';


Title 47 Part 51

Title 47 → Chapter I → Subchapter B → Part 51

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 47 Part 51

e-CFR data is current as of November 7, 2019

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter B → Part 51


Title 47: Telecommunication


PART 51—INTERCONNECTION


Contents

Subpart D—Additional Obligations of Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers

§51.301   Duty to negotiate.
§51.303   Preexisting agreements.
§51.305   Interconnection.
§51.307   Duty to provide access on an unbundled basis to network elements.
§51.309   Use of unbundled network elements.
§51.311   Nondiscriminatory access to unbundled network elements.
§51.313   Just, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms and conditions for the provision of unbundled network elements.
§51.315   Combination of unbundled network elements.
§51.316   Conversion of unbundled network elements and services.
§51.317   Standards for requiring the unbundling of network elements.
§51.318   Eligibility criteria for access to certain unbundled network elements.
§51.319   Specific unbundling requirements.
§51.320   Assumption of responsibility by the Commission.
§51.321   Methods of obtaining interconnection and access to unbundled elements under section 251 of the Act.
§51.323   Standards for physical collocation and virtual collocation.
§51.325   Notice of network changes: Public notice requirement.
§51.327   Notice of network changes: Content of notice.
§51.329   Notice of network changes: Methods for providing notice.
§51.331   Notice of network changes: Timing of notice.
§51.333   Notice of network changes: Short term notice, objections thereto and objections to copper retirement notices.
§51.335   Notice of network changes: Confidential or proprietary information.

Subpart A—General Information

§51.1   Basis and purpose.

(a) Basis. These rules are issued pursuant to the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

(b) Purpose. The purpose of these rules is to implement sections 251 and 252 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 251 and 252.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.3   Applicability to negotiated agreements.

To the extent provided in section 252(e)(2)(A) of the Act, a state commission shall have authority to approve an interconnection agreement adopted by negotiation even if the terms of the agreement do not comply with the requirements of this part.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.5   Terms and definitions.

Terms used in this part have the following meanings:

Act. The Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

Advanced intelligent network. Advanced intelligent network is a telecommunications network architecture in which call processing, call routing, and network management are provided by means of centralized databases located at points in an incumbent local exchange carrier's network.

Advanced services. The term “advanced services” is defined as high speed, switched, broadband, wireline telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics or video telecommunications using any technology.

Arbitration, final offer. Final offer arbitration is a procedure under which each party submits a final offer concerning the issues subject to arbitration, and the arbitrator selects, without modification, one of the final offers by the parties to the arbitration or portions of both such offers. “Entire package final offer arbitration,” is a procedure under which the arbitrator must select, without modification, the entire proposal submitted by one of the parties to the arbitration. “Issue-by-issue final offer arbitration,” is a procedure under which the arbitrator must select, without modification, on an issue-by-issue basis, one of the proposals submitted by the parties to the arbitration.

Billing. Billing involves the provision of appropriate usage data by one telecommunications carrier to another to facilitate customer billing with attendant acknowledgements and status reports. It also involves the exchange of information between telecommunications carriers to process claims and adjustments.

Binder or binder group. Copper pairs bundled together, generally in groups of 25, 50 or 100.

Business line. A business line is an incumbent LEC-owned switched access line used to serve a business customer, whether by the incumbent LEC itself or by a competitive LEC that leases the line from the incumbent LEC. The number of business lines in a wire center shall equal the sum of all incumbent LEC business switched access lines, plus the sum of all UNE loops connected to that wire center, including UNE loops provisioned in combination with other unbundled elements. Among these requirements, business line tallies:

(1) Shall include only those access lines connecting end-user customers with incumbent LEC end-offices for switched services,

(2) Shall not include non-switched special access lines,

(3) Shall account for ISDN and other digital access lines by counting each 64 kbps-equivalent as one line. For example, a DS1 line corresponds to 24 64 kbps-equivalents, and therefore to 24 “business lines.”

Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS). CMRS has the same meaning as that term is defined in §20.3 of this chapter.

Commingling. Commingling means the connecting, attaching, or otherwise linking of an unbundled network element, or a combination of unbundled network elements, to one or more facilities or services that a requesting telecommunications carrier has obtained at wholesale from an incumbent LEC, or the combining of an unbundled network element, or a combination of unbundled network elements, with one or more such facilities or services. Commingle means the act of commingling.

Commission. Commission refers to the Federal Communications Commission.

Day. Day means calendar day.

Dialing parity. The term dialing parity means that a person that is not an affiliate of a local exchange carrier is able to provide telecommunications services in such a manner that customers have the ability to route automatically, without the use of any access code, their telecommunications to the telecommunications service provider of the customer's designation from among 2 or more telecommunications service providers (including such local exchange carrier).

Directory assistance service. Directory assistance service includes, but is not limited to, making available to customers, upon request, information contained in directory listings.

Directory listings. Directory listings are any information:

(1) Identifying the listed names of subscribers of a telecommunications carrier and such subscriber's telephone numbers, addresses, or primary advertising classifications (as such classifications are assigned at the time of the establishment of such service), or any combination of such listed names, numbers, addresses or classifications; and

(2) That the telecommunications carrier or an affiliate has published, caused to be published, or accepted for publication in any directory format.

Downstream database. A downstream database is a database owned and operated by an individual carrier for the purpose of providing number portability in conjunction with other functions and services.

Enhanced extended link. An enhanced extended link or EEL consists of a combination of an unbundled loop and unbundled dedicated transport, together with any facilities, equipment, or functions necessary to combine those network elements.

Equipment necessary for interconnection or access to unbundled network elements. For purposes of section 251(c)(2) of the Act, the equipment used to interconnect with an incumbent local exchange carrier's network for the transmission and routing of telephone exchange service, exchange access service, or both. For the purposes of section 251(c)(3) of the Act, the equipment used to gain access to an incumbent local exchange carrier's unbundled network elements for the provision of a telecommunications service.

Fiber-based collocator. A fiber-based collocator is any carrier, unaffiliated with the incumbent LEC, that maintains a collocation arrangement in an incumbent LEC wire center, with active electrical power supply, and operates a fiber-optic cable or comparable transmission facility that

(1) Terminates at a collocation arrangement within the wire center;

(2) Leaves the incumbent LEC wire center premises; and

(3) Is owned by a party other than the incumbent LEC or any affiliate of the incumbent LEC, except as set forth in this paragraph. Dark fiber obtained from an incumbent LEC on an indefeasible right of use basis shall be treated as non-incumbent LEC fiber-optic cable. Two or more affiliated fiber-based collocators in a single wire center shall collectively be counted as a single fiber-based collocator. For purposes of this paragraph, the term affiliate is defined by 47 U.S.C. 153(1) and any relevant interpretation in this Title.

Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (Incumbent LEC). With respect to an area, the local exchange carrier that:

(1) On February 8, 1996, provided telephone exchange service in such area; and

(2)(i) On February 8, 1996, was deemed to be a member of the exchange carrier association pursuant to §69.601(b) of this chapter; or

(ii) Is a person or entity that, on or after February 8, 1996, became a successor or assign of a member described in paragraph (2)(i) of this section.

Information services. The term information services means the offering of a capability for generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information via telecommunications, and includes electronic publishing, but does not include any use of any such capability for the management, control, or operation of a telecommunications system or the management of a telecommunications service.

Interconnection. Interconnection is the linking of two networks for the mutual exchange of traffic. This term does not include the transport and termination of traffic.

Known disturber. An advanced services technology that is prone to cause significant interference with other services deployed in the network.

Intermodal. The term intermodal refers to facilities or technologies other than those found in traditional telephone networks, but that are utilized to provide competing services. Intermodal facilities or technologies include, but are not limited to, traditional or new cable plant, wireless technologies, and power line technologies.

Local Access and Transport Area (LATA). A Local Access and Transport Area is a contiguous geographic area—

(1) Established before February 8, 1996 by a Bell operating company such that no exchange area includes points within more than 1 metropolitan statistical area, consolidated metropolitan statistical area, or State, except as expressly permitted under the AT&T Consent Decree; or

(2) Established or modified by a Bell operating company after February 8, 1996 and approved by the Commission.

Local Exchange Carrier (LEC). A LEC is any person that is engaged in the provision of telephone exchange service or exchange access. Such term does not include a person insofar as such person is engaged in the provision of a commercial mobile service under section 332(c) of the Act, except to the extent that the Commission finds that such service should be included in the definition of the such term.

Maintenance and repair. Maintenance and repair involves the exchange of information between telecommunications carriers where one initiates a request for maintenance or repair of existing products and services or unbundled network elements or combination thereof from the other with attendant acknowledgements and status reports.

Meet point. A meet point is a point of interconnection between two networks, designated by two telecommunications carriers, at which one carrier's responsibility for service begins and the other carrier's responsibility ends.

Meet point interconnection arrangement. A meet point interconnection arrangement is an arrangement by which each telecommunications carrier builds and maintains its network to a meet point.

Mobile wireless service. A mobile wireless service is any mobile wireless telecommunications service, including any commercial mobile radio service.

Multi-functional equipment. Multi-functional equipment is equipment that combines one or more functions that are necessary for interconnection or access to unbundled network elements with one or more functions that would not meet that standard as stand-alone functions.

Network element. A network element is a facility or equipment used in the provision of a telecommunications service. Such term also includes, but is not limited to, features, functions, and capabilities that are provided by means of such facility or equipment, including but not limited to, subscriber numbers, databases, signaling systems, and information sufficient for billing and collection or used in the transmission, routing, or other provision of a telecommunications service.

Operator services. Operator services are any automatic or live assistance to a consumer to arrange for billing or completion of a telephone call. Such services include, but are not limited to, busy line verification, emergency interrupt, and operator-assisted directory assistance services.

Physical collocation. Physical collocation is an offering by an incumbent LEC that enables a requesting telecommunications carrier to:

(1) Place its own equipment to be used for interconnection or access to unbundled network elements within or upon an incumbent LEC's premises;

(2) Use such equipment to interconnect with an incumbent LEC's network facilities for the transmission and routing of telephone exchange service, exchange access service, or both, or to gain access to an incumbent LEC's unbundled network elements for the provision of a telecommunications service;

(3) Enter those premises, subject to reasonable terms and conditions, to install, maintain, and repair equipment necessary for interconnection or access to unbundled elements; and

(4) Obtain reasonable amounts of space in an incumbent LEC's premises, as provided in this part, for the equipment necessary for interconnection or access to unbundled elements, allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Premises. Premises refers to an incumbent LEC's central offices and serving wire centers; all buildings or similar structures owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by an incumbent LEC that house its network facilities; all structures that house incumbent LEC facilities on public rights-of-way, including but not limited to vaults containing loop concentrators or similar structures; and all land owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by an incumbent LEC that is adjacent to these central offices, wire centers, buildings, and structures.

Pre-ordering and ordering. Pre-ordering and ordering includes the exchange of information between telecommunications carriers about: current or proposed customer products and services; or unbundled network elements, or some combination thereof. This information includes loop qualification information, such as the composition of the loop material, including but not limited to: fiber optics or copper; the existence, location and type of any electronic or other equipment on the loop, including but not limited to, digital loop carrier or other remote concentration devices, feeder/distribution interfaces, bridge taps, load coils, pair-gain devices, disturbers in the same or adjacent binder groups; the loop length, including the length and location of each type of transmission media; the wire gauge(s) of the loop; and the electrical parameters of the loop, which may determine the suitability of the loop for various technologies.

Provisioning. Provisioning involves the exchange of information between telecommunications carriers where one executes a request for a set of products and services or unbundled network elements or combination thereof from the other with attendant acknowledgements and status reports.

Rural telephone company. A rural telephone company is a LEC operating entity to the extent that such entity:

(1) Provides common carrier service to any local exchange carrier study area that does not include either:

(i) Any incorporated place of 10,000 inhabitants or more, or any part thereof, based on the most recently available population statistics of the Bureau of the Census; or

(ii) Any territory, incorporated or unincorporated, included in an urbanized area, as defined by the Bureau of the Census as of August 10, 1993;

(2) Provides telephone exchange service, including exchange access, to fewer than 50,000 access lines;

(3) Provides telephone exchange service to any local exchange carrier study area with fewer than 100,000 access lines; or

(4) Has less than 15 percent of its access lines in communities of more than 50,000 on February 8, 1996.

Service control point. A service control point is a computer database in the public switched network which contains information and call processing instructions needed to process and complete a telephone call.

Service creation environment. A service creation environment is a computer containing generic call processing software that can be programmed to create new advanced intelligent network call processing services.

Service provider. A service provider is a provider of telecommunications services or a provider of information services.

Signal transfer point. A signal transfer point is a packet switch that acts as a routing hub for a signaling network and transfers messages between various points in and among signaling networks.

State. The term state includes the District of Columbia and the Territories and possessions.

State commission. A state commission means the commission, board, or official (by whatever name designated) which under the laws of any state has regulatory jurisdiction with respect to intrastate operations of carriers. As referenced in this part, this term may include the Commission if it assumes responsibility for a proceeding or matter, pursuant to section 252(e)(5) of the Act or §51.320. This term shall also include any person or persons to whom the state commission has delegated its authority under sections 251 and 252 of the Act and this part.

State proceeding. A state proceeding is any administrative proceeding in which a state commission may approve or prescribe rates, terms, and conditions including, but not limited to, compulsory arbitration pursuant to section 252(b) of the Act, review of a Bell operating company statement of generally available terms pursuant to section 252(f) of the Act, and a proceeding to determine whether to approve or reject an agreement adopted by arbitration pursuant to section 252(e) of the Act.

Technically feasible. Interconnection, access to unbundled network elements, collocation, and other methods of achieving interconnection or access to unbundled network elements at a point in the network shall be deemed technically feasible absent technical or operational concerns that prevent the fulfillment of a request by a telecommunications carrier for such interconnection, access, or methods. A determination of technical feasibility does not include consideration of economic, accounting, billing, space, or site concerns, except that space and site concerns may be considered in circumstances where there is no possibility of expanding the space available. The fact that an incumbent LEC must modify its facilities or equipment to respond to such request does not determine whether satisfying such request is technically feasible. An incumbent LEC that claims that it cannot satisfy such request because of adverse network reliability impacts must prove to the state commission by clear and convincing evidence that such interconnection, access, or methods would result in specific and significant adverse network reliability impacts.

Telecommunications carrier. A telecommunications carrier is any provider of telecommunications services, except that such term does not include aggregators of telecommunications services (as defined in section 226 of the Act). A telecommunications carrier shall be treated as a common carrier under the Act only to the extent that it is engaged in providing telecommunications services, except that the Commission shall determine whether the provision of fixed and mobile satellite service shall be treated as common carriage. This definition includes CMRS providers, interexchange carriers (IXCs) and, to the extent they are acting as telecommunications carriers, companies that provide both telecommunications and information services. Private Mobile Radio Service providers are telecommunications carriers to the extent they provide domestic or international telecommunications for a fee directly to the public.

Telecommunications service. The term telecommunications service refers to the offering of telecommunications for a fee directly to the public, or to such classes of users as to be effectively available directly to the public, regardless of the facilities used.

Telephone exchange service. A telephone exchange service is:

(1) A service within a telephone exchange, or within a connected system of telephone exchanges within the same exchange area operated to furnish to subscribers intercommunicating service of the character ordinarily furnished by a single exchange, and which is covered by the exchange service charge, or

(2) A comparable service provided through a system of switches, transmission equipment, or other facilities (or combination thereof) by which a subscriber can originate and terminate a telecommunications service.

Telephone toll service. The term telephone toll service refers to telephone service between stations in different exchange areas for which there is made a separate charge not included in contracts with subscribers for exchange service.

Unreasonable dialing delay. For the same type of calls, dialing delay is “unreasonable” when the dialing delay experienced by the customer of a competing provider is greater than that experienced by a customer of the LEC providing dialing parity, or nondiscriminatory access to operator services or directory assistance.

Triennial Review Order. The Triennial Review Order means the Commission's Report and Order and Order on Remand and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in CC Docket Nos. 01-338, 96-98, and 98-147.

Triennial Review Remand Order. The Triennial Review Remand Order is the Commission's Order on Remand in CC Docket Nos. 01-338 and 04-313 (released February 4, 2005).

Virtual collocation. Virtual collocation is an offering by an incumbent LEC that enables a requesting telecommunications carrier to:

(1) Designate or specify equipment to be used for interconnection or access to unbundled network elements to be located within or upon an incumbent LEC's premises, and dedicated to such telecommunications carrier's use;

(2) Use such equipment to interconnect with an incumbent LEC's network facilities for the transmission and routing of telephone exchange service, exchange access service, or both, or for access to an incumbent LEC's unbundled network elements for the provision of a telecommunications service; and

(3) Electronically monitor and control its communications channels terminating in such equipment.

Wire center. A wire center is the location of an incumbent LEC local switching facility containing one or more central offices, as defined in the Appendix to part 36 of this chapter. The wire center boundaries define the area in which all customers served by a given wire center are located.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 47348, Sept. 6, 1996; 64 FR 23241, Apr. 30, 1999; 65 FR 1344, Jan. 10, 2000; 65 FR 2550, Jan. 18, 2000; 65 FR 54438, Sept. 8, 2000; 66 FR 43521, Aug. 20, 2001; 68 FR 52293, Sept. 2, 2003; 70 FR 8952, Feb. 24, 2005]

return arrow Back to Top

Subpart B—Telecommunications Carriers

§51.100   General duty.

(a) Each telecommunications carrier has the duty:

(1) To interconnect directly or indirectly with the facilities and equipment of other telecommunications carriers; and

(2) To not install network features, functions, or capabilities that do not comply with the guidelines and standards as provided in the Commission's rules or section 255 or 256 of the Act.

(b) A telecommunication carrier that has interconnected or gained access under sections 251(a)(1), 251(c)(2), or 251(c)(3) of the Act, may offer information services through the same arrangement, so long as it is offering telecommunications services through the same arrangement as well.

return arrow Back to Top

Subpart C—Obligations of All Local Exchange Carriers

§51.201   Resale.

The rules governing resale of services by an incumbent LEC are set forth in subpart G of this part.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.203   Number portability.

The rules governing number portability are set forth in part 52, subpart C of this chapter.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.205   Dialing parity: General.

A local exchange carrier (LEC) shall provide local dialing parity to competing providers of telephone exchange service, with no unreasonable dialing delays. Dialing parity shall be provided for originating telecommunications services that require dialing to route a call.

[83 FR 42052, Aug. 20, 2018]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.207   Local dialing parity.

A LEC shall permit telephone exchange service customers within a local calling area to dial the same number of digits to make a local telephone call notwithstanding the identity of the customer's or the called party's telecommunications service provider.

[61 FR 47349, Sept. 6, 1996]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.217   Nondiscriminatory access: Telephone numbers, operator services, directory assistance services, and directory listings.

(a) Definitions. As used in this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) Competing provider. A “competing provider” is a provider of telephone exchange or telephone toll services that seeks nondiscriminatory access from a local exchange carrier (LEC) in that LEC's service area.

(2) Nondiscriminatory access. “Nondiscriminatory access” refers to access to telephone numbers, operator services, directory assistance and directory listings that is at least equal to the access that the providing local exchange carrier (LEC) itself receives. Nondiscriminatory access includes, but is not limited to:

(i) Nondiscrimination between and among carriers in the rates, terms, and conditions of the access provided; and

(ii) The ability of the competing provider to obtain access that is at least equal in quality to that of the providing LEC.

(3) Providing local exchange carrier (LEC). A “providing local exchange carrier” is a local exchange carrier (LEC) that is required to permit nondiscriminatory access to a competing provider.

(b) General rule. A local exchange carrier (LEC) that provides operator services, directory assistance services or directory listings to its customers, or provides telephone numbers, shall permit competing providers of telephone exchange service or telephone toll service to have nondiscriminatory access to that service or feature, with no unreasonable dialing delays.

(c) Specific requirements. A LEC subject to paragraph (b) of this section must also comply with the following requirements:

(1) Telephone numbers. A LEC shall permit competing providers to have access to telephone numbers that is identical to the access that the LEC provides to itself.

(2) Operator services. A LEC must permit telephone service customers to connect to the operator services offered by that customer's chosen local service provider by dialing “0,” or “0” plus the desired telephone number, regardless of the identity of the customer's local telephone service provider.

(3) Directory assistance services and directory listings—(i) Access to directory assistance. A LEC shall permit competing providers to have access to its directory assistance services, including directory assistance databases, so that any customer of a competing provider can obtain directory listings, except as provided in paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section, on a nondiscriminatory basis, notwithstanding the identity of the customer's local service provider, or the identity of the provider for the customer whose listing is requested. A LEC must supply access to directory assistance in the manner specified by the competing provider, including transfer of the LECs' directory assistance databases in readily accessible magnetic tape, electronic or other convenient format, as provided in paragraph (c)(3)(iii) of this section. Updates to the directory assistance database shall be made in the same format as the initial transfer (unless the requesting LEC requests otherwise), and shall be performed in a timely manner, taking no longer than those made to the providing LEC's own database. A LEC shall accept the listings of those customers served by competing providers for inclusion in its directory assistance/operator services databases.

(ii) Access to directory listings. A LEC that compiles directory listings shall share directory listings with competing providers in the manner specified by the competing provider, including readily accessible tape or electronic formats, as provided in paragraph (c)(3)(iii) of this section. Such data shall be provided in a timely fashion.

(iii) Format. A LEC shall provide access to its directory assistance services, including directory assistance databases, and to its directory listings in any format the competing provider specifies, if the LEC's internal systems can accommodate that format.

(A) If a LEC's internal systems do not permit it provide directory assistance or directory listings in the format the specified by the competing provider, the LEC shall:

(1) Within thirty days of receiving the request, inform the competing provider that the requested format cannot be accommodated and tell the requesting provider which formats can be accommodated; and

(2) Provide the requested directory assistance or directory listings in the format the competing provider chooses from among the available formats.

(B) [Reserved]

(iv) Unlisted numbers. A LEC shall not provide access to unlisted telephone numbers, or other information that its customer has asked the LEC not to make available, with the exception of customer name and address. The LEC shall ensure that access is permitted to the same directory information, including customer name and address, that is available to its own directory assistance customers.

(v) Adjuncts to services. Operator services and directory assistance services must be made available to competing providers in their entirety, including access to any adjunct features (e.g., rating tables or customer information databases) necessary to allow competing providers full use of these services.

(d) Branding of operator services and directory assistance services. The refusal of a providing local exchange carrier (LEC) to comply with the reasonable request of a competing provider that the providing LEC rebrand its operator services and directory assistance, or remove its brand from such services, creates a presumption that the providing LEC is unlawfully restricting access to its operator services and directory assistance. The providing LEC can rebut this presumption by demonstrating that it lacks the capability to comply with the competing provider's request.

(e) Disputes—(1) Disputes involving nondiscriminatory access. In disputes involving nondiscriminatory access to operator services, directory assistance services, or directory listings, a providing LEC shall bear the burden of demonstrating with specificity:

(i) That it is permitting nondiscriminatory access, and

(ii) That any disparity in access is not caused by factors within its control. “Factors within its control” include, but are not limited to, physical facilities, staffing, the ordering of supplies or equipment, and maintenance.

(2) Disputes involving unreasonable dialing delay. In disputes between providing local exchange carriers (LECs) and competing providers involving unreasonable dialing delay in the provision of access to operator services and directory assistance, the burden of proof is on the providing LEC to demonstrate with specificity that it is processing the calls of the competing provider's customers on terms equal to that of similar calls from the providing LEC's own customers.

[61 FR 47350, Sept. 6, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 51911, Sept. 27, 1999]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.219   Access to rights of way.

The rules governing access to rights of way are set forth in part 1, subpart J of this chapter.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.221   Reciprocal compensation.

The rules governing reciprocal compensation are set forth in subpart H of this part.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.223   Application of additional requirements.

(a) A state may not impose the obligations set forth in section 251(c) of the Act on a LEC that is not classified as an incumbent LEC as defined in section 251(h)(1) of the Act, unless the Commission issues an order declaring that such LECs or classes or categories of LECs should be treated as incumbent LECs.

(b) A state commission, or any other interested party, may request that the Commission issue an order declaring that a particular LEC be treated as an incumbent LEC, or that a class or category of LECs be treated as incumbent LECs, pursuant to section 251(h)(2) of the Act.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.230   Presumption of acceptability for deployment of an advanced services loop technology.

(a) An advanced services loop technology is presumed acceptable for deployment under any one of the following circumstances, where the technology:

(1) Complies with existing industry standards; or

(2) Is approved by an industry standards body, the Commission, or any state commission; or

(3) Has been successfully deployed by any carrier without significantly degrading the performance of other services.

(b) An incumbent LEC may not deny a carrier's request to deploy a technology that is presumed acceptable for deployment unless the incumbent LEC demonstrates to the relevant state commission that deployment of the particular technology will significantly degrade the performance of other advanced services or traditional voiceband services.

(c) Where a carrier seeks to establish that deployment of a technology falls within the presumption of acceptability under paragraph (a)(3) of this section, the burden is on the requesting carrier to demonstrate to the state commission that its proposed deployment meets the threshold for a presumption of acceptability and will not, in fact, significantly degrade the performance of other advanced services or traditional voice band services. Upon a successful demonstration by the requesting carrier before a particular state commission, the deployed technology shall be presumed acceptable for deployment in other areas.

[65 FR 1345, Jan. 10, 2000]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.231   Provision of information on advanced services deployment.

(a) An incumbent LEC must provide to requesting carriers that seek access to a loop or high frequency portion of the loop to provide advanced services:

(1) Uses in determining which services can be deployed; and information with respect to the spectrum management procedures and policies that the incumbent LEC.

(2) Information with respect to the rejection of the requesting carrier's provision of advanced services, together with the specific reason for the rejection; and

(3) Information with respect to the number of loops using advanced services technology within the binder and type of technology deployed on those loops.

(b) A requesting carrier that seeks access to a loop or a high frequency portion of a loop to provide advanced services must provide to the incumbent LEC information on the type of technology that the requesting carrier seeks to deploy.

(1) Where the requesting carrier asserts that the technology it seeks to deploy fits within a generic power spectral density (PSD) mask, it also must provide Spectrum Class information for the technology.

(2) Where a requesting carrier relies on a calculation-based approach to support deployment of a particular technology, it must provide the incumbent LEC with information on the speed and power at which the signal will be transmitted.

(c) The requesting carrier also must provide the information required under paragraph (b) of this section when notifying the incumbent LEC of any proposed change in advanced services technology that the carrier uses on the loop.

[65 FR 1345, Jan. 10, 2000]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.232   Binder group management.

(a) With the exception of loops on which a known disturber is deployed, the incumbent LEC shall be prohibited from designating, segregating or reserving particular loops or binder groups for use solely by any particular advanced services loop technology.

(b) Any party seeking designation of a technology as a known disturber should file a petition for declaratory ruling with the Commission seeking such designation, pursuant to §1.2 of this chapter.

[65 FR 1346, Jan. 10, 2000]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.233   Significant degradation of services caused by deployment of advanced services.

(a) Where a carrier claims that a deployed advanced service is significantly degrading the performance of other advanced services or traditional voiceband services, that carrier must notify the deploying carrier and allow the deploying carrier a reasonable opportunity to correct the problem. Where the carrier whose services are being degraded does not know the precise cause of the degradation, it must notify each carrier that may have caused or contributed to the degradation.

(b) Where the degradation asserted under paragraph (a) of this section remains unresolved by the deploying carrier(s) after a reasonable opportunity to correct the problem, the carrier whose services are being degraded must establish before the relevant state commission that a particular technology deployment is causing the significant degradation.

(c) Any claims of network harm presented to the deploying carrier(s) or, if subsequently necessary, the relevant state commission, must be supported with specific and verifiable information.

(d) Where a carrier demonstrates that a deployed technology is significantly degrading the performance of other advanced services or traditional voice band services, the carrier deploying the technology shall discontinue deployment of that technology and migrate its customers to technologies that will not significantly degrade the performance of other such services.

(e) Where the only degraded service itself is a known disturber, and the newly deployed technology satisfies at least one of the criteria for a presumption that it is acceptable for deployment under §51.230, the degraded service shall not prevail against the newly-deployed technology.

[65 FR 1346, Jan. 10, 2000]

return arrow Back to Top

Subpart D—Additional Obligations of Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers

§51.301   Duty to negotiate.

