See this Access article for more details:
A look back and forward for access services
With USF rate-of-return reform continuing to bring
widespread rule changes and further revisions to broadband funding, participating in NECA's pools and tariffs is more important than ever.
Participating in the NECA pool shares the risks of inaccurate forecasting among other pool members, minimizing the effects on any individual pool member. Pooling also helps members realize the authorized rate of return on interstate investment on a timely basis, stabilizes cash flow, and minimizes the risks of unforeseen events such as natural disasters or loss of large customers. We also facilitate the preparation of mandatory data collections and file that data on behalf of our pool members, so they avoid considerable time and expense, as well as the risk of penalties or forfeiture of funds for missed or inaccurate filings.
We continue to seek innovative tariff solutions to address the changing marketplace. In addition to our rate banding process, which gives members the ability to charge rates closer to their actual costs and demand, our rate band buy down option gives members even more flexibility by allowing them to charge rates using a lower rate band than the one initially assigned by NECA. This allows members to reduce rates while still enjoying all the benefits of participating in NECA’s tariff.
A new benefit this year is our rate band flexibility option. It will allow many TS pool participants to adjust their proposed special access rate bands to a lower rate band in one or two service categories and a higher rate band in the remaining services (generating an equal revenue amount in aggregate).
Building on last year’s efforts to add or enhance services to align our interstate access tariff (F.C.C. No. 5) with market realities, we are planning many key initiatives for 2019, including:
In 2018, we continued to align our interstate access tariff with market realities by increasing tariff flexibility. Here are some of our accomplishments:
Our regulatory expertise
includes closely monitoring FCC activity with regard to access tariffs and rule
changes, taking action to support member needs and keeping them informed of how
these complex matters affect them. We work directly with FCC staff to clarify
and resolve many telecom and broadband-related issues, including universal
service requirements, so members don’t have to expend efforts in this
increasingly complex area.
Members can also take advantage of our free training sessions on a wide variety of topics. Many of these sessions are webcasts, so members can receive training without spending time out of the office and avoid the associated travel costs.
NECA is dedicated to providing outstanding member service and communications as we work together through the transitions facing the industry. We are committed to helping members adapt to the new regulatory landscape and continuing to deliver the vital communications services needed to
keep customers connected.