with the MPUC
Common questions about shopping for Local Telephone Service
- Do I have to choose a new local service provider?
No. If you do, though, you may be able to save money, have more options or get better services.
- What exactly am I choosing?
You are choosing the provider that provides your basic local service. Basic local service allows you to make local calls. Your local provider may also provide your in-state toll or state-to-state long-distance service if you choose them for those services. Some provide these other services, some may not.
- What is basic local service?
Basic local service includes dial tone and touch-tone service, and a local calling plan for making and receiving telephone calls in your local area. Basic local service also includes the federal line cost charge, the federal and state universal service fund surcharges, the E911 services surcharge, and the school and library fund surcharge.
- Do local service providers have to offer me service?
All local service providers do not have to offer you service. Many of these providers, however, are required to make reasonable efforts to help you get and keep your local phone service, because they receive special federal funding to help as many customers as possible keep local service. These providers pass this funding along to qualifying low-income consumers by offering special discounts – known as the Link-Up and Lifeline discounts -- to help them get and stay connected. If you think you qualify for these discounts, ask your local service provider, or any providers you are considering, if they offer Link-Up and Lifeline discounts.
- Are all local service plans the same, except for the cost?
No. Some may have different local service areas, or may not offer access to enhanced 911 services.
- May I keep my telephone number if I change my local service provider?
Yes, in most cases, if you are staying in the same location. (You may also keep your local directory listing.)