Level 3 Petition Decision Due Soon (III)

Greg Galitzine : Greg Galitzine's VoIP Authority Blog
Greg Galitzine

Level 3 Petition Decision Due Soon (III)

Internet Telephony magazine Regulation Watch columnist John Cimko served for fifteen years at the FCC, and currently practices law at Greenberg Traurig LLP in Washington, D.C.

The Level 3 forbearance petition puts the FCC in a bind. Granting the petition would take a key issue off the table in the pending intercarrier compensation rulemaking. But denying the petition, depending on how it’s done, would expose VoIP providers to access charges before the FCC decides how its new unified compensation regime will work and what rules will cover VoIP providers.

Here are three reasons why the FCC is likely to deal with the petition in a way that preserves the status quo until the FCC adopts compensation mechanisms for all carriers, including VoIP providers, in the pending rulemaking.

First, keeping the status quo avoids tying the FCC’s hands in the rulemaking. Second, it also avoids saddling the emerging VoIP industry with access charges that could dampen the development of the VoIP sector. Finally, it promotes the FCC’s competitive policies. An important aim of the intercarrier compensation rulemaking is to adopt a framework that preserves and extends competitive telecommunications markets. One way to do this is to integrate VoIP providers into an intercarrier compensation regime in a way that promotes competitive alternatives in the VoIP sector. Dispensing with the Level 3 petition in a way that maintains the status quo would give the FCC its best chance to achieve these competitive goals in the rulemaking.

Featured Events