Level 3 Responds to USTA

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Greg Galitzine

Level 3 Responds to USTA

Level 3 is defending itself against comments made in an advertisement placed by the United States Telecom Association.  I received a release on the matter this morning:

The following statement is attributable to Bill Hunt, vice president of public policy at Level 3 Communications, Inc.

"On February 23, 2005, the United States Telecom Association placed a highly misleading advertisement in Communications Daily regarding the forbearance petition Level 3 has filed with the FCC on Voice over IP. The ad accuses Level 3 of attempting to 'skip out on its bill' and avoid paying 'what it rightfully owes' when it exchanges VoIP traffic with incumbent local carriers.

"As the USTA well knows, Level 3's forbearance petition merely asks the FCC to reaffirm that VoIP calls be exchanged using reciprocal compensation rates, rather than access charges. IP-Enabled calls have been exempt from access charges for more than 20 years. Instead of spreading misinformation, the USTA should be explaining to consumers why they want to raise the rates consumers will pay.

"Level 3's petition would enable all carriers to be fairly compensated for the use of their networks while also ensuring that consumers aren't forced to continue paying hidden fees that pad the pockets of incumbent carriers.

"We understand that VoIP and other revolutionary changes in communications technology may be disconcerting to entrenched monopolies and their outmoded network systems. Still, we believe that public debate on the important of intercarrier compensation should be conducted without hyperbole and distortion."

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