VoIP Providers May Need to Respond to Special Access Mandatory Data Collection

September 24, 2014

The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (“WCB”) set December 15, 2014, as the deadline for responding to the special access mandatory data collection. The WCB also revised the mandatory data collection based on concerns raised by the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”).

The Data Collection remains mandatory for “Providers” and “Purchasers” of Dedicated Services that hold licenses, authorizations or registrations under the FCC’s rules. The instructions include interconnected and non-interconnected VoIP providers in the list of Purchasers that are required to respond to the data collection. OMB approval, however, adds an exemption for Purchasers who procured less than $5 million of Dedicated Services in 2013 in price cap ILEC territories.

Dedicated Services transport data between two or more points at a rate of at least 1.5 Mbps in both directions with prescribed performance requirements. Examples of Dedicated Services include DS1, DS3, and OCn services; Multi-Protocol Label Switched (MPLS) services; permanent virtual circuits, virtual private lines and similar services; ATM and Frame Relay service; (Gigabit) Ethernet Services and Metro Ethernet Virtual Connections; and Virtual Private Networks (VPN).

While Purchasers above the $5 million threshold must respond to certain questions about Dedicated Services (both circuit- and packet-based) they purchased from competitive and incumbent providers in 2013, the OMB approval converts some questions from mandatory to optional.

For further information on the FCC’s mandatory data collection, please attend Bingham’s complimentary webinar, Navigating the FCC’s Mandatory Data Requests for Special Access Users and Providers, on Monday, September 29 or see our prior alerts of September 18, 2014, September 18, 2013, and December 18, 2012.

A number of parties have expressed concerns over their ability to answer the FCC’s questions. We are continuing to work with our clients on these issues, and would be happy to assist you with your responses. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to discuss your responses to the FCC’s data request or the special access proceeding generally.

Andy Lipman, Partner, +1.202.373.6033

Russell Blau, Partner, +1.202.373.6035

Eric Branfman, Partner, +1.202.373.6553

Tamar Finn, Partner, +1.202.373.6117

Josh Bobeck, Of Counsel, +1.202.373.6010

This article was originally published by Bingham McCutchen LLP.