• On February 18, 2010, the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois denied the motion of AT&T-Illinois to dismiss claims by Global NAPs Illinois, Inc. that the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) violated federal communications law and due process in holding that GNAPs owes AT&T terminating access charges for Voice-over-Internet-Protocol traffic under the parties’ interconnection agreement. The ICC ruled in February 2009 that GNAPs owes AT&T $1.5 million in terminating access fees, although the interconnection agreement did not specifically address VoIP traffic. AT&T argued that dismissal of GNAPs’ case was warranted because it concerns a contract dispute and not an independent federal cause of action. The district court reasoned, however, that GNAPs’ claims allege violations of the federal Telecommunications Act and various FCC decisions concerning VoIP traffic, such that it “would be improper to dismiss those claims now.” Global NAPs Illinois, Inc. v. Illinois Commerce Commission, 09-cv-3113.
  • On February 16, 2010, the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce sent inquiry letters to 24 local exchange carriers (LECs) requesting information regarding what the Committee referred to as “traffic pumping schemes.” The letter stated that interexchange carriers (IXCs) are alleging that “they sometimes pay rates for terminating access well in excess of what the market would typically demand.” The Committee is requesting that the LECs provide information concerning, among other things, revenue sharing arrangements with customers, the percentage of the LECs’ revenue associated with free conference calling and chat-line services, and any funding they have received from the federal Universal Service Fund. Responses are due by March 8, 2010.