(a) An incumbent LEC shall negotiate in good faith the terms and conditions of agreements to fulfill the duties established by sections 251 (b) and (c) of the Act.

(b) A requesting telecommunications carrier shall negotiate in good faith the terms and conditions of agreements described in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) If proven to the Commission, an appropriate state commission, or a court of competent jurisdiction, the following actions or practices, among others, violate the duty to negotiate in good faith:

(1) Demanding that another party sign a nondisclosure agreement that precludes such party from providing information requested by the Commission, or a state commission, or in support of a request for arbitration under section 252(b)(2)(B) of the Act;

(2) Demanding that a requesting telecommunications carrier attest that an agreement complies with all provisions of the Act, federal regulations, or state law;

(3) Refusing to include in an arbitrated or negotiated agreement a provision that permits the agreement to be amended in the future to take into account changes in Commission or state rules;

(4) Conditioning negotiation on a requesting telecommunications carrier first obtaining state certifications;

(5) Intentionally misleading or coercing another party into reaching an agreement that it would not otherwise have made;

(6) Intentionally obstructing or delaying negotiations or resolutions of disputes;

(7) Refusing throughout the negotiation process to designate a representative with authority to make binding representations, if such refusal significantly delays resolution of issues; and

(8) Refusing to provide information necessary to reach agreement. Such refusal includes, but is not limited to:

(i) Refusal by an incumbent LEC to furnish information about its network that a requesting telecommunications carrier reasonably requires to identify the network elements that it needs in order to serve a particular customer; and

(ii) Refusal by an incumbent LEC to furnish cost data that would be relevant to setting rates if the parties were in arbitration.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 68 FR 52294, Sept. 2, 2003]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.303   Preexisting agreements.

(a) All interconnection agreements between an incumbent LEC and a telecommunications carrier, including those negotiated before February 8, 1996, shall be submitted by the parties to the appropriate state commission for approval pursuant to section 252(e) of the Act.

(b) Interconnection agreements negotiated before February 8, 1996, between Class A carriers, as defined by §32.11(a)(1) of this chapter, shall be filed by the parties with the appropriate state commission no later than June 30, 1997, or such earlier date as the state commission may require.

(c) If a state commission approves a preexisting agreement, it shall be made available to other parties in accordance with section 252(i) of the Act and §51.809 of this part. A state commission may reject a preexisting agreement on the grounds that it is inconsistent with the public interest, or for other reasons set forth in section 252(e)(2)(A) of the Act.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.305   Interconnection.

(a) An incumbent LEC shall provide, for the facilities and equipment of any requesting telecommunications carrier, interconnection with the incumbent LEC's network:

(1) For the transmission and routing of telephone exchange traffic, exchange access traffic, or both;

(2) At any technically feasible point within the incumbent LEC's network including, at a minimum:

(i) The line-side of a local switch;

(ii) The trunk-side of a local switch;

(iii) The trunk interconnection points for a tandem switch;

(iv) Central office cross-connect points;

(v) Out-of-band signaling transfer points necessary to exchange traffic at these points and access call-related databases; and

(vi) The points of access to unbundled network elements as described in §51.319;

(3) That is at a level of quality that is equal to that which the incumbent LEC provides itself, a subsidiary, an affiliate, or any other party. At a minimum, this requires an incumbent LEC to design interconnection facilities to meet the same technical criteria and service standards that are used within the incumbent LEC's network. This obligation is not limited to a consideration of service quality as perceived by end users, and includes, but is not limited to, service quality as perceived by the requesting telecommunications carrier; and

(4) On terms and conditions that are just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory in accordance with the terms and conditions of any agreement, the requirements of sections 251 and 252 of the Act, and the Commission's rules including, but not limited to, offering such terms and conditions equally to all requesting telecommunications carriers, and offering such terms and conditions that are no less favorable than the terms and conditions upon which the incumbent LEC provides such interconnection to itself. This includes, but is not limited to, the time within which the incumbent LEC provides such interconnection.

(b) A carrier that requests interconnection solely for the purpose of originating or terminating its interexchange traffic on an incumbent LEC's network and not for the purpose of providing to others telephone exchange service, exchange access service, or both, is not entitled to receive interconnection pursuant to section 251(c)(2) of the Act.

(c) Previous successful interconnection at a particular point in a network, using particular facilities, constitutes substantial evidence that interconnection is technically feasible at that point, or at substantially similar points, in networks employing substantially similar facilities. Adherence to the same interface or protocol standards shall constitute evidence of the substantial similarity of network facilities.

(d) Previous successful interconnection at a particular point in a network at a particular level of quality constitutes substantial evidence that interconnection is technically feasible at that point, or at substantially similar points, at that level of quality.

(e) An incumbent LEC that denies a request for interconnection at a particular point must prove to the state commission that interconnection at that point is not technically feasible.

(f) If technically feasible, an incumbent LEC shall provide two-way trunking upon request.

(g) An incumbent LEC shall provide to a requesting telecommunications carrier technical information about the incumbent LEC's network facilities sufficient to allow the requesting carrier to achieve interconnection consistent with the requirements of this section.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 47351, Sept. 6, 1996; 68 FR 52294, Sept. 2, 2003]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.307   Duty to provide access on an unbundled basis to network elements.

(a) An incumbent LEC shall provide, to a requesting telecommunications carrier for the provision of a telecommunications service, nondiscriminatory access to network elements on an unbundled basis at any technically feasible point on terms and conditions that are just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory in accordance with the terms and conditions of any agreement, the requirements of sections 251 and 252 of the Act, and the Commission's rules.

(b) The duty to provide access to unbundled network elements pursuant to section 251(c)(3) of the Act includes a duty to provide a connection to an unbundled network element independent of any duty to provide interconnection pursuant to this part and section 251(c)(2) of the Act.

(c) An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier access to an unbundled network element, along with all of the unbundled network element's features, functions, and capabilities, in a manner that allows the requesting telecommunications carrier to provide any telecommunications service that can be offered by means of that network element.

(d) An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier access to the facility or functionality of a requested network element separate from access to the facility or functionality of other network elements, for a separate charge.

(e) An incumbent LEC shall provide to a requesting telecommunications carrier technical information about the incumbent LEC's network facilities sufficient to allow the requesting carrier to achieve access to unbundled network elements consistent with the requirements of this section.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 47351, Sept. 6, 1996]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.309   Use of unbundled network elements.

(a) Except as provided in §51.318, an incumbent LEC shall not impose limitations, restrictions, or requirements on requests for, or the use of, unbundled network elements for the service a requesting telecommunications carrier seeks to offer.

(b) A requesting telecommunications carrier may not access an unbundled network element for the exclusive provision of mobile wireless services or interexchange services.

(c) A telecommunications carrier purchasing access to an unbundled network facility is entitled to exclusive use of that facility for a period of time, or when purchasing access to a feature, function, or capability of a facility, a telecommunications carrier is entitled to use of that feature, function, or capability for a period of time. A telecommunications carrier's purchase of access to an unbundled network element does not relieve the incumbent LEC of the duty to maintain, repair, or replace the unbundled network element.

(d) A requesting telecommunications carrier that accesses and uses an unbundled network element consistent with paragraph (b) of this section may provide any telecommunications services over the same unbundled network element.

(e) Except as provided in §51.318, an incumbent LEC shall permit a requesting telecommunications carrier to commingle an unbundled network element or a combination of unbundled network elements with wholesale services obtained from an incumbent LEC.

(f) Upon request, an incumbent LEC shall perform the functions necessary to commingle an unbundled network element or a combination of unbundled network elements with one or more facilities or services that a requesting telecommunications carrier has obtained at wholesale from an incumbent LEC.

(g) An incumbent LEC shall not deny access to an unbundled network element or a combination of unbundled network elements on the grounds that one or more of the elements:

(1) Is connected to, attached to, linked to, or combined with, a facility or service obtained from an incumbent LEC; or

(2) Shares part of the incumbent LEC's network with access services or inputs for mobile wireless services and/or interexchange services.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 68 FR 52294, Sept. 2, 2003; 70 FR 8952, Feb. 24, 2005]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.311   Nondiscriminatory access to unbundled network elements.

(a) The quality of an unbundled network element, as well as the quality of the access to the unbundled network element, that an incumbent LEC provides to a requesting telecommunications carrier shall be the same for all telecommunications carriers requesting access to that network element.

(b) To the extent technically feasible, the quality of an unbundled network element, as well as the quality of the access to such unbundled network element, that an incumbent LEC provides to a requesting telecommunications carrier shall be at least equal in quality to that which the incumbent LEC provides to itself. If an incumbent LEC fails to meet this requirement, the incumbent LEC must prove to the state commission that it is not technically feasible to provide the requested unbundled network element, or to provide access to the requested unbundled network element, at a level of quality that is equal to that which the incumbent LEC provides to itself.

(c) Previous successful access to an unbundled element at a particular point in a network, using particular facilities, is substantial evidence that access is technically feasible at that point, or at substantially similar points, in networks employing substantially similar facilities. Adherence to the same interface or protocol standards shall constitute evidence of the substantial similarity of network facilities.

(d) Previous successful provision of access to an unbundled element at a particular point in a network at a particular level of quality is substantial evidence that access is technically feasible at that point, or at substantially similar points, at that level of quality.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 68 FR 52294, Sept. 2, 2003]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.313   Just, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms and conditions for the provision of unbundled network elements.

(a) The terms and conditions pursuant to which an incumbent LEC provides access to unbundled network elements shall be offered equally to all requesting telecommunications carriers.

(b) Where applicable, the terms and conditions pursuant to which an incumbent LEC offers to provide access to unbundled network elements, including but not limited to, the time within which the incumbent LEC provisions such access to unbundled network elements, shall, at a minimum, be no less favorable to the requesting carrier than the terms and conditions under which the incumbent LEC provides such elements to itself.

(c) An incumbent LEC must provide a carrier purchasing access to unbundled network elements with the pre-ordering, ordering, provisioning, maintenance and repair, and billing functions of the incumbent LEC's operations support systems.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.315   Combination of unbundled network elements.

(a) An incumbent LEC shall provide unbundled network elements in a manner that allows requesting telecommunications carriers to combine such network elements in order to provide a telecommunications service.

(b) Except upon request, an incumbent LEC shall not separate requested network elements that the incumbent LEC currently combines.

(c) Upon request, an incumbent LEC shall perform the functions necessary to combine unbundled network elements in any manner, even if those elements are not ordinarily combined in the incumbent LEC's network, provided that such combination:

(1) Is technically feasible; and

(2) Would not undermine the ability of other carriers to obtain access to unbundled network elements or to interconnect with the incumbent LEC's network.

(d) Upon request, an incumbent LEC shall perform the functions necessary to combine unbundled network elements with elements possessed by the requesting telecommunications carrier in any technically feasible manner.

(e) An incumbent LEC that denies a request to combine elements pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) or paragraph (d) of this section must prove to the state commission that the requested combination is not technically feasible.

(f) An incumbent LEC that denies a request to combine unbundled network elements pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section must demonstrate to the state commission that the requested combination would undermine the ability of other carriers to obtain access to unbundled network elements or to interconnect with the incumbent LEC's network.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 68 FR 52294, Sept. 2, 2003]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.316   Conversion of unbundled network elements and services.

(a) Upon request, an incumbent LEC shall convert a wholesale service, or group of wholesale services, to the equivalent unbundled network element, or combination of unbundled network elements, that is available to the requesting telecommunications carrier under section 251(c)(3) of the Act and this part.

(b) An incumbent LEC shall perform any conversion from a wholesale service or group of wholesale services to an unbundled network element or combination of unbundled network elements without adversely affecting the service quality perceived by the requesting telecommunications carrier's end-user customer.

(c) Except as agreed to by the parties, an incumbent LEC shall not impose any untariffed termination charges, or any disconnect fees, re-connect fees, or charges associated with establishing a service for the first time, in connection with any conversion between a wholesale service or group of wholesale services and an unbundled network element or combination of unbundled network elements.

[68 FR 52294, Sept. 2, 2003]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.317   Standards for requiring the unbundling of network elements.

(a) Proprietary network elements. A network element shall be considered to be proprietary if an incumbent LEC can demonstrate that it has invested resources to develop proprietary information or functionalities that are protected by patent, copyright or trade secret law. The Commission shall undertake the following analysis to determine whether a proprietary network element should be made available for purposes of section 251(c)(3) of the Act:

(1) Determine whether access to the proprietary network element is “necessary.” A network element is “necessary” if, taking into consideration the availability of alternative elements outside the incumbent LEC's network, including self-provisioning by a requesting telecommunications carrier or acquiring an alternative from a third-party supplier, lack of access to the network element precludes a requesting telecommunications carrier from providing the services that it seeks to offer. If access is “necessary,” the Commission may require the unbundling of such proprietary network element.

(2) In the event that such access is not “necessary,” the Commission may require unbundling if it is determined that:

(i) The incumbent LEC has implemented only a minor modification to the network element in order to qualify for proprietary treatment;

(ii) The information or functionality that is proprietary in nature does not differentiate the incumbent LEC's services from the requesting telecommunications carrier's services; or

(iii) Lack of access to such element would jeopardize the goals of the Act.

(b) Non-proprietary network elements. The Commission shall determine whether a non-proprietary network element should be made available for purposes of section 251(c)(3) of the Act by analyzing, at a minimum, whether lack of access to a non-proprietary network element “impairs” a requesting carrier's ability to provide the service it seeks to offer. A requesting carrier's ability to provide service is “impaired” if, taking into consideration the availability of alternative elements outside the incumbent LEC's network, including elements self-provisioned by the requesting carrier or acquired as an alternative from a third-party supplier, lack of access to that element poses a barrier or barriers to entry, including operational and economic barriers, that are likely to make entry into a market by a reasonably efficient competitor uneconomic.

[70 FR 8952, Feb. 24, 2005]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.318   Eligibility criteria for access to certain unbundled network elements.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, an incumbent LEC shall provide access to unbundled network elements and combinations of unbundled network elements without regard to whether the requesting telecommunications carrier seeks access to the elements to establish a new circuit or to convert an existing circuit from a service to unbundled network elements.

(b) An incumbent LEC need not provide access to an unbundled DS1 loop in combination, or commingled, with a dedicated DS1 transport or dedicated DS3 transport facility or service, or to an unbundled DS3 loop in combination, or commingled, with a dedicated DS3 transport facility or service, or an unbundled dedicated DS1 transport facility in combination, or commingled, with an unbundled DS1 loop or a DS1 channel termination service, or to an unbundled dedicated DS3 transport facility in combination, or commingled, with an unbundled DS1 loop or a DS1 channel termination service, or to an unbundled DS3 loop or a DS3 channel termination service, unless the requesting telecommunications carrier certifies that all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The requesting telecommunications carrier has received state certification to provide local voice service in the area being served or, in the absence of a state certification requirement, has complied with registration, tariffing, filing fee, or other regulatory requirements applicable to the provision of local voice service in that area.

(2) The following criteria are satisfied for each combined circuit, including each DS1 circuit, each DS1 enhanced extended link, and each DS1-equivalent circuit on a DS3 enhanced extended link:

(i) Each circuit to be provided to each customer will be assigned a local number prior to the provision of service over that circuit;

(ii) Each DS1-equivalent circuit on a DS3 enhanced extended link must have its own local number assignment, so that each DS3 must have at least 28 local voice numbers assigned to it;

(iii) Each circuit to be provided to each customer will have 911 or E911 capability prior to the provision of service over that circuit;

(iv) Each circuit to be provided to each customer will terminate in a collocation arrangement that meets the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section;

(v) Each circuit to be provided to each customer will be served by an interconnection trunk that meets the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section;

(vi) For each 24 DS1 enhanced extended links or other facilities having equivalent capacity, the requesting telecommunications carrier will have at least one active DS1 local service interconnection trunk that meets the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section; and

(vii) Each circuit to be provided to each customer will be served by a switch capable of switching local voice traffic.

(c) A collocation arrangement meets the requirements of this paragraph if it is:

(1) Established pursuant to section 251(c)(6) of the Act and located at an incumbent LEC premises within the same LATA as the customer's premises, when the incumbent LEC is not the collocator; and

(2) Located at a third party's premises within the same LATA as the customer's premises, when the incumbent LEC is the collocator.

(d) An interconnection trunk meets the requirements of this paragraph if the requesting telecommunications carrier will transmit the calling party's number in connection with calls exchanged over the trunk.

[68 FR 52295, Sept. 2, 2003, as amended at 68 FR 64000, Nov. 12, 2003]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.319   Specific unbundling requirements.

(a) Local loops. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to the local loop on an unbundled basis, in accordance with section 251(c)(3) of the Act and this part and as set forth in paragraphs (a)(1) through (8) of this section. The local loop network element is defined as a transmission facility between a distribution frame (or its equivalent) in an incumbent LEC central office and the loop demarcation point at an end-user customer premises. This element includes all features, functions, and capabilities of such transmission facility, including the network interface device. It also includes all electronics, optronics, and intermediate devices (including repeaters and load coils) used to establish the transmission path to the end-user customer premises as well as any inside wire owned or controlled by the incumbent LEC that is part of that transmission path.

(1) Copper loops. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to the copper loop on an unbundled basis. A copper loop is a stand-alone local loop comprised entirely of copper wire or cable. Copper loops include two-wire and four-wire analog voice-grade copper loops, digital copper loops (e.g., DS0s and integrated services digital network lines), as well as two-wire and four-wire copper loops conditioned to transmit the digital signals needed to provide digital subscriber line services, regardless of whether the copper loops are in service or held as spares. The copper loop includes attached electronics using time division multiplexing technology, but does not include packet switching capabilities as defined in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section. The availability of DS1 and DS3 copper loops is subject to the requirements of paragraphs (a)(4) and (5) of this section.

(i) Line splitting. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier that obtains an unbundled copper loop from the incumbent LEC with the ability to engage in line splitting arrangements with another competitive LEC using a splitter collocated at the central office where the loop terminates into a distribution frame or its equivalent. Line splitting is the process in which one competitive LEC provides narrowband voice service over the low frequency portion of a copper loop and a second competitive LEC provides digital subscriber line service over the high frequency portion of that same loop. The high frequency portion of the loop consists of the frequency range on the copper loop above the range that carries analog circuit-switched voice transmissions. This portion of the loop includes the features, functions, and capabilities of the loop that are used to establish a complete transmission path on the high frequency range between the incumbent LEC's distribution frame (or its equivalent) in its central office and the demarcation point at the end-user customer premises, and includes the high frequency portion of any inside wire owned or controlled by the incumbent LEC.

(A) An incumbent LEC's obligation, under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section, to provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with the ability to engage in line splitting applies regardless of whether the carrier providing voice service provides its own switching or obtains local circuit switching from the incumbent LEC.

(B) An incumbent LEC must make all necessary network modifications, including providing nondiscriminatory access to operations support systems necessary for pre-ordering, ordering, provisioning, maintenance and repair, and billing for loops used in line splitting arrangements.

(ii) Line conditioning. The incumbent LEC shall condition a copper loop at the request of the carrier seeking access to a copper loop under paragraph (a)(1) of this section or a copper subloop under paragraph (b) of this section to ensure that the copper loop or copper subloop is suitable for providing digital subscriber line services, whether or not the incumbent LEC offers advanced services to the end-user customer on that copper loop or copper subloop. If the incumbent LEC seeks compensation from the requesting telecommunications carrier for line conditioning, the requesting telecommunications carrier has the option of refusing, in whole or in part, to have the line conditioned; and a requesting telecommunications carrier's refusal of some or all aspects of line conditioning will not diminish any right it may have, under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, to access the copper loop or the copper subloop.

(A) Line conditioning is defined as the removal from a copper loop or copper subloop of any device that could diminish the capability of the loop or subloop to deliver high-speed switched wireline telecommunications capability, including digital subscriber line service. Such devices include, but are not limited to, bridge taps, load coils, low pass filters, and range extenders.

(B) Incumbent LECs shall recover the costs of line conditioning from the requesting telecommunications carrier in accordance with the Commission's forward-looking pricing principles promulgated pursuant to section 252(d)(1) of the Act and in compliance with rules governing nonrecurring costs in §51.507(e).

(C) Insofar as it is technically feasible, the incumbent LEC shall test and report troubles for all the features, functions, and capabilities of conditioned copper lines, and may not restrict its testing to voice transmission only.

(iii) Maintenance, repair, and testing. (A) An incumbent LEC shall provide, on a nondiscriminatory basis, physical loop test access points to a requesting telecommunications carrier at the splitter, through a cross-connection to the requesting telecommunications carrier's collocation space, or through a standardized interface, such as an intermediate distribution frame or a test access server, for the purpose of testing, maintaining, and repairing copper loops and copper subloops.

(B) An incumbent LEC seeking to utilize an alternative physical access methodology may request approval to do so from the state commission, but must show that the proposed alternative method is reasonable and nondiscriminatory, and will not disadvantage a requesting telecommunications carrier's ability to perform loop or service testing, maintenance, or repair.

(iv) Control of the loop and splitter functionality. In situations where a requesting telecommunications carrier is obtaining access to the high frequency portion of a copper loop through a line splitting arrangement, the incumbent LEC may maintain control over the loop and splitter equipment and functions, and shall provide to the requesting telecommunications carrier loop and splitter functionality that is compatible with any transmission technology that the requesting telecommunications carrier seeks to deploy using the high frequency portion of the loop, as defined in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section, provided that such transmission technology is presumed to be deployable pursuant to §51.230.

(2) Hybrid loops. A hybrid loop is a local loop composed of both fiber optic cable, usually in the feeder plant, and copper wire or cable, usually in the distribution plant.

(i) Packet switching facilities, features, functions, and capabilities. An incumbent LEC is not required to provide unbundled access to the packet switched features, functions and capabilities of its hybrid loops. Packet switching capability is the routing or forwarding of packets, frames, cells, or other data units based on address or other routing information contained in the packets, frames, cells or other data units, and the functions that are performed by the digital subscriber line access multiplexers, including but not limited to the ability to terminate an end-user customer's copper loop (which includes both a low-band voice channel and a high-band data channel, or solely a data channel); the ability to forward the voice channels, if present, to a circuit switch or multiple circuit switches; the ability to extract data units from the data channels on the loops; and the ability to combine data units from multiple loops onto one or more trunks connecting to a packet switch or packet switches.

(ii) Broadband services. When a requesting telecommunications carrier seeks access to a hybrid loop for the provision of broadband services, an incumbent LEC shall provide the requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to the time division multiplexing features, functions, and capabilities of that hybrid loop, including DS1 or DS3 capacity (where impairment has been found to exist), on an unbundled basis to establish a complete transmission path between the incumbent LEC's central office and an end user's customer premises. This access shall include access to all features, functions, and capabilities of the hybrid loop that are not used to transmit packetized information.

(iii) Narrowband services. When a requesting telecommunications carrier seeks access to a hybrid loop for the provision of narrowband services, the incumbent LEC may either:

(A) Provide nondiscriminatory access, on an unbundled basis, to an entire hybrid loop capable of voice-grade service (i.e., equivalent to DS0 capacity), using time division multiplexing technology; or

(B) Provide nondiscriminatory access to a spare home-run copper loop serving that customer on an unbundled basis.

(3) Fiber loops—(i) Definitions—(A) Fiber-to-the-home loops. A fiber-to-the-home loop is a local loop consisting entirely of fiber optic cable, whether dark or lit, serving an end user's customer premises or, in the case of predominantly residential multiple dwelling units (MDUs), a fiber optic cable, whether dark or lit, that extends to the multiunit premises' minimum point of entry (MPOE).

(B) Fiber-to-the-curb loops. A fiber-to-the-curb loop is a local loop consisting of fiber optic cable connecting to a copper distribution plant that is not more than 500 feet from the customer's premises or, in the case of predominantly residential MDUs, not more than 500 feet from the MDU's MPOE. The fiber optic cable in a fiber-to-the-curb loop must connect to a copper distribution plant at a serving area interface from which every other copper distribution subloop also is not more than 500 feet from the respective customer's premises.

(ii) New builds. An incumbent LEC is not required to provide nondiscriminatory access to a fiber-to-the-home loop or a fiber-to-the-curb loop on an unbundled basis when the incumbent LEC deploys such a loop to an end user's customer premises that previously has not been served by any loop facility.

(iii) Overbuilds. An incumbent LEC is not required to provide nondiscriminatory access to a fiber-to-the-home loop or a fiber-to-the-curb loop on an unbundled basis when the incumbent LEC has deployed such a loop parallel to, or in replacement of, an existing copper loop facility, except that:

(A) The incumbent LEC must maintain the existing copper loop connected to the particular customer premises after deploying the fiber-to-the-home loop or the fiber-to-the-curb loop and provide nondiscriminatory access to that copper loop on an unbundled basis unless the incumbent LEC retires the copper loops pursuant to paragraph (a)(3)(iv) of this section.

(B) An incumbent LEC that maintains the existing copper loops pursuant to paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(A) of this section need not incur any expenses to ensure that the existing copper loop remains capable of transmitting signals prior to receiving a request for access pursuant to that paragraph, in which case the incumbent LEC shall restore the copper loop to serviceable condition upon request.

(C) An incumbent LEC that retires the copper loop pursuant to paragraph (a)(3)(iv) of this section shall provide nondiscriminatory access to a 64 kilobits per second transmission path capable of voice grade service over the fiber-to-the-home loop or fiber-to-the-curb loop on an unbundled basis.

(iv) Retirement of copper loops or copper subloops. Prior to retiring any copper loop or copper subloop that has been replaced with a fiber-to-the-home loop or a fiber-to-the-curb loop, an incumbent LEC must comply with:

(A) The network disclosure requirements set forth in section 251(c)(5) of the Act and in §51.325 through §51.335; and

(B) Any applicable state requirements.

(4) DS1 loops. (i) Subject to the cap described in paragraph (a)(4)(ii) of this section, an incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to a DS1 loop on an unbundled basis to any building not served by a wire center with at least 60,000 business lines and at least four fiber-based collocators. Once a wire center exceeds both of these thresholds, no future DS1 loop unbundling will be required in that wire center. A DS1 loop is a digital local loop having a total digital signal speed of 1.544 megabytes per second. DS1 loops include, but are not limited to, two-wire and four-wire copper loops capable of providing high-bit rate digital subscriber line services, including T1 services.

(ii) Cap on unbundled DS1 loop circuits. A requesting telecommunications carrier may obtain a maximum of ten unbundled DS1 loops to any single building in which DS1 loops are available as unbundled loops.

(5) DS3 loops. (i) Subject to the cap described in paragraph (a)(5)(ii) of this section, an incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to a DS3 loop on an unbundled basis to any building not served by a wire center with at least 38,000 business lines and at least four fiber-based collocators. Once a wire center exceeds both of these thresholds, no future DS3 loop unbundling will be required in that wire center. A DS3 loop is a digital local loop having a total digital signal speed of 44.736 megabytes per second.

(ii) Cap on unbundled DS3 loop circuits. A requesting telecommunications carrier may obtain a maximum of a single unbundled DS3 loop to any single building in which DS3 loops are available as unbundled loops.

(6) Dark fiber loops. An incumbent LEC is not required to provide requesting telecommunications carriers with access to a dark fiber loop on an unbundled basis. Dark fiber is fiber within an existing fiber optic cable that has not yet been activated through optronics to render it capable of carrying communications services.

(7) Routine network modifications. (i) An incumbent LEC shall make all routine network modifications to unbundled loop facilities used by requesting telecommunications carriers where the requested loop facility has already been constructed. An incumbent LEC shall perform these routine network modifications to unbundled loop facilities in a nondiscriminatory fashion, without regard to whether the loop facility being accessed was constructed on behalf, or in accordance with the specifications, of any carrier.

(ii) A routine network modification is an activity that the incumbent LEC regularly undertakes for its own customers. Routine network modifications include, but are not limited to, rearranging or splicing of cable; adding an equipment case; adding a doubler or repeater; adding a smart jack; installing a repeater shelf; adding a line card; deploying a new multiplexer or reconfiguring an existing multiplexer; and attaching electronic and other equipment that the incumbent LEC ordinarily attaches to a DS1 loop to activate such loop for its own customer. Routine network modifications may entail activities such as accessing manholes, deploying bucket trucks to reach aerial cable, and installing equipment casings. Routine network modifications do not include the construction of a new loop, or the installation of new aerial or buried cable for a requesting telecommunications carrier.

