AT&T Access Charge Lawsuits Against Prepaid Card Providers Moving Forward

Long time readers of the blog will know that we’ve been following AT&T’s attempts to collect access charges for local calls delivered via intermediaries to prepaid card providers. The background is available here: previous Telecom Law Monitor entry. The AT&T litigation is proceeding, albeit slowly.

In June, the U.S. District Court overseeing the first of AT&T’s lawsuits allowed the IDT case to proceed forward. IDT counterclaimed against AT&T, and AT&T answered the counterclaims. The pre-trial discovery period is ongoing, but trial is not scheduled to begin until March of 2012.

In addition, AT&T has sued two other small prepaid card providers in the same U.S. District Court in Texas. The defendants are Next-G Communications and Touch-Tel Communications. Next-G has answered the complaint, and it appears it will follow the IDT case’s timing.

Meanwhile, the FCC still has not acted on the Arizona Dialtone petition for reconsideration of the Prepaid Card Order that underlies AT&T’s case. Arizona Dialtone’s 2006 request to reconsider an ambiguous aspect of the Order [that] sends mixed messages to carriers” remains pending.

Stay tuned.