Having committed to employing competition in the telecommunications local exchange carrier (LEC) market to elicit the broadest range of service offerings while ensuring fair rates, state commissions are now establishing regulations to put the new policies into effect. Current investigations focus on the proper costing and rate-setting methods for interconnection and transport services among newly competing carriers. In addition, state regulators are beginning to devise solutions to the problem of number portability: allowing customers to keep the same telephone number while switching carriers for their local dial-tone service. Who will provide a unified directory listing service is another question under consideration.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) has advanced efforts to transform the state's telecommunications industry from a monopoly to a competitive business. While rejecting tariffs filed by U S WEST Communications, Inc., an incumbent LEC that advanced an integrated carrier access and interconnection plan to accommodate alternative LECs and interexchange carriers (IXCs), the UTC set out its