- On November 26, 2012, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) postponed an evidentiary hearing for the consolidated complaints filed by Pac-West Telecomm, Inc. and Level 3 Communications, LLC against Qwest. This case was initiated in 2005, with Pac-West and Level 3 alleging that Qwest was violating the parties’ interconnection agreements (ICAs) and the FCC’s intercarrier compensation rules by refusing to pay reciprocal compensation for terminating “Virtual NXX” (VNXX) ISP-bound traffic originated by Qwest customers. The evidentiary hearing, which was originally slated to begin on December 5, 2012, has now been moved to February 6-7, 2013.
The WUTC already has held that Pac-West and Level 3 are entitled to neither reciprocal compensation nor the rate established in the FCC’s ISP Remand Order. It reasoned that the FCC’s rules address only compensation for traffic within a local calling area, and not interexchange traffic. Further, the WUTC determined that the parties’ ICAs do not require Qwest to compensate Pac-West or Level 3 for VNXX traffic under either the FCC’s ISP-bound traffic rate or Section 251(b)(5) of the Act. Rather, the WUTC determined, the ICAs likely require the carriers to pay Qwest originating access charges for this traffic. The February 2013 evidentiary hearing will be used to determine the volume and nature of the VNXX traffic exchanged between the parties during relevant time periods, so that the WUTC can determine what compensation, if any, is due for the VNXX traffic. Docket Nos. UT-053036 and UT-053039.