• On May 24, 2011, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker the law enacted May 11, 2011 (see May 16, 2011 edition) that will substantially deregulate the telecommunications industry in Wisconsin by eliminating tariffing requirements, reaffirming that Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers should not be regulated by state agencies, and mandating a decrease in intrastate access charges if a carrier’s intrastate rate exceeds its interstate rate. Under the new law, incumbent LECs with more than 150,000 access lines would be required to reduce their intrastate rates to their interstate levels incrementally over a five-year period. “Large nonincumbents”, defined as carriers with fewer than 10,000 access lines, will be required to similarly reduce their intrastate rates to their interstate levels over a six-year period. VoIP providers, though not regulated, will be required to contribute to the state Universal Service Fund based on their revenues from intrastate interconnected VoIP service.
  • On May 23, 2011, Aventure Communication Technology, LLC filed a response to the motion of Qwest Communications Corp. to dismiss or to strike Aventure’s complaint filed with the Iowa Utilities Board. Aventure filed its complaint against both Qwest and PAETEC on April 27, 2011, alleging that the carriers were involved in a scheme to disguise long-distance traffic as local traffic before sending it to Aventure, thus decreasing the intercarrier compensation that should have been owed to Aventure. In its motion, Qwest argues that the complaint “fails to allege facts showing that Qwest has breached any duty to Aventure or has engaged in any conduct contrary to Iowa law.” In its response, Aventure asserts that it would be premature to dismiss Qwest before Aventure has had an opportunity to serve both Qwest and PAETEC with discovery to unearth any agreement with PAETEC under which phantom routing occurs. According to Aventure, if such an agreement is found to exist, then Qwest would be “using its position as a certificated local exchange carrier in Sioux City to perpetrate the scheme and the Board has jurisdiction over this conduct whether or not the misrouted calls begin life as interstate traffic.” Docket No. FCU-2011-0014.