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8YY Proceeding a New Test of FCC's Intentions

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

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:

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Topics: regulatory updates, CLECs, FCC, ILECs

Rural ILECs Request Price Caps for Special Access Services

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Jun 23, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Will rate-of-return (ROR) regulation for rural ILECs soon disappear?  It clearly is on the ropes for the many small ILECs now using the Alternative Cost Model (ACAM) to recover their loop costs and receive Connect America Fund (CAF) support. These LECS are no longer in the NECA Common Line Pool and not subject to an authorized common line rate of return. 

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, ILECs

CLECs: Thumbs Down to FCC Deregulation of ILEC Special Access

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

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.

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Topics: regulatory updates, CLECs, FCC, ILECs

FCC Order Will Detariff Most ILEC Special Access Services

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Apr 7, 2017 10:00:00 AM

In one of its most deregulatory decisions ever, the FCC has released a draft Report and Order (Order) to be voted on at its April 20, 2017 meeting that would largely detariff and eliminate pricing rules for most ILEC special access services. Price cap regulation would continue for ILEC DS1 and DS3 channel terminations only in counties that the Commission deems as non-competitive.  Ethernet and ILEC packet services would continue to be provided under contracts. The Order is a major victory for ILECs and cable companies and a major loss for IILEC competitors. 

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, ILECs, special access

FCC Allocates Funds for Rural ILECs Selecting Universal Service Cost Model

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Jan 6, 2017 9:56:24 AM

A couple of weeks ago we reported on a major dilemma for the FCC. Last March the Commission approved a voluntary path that a rural rate-of-return (ROR) ILEC could choose that would provide it with definite universal service support dollar amount per year over a ten-year time period in exchange for meeting FCC mandated milestones for broadband deployment in its territory. The annual funding for each ILEC would be determined by using a cost model called the Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) similar to the one already used by larger price cap ILECs. A 10-year budget of $150 million annually was established for the program, with an additional $50 million in reserve if the budget was exceeded in a given year.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, ILECs

Too Many Rate-Of-Return ILECs Elect Universal Service Cost Model

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Dec 16, 2016 9:52:24 AM

For rural rate-of-return (ROR) ILECs, it has been an interesting year. Back in March, the FCC approved (in Docket 10-90) a new way for rural ILECs to obtain universal service. A voluntary methodology that would provide a carrier definite universal support dollar amounts per year over a ten-year time period in exchange for meeting required milestones for broadband deployment in its territory. The annual funding per ILEC would be determined by using a cost model similar to the one already used by larger price cap ILECs. A 10-year budget of $150 million annually was established for the program, with an additional $50 million in reserve if the budget was exceeded in a given year.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, ILECs

ILECs Attack Proposed Business Data Services Regulations

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Nov 4, 2016 10:00:00 AM

It looks like the ILECs are not quite ready to swallow the proposed new rules for business data services (BDS). As you may remember, on October 7th the FCC released a “fact sheet” of its proposed regulations for special access and Ethernet services. The new rules are scheduled to be adopted at the Commission’s November meeting and take effect in 2017. The essence of the proposal is that ILEC DS1 and DS3 special access circuits will be regulated using price caps regardless of the level of competition in a market. Other providers of time-division multiplexed (TDM) special access services would not be have their prices regulated. Ethernet services, regardless of provider, would also not be price regulated. Parties unhappy with Ethernet rates would be able to appeal to the Commission through a bulked-up complaint process. Our summary of the “fact sheet” can be found here.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, ILECs, Business Data Services

FCC Releases Rules for Rural ILEC Broadband-Only Service

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Oct 21, 2016 10:00:00 AM

This week, we get a little technical, but our subject is important and potentially impacts hundreds of ILECs. Remember back in March when the FCC released an Order in Docket 10-90 reforming the rules governing universal service support for rate-of-return (ROR) ILECs?  One of the key justifications for that Order was to ensure small ILECs receive Connect America Fund (CAF) support in situations in which their end user customers choose to subscribe to broadband service only, without also subscribing to traditional plain old telephone service (POTS). Rural ILECs were becoming more and more handicapped as customers wanted broadband service only and the rules did not allow universal service support for such a stand-alone service.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, ILECs, Broadband

FCC Maintains Requirement that ILECs File Switched Access Tariffs

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Jul 22, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Last week we highlighted the fact that the FCC recently adopted a Declaratory Ruling in Docket 13-3, finding that ILEC switched access for mass market andenterprise customers is now a “non-dominant service”.

We speculated whether, as a result of that finding, the Commission would eliminate the current requirement that all ILEC interstate switched access rates,terms and conditions must be tariffed.  We concluded that because of thei mportance of tariffs to switched access customers it was highly unlikely that tariffs would be eliminated. A perusing of the Ruling, which was released on July15, 2016, finds that we were correct and ILECs will continue to file interstate access tariffs for the foreseeable future.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, ILECs, switched access

FCC Finds ILEC Switched Access Services to be Non-Dominant and Eases Service Discontinuance Rules

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Jul 15, 2016 10:00:00 AM

At its July 14, 2016 meeting, the FCC adopted a Declaratory Ruling in Docket 13-3, finding that ILEC interstate mass market and enterprise switched access services are no longer dominant services. The Ruling came in response to a 2012 USTelecom Petition followed by industry comments filed earlier this year to refresh the public record. Since the text of the Ruling has not yet been made public, we have scant details so far. In its April 14, 2016, News Release, the Commission stated only:

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, ILECs, special access, Business Data Services

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