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.
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
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.
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
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: 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
Jan 26, 2018 10:00:00 AM
A couple of weeks ago, we became aware of a brewing industry dispute between a diverse group of small service providers and the major national wireless carriers. The small carriers claim that wireless companies are refusing to directly connect with them to terminate traffic or at least certain types of terminating traffic such as wholesale. Instead, wireless carriers are forcing this traffic to be routed through an intermediate carrier partner or affiliate, and as a result, the originating providers can no longer can terminate traffic to these wireless carriers on a bill-and-keep basis.
The small carriers believe that by forcing carriers to send terminating traffic through the wireless company’s intermediate carrier partner they are engaging in an arbitrage scheme. These intermediate carriers assess terminating minute of use access charges and share these revenues, either directly or indirectly, with their wireless partner.
Sep 29, 2017 10:00:00 AM
I can't be the only one to miss the days when one had confidence that a key FCC decision would be based on facts and analysis rather than political payback and subterfuge, can I? Because these constantly flawed 3-2 FCC decisions are getting old and extremely annoying.
This week in its latest partisan decision the Commission approved its 20th Annual Mobile Wireless Competition Report by concluding that the wireless market is competitive. This decision bothered me in several ways. First, it is clear that in reaching its conclusion, the current FCC was paying back the previous FCC for refusing to make such a finding. Second, by refusing to define "effective competition," and failing to conduct an extensive analysis of the market it is obvious that the outcome of this "investigation" was pre-ordained. Third, and most significantly, by concluding that the wireless market is working so well that it does not need onerous regulation, this Report could pave the way for the FCC supporting the rumored merger between Sprint and T-Mobile.