TUCoPS :: Phreaking Technical System Info :: statreg.txt

Differences in State Telecom Regulations and their effect on available services

From: Jack@myamiga.mixcom.com (Jack Decker)
Newsgroups: comp.dcom.telecom
Subject: Re: Differences in State Telecom Regulations
Organization: TELECOM Digest

About a week ago I posted a chart of some things that vary by states
and that I wanted to keep track of.  To recap, the items I am keeping
track of include Free Touch-Tone, Caller ID, and whether there is a
legal ban on mandatory measured service in the state.  I also invited
suggestions for other items that vary on a state-by-state basis, that
readers might want to keep track of.  I received several responses and
will attempt to summarize them here.

First, several respondents suggested that where Caller ID is
available, I should indicated whether blocking is in effect, and if
so, whether it is per-call or per-line blocking, or both.  I feel that
this is a worthwhile suggestion, so in the future I will indicate the
type of blocking by one of the following codes next to the "Y" in the
Caller ID column: [C] for per-call blocking, [L] for per-line
blocking, [CL] if both types of blocking are in effect, and [N] if
there is no blocking of Caller ID.  The absence of any of these codes
indicates that I do not know the status of Caller ID blocking in that
state.  Note that these codes would apply to calls from regular
phones, and not to special cases such as Battered Spouses' Shelters,

Some respondents suggested I keep track of availability of custom
calling features such as three-way calling, call waiting, call
forwarding, distinctive ringing, call return, call trace, etc.
However, these services are usually offered on a company by company
basis, and may be available in only some exchanges served by a given
company.  I know of no state that bans or mandates a company to
provide these services, so it's not really appropriate information for
this chart.  Some folks wanted actual rate information, which would of
course be impossible because rates often vary considerably within the
same state, depending on the serving telephone company, size of local
calling area and other factors.

Some wanted to know if mixed measured and unmeasured service is
available in the same household.  Again, I think this would tend to
vary more by company than by state; however, if I should be convinced
that some states either require or ban this on a statewide basis, I
will put it in the list, if demand warrants.

One respondent suggested keeping track of enhanced 911.  Again, I
suspect this varies by serving company more than by state.

A couple of respondents suggested I keep track of whether residential
ISDN is available.  I am willing to add a column showing that
residential ISDN has been tariffed in a particular state, if anyone
tells me that this has in fact been done in their state.

One person suggested that I keep track of whether COCOT's (Customer
Owned Coin-Operated Telephones) are legal in various states, and
supplied information on two states.  I will add that information to
the list.  He also suggested I add whether non-measured business lines
are available.  I'm really tempted to add that one as well, but again
suspect that this is something that varies on a company-by-company
basis.  Also, if a mandatory measured service ban is in effect, it
would apply to business lines as well as residential.  If no such ban
exists, then even though flat rate business service may be available
today, there is no guarantee that it will continue to be available.

That pretty much summarizes the comments I've received so far.
Responses were received from:

Phil Howard KA9WGN <pdh@netcom.com>
Doctor Math <caen!viking.rn.com!drmath@uwm.edu>
Rich Greenberg <prodnet.la.locus.com!richg@uwm.edu>
Glenn R. Stone <gs26@prism.gatech.edu>
Christopher Davis <ckd@eff.org>
Garrett Wollman <wollman@trantor.uvm.edu>
Thomas Lapp <thomas%mvac23.uucp@udel.edu>
Patton M. Turner <pturner@eng.auburn.edu>
Floyd Vest <FVEST@ducvax.auburn.edu>
Mark Rosenstein <mbr@ponape.bellcore.com>
Kath Mullholand <K_MULLHOLAND@unhh.unh.edu>
Arthur Rubin <a_rubin@dsg4.dse.beckman.com>
John R. Levine <johnl@iecc.cambridge.ma.us>
Scott Fybush <ST901316@pip.cc.brandeis.edu>
John R. Covert <covert@covert.enet.dec.com>
Gil Kloepfer Jr. <gil@limbic.ssdl.com>
Jim Holmes <jholmes@mcb.com>
John David Galt <John_David_Galt@cup.portal.com>
Jerry Leichter <leichter@lrw.com>
Jon Baker <gtephx!bakerj@asuvax.eas.asu.edu>

Thanks to all who responded.  The revised chart and footnotes follow.
Again, the following items are the ones being tracked on the chart:

1) Free Touch-Tone.  This will be set to "Y" if telephone companies in
the state do not charge an additional monthly charge for Touch-Tone
service.  Yes, I know it's not REALLY free, but at at least folks in
these states aren't paying extra for a service that saves the phone
company money when they use it!

