|Choosing a telephone service provider may appear to be an overwhelming task
to many who find themselves seeking to replace their existing service provider
or to those who may be searching for a company to provide initial service. In
either case, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) offers the following
information to help you reach a decision.
|Since 1984 the interstate and interlata long distance service markets have
been opened to competition. In Georgia, local service was opened to competition
with passage of the Telecommunications and Competition Development Act of 1995
(SB 137), one year earlier than passage of the Federal Communications Commission
1996 Telecom Act. Passage of these Acts meant that consumers could choose a
different carrier to provider their local, intralata, interstate, interlata and/or
international telephone services.
|In order to provide local service in Georgia, a company must be certified as a
competitive local exchange service provider, or to provide interstate, interlata
or intralata long distance service a company must be certified as a reseller or
an interexchange carrier (ixc). For information about companies authorized to do
business in Georgia, search the
PSC's telecommunications database
by Company Name, Type of Certificate, Geographic Exchange Area. Companies wishing to
provide local or long distance services in Georgia must undergo a rigorous process
that may include a hearing to determine whether the company has the financial
resources and technical capability to provide such services.
|When choosing a company, consumers may wish to consider the following: Does the
company have a toll-free number? What are the call center's hours of operation? How
quickly are the telephones answered in the call center? Were the representatives
courteous when you called? What payment options are available? Will a deposit be
assessed? If so, what's the maximum amount? Will you have to sign a contract for
the service? Is there a cancellation fee for early termination?
|Additionally, you may wish to contact the PSC to see if any complaints have been
filed against the company. If there have been, the PSC is able to tell you how many
and the types of complaints that were filed. Asking your friends and family who they
get their services from is another tool to help you make your decision.