(8) Engineering policies, practices, and procedures. An incumbent LEC shall not engineer the transmission capabilities of its network in a manner, or engage in any policy, practice, or procedure, that disrupts or degrades access to a local loop or subloop, including the time division multiplexing-based features, functions, and capabilities of a hybrid loop, for which a requesting telecommunications carrier may obtain or has obtained access pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section.

(b) Subloops. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to subloops on an unbundled basis in accordance with section 251(c)(3) of the Act and this part and as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section.

(1) Copper subloops. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to a copper subloop on an unbundled basis. A copper subloop is a portion of a copper loop, or hybrid loop, comprised entirely of copper wire or copper cable that acts as a transmission facility between any point of technically feasible access in an incumbent LEC's outside plant, including inside wire owned or controlled by the incumbent LEC, and the end-user customer premises. A copper subloop includes all intermediate devices (including repeaters and load coils) used to establish a transmission path between a point of technically feasible access and the demarcation point at the end-user customer premises, and includes the features, functions, and capabilities of the copper loop. Copper subloops include two-wire and four-wire analog voice-grade subloops as well as two-wire and four-wire subloops conditioned to transmit the digital signals needed to provide digital subscriber line services, regardless of whether the subloops are in service or held as spares.

(i) Point of technically feasible access. A point of technically feasible access is any point in the incumbent LEC's outside plant where a technician can access the copper wire within a cable without removing a splice case. Such points include, but are not limited to, a pole or pedestal, the serving area interface, the network interface device, the minimum point of entry, any remote terminal, and the feeder/distribution interface. An incumbent LEC shall, upon a site-specific request, provide access to a copper subloop at a splice near a remote terminal. The incumbent LEC shall be compensated for providing this access in accordance with §§51.501 through 51.515.

(ii) Rules for collocation. Access to the copper subloop is subject to the Commission's collocation rules at §§51.321 and 51.323.

(2) Subloops for access to multiunit premises wiring. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to the subloop for access to multiunit premises wiring on an unbundled basis regardless of the capacity level or type of loop that the requesting telecommunications carrier seeks to provision for its customer. The subloop for access to multiunit premises wiring is defined as any portion of the loop that it is technically feasible to access at a terminal in the incumbent LEC's outside plant at or near a multiunit premises. One category of this subloop is inside wire, which is defined for purposes of this section as all loop plant owned or controlled by the incumbent LEC at a multiunit customer premises between the minimum point of entry as defined in §68.105 of this chapter and the point of demarcation of the incumbent LEC's network as defined in §68.3 of this chapter.

(i) Point of technically feasible access. A point of technically feasible access is any point in the incumbent LEC's outside plant at or near a multiunit premises where a technician can access the wire or fiber within the cable without removing a splice case to reach the wire or fiber within to access the wiring in the multiunit premises. Such points include, but are not limited to, a pole or pedestal, the network interface device, the minimum point of entry, the single point of interconnection, and the feeder/distribution interface.

(ii) Single point of interconnection. Upon notification by a requesting telecommunications carrier that it requests interconnection at a multiunit premises where the incumbent LEC owns, controls, or leases wiring, the incumbent LEC shall provide a single point of interconnection that is suitable for use by multiple carriers. This obligation is in addition to the incumbent LEC's obligations, under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, to provide nondiscriminatory access to a subloop for access to multiunit premises wiring, including any inside wire, at any technically feasible point. If the parties are unable to negotiate rates, terms, and conditions under which the incumbent LEC will provide this single point of interconnection, then any issues in dispute regarding this obligation shall be resolved in state proceedings under section 252 of the Act.

(3) Other subloop provisions—(i) Technical feasibility. If parties are unable to reach agreement through voluntary negotiations as to whether it is technically feasible, or whether sufficient space is available, to unbundle a copper subloop or subloop for access to multiunit premises wiring at the point where a telecommunications carrier requests, the incumbent LEC shall have the burden of demonstrating to the state commission, in state proceedings under section 252 of the Act, that there is not sufficient space available, or that it is not technically feasible to unbundle the subloop at the point requested.

(ii) Best practices. Once one state commission has determined that it is technically feasible to unbundle subloops at a designated point, an incumbent LEC in any state shall have the burden of demonstrating to the state commission, in state proceedings under section 252 of the Act, that it is not technically feasible, or that sufficient space is not available, to unbundle its own loops at such a point.

(c) Network interface device. Apart from its obligation to provide the network interface device functionality as part of an unbundled loop or subloop, an incumbent LEC also shall provide nondiscriminatory access to the network interface device on an unbundled basis, in accordance with section 251(c)(3) of the Act and this part. The network interface device element is a stand-alone network element and is defined as any means of interconnection of customer premises wiring to the incumbent LEC's distribution plant, such as a cross-connect device used for that purpose. An incumbent LEC shall permit a requesting telecommunications carrier to connect its own loop facilities to on-premises wiring through the incumbent LEC's network interface device, or at any other technically feasible point.

(d) Dedicated transport. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to dedicated transport on an unbundled basis, in accordance with section 251(c)(3) of the Act and this part, as set forth in paragraphs (d) through (d)(4) of this section. A “route” is a transmission path between one of an incumbent LEC's wire centers or switches and another of the incumbent LEC's wire centers or switches. A route between two points (e.g., wire center or switch “A” and wire center or switch “Z”) may pass through one or more intermediate wire centers or switches (e.g., wire center or switch “X”). Transmission paths between identical end points (e.g., wire center or switch “A” and wire center or switch “Z”) are the same “route,” irrespective of whether they pass through the same intermediate wire centers or switches, if any.

(1) Definition. For purposes of this section, dedicated transport includes incumbent LEC transmission facilities between wire centers or switches owned by incumbent LECs, or between wire centers or switches owned by incumbent LECs and switches owned by requesting telecommunications carriers, including, but not limited to, DS1-, DS3-, and OCn-capacity level services, as well as dark fiber, dedicated to a particular customer or carrier.

(2) Availability.

(i) Entrance facilities. An incumbent LEC is not obligated to provide a requesting carrier with unbundled access to dedicated transport that does not connect a pair of incumbent LEC wire centers.

(ii) Dedicated DS1 transport. Dedicated DS1 transport shall be made available to requesting carriers on an unbundled basis as set forth in paragraphs (d)(2)(ii)(A) and (B) of this section. Dedicated DS1 transport consists of incumbent LEC interoffice transmission facilities that have a total digital signal speed of 1.544 megabytes per second and are dedicated to a particular customer or carrier.

(A) General availability of DS1 transport. Incumbent LECs shall unbundle DS1 transport between any pair of incumbent LEC wire centers except where, through application of tier classifications described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, both wire centers defining the route are Tier 1 wire centers. As such, an incumbent LEC must unbundle DS1 transport if a wire center at either end of a requested route is not a Tier 1 wire center, or if neither is a Tier 1 wire center.

(B) Cap on unbundled DS1 transport circuits. A requesting telecommunications carrier may obtain a maximum of ten unbundled DS1 dedicated transport circuits on each route where DS1 dedicated transport is available on an unbundled basis.

(iii) Dedicated DS3 transport. Dedicated DS3 transport shall be made available to requesting carriers on an unbundled basis as set forth in paragraphs (d)(2)(iii)(A) and(B) of this section. Dedicated DS3 transport consists of incumbent LEC interoffice transmission facilities that have a total digital signal speed of 44.736 megabytes per second and are dedicated to a particular customer or carrier.

(A) General availability of DS3 transport. Incumbent LECs shall unbundle DS3 transport between any pair of incumbent LEC wire centers except where, through application of tier classifications described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, both wire centers defining the route are either Tier 1 or Tier 2 wire centers. As such, an incumbent LEC must unbundle DS3 transport if a wire center on either end of a requested route is a Tier 3 wire center.

(B) Cap on unbundled DS3 transport circuits. A requesting telecommunications carrier may obtain a maximum of 12 unbundled DS3 dedicated transport circuits on each route where DS3 dedicated transport is available on an unbundled basis.

(iv) Dark fiber transport. Dark fiber transport consists of unactivated optical interoffice transmission facilities. Incumbent LECs shall unbundle dark fiber transport between any pair of incumbent LEC wire centers except where, through application of tier classifications described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, both wire centers defining the route are either Tier 1 or Tier 2 wire centers. An incumbent LEC must unbundle dark fiber transport if a wire center on either end of a requested route is a Tier 3 wire center.

(3) Wire center tier structure. For purposes of this section, incumbent LEC wire centers shall be classified into three tiers, defined as follows:

(i) Tier 1 wire centers are those incumbent LEC wire centers that contain at least four fiber-based collocators, at least 38,000 business lines, or both. Tier 1 wire centers also are those incumbent LEC tandem switching locations that have no line-side switching facilities, but nevertheless serve as a point of traffic aggregation accessible by competitive LECs. Once a wire center is determined to be a Tier 1 wire center, that wire center is not subject to later reclassification as a Tier 2 or Tier 3 wire center.

(ii) Tier 2 wire centers are those incumbent LEC wire centers that are not Tier 1 wire centers, but contain at least 3 fiber-based collocators, at least 24,000 business lines, or both. Once a wire center is determined to be a Tier 2 wire center, that wire center is not subject to later reclassification as a Tier 3 wire center.

(iii) Tier 3 wire centers are those incumbent LEC wire centers that do not meet the criteria for Tier 1 or Tier 2 wire centers.

(4) Routine network modifications. (i) An incumbent LEC shall make all routine network modifications to unbundled dedicated transport facilities used by requesting telecommunications carriers where the requested dedicated transport facilities have already been constructed. An incumbent LEC shall perform all routine network modifications to unbundled dedicated transport facilities in a nondiscriminatory fashion, without regard to whether the facility being accessed was constructed on behalf, or in accordance with the specifications, of any carrier.

(ii) A routine network modification is an activity that the incumbent LEC regularly undertakes for its own customers. Routine network modifications include, but are not limited to, rearranging or splicing of cable; adding an equipment case; adding a doubler or repeater; installing a repeater shelf; and deploying a new multiplexer or reconfiguring an existing multiplexer. They also include activities needed to enable a requesting telecommunications carrier to light a dark fiber transport facility. Routine network modifications may entail activities such as accessing manholes, deploying bucket trucks to reach aerial cable, and installing equipment casings. Routine network modifications do not include the installation of new aerial or buried cable for a requesting telecommunications carrier.

(e) 911 and E911 databases. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to 911 and E911 databases on an unbundled basis, in accordance with section 251(c)(3) of the Act and this part.

(f) Operations support systems. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to operations support systems on an unbundled basis, in accordance with section 251(c)(3) of the Act and this part. Operations support system functions consist of pre-ordering, ordering, provisioning, maintenance and repair, and billing functions supported by an incumbent LEC's databases and information. An incumbent LEC, as part of its duty to provide access to the pre-ordering function, shall provide the requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to the same detailed information about the loop that is available to the incumbent LEC.

[68 FR 52295, Sept. 4, 2003, as amended at 68 FR 64000, Nov. 12, 2003; 69 FR 54591, Sept. 9, 2004; 69 FR 77953, Dec. 29, 2004; 70 FR 8953, Feb. 24, 2005:78 FR 5746, Jan. 28, 2013]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.320   Assumption of responsibility by the Commission.

If a state commission fails to exercise its authority under §51.319, any party seeking that the Commission step into the role of the state commission shall file with the Commission and serve on the state commission a petition that explains with specificity the bases for the petition and information that supports the claim that the state commission has failed to act. Subsequent to the Commission's issuing a public notice and soliciting comments on the petition from interested parties, the Commission will rule on the petition within 90 days of the date of the public notice. If it agrees that the state commission has failed to act, the Commission will assume responsibility for the proceeding, and within nine months from the date it assumed responsibility for the proceeding, make any findings in accordance with the Commission's rules.

[68 FR 52305, Sept. 2, 2003]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.321   Methods of obtaining interconnection and access to unbundled elements under section 251 of the Act.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, an incumbent LEC shall provide, on terms and conditions that are just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory in accordance with the requirements of this part, any technically feasible method of obtaining interconnection or access to unbundled network elements at a particular point upon a request by a telecommunications carrier.

(b) Technically feasible methods of obtaining interconnection or access to unbundled network elements include, but are not limited to:

(1) Physical collocation and virtual collocation at the premises of an incumbent LEC; and

(2) Meet point interconnection arrangements.

(c) A previously successful method of obtaining interconnection or access to unbundled network elements at a particular premises or point on any incumbent LEC's network is substantial evidence that such method is technically feasible in the case of substantially similar network premises or points. A requesting telecommunications carrier seeking a particular collocation arrangement, either physical or virtual, is entitled to a presumption that such arrangement is technically feasible if any LEC has deployed such collocation arrangement in any incumbent LEC premises.

(d) An incumbent LEC that denies a request for a particular method of obtaining interconnection or access to unbundled network elements on the incumbent LEC's network must prove to the state commission that the requested method of obtaining interconnection or access to unbundled network elements at that point is not technically feasible.

(e) An incumbent LEC shall not be required to provide for physical collocation of equipment necessary for interconnection or access to unbundled network elements at the incumbent LEC's premises if it demonstrates to the state commission that physical collocation is not practical for technical reasons or because of space limitations. In such cases, the incumbent LEC shall be required to provide virtual collocation, except at points where the incumbent LEC proves to the state commission that virtual collocation is not technically feasible. If virtual collocation is not technically feasible, the incumbent LEC shall provide other methods of interconnection and access to unbundled network elements to the extent technically feasible.

(f) An incumbent LEC shall submit to the state commission, subject to any protective order as the state commission may deem necessary, detailed floor plans or diagrams of any premises where the incumbent LEC claims that physical collocation is not practical because of space limitations. These floor plans or diagrams must show what space, if any, the incumbent LEC or any of its affiliates has reserved for future use, and must describe in detail the specific future uses for which the space has been reserved and the length of time for each reservation. An incumbent LEC that contends space for physical collocation is not available in an incumbent LEC premises must also allow the requesting carrier to tour the entire premises in question, not only the area in which space was denied, without charge, within ten days of the receipt of the incumbent's denial of space. An incumbent LEC must allow a requesting telecommunications carrier reasonable access to its selected collocation space during construction.

(g) An incumbent LEC that is classified as a Class A company under §32.11 of this chapter and that is not a National Exchange Carrier Association interstate tariff participant as provided in part 69, subpart G, shall continue to provide expanded interconnection service pursuant to interstate tariff in accordance with §§64.1401, 64.1402, 69.121 of this chapter, and the Commission's other requirements.

(h) Upon request, an incumbent LEC must submit to the requesting carrier within ten days of the submission of the request a report describing in detail the space that is available for collocation in a particular incumbent LEC premises. This report must specify the amount of collocation space available at each requested premises, the number of collocators, and any modifications in the use of the space since the last report. This report must also include measures that the incumbent LEC is taking to make additional space available for collocation. The incumbent LEC must maintain a publicly available document, posted for viewing on the incumbent LEC's publicly available Internet site, indicating all premises that are full, and must update such a document within ten days of the date at which a premises runs out of physical collocation space.

(i) An incumbent LEC must, upon request, remove obsolete unused equipment from their premises to increase the amount of space available for collocation.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 28, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 23241, Apr. 30, 1999; 65 FR 54438, Sept. 8, 2000; 66 FR 43521, Aug. 20, 2001]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.323   Standards for physical collocation and virtual collocation.

(a) An incumbent LEC shall provide physical collocation and virtual collocation to requesting telecommunications carriers.

(b) An incumbent LEC shall permit the collocation and use of any equipment necessary for interconnection or access to unbundled network elements.

(1) Equipment is necessary for interconnection if an inability to deploy that equipment would, as a practical, economic, or operational matter, preclude the requesting carrier from obtaining interconnection with the incumbent LEC at a level equal in quality to that which the incumbent obtains within its own network or the incumbent provides to any affiliate, subsidiary, or other party.

(2) Equipment is necessary for access to an unbundled network element if an inability to deploy that equipment would, as a practical, economic, or operational matter, preclude the requesting carrier from obtaining nondiscriminatory access to that unbundled network element, including any of its features, functions, or capabilities.

(3) Multi-functional equipment shall be deemed necessary for interconnection or access to an unbundled network element if and only if the primary purpose and function of the equipment, as the requesting carrier seeks to deploy it, meets either or both of the standards set forth in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section. For a piece of equipment to be utilized primarily to obtain equal in quality interconnection or nondiscriminatory access to one or more unbundled network elements, there also must be a logical nexus between the additional functions the equipment would perform and the telecommunication services the requesting carrier seeks to provide to its customers by means of the interconnection or unbundled network element. The collocation of those functions of the equipment that, as stand-alone functions, do not meet either of the standards set forth in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section must not cause the equipment to significantly increase the burden on the incumbent's property.

(c) Whenever an incumbent LEC objects to collocation of equipment by a requesting telecommunications carrier for purposes within the scope of section 251(c)(6) of the Act, the incumbent LEC shall prove to the state commission that the equipment is not necessary for interconnection or access to unbundled network elements under the standards set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. An incumbent LEC may not object to the collocation of equipment on the grounds that the equipment does not comply with safety or engineering standards that are more stringent than the safety or engineering standards that the incumbent LEC applies to its own equipment. An incumbent LEC may not object to the collocation of equipment on the ground that the equipment fails to comply with Network Equipment and Building Specifications performance standards or any other performance standards. An incumbent LEC that denies collocation of a competitor's equipment, citing safety standards, must provide to the competitive LEC within five business days of the denial a list of all equipment that the incumbent LEC locates at the premises in question, together with an affidavit attesting that all of that equipment meets or exceeds the safety standard that the incumbent LEC contends the competitor's equipment fails to meet. This affidavit must set forth in detail: the exact safety requirement that the requesting carrier's equipment does not satisfy; the incumbent LEC's basis for concluding that the requesting carrier's equipment does not meet this safety requirement; and the incumbent LEC's basis for concluding why collocation of equipment not meeting this safety requirement would compromise network safety.

(d) When an incumbent LEC provides physical collocation, virtual collocation, or both, the incumbent LEC shall:

(1) Provide an interconnection point or points, physically accessible by both the incumbent LEC and the collocating telecommunications carrier, at which the fiber optic cable carrying an interconnector's circuits can enter the incumbent LEC's premises, provided that the incumbent LEC shall designate interconnection points as close as reasonably possible to its premises;

(2) Provide at least two such interconnection points at each incumbent LEC premises at which there are at least two entry points for the incumbent LEC's cable facilities, and at which space is available for new facilities in at least two of those entry points;

(3) Permit interconnection of copper or coaxial cable if such interconnection is first approved by the state commission; and

(4) Permit physical collocation of microwave transmission facilities except where such collocation is not practical for technical reasons or because of space limitations, in which case virtual collocation of such facilities is required where technically feasible.

(e) When providing virtual collocation, an incumbent LEC shall, at a minimum, install, maintain, and repair collocated equipment meeting the standards set forth in paragraph (b) of this section within the same time periods and with failure rates that are no greater than those that apply to the performance of similar functions for comparable equipment of the incumbent LEC itself.

(f) An incumbent LEC shall provide space for the collocation of equipment meeting the standards set forth in paragraph (b) of this section in accordance with the following requirements:

(1) An incumbent LEC shall make space available within or on its premises to requesting telecommunications carriers on a first-come, first-served basis, provided, however, that the incumbent LEC shall not be required to lease or construct additional space to provide for physical collocation when existing space has been exhausted;

(2) To the extent possible, an incumbent LEC shall make contiguous space available to requesting telecommunications carriers that seek to expand their existing collocation space;

(3) When planning renovations of existing facilities or constructing or leasing new facilities, an incumbent LEC shall take into account projected demand for collocation of equipment;

(4) An incumbent LEC may retain a limited amount of floor space for its own specific future uses, provided, however, that neither the incumbent LEC nor any of its affiliates may reserve space for future use on terms more favorable than those that apply to other telecommunications carriers seeking to reserve collocation space for their own future use;

(5) An incumbent LEC shall relinquish any space held for future use before denying a request for virtual collocation on the grounds of space limitations, unless the incumbent LEC proves to the state commission that virtual collocation at that point is not technically feasible; and

(6) An incumbent LEC may impose reasonable restrictions on the warehousing of unused space by collocating telecommunications carriers, provided, however, that the incumbent LEC shall not set maximum space limitations applicable to such carriers unless the incumbent LEC proves to the state commission that space constraints make such restrictions necessary.

(7) An incumbent LEC must assign collocation space to requesting carriers in a just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory manner. An incumbent LEC must allow each carrier requesting physical collocation to submit space preferences prior to assigning physical collocation space to that carrier. At a minimum, an incumbent LEC's space assignment policies and practices must meet the following principles:

(A) An incumbent LEC's space assignment policies and practices must not materially increase a requesting carrier's collocation costs.

(B) An incumbent LEC's space assignment policies and practices must not materially delay a requesting carrier occupation and use of the incumbent LEC's premises.

(C) An incumbent LEC must not assign physical collocation space that will impair the quality of service or impose other limitations on the service a requesting carrier wishes to offer.

(D) An incumbent LEC's space assignment policies and practices must not reduce unreasonably the total space available for physical collocation or preclude unreasonably physical collocation within the incumbent's premises.

(g) An incumbent LEC shall permit collocating telecommunications carriers to collocate equipment and connect such equipment to unbundled network transmission elements obtained from the incumbent LEC, and shall not require such telecommunications carriers to bring their own transmission facilities to the incumbent LEC's premises in which they seek to collocate equipment.

(h) As described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this section, an incumbent LEC shall permit a collocating telecommunications carrier to interconnect its network with that of another collocating telecommunications carrier at the incumbent LEC's premises and to connect its collocated equipment to the collocated equipment of another telecommunications carrier within the same premises, provided that the collocated equipment is also used for interconnection with the incumbent LEC or for access to the incumbent LEC's unbundled network elements.

(1) An incumbent LEC shall provide, at the request of a collocating telecommunications carrier, a connection between the equipment in the collocated spaces of two or more telecommunications carriers, except to the extent the incumbent LEC permits the collocating parties to provide the requested connection for themselves or a connection is not required under paragraph (h)(2) of this section. Where technically feasible, the incumbent LEC shall provide the connection using copper, dark fiber, lit fiber, or other transmission medium, as requested by the collocating telecommunications carrier.

(2) An incumbent LEC is not required to provide a connection between the equipment in the collocated spaces of two or more telecommunications carriers if the connection is requested pursuant to section 201 of the Act, unless the requesting carrier submits to the incumbent LEC a certification that more than 10 percent of the amount of traffic to be transmitted through the connection will be interstate. The incumbent LEC cannot refuse to accept the certification, but instead must provision the service promptly. Any incumbent LEC may file a section 208 complaint with the Commission challenging the certification if it believes that the certification is deficient. No such certification is required for a request for such connection under section 251 of the Act.

(i) As provided herein, an incumbent LEC may require reasonable security arrangements to protect its equipment and ensure network reliability. An incumbent LEC may only impose security arrangements that are as stringent as the security arrangements that the incumbent LEC maintains at its own premises for its own employees or authorized contractors. An incumbent LEC must allow collocating parties to access their collocated equipment 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without requiring either a security escort of any kind or delaying a competitor's employees' entry into the incumbent LEC's premises. An incumbent LEC may require a collocating carrier to pay only for the least expensive, effective security option that is viable for the physical collocation space assigned. Reasonable security measures that the incumbent LEC may adopt include:

(1) Installing security cameras or other monitoring systems; or

(2) Requiring competitive LEC personnel to use badges with computerized tracking systems; or

(3) Requiring competitive LEC employees to undergo the same level of security training, or its equivalent, that the incumbent's own employees, or third party contractors providing similar functions, must undergo; provided, however, that the incumbent LEC may not require competitive LEC employees to receive such training from the incumbent LEC itself, but must provide information to the competitive LEC on the specific type of training required so the competitive LEC's employees can conduct their own training.

(4) Restricting physical collocation to space separated from space housing the incumbent LEC's equipment, provided that each of the following conditions is met:

(i) Either legitimate security concerns, or operational constraints unrelated to the incumbent's or any of its affiliates' or subsidiaries competitive concerns, warrant such separation;

(ii) Any physical collocation space assigned to an affiliate or subsidiary of the incumbent LEC is separated from space housing the incumbent LEC's equipment;

(iii) The separated space will be available in the same time frame as, or a shorter time frame than, non-separated space;

(iv) The cost of the separated space to the requesting carrier will not be materially higher than the cost of non-separated space; and

(v) The separated space is comparable, from a technical and engineering standpoint, to non-separated space.

(5) Requiring the employees and contractors of collocating carriers to use a central or separate entrance to the incumbent's building, provided, however, that where an incumbent LEC requires that the employees or contractors of collocating carriers access collocated equipment only through a separate entrance, employees and contractors of the incumbent LEC's affiliates and subsidiaries must be subject to the same restriction.

(6) Constructing or requiring the construction of a separate entrance to access physical collocation space, provided that each of the following conditions is met:

(i) Construction of a separate entrance is technically feasible;

(ii) Either legitimate security concerns, or operational constraints unrelated to the incumbent's or any of its affiliates' or subsidiaries competitive concerns, warrant such separation;

(iii) Construction of a separate entrance will not artificially delay collocation provisioning; and

(iv) Construction of a separate entrance will not materially increase the requesting carrier's costs.

(j) An incumbent LEC shall permit a collocating telecommunications carrier to subcontract the construction of physical collocation arrangements with contractors approved by the incumbent LEC, provided, however, that the incumbent LEC shall not unreasonably withhold approval of contractors. Approval by an incumbent LEC shall be based on the same criteria it uses in approving contractors for its own purposes.

(k) An incumbent LEC's physical collocation offering must include the following:

(1) Shared collocation cages. A shared collocation cage is a caged collocation space shared by two or more competitive LECs pursuant to terms and conditions agreed to by the competitive LECs. In making shared cage arrangements available, an incumbent LEC may not increase the cost of site preparation or nonrecurring charges above the cost for provisioning such a cage of similar dimensions and material to a single collocating party. In addition, the incumbent must prorate the charge for site conditioning and preparation undertaken by the incumbent to construct the shared collocation cage or condition the space for collocation use, regardless of how many carriers actually collocate in that cage, by determining the total charge for site preparation and allocating that charge to a collocating carrier based on the percentage of the total space utilized by that carrier. An incumbent LEC must make shared collocation space available in single-bay increments or their equivalent, i.e., a competing carrier can purchase space in increments small enough to collocate a single rack, or bay, of equipment.

(2) Cageless collocation. Incumbent LECs must allow competitors to collocate without requiring the construction of a cage or similar structure. Incumbent LECs must permit collocating carriers to have direct access to their equipment. An incumbent LEC may not require competitors to use an intermediate interconnection arrangement in lieu of direct connection to the incumbent's network if technically feasible. An incumbent LEC must make cageless collocation space available in single-bay increments, meaning that a competing carrier can purchase space in increments small enough to collocate a single rack, or bay, of equipment.

(3) Adjacent space collocation. An incumbent LEC must make available, where physical collocation space is legitimately exhausted in a particular incumbent LEC structure, collocation in adjacent controlled environmental vaults, controlled environmental huts, or similar structures located at the incumbent LEC premises to the extent technically feasible. The incumbent LEC must permit a requesting telecommunications carrier to construct or otherwise procure such an adjacent structure, subject only to reasonable safety and maintenance requirements. The incumbent must provide power and physical collocation services and facilities, subject to the same nondiscrimination requirements as applicable to any other physical collocation arrangement. The incumbent LEC must permit the requesting carrier to place its own equipment, including, but not limited to, copper cables, coaxial cables, fiber cables, and telecommunications equipment, in adjacent facilities constructed by the incumbent LEC, the requesting carrier, or a third-party. If physical collocation space becomes available in a previously exhausted incumbent LEC structure, the incumbent LEC must not require a carrier to move, or prohibit a competitive LEC from moving, a collocation arrangement into that structure. Instead, the incumbent LEC must continue to allow the carrier to collocate in any adjacent controlled environmental vault, controlled environmental vault, or similar structure that the carrier has constructed or otherwise procured.

(l) An incumbent LEC must offer to provide and provide all forms of physical collocation (i.e., caged, cageless, shared, and adjacent) within the following deadlines, except to the extent a state sets its own deadlines or the incumbent LEC has demonstrated to the state commission that physical collocation is not practical for technical reasons or because of space limitations.

(1) Within ten days after receiving an application for physical collocation, an incumbent LEC must inform the requesting carrier whether the application meets each of the incumbent LEC's established collocation standards. A requesting carrier that resubmits a revised application curing any deficiencies in an application for physical collocation within ten days after being informed of them retains its position within any collocation queue that the incumbent LEC maintains pursuant to paragraph (f)(1) of this section.

