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Title 47 Part 51 → Subpart F

Title 47 → Chapter I → Subchapter B → Part 51 → Subpart F

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 47 Part 51 → Subpart F

e-CFR data is current as of December 5, 2019

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 51 → Subpart F


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 51—INTERCONNECTION


§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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]

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§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]

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§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.

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§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]

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§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]

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