[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 209 (Thursday, October 29, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 66454-66480]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-20900]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Part 52

[WC Docket Nos. 13-97, 04-36, 07-243, 10-90 and CC Docket No. 95-116, 
01-92, and 99-200; FCC 15-70]


Numbering Policies for Modern Communications, IP-Enabled 
Services, Telephone Number Requirements for IP-Enabled, Services 
Providers, Telephone Number Portability et al.

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This document, establishes an authorization process to enable 
interconnected VoIP providers that choose direct access to request 
numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators. Next, this document 
sets forth several conditions designed to minimize number exhaust and 
preserve the integrity of the numbering system. Finally, this document 
modifies Commission's rules in order to permit VoIP Positioning Center 
(VPC) providers to obtain pseudo-Automatic Number Identification (p-
ANI) codes directly from the Numbering Administrators for purposes of 
providing E911 services. These relatively modest steps will have 
lasting, positive impacts for consumers and the communications industry 
as we continue to undergo technology transitions.

DATES: Effective November 30, 2015, except for 47 CFR 52.15(g)(2) 
through(g)(3), which contains information collection requirements that 
have not be approved by OMB, the Federal Communications Commission will 
publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective 
date.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marilyn Jones, Wireline Competition 
Bureau, Competition Policy Division, (202) 418-1580, or send an email 
to [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Report 
and Order in WC Docket Nos. 13-97, 04-36, 07-243, 10-90 and CC Docket 
Nos. 95-116, 01-92, 99-200, FCC 15-70, adopted June 18, 2015 and 
released June 22, 2015. The full text of this document is available for 
public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference 
Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, 
Washington, DC 20554. The document may also be purchased from the 
Commission's duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., 445 
12th Street SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, telephone (800) 
378-3160 or (202) 863-2893, facsimile (202) 863-2898, or via the 
Internet at http://www.bcpiweb.com. It is available on the Commission's 
Web site at http://www.fcc.gov.

I. Introduction

    1. The nation's communications infrastructure is undergoing key 
technology transitions, including that from networks based on time-
division multiplexed (TDM) circuit-switched voice services to all-
Internet Protocol (IP) multi-media networks. Already, these transitions 
have brought innovative and improved communications services to the 
marketplace, and consumers have embraced these new technologies. This 
is evidenced by the nearly 48 million interconnected VoIP retail local 
telephone service connections in service as of the end of 2013, 
comprising over a third of all wireline retail local telephone service 
connections.

[[Page 66455]]

    2. Our actions today support these transitions. We establish a 
process to authorize interconnected VoIP providers to obtain North 
American Numbering Plan (NANP) telephone numbers directly from the 
Numbering Administrators, rather than through intermediaries. Our 
actions will facilitate innovative technologies and services that will 
benefit both consumers and providers, and further the Commission's 
recognized pro-consumer, pro-competition, and public safety goals. In 
addition, permitting interconnected VoIP providers to obtain telephone 
numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators will improve 
responsiveness in the number porting process and increase visibility 
and accuracy of number utilization, enabling the Commission to more 
effectively protect the Nation's finite numbering resources. Our 
authorization process also enhances our ability to enforce the rules 
against interconnected VoIP providers. Finally, we also expect that, to 
the extent it encourages VoIP interconnection, authorizing 
interconnected VoIP providers to obtain numbers directly will help 
stakeholders and the Commission identify the source of routing problems 
and take corrective actions.
    3. First, this Order establishes an authorization process to enable 
interconnected VoIP providers that choose direct access to request 
numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators. Next, the Order 
sets forth several conditions designed to minimize number exhaust and 
preserve the integrity of the numbering system. Finally, the Order also 
modifies Commission's rules in order to permit VoIP Positioning Center 
(VPC) providers to obtain pseudo-Automatic Number Identification (p-
ANI) codes directly from the Numbering Administrators for purposes of 
providing E911 services. These relatively modest steps will have 
lasting, positive impacts for consumers and the communications industry 
as we continue to undergo technology transitions.

II. Background

    4. Section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of the Commission's rules limits access 
to telephone numbers to entities that demonstrate they are authorized 
to provide service in the area for which the numbers are being 
requested. The Commission has interpreted this rule as requiring 
evidence of either a state certificate of public convenience and 
necessity (CPCN) or a Commission license. As a practical matter, 
generally only telecommunications carriers are able to provide the 
proof of authorization required under our rules, and thus able to 
obtain numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators. As explained 
below, neither authorization is typically available in practice to 
interconnected VoIP providers. The Commission has waived section 
52.15(g)(2)(i) in two instances. The first was in 2005 to allow SBC 
Information Services (SBCIS), an information service provider that 
lacked state certification a carrier, as a carrier to obtain numbers 
directly from the Numbering Administrators. In that Order, the SBCIS 
Waiver Order, the Commission stated that, ``[t]o the extent other 
entities seek similar relief we would grant such relief to an extent 
comparable to what we set forth in this Order.'' Following that Order, 
a number of entities filed similar petitions. The second waiver was in 
2013, in order to conduct a limited trial allowing interconnected VoIP 
providers direct access to numbers. As described below, this trial 
demonstrated that there are no technical barriers preventing 
interconnected VoIP providers from accessing numbering resources 
directly and using them without intermediate carriers.

Direct Access NPRM

    5. On April 18, 2013, the Commission adopted the Direct Access 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) (Federal Register 2013-09154 Pages 
23192-23194) which, among other things, proposed to allow 
interconnected VoIP providers to obtain telephone numbers directly from 
the Numbering Administrators, subject to certain requirements. The 
Commission anticipated that allowing interconnected VoIP providers to 
have direct access to numbers would help speed the delivery of 
innovative services to consumers and businesses, while preserving the 
integrity of the network and appropriate oversight of telephone number 
assignments.
    6. In the Direct Access (NPRM), the Commission sought comment on: 
(1) What type of documentation interconnected VoIP providers should 
have to provide to the Numbering Administrators in order to obtain 
numbers, (2) which existing or new numbering-related Commission 
requirements should apply to interconnected VoIP providers requesting 
numbers, and (3) how the Commission can enforce VoIP provider 
compliance with any numbering requirements it mandates. Specifically, 
regarding numbering requirements, the Commission proposed and sought 
comment on imposing the same requirements that it imposed in the SBCIS 
Waiver Order--number utilization and optimization requirements, 
numbering-related industry guidelines and practices that apply to 
carriers, and a 30-day notice period to inform the Commission and 
relevant states of the interconnected VoIP provider's intent to request 
numbers.
    7. In the Direct Access (NPRM), the Commission sought comment on 
its proposal that interconnected VoIP providers may obtain numbers from 
any rate center unless a state commission finds that the request (1) is 
for numbers in a non-pooling rate center, and (2) will substantially 
contribute to number exhaust. It also sought comment on the Wisconsin 
Public Service Commission's proposal to impose the following 
requirements on interconnected VoIP providers seeking to obtain 
telephone numbers: (1) Provide the relevant state commission with 
contact information for personnel qualified to address regulatory and 
numbering concerns upon first requesting numbers in that state; (2) 
consolidate and report all numbers under its own unique Operating 
Company Number (OCN); (3) maintain the original rate center designation 
of all numbers in its inventory; and (4) to provide customers with the 
ability to access all N11 numbers in use in a state.
    8. The Commission also sought comment on a series of commitments 
offered by Vonage as a condition to obtaining direct access to numbers. 
Specifically, those commitments would require an interconnected VoIP 
provider to maintain at least 65 percent number utilization across its 
telephone number inventory, to offer VoIP interconnection to other 
carriers and providers, and to provide the Commission with a transition 
plan for migrating customers to its own numbers at least 90 days before 
commencing that migration and every 90 days thereafter for 18 months. 
The Commission also sought comment on whether it should modify its 
rules to allow VPC providers direct access to p-ANI codes for the 
provision of 911 and E911 services. Finally, the NPRM addressed and 
sought comment on the Commission's legal authority to adopt the various 
requirements it proposed for direct access to numbers by interconnected 
VoIP providers.

