Office of Cable Television and Telecommunications
Cable Service Customer Assistance 1-800-624-0331
Integration of the Office of Cable Television and the Division of Telecommunications
In September of 2015, the Division of Telecommunications consolidated with the Office of Cable Television to form the Office of Cable Television and Telecommunications. The consolidation occurred in recognition of the continued convergence of technologies such as voice, data and video services and the need to work towards a consistent regulatory framework to send the appropriate economic and regulatory signals to both consumers and the industry.
The consolidation has streamlined operations and brought unique synergies that allow the newly formed Office to identify opportunities and meet consumer and industry needs more rapidly. Additionally, the Office monitors industry developments at the federal level and participates in forums at both the local and national level to proactively advocate New Jersey positions and interests. The Office consists of four Bureaus: the Bureau of Engineering and Rates, the Bureau of Inspection and Enforcement, the Bureau of Accounts and the State and Local Planning Unit.
Bureau of Engineering and Rates
The Bureau of Engineering and Rates is directly responsible for the implementation of Board policies related to the provision of regulated telecommunications services for both wholesale and retail services that fall within the Board's jurisdiction. Currently, the Bureaus are charged with overseeing three Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs): Verizon New Jersey Inc. CenturyLink, and Alteva, Inc. and over 160 Competitive Local Exchange Carriers, (CLECs), such as AT&T.
The Bureau is responsible for policy developments, implementation and oversight of local telephone competition and competitive issues, the federal Universal Service Fund, Lifeline issues, poles and conduit and plans of alternative regulation. In addition, the Bureau reviews, conducts analysis and advises the Board on a wide range of competitive issues such as intercarrier operations (including unbundled network element rates and dispute resolution on Interconnections agreements), wholesale carrier performance standards, municipal consents, mergers and transfers of control, mass migrations, divestitures, and acquisitions. Furthermore, they analyze wholesale and retail service quality standards, service outages, property sales, tariff interpretation and revisions and complex complaints.
The Bureau also monitors the need for new area codes and investigates conservation methods impacting the use of telephone numbers. In addition, they are also responsible for the administration of the Telecommunications Relay System (TRS) for the deaf and hearing-impaired and handle all issues pertaining to TRS including, but not limited to monthly billing, attending monthly TRS meetings, interfacing with the TRS contractor, development of the RFP and selection of the contractor.
Bureau of Accounts
The Bureau of Accounts reviews all consolidations, sales, transfers, and mergers proposed by cable companies.
Bureau of Inspection and Enforcement
The Bureau of Inspection and Enforcement consists of an Investigative Unit and a Technical Unit. The Technical Unit reviews the operational and technical plans submitted by cable companies to ensure compliance with state and federal law. The Technical Unit provides analysis to ensure compliance of cable providers with requirements for extension of cable service plant, pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth in their Certificates of Approval or System-wide Franchises. The Technical Unit also performs field inspections of cable companies’ physical plants.
The Investigative Unit processes all complaints regarding cable service received by mail, email, or the customer assistance ‘hotline’ (1-800-624-0331), fulfilling the Board’s role as the designated complaint officer for the majority of the State’s cable television franchises.
State and Local Planning Unit
The State and Local Planning Unit oversees the franchising and re-franchising process for cable television service as required under state and Federal requirements in New Jersey’s 566 municipalities. It administers the Municipal Assistance program that provides municipalities with the information necessary to successfully complete franchise negotiations. In addition, the Unit monitors cable companies operating under system wide franchises, pursuant to changes in the State’s Cable Act.