(2) Except as stated in paragraphs (l)(3) and (l)(4) of this section, an incumbent LEC must complete provisioning of a requested physical collocation arrangement within 90 days after receiving an application that meets the incumbent LEC's established collocation application standards.

(3) An incumbent LEC need not meet the deadline set forth in paragraph (l)(2) of this section if, after receipt of any price quotation provided by the incumbent LEC, the telecommunications carrier requesting collocation does not notify the incumbent LEC that physical collocation should proceed.

(4) If, within seven days of the requesting carrier's receipt of any price quotation provided by the incumbent LEC, the telecommunications carrier requesting collocation does not notify the incumbent LEC that physical collocation should proceed, then the incumbent LEC need not complete provisioning of a requested physical collocation arrangement until 90 days after receiving such notification from the requesting telecommunications carrier.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 28, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 23242, Apr. 30, 1999; 65 FR 54439, Sept. 8, 2000; 66 FR 43521, Aug. 20, 2001]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.325   Notice of network changes: Public notice requirement.

(a) An incumbent local exchange carrier (“LEC”) must provide public notice regarding any network change that:

(1) Will affect a competing service provider's performance or ability to provide service;

(2) Will affect the incumbent LEC's interoperability with other service providers; or

(3) Will result in a copper retirement, which is defined for purposes of this subpart as:

(i) The removal or disabling of copper loops, subloops, or the feeder portion of such loops or subloops; or

(ii) The replacement of such loops with fiber-to-the-home loops or fiber-to-the-curb loops, as those terms are defined in §51.319(a)(3).

(b) For purposes of this section, interoperability means the ability of two or more facilities, or networks, to be connected, to exchange information, and to use the information that has been exchanged.

(c) For the purposes of §§51.325 through 51.335, the term services means telecommunications services or information services.

[61 FR 47351, Sept. 6, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 14148, Mar. 24, 1999; 68 FR 52305, Sept. 2, 2003; 69 FR 77954, Dec. 29, 2004; 80 FR 63371, Oct. 19, 2015; 82 FR 61477, Dec. 28, 2017; 83 FR 31675, July 9, 2018]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.327   Notice of network changes: Content of notice.

(a) Public notice of planned network changes must, at a minimum, include:

(1) The carrier's name and address;

(2) The name and telephone number of a contact person who can supply additional information regarding the planned changes;

(3) The implementation date of the planned changes;

(4) The location(s) at which the changes will occur;

(5) A description of the type of changes planned (Information provided to satisfy this requirement must include, as applicable, but is not limited to, references to technical specifications, protocols, and standards regarding transmission, signaling, routing, and facility assignment as well as references to technical standards that would be applicable to any new technologies or equipment, or that may otherwise affect interconnection); and

(6) A description of the reasonably foreseeable impact of the planned changes.

(b) The incumbent LEC also shall follow, as necessary, procedures relating to confidential or proprietary information contained in §51.335.

[61 FR 47351, Sept. 6, 1996]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.329   Notice of network changes: Methods for providing notice.

(a) In providing the required notice to the public of network changes, an incumbent LEC may use one of the following methods:

(1) Filing a public notice with the Commission; or

(2) Providing public notice through industry fora, industry publications, or the carrier's publicly accessible Internet site. If an incumbent LEC uses any of the methods specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, it also must file a certification with the Commission that includes:

(i) A statement that identifies the proposed changes;

(ii) A statement that public notice has been given in compliance with §§51.325 through 51.335; and

(iii) A statement identifying the location of the change information and describing how this information can be obtained.

(b) Until the planned change is implemented, an incumbent LEC must keep the notice available for public inspection, and amend the notice to keep the information complete, accurate and up-to-date.

(c) Specific filing requirements. Commission filings under this section must be made as follows:

(1) The public notice or certification must be labeled with one of the following titles, as appropriate: “Public Notice of Network Change Under Rule 51.329(a),” “Certification of Public Notice of Network Change Under Rule 51.329(a),” “Short Term Public Notice Under Rule 51.333(a),” “Certification of Short Term Public Notice Under Rule 51.333(a),” “Public Notice of Copper Retirement Under Rule 51.333,” or “Certification of Public Notice of Copper Retirement Under Rule 51.333.”

(2) The incumbent LEC's public notice and any associated certifications shall be filed through the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), using the “Submit a Non-Docketed Filing” module. All subsequent filings responsive to a notice may be filed using the Commission's ECFS under the docket number set forth in the Commission's public notice for the proceeding. If necessary, subsequent filings responsive to a notice also may be filed by sending one paper copy of the filing to “Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC 20554” and one paper copy of the filing to “Federal Communications Commission, Wireline Competition Bureau, Competition Policy Division, Washington, DC 20554.” For notices filed using the Commission's ECFS, the date on which the filing is received by that system will be considered the official filing date. For notices filed via paper copy, the date on which the filing is received by the Secretary or the FCC Mailroom is considered the official filing date. All subsequent filings responsive to a notice shall refer to the ECFS docket number assigned to the notice.

[61 FR 47351, Sept. 6, 1996, as amended at 67 FR 13225, Mar. 21, 2002; 71 FR 65750, Nov. 9, 2006; 80 FR 1588, Jan. 13, 2015; 81 FR 62655, Sept. 12, 2016; 82 FR 61477, Dec. 28, 2017; 83 FR 2557, Jan. 18, 2018]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.331   Notice of network changes: Timing of notice.

(a) An incumbent LEC shall give public notice of planned changes at the make/buy point, as defined in paragraph (b) of this section, but at least 12 months before implementation, except as provided below:

(1) If the changes can be implemented within twelve months of the make/buy point, public notice must be given at the make/buy point, but at least six months before implementation.

(2) If the changes can be implemented within six months of the make/buy point, public notice may be given pursuant to the short term notice procedures provided in §51.333.

(b) For purposes of this section, the make/buy point is the time at which an incumbent LEC decides to make for itself, or to procure from another entity, any product the design of which affects or relies on a new or changed network interface. If an incumbent LEC's planned changes do not require it to make or to procure a product, then the make/buy point is the point at which the incumbent LEC makes a definite decision to implement a network change.

(1) For purposes of this section, a product is any hardware r software for use in an incumbent LEC's network or in conjunction with its facilities that, when installed, could affect the compatibility of an interconnected service provider's network, facilities or services with an incumbent LEC's existing telephone network, facilities or services, or with any of an incumbent carrier's services or capabilities.

(2) For purposes of this section a definite decision is reached when an incumbent LEC determines that the change is warranted, establishes a timetable for anticipated implementation, and takes any action toward implementation of the change within its network.

[61 FR 47352, Sept. 6, 1996, as amended at 68 FR 52305, Sept. 2, 2003; 69 FR 77954, Dec. 29, 2004; 80 FR 63371, Oct. 19, 2015]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.333   Notice of network changes: Short term notice, objections thereto and objections to copper retirement notices.

(a) Certificate of service. If an incumbent LEC wishes to provide less than six months' notice of planned network changes, or provide notice of a planned copper retirement, the public notice or certification that it files with the Commission must include a certificate of service in addition to the information required by §51.327(a) or §51.329(a)(2), as applicable. The certificate of service shall include:

(1) A statement that, at least five business days in advance of its filing with the Commission, the incumbent LEC served a copy of its public notice upon each telephone exchange service provider that directly interconnects with the incumbent LEC's network, provided that, with respect to copper retirement notices, such service may be made by postings on the incumbent LEC's website if the directly interconnecting telephone exchange service provider has agreed to receive notice by website postings; and

(2) The name and address of each such telephone exchange service provider upon which the notice was served.

(b) Implementation date. The Commission will release a public notice of filings of such short term notices or copper retirement notices. The effective date of the network changes referenced in those filings shall be subject to the following requirements:

(1) Short term notice. Short term notices shall be deemed final on the tenth business day after the release of the Commission's public notice, unless an objection is filed pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section.

(2) Copper retirement notice. Notices of copper retirement, as defined in §51.325(a)(3), shall be deemed final on the 90th day after the release of the Commission's public notice of the filing, unless an objection is filed pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, except that notices of copper retirement involving copper facilities not being used to provision services to any customers shall be deemed final on the 15th day after the release of the Commission's public notice of the filing. Incumbent LEC copper retirement notices shall be subject to the short-term notice provisions of this section, but under no circumstances may an incumbent LEC provide less than 90 days' notice of such a change except where the copper facilities are not being used to provision services to any customers.

(c) Objection procedures for short term notice and copper retirement notices. An objection to an incumbent LEC's short term notice or to its copper retirement notice may be filed by an information service provider or telecommunications service provider that directly interconnects with the incumbent LEC's network. Such objections must be filed with the Commission, and served on the incumbent LEC, no later than the ninth business day following the release of the Commission's public notice. All objections filed under this section must:

(1) State specific reasons why the objector cannot accommodate the incumbent LEC's changes by the date stated in the incumbent LEC's public notice and must indicate any specific technical information or other assistance required that would enable the objector to accommodate those changes;

(2) List steps the objector is taking to accommodate the incumbent LEC's changes on an expedited basis;

(3) State the earliest possible date (not to exceed six months from the date the incumbent LEC gave its original public notice under this section) by which the objector anticipates that it can accommodate the incumbent LEC's changes, assuming it receives the technical information or other assistance requested under paragraph (c)(1) of this section;

(4) Provide any other information relevant to the objection; and

(5) Provide the following affidavit, executed by the objector's president, chief executive officer, or other corporate officer or official, who has appropriate authority to bind the corporation, and knowledge of the details of the objector's inability to adjust its network on a timely basis:

“I, (name and title), under oath and subject to penalty for perjury, certify that I have read this objection, that the statements contained in it are true, that there is good ground to support the objection, and that it is not interposed for purposes of delay. I have appropriate authority to make this certification on behalf of (objector) and I agree to provide any information the Commission may request to allow the Commission to evaluate the truthfulness and validity of the statements contained in this objection.”

(d) Response to objections. If an objection is filed, an incumbent LEC shall have until no later than the fourteenth business day following the release of the Commission's public notice to file with the Commission a response to the objection and to serve the response on all parties that filed objections. An incumbent LEC's response must:

(1) Provide information responsive to the allegations and concerns identified by the objectors;

(2) State whether the implementation date(s) proposed by the objector(s) are acceptable;

(3) Indicate any specific technical assistance that the incumbent LEC is willing to give to the objectors; and

(4) Provide any other relevant information.

(e) Resolution. If an objection is filed pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, then the Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau, will issue an order determining a reasonable public notice period, provided however, that if an incumbent LEC does not file a response within the time period allotted, or if the incumbent LEC's response accepts the latest implementation date stated by an objector, then the incumbent LEC's public notice shall be deemed amended to specify the implementation date requested by the objector, without further Commission action. An incumbent LEC must amend its public notice to reflect any change in the applicable implementation date pursuant to §51.329(b).

(f) Resolution of objections to copper retirement notices. An objection to a notice that an incumbent LEC intends to retire copper, as defined in §51.325(a)(3) shall be deemed denied 90 days after the date on which the Commission releases public notice of the incumbent LEC filing, unless the Commission rules otherwise within that time. Until the Commission has either ruled on an objection or the 90-day period for the Commission's consideration has expired, an incumbent LEC may not retire those copper facilities at issue.

(g) Limited exemption from advance notice and timing requirements—(1) Force majeure events. (i) Notwithstanding the requirements of this section, if in response to a force majeure event, an incumbent LEC invokes its disaster recovery plan, the incumbent LEC will be exempted during the period when the plan is invoked (up to a maximum 180 days) from all advanced notice and waiting period requirements under this section associated with network changes that result from or are necessitated as a direct result of the force majeure event.

(ii) As soon as practicable, during the exemption period, the incumbent LEC must continue to comply with §51.325(a), include in its public notice the date on which the carrier invoked its disaster recovery plan, and must communicate with other directly interconnected telephone exchange service providers to ensure that such carriers are aware of any changes being made to their networks that may impact those carriers' operations.

(iii) If an incumbent LEC requires relief from the notice requirements under this section longer than 180 days after it invokes the disaster recovery plan, the incumbent LEC must request such authority from the Commission. Any such request must be accompanied by a status report describing the incumbent LEC's progress and providing an estimate of when the incumbent LEC expects to be able to resume compliance with the notice requirements under this section.

(iv) For purposes of this section, “force majeure” means a highly disruptive event beyond the control of the incumbent LEC, such as a natural disaster or a terrorist attack.

(v) For purposes of this section, “disaster recovery plan” means a disaster response plan developed by the incumbent LEC for the purpose of responding to a force majeure event.

(2) Other events outside an incumbent LEC's control. (i) Notwithstanding the requirements of this section, if in response to circumstances outside of its control other than a force majeure event addressed in paragraph (g)(1) of this section, an incumbent LEC cannot comply with the timing requirement set forth in paragraphs (b)(1) or (2) of this section, hereinafter referred to as the waiting period, the incumbent LEC must give notice of the network change as soon as practicable and will be entitled to a reduced waiting period commensurate with the circumstances at issue.

(ii) A short term network change or copper retirement notice subject to paragraph (g)(2) of this section must include a brief explanation of the circumstances necessitating the reduced waiting period and how the incumbent LEC intends to minimize the impact of the reduced waiting period on directly interconnected telephone exchange service providers.

(iii) For purposes of this section, circumstances outside of the incumbent LEC's control include federal, state, or local municipal mandates and unintentional damage to the incumbent LEC's network facilities not caused by the incumbent LEC.

[61 FR 47352, Sept. 6, 1996, as amended at 67 FR 13226, Mar. 21, 2002; 68 FR 52305, Sept. 2, 2003; 69 FR 77954; Dec. 29, 2004; 80 FR 63371, Oct. 19, 2015; 82 FR 61477, Dec. 28, 2017; 83 FR 31675, July 9, 2018]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.335   Notice of network changes: Confidential or proprietary information.

(a) If an incumbent LEC claims that information otherwise required to be disclosed is confidential or proprietary, the incumbent LEC's public notice must include, in addition to the information identified in §51.327(a), a statement that the incumbent LEC will make further information available to those signing a nondisclosure agreement.

(b) Tolling the public notice period. Upon receipt by an incumbent LEC of a competing service provider's request for disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, the applicable public notice period will be tolled until the parties agree on the terms of a nondisclosure agreement. An incumbent LEC receiving such a request must amend its public notice as follows:

(1) On the date it receives a request from a competing service provider for disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, to state that the notice period is tolled; and

(2) On the date the nondisclosure agreement is finalized, to specify a new implementation date.

[61 FR 47352, Sept. 6, 1996]

return arrow Back to Top

Subpart E—Exemptions, Suspensions, and Modifications of Requirements of Section 251 of the Act

§51.401   State authority.

A state commission shall determine whether a telephone company is entitled, pursuant to section 251(f) of the Act, to exemption from, or suspension or modification of, the requirements of section 251 of the Act. Such determinations shall be made on a case-by-case basis.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.403   Carriers eligible for suspension or modification under section 251(f)(2) of the Act.

A LEC is not eligible for a suspension or modification of the requirements of section 251(b) or section 251(c) of the Act pursuant to section 251(f)(2) of the Act if such LEC, at the holding company level, has two percent or more of the subscriber lines installed in the aggregate nationwide.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.405   Burden of proof.

(a) Upon receipt of a bona fide request for interconnection, services, or access to unbundled network elements, a rural telephone company must prove to the state commission that the rural telephone company should be entitled, pursuant to section 251(f)(1) of the Act, to continued exemption from the requirements of section 251(c) of the Act.

(b) A LEC with fewer than two percent of the nation's subscriber lines installed in the aggregate nationwide must prove to the state commission, pursuant to section 251(f)(2) of the Act, that it is entitled to a suspension or modification of the application of a requirement or requirements of section 251(b) or 251(c) of the Act.

(c) In order to justify continued exemption under section 251(f)(1) of the Act once a bona fide request has been made, an incumbent LEC must offer evidence that the application of the requirements of section 251(c) of the Act would be likely to cause undue economic burden beyond the economic burden that is typically associated with efficient competitive entry.

(d) In order to justify a suspension or modification under section 251(f)(2) of the Act, a LEC must offer evidence that the application of section 251(b) or section 251(c) of the Act would be likely to cause undue economic burden beyond the economic burden that is typically associated with efficient competitive entry.

return arrow Back to Top

Subpart F—Pricing of Elements

§51.501   Scope.

(a) The rules in this subpart apply to the pricing of network elements, interconnection, and methods of obtaining access to unbundled elements, including physical collocation and virtual collocation.

(b) As used in this subpart, the term “element” includes network elements, interconnection, and methods of obtaining interconnection and access to unbundled elements.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.503   General pricing standard.

(a) An incumbent LEC shall offer elements to requesting telecommunications carriers at rates, terms, and conditions that are just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory.

(b) An incumbent LEC's rates for each element it offers shall comply with the rate structure rules set forth in §§51.507 and 51.509, and shall be established, at the election of the state commission—

(1) Pursuant to the forward-looking economic cost-based pricing methodology set forth in §§51.505 and 51.511; or

(2) Consistent with the proxy ceilings and ranges set forth in §51.513.

(c) The rates that an incumbent LEC assesses for elements shall not vary on the basis of the class of customers served by the requesting carrier, or on the type of services that the requesting carrier purchasing such elements uses them to provide.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.505   Forward-looking economic cost.

(a) In general. The forward-looking economic cost of an element equals the sum of:

(1) The total element long-run incremental cost of the element, as described in paragraph (b); and

(2) A reasonable allocation of forward-looking common costs, as described in paragraph (c).

(b) Total element long-run incremental cost. The total element long-run incremental cost of an element is the forward-looking cost over the long run of the total quantity of the facilities and functions that are directly attributable to, or reasonably identifiable as incremental to, such element, calculated taking as a given the incumbent LEC's provision of other elements.

(1) Efficient network configuration. The total element long-run incremental cost of an element should be measured based on the use of the most efficient telecommunications technology currently available and the lowest cost network configuration, given the existing location of the incumbent LEC's wire centers.

(2) Forward-looking cost of capital. The forward-looking cost of capital shall be used in calculating the total element long-run incremental cost of an element.

(3) Depreciation rates. The depreciation rates used in calculating forward-looking economic costs of elements shall be economic depreciation rates.

(c) Reasonable allocation of forward-looking common costs—(1) Forward-looking common costs. Forward-looking common costs are economic costs efficiently incurred in providing a group of elements or services (which may include all elements or services provided by the incumbent LEC) that cannot be attributed directly to individual elements or services.

(2) Reasonable allocation. (i) The sum of a reasonable allocation of forward-looking common costs and the total element long-run incremental cost of an element shall not exceed the stand-alone costs associated with the element. In this context, stand-alone costs are the total forward-looking costs, including corporate costs, that would be incurred to produce a given element if that element were provided by an efficient firm that produced nothing but the given element.

(ii) The sum of the allocation of forward-looking common costs for all elements and services shall equal the total forward-looking common costs, exclusive of retail costs, attributable to operating the incumbent LEC's total network, so as to provide all the elements and services offered.

(d) Factors that may not be considered. The following factors shall not be considered in a calculation of the forward-looking economic cost of an element:

(1) Embedded costs. Embedded costs are the costs that the incumbent LEC incurred in the past and that are recorded in the incumbent LEC's books of accounts;

(2) Retail costs. Retail costs include the costs of marketing, billing, collection, and other costs associated with offering retail telecommunications services to subscribers who are not telecommunications carriers, described in §51.609;

(3) Opportunity costs. Opportunity costs include the revenues that the incumbent LEC would have received for the sale of telecommunications services, in the absence of competition from telecommunications carriers that purchase elements; and

(4) Revenues to subsidize other services. Revenues to subsidize other services include revenues associated with elements or telecommunications service offerings other than the element for which a rate is being established.

(e) Cost study requirements. An incumbent LEC must prove to the state commission that the rates for each element it offers do not exceed the forward-looking economic cost per unit of providing the element, using a cost study that complies with the methodology set forth in this section and §51.511.

(1) A state commission may set a rate outside the proxy ranges or above the proxy ceilings described in §51.513 only if that commission has given full and fair effect to the economic cost based pricing methodology described in this section and §51.511 in a state proceeding that meets the requirements of paragraph (e)(2) of this section.

(2) Any state proceeding conducted pursuant to this section shall provide notice and an opportunity for comment to affected parties and shall result in the creation of a written factual record that is sufficient for purposes of review. The record of any state proceeding in which a state commission considers a cost study for purposes of establishing rates under this section shall include any such cost study.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.507   General rate structure standard.

(a) Element rates shall be structured consistently with the manner in which the costs of providing the elements are incurred.

(b) The costs of dedicated facilities shall be recovered through flat-rated charges.

(c) The costs of shared facilities shall be recovered in a manner that efficiently apportions costs among users. Costs of shared facilities may be apportioned either through usage-sensitive charges or capacity-based flat-rated charges, if the state commission finds that such rates reasonably reflect the costs imposed by the various users.

(d) Recurring costs shall be recovered through recurring charges, unless an incumbent LEC proves to a state commission that such recurring costs are de minimis. Recurring costs shall be considered de minimis when the costs of administering the recurring charge would be excessive in relation to the amount of the recurring costs.

(e) State commissions may, where reasonable, require incumbent LECs to recover nonrecurring costs through recurring charges over a reasonable period of time. Nonrecurring charges shall be allocated efficiently among requesting telecommunications carriers, and shall not permit an incumbent LEC to recover more than the total forward-looking economic cost of providing the applicable element.

(f) State commissions shall establish different rates for elements in at least three defined geographic areas within the state to reflect geographic cost differences.

(1) To establish geographically-deaveraged rates, state commissions may use existing density-related zone pricing plans described in §69.123 of this chapter, or other such cost-related zone plans established pursuant to state law.

(2) In states not using such existing plans, state commissions must create a minimum of three cost-related rate zones.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 32207, June 16, 1999; 64 FR 68637, Dec. 8, 1999]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.509   Rate structure standards for specific elements.

In addition to the general rules set forth in §51.507, rates for specific elements shall comply with the following rate structure rules.

(a) Local loop and subloop. Loop and subloop costs shall be recovered through flat-rated charges.

(b) Local switching. Local switching costs shall be recovered through a combination of a flat-rated charge for line ports and one or more flat-rated or per-minute usage charges for the switching matrix and for trunk ports.

(c) Dedicated transmission links. Dedicated transmission link costs shall be recovered through flat-rated charges.

(d) Shared transmission facilities between tandem switches and end offices. The costs of shared transmission facilities between tandem switches and end offices may be recovered through usage-sensitive charges, or in another manner consistent with the manner that the incumbent LEC incurs those costs.

(e) Tandem switching. Tandem switching costs may be recovered through usage-sensitive charges, or in another manner consistent with the manner that the incumbent LEC incurs those costs.

(f) Signaling and call-related database services. Signaling and call-related database service costs shall be usage-sensitive, based on either the number of queries or the number of messages, with the exception of the dedicated circuits known as signaling links, the cost of which shall be recovered through flat-rated charges.

(g) Collocation. Collocation costs shall be recovered consistent with the rate structure policies established in the Expanded Interconnection proceeding, CC Docket No. 91-141.

(h) Network interface device. An incumbent LEC must establish a price for the network interface device when that unbundled network element is purchased on a stand-alone basis pursuant to §51.319(c).

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 68 FR 52306, Sept. 2, 2003]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.511   Forward-looking economic cost per unit.

(a) The forward-looking economic cost per unit of an element equals the forward-looking economic cost of the element, as defined in §51.505, divided by a reasonable projection of the sum of the total number of units of the element that the incumbent LEC is likely to provide to requesting telecommunications carriers and the total number of units of the element that the incumbent LEC is likely to use in offering its own services, during a reasonable measuring period.

(b)(1) With respect to elements that an incumbent LEC offers on a flat-rate basis, the number of units is defined as the discrete number of elements (e.g., local loops or local switch ports) that the incumbent LEC uses or provides.

(2) With respect to elements that an incumbent LEC offers on a usage-sensitive basis, the number of units is defined as the unit of measurement of the usage (e.g., minutes of use or call-related database queries) of the element.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.513   Proxies for forward-looking economic cost.

(a) A state commission may determine that the cost information available to it with respect to one or more elements does not support the adoption of a rate or rates that are consistent with the requirements set forth in §§51.505 and 51.511. In that event, the state commission may establish a rate for an element that is consistent with the proxies specified in this section, provided that:

(1) Any rate established through use of such proxies shall be superseded once the state commission has completed review of a cost study that complies with the forward-looking economic cost based pricing methodology described in §§51.505 and 51.511, and has concluded that such study is a reasonable basis for establishing element rates; and

(2) The state commission sets forth in writing a reasonable basis for its selection of a particular rate for the element.

(b) The constraints on proxy-based rates described in this section apply on a geographically averaged basis. For purposes of determining whether geographically deaveraged rates for elements comply with the provisions of this section, a geographically averaged proxy-based rate shall be computed based on the weighted average of the actual, geographically deaveraged rates that apply in separate geographic areas in a state.

(c) Proxies for specific elements—(1) Local loops. For each state listed below, the proxy-based monthly rate for unbundled local loops, on a statewide weighted average basis, shall be no greater than the figures listed in the table below. (The Commission has not established a default proxy ceiling for loop rates in Alaska.)

Table

StateProxy ceiling
Alabama$17.25
Arizona12.85
Arkansas21.18
California11.10
Colorado14.97
Connecticut13.23
Delaware13.24
District of Columbia10.81
Florida13.68
Georgia16.09
Hawaii15.27
Idaho20.16
Illinois13.12
Indiana13.29
Iowa15.94
Kansas19.85
Kentucky16.70
Louisiana16.98
Maine18.69
Maryland13.36
Massachusetts9.83
Michigan15.27
Minnesota14.81
Mississippi21.97
Missouri18.32
Montana25.18
Nebraska18.05
Nevada18.95
New Hampshire16.00
New Jersey12.47
New Mexico18.66
New York11.75
North Carolina16.71
North Dakota25.36
Ohio15.73
Oklahoma17.63
Oregon15.44
Pennsylvania12.30
Puerto Rico12.47
Rhode Island11.48
South Carolina17.07
South Dakota25.33
Tennessee17.41
Texas15.49
Utah15.12
Vermont20.13
Virginia14.13
Washington13.37
West Virginia19.25
Wisconsin15.94
Wyoming25.11

(2) Local switching. (i) The blended proxy-based rate for the usage-sensitive component of the unbundled local switching element, including the switching matrix, the functionalities used to provide vertical features, and the trunk ports, shall be no greater than 0.4 cents ($0.004) per minute, and no less than 0.2 cents ($0.002) per minute, except that, where a state commission has, before August 8, 1996, established a rate less than or equal to 0.5 cents ($0.005) per minute, that rate may be retained pending completion of a forward-looking economic cost study. If a flat-rated charge is established for these components, it shall be converted to a per-minute rate by dividing the projected average minutes of use per flat-rated subelement, for purposes of assessing compliance with this proxy. A weighted average of such flat-rate or usage-sensitive charges shall be used in appropriate circumstances, such as when peak and off-peak charges are used.

(ii) The blended proxy-based rate for the line port component of the local switching element shall be no less than $1.10, and no more than $2.00, per line port per month for ports used in the delivery of basic residential and business exchange services.

(3) Dedicated transmission links. The proxy-based rates for dedicated transmission links shall be no greater than the incumbent LEC's tariffed interstate charges for comparable entrance facilities or direct-trunked transport offerings, as described in §§69.110 and 69.112 of this chapter.

(4) Shared transmission facilities between tandem switches and end offices. The proxy-based rates for shared transmission facilities between tandem switches and end offices shall be no greater than the weighted per-minute equivalent of DS1 and DS3 interoffice dedicated transmission link rates that reflects the relative number of DS1 and DS3 circuits used in the tandem to end office links (or a surrogate based on the proportion of copper and fiber facilities in the interoffice network), calculated using a loading factor of 9,000 minutes per month per voice-grade circuit, as described in §69.112 of this chapter.

(5) Tandem switching. The proxy-based rate for tandem switching shall be no greater than 0.15 cents ($0.0015) per minute of use.