Direct Access Technical Trial

    9. In the Direct Access (NPRM), the Commission established a six-
month technical trial allowing interconnected VoIP providers to obtain 
direct access to numbers. In the trial, the Commission granted limited, 
conditional waivers to providers that had pending petitions for waiver 
of section 52.15(g)(2)(i). These

[[Page 66456]]

waivers allowed trial participants to obtain telephone numbers directly 
from the Numbering Administrators for use in providing interconnected 
VoIP services during the six-month technical trial. The Commission 
tailored the trial to test whether giving interconnected VoIP providers 
direct access to numbers would raise issues relating to number exhaust, 
number porting, VoIP interconnection, or intercarrier compensation, and 
if so, how those issues could be addressed. The Direct Access (NPRM) 
required trial participants to file regular reports throughout and at 
the end of the six-month trial, and allowed state commissions and other 
interested parties an opportunity to comment on the reports.
    10. The Commission required trial participants to comply with its 
number utilization and optimization rules, as well as industry 
guidelines and practices, including abiding by the numbering authority 
delegated to state commissions and filing Numbering Resource 
Utilization and Forecast (NRUF) reports. The Commission also required 
each trial participant to maintain at least 65 percent number 
utilization across its entire telephone number inventory. State 
commissions recommended, and he Commission imposed, additional 
conditions on trial participants, including: (1) Providing the relevant 
state commission with regulatory and numbering contacts when the 
interconnected VoIP provider requests numbers in that state, (2) 
consolidating and reporting all numbers under its own unique OCN, (3) 
providing customers with the ability to access all abbreviated dialing 
codes (N11 numbers) in use in a state, and (4) maintaining the original 
rate center designation of all numbers in its inventory.
    11. On June 17, 2013, the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) 
adopted an Order announcing the participants in the trial. The Bureau 
concluded that the proposals submitted by Vonage Holdings Corp. 
(Vonage), SmartEdgeNet, LLC (SmartEdgeNet), WilTel Communications, LLC 
(WilTel or Level 3), Intelepeer, Inc. (Intelepeer), and Millicorp met 
the Commission's requirements to participate in a limited direct access 
to numbers trial, and approved them.
    12. Upon completion of the trial, the Bureau released the Direct 
Access Trial Report. The Bureau reported that the limited trial 
indicated that it is technically feasible for interconnected VoIP 
providers to obtain telephone numbers directly from the Numbering 
Administrators and use them to provide services. Issues involving 
carrier obligations for interconnection and porting did arise during 
the trial, but did not appear to implicate technical concerns regarding 
direct access to numbers. The Bureau concluded that additional guidance 
or clarification from the Commission could reduce such disputes in the 
future.

III. Discussion

    13. Our pro-consumer, pro-competitive actions today are consistent 
with the Commission's goal to facilitate the transition to all-IP 
networking and promote interconnection of IP based voice networks, and 
serve as an integral, incremental step in furthering the Nation's 
technology transition. Based on the record in this proceeding, 
including the technical trial, and consistent with our proposal in the 
Direct Access (NPRM), we establish a process to authorize 
interconnected VoIP providers to voluntarily request and obtain 
telephone numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators under our 
rules, subject to their compliance with certain numbering 
administration requirements. Generally, we require interconnected VoIP 
providers obtaining numbers to comply with the same requirements 
applicable to carriers seeking to obtain numbers. These requirements 
include any state requirements pursuant to numbering authority 
delegated to the states by the Commission, as well as industry 
guidelines and practices, among others. We also require interconnected 
VoIP providers to comply with facilities readiness requirements adapted 
to this context, and with numbering utilization and optimization 
requirements. To extend these requirements to interconnected VoIP 
providers that obtain direct access, we added the definition of 
interconnected VoIP provider and made changes to the definitions of 
service provider, telecommunications carrier and telecommunications 
service in section 52.5 of our rules.
    14. As conditions to requesting and obtaining numbers directly from 
the Numbering Administrators, we also require interconnected VoIP 
providers to: (1) Provide the relevant state commissions with 
regulatory and numbering contacts when requesting numbers in those 
states, (2) request numbers from the Numbering Administrators under 
their own unique OCN, (3) file any requests for numbers with the 
relevant state commissions at least 30 days prior to requesting numbers 
from the Numbering Administrators, and (4) provide customers with the 
opportunity to access all abbreviated dialing codes (N11 numbers) in 
use in a geographic area. We discuss each of these requirements in 
detail below.

Benefits of Interconnected VoIP Providers Obtaining Numbers Directly

    15. In reaching our decision, we have considered the potential 
risks and benefits of authorizing interconnected VoIP providers to 
directly access telephone numbering resources. Some commenters assert 
that authorizing interconnected VoIP providers to access numbers 
directly will potentially have adverse impacts on consumers, 
competition and enforcement, as well as number exhaust. Other 
commenters assert that authorizing interconnected VoIP providers to 
obtain numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators could have 
negative consequences for routing and intercarrier compensation. Still 
others assert unknown, unintended consequences of authorizing direct 
access for interconnected VoIP providers, and urge caution. We find on 
balance that the expected benefits, discussed below, outweigh any 
perceived risks of authorizing interconnected VoIP providers to 
directly access telephone numbering resources. Moreover, we find that 
we can mitigate any risks through the conditions we establish in this 
Order.
    16. The record supports our findings that allowing interconnected 
VoIP providers to obtain telephone numbers directly from the Numbering 
Administrators will achieve a number of benefits. Both Vonage and VON 
assert that allowing interconnected VoIP providers to access numbers 
directly from the Numbering Administrators will improve efficiencies, 
provide greater control over call routing, and enhance the quality of 
service provided to customers. As SmartEdgeNet explains, ``[b]ecause 
interconnected VoIP providers who do their own numbering will be 
identified in the Local Exchange Routing Guide (`LERG') and similar 
industry databases, other providers will be able to determine more 
easily with whom they are exchanging traffic, which should lead to the 
development of new and more efficient traffic exchange and call 
termination arrangements.'' We find that allowing interconnected VoIP 
providers to access numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators 
will increase the transparency of call routing, and that in turn will 
enhance carriers' ability to ensure that calls are being completed 
properly. This enhanced ability is of value in addressing concerns 
about rural call completion. The Commission has

