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Certificates of Authority
 Obtaining a Certificate of Authority

What is a certificate of authority?
A certificate of authority is an order from the Commission that allows a person, corporation, company, or association to provide intrastate telecommunications service on a for-hire basis.
How does one become certificated as a telecommunications provider in Oregon?
See ORS 759.020, ORS 759.050, and OAR Chapter 860 Division 032. Contact OPUC´s Competitive Provider Analyst for more information. The application form​ must be e-filed according to Filing Center instructions​​​.
Is there an application fee? 
What is the process to receive approval to provide local exchange or long distance services?
You must complete and e-file an application according to Filing Center instructions. Every two weeks, OPUC will send a copy of applications received to interested parties and certificated telecommunications providers, who will have 20 days to file protests. 
If OPUC receives no protests, the Commission will issue an order granting a certificate of authority to the applicant. This process generally takes about two months from the date of application. 

Should I provide tariffs or price lists with the application?
Is an attorney required during the application process?
No, an attorney is not necessary. In the event of a protest, however, an attorney may be advisable. Many applicants complete the process without an attorney. Protests are infrequent.
Keeping a Certificate of Authority

Each certificated telecommunications provider must comply with the conditions of its certificate of authority (file annual reports; pay an annual regulatory fee; notify OPUC about changes in ownership, address, or contacts; comply with Oregon Universal Service and Residential Service Protection Fund requirements; comply with OPUC staff audit requests; and follow Oregon´s safety and service standards).
OPUC will send a "New Provider Letter" describing in detail the new telecommunications provider's responsibilities according to Oregon Administrative Rule 860-032-0007. You should distribute this letter to all the telecommunications provider´s regulatory personnel. 
You should become familiar with the Oregon Administrative Rules in Chapter 860, Divisions 001, 016, 024, and 032, and with Oregon Revised Statutes 759.005 through 759.060.
Canceling a Certificate of Authority

A telecommunications provider may e-file a written request to cancel a certificate of authority according to Filing Center instructions. The cancellation process generally takes one to two weeks. For the year in which the cancellation occurred, the holder of the canceled certificate is required to submit an annual report, file an OPUC fee statement, pay an OPUC fee, and pay any Oregon Universal Service contributions or Residential Services Protection Fund surcharges owed. 
OPUC may initiate the cancellation process if a telecommunications provider does not:
  • File a completed annual report (Form C or Form L) by April 1 each year.

  • File a completed OPUC fee statement or pay the full fee by April 1 each year.

  • Notify OPUC about changes in ownership, address, or contacts.

  • Comply with Oregon Universal Service requirements.

  • Comply with Residential Service Protection Fund requirements.

  • Comply with OPUC Staff audit requests.

  • Comply with the conditions of its certificate of authority.
 Reporting Changes in Business Operations or Contacts

A certificated telecommunications provider must notify OPUC as soon as possible of mergers, transfers of control, stock transactions, and other changes in ownership. OPUC approval is not required for such transactions, but customer notification requirements may apply. A provider must also notify OPUC as soon as possible whenever it changes an address, phone number, business name, or regulatory contact. If OPUC cannot locate your company, the telecommunications provider may lose its certificate of authority. Notification letters must be e-filed.
Contacting OPUC about Certificates of Authority

Kathy Shepherd, Competitive Provider Analyst
Public Utility Commission of Oregon
Street Address: 201 High St SE, Suite 100, Salem OR 97301-3398
Mailing Address: PO Box 1088, Salem OR 97308-1088
Phone: 503-378-8959
Fax: 503-373-7752
E-Mail: kathy.shepherd@state.or.us