Date/Time: Tuesday, December 18, 12:00 – 2:15 p.m.


12:00 – 12:05 p.m.     Welcome and Introductions

12:05 – 1:05 p.m.       Eliminating Access Arbitrage–What’s at Stake and What Should the FCC Do?

This past summer the FCC received comments in its rulemaking proceeding, WC Docket No. 18-155, that proposes to update the ICC regime by eliminating access arbitrage or financial incentives to engage in access stimulation.  Access stimulation typically occurs when a local exchange carrier (“LEC”) with relatively-high switched access rates enters into an arrangement to terminate calls—often in a remote area—for an entity with a high call volume operation, such as a chat line and “free” conference calls, collectively high call volume services.  The competitive LECs that terminate the traffic assert that many of the tentative conclusions in the FCC’s NPRM are not supported by record evidence that justifies eliminating the services and there are compelling reasons for the FCC not to take the actions it is proposing.  This panel will examine the various forms of access stimulation in the marketplace, steps the FCC has taken, and explore whether the existing record supports the FCC’s tentative conclusions that further ICC reforms are warranted.

Philip Macres, Principal, Klein Law Group, PLLC

David Carter, Member, Innovista Law PLLC, Outside Counsel for BTC, Inc. d/b/a Western Iowa Networks, Goldfield Access Network, Great Lakes Communication Corporation, Northern Valley Communications, LLC, Louisa Communications, OmniTel Communications
Joe Cavender, Vice President & Assistant General Counsel, Federal Affairs, CenturyLink
Matthew Nodine, Assistant Vice President, Federal Regulatory, AT&T Services, Inc.
Mike Romano, Senior Vice President – Industry Affairs & Business Development, NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association

1:05 – 1:15 p.m.         Break

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.         Reforming ICC for 8YY Calls and the Impacts of Doing So
The FCC also recently received comments in a companion rulemaking proceeding, WC Docket No. 18-156, on whether it should modify the ICC regime for telephone calls made to toll free (“8YY”) numbers.  The FCC sought comment on possible reforms to the ICC regime for 8YY traffic to address concerns that the current regime incentivizes (a) originating carriers and intermediate providers to artificially inflate access charges billed to the interexchange carriers that provide 8YY services, and (b) bad actors to flood 8YY numbers with robocalls.  This panel will discuss how the FCC could address such issues and the impact of such ICC reforms on originating carriers and consumers.

Joel Bernstein, Vice President, Regulatory and Public Policy, Somos, Inc.

David Aldworth, President, Teliax, Inc.
Colleen Boothby, Levine, Blazak, Block & Boothby LLP, Counsel for Ad Hoc Telecom Users Committee
Michael Jacobs, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, ITTA – The Voice of America’s Broadband Providers
Matthew Nodine, Assistant Vice President, Federal Regulatory, AT&T Services, Inc.


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