[[Page 66457]]

recognized problems in completing calls to rural areas, as well as 
concerns about the quality of service when calls are completed. To help 
remedy these issues, the Commission now requires certain long-distance 
service providers, including interconnected VoIP providers in some 
cases, to record, retain, and report on call attempts to rural areas. 
The Commission determined that these requirements will help providers 
and regulators identify the source of problems and take corrective 
action. We expect that interconnected VoIP provider use of numbers 
obtained directly from the numbering administrators, rather than 
through carrier partners, will enable more expedient troubleshooting of 
problematic calls to rural Local Exchange Carriers (LECs) that may 
originate from interconnected VoIP providers, as well as enabling 
greater visibility into number utilization.
    17. The record also reflects that permitting interconnected VoIP 
providers to obtain numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators 
will improve competition and benefit consumers. For example, Flowroute 
asserts that direct access will ``increase efficiency and facilitate 
increased choices for American consumers.'' Vonage maintains that 
allowing interconnected VoIP providers to obtain numbers will improve 
competition in the voice services market, broadening the options for 
consumers and reducing costs by eliminating the middleman for telephone 
numbers. Vonage asserts that, as a result of the competitiveness of the 
voice market, ``this savings will be passed directly to consumers in 
the form of reduced prices, improved service, and additional 
features.'' Similarly, VON argues that ``easier and less costly access 
to numbers will allow VoIP providers to more vigorously compete in the 
voice services market, which can be expected to result in lower prices 
for consumers,'' and the ``wider variety of creative services developed 
and offered as a result of allowing direct access to numbers will lead 
to public benefits in the form of greater and more meaningful 
choices.'' The record demonstrates that to the extent that authorizing 
interconnected VoIP providers to obtain numbers directly from the 
Numbering Administrators may facilitate direct IP interconnection, it 
will also facilitate deployment of advanced services such as HD voice.
    18. Further, we find, based on the record, that to the extent 
permitting interconnected VoIP providers to obtain numbers directly 
from the Numbering Administrators may also facilitate direct IP 
interconnection, ``[t]his will result in the expansion of the broadband 
infrastructure necessary to support VoIP, and will further the 
Commission's goals of accelerating broadband deployment and ensuring 
that more people have access to higher quality broadband service.''
    19. We also find that authorizing interconnected VoIP providers to 
request numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators will 
eliminate unnecessary inefficiencies and associated expenses. We 
further are persuaded that having a presence in the routing guide (the 
LERG) may encourage VoIP interconnection58 and lead to enhanced 
innovation. We anticipate, based on the record, that authorizing direct 
access to numbers for interconnected VoIP providers will promote VoIP 
interconnection. Finally, we observe that permitting interconnected 
VoIP providers to access numbers directly is consistent with the 
recognized movement toward an all-IP network.

Implementation of Direct Access to Numbers for Interconnected VoIP 
Providers

    20. As discussed above, Commission rules require an entity 
requesting numbering resources to demonstrate that it is ``authorized'' 
to provide service in the area for which it is requesting telephone 
numbers. Telecommunications carriers are typically required to provide 
either (1) a Commission license or (2) a CPCN issued by a state 
regulatory commission in order to obtain numbering resources from the 
Numbering Administrators. Neither of these authorizations is typically 
available to interconnected VoIP providers, because state commissions 
may lack jurisdiction to certify VoIP providers and they are not 
eligible for a Commission license. Also, the Commission has preempted 
state entry regulation of certain interconnected VoIP services to the 
extent that it interferes with important federal objectives. The 
Commission thus sought comment in the Direct Access (NPRM) on what, if 
any, documentation interconnected VoIP providers should be required to 
show in order to be eligible to obtain telephone numbers directly from 
the Numbering Administrators, and on specific processes by which an 
interconnected VoIP provider could demonstrate that it should be 
eligible to obtain numbers from the Numbering Administrators.
    21. Today, we establish a new process by which an interconnected 
VoIP provider without a state certification can obtain a Commission 
authorization to demonstrate to the Numbering Administrators that it is 
authorized to provide service under our rules in order to obtain 
numbers directly from them. We also set forth the conditions that an 
interconnected VoIP provider obtaining Commission authorization must 
comply with in order to be eligible to obtain direct access to numbers. 
As a general matter, we impose on interconnected VoIP providers the 
same requirements to which carriers are subject. In some respects, 
however, we impose unique conditions of access on interconnected VoIP 
providers obtaining a Commission authorization, reflecting the 
particular circumstances of interconnected VoIP providers, including 
that (1) interconnected VoIP providers generally receive neither state 
certification nor a federal license before initiating service, and (2) 
nomadic interconnected VoIP service need not be tied to a particular 
geographic location. These conditions also reflect our understanding of 
the demand for numbers today, and the ways in which numbering resources 
may be strained. We find that the terms and conditions set forth below 
appropriately reflect the unique circumstances that pertain to 
interconnected VoIP providers and are designed to expand the type of 
entities that can obtain numbers without unduly straining that limited 
resource.
1. Requirements To Obtain Commission Authorization
    22. We first address what form of documentation interconnected VoIP 
providers must submit to the Numbering Administrators in order to 
demonstrate that they have the authority to provide service within 
specific areas. Among our policy goals are implementing requirements to 
counteract number exhaust and ensure continuance of efficient number 
utilization, and providing adequate safeguards to prevent bad actors 
from gaining direct access to numbers. The extent to which permitting 
interconnected VoIP providers' direct access to numbers could 
exacerbate number exhaust has not been determined, largely because 
direct access would to some extent replace, rather than supplement, 
indirect access by interconnected VoIP providers. We recognize, 
however, that there are circumstances in which direct access may 
increase number exhaust within specific geographic areas, and our goal 
is to address these circumstances. We conclude that the most 
appropriate documentation to satisfy the required evidence of authority 
to provide service for interconnected VoIP providers that have not 
obtained state certification--and to meet our stated policy goals of

