- On December 18, 2012, the Texas Public Utility Commission (TPUC) dismissed a complaint filed by several Texas rural local exchange carriers (RLECs) against Halo Wireless. The RLECs filed their petition for compulsory arbitration pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 332 on December 22, 2011, demanding an interconnection agreement (ICA) for the exchange of wireless traffic with Halo and to receive interim intercarrier compensation. The RLECs also asserted that Halo was masking the nature of its traffic to make the traffic appear to be wireless traffic when it was in fact landline traffic routed through AT&T for delivery to the RLECs, and thus subject to the RLECs’ switched access tariffs. During the course of the proceeding, Halo declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sought a stay of the proceeding from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Texas. That court ruled, however, that the federal bankruptcy code’s automatic stay provisions do not apply to state commission proceedings and remanded the RLECs’ petition back to the TPUC. After the remand, Halo declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy and began the liquidation process, mooting the RLECs’ request for a going-forward ICA. With respect to intercarrier compensation for previously exchanged traffic, an arbitration panel ruled in favor of the RLECs. The TPUC then requested briefing on whether it retained jurisdiction to decide the intercarrier compensation issue when the petition to arbitrate had become moot. In dismissing the complaint, the TPUC ruled that, because there is “no longer any live controversy regarding petitioners’ claim for an interconnection agreement,” the TPUC does not retain jurisdiction to issue a decision with respect to intercarrier compensation owed on previously exchanged traffic. Docket No. 40032.
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