Feb 16, 2018 10:06:22 AM
Even with inter-carrier compensation reform, some bad actors continue to abuse the remaining price differences in switched access charges to enrich themselves. These arbitrage opportunities exist because rural ILECs were not required to reduce terminating tandem-switched transport to bill-and-keep maintaining their access revenues and originating switched access charges were never reformed at all by the FCC.
On the terminating side, some LECs continue to contract out with enterprises that generate large numbers of terminating calls and split the excess access revenues. Next week, we will discuss this issue of access stimulation (or traffic pumping) and review a current case where the FCC will determine whether IXCs must utilize the tariffs of LECs engaged in such a practice.
Topics: CLECs, FCC, ILECs, service providers, bill-and-keep, wireless, inter-carrier compensation, terminating traffic, direct connections, wireless carriers, small providers, Inteliquent, wholesale traffic, AT&T, 8yy, clec, terminating access charges, 8yy query charges
Aug 25, 2017 10:00:00 AM
The next test for the Trump-era FCC is here. Reply comments were filed on August 15, 2017 in the proceeding which will determine whether originating or terminating access charges will apply to toll-free 8YY calls.
The large IXCs believe at a minimum that the current situation in which they pay originating access is untenable. They argue that with the transition of most terminating access charges to bill-and keep nearing transition, industry bad actors have moved their arbitrage schemes to originating access including 8YY calls. As AT&T notes:
Apr 14, 2017 10:00:00 AM
CLECs wasted little time in attacking the FCC’s draft Report and Order (Order) that the FCC will vote on and approve on April 20, 2017. The Order will deregulate and eliminate pricing rules for most ILEC special access services. In a series of ex parte filings and visits to the Commission this week, CLECs made it clear that they don’t accept the market test that would be used to classify markets into competitive or non-competitive buckets, believing that too many DS1 and DS3 customers will be left at the mercy of ILEC monopoly pricing.
Feb 24, 2017 10:00:00 AM
The election of Donald Trump was a heavy blow to CLECs and smaller ISPs. Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had been a kindred spirit they could turn to reliably create regulations almost on an as needed basis. That empathy for competitive carriers has almost certainly been lost under the auspices of new Chairman Ajit Pai. But independent carriers are not going away and certainly are going to pressure the new Commission to respond to their concerns. That was made clear in a February 13th letter from the association INCOMPAS to Chairman Pai detailing the steps competitive carriers want the FCC to take to better enable broadband deployment.
Nov 28, 2016 10:00:00 AM
The good news for large telecommunication companies did not end on Election Day. On Friday, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals vacated and remanded for further review the FCC’s 2015 Declaratory Ruling that required AT&T and other long-distance providers to pay local switching access charges to CLECs, working with over-the-top Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers serving end user customers. The Court found that the Commission’s Declaratory Ruling was inadequate because it failed to provide a functional difference between local switching to an end office and lower priced tandem switching.
CLEC Alert: Fate of Wholesale Network Platform To Be Determined In FCC’s Business Data Services Order
Sep 30, 2016 10:00:00 AM
The Unbundled Network Element Platform (UNE-P) continues to live for now in the form of commercial wholesale network platform services offered by AT&T and Verizon. These services, called Local Service Complete and Wholesale Advantage respectively, provide CLECs unbundled access to ILEC voice loops, switching and transport in one package and provide the most cost efficient method to enter local markets without purchasing costly network facilities. However, they are in danger of ending when the FCC issues its Business Data Services (BDS) Order later this year.
Apr 8, 2016 10:00:00 AM
The telecommunications industry is finally looking to the future when it comes to their private network needs. Despite the fact that there are two huge special access investigations in progress that are worth millions of dollars to the participants, ILECs and CLECs are increasingly turning their attention to the next generation of dedicated services – Ethernet. This has been made clear in the recent onslaught of CLEC letters and meetings with the FCC arguing that the agency’s decision several years ago to forbear from enforcing dominant carrier status on ILEC Ethernet services only applied to services existing at that time and does not apply to Ethernet services that have been introduced since. As we discuss below, the argument is fatally flawed and has little chance of succeeding, but it is important nevertheless, because it is the first skirmish of the many battles to come regarding Ethernet prices, terms and conditions.
In a series of decisions beginning in 2006 with Verizon,
Nov 24, 2015 10:00:00 AM
On August 7, 2015, the FCC released the long-awaited Order in its “Technology Transitions” proceeding which addressed CLEC concerns about the availability of ILEC wholesale services during the industry transition from the Time Division Multiplexed (TDM) network to a network using Internet Protocol (IP). The Order also provided protection for consumers and businesses as ILECs retire copper and retail services utilizing that copper are discontinued.
The Order does appear, however, to have an unintended consequence, one that could cause CLECs to abandon retail customers even while ILECs conscientiously follow the FCC’s section 214 service discontinuance rules.
Sep 11, 2015 9:30:00 AM
The FCC investigation into ILEC special access rates is heating up! CLECs are now demanding that the Commission fundamentally re-regulate ILEC special access rates by removing their pricing flexibility status and once again making them a part of price cap regulation. This comes as industry comments regarding the type of market analysis the Commission should conduct on the special access data it collected are due later this month. It also comes as the FCC has recently ordered ILECs to make reasonably comparable wholesale Internet protocol (IP) wholesale services available to CLECs as the ILECs transition their networks to fiber. These transitional IP wholesale services must be made available to CLECs until the special access investigation is complete – probably in 2016.
The newfound CLEC aggressiveness comes in a joint FCC filing made on August 28, 2015 in Docket 05-25 by Birch Communications, BT Americas, and Level 3 Communications (“petitioners"). They argue first that the Commission is legally justified to re-regulate ILEC special access rates:
Jul 17, 2015 9:47:10 AM
The FCC has finally responded to years of CLEC lobbying! Earlier this week FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler indicated that the Commission on August 6, will adopt an order requiring ILECs to make “reasonably comparable” wholesale services available to CLECs as they replace their copper networks with fiber-based Internet protocol (IP) networks. These new rules will be in place on an interim basis until the Commission completes its ongoing investigation into ILEC special access services.