July 8, 2013
Partner Steven A. Augustino was quoted in the Communications Daily article “Conference Group Loses Challenge of Audio Bridging USF Obligations.” The article discusses the FCC’s decision that audio bridging software by InterCall must pay into the USF and that the Conference Group was determined to lack the standing to challenge this decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC circuit. Mr. Augustino commented on the rule, “Today’s ruling means that the status quo will continue with respect to audio bridging services. The court did not alter the FCC’s conclusion that audio bridging services involve the provision of ‘telecommunications’ and are subject to USF assessments. Although the opinion allows individual service providers to contend that their services are different, I do not expect many to challenge the application of USF to their services because the potential liability from an adverse decision can be very significant.” He went on to say that the decision leaves the FCC free to act on Cisco’s pending USF appeal “in order to ensure a level playing field for all audio bridging service providers.” Mr. Augustino represented InterCall before the FCC.