FCC Seeks Comment on United States Telecom Association Petition for Forbearance

March 08, 2012

The United States Telecom Association (“U.S. Telecom”) recently filed a petition with the FCC requesting forbearance of enforcement of multiple “legacy telecommunications regulations.” Based on the industry’s transition from a traditional switched telephone network to an IP-based network, U.S. Telecom asserts that these regulations are no longer necessary. Specifically, U.S. Telecom seeks forbearance of following existing regulations on behalf of the applicable ILECs subject to these rules:

  • Equal Access Scripting Requirement
  • Open Network Architecture and Comparably Efficient Interconnection Requirements, Enhanced Services Structural Separation Rule and All Carrier Computer Inquiry Rules
  • Cost Assignment Rules
  • Part 32 Uniform System of Accounts
  • Property Record Rules
  • Part 42 Recordkeeping Requirements
  • ARMIS Report 43-01
  • Annual Revenue and Total Communications Plant Reporting
  • Rules Governing Notices of Network Changes
  • Service Discontinuance Approval Requirements
  • Traffic Damage Claim Rules
  • Structural Separation Requirements for Independent ILECs
  • Rules Governing Extension of Unsecured Credit for Interstate and Foreign Communications Services to Candidates for Federal Office
  • “Cash Working Capital Allowance” Requirement
  • Rules Governing Furnishing of Facilities to Foreign Governments for International Communications
  • Rules Governing Recording of Telephone Conversations with Telephone Companies
  • Prepaid Calling Card Reporting Requirements

The FCC has issued a public notice requesting comments on the petition. Comments on U.S. Telecom’s petition are due by April 9, 2012, and reply comments are due April 24, 2012.

This petition could serve as an opportunity to assist the FCC (“Commission) in determining which of the above requirements remain essential to ensuring a fair and competitive telecommunications marketplace and which requirements provide only administrative burdens without benefiting the policy objectives of the Commission.

This article was originally published by Bingham McCutchen LLP.