TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: The Front Lines - June 22, 2006

The Front Lines - June 22, 2006

Jonathan Marashlian (
Thu, 22 Jun 2006 14:44:49 -0400 The FRONT LINES

Sponsored by The Helein Law Group, P.C.

Advancing The Cause of Competition in the Telecommunications Industry


As expected, at yesterday's Open Meeting the Federal Communications
Commission ("Commission") adopted two modifications to its approach
for assessing contributions to the Universal Service Fund ("USF").
The following changes were announced via News Release:

First, the Commission raised the existing wireless "safe harbor"
percentage used to estimate interstate revenue from 28.5 percent to
37.1 percent of total end-user telecommunications revenue to better
reflect growing demand for wireless services. Wireless carriers
continue to retain the option to base contributions on their actual
revenues or on traffic studies that estimate their actual interstate

Second, the Commission expanded the base of USF contributions by
extending universal service contribution obligations to providers of
"interconnected voice over Internet Protocol," or VoIP, service. For
interconnected VoIP providers, the Commission establishes a safe
harbor percentage of interstate revenue at 64.9 percent of total VoIP
service revenue. Interconnected VoIP providers also may calculate
their interstate revenues based on their actual revenues or by using
traffic studies.

The full text of the Commission's Report and Order is not currently
available. The increased wireless safe harbor and addition of VoIP to
the USF contribution base will become effective 30 days after
publication of the full text of the Report and Order in the Federal

The Commission also adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking
comment on interim contribution obligations imposed in its Order.

According to its News Release, the Commission's measured interim steps
will stabilize the contribution base for the Fund in the near-term and
minimize the impact of any changes on consumers, Fund contributors,
and Fund administration, while the Commission considers more
fundamental reform of the contribution methodology.

For more information on how the Commission's Order will affect your
business, please contact your regulatory counsel. If you do not have
counsel, please contact Jonathan S. Marashlian at


The Front Lines is a free publication of The Helein Law Group, P.C.,
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, P.C.
8180 Greensboro Drive, Suite 700
McLean, Virginia 22102

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