• On February 9, 2011, the Federal Communications Commission released a Notice and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) addressing Universal Service Fund (USF) and Intercarrier Compensation (ICC) reform. The Commission stated that its proposals are guided by four principles: (1) modernizing USF and ICC to support broadband deployment; (2) encouraging fiscal responsibility by controlling the size of the USF and by reducing waste and inefficiency; (3) requiring accountability from companies receiving support; and (4) transitioning to market-driven and incentive-based policies that will maximize the value of scarce resources. Comments with respect to the proposals contained in Section XV, Reducing Inefficiencies and Waste by Curbing Arbitrage Opportunities, are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, with Reply Comments due 15 days thereafter. Comments on the remaining sections of the FNPRM are due 45 days after publication in the Federal Register, with Reply Comments due 35 days thereafter. WC Docket Nos. 10-90, et al. To view our Client Alert regarding the item, click here.
  • On February 4, 2011, the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) held that Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) calls carried by Sprint in conjunction with its cable partner, MCC Telephony of Iowa, Inc., are jurisdictionally intrastate calls for which Sprint must pay intrastate access charges to Iowa Telecommunications Services, Inc. under its tariff. The IUB rejected Sprint’s arguments that state regulation of its VoIP traffic is preempted by federal law and that VoIP calls constitute information services that the FCC exempts from the intercarrier compensation regime. The order states that the parties must file a status report today, and Sprint must pay the billed access charges by March 7, 2011. To view the order, click here.