[[Page 66458]]

counteracting number exhaust and preventing bad actors from gaining 
direct access--is an authorization issued by the Commission. We 
therefore require all interconnected VoIP providers without a state 
certification to obtain Commission authorization prior to filing their 
initial request for numbers with a Numbering Administrator. This 
nationwide authorization will fulfill the requirement under the 
Commission's rules to provide evidence of authorization to provide 
service. We direct and delegate authority to the Wireline Competition 
Bureau to implement and maintain the authorization process. Once an 
interconnected VoIP provider has Commission authorization to obtain 
numbers, it may request numbers directly from the Numbering 
Administrators.
    23. This process is specifically designed to assess the eligibility 
of interconnected VoIP providers to obtain numbers from a Numbering 
Administrator. We find that the process we establish today will provide 
a uniform, streamlined process while also ensuring that that the 
integrity of our numbering system is not jeopardized. The process also 
provides an opportunity for states to offer their unique perspective 
regarding numbering resources within their states, while acting 
consistent with national numbering policy.
    24. As part of the Commission authorization process, the applicant 
must:
     Comply with applicable Commission rules related to 
numbering, including, among others, numbering utilization and 
optimization requirements (in particular, filing NRUF Reports); comply 
with guidelines and procedures adopted pursuant to numbering authority 
delegated to the states; and comply with industry guidelines and 
practices applicable to telecommunications carriers with regard to 
numbering;
     file requests for numbers with the relevant state 
commission(s) at least 30 days before requesting numbers from the 
Numbering Administrators;
     provide contact information for personnel qualified to 
address issues relating to regulatory requirements, compliance, 911, 
and law enforcement;
     provide proof of compliance with the Commission's 
``facilities readiness'' requirement in section 52.15(g)(2) of the 
rules;
     certify that the applicant complies with its Universal 
Service Fund (USF) contribution obligations under 47 CFR part 54, 
subpart H, its Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) contribution 
obligations under 47 CFR 64.604(c)(5)(iii), its NANP and local number 
portability (LNP) administration contribution obligations under 47 CFR 
Sections 52.17 and 52.32, its obligations to pay regulatory fees under 
47 CFR 1.1154, and its 911 obligations under 47 CFR part 9; and
     certify that the applicant has the requisite technical, 
managerial, and financial capacity to provide service. This 
certification must include the name of the applicant's key management 
and technical personnel, such as the Chief Operating Officer and the 
Chief Technology Officer, or equivalent, and state that none of the 
identified personnel are being or have been investigated by the 
Commission or any law enforcement or regulatory agency for failure to 
comply with any law, rule, or order.
    We explain more fully these requirements below.
    25. We find that the measures outlined above will ensure that 
interconnected VoIP providers are able to obtain numbers with minimal 
burden or delay, while simultaneously preventing providers from 
obtaining numbers without first demonstrating that they can deploy and 
properly utilize those resources. Requiring commitments to comply with 
the Commission's number utilization and optimization rules and to file 
30 day notices of intent to request numbers with the relevant state 
commission before making the request with the Numbering Administrators 
will help to meet our goal of efficient number utilization. In 
addition, requiring proof of compliance with the Commission's 
facilities readiness requirement will ensure that only interconnected 
VoIP providers that are prepared to provide service can gain direct 
access to numbers. We conclude that authorization by a state or the 
Commission is necessary to protect against number exhaust, as well as 
to ensure competitive neutrality among traditional telecommunications 
carriers and interconnected VoIP providers in the competitive market 
for voice services. As such, we reject assertions by commenters that a 
documentation requirement is unnecessary, and that interconnected VoIP 
providers should not be required to prove their eligibility and 
capability to provide service prior to receiving number authorization. 
We also find that the process set forth above is better targeted to 
demonstrating authorization to provide service than reliance on the 
filing of an FCC Form 499-A or 477 by an interconnected VoIP provider. 
Those forms do not demonstrate commitments to comply with the 
Commission's rules and specific numbering requirements or reflect that 
an applicant has the appropriate technical, managerial, and financial 
capacity to provide service. Further, as a practical matter, a new 
interconnected VoIP provider seeking direct access to numbers as part 
of launching a new service may not have a Form 477 on file at the time 
that it seeks to obtain numbers.
    26. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission proposed that the 
Commission create a formal process to allow states to refer concerns 
about the numbering practices of any provider to the Commission and the 
NANPA, and that the Commission also require states to develop and 
implement their own review and challenge processes. We do not adopt any 
new processes, or require states to develop and implement their own 
review and challenge processes in instances where the Commission, 
rather than the state, is responsible for certification. Section 
52.15(g)(5) of the Commission's rules currently grants the states 
access to service providers' applications for telephone numbers. Armed 
with this information, states are able to contact the Numbering 
Administrators directly about concerns with number requests for their 
states. And states may, of course contact the Commission or the Bureau 
to discuss any specific concerns. We find that the processes already in 
place, combined with the advance notice of number requests we require 
interconnected VoIP providers to provide to state commissions, ensure 
the integrity of the number assignment process without needlessly 
blocking or delaying number assignments to interconnected VoIP 
providers.
a. Compliance With Number Administration Rules and Guidelines
    27. Commission rules and industry practice ensure and facilitate 
effective administration of the NANP and prevent number exhaust. As 
such, it is important that we make clear that interconnected VoIP 
providers that obtain a Commission authorization to enable direct 
access to numbering resources will be subject to the Commission's 
numbering rules and industry guidelines and practices for numbering 
applicable to telecommunications carriers. These requirements include, 
inter alia, filing NRUF reports, complying with Commission requirements 
to obtain additional numbers in a rate center, and adhering to the 
numbering authority delegated to state commissions for access to data 
and number reclamation. The Commission required participants

[[Page 66459]]

