FCC REGULATORY FEES DUE NO LATER THAN SEPTEMBER 7th
The Federal Communications Commission has published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the Fiscal Year 2005 Regulatory Payment window is now available to accept annual regulatory fee payments. Regulatory fee payments will be accepted from August 23, 2005 through September 7, 2005. Any payments received after 11:59 p.m. September7, 2005 will be assessed a 25% late fee.
If your company is registered with the FCC as an interstate carrier (i.e., Form 499 registration) you should have already received an invoice for Regulatory Fees.
FCC EXTENDS VoIP E-911 REPORTING AND COMPLIANCE DEADLINES
On July 26, 2005, the FCC's Enforcement Bureau released a "guidance" notice to Interconnected VoIP providers regarding the July 29, 2005 E-911 customer notification deadlines. In the notice, the Bureau provided additional information concerning its planned enforcement of the VoIP E-911 subscriber notification provisions of the FCC's Rules. The FCC also extended the deadline for compliance by 30 days, to approximately August 29, 2005, provided the VoIP provider has met certain reporting requirements by August 10, 2005.
FCC ENFORCEMENT BUREAU PROPOSES OVER $2.5 MILLION IN FORFEITURES AGAINST 5 CARRIERS FOR ALLEGEDLY VIOLATING USF AND OTHER REGULATORY PROGRAM RULES
In the past month, the FCC has issued Notices of Apparent Liability ("NALs") totaling over $2.5 million against five telecommunications carriers for apparently violating Universal Service Fund ("USF") and other regulatory program laws, including those for the Telecommuni- cations Relay Service ("TRS"), the North American Numbering Plan Administration ("NANPA"), and regulatory fees.
The programs at issue in the NALs further important statutory and regulatory goals. The USF ensures that consumers in all regions of the nation have access to affordable, quality telecommunications services. The TRS fund enables persons with hearing or speech disabilities to communicate by telephone with the help of a relay operator. The NANPA ensures the equitable availability of telephone numbers. Regulatory fees distribute the cost of certain regulatory activities. Under the Communications Act and the Commission's rules, every telecommunications carrier that provides interstate service must contribute to these programs on an equitable basis. The Commission requires carriers to register with the Commission in order to monitor activities in the telecommunications marketplace.
The five corporations that are the subject of the NALs are: Carerra Communications, LP, InPhonic, Inc., Teletronics, Inc., Telecom Management, Inc., and OCMC, Inc.
According to FCC News Releases, the NALs help level the playing field for all telecommunications carriers by demonstrating a "no tolerance policy" for any carrier that fails to pay its required USF and other regulatory obligations. The apparent violations distort the marketplace by causing carriers in compliance with the requirements to carry a disproportionate share of the costs of funding these programs and frustrate the purposes for which Congress and the Commission established the programs.
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