FCC Seeks Comment on Second ACITC Petition

On September 4, 2009, the Ad Hoc Coalition of International Telecommunications Companies ("Coalition") filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC" or "Commission") for a declaratory ruling reforming the Universal Service Fund ("USF") rules as applied to International Telecommunications Service Providers. In its petition, the Coalition asserts that the Universal Service Administrative Company ("USAC") lacks the authority to indirectly assess USF fees on International-Only Providers and that the FCC lacks jurisdiction over certain non-U.S. International Providers.

In the event the Commission declines to issue a declaratory ruling resolving the aforementioned issues, the Coalition requests that it inititiate a rulemaking proceeding to investigate USAC's FCC Form 499-A instructions, particularly the Carrier's Carrier Rule and its negative impact on the free flow of commerce between providers of interstate and international telecommunications.

Specifically, the Coalition finds that USAC's interpretation of its instructions to the FCC FCC Form 499-A violates FCC rules and policies, as well as the mandates of the Administrative Procedures Act ("APA"), and is thus both substantively and procedurally invalid. Further, the Coalition challenges the FCC's exercise of jurisdiction over non-U.S. companies with no legal nexus with the United States. The Coalition argues that USAC and the FCC have improperly and indirectly attempted to attain jurisdiction over these companies though pass-through fees and surcharges.

Please consider supporting the Coalition in its efforts to purge the federal Universal Service Fund of ambiguous, inconsistent, and invalid contribution requirements which frequently result in the inequitable treatment of wholly or predominantly international services providers.

Parties interested in submitting comments or in learning more about the Coalition's efforts, membership, and how to support the Coalition's petition or future endeavors should contact Jonathan S. Marashlian at
jsm@commlawgroup.com
.

The Ad Hoc Coalition's petition is available for review here.

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