in the technical trial to comply with specific number utilization and 
optimization requirements, including abiding by the numbering authority 
delegated to state commissions and filing NRUF reports, as well as 
industry guidelines and practices. These requirements contributed to 
the overall success of the trial by allowing the Commission, states, 
and Numbering Administrators to monitor the utilization of the number 
resources involved. Because of this experience, and for the reasons 
discussed below, we conclude that these requirements are a necessary 
component of interconnected VoIP providers' obtaining access to numbers 
permanently. Accordingly, we require interconnected VoIP providers that 
receive Commission authorization to obtain telephone numbers directly 
to comply with each of the Commission's number administration 
requirements, including any state requirements pursuant to numbering 
authority delegated to the states by the Commission. Moreover, 
interconnected VoIP providers relying on a Commission authorization to 
obtain numbers directly must also comply with industry guidelines and 
practices applicable to telecommunications carriers for numbering.
    28. Interconnected VoIP providers' compliance with number 
administration requirements is key to the Commission's allowing their 
direct access to numbers, and no commenter argued that these 
requirements should not apply to them. As we discuss below, failure to 
comply with these obligations could result in revocation of the 
Commission's authorization, the inability to obtain additional numbers 
pending that revocation, reclamation of un-assigned numbers already 
obtained directly from the Numbering Administrators, or enforcement 
action. Requiring interconnected VoIP providers that obtain numbers 
directly from the Numbering Administrators to comply with the same 
numbering requirements and industry guidelines as carriers will help 
alleviate many concerns about telephone number exhaust, and will help 
ensure competitive neutrality among providers of voice services. 
Further, by imposing number utilization and reporting requirements 
directly on interconnected VoIP providers, we expect to have greater 
visibility into number utilization. For example, under our current 
rules, a service provider obtaining numbers directly from the Numbering 
Administrators must file Months-to-Exhaust Worksheets showing that it 
has used at least 75 percent of its numbering resources in a rate 
center before obtaining additional numbers in that rate center. 
Currently, most interconnected VoIP providers' utilization information 
is imbedded in the NRUF data of the carrier from which it purchases a 
Primary Interface Line8 Under our new requirement, the NANPA will 
receive NRUF reports directly from the interconnected VoIP provider 
that is actually serving the end user customer. This increased 
visibility will allow the Commission to better monitor, and take steps 
to limit, number exhaust.
    29. We note also that we are requiring interconnected VoIP 
providers applying for direct access to numbers to certify that they 
comply with their existing USF contribution obligations under 47 CFR 
part 54, subpart H, TRS contribution obligations under 47 CFR Section 
64.604(c)(5)(iii), NANP and LNP administration contribution obligations 
under 47 CFRs 52.17 and 52.32, obligations to pay regulatory fees under 
47 CFR 1.1154, and 911 obligations under 47 CFR part 9. Requiring this 
certification of compliance with existing rules further ensures that 
the applicant is a company in good standing.
    30. Intermediate Numbers. Among other things, NRUF reporting 
requires carriers to report how many of their numbers have been 
designated as ``assigned'' or ``intermediate.'' This designation 
affects the utilization percentage--the percentage of the total 
numbering inventory that is ``assigned'' to customers for use--of the 
reporting carrier. An ``intermediate'' number is one that is made 
available to a carrier or non-carrier entity from another carrier, but 
has not necessarily been assigned to an end-user or customer by the 
receiving carrier or non-carrier entity. An ``assigned'' number is one 
that has been assigned to a specific end-user or customer. Only 
``assigned'' numbers are taken into account in the numerator of the 
utilization ratio when determining when a carrier or, once these rules 
take effect, an interconnected VoIP provider can obtain additional 
numbers; thus, there is an incentive for carriers and interconnected 
VoIP
    31. As discussed in the Direct Access (NPRM), when a number is 
allocated to a carrier and the carrier assigns that number to a 
wholesale customer, such as an interconnected VoIP provider, section 
52.15(f)(1)(v) of the Commission's rules requires that these numbers be 
reported as ``intermediate'' on the carrier's NRUF report until the 
numbers have been assigned to a retail end user. In practice, however, 
these numbers are often identified as ``assigned,'' whether or not the 
interconnected VoIP provider has a retail end-user customer for the 
number. In the Direct Access (NPRM), the Commission sought comment on 
how to revise the definition of ``intermediate numbers'' or ``assigned 
numbers'' to ensure consistency among all reporting providers.
    32. Based on the record before us and the Commission's 
understanding that interpretation questions have arisen in certain 
respects regarding section 52.15(f)(1)(iii) of the rules, we conclude 
that it is necessary to clarify that numbers provided to carriers, 
interconnected VoIP providers, or other noncarrier entities by 
numbering partners should be reported as ``intermediate,'' and do not 
qualify as ``end users'' or ``customers'' as those terms are used in 
the definition of ``assigned numbers'' in section 52.15(f)(1)(iii) of 
the Commission's rules. This clarification is necessary in order to 
provide consistency and accuracy in number reporting and to limit 
telephone number exhaust. The record indicates that carriers are not 
reporting the use of numbers under the intermediate category 
consistently, and that there are widely differing interpretations of 
the definition of intermediate numbers and the requirement to report 
numbers in the intermediate category. For example, some carriers, 
whether they hold intermediate numbers in their inventories or allocate 
them to another service provider, treat all of their intermediate 
numbers as assigned for reporting purposes. Uniform definitions for 
number reporting allow the Commission to monitor individual carriers 
and their use of numbering resources to ensure efficient use of those 
resources and that the NANP is not prematurely exhausted. To achieve 
these goals, the Commission must obtain consistent, accurate, and 
complete reporting from carriers. Allowing carriers to continue to 
report numbers transferred to a carrier partner as assigned, instead of 
intermediate, would ultimately defeat our goals by gathering inaccurate 
information as to how many numbers are actually assigned to end-user 
customers. Thus, for purposes of part 52 of our rules, we make clear 
that the terms ``end users'' and ``customers'' do not include 
telecommunications carriers and non-carrier voice or telecommunication 
service providers. While this clarification of our rules may be less 
critical after our action taken today, as noted elsewhere in this Order 
there will be instances in which interconnected VoIP providers continue 
to use carrier

[[Page 66460]]

