[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 100 (Thursday, May 23, 2002)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36186-36188]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-12978]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

[CC Docket No. 02-35; FCC 02-147]


Joint Application by BellSouth Corporation, BellSouth 
Telecommunications, Inc., and BellSouth Long Distance, Inc., Pursuant 
to Section 271 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, For Provision of 
In-Region, InterLATA Services in the States of Georgia and Louisiana

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: In the document, the Federal Communications Commission grants 
the section 271 application of BellSouth Corporation, et al. 
(BellSouth) for authority to enter the interLATA telecommunications 
market in the states of Georgia and Louisiana. The Commission grants 
BellSouth's application based on its conclusion that BellSouth has 
satisfied all of the statutory requirements for entry, and opened its 
local exchange markets to full competition.

DATES: Effective May 24, 2002.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rene Crittendon, Senior Attorney 
Advisor, Wireline Competition Bureau, at (202) 418-1580 or via the 
Internet at [email protected]. The complete text of this Memorandum 
Opinion and Order is available for inspection and copying during normal 
business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 
12th Street, SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. Further 
information may also be obtained by calling the Common Carrier Bureau's 
TTY number: (202) 418-0484.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's 
Memorandum Opinion and Order (MO&O) in CC Docket No. 02-35, FCC 02-147, 
adopted May 15, 2002, and released May 15, 2002. This full text may be 
purchased from the Commission's duplicating contractor, Qualex 
International, Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, 
Washington, DC 20554, telephone 202-863-2893, facsimile 202-863-2898, 
or via e-mail [email protected]. It is also available on the 
Commission's website at http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common_Carrier/ in-
region----applications/bellsouth----gala/welcome.html.

Synopsis of the Order

    1. History of the Application. On February 14, 2002, BellSouth 
filed a joint application, pursuant to section 271 of the 
Telecommunications Act of 1996, with the Commission to provide in-
region, interLATA service in Georgia and Louisiana.
    2. The Georgia and Louisiana Public Service Commissions' 
Evaluations. Both the Georgia Public Service Commission (Georgia 
Commission) and the Louisiana Public Service Commission (Louisiana 
Commission) advised the Commission, following an extensive review 
process, that BellSouth met the checklist requirements of section 271 
and has taken the statutorily required steps to open its local markets 
to competition. Consequently, the Georgia Commission and the Louisiana 
Commission recommended that the Commission approve BellSouth's in-
region, interLATA entry in its March 4, 2002 evaluation of the Georgia 
and Louisiana Application.
    3. The Department of Justice's Evaluation. The Department of 
Justice filed its evaluation of BellSouth's Georgia/Louisiana 
Application on March 19, 2002. It recommended approval of the 
application subject to the Commission's review of improvements in 
BellSouth's operations support systems (OSS).

Primary Issues in Dispute

    4. Checklist Item 2--Unbundled Network Elements. Based on the 
record, the Commission finds that BellSouth has provided 
``nondiscriminatory access to network elements in accordance with the 
requirements of sections 251(c)(3) and 252(d)(1)'' of the Act in 
compliance with checklist item 2.
    5. The Commission finds that BellSouth UNE rates in Georgia and 
Louisiana are just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory, and are based on 
cost plus a reasonable profit as required by section 252(d)(1). Thus, 
BellSouth UNE rates in Georgia and Louisiana satisfy checklist item 2. 
Because the Commission has not previously approved a section 271 
application of BellSouth, it conducts a stand-alone analysis of 
BellSouth's rates, in which it reviews the rates from the ``bottom up'' 
to ensure they comply with our TELRIC standards rather than engaging in 
any benchmarking or other state comparisons. The Commission has 
previously noted that different states may reach different results that 
are each within the range of what a reasonable application of TELRIC 
would produce. After reviewing commenters' criticism of loop rate 
issues (including use of Universal Digital Loop Carrier and Integrated 
Digital Loop Carrier, loading factors and fill factors), switching rate 
issues and Daily Usage File (DUF) rates, the Commission concludes that 
the Georgia and Louisiana Commissions followed basic TELRIC principles 
and there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that the state 
commissions committed clear error.
    6. The Commission also concludes that BellSouth meets it obligation 
to provide access to its OSS--the systems, databases, and personnel 
necessary to support the network elements or services. 
Nondiscriminatory access to OSS ensures that new entrants have the 
ability to order service for their customers and communicate 
effectively with BellSouth regarding basic activities such as placing 
orders and providing maintenance and repair services for customers. The 
Commission finds that, for each of the primary OSS functions (pre-
ordering, ordering, provisioning,