(6) Collocation. To the extent that the incumbent LEC offers a comparable form of collocation in its interstate expanded interconnection tariffs, as described in §§64.1401 and 69.121 of this chapter, the proxy-based rates for collocation shall be no greater than the effective rates for equivalent services in the interstate expanded interconnection tariff. To the extent that the incumbent LEC does not offer a comparable form of collocation in its interstate expanded interconnection tariffs, a state commission may, in its discretion, establish a proxy-based rate, provided that the state commission sets forth in writing a reasonable basis for concluding that its rate would approximate the result of a forward-looking economic cost study, as described in §51.505.

(7) Signaling, call-related database, and other elements. To the extent that the incumbent LEC has established rates for offerings comparable to other elements in its interstate access tariffs, and has provided cost support for those rates pursuant to §61.49(h) of this chapter, the proxy-based rates for those elements shall be no greater than the effective rates for equivalent services in the interstate access tariffs. In other cases, the proxy-based rate shall be no greater than a rate based on direct costs plus a reasonable allocation of overhead loadings, pursuant to §61.49(h) of this chapter.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 52709, Oct. 8, 1996]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.515   Application of access charges.

(a)-(b) [Reserved]

(c) Notwithstanding §§51.505, 51.511, and 51.513(d)(2) and paragraph (a) of this section, an incumbent LEC may assess upon telecommunications carriers that purchase unbundled local switching elements, as described in §51.319(c)(1), for intrastate toll minutes of use traversing such unbundled local switching elements, intrastate access charges comparable to those listed in paragraph (b) and any explicit intrastate universal service mechanism based on access charges, only until the earliest of the following, and not thereafter:

(1) June 30, 1997;

(2) The effective date of a state commission decision that an incumbent LEC may not assess such charges; or

(3) With respect to a Bell operating company only, the date on which that company is authorized to offer in-region interLATA service in the state pursuant to section 271 of the Act. The end date for Bell operating companies that are authorized to offer interLATA service shall apply only to the recovery of access charges in those states in which the Bell operating company is authorized to offer such service.

(d) Interstate access charges described in part 69 shall not be assessed by incumbent LECs on each element purchased by requesting carriers providing both telephone exchange and exchange access services to such requesting carriers' end users.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 45587, Aug. 28, 1997; 71 FR 65750, Nov. 9, 2006]

return arrow Back to Top

Subpart G—Resale

§51.601   Scope of resale rules.

The provisions of this subpart govern the terms and conditions under which LECs offer telecommunications services to requesting telecommunications carriers for resale.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.603   Resale obligation of all local exchange carriers.

(a) A LEC shall make its telecommunications services available for resale to requesting telecommunications carriers on terms and conditions that are reasonable and non-discriminatory.

(b) A LEC must provide services to requesting telecommunications carriers for resale that are equal in quality, subject to the same conditions, and provided within the same provisioning time intervals that the LEC provides these services to others, including end users.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.605   Additional obligations of incumbent local exchange carriers.

(a) An incumbent LEC shall offer to any requesting telecommunications carrier any telecommunications service that the incumbent LEC offers on a retail basis to subscribers that are not telecommunications carriers for resale at wholesale rates that are, at the election of the state commission—

(1) Consistent with the avoided cost methodology described in §§51.607 and 51.609; or

(2) Interim wholesale rates, pursuant to §51.611.

(b) For purposes of this subpart, exchange access services, as defined in section 3 of the Act, shall not be considered to be telecommunications services that incumbent LECs must make available for resale at wholesale rates to requesting telecommunications carriers.

(c) For purposes of this subpart, advanced telecommunications services sold to Internet Service Providers as an input component to the Internet Service Providers' retail Internet service offering shall not be considered to be telecommunications services offered on a retail basis that incumbent LECs must make available for resale at wholesale rates to requesting telecommunications carriers.

(d) Notwithstanding paragraph (b) of this section, advanced telecommunications services that are classified as exchange access services are subject to the obligations of paragraph (a) of this section if such services are sold on a retail basis to residential and business end-users that are not telecommunications carriers.

(e) Except as provided in §51.613, an incumbent LEC shall not impose restrictions on the resale by a requesting carrier of telecommunications services offered by the incumbent LEC.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 65 FR 6915, Feb. 11, 2000]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.607   Wholesale pricing standard.

The wholesale rate that an incumbent LEC may charge for a telecommunications service provided for resale to other telecommunications carriers shall equal the rate for the telecommunications service, less avoided retail costs, as described in section 51.609. For purposes of this subpart, exchange access services, as defined in section 3 of the Act, shall not be considered to be telecommunications services that incumbent LECs must make available for resale at wholesale rates to requesting telecommunications carriers.

[65 FR 6915, Feb. 11, 2000]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.609   Determination of avoided retail costs.

(a) Except as provided in §51.611, the amount of avoided retail costs shall be determined on the basis of a cost study that complies with the requirements of this section.

(b) Avoided retail costs shall be those costs that reasonably can be avoided when an incumbent LEC provides a telecommunications service for resale at wholesale rates to a requesting carrier.

(c) For incumbent LECs that are designated as Class A companies under §32.11 of this chapter, except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, avoided retail costs shall:

(1) Include as direct costs, the costs recorded in USOA accounts 6611 (product management and sales), 6613 (product advertising), 6621 (call completion services), 6622, (number services), and 6623 (customer services) (§§32.6611, 32.6613, 32.6621, 32.6622, and 32.6623 of this chapter);

(2) Include, as indirect costs, a portion of the costs recorded in USOA accounts 6121-6124 (general support expenses), 6720 (corporate operations expenses), and uncollectible telecommunications revenue included in 5300 (uncollectible revenue) (Secs. 32.6121 through 32.6124, 32.6720 and 32.5300 of this chapter); and

(3) Not include plant-specific expenses and plant non-specific expenses, other than general support expenses (§§32.6112-6114, 32.6211-6565 of this chapter).

(d) Costs included in accounts 6611, 6613 and 6621-6623 described in paragraph (c) of this section (§§32.6611, 32.6613, and 32.6621-6623 of this chapter) may be included in wholesale rates only to the extent that the incumbent LEC proves to a state commission that specific costs in these accounts will be incurred and are not avoidable with respect to services sold at wholesale, or that specific costs in these accounts are not included in the retail prices of resold services. Costs included in accounts 6112-6114 and 6211-6565 described in paragraph (c) of this section (§§32.6112-32.6114, 32.6211-32.6565 of this chapter) may be treated as avoided retail costs, and excluded from wholesale rates, only to the extent that a party proves to a state commission that specific costs in these accounts can reasonably be avoided when an incumbent LEC provides a telecommunications service for resale to a requesting carrier.

(e) For incumbent LECs that are designated as Class B companies under §32.11 of this chapter and that record information in summary accounts instead of specific USOA accounts, the entire relevant summary accounts may be used in lieu of the specific USOA accounts listed in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 67 FR 5700, Feb. 6, 2002; 69 FR 53652, Sept. 2, 2004]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.611   Interim wholesale rates.

(a) If a state commission cannot, based on the information available to it, establish a wholesale rate using the methodology prescribed in §51.609, then the state commission may elect to establish an interim wholesale rate as described in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) The state commission may establish interim wholesale rates that are at least 17 percent, and no more than 25 percent, below the incumbent LEC's existing retail rates, and shall articulate the basis for selecting a particular discount rate. The same discount percentage rate shall be used to establish interim wholesale rates for each telecommunications service.

(c) A state commission that establishes interim wholesale rates shall, within a reasonable period of time thereafter, establish wholesale rates on the basis of an avoided retail cost study that complies with §51.609.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.613   Restrictions on resale.

(a) Notwithstanding §51.605(b), the following types of restrictions on resale may be imposed:

(1) Cross-class selling. A state commission may permit an incumbent LEC to prohibit a requesting telecommunications carrier that purchases at wholesale rates for resale, telecommunications services that the incumbent LEC makes available only to residential customers or to a limited class of residential customers, from offering such services to classes of customers that are not eligible to subscribe to such services from the incumbent LEC.

(2) Short term promotions. An incumbent LEC shall apply the wholesale discount to the ordinary rate for a retail service rather than a special promotional rate only if:

(i) Such promotions involve rates that will be in effect for no more than 90 days; and

(ii) The incumbent LEC does not use such promotional offerings to evade the wholesale rate obligation, for example by making available a sequential series of 90-day promotional rates.

(b) With respect to any restrictions on resale not permitted under paragraph (a), an incumbent LEC may impose a restriction only if it proves to the state commission that the restriction is reasonable and nondiscriminatory.

(c) Branding. Where operator, call completion, or directory assistance service is part of the service or service package an incumbent LEC offers for resale, failure by an incumbent LEC to comply with reseller unbranding or rebranding requests shall constitute a restriction on resale.

(1) An incumbent LEC may impose such a restriction only if it proves to the state commission that the restriction is reasonable and nondiscriminatory, such as by proving to a state commission that the incumbent LEC lacks the capability to comply with unbranding or rebranding requests.

(2) For purposes of this subpart, unbranding or rebranding shall mean that operator, call completion, or directory assistance services are offered in such a manner that an incumbent LEC's brand name or other identifying information is not identified to subscribers, or that such services are offered in such a manner that identifies to subscribers the requesting carrier's brand name or other identifying information.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.615   Withdrawal of services.

When an incumbent LEC makes a telecommunications service available only to a limited group of customers that have purchased such a service in the past, the incumbent LEC must also make such a service available at wholesale rates to requesting carriers to offer on a resale basis to the same limited group of customers that have purchased such a service in the past.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.617   Assessment of end user common line charge on resellers.

(a) Notwithstanding the provision in §69.104(a) of this chapter that the end user common line charge be assessed upon end users, an incumbent LEC shall assess this charge, and the charge for changing the designated primary interexchange carrier, upon requesting carriers that purchase telephone exchange service for resale. The specific end user common line charge to be assessed will depend upon the identity of the end user served by the requesting carrier.

(b) When an incumbent LEC provides telephone exchange service to a requesting carrier at wholesale rates for resale, the incumbent LEC shall continue to assess the interstate access charges provided in part 69 of this chapter, other than the end user common line charge, upon interexchange carriers that use the incumbent LEC's facilities to provide interstate or international telecommunications services to the interexchange carriers' subscribers.

return arrow Back to Top

Subpart H—Reciprocal Compensation for Transport and Termination of Telecommunications Traffic

Editorial Note: Nomenclature changes to subpart H of part 51 appear at 66 FR 26806, May 15, 2001.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.700   Purpose of this subpart.

The purpose of this subpart, as revised in 2011 by FCC 11-161 is to establish rules governing the transition of intercarrier compensation from a calling-party's-network pays system to a default bill-and-keep methodology. Following the transition, the exchange of telecommunications traffic between and among service providers will, by default, be governed by bill-and-keep arrangements.

Note to §51.700: See FCC 11-161, figure 9 (chart identifying steps in the transition).

[76 FR 73854, Nov. 29, 2011]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.701   Scope of transport and termination pricing rules.

(a) Effective December 29, 2011, compensation for telecommunications traffic exchanged between two telecommunications carriers that is interstate or intrastate exchange access, information access, or exchange services for such access, other than special access, is specified in subpart J of this part. The provisions of this subpart apply to Non-Access Reciprocal Compensation for transport and termination of Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic between LECs and other telecommunications carriers.

(b) Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic. For purposes of this subpart, Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic means:

(1) Telecommunications traffic exchanged between a LEC and a telecommunications carrier other than a CMRS provider, except for telecommunications traffic that is interstate or intrastate exchange access, information access, or exchange services for such access (see FCC 01-131, paragraphs 34, 36, 39, 42-43); or

(2) Telecommunications traffic exchanged between a LEC and a CMRS provider that, at the beginning of the call, originates and terminates within the same Major Trading Area, as defined in §24.202(a) of this chapter.

(3) This definition includes telecommunications traffic exchanged between a LEC and another telecommunications carrier in Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) format that originates and/or terminates in IP format and that otherwise meets the definitions in paragraphs (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section. Telecommunications traffic originates and/or terminates in IP format if it originates from and/or terminates to an end-user customer of a service that requires Internet protocol-compatible customer premises equipment.

(c) Transport. For purposes of this subpart, transport is the transmission and any necessary tandem switching of Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic subject to section 251(b)(5) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 251(b)(5), from the interconnection point between the two carriers to the terminating carrier's end office switch that directly serves the called party, or equivalent facility provided by a carrier other than an incumbent LEC.

(d) Termination. For purposes of this subpart, termination is the switching of Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic at the terminating carrier's end office switch, or equivalent facility, and delivery of such traffic to the called party's premises.

(e) Non-Access Reciprocal Compensation. For purposes of this subpart, a Non-Access Reciprocal Compensation arrangement between two carriers is either a bill-and-keep arrangement, per §51.713, or an arrangement in which each carrier receives intercarrier compensation for the transport and termination of Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 66 FR 26806, May 15, 2001; 76 FR 73855, Nov. 29, 2011]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.703   Non-Access reciprocal compensation obligation of LECs.

(a) Each LEC shall establish Non-Access Reciprocal Compensation arrangements for transport and termination of Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic with any requesting telecommunications carrier.

(b) A LEC may not assess charges on any other telecommunications carrier for Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic that originates on the LEC's network.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules, a LEC shall be entitled to assess and collect the full charges for the transport and termination of Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic, regardless of whether the local exchange carrier assessing the applicable charges itself delivers such traffic to the called party's premises or delivers the call to the called party's premises via contractual or other arrangements with an affiliated or unaffiliated provider of interconnected VoIP service, as defined in 47 U.S.C. 153(25), or a non-interconnected VoIP service, as defined in 47 U.S.C. 153(36), that does not itself seek to collect Non-Access Reciprocal Compensation charges for the transport and termination of that Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic. In no event may the total charges that a LEC may assess for such service to the called location exceed the applicable transport and termination rate. For purposes of this section, the facilities used by the LEC and affiliated or unaffiliated provider of interconnected VoIP service or a non-interconnected VoIP service for the transport and termination of such traffic shall be deemed an equivalent facility under §51.701.

[76 FR 73855, Nov. 29, 2011]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.705   LECs' rates for transport and termination.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules, by default, transport and termination for Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic exchanged between a local exchange carrier and a CMRS provider within the scope of §51.701(b)(2) shall be pursuant to a bill-and-keep arrangement, as provided in §51.713.

(b) Establishment of incumbent LECs' rates for transport and termination:

(1) This provision applies when, in the absence of a negotiated agreement between parties, state commissions establish Non-Access Reciprocal Compensation rates for the exchange of Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic between a local exchange carrier and a telecommunications carrier other than a CMRS provider where the incumbent local exchange carriers did not have any such rates as of December 29, 2011. Any rates established pursuant to this provision apply between December 29, 2011 and the date at which they are superseded by the transition specified in paragraphs (c)(2) through (c)(5) of this section.

(2) An incumbent LEC's rates for transport and termination of telecommunications traffic shall be established, at the election of the state commission, on the basis of:

(i) The forward-looking economic costs of such offerings, using a cost study pursuant to §§51.505 and 51.511; or

(ii) A bill-and-keep arrangement, as provided in §51.713.

(3) In cases where both carriers in a Non-Access Reciprocal Compensation arrangement are incumbent LECs, state commissions shall establish the rates of the smaller carrier on the basis of the larger carrier's forward-looking costs, pursuant to §51.711.

(c) Except as provided by paragraph (a) of this section, and notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules, default transitional Non-Access Reciprocal Compensation rates shall be determined as follows:

(1) Effective December 29, 2011, no telecommunications carrier may increase a Non-Access Reciprocal Compensation for transport or termination above the level in effect on December 29, 2011. All Bill-and-Keep Arrangements in effect on December 29, 2011 shall remain in place unless both parties mutually agree to an alternative arrangement.

(2) Beginning July 1, 2012, if any telecommunications carrier's Non-Access Reciprocal Compensation rates in effect on December 29, 2011 or established pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section subsequent to December 29, 2011, exceed that carrier's interstate access rates for functionally equivalent services in effect in the same state on December 29, 2011, that carrier shall reduce its reciprocal compensation rate by one half of the difference between the Non-Access Reciprocal Compensation rate and the corresponding functionally equivalent interstate access rate.

(3) Beginning July 1, 2013, no telecommunications carrier's Non-Access Reciprocal Compensation rates shall exceed that carrier's tariffed interstate access rate in effect in the same state on January 1 of that same year, for equivalent functionality.

(4) After July 1, 2018, all Price-Cap Local Exchange Carrier's Non-Access Reciprocal Compensation rates and all non-incumbent LECs that benchmark access rates to Price Cap Carrier shall be set pursuant to Bill-and-Keep arrangements for Non-Access Reciprocal Compensation as defined in this subpart.

(5) After July 1, 2020, all Rate-of-Return Local Exchange Carrier's Non-Access Reciprocal Compensation rates and all non-incumbent LECs that benchmark access rates to Rate-of-Return Carriers shall be set pursuant to Bill-and-Keep arrangements for Non-Access Reciprocal Compensation as defined in this subpart.

[76 FR 73855, Nov. 29, 2011]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.707   [Reserved]

§51.709   Rate structure for transport and termination.

(a) In state proceedings, where a rate for Non-Access Reciprocal Compensation does not exist as of December 29, 2011, a state commission shall establish initial rates for the transport and termination of Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic that are structured consistently with the manner that carriers incur those costs, and consistently with the principles in this section.

(b) The rate of a carrier providing transmission facilities dedicated to the transmission of non-access traffic between two carriers' networks shall recover only the costs of the proportion of that trunk capacity used by an interconnecting carrier to send non-access traffic that will terminate on the providing carrier's network. Such proportions may be measured during peak periods.

(c) For Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic exchanged between a rate-of-return regulated rural telephone company as defined in §51.5 and a CMRS provider, the rural rate-of-return incumbent local exchange carrier will be responsible for transport to the CMRS provider's interconnection point when it is located within the rural rate-of-return incumbent local exchange carrier's service area. When the CMRS provider's interconnection point is located outside the rural rate-of-return incumbent local exchange carrier's service area, the rural rate-of-return incumbent local exchange carrier's transport and provisioning obligation stops at its meet point and the CMRS provider is responsible for the remaining transport to its interconnection point. This paragraph (c) is a default provision and applicable in the absence of an existing agreement or arrangement otherwise.

[76 FR 73856, Nov. 29, 2011]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.711   Symmetrical reciprocal compensation.

(a) Rates for transport and termination of Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic shall be symmetrical, unless carriers mutually agree otherwise, except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section.

(1) For purposes of this subpart, symmetrical rates are rates that a carrier other than an incumbent LEC assesses upon an incumbent LEC for transport and termination of Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic equal to those that the incumbent LEC assesses upon the other carrier for the same services.

(2) In cases where both parties are incumbent LECs, or neither party is an incumbent LEC, a state commission shall establish the symmetrical rates for transport and termination based on the larger carrier's forward-looking costs.

(3) Where the switch of a carrier other than an incumbent LEC serves a geographic area comparable to the area served by the incumbent LEC's tandem switch, the appropriate rate for the carrier other than an incumbent LEC is the incumbent LEC's tandem interconnection rate.

(b) Except as provided in §51.705, a state commission may establish asymmetrical rates for transport and termination of Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic only if the carrier other than the incumbent LEC (or the smaller of two incumbent LECs) proves to the state commission on the basis of a cost study using the forward-looking economic cost based pricing methodology described in §§51.505 and 51.511, that the forward-looking costs for a network efficiently configured and operated by the carrier other than the incumbent LEC (or the smaller of two incumbent LECs), exceed the costs incurred by the incumbent LEC (or the larger incumbent LEC), and, consequently, that such that a higher rate is justified.

(c) Pending further proceedings before the Commission, a state commission shall establish the rates that licensees in the Paging and Radiotelephone Service (defined in part 22, subpart E of this chapter), Narrowband Personal Communications Services (defined in part 24, subpart D of this chapter), and Paging Operations in the Private Land Mobile Radio Services (defined in part 90, subpart P of this chapter) may assess upon other carriers for the transport and termination of telecommunications traffic based on the forward-looking costs that such licensees incur in providing such services, pursuant to §§51.505 and 51.511. Such licensees' rates shall not be set based on the default proxies described in §51.707.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996 , as amended at 76 FR 73856, Nov. 29, 2011]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.713   Bill-and-keep arrangements.

Bill-and-keep arrangements are those in which carriers exchanging telecommunications traffic do not charge each other for specific transport and/or termination functions or services.

[76 FR 73856, Nov. 29, 2011]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.715   Interim transport and termination pricing.

(a) Upon request from a telecommunications carrier without an existing interconnection arrangement with an incumbent LEC, the incumbent LEC shall provide transport and termination of Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic immediately under an interim arrangement, pending resolution of negotiation or arbitration regarding transport and termination rates and approval of such rates by a state commission under sections 251 and 252 of the Act.

(1) This requirement shall not apply when the requesting carrier has an existing interconnection arrangement that provides for the transport and termination of Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic by the incumbent LEC.

(2) A telecommunications carrier may take advantage of such an interim arrangement only after it has requested negotiation with the incumbent LEC pursuant to §51.301.

(b) Upon receipt of a request as described in paragraph (a) of this section, an incumbent LEC must, without unreasonable delay, establish an interim arrangement for transport and termination of Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic at symmetrical rates.

(1) In a state in which the state commission has established transport and termination rates based on forward-looking economic cost studies, an incumbent LEC shall use these state-determined rates as interim transport and termination rates.

(2) In a state in which the state commission has not established transport and termination rates based on forward-looking economic cost studies, an incumbent LEC shall set interim transport and termination rates either at the default ceilings specified in §51.705(c) or in accordance with a bill-and-keep methodology as defined in §51.713.

(3) In a state in which the state commission has neither established transport and termination rates based on forward-looking economic cost studies nor established transport and termination rates consistent with the default price ranges described in §51.707, an incumbent LEC shall set interim transport and termination rates at the default ceilings for end-office switching (0.4 cents per minute of use), tandem switching (0.15 cents per minute of use), and transport (as described in §51.707(b)(2)).

(c) An interim arrangement shall cease to be in effect when one of the following occurs with respect to rates for transport and termination of telecommunications traffic subject to the interim arrangement:

(1) A voluntary agreement has been negotiated and approved by a state commission;

(2) An agreement has been arbitrated and approved by a state commission; or

(3) The period for requesting arbitration has passed with no such request.

(d) If the rates for transport and termination of Non-Access Telecommunications Traffic in an interim arrangement differ from the rates established by a state commission pursuant to §51.705, the state commission shall require carriers to make adjustments to past compensation. Such adjustments to past compensation shall allow each carrier to receive the level of compensation it would have received had the rates in the interim arrangement equalled the rates later established by the state commission pursuant to §51.705.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 76 FR 73856, Nov. 29, 2011]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.717   [Reserved]

Subpart I—Procedures for Implementation of Section 252 of the Act

§51.801   Commission action upon a state commission's failure to act to carry out its responsibility under section 252 of the Act.

(a) If a state commission fails to act to carry out its responsibility under section 252 of the Act in any proceeding or other matter under section 252 of the Act, the Commission shall issue an order preempting the state commission's jurisdiction of that proceeding or matter within 90 days after being notified (or taking notice) of such failure, and shall assume the responsibility of the state commission under section 252 of the Act with respect to the proceeding or matter and shall act for the state commission.

(b) For purposes of this part, a state commission fails to act if the state commission fails to respond, within a reasonable time, to a request for mediation, as provided for in section 252(a)(2) of the Act, or for a request for arbitration, as provided for in section 252(b) of the Act, or fails to complete an arbitration within the time limits established in section 252(b)(4)(C) of the Act.

(c) A state shall not be deemed to have failed to act for purposes of section 252(e)(5) of the Act if an agreement is deemed approved under section 252(e)(4) of the Act.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.803   Procedures for Commission notification of a state commission's failure to act.

(a) Any party seeking preemption of a state commission's jurisdiction, based on the state commission's failure to act, shall notify the Commission in accordance with following procedures:

(1) Such party shall file with the Secretary of the Commission a petition, supported by an affidavit, that states with specificity the basis for the petition and any information that supports the claim that the state has failed to act, including, but not limited to, the applicable provisions of the Act and the factual circumstances supporting a finding that the state commission has failed to act;

(2) Such party shall ensure that the state commission and the other parties to the proceeding or matter for which preemption is sought are served with the petition required in paragraph (a)(1) of this section on the same date that the petitioning party serves the petition on the Commission; and

(3) Within fifteen days from the date of service of the petition required in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the applicable state commission and parties to the proceeding may file with the Commission a response to the petition.

(b) The party seeking preemption must prove that the state has failed to act to carry out its responsibilities under section 252 of the Act.

(c) The Commission, pursuant to section 252(e)(5) of the Act, may take notice upon its own motion that a state commission has failed to act. In such a case, the Commission shall issue a public notice that the Commission has taken notice of a state commission's failure to act. The applicable state commission and the parties to a proceeding or matter in which the Commission has taken notice of the state commission's failure to act may file, within fifteen days of the issuance of the public notice, comments on whether the Commission is required to assume the responsibility of the state commission under section 252 of the Act with respect to the proceeding or matter.

(d) The Commission shall issue an order determining whether it is required to preempt the state commission's jurisdiction of a proceeding or matter within 90 days after being notified under paragraph (a) of this section or taking notice under paragraph (c) of this section of a state commission's failure to carry out its responsibilities under section 252 of the Act.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.805   The Commission's authority over proceedings and matters.

(a) If the Commission assumes responsibility for a proceeding or matter pursuant to section 252(e)(5) of the Act, the Commission shall retain jurisdiction over such proceeding or matter. At a minimum, the Commission shall approve or reject any interconnection agreement adopted by negotiation, mediation or arbitration for which the Commission, pursuant to section 252(e)(5) of the Act, has assumed the state's commission's responsibilities.

(b) Agreements reached pursuant to mediation or arbitration by the Commission pursuant to section 252(e)(5) of the Act are not required to be submitted to the state commission for approval or rejection.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.807   Arbitration and mediation of agreements by the Commission pursuant to section 252(e)(5) of the Act.

(a) The rules established in this section shall apply only to instances in which the Commission assumes jurisdiction under section 252(e)(5) of the Act.

(b) When the Commission assumes responsibility for a proceeding or matter pursuant to section 252(e)(5) of the Act, it shall not be bound by state laws and standards that would have applied to the state commission in such proceeding or matter.

(c) In resolving, by arbitration under section 252(b) of the Act, any open issues and in imposing conditions upon the parties to the agreement, the Commission shall:

(1) Ensure that such resolution and conditions meet the requirements of section 251 of the Act, including the rules prescribed by the Commission pursuant to that section;

(2) Establish any rates for interconnection, services, or network elements according to section 252(d) of the Act, including the rules prescribed by the Commission pursuant to that section; and

(3) Provide a schedule for implementation of the terms and conditions by the parties to the agreement.

(d) An arbitrator, acting pursuant to the Commission's authority under section 252(e)(5) of the Act, shall use final offer arbitration, except as otherwise provided in this section:

(1) At the discretion of the arbitrator, final offer arbitration may take the form of either entire package final offer arbitration or issue-by-issue final offer arbitration.

(2) Negotiations among the parties may continue, with or without the assistance of the arbitrator, after final arbitration offers are submitted. Parties may submit subsequent final offers following such negotiations.

(3) To provide an opportunity for final post-offer negotiations, the arbitrator will not issue a decision for at least fifteen days after submission to the arbitrator of the final offers by the parties.

(e) Final offers submitted by the parties to the arbitrator shall be consistent with section 251 of the Act, including the rules prescribed by the Commission pursuant to that section.

(f) Each final offer shall:

(1) Meet the requirements of section 251, including the rules prescribed by the Commission pursuant to that section;

(2) Establish rates for interconnection, services, or access to unbundled network elements according to section 252(d) of the Act, including the rules prescribed by the Commission pursuant to that section; and

(3) Provide a schedule for implementation of the terms and conditions by the parties to the agreement. If a final offer submitted by one or more parties fails to comply with the requirements of this section or if the arbitrator determines in unique circumstances that another result would better implement the Communications Act, the arbitrator has discretion to take steps designed to result in an arbitrated agreement that satisfies the requirements of section 252(c) of the Act, including requiring parties to submit new final offers within a time frame specified by the arbitrator, or adopting a result not submitted by any party that is consistent with the requirements of section 252(c) of the Act, and the rules prescribed by the Commission pursuant to that section.

(g) Participation in the arbitration proceeding will be limited to the requesting telecommunications carrier and the incumbent LEC, except that the Commission will consider requests by third parties to file written pleadings.

