• On June 30, 2011, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PA PUC) voted to require rural local exchange carriers (LECs) within the state to reduce their intrastate access charge rates to mirror their interstate levels. At the same time, the Commission is permitting rural LECs to increase their residential and business customer rates during the four-year implementation period to offset lost revenues. The PA PUC stated that although the reform measures are “not a perfect solution, our action today attempts to strike the appropriate balance between reforming access rates and protecting rural Pennsylvanians and the companies that have provided them with reliable and affordable telephone services for over 100 years.” The PA PUC estimates that interexchange carriers (IXCs) will save approximately $50 million from the reduced rates and it “expects the IXC carriers to pass on the savings to their end-user customers because the commission no longer regulates the long-distance rates of the IXCs.” Docket Nos. I-00040105 and C-2009-2098380.
  • On June 27, 2011, Verizon California Inc., MCImetro Access Transmission Services LLC, and MCI Communications Services, Inc. answered and moved to dismiss a complaint filed by Cox California Telcom, LLC with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). In its complaint, Cox alleges that Verizon has unlawfully refused to pay access charges for traffic that either originates or terminates in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) format. In moving to dismiss, Verizon asserts that the CPUC does not have jurisdiction over the traffic in dispute, because the FCC has preempted state regulation of VoIP traffic. Verizon further stated that even if the CPUC had jurisdiction over Cox’s complaint, the claims would fail because Cox was not providing Verizon switched access service pursuant to the terms of Cox’s intrastate tariff. According to Verizon, the LEC entity of Cox does not have any relationship with its alleged end users or provide any facilities connecting the end users that send or receive the traffic in dispute. Rather, Verizon asserts that Cox’s affiliated cable company is the entity providing the services and facilities to the end users, and thus Cox is in violation of its tariff by charging for access services it is not providing. Docket No. C-11-05-012.