In July 2009, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (“IURC” or “Commission”) adopted registration requirements applicable to all “providers of IP-enabled services.” Under the new requirements, all IP-based communications providers must file an application for a Certificate of Territorial Authority (“CTA”) with the IURC before providing service to customers located in Indiana.
The IURC announced the new requirements in a press release dated May 19, 2009. In this press release, the Commission indicated that it approved a new CTA application form which now applies to providers of IP-based communications services. Specifically, the IURC explained that:
Indiana Code 8-1-32.5 requires any person or entity offering communications services in Indiana that is not currently certified with the IURC, to file a CTA application.Communications services, as defined in the statute, include telecommunications service, information service, video service, broadband service, advanced services and Internet Protocol enabled services.
According to the IURC, since the intention of Indiana Code 8-1-32.5 is to increase parity in the regulatory treatment of providers of communications services, all IP-based providers who provide communications services similar to traditional telephony must register with the Commission. This includes interconnected VoIP providers who provide service to customers located in Indiana. Providers of other IP-based communications services may also be subject to the IURC‘s new registration requirements.
Nevertheless, the enforceability of the new registration requirement is still not clear; particularly in light of the June 1, 2009 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit that affirmed a lower court‘s decision to strike down the Nebraska Public Service Commission‘s regulation of Vonage‘s interconnected VoIP service on federal preemption grounds.
All clients providing IP-based communications services to customers located in Indiana are advised to take notice of this registration requirement and evaluate their duties under the law. If you have questions concerning this registration requirement, or need additional information on state regulation of VoIP services, please contact Jonathan Marashlian at: email@example.com or 703-714-1313.