Regulation & Compliance

The latest in regulatory news and compliance issues that impact partner businesses and their customers.

Judges Reaffirm States Rights for Wireless Truth-in-Billing

A federal appeals court has reaffirmed legal support for states rights to require or prohibit the use of line items on wireless bills. The so-called truth in billing matter directly affects providers, including MVNOs and cellular carriers. Judges for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in late July sided with organizations including NARUC (the National […]

I Spy a Surveillance Bill

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REPORTEDLY is stepping up its efforts to eavesdrop on citizens, even as previous endeavors face scrutiny from the courts. The Justice Department and FBI are said to have crafted new Internet eavesdropping rules and have been looking for members of Congress to support the bill. Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, has been named […]

ROUND TABLE

… On a federal courts ongoing review of recent megamergers and whether the governments requirement that AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. divest some of their unused fiber networks was sufficient and in the public interest … The Department of Justice has never made the case that its flimsy settlement protects the public from the […]

ROUND TABLE

… On the FCCs interim measure requiring VoIP providers to pay into the Universal Service Fund once DSL providers stop contributing in August … These interim measures … ensure that the fund remains solvent for the near term, and serve as an important first step toward broadening the funds contribution base to ensure equitable and […]

Clock Ticks on Telecom Reform

MORE THAN A YEAR AFTER Congress set out to update the 1996 Telecommunications Act, the likelihood that a new law will emerge this Congressional session is in doubt. Efforts at reform have been spearheaded on both the House and Senate, with the House first to pass a bill the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement (COPE) […]

Desperately Seeking USF Funds

BY MID-AUGUST, Universal Service Fund (USF) contributions from DSL providers will be a thing of the past. Its a deadline that has had the FCC scrambling to adopt interim policies ensuring the fund has a future. Ironically, the base of contributors was diminished in August 2005 when the FCC deregulated DSL; like cable modem Internet […]

Whats Ahead for the Channel?

Mergers between the countrys largest telephone companies have driven the indirect sales channel uncomfortably close to familiar and frightening territory a place in the past where they were ignored and undervalued. The path toward consolidation is likely to continue, analysts say, but where will it stop? Is the AT&T Inc.-BellSouth Corp. deal a foregone conclusion? […]

ROUND TABLE

… On the House Judiciary Committees Telecom and Antitrust Task Force hearing regarding net neutrality … [D]espite how we wish it were otherwise, the market for broadband Internet access is not competitive and … the network operators both domestic and foreign fully intend to extend their market power to restrict consumer choice of content by […]

USF Bills Call for VoIP Players to Ante Up

THE UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND (USF), while still at billions of dollars, is dwindling, due to a decreasing number of contributors, and, in the interest of sustaining the fund, many in the telecom industry want IP operators to ante up. One House bill and one Senate bill call for this change directly, but the outcome of […]

Slippery Slope

IN CASE YOU HAVENT NOTICED , the telecom industry is sliding down a slippery slope. At the bottom of the slide is a world without common carrier obligations. Its alarmist to think we would ever land there, but recent actions since my last rant on the topic (see March PHONE+) have pushed us ever closer. […]

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