Bundling of telecommunications services as a single retail offering has become a popular practice among virtually all providers of telephone service. Customers can buy telephone service "a la carte" by choosing basic service and options like call forwarding, caller ID etc. from the company's tariff or catalog.
Companies that haven't demonstrated they face effective competition have to have their prices, terms and conditions approved by the UTC, and have to make the same rates, terms and conditions available to everyone through a tariff. Telephone service has been offered this way for many years: the customers choose a provider of basic local service, any special features, plus long distance service, voicemail etc., and receive a detailed bill every month explaining every charge for every service from every provider.
In recent years companies have started offering bundles of basic service, features, unlimited long distance, etc., for one fixed price. It has been difficult for some traditional phone companies to offer these bundles with the flexibility and speed they want because of the detailed regulatory tariff protections.
In 2007 the legislature passed a law allowing the commission to lift some of those regulations as they apply to bundles, provided that the companies continue to offer customers the option of buying their telephone service from the tariff. In September 2007 the commission approved the first set of petitions for minimal regulation of bundles - from FairPoint, Rainier Connect, Verizon (now Frontier), and Embarq (now CenturyLink). Below are links to company specific petitions for minimal regulation of bundled telecommunications services.
The records of those petitions can be found by following the case links at the bottom of this page.
When ordering telephone service, the customer should consider whether they want the convenience of a bundle or the more traditional, individual, regulated services from the tariff.
For help in understanding the tariff, call the company or call the commission's Consumer Protection Help Line at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882).
For help in understanding bundles, call the company directly or visit the company's website.
For more information about telephone services, visit our Consumer Telephone page.
071571 FairPoint - Ellensburg Petition for Bundles
071572 FairPoint - YCOM Networks, Inc. Petition for Bundled Services
071573 Rainier Connect - Mashell Telecom, Inc. Petition for Bundled Services
071574 Frontier - Verizon Northwest Inc. Petition for Bundled Services
071575 CenturyLink - United Telephone Company of the Northwest Petition for Bundled Services
081485 INLAND - Inland Telephone Company Petition for Bundled Services