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Ninth Circuit Decision is Big Victory for FTC and FCC

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Mar 2, 2018 10:09:02 AM

In a February 26, 2018 Opinion, the full Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco gave the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a huge victory when it found that a company is regulated as if it were a common carrier based on a specific "activity" rather than by "status." In other words, a non-common carrier cannot become a common carrier and escape FTC regulation for its non-common carrier services simply by providing a single common carrier service. Instead, as per usual, its common carrier services would be regulated by the FCC, but its non-common carrier services would fall under FTC authority.   

The significance of this is clear. The non-common carrier services such as broadband Internet access service provided by ISPs like AT&T and Verizon will be regulated under section 5 of the FTC rules, as the FCC envisioned in its recently released Restoring Internet Freedom Order.

Here is the background for this important Opinion.

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Topics: terminating traffic, direct connections, wireless, wireless carriers, bill-and-keep, small providers, service providers, Inteliquent, wholesale traffic, AT&T, ILECs, inter-carrier compensation, clec, CLECs, terminating access charges, FCC, IXC, switched access

Can a CLEC Force an IXC to Buy Switched Access

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Feb 23, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Industry comments are due on March 14, 2018, involving one of the weirdest filings to come before the FCC in a long time. In a Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling (Petition) filed by South Dakota Networks (SDN) on February 7, 2018 in Docket 18-41, SDN requests the Commission to issue a declaratory ruling asserting that in a dispute between it and Northern Valley Communications, Inc. (NVC) involving interstate switched access traffic:

A contract between SDN and AT&T, negotiated to terminate large volumes of traffic originally bound to a CLEC (NVC) engaged in access stimulation is lawful; and,CLECs, such as NVC, enjoy no exclusive right to transport terminating traffic to their end offices (or elsewhere). Moreover, the filing of a federal tariff by a CLEC, does not confer a right to compel other carriers to use the tariffed services.

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Topics: terminating traffic, direct connections, wireless, wireless carriers, bill-and-keep, small providers, service providers, Inteliquent, wholesale traffic, AT&T, ILECs, inter-carrier compensation, clec, CLECs, terminating access charges, FCC, IXC, switched access, terminating switched access, federal tariff

AT&T Wants Immediate Action on 8YY Query Charges

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

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.

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Topics: terminating traffic, direct connections, wireless, wireless carriers, bill-and-keep, small providers, service providers, Inteliquent, wholesale traffic, AT&T, 8yy, 8yy query charges, ILECs, inter-carrier compensation, clec, CLECs, terminating access charges, FCC

Industry Factions State Their Case for More Switched Access Reform

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Nov 3, 2017 10:00:00 AM

It's been six long years since the FCC took the first steps to fix the hopelessly muddled inter-carrier compensation system when it began reducing most terminating switched access charges to bill-and-keep. However, concerned about lost access revenues for rural ILECs, the Commission left originating access charges untouched and only mandated reductions in tandem-switched transport when the terminating price cap carrier owned the tandem in that serving area. Moreover, for rate-of-return ILECs, these charges were capped at interstate levels and not reduced any further.

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Topics: FCC, regulatory updates, inter-carrier compensation, switched access

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