Companies Seek to Overturn WCB’s Denial of Waivers of Deadline for Revisions to FCC Form 499


Several companies have filed petitions challenging a decision by the Federal Communications Commission‘s (“FCC” or “Commission”) Wireline Competition Bureau (“WCB”) denying several requests for waivers of the deadline to file FCC Form 499-A revisions.  On August 13, 2010, the WCB issued an order (“Denial Order”) ruling that none of the parties seeking waivers had met their burden of showing good cause to justify waiving the deadlines at issue.

On August 26, 2010, Airband Communications, Inc. (“Airband”) filed an Application for Review of the Denial Order.  In its Application for Review, Airband stresses that there is no dispute about the size of Airband‘s universal service obligation and that the only issue addressed in the Denial Order is whether Airband will be allowed to correct an erroneous filing.  Airband asserts that the WCB‘s denial of its petition should be reversed by the Commission, because it is “legally untenable, is contrary to FCC rules and policy, and threatens the commercial viability of Airband.”

On September 13, 2010, AT&T, Inc. (“AT&T”) also filed an Application for Review of the Denial Order.  In its Application for Review, AT&T asserts that the Denial Order is inconsistent with past orders granting waivers of Form 499 filing deadlines for other entities.  AT&T also requests that the Commission act on its earlier petition, filed five years ago, seeking to overturn the 1-year revision deadline on the basis the WCB‘s One Year Revision Order violates the Administrative Procedure Act.

Also on September 13, 2010, Compass Global, Inc. (“Compass Global”) filed an Application for Review.  Similar to AT&T, Compass Global noted the WCB‘s disparate treatment of itself and other similarly situated entities.  Compass Global further argued that the WCB‘s decision runs counter to its stated policy of ensuring stability and predictability to the fund.  In addition, Compass Global asked the Commission to review the Universal Service Administrative Company‘s (“USAC”) questionable behavior surrounding its rejection of Compass Global‘s revised Form 499-A filings.

In addition to the above detailed Applications for Review, Airnex Communications, Inc. (“Airnex”) filed a Petition for Reconsideration of the Denial Order on September 10, 2010.  Airnex‘s petition argues that the WCB‘s decision in the Denial Order with respect to Airnex was based on issues outside of the scope of the issues raised by its underlying Request for Review to the WCB and that such expansion of the issues is not consistent with the Commission‘s rules and violated Airnex‘s due process rights.

The full text of the recently filed Petitions and Applications can be found at the following links:

Application for Review of Airband Communications, Inc.

Application for Review of AT&T, Inc.

Application for Review of Compass Global, Inc.

Petition for Reconsideration of Airnex Communications, Inc.

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