TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Pressure Builds Over FCC's Level 3 VoIP Issue

Pressure Builds Over FCC's Level 3 VoIP Issue

Jack Decker (jack-yahoogroups@withheld)
Fri, 18 Mar 2005 17:32:17 -0500

COMMENT: For those that don't want to read the full story below, here'
a quick summary, seasoned with perhaps a hint of sarcasm:

Dear FCC:

[Whine] Please preserve our monopolies and let us continue to gouge
our customers, since there is almost no competition and we really love
being able to extract every last penny we can from them.

[Whine] Please don't look at our filings with the SEC, or our
financial statements, or you might get the wrong idea and think we're
doing a whole lot better than we're telling you.

[Whine] Please continue to give us all those subsidies we've grown so
accustomed to, after all we are corporations and the law says
corporations are like people in the eyes of the law, and if people can
get welfare from the government then we should get it too.

[Whine] And please kill the evil VoIP companies, who are stealing our
slaves, er, customers, after all we have a God-given right to squeeze
them because their families have lived in our turf for ages and they
are too stupid to move out of our area.

The rural (not necessarily small) telephone companies of the United States

P.S. And please, while you are at it, we want MORE. [Whine]

End of admittedly snarky comment (hey, it's Friday), now here's the real story.

Pressure Builds Over FCC's Level 3 VoIP Issue

The House Rural Caucus and several trade organizations are making a
last ditch effort to get the Federal Communications Commission to deny
a Level 3 Communications request to exempt certain VoIP calls from
access charges. Under commission rules, Level 3's forbearance
petition not to apply access charges would require FCC action by this
Tuesday, March 22, otherwise by default the petition is considered

Since the matter is being cut this close, the House group recently
sent a letter to outgoing FCC chairman Michael Powell urging the Level
3 petition be denied, not only because of concerns for rural telco
revenues from access charges, but also the Rural Caucus maintained
that segments of VoIP, the broader proceeding on intercarrier
compensation (ICC) and many other related issues should be treated
comprehensively as a whole and not a in a piecemeal fashion.. A
central Level 3 question is whether VoIP calls should be subject to
reciprocal compensation or access charges.

The Rural Caucus move drew support from the Independent Telephone &
Telecommunications Alliance (ITTA), the National Telecommunications
Cooperative Association (NTCA), the Organization for the Promotion and
Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO), and the
Western Telecommunications Alliance (WTA). They lauded the Rural
Caucus for recognizing that a granting of Level 3's petition“
'would prejudge' many of the issues.

Full story at:

How to Distribute VoIP Throughout a Home:

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