partners. Therefore, it is still important to clarify the definition of 
``assigned'' number in our rules.
b. 30-Day Notice Requirement
    33. In the SBCIS Waiver Order, the Commission required SBCIS, now 
AT&T Internet Services, to file any requests for numbers with the 
Commission and the relevant state commissions at least 30 days prior to 
requesting numbers from the Numbering Administrators. The 30-day notice 
period has allowed the Commission and states to monitor SBCIS's number 
utilization and to take measures to conserve resources, if necessary, 
such as determining which rate centers are available for number 
assignments. In the Direct Access (NPRM), the Commission sought comment 
on imposing this requirement on all interconnected VoIP providers that 
obtain numbers, asking whether this requirement actually furthers the 
Commission's goal of ensuring number optimization. The Commission also 
sought comment on whether it should adopt a rule providing an 
opportunity for states whose commissions lack authority to provide 
certification for interconnected VoIP service to be given a formal 
opportunity to object to the assignment of numbers to these providers.
    34. Based on our experience with SBCIS/AT&T Internet Services 
filings and the record in this proceeding, we require interconnected 
VoIP providers to file notices of intent to request numbers with 
relevant state commissions, on an on-going basis, at least 30 days 
prior to requesting numbers from the Numbering Administrators. We agree 
with commenters that providing 30-days' notice to state commissions 
contributes to the efficient utilization of our numbering resources. 
These filings will allow the states to monitor number usage and raise 
any concerns about the request with the service provider, the 
Commission, and the Numbering Administrators. Having 30-days' notice of 
a number request allows state commissions to advise interconnected VoIP 
providers as to which rate centers have excess blocks of numbers 
available. This notice period also gives state commissions the 
opportunity to determine, as they currently do with carriers, whether 
the request is problematic for any reason, such as the provider's 
failure to submit timely NRUF reports or meet the utilization threshold 
necessary to obtain additional numbers.
    35. We do not, however, require 30-days' notice to be provided to 
the Commission, as required in the SBCIS Waiver Order. While this 
information is used by the states to, among other things, determine if 
the numbering request would be problematic in that state, the 
Commission will have access to this information once it is made 
available to the Numbering Administrators. Therefore, we conclude that 
it is unnecessary to require interconnected VoIP providers to give the 
Commission a separate 30-days' notice of their intent to request 
numbers from the Numbering Administrators.
c. ``Facilities Readiness'' Requirement
    36. The Commission's rules require that before obtaining numbers, a 
provider must demonstrate that it ``is or will be capable of providing 
service within sixty (60) days of the numbering resources activation 
date''--what we call ``facilities readiness.'' In the SBCIS Waiver 
Order, the Commission found that in general, SBCIS should be able to 
satisfy the requirement using the same type of information submitted by 
carriers, such as an interconnection agreement approved by a state 
commission. The Commission noted, however, that if SBCIS was unable to 
provide a copy of such agreement, it could submit evidence that it had 
ordered interconnection service pursuant to a tariff that is generally 
available to other providers of IP-enabled services. In the Direct 
Access Trial Report, interconnected VoIP providers were permitted to 
demonstrate ``facilities readiness'' by showing the combination of an 
agreement between the interconnected VoIP provider and its underlying 
carrier and an interconnection agreement between that underlying 
carrier and the relevant incumbent carrier.
    37. Based on our experience with SBCIS/AT&T Internet Services and 
the record in this proceeding, we require interconnected VoIP providers 
that request telephone numbers from the Numbering Administrators to 
comply with the ``facilities readiness'' requirement in section 
52.15(g)(2) of our rules, consistent with the requirements imposed on 
other providers of competitive voice services. We agree with commenters 
that an important aspect of direct access is that calls are 
interconnected with the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and 
terminated properly. A key difference between facilities readiness 
compliance with section 52.15(g)(2)(ii) in the context of 
interconnected VoIP providers seeking to obtaining numbers and in other 
contexts where the rule applies is that an interconnected VoIP provider 
seeking to access numbers directly need not have a carrier partner in 
order to provide service. As such, because the Commission has not 
classified interconnected VoIP services as telecommunications services 
or information services, nor has it otherwise addressed the 
interconnection obligations associated with interconnected VoIP service 
as a general matter, interconnected VoIP providers do not have any 
clearly established requirement, outside of the facilities readiness 
compliance context, to interconnect with a carrier that files tariffs. 
Therefore, we permit an interconnected VoIP provider that has obtained 
Commission authorization to request numbers directly to demonstrate 
proof of facilities readiness by (1) providing a combination of an 
agreement between the interconnected VoIP provider and its carrier 
partner and an interconnection agreement between that carrier and the 
relevant local exchange carrier (LEC), or (2) proof that the 
interconnected VoIP provider obtains interconnection with the PSTN 
pursuant to a tariffed offering or a commercial arrangement (such as a 
TDM-to-IP or a VoIP interconnection agreement) that provides access to 
the PSTN. The interconnected VoIP provider need not demonstrate that 
the point where it delivers traffic to or accepts traffic from the PSTN 
is in any particular geographic location so long as it demonstrates 
that it is ready to provide interconnected VoIP service, which is by 
definition service that ``[p]ermits users generally to receive calls 
that originate on the public switched telephone network and to 
terminate calls to the public switched telephone network.''
2. Procedure for Requesting Commission Authorization
    38. In order to streamline the processing of an interconnected VoIP 
provider's application for authorization to obtain numbers--called the 
``Numbering Authorization Application''--we have established a 
mechanism for these applications within the Commission's Electronic 
Comment Filing System (ECFS). We delegate authority to the Bureau to 
oversee this mechanism and the processing of these applications. The 
mechanism we have established includes a ``Submit a Non-Docketed 
Filing'' module that facilitates filing of these applications into a 
single docket where all such applications must be filed. When making 
its submission, the applicant must select ``VoIP Numbering 
Authorization Application'' from the ``Submit a Non-Docketed Filing'' 
module within ECFS, or successor online-filing mechanism. The filing

[[Page 66461]]