[[Page 36187]]

maintenance and repair, and billing, as well as change management and 
technical assistance), BellSouth provides access that enables competing 
carriers to perform the functions in substantially the same time and 
manner as BellSouth or, if there is not an appropriate retail analogue 
in BellSouth's systems, in a manner that permits an efficient 
competitor a meaningful opportunity to compete.
    7. Pursuant to this checklist item, BellSouth must also provide 
nondiscriminatory access to network elements in a manner that allows 
other carriers to combine such elements. Based on the evidence in the 
record, and upon BellSouth's legal obligations under interconnection 
agreements, BellSouth demonstrates that it provides to competitors 
combinations of already-combined network element as well as 
nondiscriminatory access to unbundled network elements in a manner that 
allows competing carriers to combine those elements themselves.

Other Checklist Items

    8. Checklist Item 1--Interconnection. Based on the evidence in the 
record, the Commission concludes that BellSouth demonstrates that it 
provides interconnection in accordance with the requirements of section 
251(c)(2) and as specified in section 271 and applied in the 
Commission's prior orders. Pursuant to this checklist item, BellSouth 
must allow other carriers to interconnect their networks to its network 
for the mutual exchange of traffic, using any available method of 
interconnection at any available point in BellSouth's network.
    9. BellSouth also demonstrates that its collocation offerings in 
Georgia and Louisiana satisfy the requirements of sections 251 and 271 
of the Act and are in compliance with the Commission's recent 
Collocation Remand Order. BellSouth demonstrates that it offers 
interconnection in Georgia and Louisiana to other telecommunications 
carriers at just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory rates, in 
compliance with checklist item 1.
    10. Checklist Item 4--Unbundled Local Loops. BellSouth has 
adequately demonstrated that it provides unbundled local loops as 
required by section 271. More specifically, BellSouth establishes that 
it provides access to loop make-up information in compliance with the 
UNE Remand Order and nondiscriminatory access to stand alone xDSL-
capable loops and high-capacity loops. Also, BellSouth provides voice 
grade loops, both as new loops and through hot-cut conversions, in a 
nondiscriminatory manner. Finally, BellSouth has demonstrated that it 
has a line-sharing and line-splitting provisioning process that affords 
competitors nondiscriminatory access to these facilities.
    11. Checklist Item 5--Unbundled Local Transport. Section 
271(c)(2)(B)(v) of the competitive checklist requires a BOC to provide 
``local transport from the trunk side of a wireline local exchange 
carrier switch unbundled from switching or other services.'' The 
Commission concludes, based upon the evidence in the record, that 
BellSouth demonstrates that it provides unbundled local transport, in 
compliance with the requirements of checklist item 5.
    12. Checklist Item 6--Unbundled Local Switching. Based on the 
Commission's review of the record, it concludes that BellSouth provides 
(1) line-side and trunk side facilities; (2) basic switching function; 
(3) vertical features; (4) customized routing; (5) shared trunk ports; 
(6) unbundled tandem switching; (7) usage information for billing 
exchange access; and (8) usage information for billing for reciprocal 
compensation in compliance with checklist item 6.
    13. Checklist Item 7--911/E911 Access and Directory Assistance/
Operation Services. Based on the Commission's review of the record, it 
finds that BellSouth provides non-discriminatory access to 911 and E911 
services and access to directory assistance services to allow the other 
carrier's customers to obtain telephone numbers and operator call 
completion services in compliance with checklist item 7.
    14. Checklist Item 8--White Pages. Based on the record, the 
Commission finds that BellSouth provides white page directory listings 
for customers of the other carrier's telephone exchange service and 
permits competitive providers of telephone exchange service and toll 
service to have access to directory listings in compliance with 
checklist item 8.
    15. Checklist Item 11--Number Portability. The Commission finds 
that BellSouth complies with checklist item 11 in that it provides, to 
the extent technically feasible, number portability.
    16. Checklist Item 12--Local Dialing Parity. Based on the evidence 
in the record, the Commission concludes that BellSouth provides 
nondiscriminatory access to such services or information as are 
necessary to allow the requesting carrier to implement local dialing 
parity in accordance with the requirements of section 251(b)(3) of the 
Act in compliance with checklist item 12.
    17. Checklist Item 13--Reciprocal Compensation. The Commission 
finds that BellSouth demonstrates that it provides reciprocal 
compensation as required by checklist item 13.
    18. Checklist Item 14--Resale. Based on the evidence in the record, 
the Commission concludes that BellSouth demonstrates that it makes 
telecommunications services, including DSL resale, available in Georgia 
and Louisiana for resale, in accordance with sections 251(c)(4) and 
252(d)(3), and thus satisfies the requirements for checklist item 14.
    19. Checklist Items 3, 9 and 10. An applicant under section 271 
must demonstrate that it complies with checklist item 3 (poles, ducts, 
conduits, and rights of way), item 9 (numbering administration), and 
item 10 (databases and associated signaling). Based on the evidence in 
the record, and in accordance with Commission rules and orders 
concerning compliance with section 271 of the Act, the Commission 
concludes that BellSouth demonstrates that it is in compliance with 
checklist items 3, 9, and 10 in Georgia and Louisiana. Both the Georgia 
Commission and the Louisiana Commission also conclude that BellSouth 
complies with the requirements of each of these checklist items.