(h) Absent mutual consent of the parties to change any terms and conditions adopted by the arbitrator, the decision of the arbitrator shall be binding on the parties.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 66 FR 8520, Feb. 1, 2001]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.809   Availability of agreements to other telecommunications carriers under section 252(i) of the Act.

(a) An incumbent LEC shall make available without unreasonable delay to any requesting telecommunications carrier any agreement in its entirety to which the incumbent LEC is a party that is approved by a state commission pursuant to section 252 of the Act, upon the same rates, terms, and conditions as those provided in the agreement. An incumbent LEC may not limit the availability of any agreement only to those requesting carriers serving a comparable class of subscribers or providing the same service (i.e., local, access, or interexchange) as the original party to the agreement.

(b) The obligations of paragraph (a) of this section shall not apply where the incumbent LEC proves to the state commission that:

(1) The costs of providing a particular agreement to the requesting telecommunications carrier are greater than the costs of providing it to the telecommunications carrier that originally negotiated the agreement, or

(2) The provision of a particular agreement to the requesting carrier is not technically feasible.

(c) Individual agreements shall remain available for use by telecommunications carriers pursuant to this section for a reasonable period of time after the approved agreement is available for public inspection under section 252(h) of the Act.

[69 FR 43771, July 22, 2004]

return arrow Back to Top

Subpart J—Transitional Access Service Pricing

Source: 76 FR 73856, Nov. 29, 2011, unless otherwise noted.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.901   Purpose and scope of transitional access service pricing rules.

(a) The purpose of this section is to establish rules governing the transition of intercarrier compensation from a calling-party's-network pays system to a default bill-and-keep methodology. Following the transition, the exchange of traffic between and among service providers will, by default, be governed by bill-and-keep arrangements.

(b) Effective December 29, 2011, the provisions of this subpart apply to reciprocal compensation for telecommunications traffic exchanged between telecommunications providers that is interstate or intrastate exchange access, information access, or exchange services for such access, other than special access.

Note to §51.901: See FCC 11-161, figure 9 (chart identifying steps in the transition).

return arrow Back to Top

§51.903   Definitions.

Link to an amendment published at 84 FR 57650, Oct. 28, 2019.

For the purposes of this subpart:

(a) Competitive Local Exchange Carrier. A Competitive Local Exchange Carrier is any local exchange carrier, as defined in §51.5, that is not an incumbent local exchange carrier .

(b) Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate means terminating End Office Access Service revenue, calculated using demand for a given time period, divided by end office switching minutes for the same time period.

(c) Dedicated Transport Access Service means originating and terminating transport on circuits dedicated to the use of a single carrier or other customer provided by an incumbent local exchange carrier or any functional equivalent of the incumbent local exchange carrier access service provided by a non-incumbent local exchange carrier. Dedicated Transport Access Service rate elements for an incumbent local exchange carrier include the entrance facility rate elements specified in §69.110 of this chapter, the dedicated transport rate elements specified in §69.111 of this chapter, the direct-trunked transport rate elements specified in §69.112 of this chapter, and the intrastate rate elements for functionally equivalent access services. Dedicated Transport Access Service rate elements for a non-incumbent local exchange carrier include any functionally equivalent access services.

(d) End Office Access Service means:

(1) The switching of access traffic at the carrier's end office switch and the delivery to or from of such traffic to the called party's premises;

(2) The routing of interexchange telecommunications traffic to or from the called party's premises, either directly or via contractual or other arrangements with an affiliated or unaffiliated entity, regardless of the specific functions provided or facilities used; or

(3) Any functional equivalent of the incumbent local exchange carrier access service provided by a non-incumbent local exchange carrier. End Office Access Service rate elements for an incumbent local exchange carrier include the local switching rate elements specified in §69.106 of this chapter, the carrier common line rate elements specified in §69.154 of this chapter, and the intrastate rate elements for functionally equivalent access services. End Office Access Service rate elements for an incumbent local exchange carrier also include any rate elements assessed on local switching access minutes, including the information surcharge and residual rate elements. End office Access Service rate elements for a non-incumbent local exchange carrier include any functionally equivalent access service.

Note to paragraph (d): For incumbent local exchange carriers, residual rate elements may include, for example, state Transport Interconnection Charges, Residual Interconnection Charges, and PICCs. For non-incumbent local exchange carriers, residual rate elements may include any functionally equivalent access service.

(e) Fiscal Year 2011 means October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011.

(f) Price Cap Carrier has the same meaning as that term is defined in §61.3(aa) of this chapter.

(g) Rate-of-Return Carrier is any incumbent local exchange carrier not subject to price cap regulation as that term is defined in §61.3(bb) of this chapter, but only with respect to the territory in which it operates as an incumbent local exchange carrier.

(h) Access Reciprocal Compensation means telecommunications traffic exchanged between telecommunications service providers that is interstate or intrastate exchange access, information access, or exchange services for such access, other than special access.

(i) Tandem-Switched Transport Access Service means:

(1) Tandem switching and common transport between the tandem switch and end office; or

(2) Any functional equivalent of the incumbent local exchange carrier access service provided by a non-incumbent local exchange carrier via other facilities. Tandem-Switched Transport rate elements for an incumbent local exchange carrier include the rate elements specified in §69.111 of this chapter, except for the dedicated transport rate elements specified in that section, and intrastate rate elements for functionally equivalent service. Tandem Switched Transport Access Service rate elements for a non-incumbent local exchange carrier include any functionally equivalent access service.

(j) Transitional Intrastate Access Service means terminating End Office Access Service that was subject to intrastate access rates as of December 31, 2011; terminating Tandem-Switched Transport Access Service that was subject to intrastate access rates as of December 31, 2011; and originating and terminating Dedicated Transport Access Service that was subject to intrastate access rates as of December 31, 2011.

[76 FR 73856, Nov. 29, 2011, as amended at 83 FR 67121, Dec. 28, 2018]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.905   Implementation.

(a) The rates set forth in this section are default rates. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules, telecommunications carriers may agree to rates different from the default rates.

(b) LECs who are otherwise required to file tariffs are required to tariff rates no higher than the default transitional rates specified by this subpart.

(1) With respect to interstate switched access services governed by this subpart, LECs shall tariff rates for those services in their federal tariffs. Except as expressly superseded below, LECs shall follow the procedures specified in part 61 of this chapter when filing such tariffs.

(2) With respect to Transitional Intrastate Access Services governed by this subpart, LECs shall follow the procedures specified by relevant state law when filing such tariffs, price lists or other instrument (referred to collectively as “tariffs”).

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a carrier to file or maintain a tariff or to amend an existing tariff if it is not otherwise required to do so under applicable law.

return arrow Back to Top

§51.907   Transition of price cap carrier access charges.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules, on December 29, 2011, a Price Cap Carrier shall cap the rates for all interstate and intrastate rate elements for services contained in the definitions of Interstate End Office Access Services, Tandem Switched Transport Access Services, and Dedicated Transport Access Services. In addition, a Price Cap Carrier shall also cap the rates for any interstate and intrastate rate elements in the traffic sensitive basket” and the “trunking basket” as described in 47 CFR 61.42(d)(2) and (3) to the extent that such rate elements are not contained in the definitions of Interstate End Office Access Services, Tandem Switched Transport Access Services, and Dedicated Transport Access Services. Carriers will remove these services from price cap regulation in their July 1, 2012 annual tariff filing.

(b) Step 1. Beginning July 1, 2012, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules:

(1) Each Price Cap Carrier shall file tariffs, in accordance with §51.905(b)(2), with the appropriate state regulatory authority, that set forth the rates applicable to Transitional Intrastate Access Service in each state in which it provides Transitional Intrastate Access Service.

(2) Each Price Cap Carrier shall establish the rates for Transitional Intrastate Access Service using the following methodology:

(i) Calculate total revenue from Transitional Intrastate Access Service at the carrier's interstate access rates in effect on December 29, 2011, using Fiscal Year 2011 intrastate switched access demand for each rate element.

(ii) Calculate total revenue from Transitional Intrastate Access Service at the carrier's intrastate access rates in effect on December 29, 2011, using Fiscal Year 2011 intrastate switched access demand for each rate element.

(iii) Calculate the Step 1 Access Revenue Reduction. The Step 1 Access Revenue Reduction is equal to one-half of the difference between the amount calculated in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section and the amount calculated in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section.

(iv) A Price Cap Carrier may elect to establish rates for Transitional Intrastate Access Service using its intrastate access rate structure. Carriers using this option shall establish rates for Transitional Intrastate Access Service such that Transitional Intrastate Access Service revenue at the proposed rates is no greater than Transitional Intrastate Access Service revenue at the intrastate rates in effect as of December 29, 2011 less the Step 1 Access Revenue Reduction, using Fiscal Year 2011 demand. Carriers electing to establish rates for Transitional Intrastate Access Service in this manner shall notify the appropriate state regulatory authority of their election in the filing required by §51.907(b)(1).

(v) A Price Cap Carrier may elect to apply its interstate access rate structure and interstate rates to Transitional Intrastate Access Service. In addition to applicable interstate access rates, the carrier may, between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2013, assess a transitional per-minute charge on Transitional Intrastate Access Service end office switching minutes (previously billed as intrastate access). The transitional per-minute charge shall be no greater than the Step 1 Access Revenue Reduction divided by Fiscal Year 2011 Transitional Intrastate Access Service end office switching minutes. Carriers electing to establish rates for Transitional Intrastate Access Service in this manner shall notify the appropriate state regulatory authority of their election in the filing required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(vi) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, nothing in this section obligates or allows a Price Cap Carrier that has intrastate rates lower than its functionally equivalent interstate rates to make any intrastate tariff filing or intrastate tariff revisions to increase such rates.

(3) If a Price Cap Carrier must make an intrastate switched access rate reduction pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section, and that Price Cap Carrier has an intrastate rate for a rate element that is below the comparable interstate rate for that element, the Price Cap Carrier shall:

(i) Increase the rate for any intrastate rate element that is below the comparable interstate rate for that element to the interstate rate no later than July 1, 2013;

(ii) Include any increases made pursuant to paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section in the calculation of its eligible recovery for 2012.

(c) Step 2. Beginning July 1, 2013, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules:

(1) Transitional Intrastate Access Service rates shall be no higher than the Price Cap Carrier's interstate access rates. Once the Price Cap Carrier's Transitional Intrastate Access Service rates are equal to its functionally equivalent interstate access rates, they shall be subject to the same rate structure and all subsequent rate and rate structure modifications. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(4) of this section, nothing in this section obligates or allows a Price Cap Carrier that has intrastate rates lower than its functionally equivalent interstate rates to make any intrastate tariff filing or intrastate tariff revisions to increase such rates.

(2) In cases where a Price Cap Carrier does not have intrastate rates that permit it to determine composite intrastate End Office Access Service rates, the carrier shall establish End Office Access Service rates such that the ratio between its composite intrastate End Office Access Service revenues and its total intrastate switched access revenues may not exceed the ratio between its composite interstate End Office Access Service revenues and its total interstate switched access revenues.

(3) [Reserved]

(4) If a Price Cap Carrier made an intrastate switched access rate reduction in 2012 pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section, and that Price Cap Carrier has an intrastate rate for a rate element that is below the comparable interstate rate for that element, the Price Cap Carrier shall:

(i) Increase the rate for any intrastate rate element that is below the comparable interstate rate for that element to the interstate rate on July 1, 2013; and

(ii) Include any increases made pursuant to paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section in the calculation of its eligible recovery for 2013.

(d) Step 3. Beginning July 1, 2014, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules:

(1) A Price Cap Carrier shall establish separate originating and terminating rate elements for all per-minute components within interstate and intrastate End Office Access Service. For fixed charges, the Price Cap Carrier shall divide the rate between originating and terminating rate elements based on relative originating and terminating end office switching minutes. If sufficient originating and terminating end office switching minute data is not available, the carrier shall divide such charges equally between originating and terminating elements.

(2) Each Price Cap Carrier shall establish rates for interstate or intrastate terminating End Office Access Service using the following methodology:

(i) Each Price Cap Carrier shall calculate the 2011 Baseline Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate. The 2011 Baseline Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate means the Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate calculated using Fiscal Year 2011 interstate demand multiplied by the interstate End Office Access Service rates at the levels in effect on December 29, 2011, and then dividing the result by 2011 Fiscal Year interstate local switching demand.

(ii) Each Price Cap Carrier shall calculate its 2014 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate. The 2014 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate means $0.0007 per minute plus two-thirds of any difference between the 2011 Baseline Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate and $0.0007 per minute.

(iii) Beginning July 1, 2014, no Price Cap Carrier's interstate Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate shall exceed its 2014 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate. A price cap carrier shall determine compliance by calculating interstate Composite Terminating End Office Access Rates using the relevant Fiscal Year 2011 interstate demand multiplied by the respective interstate rates as of July 1, 2014, and then dividing the result by the relevant 2011 Fiscal Year interstate terminating local switching demand. A price cap carrier's intrastate terminating end office access rates may not exceed the comparable interstate terminating end office access rates. In the alternative, any Price Cap Carrier may elect to implement a single per minute rate element for both interstate and intrastate terminating End Office Access Service no greater than the 2014 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate if its intrastate terminating end office access rates would be at rate parity with its interstate terminating end office access rates.

(e) Step 4. Beginning July 1, 2015, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules:

(1) Each Price Cap Carrier shall establish interstate or intrastate rates for terminating End Office Access Service using the following methodology:

(i) Each Price Cap Carrier shall calculate its 2015 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate. The 2015 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate means $0.0007 per minute plus one-third of any difference between the 2011 Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate and $0.0007 per minute.

(ii) Beginning July 1, 2015, no Price Cap Carrier's interstate Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate shall exceed its 2015 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate. A price cap carrier shall determine compliance by calculating interstate Composite Terminating End Office Access Rates using the relevant Fiscal Year 2011 interstate demand multiplied by the respective interstate rates as of July 1, 2015, and then dividing the result by the relevant 2011 Fiscal Year interstate terminating local switching demand. A price cap carrier's intrastate terminating end office access rates may not exceed the comparable interstate terminating end office access rates. In the alternative, any Price Cap Carrier may elect to implement a single per minute rate element for both interstate and intrastate terminating End Office Access Service no greater than the 2015 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate if its intrastate terminating end office access rates would be at rate parity with its interstate terminating end office access rates.

(2) Nothing in this section obligates or allows a Price Cap Carrier that has intrastate rates lower than its functionally equivalent interstate rates to make any intrastate tariff filing or intrastate tariff revisions raising such rates.

(f) Step 5. Beginning July 1, 2016, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules, each Price Cap Carrier shall establish interstate terminating End Office Access Service rates such that its Composite Terminating End Office Access Service rate does not exceed $0.0007 per minute. A price cap carrier shall determine compliance by calculating interstate Composite Terminating End Office Access Rates using the relevant Fiscal Year 2011 interstate demand multiplied by the respective interstate rates as of July 1, 2016, and then dividing the result by the relevant 2011 Fiscal Year interstate terminating local switching demand. A price cap carrier's intrastate terminating end office access rates may not exceed the comparable interstate terminating end office access rates. In the alternative, any Price Cap Carrier may elect to implement a single per-minute rate element for both interstate and intrastate Terminating End Office Access Service no greater than the 2016 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate if its intrastate terminating end office access rates would be at rate parity with its interstate terminating end office access rates. Nothing in this section obligates or allows a Price Cap Carrier that has intrastate rates lower than its functionally equivalent interstate rates to make any intrastate tariff filing or intrastate tariff revisions raising such rates.

(g) Step 6. Beginning July 1, 2017, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules:

(1) Each Price Cap Carrier shall, in accordance with a bill-and-keep methodology, refile its interstate access tariffs and any state tariffs, in accordance with §51.905(b)(2), removing any intercarrier charges for terminating End Office Access Service.

(2) Each Price Cap Carrier shall establish, for interstate and intrastate terminating traffic traversing a tandem switch that the terminating carrier or its affiliates owns, Tandem-Switched Transport Access Service rates no greater than $0.0007 per minute.

(3) Nothing in this section obligates or allows a Price Cap Carrier that has intrastate rates lower than its functionally equivalent interstate rates to make any intrastate tariff filing or intrastate tariff revisions raising such rates.

(h) Step 7. Beginning July 1, 2018, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules, each Price Cap carrier shall, in accordance with bill-and-keep, as defined in §51.713, revise and refile its interstate switched access tariffs and any state tariffs to remove any intercarrier charges applicable to terminating tandem-switched access service traversing a tandem switch that the terminating carrier or its affiliate owns.

[76 FR 73856, Nov. 29, 2011, as amended at 77 FR 48452, Aug. 14, 2012; 79 FR 28844, May 20, 2014]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.909   Transition of rate-of-return carrier access charges.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules, on December 29, 2011, a Rate-of-Return Carrier shall:

(1) Cap the rates for all rate elements for services contained in the definitions of End Office Access Service, Tandem Switched Transport Access Service, and Dedicated Transport Access Service, as well as all other interstate switched access rate elements, in its interstate switched access tariffs at the rate that was in effect on the December 29, 2011; and

(2) Cap, in accordance with §51.505(b)(2), the rates for rate all elements in its intrastate switched access tariffs associated with the provision of terminating End Office Access Service and terminating Tandem-Switched Transport Access Service at the rates that were in effect on the December 29, 2011,

(i) Using the terminating rates if specifically identified; or

(ii) Using the rate for the applicable rate element if the tariff does not distinguish between originating and terminating.

(3) Except as provided in paragraphs (a)(6) and (b)(4) of this section, nothing in this section obligates or allows a Rate-of-Return Carrier that has intrastate rates lower than its functionally equivalent interstate rates to make any intrastate tariff filing or intrastate tariff revisions raising such rates.

(4) Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, if a Rate-of-Return Carrier enters or exits the National Exchange Carrier Association (Association), as defined in §69.2(d) of this chapter, traffic-sensitive tariff pursuant to the provisions of §69.3(e)(6) of this chapter, the Association shall adjust its switched access rate caps referenced in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(i) For each entering Rate-of-Return Carrier, the Association shall:

(A) Determine each entering Rate-of-Return Carrier's interstate switched access revenues for the preceding calendar year;

(B) Determine the revenues that would have been realized by the entering Rate-of-Return Carrier in the preceding calendar year if it had used the Association's switched access rates (employing the rates for the appropriate bands) as of December 31 of the preceding year and the entering Rate-of-Return Carrier's switched access demand used to determine switched access revenues under paragraph (a)(4)(i)(A) of this section; and

(C) Subtract the sum of the revenues determined pursuant to paragraph (a)(4)(i)(B) of this section from the sum of the revenues determined pursuant to paragraph (a)(4)(i)(A) of this section.

(ii) The Association shall determine the amount by which each exiting Rate-of-Return Carrier is a net contributor or net recipient to or from the switched access segment of the Association pool as follows:

(A) The Association shall calculate the difference between each exiting Rate-of-Return Carrier's 2011-2012 tariff year projected interstate switched access revenues excluding Local Switching Support and the Rate-of-Return Carrier's projected switched access pool settlements excluding Local Switching Support for the same period with a net contribution amount being treated as a positive amount and a net recipient amount being treated as a negative amount. The Association shall divide the calculated difference by the Rate-of-Return Carrier's 2011-2012 tariff year projected interstate switched access revenues excluding Local Switching Support to produce a percent net contribution or net receipt factor.

(B) The Association shall multiply the factor calculated in paragraph (a)(4)(ii)(A) of this section by the Rate-of-Return Carrier's switched access revenues for the preceding calendar year to yield the amount of the Rate-of-Return Carrier's net contribution or net receipts for the calendar year.

(iii) To determine the Association's adjusted switched access rate caps, the Association shall:

(A) Add the amounts calculated under paragraphs (a)(4)(i) and (a)(4)(ii) of this section;

(B) Divide the amount determined in paragraph (a)(4)(iii)(A) of this section by the preceding year's switched access revenues of the Rate-of-Return Carriers that will participate in the Association traffic-sensitive tariff for the next annual tariff period;

(C) The Association shall proportionately adjust its June 30 switched access rate caps by the percentage amount determined in paragraph (a)(4)(iii)(B) of this section.

(iv) The interstate switched access rate caps determined pursuant to paragraph (a)(4)(iii)(C) of this section shall be the new capped interstate switched access rates for purposes of §51.909(a). The Association shall provide support in its annual access tariff filing to justify the revised interstate switched access rate caps, the Access Recovery Charges that will be assessed, and the amount of Connect America Fund ICC support each carrier will be eligible to receive.

(5) A Rate-of-Return Carrier exiting the Association traffic-sensitive tariff pursuant to §69.3(e)(6) of this chapter must establish new switched access rate caps as follows:

(i) The Rate-of-Return Carrier shall multiply the factor determined in paragraph (a)(4)(ii)(A) of this section by negative one and then proportionately adjust the Association's capped switched access rates as of the date preceding the effective date of the exiting Rate-of-Return Carrier's next annual tariff filing by this percentage. A Rate-of-Return Carrier that was a net contributor to the pool will have rate caps that are lower than the Association's switched access rate caps, while a net recipient will have switched access rate caps that are higher than the Association's switched access rate caps;

(ii) The interstate switched access rate caps determined pursuant to paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section shall be the new capped interstate switched access rates of the exiting Rate-of-Return Carrier for purposes of §51.909(a). An exiting Rate-of-Return Carrier shall provide support in its annual access tariff filing to justify the revised interstate switched access rate caps, the Access Recovery Charges that will be assessed, and the amount of Connect America Fund ICC support the carrier will be eligible to receive.

(6) If the Association revises its interstate switched access rate caps pursuant to paragraph (a)(4) of this section, each Rate-of-Return Carrier participating in the upcoming annual Association traffic-sensitive tariff shall:

(i) Revise any of its intrastate switched access rates that would have reached parity with its interstate switched access rates in 2013 to parity with the revised interstate switched access rate levels;

(ii) The Association shall provide Rate-of-Return Carriers that are participating in the Association traffic-sensitive pool with notice of any revisions the Association proposes under paragraph (a)(4) of this section no later than May 1.

(b) Step 1. Beginning July 1, 2012, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules:

(1) Each Rate-of-Return Carrier shall file intrastate access tariff provisions, in accordance with §51.505(b)(2), that set forth the rates applicable to Transitional Intrastate Access Service in each state in which it provides Transitional Intrastate Access Service.

(2) Each Rate-of-Return Carrier shall establish the rates for Transitional Intrastate Access Service using the following methodology:

(i) Calculate total revenue from Transitional Intrastate Access Service at the carrier's interstate access rates in effect on December 29, 2011, using Fiscal Year 2011 intrastate switched access demand for each rate element.

(ii) Calculate total revenue from Transitional Intrastate Access Service at the carrier's intrastate access rates in effect on December 29, 2011, using Fiscal Year 2011 intrastate switched access demand for each rate element.

(iii) Calculate the Step 1 Access Revenue Reduction. The Step 1 Access Revenue Reduction is equal to one-half of the difference between the amount calculated in (b)(2)(i) of this section and the amount calculated in (b)(2)(ii) of this section.

(iv) A Rate-of-Return Carrier may elect to establish rates for Transitional Intrastate Access Service using its intrastate access rate structure. Carriers using this option shall establish rates for Transitional Intrastate Access Service such that Transitional Intrastate Access Service revenue at the proposed rates is no greater than Transitional Intrastate Access Service revenue at the intrastate rates in effect as of December 29, 2011 less the Step 1 Access Revenue Reduction, using Fiscal Year 2011 intrastate switched access demand. Carriers electing to establish rates for Transitional Intrastate Access Service in this manner shall notify the appropriate state regulatory authority of their election in the filing required by §51.907(b)(1).

(v) A Rate-of-Return Carrier may elect to apply its interstate access rate structure and interstate rates to Transitional Intrastate Access Service. In addition to applicable interstate access rates, the carrier may, between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2013, assess a transitional per-minute charge on Transitional Intrastate Access Service end office switching minutes (previously billed as intrastate access). The transitional per-minute charge shall be no greater than the Step 1 Access Revenue Reduction divided by Fiscal Year 2011 Transitional Intrastate Access Service end office switching minutes. Carriers electing to establish rates for Transitional Intrastate Access Service in this manner shall notify the appropriate state regulatory authority of their election in the filing required by §51.907(b)(1).

(3) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, nothing in this section obligates or allows a Rate-of-Return carrier that has intrastate rates lower than its functionally equivalent interstate rates to make any intrastate tariff filing or intrastate tariff revisions raising such rates.

(4) If a Rate-of-Return Carrier must make an intrastate switched access rate reduction pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section, and that Rate-of-Return Carrier has an intrastate rate for a rate element that is below the comparable interstate rate for that element, the Rate-of-Return Carrier shall:

(i) Increase the rate for any intrastate rate element that is below the comparable interstate rate for that element to the interstate rate no later than July 1, 2013;

(ii) Include any increases made pursuant to paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section in the calculation of its eligible recovery for 2012.

(c) Step 2. Beginning July 1, 2013, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules:

(1) Transitional Intrastate Access Service rates shall be no higher than the Rate-of-Return Carrier's interstate Terminating End Office Access Service, Terminating Tandem-Switched Transport Access Service, and Originating and Terminating Dedicated Transport Access Service rates and subject to the same rate structure and all subsequent rate and rate structure modifications. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, nothing in this section obligates or allows a Rate-of-Return Carrier that has intrastate rates lower than its functionally equivalent interstate rates to make any intrastate tariff filing or intrastate tariff revisions to increase such rates.

(2) If a Rate-of-Return Carrier made an intrastate switched access rate reduction in 2012 pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section, and that Rate-of-Return Carrier has an intrastate rate for a rate element that is below the comparable interstate rate for that element, the Rate-of-Return Carrier shall:

(i) Increase any intrastate rate element that is below the comparable interstate rate to the interstate rate by July 1, 2013; and

(ii) Include any increases made pursuant to paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section in the calculation of its eligible recovery for 2013.

(d) Step 3. Beginning July 1, 2014, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules:

(1) Notwithstanding the rate structure rules set forth in §69.106 of this chapter or anything else in the Commission's rules, a Rate-of-Return Carrier shall establish separate originating and terminating interstate and intrastate rate elements for all components within interstate End Office Access Service. For fixed charges, the Rate-of-Return Carrier shall divide the amount based on relative originating and terminating end office switching minutes. If sufficient originating and terminating end office switching minute data is not available, the carrier shall divide such charges equally between originating and terminating elements.

(2) Nothing in this Step shall affect Tandem-Switched Transport Access Service or Dedicated Transport Access Service.

(3) Each Rate-of-Return Carrier shall establish rates for interstate and intrastate terminating End Office Access Service using the following methodology:

(i) Each Rate-of-Return Carrier shall calculate the 2011 Baseline Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate. The 2011 Baseline Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate means the Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate calculated using Fiscal Year 2011 interstate demand and the interstate End Office Access Service rates at the levels in effect on December 29, 2011.

(ii) Each Rate-of-Return Carrier shall calculate its 2014 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate. The 2014 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate means $0.005 per minute plus two-thirds of any difference between the 2011 Baseline Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate and $0.005 per minute.

(iii) Beginning July 1, 2014, no Rate-of-Return Carrier's interstate Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate shall exceed its 2014 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate. A rate-of-return carrier shall determine compliance by calculating interstate Composite Terminating End Office Access Rates using the relevant projected interstate demand for the tariff period multiplied by the respective interstate rates as of July 1, 2014, and then dividing by the projected interstate terminating end office local switching demand for the tariff period. A rate-of-return carrier's intrastate terminating end office access rates may not exceed the comparable interstate terminating end office access rates. In the alternative, any Rate-of-Return Carrier may elect to implement a single per minute rate element for both interstate and intrastate terminating End Office Access Service no greater than the 2014 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate if its intrastate terminating end office access rates would be at rate parity with its interstate terminating end office access rates.

(4) Nothing in this section obligates or allows a Rate-of-Return Carrier that has intrastate rates lower than its functionally equivalent interstate rates to make any intrastate tariff filing or intrastate tariff revisions raising such rates.

(e) Step 4. Beginning July 1, 2015, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules:

(1) Each Rate-of-Return Carrier shall establish rates for interstate and intrastate terminating End Office Access Service using the following methodology:

(i) Each Rate-of-Return Carrier shall calculate its 2015 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate. The 2015 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate means $0.005 per minute plus one-third of any difference between the 2011 Baseline Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate and $0.005 per minute.

