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Tele-Tech Updates

October 2014


Is the FCC Finally Implementing its Rural Call Completion Reporting Rules?   

Nearly a year after releasing its Rural Call Completion order, the FCC may finally be close to implementing the reporting requirements included in the order.

The FCC's "Items on Circulation" report on September 17th, 2014, included an item on Rural Call Completion.  Items on Circulation are "Commission level items"  being reviewed by staff and are pending action by the full Commission.

The move comes on the heels of increased activity by rural service providers at the FCC. NTCA, NECA, and WTA all met with Legal Advisers to the Commissioners in July.  They
suggested as the industry waits for implementation of the reporting requirements, the FCC could begin by requiring every provider in control of call routing to register with them, and to certify that it does not engage in the blocking or restricting of calls to rural areas; it does not strip or modify call detail information; and it has processes in place to monitor performance and route calls only to other certified providers or directly to terminating LECs.

In addition, the groups wrote a letter to the FCC in August expressing concerns about the on-going delays in implementing the reporting requirements. They noted that the record keeping and reporting rules are still not in effect a year after the order, and that the FCC has not completed the submissions to the Office of Management and Budget necessary for approval and implementation. The letter also noted that problems with rural call completion were brought to the FCC's attention more than three years ago, yet calls to rural customers continue to fail.  They urged the FCC to promptly submit the rural call completion record keeping and reporting requirements for the necessary approvals.


FCC Addresses Intercarrier Compensation for Wireless Calls Terminated on Rural Networks

The FCC issued its response to the Appellate Court's remand of its T-Mobile order. 

The issue began nearly 10 years ago when wireless service providers complained that rural local exchange carriers were filing state tariffs charging excessive rates for terminating wireless-originated local traffic.

In the T-Mobile order, the FCC found it to be in the public interest to preclude the filing of these wireless termination tariffs.  But the rural LECs argued that this decision was taking away their exemption from certain obligations required of other LECs under U.S. communications law.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held the issue in abeyance until the Commission's 2011 USF/ICC Transformation Order  was issued.  At that time, the Ninth Circuit returned the appeal to its active calendar. 

In an August 2013 review of the case, the Court remanded the issue back to the FCC after the Court observed Congress has exempted rural telephone companies from certain obligations generally applicable to incumbent LECs, but that, in the T-Mobile order, the Commission failed to include any exemption for rural carriers from the rule prohibiting wireless termination tariffs.  The Court asked the FCC to consider and explain whether it had effectively eliminated the rural exemption.

The FCC adopted it response on September 15, 2014. The Order on remand further explains the FCC's position, citing communications law it claims gives the Commission  authority for the rules adopted under the T-Mobile order.  You can read the FCC's order here.

No information has been released on when the Ninth Circuit will consider the FCC's latest filing and make a decision on the appeal.


Tele-Tech Releases BRI Rate Data 

Tele-Tech has completed development of a database of Basic Rate Interface (BRI) rates for major incumbent local exchange carriers in each state. 

The data is available as a one-time delivery, or with quarterly or monthly updates.

Our next development efforts: Rate data on monthly charges for Remote Call Forwarding.

For more details on either of these data sets, contact Kim Russo via email or call her at 843.879.5030.


NANPA Q3 Recap

Overlay NPA 346 took effect in Houston on July 1, 2014

NPA 959 overlaid NPA 860 effective August 20, 2014 

Q4 Contribution Factor

The proposed Universal Service Fund contribution factor for Fourth Quarter 2014 is 16.1%, up from 15.7% in the previous quarter.

KFR News