Level 3 Petition Decision Due Soon

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

Level 3 Petition Decision Due Soon

Level 3 filed a forbearance petition with the Federal Communications Commission asking the agency to reaffirm that legacy switched access charges do not apply to VoIP. The petition was filed on January 6, 2004. A press release from Level 3 offers up the details. 

Well, the FCC is bound to rule on the petition by next Tuesday, March 22, 2005. Our own David Sims reported on industry buzz that the FCC was set to rule against the petition rather than let the March 22 deadline pass, but in short order, the FCC would then also order a rule change exempting VoIP service providers from access charges. 

Unless the FCC gets called in to rule on whether or not Mark McGwire  and the rest of his (ALLEGED) steroid using colleagues deserve a place in Cooperstown, it’s a safe bet that this issue will be resolved one way or the other very soon.  

In keeping with my recent history of using my blog as a resource for gathering together comments form some of the leading minds of the industry (humbly, mine excluded) I have asked a number of people to respond with their thoughts on what may or may not happen, what they think of this whole scenario, and so on. 

First up today is William Wilhelm, Internet Telephony magazine Regulation Watch columnist, and Partner in the firm of Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, LLP. 

Here’s what he had to say regarding the Level 3 petition: 

The Level 3 petition is a significant proceeding because it would move the charge for originating or terminating VoIP on the PSTN to a cost-based rate. I believe there is general agreement among the FCC commissioners that access charges must be reduced and that innovative VoIP services should not be subject to an irrational economic regime. The question before the FCC is whether to bite the bullet now — or wait for another day. Most VoIP providers are paying inflated rates to terminate traffic on the PSTN — intercarrier compensation reform in the near term would be a significant boost for the VoIP and other IP services.

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