Other Statutory Requirements

    20. Compliance with Section 271(c)(1)(A). The Commission concludes 
that BellSouth demonstrates that it satisfies the requirements of 
section 271(c)(1)(A) based on the interconnection agreements it has 
implemented with competing carriers in Georgia and Louisiana. The 
record demonstrates that competitive LECs serve some business and 
residential customers using predominantly their own facilities.
    21. Section 272 Compliance. BellSouth has demonstrated that it 
complies with the requirements of section 272.
    22. Public Interest Analysis. The Commission concludes that 
approval of this application is consistent with the public interest. It 
views the public interest requirement as an opportunity to review the 
circumstances presented by the applications to ensure that no other 
relevant factors exist that would frustrate the congressional intent 
that markets be open, as required by the competitive checklist, and 
that entry will therefore serve the public interest as Congress 
expected. While no one factor is dispositive in this analysis, the 
Commission's overriding goal is to ensure that nothing undermines its 
conclusion that markets are open to competition.

[[Page 36188]]

    23. The Commission finds that, consistent with its extensive review 
of the competitive checklist, barriers to competitive entry in the 
local market have been removed and the local exchange market today is 
open to competition. The Commission also finds that the record confirms 
our view that a BOC's entry into the long distance market will benefit 
consumers and competition if the relevant local exchange market is open 
to competition consistent with the competitive checklist.
    24. The Commission also finds that the performance monitoring and 
enforcement mechanisms developed in Georgia and Louisiana, in 
combination with other factors, provide meaningful assurance that 
BellSouth will continue to satisfy the requirements of section 271 
after entering the long distance market.
    25. Section 271(d)(6) Enforcement Authority. Working with the 
Georgia and Louisiana Commissions, the Commission intends to monitor 
closely post-entry compliance and to enforce the provisions of section 
271 using the various enforcement tools Congress provided us in the 
Communications Act.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 02-12978 Filed 5-22-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P