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Advancing The Cause of Competition in the Telecommunications Industry
FCC ADOPTS SECOND REPORT & ORDER CLARIFYING CALEA OBLIGATIONS OF CERTAIN
IP-BASED SERVICE PROVIDERS
On May 3, 2006, the FCC adopted a Second Report and Order and
Memorandum Opinion and Order (Second Order) on implementation of the
Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). The
primary goal of the Order is to ensure that Law Enforcement Agencies
(LEAs) have all of the resources that CALEA authorizes to combat
crime and support homeland security, particularly with regard to
facilities-based broadband Internet access providers and
interconnected voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) providers.
The FCC's CALEA proceedings were initiated by a Joint Petition filed
by the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and
Drug Enforcement Administration in March 2004. The First Report and
Order concluded that facilities-based broadband Internet access and
interconnected VOIP providers were considered telecommunications
carriers=94 and, hence, are subject to CALEA. The First Report is
currently the subject of appeal pending before the United States
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, American
Council on Education v. FCC. Recently, the case was argued before
the court and reports are that the panel of judges was highly critical
of the FCC's decision, with one Judge calling the FCC attorney's
argument in support of CALEA extension to Internet access providers,
Nevertheless, the Second Order affirms that the CALEA compliance
deadline for facilities-based broadband Internet access and
interconnected VoIP services will be May 14, 2007, as established by
the First Report and Order.
The Second Order clarifies that this May 14, 2007 compliance date will
apply to all facilities-based broadband Internet access and
interconnected VoIP providers. By applying the same compliance date
to all providers the FCC hopes to eliminate confusion about the
applicability of the deadline, avoid any skewing effect on
competition, and prevent migration of criminal activity onto networks
with delayed compliance dates.
The FCC also clarified that, absent the filing of a petition, it will
not intervene in the ongoing process among telecommunications
standards-setting bodies, LEAs and other interested persons, to
develop assistance capability standards.
The FCC clarified that providers are given the option of using Trusted
Third Parties (TTPs) to assist in meeting their CALEA obligations.
TTPs are available to provide a variety of services for CALEA
compliance, including processing requests for intercepts, conducting
electronic surveillance, and delivering relevant information to LEAs.
The Second Order makes clear however that, if a provider chooses to
use a TTP, the provider remains responsible for ensuring the timely
delivery of call-identifying information and call content information
to a LEA and for protecting subscriber privacy, as required by CALEA.
The Second Order concludes that carriers are responsible for CALEA
development and implementation costs for post-January 1, 1995
equipment and facilities, and rejected imposing a national surcharge
to recover CALEA costs.
And, with regard to enforcement of its rulings, the FCC announced it
would take separate enforcement action under section 229(a) of the
Communications Act against providers that fail to comply with CALEA.
Finally, the Second Order requires all carriers providing
facilities-based broadband Internet access and interconnected VoIP
service to submit interim reports to the Commission to ensure that
they will be CALEA-compliant by May 14, 2007. All facilities-based
broadband Internet access and interconnected VoIP providers to whom
CALEA obligations were applied in the First Report and Order are to
come into compliance with the system security requirements in the
Commission's rules within 90 days of the effective date of the Second
However, given the skepticism shown by the D.C. Circuit Court during
oral arguments of the American Council on Education v. FCC appeal,
there is the potential for a delay to 90-day compliance deadline.
This rapidly developing area of concern warrants increased attention
on the part of allentities subject to CALEA requirements.
WASHINGTON UTILITIES AND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION (WUTC) TO IMPLEMENT
NEW STATE LAW ELIMINATING USE OF PRICE LISTS FOR COMPETITIVE SERVICES
On June 8, 2006, a new law takes effect in the state of Washington
which eliminates the use of price lists for competitively classified
The new law contemplates that instead of using Price Lists filed with
the WUTC, companies will communicate directly with their customers
through written contracts or customer service agreements. All
telecommunications carriers who currently have affected Price Lists on
file shall be required to withdraw them and provide their customers
with information about ongoing rates, terms and conditions.
The new law does not, however, affect tariffs or regulatory fees and
carriers are still required to work with WUTC to resolve consumer
WUTC will accept new price list filings until June 7, 2006. After
that, new price list filings will not be accepted and the WUTC will
begin accepting notices of Price List withdrawals. By June 30, 2007,
affected carriers must either withdraw existing Price Lists or
petition for a one-year extension.
If you have any questions about the new law or procedures being
implemented by WUTC, please contact your regulatory counsel. If you
have none or seek guidance with respect to your obligations, please
contact Jonathan S. Marashlian at email@example.com or 703-714-1300.
CONNECTICUT PROPOSES PER LINE ASSESSMENTS TO SUPPORT STATEWIDE 911
On May 3, 2006, the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control
released a Draft Decision in its annual assessment proceeding to fund
development and administration of the state=92s enhanced 911 program.
In accordance with Conn. Agencies Regs. =A728-24-10(a), the Draft
Decision proposes that on and after June 1, 2006, each telephone and
telecommunications company providing local telephone service
(including ILECs and CLECs) and each Commercial Mobile Radio Service
(CMRS) provider (including CMRS resellers) shall assess a fee against
each of its subscribers based on the following multi-line assessment
Wireless Telephone Numbers/ Local Access Lines
4 or 5
Furthermore, the Draft Decision proposes that, no later than September
30, 2006 and quarterly thereafter, all local and CMRS companies
provide reports to the Department regarding the quarterly payments
made to the state's Enhanced 911 Fund.
The Department expects to render a final decision on this matter on
May 24, 2006.
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and updates regarding regulatory and legal developments primarily
companies engaged in the competitive telecommunications industry.
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