Discontinuance of Telecommunications
Steps For Consumers When Their Phone Company
May End Service
- Consumers receiving a discontinuance letter
should start looking for another carrier immediately. The FCC will
normally grant the carrier authority to discontinue service unless
it is shown that alternative service isn't available.
- Contact the FCC and your state Public
Utility Commission immediately if alternative service isn't available.
Q & A
Q. How do I find another carrier?
A. The letter you received from your carrier may identify alternative
carriers in the area. You can also:
- Search the FCC's database
- Check your state Public
- Check your yellow pages for similar providers.
- See if your local cable company offers telephone service.
- Consider "cutting the cord" and going wireless.
- Consider VoIP service, which
uses your broadband Internet connection to provide phone service.
Q. How soon before my carrier can shut down
my domestic phone service?
A. Typically, 31 days from the date of the FCC's Public
Notice informing the public that the carrier intends to stop service.
The proposed discontinuance date will be included in the Public Notice.
Q. Can I keep my old phone number when I find
a new provider?
A. Yes, in most cases. The FCC's number
portability rules still apply in discontinuances.
Q. What if I can't get service from any other
A. Tell the FCC as soon as possible by filing comments. Also notify
your state Public
Utility Commission. The FCC can deny or limit a proposed discontinuance
if consumers will be left without telephone service or a reasonable substitute.
Q. How do I file
A. You can file electronically or in writing.
Mail written comments to:
Office of the Secretary
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St. SW, Room TW-A325
Washington, D.C. 20554
Copy the Competition Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau.
For electronic filings:
- Go to the FCC's Discontinuance page
and look for the public notice regarding your carrier's discontinuance
- Record the docket number.
- Go to the FCC's Electronic
Comment Filing System. Put the docket number in the "Proceeding" field
and provide your comments in the fields below the cover sheet.
Q. What should I tell the FCC?
A. You should tell the FCC:
Q. How long do I have to file comments?
- The carrier's name.
- When you received the notice of discontinuance.
- How the discontinuance would affect you.
- The steps you have taken to find substitute service, and any difficulties
you have encountered.
- What you would like the FCC to do.
A. File as soon as possible. The FCC's rules require that you file
no later than 15 days after the FCC releases the public notice for some
carriers, known as "non-dominant" carriers. If your carrier is the dominant
one in the market, you must file no later than 30 days after release of
the public notice.
Q. What if I have other questions?
A. If you have other questions: