FCC Proposes New Regulatory Fee on Toll Free Numbers


In a June 13, 2014 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) addressing regulatory fees for Fiscal Year 2014, the FCC included (at para. 51) a proposal to impose a new regulatory fee on toll free numbers.   Specifically, the FCC proposes to asses a regulatory fee of $0.12 per number per year on Responsible Organizations (RespOrgs) for each toll free number they manage.  The FCC seeks comment on the amount of the fee and whether it should be assessed on working, assigned and reserved toll free numbers.  Historically, the FCC has not imposed regulatory fees on toll free numbers, under the rationale that the entities controlling the numbers, wireline and wireless carriers, were already paying regulatory fees based on either revenues or subscribers.  However, the FCC cited as one reason for the proposed change its perception that now many toll free numbers are controlled or managed by entities that are not carriers.

The FCC notes that the anticipated increased regulatory fees from this proposal would reduce the total regulatory fees assessed on interstate telecommunications service providers (ITSP).  However, for companies that hold a large inventory of toll-free numbers, the possible reduction in ITSP regulatory fees may not offset the fee on toll free numbers.

Comments on the FCC’s proposal are due July 7, 2014 and reply comments are due July 14, 2014.

If you have questions about the NPRM or are interested in filing comments, please contact Jonathan Marashlian at 703-714-1313 or by email: jsm@commlawgroup.com.

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