• On April 20, 2010, Futurephone.com, LLC, an international Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) calling service provider, filed an Ex Parte presentation with the FCC claiming that the nation’s largest IXCs are attempting to put Futurephone.com out of business and “gouge the American consumer.” Futurephone.com argued that the IXCs are flouting the FCC’s Open Internet Rules by refusing to pay access charges to LECs for international VoIP traffic. Futurephone.com urged the FCC to declare that (1) it is permissible under the Communications Act for LECs to enter into revenue-sharing arrangements with customers; (2) it is unlawful for IXCs to withhold payment of access charges when they dispute a LEC’s invoices, and rather IXCs must pay an invoice prior to pursuing any available legal remedies; (3) a call that terminates at a local switch and is then connected to a non-carrier VoIP service is deemed terminated where the LEC is located; and (4) there is no legal or regulatory basis to treat international VoIP calls differently than calls terminated to domestic conference call or chat-line service providers. WC Docket 07-135.
  • Also on April 20, the Nebraska Public Service Commission issued an order setting forth the procedure by which LECs can adjust their switched access rates and by which affected carriers may challenge such rate adjustments. Under the new procedure, a LEC seeking to change its existing rates through a tariff amendment will have its filing automatically suspended for 30 days while affected carriers have the opportunity to challenge the amendment. If no challenges are received during that time period and the Commission does not initiate its own review of the rate adjustments, the new rates will be deemed lawful. If a carrier does challenge the new rates, however, the parties will have 60 days to negotiate the rates in question. At the end of the 60-day period, any carrier that remains dissatisfied with the proposed access rates may apply to the Commission for review of the rate adjustment. Within 20 days thereafter, the LEC seeking to change its rate will have to file a response including revenue and cost data for the previous three years supporting the rate adjustment. C-4145.