(ii) Beginning July 1, 2015, no Rate-of-Return Carrier's interstate Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate shall exceed its 2015 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate. A rate-of-return carrier shall determine compliance by calculating interstate Composite Terminating End Office Access Rates using the relevant projected interstate demand for the tariff period multiplied by the respective interstate rates as of July 1, 2015, and then dividing by the projected interstate terminating end office local switching demand for the tariff period. A rate-of-return carrier's intrastate terminating end office access rates may not exceed the comparable interstate terminating end office access rates. In the alternative, any Rate-of-Return Carrier may elect to implement a single per minute rate element for both interstate and intrastate terminating End Office Access Service no greater than the 2015 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate if its intrastate terminating end office access rates would be at rate parity with its interstate terminating end office access rates. Nothing in this section obligates or allows a Rate-of-Return Carrier that has intrastate rates lower than its functionally equivalent interstate rates to make any intrastate tariff filing or intrastate tariff revisions raising such rates.

(2) [Reserved]

(f) Step 5. Beginning July 1, 2016, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules, each Rate-of-Return Carrier shall establish interstate terminating End Office Access Service rates such that its interstate Composite Terminating End Office Access Service rate does not exceed $0.005 per minute. A rate-of-return carrier shall determine compliance by calculating interstate Composite Terminating End Office Access Rates using the relevant projected interstate demand for the tariff period multiplied by the respective interstate rates as of July 1, 2016, and then dividing by the projected interstate terminating end office local switching demand for the tariff period. A rate-of-return carrier's intrastate terminating end office access rates may not exceed the comparable interstate terminating end office access rates. In the alternative, any Rate-of-Return Carrier may elect to implement a single per minute rate element for both interstate and intrastate terminating End Office Access Service no greater than the 2016 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate if its intrastate terminating end office access rates would be at rate parity with its interstate terminating end office access rates. Nothing in this section obligates or allows a Rate-of-Return Carrier that has intrastate rates lower than its functionally equivalent interstate rates to make any intrastate tariff filing or intrastate tariff revisions raising such rates.

(g) Step 6. Beginning July 1, 2017, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules:

(1) Each Rate-of-Return Carrier shall establish interstate and intrastate rates for terminating End Office Access Service using the following methodology:

(i) Each Rate-of-Return Carrier shall calculate its 2017 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate. The 2017 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate means $0.0007 per minute plus two-thirds of any difference between that carrier's 2016 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate and $0.0007 per minute.

(ii) Beginning July 1, 2017, no Rate-of-Return Carrier's interstate Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate shall exceed its 2017 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate. A rate-of-return carrier shall determine compliance by calculating interstate Composite Terminating End Office Access Rates using the relevant projected interstate demand for the tariff period multiplied by the respective interstate rates as of July 1, 2017, and then dividing by the projected interstate terminating end office local switching demand for the tariff period. A rate-of-return carrier's intrastate terminating end office access rates may not exceed the comparable interstate terminating end office access rates. In the alternative, any Rate-of-Return Carrier may elect to implement a single per minute rate element for both interstate and intrastate terminating End Office Access Service no greater than the 2017 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate if its intrastate terminating end office access rates would be at rate parity with its interstate terminating end office access rates. Nothing in this section obligates or allows a Rate-of-Return Carrier that has intrastate rates lower than its functionally equivalent interstate rates to make any intrastate tariff filing or intrastate tariff revisions raising such rates.

(2) [Reserved]

(h) Step 7. Beginning July 1, 2018, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules:

(1) Each Rate-of-Return Carrier shall establish interstate and intrastate rates for terminating End Office Access Service using the following methodology:

(i) Each Rate-of-Return Carrier shall calculate its 2018 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate. The 2018 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate means $0.0007 per minute plus one-third of any difference between that carrier's 2016 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate and $0.0007 per minute.

(ii) Beginning July 1, 2018, no Rate-of-Return Carrier's interstate Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate shall exceed its 2018 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate. A rate-of-return carrier shall determine compliance by calculating interstate Composite Terminating End Office Access Rates using the relevant projected interstate demand for the tariff period multiplied by the respective interstate rates as of July 1, 2018 and then dividing by the projected interstate terminating end office local switching demand for the tariff period. A rate-of-return carrier's intrastate terminating end office access rates may not exceed the comparable interstate terminating end office access rates. In the alternative, any Rate-of-Return Carrier may elect to implement a single per minute rate element for both interstate and intrastate terminating End Office Access Service no greater than the 2018 interstate Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate if its intrastate terminating end office access rates would be at rate parity with its interstate terminating end office access rates. Nothing in this section obligates or allows a Rate-of-Return Carrier that has intrastate rates lower than its functionally equivalent interstate rates to make any intrastate tariff filing or intrastate tariff revisions raising such rates.

(2) [Reserved]

(i) Step 8. Beginning July 1, 2019, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules, each Rate-of-Return Carrier shall establish interstate and intrastate rates for terminating End Office Access Service that do not exceed $0.0007 per minute.

(j) Step 9. Beginning July 1, 2020, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules, each Rate-of-Return Carrier shall, in accordance with a bill-and-keep methodology, revise and refile its federal access tariffs and any state tariffs to remove any intercarrier charges for terminating End Office Access Service.

(k) As set forth in FCC 11-161, states will facilitate implementation of changes to intrastate access rates to ensure compliance with the Order. Nothing in this section shall alter the authority of a state to monitor and oversee filing of intrastate tariffs.

[76 FR 73856, Nov. 29, 2011, as amended at 77 FR 48452, Aug. 14, 2012; 78 FR 26267, May 6, 2013; 79 FR 28845, May 20, 2014]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.911   Access reciprocal compensation rates for competitive LECs.

(a) Caps on Access Reciprocal Compensation and switched access rates. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules:

(1) In the case of Competitive LECs operating in an area served by a Price Cap Carrier, no such Competitive LEC may increase the rate for any originating or terminating intrastate switched access service above the rate for such service in effect on December 29, 2011.

(2) In the case of Competitive LEC operating in an area served by an incumbent local exchange carrier that is a Rate-of-Return Carrier or Competitive LECs that are subject to the rural exemption in §61.26(e) of this chapter, no such Competitive LEC may increase the rate for any originating or terminating intrastate switched access service above the rate for such service in effect on December 29, 2011, with the exception of intrastate originating access service. For such Competitive LECs, intrastate originating access service subject to this subpart shall remain subject to the same state rate regulation in effect December 31, 2011, as may be modified by the state thereafter.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(7) of this section, beginning July 3, 2012, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules, each Competitive LEC that has tariffs on file with state regulatory authorities shall file intrastate access tariff provisions, in accordance with §51.505(b)(2), that set forth the rates applicable to Transitional Intrastate Access Service in each state in which it provides Transitional Intrastate Access Service. Each Competitive Local Exchange Carrier shall establish the rates for Transitional Intrastate Access Service using the following methodology.

(1) Calculate total revenue from Transitional Intrastate Access Service at the carrier's interstate access rates in effect on December 29, 2011, using Fiscal Year 2011 intrastate switched access demand for each rate element.

(2) Calculate total revenue from Transitional Intrastate Access Service at the carrier's intrastate access rates in effect on December 29, 2011, using Fiscal Year 2011 intrastate switched access demand for each rate element.

(3) Calculate the Step 1 Access Revenue Reduction. The Step 1 Access Revenue Reduction is equal to one-half of the difference between the amount calculated in (b)(1) of this section and the amount calculated in (b)(2) of this section.

(4) A Competitive Local Exchange Carrier may elect to establish rates for Transitional Intrastate Access Service using its intrastate access rate structure. Carriers using this option shall establish rates for Transitional Intrastate Access Service such that Transitional Intrastate Access Service revenue at the proposed rates is no greater than Transitional Intrastate Access Service revenue at the intrastate rates in effect as of December 29, 2011 less the Step 1 Access Revenue Reduction, using Fiscal year 2011 intrastate switched access demand.

(5) In the alternative, a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier may elect to apply its interstate access rate structure and interstate rates to Transitional Intrastate Access Service. In addition to applicable interstate access rates, the carrier may assess a transitional per-minute charge on Transitional Intrastate Access Service end office switching minutes (previously billed as intrastate access). The transitional charge shall be no greater than the Step 1 Access Revenue Reduction divided by Fiscal year 2011 intrastate switched access demand

(6) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(7) of this section, nothing in this section obligates or allows a Competitive LEC that has intrastate rates lower than its functionally equivalent interstate rates to make any intrastate tariff filing or intrastate tariff revisions raising such rates.

(7) If a Competitive LEC must make an intrastate switched access rate reduction pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, and that Competitive LEC has an intrastate rate for a rate element that is below the comparable interstate rate for that element, the Competitive LEC may increase the rate for any intrastate rate element that is below the comparable interstate rate for that element to the interstate rate no later than July 1, 2013;

(c) Beginning July 1, 2013, notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules, all Competitive Local Exchange Carrier Access Reciprocal Compensation rates for switched exchange access services subject to this subpart shall be no higher than the Access Reciprocal Compensation rates charged by the competing incumbent local exchange carrier, in accordance with the same procedures specified in §61.26 of this chapter.

[76 FR 73856, Nov. 29, 2011, as amended at 77 FR 48452, Aug. 14, 2012]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.913   Transition for VoIP-PSTN traffic.

(a)(1) Terminating Access Reciprocal Compensation subject to this subpart exchanged between a local exchange carrier and another telecommunications carrier in Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) format that originates and/or terminates in IP format shall be subject to a rate equal to the relevant interstate terminating access charges specified by this subpart. Interstate originating Access Reciprocal Compensation subject to this subpart exchanged between a local exchange carrier and another telecommunications carrier in Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) format that originates and/or terminates in IP format shall be subject to a rate equal to the relevant interstate originating access charges specified by this subpart.

(2) Until June 30, 2014, intrastate originating Access Reciprocal Compensation subject to this subpart exchanged between a local exchange carrier and another telecommunications carrier in Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) format that originates and/or terminates in IP format shall be subject to a rate equal to the relevant intrastate originating access charges specified by this subpart. Effective July 1, 2014, originating Access Reciprocal Compensation subject to this subpart exchanged between a local exchange carrier and another telecommunications carrier in Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) format that originates and/or terminates in IP format shall be subject to a rate equal to the relevant interstate originating access charges specified by this subpart.

(3) Telecommunications traffic originates and/or terminates in IP format if it originates from and/or terminates to an end-user customer of a service that requires Internet protocol-compatible customer premises equipment.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules, a local exchange carrier shall be entitled to assess and collect the full Access Reciprocal Compensation charges prescribed by this subpart that are set forth in a local exchange carrier's interstate or intrastate tariff for the access services defined in §51.903 regardless of whether the local exchange carrier itself delivers such traffic to the called party's premises or delivers the call to the called party's premises via contractual or other arrangements with an affiliated or unaffiliated provider of interconnected VoIP service, as defined in 47 U.S.C. 153(25), or a non-interconnected VoIP service, as defined in 47 U.S.C. 153(36), that does not itself seek to collect Access Reciprocal Compensation charges prescribed by this subpart for that traffic. This rule does not permit a local exchange carrier to charge for functions not performed by the local exchange carrier itself or the affiliated or unaffiliated provider of interconnected VoIP service or non-interconnected VoIP service. For purposes of this provision, functions provided by a LEC as part of transmitting telecommunications between designated points using, in whole or in part, technology other than TDM transmission in a manner that is comparable to a service offered by a local exchange carrier constitutes the functional equivalent of the incumbent local exchange carrier access service.

[76 FR 73856, Nov. 29, 2011, as amended at 77 FR 31536, May 29, 2012]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.914   xxx

§51.915   Recovery mechanism for price cap carriers.

(a) Scope. This section sets forth the extent to which Price Cap Carriers may recover certain revenues, through the recovery mechanism outlined below, to implement reforms adopted in FCC 11-161 and as required by §20.11(b) of this chapter, and §§51.705 and 51.907.

(b) Definitions. As used in this section and §51.917, the following terms mean:

(1) CALLS Study Area. A CALLS Study Area means a Price Cap Carrier study area that participated in the CALLS plan at its inception. See Access Charge Reform, Price Cap Performance Review for Local Exchange Carriers, Low-Volume Long-Distance Users, Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Sixth Report and Order in CC Docket Nos. 96-262 and 94-1, Report and Order in CC Docket No. 99-249, Eleventh Report and Order in CC Docket No. 96-45, 15 FCC Rcd 12962 (2000).

(2) CALLS Study Area Base Factor. The CALLS Study Area Base Factor is equal to ninety (90) percent.

(3) CMRS Net Reciprocal Compensation Revenues. CMRS Net Reciprocal Compensation Revenues means the reduction in net reciprocal compensation revenues required by §20.11 of this chapter associated with CMRS traffic as described in §51.701(b)(2), which is equal to its Fiscal Year 2011 net reciprocal compensation revenues from CMRS carriers.

(4) Expected Revenues for Access Recovery Charges. Expected Revenues for Access Recovery Charges are calculated using the tariffed Access Recovery Charge rate for each class of service and the forecast demand for each class of service.

(5) Initial Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate. Initial Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate means Fiscal Year 2011 terminating interstate End Office Access Service revenue divided by Fiscal Year 2011 terminating interstate end office switching minutes.

(6) Lifeline Customer. A Lifeline Customer is a residential lifeline subscriber as defined by §54.400(a) of this chapter that does not pay a Residential and/or Single-Line Business End User Common Line Charge.

(7) Net Reciprocal Compensation. Net Reciprocal Compensation means the difference between a carrier's reciprocal compensation revenues from non-access traffic less its reciprocal compensation payments for non-access traffic during a stated period of time. For purposes of the calculations made under §§51.915 and 51.917, the term does not include reciprocal compensation revenues for non-access traffic exchanged between Local Exchange Carriers and CMRS providers; recovery for such traffic is addressed separately in these sections.

(8) Non-CALLS Study Area. Non-CALLS Study Area means a Price Cap Carrier study area that did not participate in the CALLS plan at its inception.

(9) Non-CALLS Study Area Base Factor. The Non-CALLS Study Area Base Factor is equal to one hundred (100) percent for five (5) years beginning July 1, 2012. Beginning July 1, 2017, the Non-CALLS Price Cap Carrier Base Factor will be equal to ninety (90) percent.

(10) Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor. The Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor, as used in calculating eligible recovery, is equal to ninety (90) percent for the one-year period beginning July 1, 2012. It is reduced by ten (10) percent of its previous value in each subsequent annual tariff filing.

(11) Rate Ceiling Component Charges. The Rate Ceiling Component Charges consists of the federal end user common line charge and the Access Recovery Charge; the flat rate for residential local service (sometimes know as the “1FR” or “R1” rate), mandatory extended area service charges, and state subscriber line charges; per-line state high cost and/or state access replacement universal service contributions, state E911 charges, and state TRS charges.

(12) Residential Rate Ceiling. The Residential Rate Ceiling, which consists of the total of the Rate Ceiling Component Charges, is set at $30 per month. The Residential Rate Ceiling will be the higher of the rate in effect on January 1, 2012, or the rate in effect on January 1 in any subsequent year.

(13) True-up Revenues for Access Recovery Charge. True-up revenues for Access Recovery Charge are equal to (projected demand minus actual realized demand for Access Recovery Charges) times the tariffed Access Recovery Charge. This calculation shall be made separately for each class of service and shall be adjusted to reflect any changes in tariffed rates for the Access Recovery Charge. Realized demand is the demand for which payment has been received by the time the true-up is made.

(14) Intrastate 2014 Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate. The Intrastate 2014 Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate as used in this section is determined by

(i) If a separate terminating rate is not already generally available, developing separate intrastate originating and terminating end office rates in accordance with §51.907(d)(1) using end office access rates at their June 30, 2014, rate caps;

(ii) Multiplying the existing terminating June 30, 2014, intrastate end office access rates, or the terminating rates developed in paragraph (b)(14)(i) of this section, by the relevant Fiscal Year 2011 intrastate demand; and

(iii) Dividing the sum of the revenues determined in paragraph (b)(14)(ii) of this section by 2011 Fiscal Year intrastate terminating local switching minutes.

(c) 2011 Price Cap Carrier Base Period Revenue. 2011 Price Cap Carrier Base Period Revenue is equal to the sum of the following three components:

(1) Terminating interstate end office switched access revenues and interstate Tandem-Switched Transport Access Service revenues for Fiscal Year 2011 received by March 31, 2012;

(2) Fiscal Year 2011 revenues from Transitional Intrastate Access Service received by March 31, 2012; and

(3) Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation revenues received by March 31, 2012, less fiscal year 2011 reciprocal compensation payments made by March 31, 2012.

(d) Eligible recovery for Price Cap Carriers. (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules, a Price Cap Carrier may recover the amounts specified in this paragraph through the mechanisms described in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section.

(i) Beginning July 1, 2012, a Price Cap Carrier's eligible recovery will be equal to the CALLS Study Area Base Factor and/or the Non-CALLS Study Area Base Factor, as applicable, multiplied by the sum of the following three components:

(A) The amount of the reduction in Transitional Intrastate Access Service revenues determined pursuant to §51.907(b)(2) multiplied by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(B) CMRS Net Reciprocal Compensation Revenues multiplied by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor; and

(C) A Price Cap Carrier's reductions in Fiscal Year 2011 net reciprocal compensation revenues resulting from rate reductions required by §51.705, other than those associated with CMRS traffic as described in §51.701(b)(2), which may be calculated in one of the following ways:

(1) Calculate the reduction in Fiscal Year 2011 net reciprocal compensation revenue as a result of rate reductions required by §51.705 using Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation demand, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(2) By using a composite reciprocal compensation rate as follows:

(i) Establish a composite reciprocal compensation rate for its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation receipts and its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation payments by dividing its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation receipts and payments by its respective Fiscal Year 2011 demand excluding demand for traffic exchanged pursuant to a bill-and-keep arrangement;

(ii) Calculate the difference between each of the composite reciprocal compensation rates and the target reciprocal compensation rate set forth in §51.705 for the year beginning July 1, 2012 multiply by the appropriate Fiscal Year 2011 demand, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor; or

(3) For the purpose of establishing its recovery for net reciprocal compensation, a Price Cap Carrier may elect to forgo this step and receive no recovery for reductions in net reciprocal compensation. If a carrier elects this option, it may not change its election at a later date.

(ii) Beginning July 1, 2013, a Price Cap Carrier's eligible recovery will be equal to the CALLS Study Area Base Factor and/or the Non-CALLS Study Area Base Factor, as applicable, multiplied by the sum of the following three components:

(A) The cumulative amount of the reduction in Transitional Intrastate Access Service revenues determined pursuant to §51.907(b)(2) and (c) multiplied by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor; and

(B) CMRS Net Reciprocal Compensation Revenues multiplied by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor; and

(C) A Price Cap Carrier's cumulative reductions in Fiscal Year 2011 net reciprocal compensation revenues other than those associated with CMRS traffic as described in §51.701(b)(2) resulting from rate reductions required by §51.705 may be calculated in one of the following ways:

(1) Calculate the cumulative reduction in Fiscal Year 2011 net reciprocal compensation revenue as a result of rate reductions required by §51.705 using Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation demand and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(2) By using a composite reciprocal compensation rate as follows:

(i) Establish a composite reciprocal compensation rate for its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation receipts and its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation payments by dividing its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation receipts and payments by its respective Fiscal Year 2011 demand excluding demand for traffic exchanged pursuant to a bill-and-keep arrangement;

(ii) Calculate the difference between each of the composite reciprocal compensation rates and the target reciprocal compensation rate set forth in §51.705 for the year beginning July 1, 2013, using the appropriate Fiscal Year 2011 demand, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor; or

(3) For the purpose of establishing its recovery for net reciprocal compensation, a Price Cap Carrier may elect to forgo this step and receive no recovery for reductions in net reciprocal compensation. If a carrier elects this option, it may not change its election at a later date.

(iii) Beginning July 1, 2014, a Price Cap Carrier's eligible recovery will be equal to the CALLS Study Area Base Factor and/or the Non-CALLS Study Area Base Factor, as applicable, multiplied by the sum of the amounts in paragraphs (d)(1)(iii)(A) through (d)(1)(iii)(E), of this section, and then adding the amount in paragraph (d)(1)(iii)(F) of this section to that amount:

(A) The amount of the reduction in Transitional Intrastate Access Service revenues determined pursuant to §51.907(b)(2) and (c) multiplied by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor; and

(B) The reduction in interstate switched access revenues equal to the difference between the 2011 Baseline Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate and the 2014 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate determined pursuant to §51.907(d) using Fiscal Year 2011 terminating interstate end office switching minutes, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(C) If the carrier reduced its 2014 Intrastate Terminating End Office Access Rate(s) pursuant to §51.907(d)(2), the reduction in revenues equal to the difference between either the Intrastate 2014 Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate and the Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate based on the maximum terminating end office rates that could have been charged on July 1, 2014, or the 2014 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate, as applicable, using Fiscal Year 2011 terminating intrastate end office switching minutes, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(D) CMRS Net Reciprocal Compensation Revenues multiplied by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor; and

(E) A Price Cap Carrier's cumulative reductions in Fiscal Year 2011 net reciprocal compensation revenues other than those associated with CMRS traffic as described in §51.701(b)(2) resulting from rate reductions required by §51.705 may be calculated in one of the following ways:

(1) Calculate the cumulative reduction in Fiscal Year 2011 net reciprocal compensation revenue as a result of rate reductions required by §51.705 using Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation demand, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(2) By using a composite reciprocal compensation rate as follows:

(i) Establish a composite reciprocal compensation rate for its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation receipts and its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation payments by dividing its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation receipts and payments by its respective Fiscal Year 2011 demand excluding demand for traffic exchanged pursuant to a bill-and-keep arrangement;

(ii) Calculate the difference between each of the composite reciprocal compensation rates and the target reciprocal compensation rate set forth in §51.705 for the year beginning July 1, 2014, using the appropriate Fiscal Year 2011 demand, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor; or

(3) For the purpose of establishing its recovery for net reciprocal compensation, a Price Cap Carrier may elect to forgo this step and receive no recovery for reductions in net reciprocal compensation. If a carrier elects this option, it may not change its election at a later date.

(F) An amount equal to True-up Revenues for Access Recovery Charges for the year beginning July 1, 2012.

(iv) Beginning July 1, 2015, a Price Cap Carrier's eligible recovery will be equal to the CALLS Study Area Base Factor and/or the Non-CALLS Study Area Base Factor, as applicable, multiplied by the sum of the amounts in paragraphs (d)(1)(iv)(A) through (d)(1)(iv)(E) of this section and then adding the amount in paragraph (d)(1)(iv)(F) of this section to that amount:

(A) The amount of the reduction in Transitional Intrastate Access Service revenues determined pursuant to §51.907(b)(2) and (c) multiplied by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(B) The reduction in interstate switched access revenues equal to the difference between the 2011 Baseline Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate and the 2015 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate determined pursuant to §51.907(e) using Fiscal Year 2011 terminating interstate end office switching minutes, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(C) If the carrier reduced its Intrastate Terminating End Office Access Rate(s) pursuant to §51.907(e)(1), the reduction in intrastate switched access revenues equal to the difference between either the intrastate 2014 Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate and the Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate based on the maximum terminating end office rates that could have been charged on July 1, 2015, or the 2015 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate, as applicable, using Fiscal Year 2011 terminating intrastate end office switching minutes, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor; and

(D) CMRS Net Reciprocal Compensation Revenues multiplied by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(E) A Price Cap Carrier's cumulative reductions in Fiscal Year 2011 net reciprocal compensation revenues other than those associated with CMRS traffic as described in §51.701(b)(2) resulting from rate reductions required by §51.705 may be calculated in one of the following ways:

(1) Calculate the cumulative reduction in Fiscal Year 2011 net reciprocal compensation revenue as a result of rate reductions required by §51.705 using Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation demand, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(2) By using a composite reciprocal compensation rate as follows:

(i) Establish a composite reciprocal compensation rate for its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation receipts and its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation payments by dividing its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation receipts and payments by its respective Fiscal Year 2011 demand excluding demand for traffic exchanged pursuant to a bill-and-keep arrangement;

(ii) Calculate the difference between each of the composite reciprocal compensation rates and the target reciprocal compensation rate set forth in §51.705 for the year beginning July 1, 2015, using the appropriate Fiscal Year 2011 demand, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor; or

(3) For the purpose of establishing its recovery for net reciprocal compensation, a Price Cap Carrier may elect to forgo this step and receive no recovery for reductions in net reciprocal compensation. If a carrier elects this option, it may not change its election at a later date.

(F) An amount equal to True-up Revenues for Access Recovery Charges for the year beginning July 1, 2013.

(v) Beginning July 1, 2016, a Price Cap Carrier's eligible recovery will be equal to the CALLS Study Area Base Factor and/or the Non-CALLS Study Area Base Factor, as applicable, multiplied by the sum of the amounts in paragraphs (d)(1)(v)(A) through (d)(1)(v)(E), of this section and then adding the amount in paragraph (d)(1)(v)(F) of this section to that amount:

(A) The amount of the reduction in Transitional Intrastate Access Service revenues determined pursuant to §51.907(b)(2) and (c) multiplied by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(B) The reduction in interstate switched access revenues equal to the difference between the 2011 Baseline Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate and $0.0007 determined pursuant to §51.907(f) using Fiscal Year 2011 terminating interstate end office switching minutes, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(C) If the carrier reduced its Intrastate Terminating End Office Access Rate(s) pursuant to §51.907(f), the reduction in revenues equal to the difference between either the Intrastate 2014 Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate and $0.0007 based on the maximum terminating end office rates that could have been charged on July 1, 2016, or the 2016 Target Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate, as applicable, using Fiscal Year 2011 terminating intrastate end office minutes, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(D) CMRS Net Reciprocal Compensation Revenues multiplied by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(E) A Price Cap Carrier's cumulative reductions in Fiscal Year 2011 net reciprocal compensation revenues other than those associated with CMRS traffic as described in §51.701(b)(2) resulting from rate reductions required by §51.705 may be calculated in one of the following ways:

(1) Calculate the cumulative reduction in Fiscal Year 2011 net reciprocal compensation revenue as a result of rate reductions required by §51.705 using Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation demand, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(2) By using a composite reciprocal compensation rate as follows:

(i) Establish a composite reciprocal compensation rate for its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation receipts and its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation payments by dividing its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation receipts and payments by its respective Fiscal Year 2011 demand excluding demand for traffic exchanged pursuant to a bill-and-keep arrangement;

(ii) Calculate the difference between each of the composite reciprocal compensation rates and the target reciprocal compensation rate set forth in §51.705 for the year beginning July 1, 2016, using the appropriate Fiscal Year 2011 demand, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor; or

(3) For the purpose of establishing its recovery for net reciprocal compensation, a Price Cap Carrier may elect to forgo this step and receive no recovery for reductions in net reciprocal compensation. If a carrier elects this option, it may not change its election at a later date.

(F) An amount equal to True-up Revenues for Access Recovery Charges for the year beginning July 1, 2014.

(vi) Beginning July 1, 2017, a Price Cap Carrier's eligible recovery will be equal to ninety (90) percent of the sum of the amounts in paragraphs (d)(1)(vi) through (d)(1)(vi)(F) of this section, and then adding the amount in paragraph (d)(1)(vi)(G) f this section to that amount:

(A) The amount of the reduction in Transitional Intrastate Access Service revenues determined pursuant to §51.907(b)(2) and (c) multiplied by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor; and

(B) The reduction in interstate switched access revenues equal to the 2011 Baseline Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate using Fiscal Year 2011 terminating interstate end office switching minutes, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(C) The reduction in revenues equal to the intrastate 2014 Composite terminating End Office Access Rate using Fiscal Year 2011 terminating intrastate end office switching minutes, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(D) The reduction in revenues resulting from reducing the terminating Tandem-Switched Transport Access Service rate to $0.0007 pursuant to §51.907(g)(2) using Fiscal Year 2011 terminating tandem-switched minutes, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(E) CMRS Net Reciprocal Compensation Revenues multiplied by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor; and

(F) A Price Cap Carrier's cumulative reductions in Fiscal Year 2011 net reciprocal compensation revenues other than those associated with CMRS traffic as described in §51.701(b)(2) resulting from rate reductions required by §51.705 may be calculated in one of the following ways:

(1) Calculate the cumulative reduction in Fiscal Year 2011 net reciprocal compensation revenue as a result of rate reductions required by §51.705 using Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation demand, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(2) By using a composite reciprocal compensation rate as follows:

(i) Establish a composite reciprocal compensation rate for its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation receipts and its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation payments by dividing its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation receipts and payments by its respective Fiscal Year 2011 demand excluding demand for traffic exchanged pursuant to a bill-and-keep arrangement;

(ii) Calculate the difference between each of the composite reciprocal compensation rates and the target reciprocal compensation rate set forth in §51.705 for the year beginning July 1, 2017, using the appropriate Fiscal Year 2011 demand, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor; or

(3) For the purpose of establishing its recovery for net reciprocal compensation, a Price Cap Carrier may elect to forgo this step and receive no recovery for reductions in net reciprocal compensation. If a carrier elects this option, it may not change its election at a later date.

