• On October 15, 2010, the Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC) received competing filings in its proceeding aimed at lowering intrastate access charges. The proceeding was commenced after the enactment of legislation in July 2010 requiring telecommunications carriers to adjust their intrastate switched access to mirror their interstate rates. The new law requires that incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) must lower their rates within 5 years, and competitive LECs must do so within 10 years. The law also gradually eliminates Georgia’s Universal Access Fund (UAF) which was created to compensate small rural telephone companies for providing service to underserved, high-cost areas.

In their filings, the Georgia Telephone Association (GTA) and Competitive Carriers of the South, Inc. (CompSouth) offered competing solutions: GTA proposes a $1 per-month increase in rates over a 10-year period; CompSouth proposes a $2.62 per-month rate increase for a five-year period. Verizon and AT&T supported GTA’s proposal, and AT&T also requested that it be allowed to refuse to pay CLECs that are not in compliance with a previous GPSC order requiring CLECs to propose lower access charges by January 1, 2011. Docket 32235-U.

  • Follow-up to our story in the last edition: Like the California Public Utilities Commission, the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) has also extended the time for AT&T Texas and Sprint Spectrum LP, d/b/a Sprint PCS to negotiate a settlement of their dispute over charges for interMTA traffic that Sprint delivers to AT&T. On October 14, 2010, the Texas PUC granted AT&T and Sprint until January 14, 2011 to resolve the dispute.