must include the application, as well as any attachments.
    39. Bureau staff will first review VoIP Numbering Authorization 
Applications for conformance with procedural rules. Assuming that the 
applicant satisfies this initial procedural review, Bureau staff will 
assign the application its own case-specific docket number and release 
an ``Accepted-For-Filing Public Notice,'' seeking comment on the 
application. The Public Notice will be associated with the docket 
established for the application. All subsequent filings by the 
applicant and interested parties related to this application must be 
submitted via ECFS in this docket. Parties wishing to submit comments 
addressing the request for authorization should do so as soon as 
possible, but no later than 15 days after the Commission releases an 
Accepted-For-Filing Public Notice, unless the public notice sets a 
different deadline.
    40. As part of the CPCN certification process, states generally 
evaluate the fitness of the entity before granting a CPCN authorizing 
the entity to provide service in that state. In the case of 
interconnected VoIP providers that request numbers directly pursuant to 
a Commission authorization, it falls to the Commission to ensure the 
fitness of the entity and its principals to administer numbers, ensure 
that telephone numbers are not stranded, and maintain efficient 
utilization of numbering resources. On the 31st day after the 
``Accepted-For-Filing Public Notice'' is released, the application will 
be deemed granted unless the Bureau notifies the applicant that the 
grant will not be automatically effective. The Bureau may halt this 
auto-grant process if (1) an applicant fails to respond promptly to 
Commission inquiries, (2) an application is associated with a non-
routine request for waiver of the Commission's rules, (3) timely-filed 
comments on the application raise public interest concerns that require 
further Commission review, or (4) the Bureau determines that the 
request requires further analysis to determine whether a request for 
authorization for direct access to numbers would serve the public 
interest. To enable this process, we also delegate authority to the 
Bureau to make inquiries and compel responses from an applicant 
regarding the applicant and its principals' past compliance with 
applicable Commission rules.
    41. Once an interconnected VoIP provider's Numbering Authorization 
Application is granted or deemed granted, the applicant can immediately 
proceed to provide states from which it intends to request numbers the 
required 30-days' notice. If the Bureau issues a public notice 
announcing that the application for authorization will not be 
automatically granted, the interconnected VoIP provider may not provide 
30-days' notice and obtain numbers until the Bureau announces in a 
subsequent order or public notice that the application has been 
granted. This process strikes a proper balance between expeditiously 
authorizing interconnected VoIP provider requests for direct access to 
numbers, while providing an opportunity to consider more fully those 
requests that raise concerns.
3. Additional Requirements To Obtain Numbers
    42. In the Direct Access (NPRM), the Commission sought comment on 
the Wisconsin Public Service Commission's proposal to adopt certain 
measures that would give state commissions oversight of interconnected 
VoIP providers that obtain telephone numbers. Specifically, the 
Wisconsin PSC recommended the following conditions for direct access: 
(1) Providing the relevant state commission with regulatory and 
numbering contacts when the interconnected VoIP provider requests 
numbers in that state; (2) consolidating and reporting all numbers 
under its own unique OCN; (3) providing customers with the ability to 
access all abbreviated dialing codes (N11 numbers) in use in a state; 
and (4) maintaining the original rate center designation of all numbers 
in its inventory. The Commission included these requirements in the 
Direct Access Trial. As described below, we require interconnected VoIP 
providers obtaining numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators 
to provide contact information to the relevant states, and also to 
request numbers under the interconnected VoIP provider's own OCN. For 
the reasons discussed below, we decline to adopt the other proposed 
conditions as requirements for direct access for interconnected VoIP 
providers.
    43. Providing Contact Information. During the state certification 
process, many state commissions obtain contact information from service 
providers. Absent a contact information requirement, state commissions 
may not have accurate contact information for interconnected VoIP 
providers seeking direct access to numbering resources. In the Direct 
Access (NPRM), the Commission sought comment on whether interconnected 
VoIP providers that obtain direct access to numbers should be required 
to provide relevant state commissions with regulatory and numbering 
contacts upon first requesting numbers in that state. Several state 
commissions supported this requirement, while no commenter opposed it. 
We agree that providing accurate contact information to state 
regulators is important. For one thing, we agree that contact 
information allows state commissions to effectively and most readily 
address matters relating to regulatory compliance, provision of 911 
service, and law enforcement to the extent already authorized. Having 
accurate contact information will also help state regulators monitor 
local numbering issues. This, in turn, helps the Commission in its 
overall efforts to conserve numbers. Because of its importance to state 
commissions and to this Commission, we require interconnected VoIP 
providers to give accurate regulatory and numbering contact information 
to the state commission when they request numbers in that state. We 
further require that interconnected VoIP providers update this 
information whenever it becomes outdated.
    44. OCN Requirements. Under the Commission's rules, a carrier must 
have an OCN in order to obtain numbers from the NANPA. Based on the 
record we received on this issue, we require each interconnected VoIP 
provider to use its own unique OCN--as opposed to using the OCN of a 
carrier affiliate or partner--when obtaining numbers directly from the 
Numbering Administrators. Requiring each interconnected VoIP provider 
to use its own unique OCN follows the same procedure required for 
telecommunications carriers already getting direct access to numbers, 
which must request numbers using their own unique OCNs. In addition, 
requiring each interconnected VoIP service provider to show which 
numbers are in its own inventory--as opposed to in a carrier 
affiliate's or partner's inventories--will improve number utilization 
data used to predict number exhaust. It will also enable states to more 
easily identify the service providers involved when porting issues 
arise.
    45. In addition to requiring each interconnected VoIP provider to 
have its own OCN, several state commenters assert that as a condition 
of obtaining numbers directly, each provider should be required to 
transfer all of the numbers it has obtained from its numbering partners 
to the interconnected VoIP provider's new OCN. We decline to adopt this 
condition. Commenters seeking such a condition urged the Commission to 
adopt it in order to minimize interconnected VoIP providers'

[[Page 66462]]

opportunities to hoard telephone numbers and to ensure more accurate 
NRUF reporting by carriers. We do not find that such a requirement is 
necessary to protect against these harms. As discussed above, we 
require each interconnected VoIP provider obtaining numbers directly 
from the Numbering Administrators to comply with the Commission's NRUF 
reporting requirements. And as we also clarify above, all numbers 
assigned to interconnected VoIP providers by their numbering partners 
are to be reported as ``intermediate,'' unless and until such numbers 
are assigned to ultimate retail end users. We believe that these 
requirements are sufficient to ensure efficient number utilization by 
interconnected VoIP providers and their numbering partners.
    46. Customer Access to Abbreviated Dialing Codes. The Commission 
currently requires interconnected VoIP providers to supply 911 
emergency calling capabilities to their customers and to offer 711 
abbreviated dialing for access to telephone relay services. In the 
Direct Access (NPRM), the Commission sought comment on the Wisconsin 
PSC proposal for interconnected VoIP providers to provide customers 
with the ability to access all N11 numbers in use in a state. In 
addition, it sought particular comment on how providers of nomadic VoIP 
service could comply with a requirement to provide access to the 
locally-appropriate N11 numbers. In the Direct Access Trial, 
participants were required to provide consumers with the ability to 
access N11 numbers in use in a state. State commissions and several 
other commenters support the proposal for interconnected VoIP providers 
to provide customers with the ability to access N11 numbers in use in a 
state. Vonage does not oppose the proposal that interconnected VoIP 
providers give subscribers the ability to access N11 numbers in use in 
a state, insofar as they are standard conditions imposed on any 
provider with direct access, and provided that such an obligation is 
dependent on states making available to interconnected VoIP providers 
the information needed to correctly route those calls. AT&T, on the 
other hand, advocates separately addressing mandating the use of all 
N11 numbers in the context of interconnected VoIP service in order to 
give interested parties the opportunity to air all concerns, including 
technical feasibility. CenturyLink argues that because N11-dialing 
deployments are not without cost and because service providers require 
some time to design and deploy such functionality, if the Commission 
requires that the N11-dialing functionality be a requirement for 
interconnected VoIP providers to obtain direct access to numbers, the 
requirement be conditioned on a government or authorized private party 
asking for the deployment, the requesting party paying for the 
deployment, and permitting up to a year after a bona fide request to 
accomplish the deployment. Level 3 cautions the Commission to avoid 
imposing a blanket requirement that VoIP providers with access to 
numbers also provide access to state-designated N11numbers, as any 
requirement that end users be provided access to N11 services should be 
imposed on the end user's service provider, without regard to whether 
the provider has obtained numbers directly or indirectly.
    47. To balance the state commission concerns about customers' 
expectations of access to all active N11 dialing arrangements as VoIP 
services becomes a replacement for traditional carrier service and the 
industry concerns about the technical feasibility of providing N11, we 
require interconnected VoIP providers, as a condition of maintaining 
their authorization for direct access to numbers, to continue to 
provide their customers with the ability to access 911 and 711, the 
Commission-mandated N11numbers that interconnected VoIP providers are 
required to provide regardless of whether they obtain numbers directly 
or through a numbering partner. We also require interconnected VoIP 
providers to give their customers access to Commission-designated N11 
numbers in use in a given rate center where an interconnected VoIP 
provider has requested numbering resources, to the extent that the 
provision of these dialing arrangements is technically feasible. We 
expect that interconnected VoIP providers will notify consumers and 
state commissions if they cannot provide access to a particular N11 
code due to technical difficulties. These requirements will allow the 
potential availability of these dialing arrangements until the 
Commission has concluded its pending rulemaking addressing the 
technical feasibility of interconnected VoIP providers' offering of 
these codes. Without continued access to these numbers, their 
availability will diminish as consumers increasingly favor 
interconnected VoIP services over traditional telecommunications 
services.
    48. We decline to adopt other proposals in the record calling for 
additional restrictions and conditions on interconnected VoIP 
providers' obtaining numbers, which are not imposed on 
telecommunications carriers. For example, we will not require 
interconnected VoIP providers to take numbers from certain rate centers 
chosen by the state commissions in more populous areas or in blocks of 
less than 1000 numbers. We conclude that additional restrictions beyond 
those that we adopt are unnecessary and would significantly 
disadvantage interconnected VoIP providers relative to competing 
carriers offering voice services. Moreover, the record does not 
demonstrate the need to impose additional restrictions on 
interconnected VoIP providers at this time. We conclude that the 
measures we take in this Order will promote efficient number 
utilization and protect against number exhaust. Similarly, we decline 
to act on proposals to revise our current reporting requirements, as we 
do not have a sufficient record upon which to evaluate such proposals.
    49. We also decline to adopt as requirements additional voluntary 
commitments imposed in the Direct Access Trial. In addition to 
complying with the Commission's numbering requirements and the 
requirements set forth in the SBCIS Waiver Order, Vonage offered 
several commitments as a condition of the Commission granting it a 
waiver in order to obtain numbers directly from the Numbering 
Administrators. Specifically, Vonage's commitments included: Offering 
to maintain at least 65 percent number utilization across its telephone 
number inventory, offering VoIP interconnection to other carriers and 
providers, and providing the Commission with a transition plan for 
migrating customers to its own numbers within 90 days of commencing 
that migration and every 90 days thereafter for 18 months. Vonage 
indicated that these commitments would ensure efficient number 
utilization and facilitate Commission oversight. The Commission imposed 
these commitments on participants in the Direct Access Trial and sought 
comment on whether it should impose some or all of the Vonage 
commitments on interconnected VoIP providers, or on all entities that 
obtain telephone numbers.
    50. Consistent with our effort to make the process by which 
interconnected VoIP providers obtain numbers as similar as possible to 
the process telecommunications carriers that already have direct access 
to numbers use, we decline to mandate additional requirements for 
interconnected VoIP providers that were offered by Vonage as voluntary 
commitments, and imposed on all participants in the Direct Access 
Trial. As discussed above, we

