TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Level 3 CEO Comments on Withdrawal of VoIP Forbearance Petition

Level 3 CEO Comments on Withdrawal of VoIP Forbearance Petition

Jack Decker (jack-yahoogroups@withheld)
Tue, 22 Mar 2005 12:37:19 -0500

James Crowe Comments on Withdrawal of Level 3 VoIP Forbearance Petition

BROOMFIELD, Colo., March 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The following
statement can be attributed to James Q. Crowe, chief executive officer
of Level 3 Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT):

"Today, Level 3 withdrew a forbearance petition the company had filed
in December 2003 with the Federal Communications Commission seeking to
clarify the regulatory status of Voice over IP. "In the petition, we
asked the FCC to reaffirm that legacy interconnection fees called
'access charges' do not apply to a certain class of VoIP traffic. By
statute, the agency was required to issue a decision in the matter by
March 22, 2005. "Level 3 has withdrawn the petition in deference to
the Commission. Given the appointment of new leadership only three
business days before the statutory deadline for ruling on the
petition, we determined it was inappropriate to ask the agency to
resolve this important issue in the timeframe required by law.
However, there remains a pressing need in the industry for clarity in
this area, and Level 3 may elect to refile the petition or take other
appropriate regulatory actions in the future. "Our decision to
withdraw the petition was made in consultation with industry
participants that share our views, including the VON Coalition and

"Level 3 is committed to offering the industry's broadest suite of
wholesale VoIP services, and our decision, which in effect maintains
the regulatory status quo, will not have any material financial impact
on the company. Level 3 and other VoIP service providers continue to
maintain that voice calls between the legacy telephone network and the
Internet should be exchanged using reciprocal compensation rates,
which are lower than access charges and far closer to the network
provider's true cost. "We believe that VoIP stands to deliver
enormous benefits to business and residential end-users, and will help
drive broadband adoption nationwide. In our view, and in the view of
many of the companies who supported this petition, creating regulatory
clarity is the best way for the government to encourage investment in
this promising new technology. "The Commission's record is one of
strong support for Voice over IP, and we're confident it will resolve
these important issues in an appropriate and timely manner. There are
number of other avenues by which the Commission can address the issue
of VoIP and intercarrier compensation, and our hope is that it does so
quickly in order to provide the industry with clear ground rules. We
look forward to continuing to work with the FCC as it formulates
policies that will foster VoIP's continued development."

About Level 3 Communications

Level 3 (Nasdaq: LVLT) is an international communications and
information services company. The company operates one of the largest
Internet backbones in the world, is one of the largest providers of
wholesale dial-up service to ISPs in North America and is the primary
provider of Internet connectivity for millions of broadband
subscribers, through its cable and DSL partners. The company offers a
wide range of communications services over its 23,000-mile broadband
fiber optic network including Internet Protocol (IP) services,
broadband transport and infrastructure services, colocation services,
and patented softswitch managed modem and voice services. Its Web
address is The company offers information
services through its subsidiaries, Software Spectrum and (i)Structure.
For additional information, visit their respective Web sites at and The
Level 3 logo is a registered service mark of Level 3 Communications,
Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.

SOURCE Level 3 Communications, Inc.
Web Site:

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