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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 17, 2014

Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 51—INTERCONNECTION


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


Contents
§51.700   Purpose of this subpart.
§51.701   Scope of transport and termination pricing rules.
§51.703   Non-Access reciprocal compensation obligation of LECs.
§51.705   LECs' rates for transport and termination.
§51.707   [Reserved]
§51.709   Rate structure for transport and termination.
§51.711   Symmetrical reciprocal compensation.
§51.713   Bill-and-keep arrangements.
§51.715   Interim transport and termination pricing.
§51.717   [Reserved]

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

§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]

§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]

§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]

§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]

§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]

§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]

§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]

§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]

§51.717   [Reserved]



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