The Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) is a quasi-judicial agency that regulates utilities and
pipeline carriers in the State of Alaska.
Pursuant to 3 AAC 48.020(g), a commissioner, presiding officer, or commission staff member
may not, except upon reasonable notice and opportunity for all parties to participate,
communicate with a party, and other affected persons, about any issue of fact, law, or policy in a
pending adjudicatory proceeding.
If you are media representative and have a question about a pending proceeding, please review
the record of the proceeding before contacting the agency's media liaison. The RCA's website
contains comprehensive information regarding matters of pending and closed dockets, utility
tariffs, statutes, rules and regulations. Please use the Advanced Search
or Search by Type
feature to find the information you are looking for.
If you find that you still need assistance, please contact Ms. Grace Salazar, media liaison and
chief of the RCA Consumer Protection & Information Section, at (907) 263-2134 or via email at
You can subscribe to receive an RSS Feed of RCA Press
LINKS AND RESOURCES
GLOSSARY OF UTILITY-RELATED TERMS
E911: An abbreviated dialing code that directs emergency calls
to police, fire, and emergency services.
2-1-1: An abbreviated dialing code that directs callers to health
and human services information and referral providers.
ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution): ADR refers to any
means of settling disputes, usually presided by a hearing
examiner, administrative law judge, mediator or an arbitrator.
AUSF (Alaska Universal Service Fund): This local charge is
similar to the Federal Universal Service Fund. The Alaska USF
provides support for three different programs: Lifeline & Link
Up, DEM Weighting and Public Interest Pay Telephone. Lifeline
helps reduce the local monthly charge for low-income
customers. DEM Weighting provides support to certain small
local exchange companies with high switching costs. The PIPT
program supports the cost of pay telephones in locations where
they are needed for health, safety and public welfare and would
not otherwise exists as a result of the operation of competitive
Broadband: A term that refers to the ability to transmit data
at high rates of speed (45Mb/s and above). Usually associated
with the transmission of data, multimedia audio and video
(such as high-speed Internet access), it may also be part of
private networks. Visit our website to learn about the Rural Alaska Broadband Internet
Ccf: One hundred cubic feet; a unit used to measure natural
CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier): A local
telephone company that competes with the incumbent local
exchange carrier (or ILEC, see below) for the local telephone
business of customers.
COPA (Cost of Power Adjustment): A mechanism that
allows a power company to adjust its rates to coincide with
changes in fuel costs (3 AAC 52.503).
CPCN (Certificate of Public Convenience & Necessity):
CPCN is a certificate by which all public utilities and pipeline
carriers are required to obtain from the RCA before operating
and receiving compensation for providing a commodity or
service (AS 42.05.221).
CPNI (Customer Proprietary Network Information): CPNI
refers to any information collected by telecommunications
service providers, including but not limited to: billing records,
type of services that subscribers are receiving, call details and
history, and other customer information. To learn more about
the FCC's CPNI rules, download the
FCC's Order here.
Cramming: Cramming is billing for optional services that you
never requested or authorized. The RCA has developed rules to
prevent cramming by requiring complete and accurate
disclosure of services and charges on a consumer's telephone
bill (3 AAC 52.230).
DTV (Digital TV 2009 Transition): Congress mandated all
full-power broadcast television stations to stop broadcasting on
analog airwaves and begin broadcasting only in digital effective
February 17, 2009. Converting to DTV will free up parts of the
scarce and valuable broadcast spectrum. Those portions of the
spectrum can then be used for other important public safety
services (e.g., police and fire departments, emergency rescue)
and advanced wireless services. Digital broadcasting will also
allow stations to offer improved picture and sound quality and
additional channels. To learn more about the DTV transition,
go to the
FCC's DTV webpage located here.
ESSS (Electric Service & Safety Standards): These are set
of rules for electric companies in providing services to
customers in Alaska (3 AAC 52.400 - 3 AAC 52.500).
FCC (Federal Communications
Commission): An independent U.S. government agency
charged with regulating interstate and international
communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable.
FET (Federal Excise Tax): A 3% charge on all
telecommunications services, including local, long distance and
FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission): An independent U.S. government agency that
regulates the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, and
GCA (Gas Cost Adjustment): A mechanism that provides a
dollar-for-dollar recovery of costs incurred by a local utility to
purchase and deliver natural gas to its system. The GCA rate
enables the local utility to correct any over or under collections
of natural gas costs in previous periods (3 AAC 52.505).
Incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC): The “traditional”
local telephone company in a geographic region.
Local Number Portability (LNP): A procedure that allows
consumers to keep their telephone number when they switch
local service from one telephone carrier to another.
Mcf: One thousand cubic feet; a unit used to measure natural
NAF (Network Access Fee): The NAF is designed to recover a
portion of the cost of the "local loop" (i.e., the wires and
associated local network facilities that connect a telephone
customer to the local telephone company's central office
switch). All local exchange carriers must charge the NAF.
However, other types of carriers, such as cellular and long
distance companies, will not charge the NAF. For further
information about the NAF, the Commission has prepared a Frequently
Asked Questions (FAQ) to help answer consumer inquiries
related to the NAF.
National “Do-Not-Call” Registry: A list maintained by the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
that allows consumers to have their telephone number removed
from databases used by telemarketers. Consumers can register
for the national do-not-call registry either online or at
http://www.donotcall.gov or by calling toll-free (888) 382-1222.
NARUC (National Association of
PCE (Power Cost Equalization Program): A program
funded by the Alaska Energy Authority to reduce the electric
bills of residential customers living in rural communities. For
more information about the PCE, please refer to the Power
Cost Equalization Brochure.
PIPT (Public Interest Pay Telephone)
RCC (Regulatory Cost Charges): Charge incurred through
legislation to fund the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (3 AAC
RAPA (Regulatory Affairs & Public Advocacy): A section
within the Alaska Office of the Attorney General, which
advocates on behalf of the public interest in utility matters that
come before the RCA.
SRF (Simplified Rate Filing): SRF is a process in which an
electric cooperative may adjust its rates as frequently as
quarterly but may not exceed a cumulative 20 percent in any
three-year period or a cumulative eight percent in a 12-month
period. Rate adjustments under SRF regulations are in addition
to purchased and fuel cost rate adjustments (AS 42.05.381(e)
and 3 AAC 48.700).
Slamming: Slamming is when your telecommunications
provider is changed without your authorization. You should
immediately contact your original carrier and advise that your
local telephone (or long distance) service was changed without
authorization. You should also contact the company that
requested the unauthorized switch and request a refund or
credit and make sure you do not get monthly recurring charges
(for example, some long distance companies charge a flat long
distance calling plan billed monthly.
STMP (State Telecommunications Modernization Plan):
RCA rules that assure that telephone companies provide all
consumers with adequate service at minimum requirements
and standards (3 AAC 53.700).
Tariff: A tariff is a set of policies and procedures or terms and
conditions under which a utility offers its services and facilities.
A legally filed and effective tariff rate, charge, toll, rental, rule,
regulation, or condition of service may not be changed except
in the manner provided in AS 42.05.371.
TA (Tariff Advice): A tariff advice is filing procedure by which
utility companies follow to change its legally filed and effective
tariff rate, charge, toll, rental, rule, regulation, or condition of
service. The review process for the filing prescribed by AS
42.05.361 - AS 42.05.441, includes a period for public
comment (published under Notices in local newspapers) and
allows the Commission to approve, reject, or suspend the tariff
filing for further investigation. For most utilities, this review
process takes 45 days.
Telecommunications Act of 1996: Federal legislation that,
among other things, permitted former Bell operating companies
to enter the long distance telephone business.
UAS (Universal Access Surcharge): This surcharge, also
commonly referred to as the TRS surcharge, is for
Telecommunications Relay Service centers that transmit and
translate calls between hearing individuals and individuals who
are hearing or speech impaired. The Alaska's TRS carrier is
South Dakota Association of the Deaf d/b/a Alaska Relay, CSD
of Alaska. Currently, the TRS rates are 10 cents/line/month for
residential and single line business customers and 20
cents/line/month for multi line business customers.
VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol): The use of the
Internet Protocol (a data transmission protocol) to transmit and
switch (or “route”) voice messages which have been converted
to data. VoIP may include the use of the Internet, private
networks, and/or the Public Switched Telephone Network
(PSTN, see above) to carry or complete calls. VoIP is
sometimes referred to as IP Telephony.
WLNP (Wireless Local Number Portability): Local Number
Portability (LNP, see above) applied to and between wireless
carriers and between wireless and traditional or competitive
To view the statutes and regulations cited above, click
Date Issued: 6/24/2013