Level 3 Withdraws VoIP Fees Petition - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Level 3 Withdraws VoIP Fees Petition

Level 3 pulls back a petition to clarify VoIP fees, after what observers say was a recognition of its impending defeat.

With the winds of rumor and innuendo whispering that things might not go its way, Level 3 withdrew a petition regarding Voice over IP traffic and access charges Monday night, just before a legal deadline that would have forced the FCC to make a decision.

Officially, the Broomfield, Colo.-based provider of wholesale Internet and telecommunications services said it withdrew its forbearance petition -- which had asked the FCC to clarify that the company's VoIP-originated calls should not be subject to traditional telephone access charges -- "in deference" to the FCC. But industry observers clearly saw the decision as Level 3 recognizing it was in a clear situation of "don't ask me what I think of you -- I might not give the answer that you want me to."

Given the anointment of Kevin Martin as the commission's new chairman last week, Level 3 CEO James Crowe said in a statement that "we determined it was inappropriate to ask the agency to resolve this important issue in the timeframe required by law."

The withdrawal of the petition was "not a surprise" to the telecom analysts at Legg Mason, who had reported earlier this month that the petition seemed doomed to failure, no matter who was at the FCC's helm. In a note issued Tuesday [March 22], Legg Mason's analysts said that Level 3 and its industry allies, including the VON coalition, "were concerned that a formal FCC denial could weaken their legal position in access-charge disputes with the Bells [meaning SBC, Verizon, BellSouth and Qwest] and other incumbent local exchange carriers."

The VoIP community, Legg Mason's analysts added, "generally believes it should pay reciprocal compensation or other cost-based rates, not access charges, which contain implicit subsidies" and could therefore raise the prices those carriers could charge VoIP providers for carrying their traffic.

VoIP entrepreneur Jeff Pulver posted a blog entry about the news today, in which he voiced the opinion: "I fear that withdrawal of the petition leaves us in that same ambiguous netherland. We have no rules dictating whether and, if so, what compensation might be owing to those last-mile wireline providers that 'ever-so-graciously' connect VoIP providers to their 'ever-so-precious' customers."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll