telephone service by means of customer-owned or leased, currency or credit card operated telephones (COCOTs), and motels, hotels or hospitals.
Types of CPCNs
A firm may apply for a CPCN to operate as a reseller or as a facilities-based provider.
A reseller subscribes to telecommunications services and/or facilities of another regulated telephone corporation and reoffers those services to the public for hire. Firms certified as resellers are only authorized to provide services through resale.
A facilities-based provider provides telephone service by constructing and operating its own facilities, or by operating leased facilities. 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.
Submitting a Petition
Submitting a Petition for Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN)
The information required for a CPCN is contained in the linked CPCN petition form. The petition will be reviewed for completeness and it may be returned to the applicant with any missing information noted.
The applicant must sign and date the petition and file it electronically at the following email address: [email protected].
Applicants seeking to provide Basic Retail services, and/or Switched Access/Wholesale services must submit a tariff with the CPCN petition. An applicant seeking to provide non-basic retail services is permitted to post a Customer Service Guide (CSG) on its website in lieu of filing a tariff with the Commission. Click on the CSG link for CSG requirements as well as an outline of information required in a CSG.
Be advised that a CPCN application WILL NOT be approved, and may be returned, if an accompanying tariff and/or CSG is not submitted.
Applicants must also submit a Telecommunications Carrier Critical Information Form (TCCI) electronically.
Providers of Switched Access Services must have an approved access tariff and interconnection agreement before they can begin providing service.
The applicant will be notified in writing when the CPCN is granted. Notification will also be given of the approval and effective date of initial tariff(s) and/or the CSG, as applicable.
Applicants seeking to provide Basic Retail services, and/or Switched Access/Wholesale services must file a tariff using the Electronic Tariff System (ETS).
To file a tariff in ETS, a submitter will need a login ID, a password and a unique company code. View the Electronic Tariff System for details on how to file tariffs using ETS. Additional ETS questions can be directed to Timothy Kitchner at (518) 473-5245 or at [email protected].
As an aid to companies seeking certification, the Department has provided a Model Retail Tariff, Model Access Tariff, and a Model Basic Service Tariff. The models are meant to help organize and structure the submission and are not intended to specify or limit what services offered. There is also an outline of information required in a CSG for companies seeking to provide non-basic retail services.
When an initial tariff is filed, there must be an interval of at least 90 days between the issue date of the tariff and its effective date. The issue date of the tariff is the date it is received by the Commission. If provisions in the proposed tariff do not conform with Commission requirements, revisions will be required before the tariff can take effect.
Post Certification Process
Once the CPCN petition is approved, telephone corporations are required to file various reports with the Commission, which vary depending on the type of service provider. Please refer to Report Filing Requirements for assistance.
Surrendering a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity
To surrender a CPCN and relinquish authority to provide telecommunications services in New York State, a company should email a cover letter to the Secretary at [email protected], stating that the company no longer provides telephone services, has no customers, would like to surrender its CPCN, and to relinquish all rights associated therewith. The cover letter should be accompanied by a tariff Cancelation Supplement for each tariff in effect, canceling them in their entirety.
If the effective tariffs are in the Electronic Tariff System (ETS), the tariff Cancellation Supplement(s) should be filed in the ETS system.
If the company does not know in which format its tariffs are filed, or for any general questions about surrendering a CPCN and relinquishing authority to provide telecommunications service, please contact Timothy Kitchner at (518) 473-5245 or at [email protected].