Since the mid-1990s, both wireless and wireline telecommunications in Connecticut have been largely deregulated under state and federal law. Most telecommunications services, including cellular service, local and long distance calling, “800” services, and voice over internet protocol (VOIP), are offered to customers on a competitive basis, and, therefore, are not subject to rate or quality regulations.
Connecticut customers can obtain telecommunication services from The Southern New England Telephone Company d/b/a Frontier Communications of Connecticut, which is the incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC), from any number of Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs), and even from cable companies.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) continues to provide regulatory oversight of what is referred to as Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS), which is the traditional, analog voice transmission over copper wires. This service, however, has been largely replaced as customers have migrated towards more sophisticated competitive services.
PURA plays an important role in promoting a competitive telecommunications market through its regulation of public rights-of-way and utility poles, which support a substantial portion of the state’s telecommunications infrastructure. With rapid advances in communications technology, PURA endeavors to maintain a regulatory scheme that allows telecommunications providers with equitable and timely access to these critical assets.
Glossary of Telecommunications Terms (link to Office of Consumer Counsel)