On March 3, 2011, the FCC released a notice proposing rules that would extend Telecommunications Relay Service (“TRS”) participation and contribution obligations to non-interconnected VoIP service providers. The TRS Fund supports the provision of service to individuals with hearing and speech disabilities. The rules would implement provisions of the “Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010” (the “CVAA”). The CVAA statutorily codifies the existing obligation under FCC rules that interconnected VoIP providers contribute to TRS and extends that obligation to non-interconnected VoIP service providers. The statute defines “non-interconnected VoIP” as a service that “enables real-time voice communications that originate from or terminate to the user’s location using Internet protocol or any successor protocol; and requires Internet protocol compatible customer premises equipment; and does not include any service that is an interconnected VoIP service.” The FCC proposes to add that definition to its rules.
Up until now, non-interconnected VoIP providers have not been required to register with the FCC or report revenues through filing the FCC Form 499-A. The proposed rules would expand this registration and reporting obligation to these providers. In the NPRM, the FCC delegated authority to the Wireline Competition Bureau to revise the form and its instructions for the collection of interstate end-user revenue and other information from non-interconnected VoIP providers.
A copy of the NPRM can be found here.
Clients with comments or questions regarding this Advisory should contact the attorney responsible for their account.