• On November 8, 2010, the Missouri Public Service Commission arbitrator issued a recommended decision in the case brought by AT&T Missouri against Global Crossing regarding whether Voice-over-Internet Protocol traffic is compensable under the access regime. AT&T argued that all VoIP traffic should be subject to access charges, because Global Crossing can “identify the geographic location of its retail VoIP services customer when the customer places a call.” Global Crossing argued that all VoIP traffic should be subject to reciprocal compensation. The arbitrator rejected Global Crossing’s position, stating that the information service exception relied upon by Global Crossing was inapposite because it “does not classify services, it classifies companies.” The arbitrator accepted AT&T’s argument with respect to fixed interconnected VoIP traffic “when it demonstrably originates and terminates in Missouri” and therefore such traffic would be subject to access charges. The arbitrator disagreed with AT&T’s position with respect to nomadic VoIP traffic, however, finding that for such traffic it is “generally impossible to prove” its jurisdictional nature. He therefore proposed the following language be adopted in the parties ICA: “Missouri law provides that interconnected voice over Internet protocol traffic that is not within one calling scope is subject to access charges as is any other switched traffic, regardless of format.” Docket No. IO-2011-0057.
  • On November 3, 2010, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) unanimously voted to establish a generic investigation into intrastate carrier access rates as a follow-up measure to the legislation signed on June 13, 2010, by outgoing Gov. Strickland (D). The bill essentially deregulated the intrastate access rates of incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) provided that their intrastate rates mirror their interstate rates. The PUCO proposes to establish an Access Restructuring Plan in order to “maintain the affordability of local service rates for end-user customers while allowing rural incumbent telephone companies to reduce access charges, on a revenue-neutral basis, thereby encouraging greater competition.” The plan would be financed by compulsory monthly contributions from carriers operating in Ohio. The PUCO invited interested parties to file comments regarding the proposal no later than December 20, 2010, with reply comments due January 19, 2011. Docket No. 10-2387-TP-COI.