- On August 9, 2011, the Florida Public Service Commission (FLPSC) voted unanimously to deny two motions by Verizon Business Service to dismiss the complaint filed by Bright House Networks Information Services. The complaint, which also named Verizon Florida LLC, the local exchange carrier, as a defendant, alleges that Verizon is refusing to pay Bright House’s intrastate access charges for VoIP traffic. The first Verizon motion argued that the FLPSC lacks jurisdiction over VoIP traffic which, they asserted, is within the FCC’s exclusive jurisdiction. After Verizon filed that motion, Bright House entered into an interconnection agreement (ICA) with the Verizon LEC that set a rate of $0.0007 for all VoIP traffic. Verizon then filed a supplemental motion to dismiss, arguing that the parties’ new ICA demonstrates Bright House’s admission that its complaint is without merit, asserting that “if Bright House believed that applying a $0.0007 rate to IP-format traffic was ‘unfair and unreasonable’, Bright House would not have agreed to that rate in its agreement with Verizon Florida.”
Verizon later filed for dismissal as to only the LEC entity, asking the FLPSC to “order Bright House to amend its Complaint to remove Verizon Florida as a party.” On July 28, Bright House voluntarily dismissed the Verizon LEC. The FLPSC denied the remaining motions at a hearing on August 9, 2011. It held that “there is nothing in federal law that preempts the Commission from addressing the matter,” and rejected Verizon’s argument that Bright House conceded its case by signing the ICA. A representative for Bright House stated at the hearing that Verizon’s unpaid access charges have increased from $2.2 million when the complaint was filed to $8.3 million, and added that until there “is some prospect of Verizon having to actually pay their bills, they are not going to do it. Any notion that staying this case will promote a private settlement is completely backwards.” Docket No. 110056-TP.