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Associations reply to comments on applicability of intraMTA rule

03.12.15 – NTCA, WTA, ERTA and NECA filed reply comments supporting a Petition for Declaratory Ruling filed by a local exchange carrier coalition. The Petition asked the FCC to clarify the applicability of the intraMTA rule to traffic exchanged between LECs and interexchange carriers and, if so applicable, to confirm that the course of conduct pursued by the IXCs is inconsistent with the Communications Act and the FCC’s implementing rules and policies.

The associations noted many incumbent and competitive LECs support the relief sought by the Petition in their comments. Although legal theories differ somewhat, the LEC industry has been unanimous in concluding that IXCs and other transiting carriers are not eligible to claim the benefits of the intraMTA rule for a variety of reasons. The industry also agrees that, even if they had been eligible to invoke the intraMTA rule directly, the surreptitious and non-cooperative course of action elected by the litigating IXCs precludes retroactive damages or refunds.

The associations reiterated their support for the LEC Coalition Petition for Declaratory Ruling as outlined in comments filed on February 9, where they requested the FCC hold or declare: 

  • IXCs are not presently eligible to invoke the intraMTA rule; 
  • CMRS and other carriers are required to cooperate with LECs to identify, measure or estimate the amounts of intraMTA traffic and do not qualify for reciprocal compensation or other benefits unless and until they have provided the information necessary to satisfy this cooperation requirement; 
  • no retroactive relief will be granted; and 
  • self-help tactics are inconsistent with FCC rules and policy.