April 11, 2011
Forbes.com quoted Kelley Drye's Telecom Law Monitor blog in an article, "FCC Finds MagicJack Can't Collect Access Charges from AT&T." The article discussed the FCC ruling last week supporting AT&T in a case against Voice over IP (VoIP) provider MagicJack. MagicJack provides a USB dongle to customers that offers a full year of local and long-distance service without any additional charges. In addition to this service, the company generates some of its revenue from the related competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC),YMax. YMax billed AT&T fees for originating and terminating calls involving MagicJack customers, but AT&T challenged those fees in a complaint to the FCC. The FCC ruled that AT&T did not have to pay because YMax's description of the fees did not cover the calls in question.
Forbes.com quoted the Telecom Law Monitor blog entry titled "FCC Rules VoIP Provider May Not Collect Access Charges," written by partner Steven A. Augustino, which noted this ruling as a narrow one. "It ruled only that the CLEC's tariff language did not apply to the traffic," not that voice over IP services in general are not subject to access charges. "The primary lesson of the case is that a VoIP provider must carefully consider the description of its services, and not necessarily use ‘cookie cutter' tariffs designed for traditional PSTN traffic."