Preview of FCC Open Meeting: VoIP, Number Porting Items are on the Agenda
Late last night, the FCC announced its agenda for its May 13 Open Meeting. Highlighting the agenda are items relating to VoIP provider discontinuance obligations and LNP deadlines.
The FCC announced that it plans to “consider a Report and Order concerning the requirements of interconnected VoIP providers when discontinuing service.” This is sort of a stealth item on the agenda, as there has been virtually no discussion in the docket on this issue in the most recent months.
We hear that the FCC is likely to impose notice requirements similar to those that apply for traditional telecommunications carriers. This will continue a trend for interconnected VoIP where the FCC has imposed, one-by-one, obligations traditionally held by telecommunications carriers while steadfastly refusing to classify interconnected VoIP services. In today’s state of affairs, interconnected VoIP has nearly all of the burdens of regulation but few of the benefits. The most significant outstanding issue continues to be the application of access charges to interconnected VoIP. This topic has been a subject of litigation for some time.
The FCC will address porting intervals and related standards for the transfer of telephone numbers between carriers when a customer switches service providers. Cable providers in particular are pushing for a maximum interval of one-day for simple wireline to wireline and intermodal porting requests. The Order could also further address the information that carriers may require in order to implement a porting request, response intervals for customer service requests (CSRs) and other concerns raised regarding fair competition among providers.