TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: The Front Lines - October 14, 2005

The Front Lines - October 14, 2005

Jonathan Marashlian (
Fri, 14 Oct 2005 16:22:04 -0400 The FRONT LINES

Advancing The Cause of Competition in the Telecommunications Industry


Providers of interstate and international telecommunications services
("Universal Service Fund contributors") are reminded that their FCC
Form 499-Q is due no later than Tuesday, November 1, 2005.

The FCC requires USF contributors to file Form 499-Q to report actual
billed revenue and projected revenues. In the Form 499-Q due November
1st, contributors must report actual billed revenue for the 3rd
Quarter of 2005 and projected billed & collected revenue for the 1st
Quarter of 2006.

The Universal Service Administrative Company mails forms and
instructions to contributors who have reported in the past. If you
have not reported in the past, but are required to do so, forms and
instructions are available on the FCC's website - - or you may contact our firm and we'll e-mail
them to you. Contact: or 703-714-1300.

De Minimis carriers and service providers (i.e., those with $10,000 or
less in annual USF contributions) are not required to file Form
499-Qs, but are reminded that an annual Form 499-A is required each
year in April.


On October 3, 2005, Grande Communications filed a Petition for
Declaratory Ruling asking the FCC to declare that:

1. a LEC may properly rely on a customer's certification that the
traffic being sent originates in IP format at the calling party's
premises and therefore undergoes a net protocol conversion, or is
otherwise enhanced, IP-enabled traffic;

2. a LEC may send such certified traffic to other terminating LECs
over local interconnection trunks; and

3. terminating LECs receiving such traffic over local interconnection
trunks are to treat that traffic as local traffic for intercarrier
compensation purposes and may not assess access charges for such

Grande's filed its Petition in reaction to the actions of Alltel and
other LECs through which Grande terminates IP-originated traffic.
According to its Petition, acting in its capacity as a CLEC, Grande
terminates certain traffic to Alltel and other LECs which has been
self-certified by its customers to be IP-originated (i.e., the traffic
originated in IP format at the end user's premise). As such, under
FCC precedent and long-standing policy the traffic at issue is
"enhanced/information services" traffic and therefore not subject to
traditional access charges. Grande alleges that Alltel and other LECs
are refusing to treat such traffic as "enhanced/information services"
traffic by billing reciprocal compensation, and instead are insisting
on billing access charges.

Grande's Petition seeks to stop Alltel and other LECs from acting as
the arbiter's of the proper regulatory treatment of VoIP-originated
traffic and resolve its current controversies with respect to LEC
access charge billing. Instead, Grande requests a ruling that will
allow "self-certification" until such time as the FCC issues specific
guidelines and rules in its pending IP-Enabled Services and
Intercarrier Compensation proceedings.


The FCC published notice in the Federal Register adopting a rule
establishing that providers of facilities based broadband Internet
access services and VoIP Providers which use the public switched
telephone network to terminate calls must comply with the
Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). The rule
will become effective on November 14, 2005, but gives all covered
entities 18 months from that date to comply.

The FCC also published notice in the Federal Register initiating a
rulemaking to explore whether the CALEA should apply to providers of
VoIP services that do not allow users to receive calls originating and
terminating on the PSTN. Comments on the NPRM are due November 14,
2005 with Reply Comments due December 12, 2005.

The Front Lines is a free publication of The Helein Law Group,
providing clients and interested parties with valuable information,
news, and updates regarding regulatory and legal developments
primarily impacting companies engaged in the competitive
telecommunications industry.

The Front Lines does not purport to offer legal advice nor does it
establish a lawyer-client relationship with the reader. If you have
questions about a particular article, general concerns, or wish to
seek legal counsel regarding a specific regulatory or legal matter
affecting your company, please contact our firm at 703-714-1313 or
visit our website:

The Helein Law Group
8180 Greensboro Drive, Suite 700
McLean, Virginia 22102

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