Aug 29, 2014 11:00:41 AM
It has been a while since we updated the status of the landmark interconnection agreement between AT&T and Sprint Spectrum (Sprint) in Michigan. What made this agreement so noteworthy was the fact that on December 6, 2013, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) reversed an arbitration panel and required AT&T to interconnect with Sprint on an Internet Protocol (IP) level as required by sections 251 and 252 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.
The decision continues to be significant because even now, almost nine months later, the FCC has continued to duck the contentious issue of IP interconnection. CLECs have repeatedly requested the Commission to find that IP interconnection for voice services is governed by sections 251 and 252 of the Act. Without such a requirement, they assert that ILECs would leverage their market power in interconnection negotiations to impose unfair charges on smaller carriers to complete calls and put them at a competitive disadvantage.
Dec 3, 2013 1:58:00 PM
Interconnection agreements (ICAs) have been around for a while, but how they are used and the rules governing them have continued to evolve through the years. Now, as the FCC implements its reform of the inter-carrier compensation system, many predict ICAs will continue to grow in importance. These contracts among carriers are even expected to replace access tariffs as carriers move to the new access charge framework, many citing – including the FCC – that this will be the primary way carriers set the terms for how traffic is exchanged. A survey conducted by CCMI in early 2013 revealed that 90% of the respondents thought ICAs would have a significant impact on their business in the coming years.
What exactly do ICAs cover?
ICAs were first introduced as part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act and the rules regarding them have evolved with the FCC’s USF/ICC Transformation Order in 2011. It is unclear whether the expanded use will result in regulated ICAs filed with state commissions or unregulated ICAs that are not filed, but either way it’s still important to understand the key areas they cover.
The FCC’s transition to a bill-and-keep methodology seeks to move interstate access, intrastate access and reciprocal compensation all under the jurisdiction of the FCC. This current initiative is still being challenged by the states and other stakeholders, but is the driving force behind the growing importance of ICAs. This doesn’t mean tariffs will be going away, as this initiative only covers terminating switched access – other tariffed access services will not be affected. And, the jury is still out whether or not ICAs are the answer. Currently, the FCC is seeking industry comments on whether ICAs or tariffs are the best method to govern carrier-to-carrier relationships.
Oct 17, 2013 11:05:00 AM
There continues to be an industry-wide battle over the transition to an IP-based network, especially for CLECs attempting to negotiate interconnection agreements for the exchange of IP voice traffic with ILECs. Here are some recent key events:
Jun 6, 2013 5:58:00 PM
The Oregon Exchange Carrier Association has made some significant changes in the last couple of days.
Jun 6, 2013 9:39:00 AM
Feb 5, 2013 11:15:00 AM
[UPDATE: The recording of this webinar is now available here. The links below have also been updated to point to the new page. -MC]