The deadline for filing the Geographic Rate Averaging Certification (“Certification”) with the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is Friday, May 1, 2009. All interstate long-distance service providers, including interstate prepaid, are required to file this annual Certification with the FCC.The Certification must be signed by an officer of the company under oath.
Section 64.1900 of the FCC‘s rules requires that all non-dominant providers of interexchange service providers (e.g. providers of de-tariffed interstate, domestic interexchange telecommunications service) must file with the FCC a certification that it is providing such service in compliance with its statutory geographic rate averaging and rate integration obligations under Section 254(g) of the Communications Act.
Geographic rate averaging and rate integration, as defined under Section 64.1801 of the FCC‘s rules, mandates that:
a) The rates charged by providers of interexchange telecommunications services to subscribers in rural and high-cost areas shall be no higher than the rates charged by each such provider to its subscribers in urban areas.
b) A provider of interstate interexchange telecommunications services shall provide such services to its subscribers in each U.S. state at rates no higher than the rates charged to its subscribers in any other state.
Due to stepped up enforcement of reporting obligations by the FCC‘s Enforcement Bureau, most notably the recent dragnet which resulted in the CPNI Omnibus Notice of Apparent Liability against 660 carriers, we are urging clients subject to Section 64.1801‘s geographic rate averaging annual Certification requirement to be particularly diligent with this and all other required FCC regulatory filings.
This Client Advisory merely outlines the FCC‘s Certification requirements and upcoming deadline and does not provide specific legal guidance. As with many regulatory requirements, geographic rate averaging is not as simple a concept as it might appear.The Certification must be signed under oath, therefore, clients who are uncertain about whether their domestic, interstate rate structure satisfies the geographic rate averaging and rate integration obligations should contact our firm immediately.
Due to the immediacy of the pending deadline, clients who require a legal opinion concerning compliance with Section 64.1801 of the FCC‘s rules prior to signing the annual Certification under oath should contact Charles H. Helein, firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-714-1301.