The Commpliance Group Seeks Clarification on Application of SI Exemption to I-VoIP Services


On January 27, 2015, the Commpliance Group filed a Petition seeking a declaratory ruling that the Systems Integrator (“SI”) Exemption applies to the resale or provision of Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (“I-VoIP”) services by systems integrators.  Per the SI Exemption, systems integrators that derive less than five percent of their systems integration revenues from the “resale of telecommunications” are neither required to file Forms 499-A (or 499-Q) nor contribute directly to the Universal Service Fund (“USF”). 

The Form 499-A instructions do not define “resale of telecommunications” for purposes of SI Exemption qualification.  However, the Petition argues that the Commission clearly intended to apply the Exemption to the entire scope of regulated communications services, which now includes I-VoIP (not widely available when the Exemption was adopted).  The Commpliance Group points out that failure to issue such a declaration will perpetuate an uneven playing field between those systems integrators offering telecommunications and those offering I-VoIP.  The Petition encourages the FCC to remedy this oversight in the Form 499 instructions by either (1) clarifying that, for purposes of the SI Exemption only, “the resale of telecommunications” includes the resale or provision of I-VoIP or (2) revising the Form 499-A instructions to clarify that systems integrators that derive less than five percent of their systems integration revenues from either “the resale of telecommunications” or “the resale or provision of interconnected VoIP” qualify for the SI Exemption.

If you have any questions regarding this Advisory, please contact Jonathan Marashlian at or (703) 714-1313.

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