Today, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comments on Sprint’s Petition for Declaratory Ruling concerning the applicability of CenturyLink’s tariffed access rates for VoIP-originated traffic. While Sprint filed the petition in response to a referral from the US District Court considering a dispute between Sprint and CenturyLink, the FCC’s decision could affect the treatment of all VoIP-originated traffic prior to December 29, 2011. Specifically, Sprint asks the FCC to determine that: (1) for period prior to December 29, 2011, the effective date of the FCC’s InterCarrier Compensation Reform Order, filed interstate access tariffs did not impose originating access charges on VoIP-originated calls delivered to the PSTN; (2) intrastate access tariffs do not apply to VoIP-originated traffic because such traffic is jurisdictionally interstate; and (3) Sprint did not violate the Communications Act when it paid CenturyLink $0.0007 per minute for VoIP-originated calls, rather than CenturyLink’s tariffed switched access rates. A separate decision by the FCC late last week to allow local exchange carriers to charge intrastate access rates for intrastate VoIP-originated traffic after December 29, 2011 increases the importance of this proceeding for companies that have historically generated VoIP-originated calls. Therefore, CLECs, prepaid calling card providers, VoIP service providers, and other entities who business includes a substantial amount of VoIP-originated traffic should participate in or monitor this proceeding.
Comments and reply comments are due June 14th and July 16th, respectively. Clients that are interested in filing comments on the petition should contact Michael Donahue at email@example.com or their assigned attorney.