2) Caller ID.  This will be set to "Y" if Caller ID is available
ANYWHERE in that state, or "N" if it is known to NOT be available
anywhere in the state yet.  Blocking status is indicated by [C] (per
call), [L] (per line), [CL] (both per call AND per line blocking
available), and [N] (blocking is NOT available.  If none of these
codes appear, then the status of blocking in that state is unknown.

3) Mandatory measured service ban.  This will be set to "Y" if a voter
referendum or legislative action has banned the imposition of
MANDATORY measured service.  In this case, "Mandatory measured
service" means that no option is available that would permit a
business or residential telephone customer to make an unlimited number
of local calls, without being charged on a per-call or timed basis,
even if a "free" call allowance of a certain number of calls or a
certain number of minutes of calling exists.  In states marked with
"Y", telephone customers are guaranteed by law the right to subscribe
to a calling plan that offers unlimited local calling.  In states
where no unlimited flat-rate calling option is available, or no legal
ban against mandatory measured service exists, this should be marked
"N".  PLEASE NOTE that a flat-rate calling option may CURRENTLY be
available in all or part of some states marked with an "N", but there
is no law to prevent mandatory measured service from being imposed in
the future.

4) COCOT's (Customer Owned Coin-Operated Telephones).  "Y" indicates
they may be legally used in the state, while "N" indicates they are

Where neither a "Y" nor an "N" appears, I do not have the necessary
information to fill in the space.  If you have information that would
help fill in some of the blanks, or suggestions for other items that
should be tracked on a state-by-state basis, or corrections to the
list below, please send them to jack@myamiga.mixcom.com.  I will
re-post the list after I get more of the "holes" filled in.

Disclaimer: The list below is NOT guaranteed to be accurate, but if
you spot an error, PLEASE let me know about it.  Murphy says that if
there is only one error in the list, it will be in the item you are
most interested in, so please obtain independent verification before
spending any money based on what you see here!

                     Free  Caller  Mandatory Allow
                      T/T     ID   Meas. Ban COCOT
Alabama                N     N[1]      N
Arizona                Y       N
Arkansas               N
California             Y       N
Colorado               N
Connecticut          N?[3]     N       N       N
Delaware               N       Y       N
District Of Columbia   N       Y
Florida                N       Y
Georgia                N       Y
Hawaii                 N
Idaho                          Y
Illinois               N       Y       N
Indiana                N       Y       Y       Y
Iowa                   N
Kentucky               N       Y
Louisiana                      Y
Maine                          Y       Y
Maryland                       Y
Massachusetts          N    Y[L][2]    N
Michigan               N       N       N       Y
Minnesota              N
Missouri               N
Nebraska               Y       Y
Nevada                         Y
New Hampshire          N       N       N
New Jersey             N       Y
New Mexico             N
New York               N       Y       N       Y
North Carolina
North Dakota
Oklahoma                       Y
Oregon                 Y               Y
Pennsylvania                   N
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee              N       Y
Texas                  N       N
Vermont                N       Y       N
Virginia               N       Y
Washington             Y
West Virginia                  Y
Wisconsin              Y               N

[1] Caller ID tariffed (or under consideration by the PSC) but not yet
introduced in Alabama.

[2] In Massachusetts, Caller ID is allowed by tariff but only if
per-line blocking is used.  New England Telephone has currently
withdrawn its plans to offer Caller ID in Massachusetts.

[3] I've had conflicting reports on whether free Touch-Tone is
available in Connecticut.

Jack Decker     jack@myamiga.mixcom.com    FidoNet 1:154/8

[Moderator's Note: Here in Illinois we have Caller-ID statewide with
the exception of a few exchanges not yet upgraded. We have per call
blocking with *67, but no per line blocking.   PAT]

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