(G) An amount equal to True-up Revenues for Access Recovery Charges for the year beginning July 1, 2015.

(vii) Beginning July 1, 2018, a Price Cap Carrier's eligible recovery will be equal to ninety (90) percent of the sum of the amounts in paragraphs (d)(1)(vii)(A) though (d)(1)(vii)(G) of this section, and then adding the amount in paragraph (d)(1)(vii)(H) of this section to that amount:

(A) The amount of the reduction in Transitional Intrastate Access Service revenues determined pursuant to §51.907(b)(2) and (c) multiplied by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor; and:

(B) The reduction in interstate switched access revenues equal to the 2011 Baseline Composite Terminating End Office Access Rate using Fiscal Year 2011 terminating interstate end office switching minutes, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(C) The reduction in revenues equal to the intrastate 2014 Composite terminating End Office Access Rate using Fiscal Year 2011 terminating intrastate end office switching minutes, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(D) The reduction in revenues resulting from reducing the terminating Tandem-Switched Transport Access Service rate to $0.0007 pursuant to §51.907(g)(2) using Fiscal Year 2011 terminating tandem-switched minutes, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(E) The reduction in revenues resulting from moving from a terminating Tandem-Switched Transport Access Service rate tariffed at a maximum of $0.0007 to removal of intercarrier charges pursuant to §51.907(h), if applicable, using Fiscal Year 2011 terminating tandem-switched minutes, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(F) CMRS Net Reciprocal Compensation Revenues multiplied by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor; and

(G) A Price Cap Carrier's cumulative reductions in Fiscal Year 2011 net reciprocal compensation revenues other than those associated with CMRS traffic as described in §51.701(b)(2) resulting from rate reductions required by §51.705 may be calculated in one of the following ways:

(1) Calculate the cumulative reduction in Fiscal Year 2011 net reciprocal compensation revenue as a result of rate reductions required by §51.705 using Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation demand, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor;

(2) By using a composite reciprocal compensation rate as follows:

(i) Establish a composite reciprocal compensation rate for its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation receipts and its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation payments by dividing its Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation receipts and payments by its respective Fiscal Year 2011 demand excluding demand for traffic exchanged pursuant to a bill-and-keep arrangement;

(ii) Calculate the difference between each of the composite reciprocal compensation rates and the target reciprocal compensation rate set forth in §51.705 for the year beginning July 1, 2018, using the appropriate Fiscal Year 2011 demand, and then multiply by the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor; or

(3) For the purpose of establishing its recovery for net reciprocal compensation, a Price Cap Carrier may elect to forgo this step and receive no recovery for reductions in net reciprocal compensation. If a carrier elects this option, it may not change its election at a later date.

(H) An amount equal to True-up Revenues for Access Recovery Charges for the year beginning July 1, 2016.

(viii) Beginning July 1, 2019, and in subsequent years, a Price Cap Carrier's eligible recovery will be equal to the amount calculated in paragraph (d)(1)(vii)(A) through (d)(1)(vii)(H) of this section before the application of the Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor applicable in 2018 multiplied by the appropriate Price Cap Carrier Traffic Demand Factor for the year in question, and then adding an amount equal to True-up Revenues for Access Recovery Charges for the year beginning July 1 two years earlier.

(2) If a Price Cap Carrier recovers any costs or revenues that are already being recovered through Access Recovery Charges or the Connect America Fund from another source, that carrier's ability to recover reduced switched access revenue from Access Recovery Charges or the Connect America Fund shall be reduced to the extent it receives duplicative recovery. Any duplicative recovery shall be reflected as a reduction to a carrier's Eligible Recovery calculated pursuant to §51.915(d).

(3) A Price Cap Carrier seeking revenue recovery must annually certify as part of its tariff filings to the Commission and to the relevant state commission that the carrier is not seeking duplicative recovery in the state jurisdiction for any Eligible Recovery subject to the recovery mechanism.

(4) If a Price Cap Carrier receives payment for Access Recovery Charges after the period used to measure the adjustment to reflect the differences between estimated and actual revenues, it shall treat such payments as actual revenues in the year the payment is received and shall reflect this as an additional adjustment for that year.

(e) Access Recovery Charge. (1) A charge that is expressed in dollars and cents per line per month may be assessed upon end users that may be assessed an end user common line charge pursuant to §69.152 of this chapter, to the extent necessary to allow the Price Cap Carrier to recover some or all of its eligible recovery determined pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section, subject to the caps described in paragraph (e)(5) of this section. A Price Cap Carrier may elect to forgo charging some or all of the Access Recovery Charge.

(2) Total Access Recovery Charges calculated by multiplying the tariffed Access Recovery Charge by the projected demand for the year in question may not recover more than the amount of eligible recovery calculated pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section for the year beginning on July 1.

(3) For the purposes of this section, a Price Cap Carrier holding company includes all of its wholly-owned operating companies that are price cap incumbent local exchange carriers. A Price Cap Carrier Holding Company may recover the eligible recovery attributable to any price cap study areas operated by its wholly-owned operating companies through assessments of the Access Recovery Charge on end users in any price cap study areas operated by its wholly owned operating companies that are price cap incumbent local exchange carriers.

(4) Distribution of Access Recovery Charges among lines of different types. (i) A Price Cap Carrier holding company that does not receive ICC-replacement CAF support (whether because it elects not to or because it does not have sufficient eligible recovery after the Access Recovery Charge is assessed or imputed) may not recover a higher fraction of its total revenue recovery from Access Recovery Charges assessed on Residential and Single Line Business lines than:

(A) The number of Residential and Single-Line Business lines divided by

(B) The sum of the number of Residential and Single-Line Business lines and two (2) times the number of End User Common Line charges assessed on Multi-Line Business customers.

(ii) For purposes of this subpart, Residential and Single Line Business lines are lines (other than lines of Lifeline Customers) assessed the residential and single line business end user common line charge and lines assessed the non-primary residential end user common line charge.

(iii) For purposes of this subpart, Multi-Line Business Lines are lines assessed the multi-line business end user common line charge.

(5) Per-line caps and other limitations on Access Recovery Charges

(i) For each line other than lines of Lifeline Customers assessed a primary residential or single-line business end user common line charge or a non-primary residential end user common line charge pursuant to §69.152 of this Chapter, a Price Cap Carrier may assess an Access Recovery Charge as follows:

(A) Beginning July 1, 2012, a maximum of $0.50 per month for each line;

(B) Beginning July 1, 2013, a maximum of $1.00 per month for each line;

(C) Beginning July 1, 2014, a maximum of $1.50 per month for each line;

(D) Beginning July 1, 2015, a maximum of $2.00 per month for each line; and

(E) Beginning July 1, 2016, a maximum of $2.50 per month for each line.

(ii) For each line assessed a multi-line business end user common line charge pursuant to §69.152 of this chapter, a Price Cap Carrier may assess an Access Recovery Charge as follows:

(A) Beginning July 1, 2012, a maximum of $1.00 per month for each multi-line business end user common line charge assessed;

(B) Beginning July 1, 2013, a maximum of $2.00 per month for each multi-line business end user common line charge assessed;

(C) Beginning July 1, 2014, a maximum of $3.00 per month for each multi-line business end user common line charge assessed;

(D) Beginning July 1, 2015, a maximum of $4.00 per month for each multi-line business end user common line charge assessed; and

(E) Beginning July 1, 2016, a maximum of $5.00 per month for each multi-line business end user common line charge assessed.

(iii) The Access Recovery Charge allowed by paragraph (e)(5)(i) of this section may not be assessed to the extent that its assessment would bring the total of the Rate Ceiling Component Charges above the Residential Rate Ceiling on January 1 of that year. This limitation applies only to the first residential line obtained by a residential end user and does not apply to single-line business customers.

(iv) The Access Recovery Charge allowed by paragraph (e)(5)(ii) of this section may not be assessed to the extent that its assessment would bring the total of the multi-line business end user common line charge and the Access Recovery Charge above $12.20 per line.

(v) The Access Recovery Charge assessed on lines assessed the non-primary residential line end user common line charge in a study area may not exceed the Access Recovery Charge assessed on residential end-users' first residential line in that study area.

(vi) The Access Recovery Charge may not be assessed on lines of any Lifeline Customers.

(vii) If in any year, the Price Cap Carrier's Access Recovery Charge is not at its maximum, the succeeding year's Access Recovery Charge may not increase more than $.0.50 per line per month for charges assessed under paragraph (e)(5)(i) of this section or $1.00 per line per month for charges assessed under paragraph (e)(5)(ii) of this section.

(f) Price Cap Carrier eligibility for CAF ICC Support. (1) A Price Cap Carrier shall elect in its July 1, 2012 access tariff filing whether it will receive CAF ICC Support under this paragraph. A Price Cap Carrier eligible to receive CAF ICC Support subsequently may elect at any time not to receive such funding. Once it makes the election not to receive CAFF ICC Support, it may not elect to receive such funding at a later date.

(2) Beginning July 1, 2012, a Price Cap Carrier may recover any eligible recovery allowed by paragraph (d) that it could not have recovered through charges assessed pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section from CAF ICC Support pursuant to §54.304. For this purpose, the Price Cap Carrier must impute the maximum charges it could have assessed under paragraph (e)of this section.

(3) Beginning July 1, 2017, a Price Cap Carrier may recover two-thirds ( 23 ) of the amount it otherwise would have been eligible to recover under paragraph (f)(2) from CAF ICC Support.

(4) Beginning July 1, 2018, a Price Cap Carrier may recover one-third (1/3) of the amount it otherwise would have been eligible to recover under paragraph (f)(2) of this section from CAF ICC Support.

(5) Beginning July 1, 2019, a Price Cap Carrier may no longer recover any amount related to revenue recovery under this paragraph from CAF ICC Support.

(6) A Price Cap Carrier that elects to receive CAF ICC support must certify with its annual access tariff filing that it has complied with paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section, and, after doing so, is eligible to receive the CAF ICC support requested pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section.

[76 FR 73856, Nov. 29, 2011, as amended at 77 FR 48453, Aug. 14, 2012; 78 FR 26268, May 6, 2013;79 FR 28846, May 20, 2014]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.917   Revenue recovery for Rate-of-Return Carriers.

Link to an amendment published at 84 FR 57651, Oct. 28, 2019.

(a) Scope. This section sets forth the extent to which Rate-of-Return Carriers may recover, through the recovery mechanism outlined in paragraphs (d) through (f) of this section, a portion of revenues lost due to rate reductions required by §20.11(b) of this chapter, and §§51.705 and 51.909.

(b) Definitions.

(1) 2011 Interstate Switched Access Revenue Requirement. 2011 Interstate Switched Access Revenue Requirement means:

(i) For a Rate-of-Return Carrier that participated in the NECA 2011 annual switched access tariff filing, its projected interstate switched access revenue requirement associated with the NECA 2011 annual interstate switched access tariff filing;

(ii) For a Rate-of-Return Carrier subject to §61.38 of this chapter that filed its own annual access tariff in 2010 and did not participate in the NECA 2011 annual switched access tariff filing, its projected interstate switched access revenue requirement in its 2010 annual interstate switched access tariff filing; and

(iii) For a Rate-of-Return Carrier subject to §61.39 of this chapter that filed its own annual switched access tariff in 2011, its historically-determined annual interstate switched access revenue requirement filed with its 2011 annual interstate switched access tariff filing.

(2) Expected Revenues. Expected Revenues from an access service are calculated using the default transition rate for that service specified by §51.909 and forecast demand for that service. Expected Revenues from a non-access service are calculated using the default transition rate for that service specified by §20.11 of this chapter or §51.705 of this chapter and forecast net demand for that service.

(3) Rate-of-Return Carrier Baseline Adjustment Factor. The Rate-of-Return Carrier Baseline Adjustment Factor, as used in calculating eligible recovery for Rate-of-Return Carriers, is equal to ninety-five (95) percent for the period beginning July 1, 2012. It is reduced by five (5) percent of its previous value in each subsequent annual tariff filing.

(4) Revenue Requirement. Revenue Requirement is equal to a carrier's regulated operating costs plus an 11.25 percent return on a carrier's net rate base calculated in compliance with the provisions of parts 36, 65 and 69 of this chapter. For an average schedule carrier, its Revenue Requirement shall be equal to the average schedule settlements it received from the pool, adjusted to reflect an 11.25 percent rate of return, or what it would have received if it had been a participant in the pool. If the reference is to an operating segment, these references are to the Revenue Requirement associated with that segment.

(5) True-up Adjustment. The True-up Adjustment is equal to the True-up Revenues for any particular service for the period in question.

(6) True-up Revenues. True-up Revenues from an access service are equal to (projected demand minus actual realized demand for that service) times the default transition rate for that service specified by §51.909. True-up Revenues from a non-access service are equal to (projected demand minus actual realized net demand for that service) times the default transition rate for that service specified by §20.11(b) of this chapter or §51.705. Realized demand is the demand for which payment has been received, or has been made, as appropriate, by the time the true-up is made.

(7) 2011 Rate-of-Return Carrier Base Period Revenue. 2011 Rate-of-Return Carrier Base Period Revenue is the sum of:

(i) 2011 Interstate Switched Access Revenue Requirement;

(ii) Fiscal Year 2011 revenues from Transitional Intrastate Access Service received by March 31, 2012; and

(iii) Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation revenues received by March 31, 2012, less Fiscal Year 2011 reciprocal compensation payments paid and/or payable by March 31, 2012

(c) 2011 Rate-of-Return Carrier Base Period Revenue shall be adjusted to reflect the removal of any increases in revenue requirement or revenues resulting from access stimulation activity the Rate-of-Return Carrier engaged in during the relevant measuring period. A Rate-of-Return Carrier should make this adjustment for its initial July 1, 2012, tariff filing, but the adjustment may result from a subsequent Commission or court ruling.

(d) Eligible Recovery for Rate-of-Return Carriers. (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Commission's rules, a Rate-of-Return Carrier may recover the amounts specified in this paragraph through the mechanisms described in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section.

(i) Beginning July 1, 2012, a Rate-of-Return Carrier's eligible recovery will be equal to the 2011 Rate-of-Return Carrier Base Period Revenue multiplied by the Rate-of-Return Carrier Baseline Adjustment Factor less:

(A) The Expected Revenues from Transitional Intrastate Access Service for the year beginning July 1, 2012, reflecting forecasted demand multiplied by the rates in the rate transition contained in §51.909;

(B) The Expected Revenues from interstate switched access for the year beginning July 1, 2012, reflecting forecasted demand multiplied by the rates in the rate transition contained in §51.909; and

(C) Expected Net Reciprocal Compensation Revenues for the year beginning July 1, 2012 using the target methodology required by §51.705.

(ii) Beginning July 1, 2013, a Rate-of-Return Carrier's eligible recovery will be equal to the 2011 Rate-of-Return Carrier Base Period Revenue multiplied by the Rate-of-Return Carrier Baseline Adjustment Factor less:

(A) The Expected Revenues from Transitional Intrastate Access Service for the year beginning July 1, 2013, reflecting forecasted demand multiplied by the rates in the rate transition contained in §51.909;

(B) The Expected Revenues from interstate switched access for the year beginning July 1, 2013, reflecting forecasted demand multiplied by the rates in the rate transition contained in §51.909; and

(C) Expected Net Reciprocal Compensation Revenues for the year beginning July 1, 2013 using the target methodology required by §51.705.

(iii) Beginning July 1, 2014, a Rate-of-Return Carrier's eligible recovery will be equal to the 2011 Rate-of-Return Carrier Base Period Revenue multiplied by the Rate-of-Return Carrier Baseline Adjustment Factor less:

(A) The Expected Revenues from Transitional Intrastate Access Service for the year beginning July 1, 2014, reflecting forecasted demand multiplied by the rates in the rate transition contained in §51.909 (including the reduction in intrastate End Office Switched Access Service rates), adjusted to reflect the True-Up Adjustment for Transitional Intrastate Access Service for the year beginning July 1, 2012;

(B) The Expected Revenues from interstate switched access for the year beginning July 1, 2014, reflecting forecasted demand multiplied by the rates in the rate transition contained in §51.909, adjusted to reflect the True-Up Adjustment for Interstate Switched Access for the year beginning July 1, 2012; and

(C) Expected Net Reciprocal Compensation Revenues for the year beginning July 1, 2014 using the target methodology required by §51.705, adjusted to reflect the True-Up Adjustment for Reciprocal Compensation for the year beginning July 1, 2012.

(D) An amount equal to True-up Revenues for Access Recovery Charges for the year beginning July 1, 2012 multiplied by negative one.

(iv) Beginning July 1, 2015, and for all subsequent years, a Rate-of-Return Carrier's eligible recovery will be calculated by updating the procedures set forth in paragraph (d)(1)(iii) of this section for the period beginning July 1, 2014, to reflect the passage of an additional year in each subsequent year.

(v) If a Rate-of-Return Carrier receives payments for intrastate or interstate switched access services or for Access Recovery Charges after the period used to measure the adjustments to reflect the differences between estimated and actual revenues, it shall treat such payments as actual revenue in the year the payment is received and shall reflect this as an additional adjustment for that year.

(vi) If a Rate-of-Return Carrier receives or makes reciprocal compensation payments after the period used to measure the adjustments to reflect the differences between estimated and actual net reciprocal compensation revenues, it shall treat such amounts as actual revenues or payments in the year the payment is received or made and shall reflect this as an additional adjustment for that year.

(vii) If a Rate-of-Return Carrier recovers any costs or revenues that are already being recovered as Eligible Recovery through Access Recovery Charges or the Connect America Fund from another source, that carrier's ability to recover reduced switched access revenue from Access Recovery Charges or the Connect America Fund shall be reduced to the extent it receives duplicative recovery. Any duplicative recovery shall be reflected as a reduction to a carrier's Eligible Recovery calculated pursuant to §51.917(d). A Rate-of-Return Carrier seeking revenue recovery must annually certify as part of its tariff filings to the Commission and to the relevant state commission that the carrier is not seeking duplicative recovery in the state jurisdiction for any Eligible Recovery subject to the recovery mechanism.

(viii)(A) If a Rate-of-Return Carrier in any tariff period underestimates its projected demand for services covered by §51.917(b)(6) or 51.915(b)(13), and thus has too much Eligible Recovery in that tariff period, it shall refund the amount of any such True-up Revenues or True-up Revenues for Access Recovery Charge that are not offset by the Rate-of-Return Carrier's Eligible Recovery (calculated before including the true-up amounts in the Eligible Recovery calculation) in the true-up tariff period to the Administrator by August 1 following the date of the Rate-of-Return Carrier's annual access tariff filing.

(B) If a Rate-of-Return Carrier in any tariff period receives too little Eligible Recovery because it overestimates its projected demand for services covered by §51.917(b)(6) or 51.915(b)(13), which True-up Revenues and True-up Revenues for Access Recovery Charge it cannot recover in the true-up tariff period because the Rate-of-Return Carrier has a negative Eligible Recovery in the true-up tariff period (before calculating the true-up amount in the Eligible Recovery calculation), the Rate-of-Return Carrier shall treat the unrecoverable true-up amount as its Eligible Recovery for the true-up tariff period.

(e) Access Recovery Charge. (1) A charge that is expressed in dollars and cents per line per month may be assessed upon end users that may be assessed a subscriber line charge pursuant to §69.104 of this chapter, to the extent necessary to allow the Rate-of-Return Carrier to recover some or all of its Eligible Recovery determined pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section, subject to the caps described in paragraph (e)(6) of this section. A Rate-of-Return Carrier may elect to forgo charging some or all of the Access Recovery Charge.

(2) Total Access Recovery Charges calculated by multiplying the tariffed Access Recovery Charge by the projected demand for the year may not recover more than the amount of eligible recovery calculated pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section for the year beginning on July 1.

(3) For the purposes of this section, a Rate-of-Return Carrier holding company includes all of its wholly-owned operating companies. A Rate-of-Return Carrier Holding Company may recover the eligible recovery attributable to any Rate-of-Return study areas operated by its wholly-owned operating companies that are Rate-of-Return incumbent local exchange carriers through assessments of the Access Recovery Charge on end users in any Rate-of-Return study areas operated by its wholly-owned operating companies that are Rate-of-Return incumbent local exchange carriers.

(4) Distribution of Access Recovery Charges among lines of different types

(i) A Rate-of-Return Carrier that does not receive ICC-replacement CAF support (whether because they elect not to or because they do not have sufficient eligible recovery after the Access Recovery Charge is assessed or imputed) may not recover a higher ratio of its total revenue recovery from Access Recovery Charges assessed on Residential and Single Line Business lines than the following ratio (using holding company lines):

(A) The number of Residential and Single-Line Business lines assessed an End User Common Line charge (excluding Lifeline Customers), divided by

(B) The sum of the number of Residential and Single-Line Business lines assessed an End User Common Line charge (excluding Lifeline Customers), and two (2) times the number of End User Common Line charges assessed on Multi-Line Business customers.

(5) For purposes of this subpart, Residential and Single Line Business lines are lines (other than lines of Lifeline Customers) assessed the residential and single line business end user common line charge.

(i) For purposes of this subpart, Multi-Line Business Lines are lines assessed the multi-line business end user common line charge.

(ii) [Reserved]

(6) Per-line caps and other limitations on Access Recovery Charges. (i) For each line other than lines of Lifeline Customers assessed a primary residential or single-line business end user common line charge pursuant to §69.104 of this chapter, a Rate-of-Return Carrier may assess an Access Recovery Charge as follows:

(A) Beginning July 1, 2012, a maximum of $0.50 per month for each line;

(B) Beginning July 1, 2013, a maximum of $1.00 per month for each line;

(C) Beginning July 1, 2014, a maximum of $1.50 per month for each line;

(D) Beginning July 1, 2015, a maximum of $2.00 per month for each line;

(E) Beginning July 1, 2016, a maximum of $2.50 per month for each line; and

(F) Beginning July 1, 2017, a maximum of $3.00 per month for each line.

(ii) For each line assessed a multi-line business end user common line charge pursuant to §69.104 of this chapter, a Rate-of-Return Carrier may assess an Access Recovery Charge as follows:

(A) Beginning July 1, 2012, a maximum of $1.00 per month for each multi-line business end user common line charge assessed;

(B) Beginning July 1, 2013, a maximum of $2.00 per month for each multi-line business end user common line charge assessed;

(C) Beginning July 1, 2014, a maximum of $3.00 per month for each multi-line business end user common line charge assessed;

(D) Beginning July 1, 2015, a maximum of $4.00 per month for each multi-line business end user common line charge assessed;

(E) Beginning July 1, 2016, a maximum of $5.00 per month for each multi-line business end user common line charge assessed; and

(F) Beginning July 1, 2017, a maximum of $6.00 per month for each multi-line business end user common line charge assessed.

(iii) The Access Recovery Charge allowed by paragraph (e)(6)(i) of this section may not be assessed to the extent that its assessment would bring the total of the Rate Ceiling Component Charges above the Residential Rate Ceiling. This limitation does not apply to single-line business customers.

(iv) The Access Recovery Charge allowed by paragraph (e)(6)(ii) of this section may not be assessed to the extent that its assessment would bring the total of the multi-line business end user common line charge and the Access Recovery Charge above $12.20 per line.

(v) The Access Recovery Charge may not be assessed on lines of Lifeline Customers.

(vi) If in any year, the Rate of return carriers' Access Recovery Charge is not at its maximum, the succeeding year's Access Recovery Charge may not increase more than $0.50 per line for charges under paragraph (e)(6)(i) of this section or $1.00 per line for charges assessed under paragraph (e)(6)(ii) of this section.

(vii) A Price Cap Carrier with study areas that are subject to rate-of-return regulation shall recover its eligible recovery for such study areas through the recovery procedures specified in this section. For that purpose, the provisions of paragraph (e)(3) of this section shall apply to the rate-of-return study areas if the applicable conditions in paragraph (e)(3) of this section are met.

(f) Rate-of-Return Carrier eligibility for CAF ICC Recovery. (1) A Rate-of-Return Carrier shall elect in its July 1, 2012 access tariff filing whether it will receive CAF ICC Support under this paragraph. A Rate-of-Return Carrier eligible to receive CAF ICC Support subsequently may elect at any time not to receive such funding. Once it makes the election not to receive CAF ICC Support, it may not elect to receive such funding at a later date.

(2) Beginning July 1, 2012, a Rate-of-Return Carrier may recover any eligible recovery allowed by paragraph (d) of this section that it could not have recovered through charges assessed pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section from CAF ICC Support pursuant to §54.304. For this purpose, the Rate-of-Return Carrier must impute the maximum charges it could have assessed under paragraph (e) of this section.

(3) A Rate-of-Return Carrier that elects to receive CAF ICC support must certify with its annual access tariff filing that it has complied with paragraphs (d) and (e), and, after doing so, is eligible to receive the CAF ICC support requested pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section.

(4) Except as provided in paragraph (f)(5) of this section, a Rate-of-Return Carrier must impute an amount equal to the Access Recovery Charge for each Consumer Broadband-Only Loop line that receives support pursuant to §54.901 of this chapter, with the imputation applied before CAF-ICC recovery is determined. The per line per month imputation amount shall be equal to the Access Recovery Charge amount prescribed by paragraph (e) of this section, consistent with the residential or single-line business or multi-line business status of the retail customer.

(5) Notwithstanding paragraph (f)(4) of this section, commencing July 1, 2018 and ending June 30, 2023, the maximum total dollar amount a carrier must impute on supported consumer broadband-only loops is limited as follows:

(i) For the affected tariff year, the carrier shall compare the amounts in paragraphs (f)(5)(i)(A) and (B) of this section.

(A) The sum of the revenues from projected Access Recovery Charges assessed pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section, any amounts imputed pursuant to paragraph (f)(2) of this section, and any imputation pursuant to paragraph (f)(4) of this section.

(B) The sum of the revenues from Access Recovery Charges assessed pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section and any amounts imputed pursuant to paragraph (f)(2) of this section for tariff year 2015-16, after being trued-up.

(ii) If the amount determined in paragraph (f)(5)(i)(A) of this section is greater than the amount determined in paragraph (f)(5)(i)(B), the sum of the revenues from projected Access Recovery Charges assessed pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section and any amounts imputed pursuant to paragraph (f)(2) of this section for the affected year must be compared to the amount determined in paragraph (f)(5)(ii)(B) of this section.

(A) If the former amount is greater than the latter amount, no imputation is made on Consumer Broadband-Only Loops.

(B) If the former amount is equal to or less than the latter amount, the imputation on Consumer Broadband-Only Loops is limited to the difference between the two amounts.

[76 FR 73856, Nov. 29, 2011, as amended at 77 FR 14302, Mar. 9, 2012; 78 FR 26268, May 6, 2013; 79 FR 28847, May 20, 2014; 80 FR 15909, Mar. 26, 2015; 81 FR 24337, Apr. 25, 2016; 83 FR 14189, Apr. 3, 2018]

return arrow Back to Top

§51.919   Reporting and monitoring.

(a) A Price Cap Carrier that elects to participate in the recovery mechanism outlined in §51.915 shall, beginning in 2012, file with the Commission the data consistent with Section XIII (f)(3) of FCC 11-161 with its annual access tariff filing.

(b) A Rate-of-Return Carrier that elects to participate in the recovery mechanism outlined in §51.917 shall file with the Commission the data consistent with Section XIII (f)(3) of FCC 11-161 with its annual interstate access tariff filing, or on the date such a filing would have been required if it had been required to file in that year.

Effective Date Note: At 76 FR 73856, Nov. 29, 2011, §51.919 was added. This section contains information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective until approval has been given by the Office of Management and Budget.

return arrow Back to Top