[[Page 66463]]

require all interconnected VoIP providers that obtain direct access to 
numbers to comply with the Commission's number utilization and 
optimization requirements, including the filing of NRUF reports and 
Months to Exhaust Worksheets for growth numbering resources. Given the 
Commission's current 75 percent utilization requirement for rate 
centers, we conclude that we need not require interconnected VoIP 
providers to maintain at least 65 percent number utilization across 
their entire telephone number inventories at this time. While the 
Commission may consider extending an overall utilization requirement to 
all carriers and providers in the future, we do not impose such a 
disparate requirement on interconnected VoIP providers obtaining direct 
access to numbers at this time. Moreover, as Vonage suggests, 
conditions attached to a short-term waiver request that were designed 
to ensure that an existing rule's underlying purposes were met in 
particular circumstances are no longer necessary--and, in fact, have 
the potential to undermine the eventual success of the new regulatory 
regime. Further, while we anticipate an increase in VoIP 
interconnection arrangements once interconnected VoIP providers are 
authorized to access numbers directly, we decline to mandate those 
arrangements, as the Commission is currently considering the 
appropriate policy framework for VoIP interconnection in pending 
proceedings. Therefore, we do not adopt the commitments that Vonage 
offered as conditions of its request for waiver as requirements for 
interconnected VoIP providers to access numbers directly from the 
Numbering Administrators, and as of the effective date of this Order, 
participants in the trial who are still using the numbers they obtained 
in the trial may stop complying with the conditions imposed on the 
trial that are not made permanent requirements by this Order.
4. Enforcement
    51. The Commission sought comment on whether obtaining Commission 
authorization for an interconnected VoIP provider to obtain numbers 
should subject an interconnected VoIP provider to the same or similar 
enforcement provisions as telecommunications carriers. The Commission 
asked whether the Commission authorization would allow the agency to 
exercise forfeiture authority without first issuing a citation; whether 
interconnected VoIP providers that obtain numbers directly should be 
subject to the same penalties and enforcement procedures as carriers; 
and whether outstanding debts or other violations should prevent an 
interconnected VoIP provider from obtaining numbering resources.
    52. Interconnected VoIP providers who apply for and receive 
Commission authorization for direct access to numbers are subject to, 
and acknowledge, Commission enforcement authority. As described above, 
we require interconnected VoIP providers that seek Commission 
authorization to obtain direct access to numbers to comply with the 
Commission's numbering obligations. As a result, interconnected VoIP 
providers that obtain Commission authorization for direct access to 
numbers are subject to the Commission's enforcement authority and 
forfeiture penalties for violations of the Commission's numbering rules 
and the obligations established herein. We also find that the 
Commission authorization discussed in this Order serves as an ``other 
authorization'' under section 503(b)(5) of the Act, such that no 
citation is needed before a forfeiture for violation of any Commission 
rules to which the provider is subject can be assessed. Commenters 
generally agree that, if interconnected VoIP providers are authorized 
by the Commission to obtain numbers directly, they should be subject to 
Commission enforcement and forfeiture authority. No commenter asserted 
that the Commission should have to issue a citation before it could 
take enforcement action against an interconnected VoIP provider for 
violating numbering rules or requirements. Several state commissions 
urged that interconnected VoIP providers that receive Commission 
authorization to obtain numbers should be subject to the same 
enforcement and penalty provisions as traditional carriers. The 
enforcement provisions are an important component for maintaining the 
integrity of the numbering system as well as ensuring fair competition 
with telecommunications carriers providing similar services using 
numbers that they obtain from the Numbering Administrators.
    53. We also observe that a failure to comply with the Commission's 
numbering rules could result in a loss of an interconnected VoIP 
provider's Commission authorization, the inability to obtain additional 
numbers pending that revocation, and reclamation of any un-assigned 
numbers that the provider has obtained directly from the Numbering 
Administrators.181 We delegate authority to the Wireline Competition 
and Enforcement Bureaus to order the revocation of authorization and to 
direct the Numbering Administrators to reclaim any of the service 
provider's unassigned numbers.
5. Other Issues Relating to Direct Access for Interconnected VoIP 
Providers
a. Local Number Portability Obligations
    54. In 2007, the Commission extended LNP obligations to 
interconnected VoIP providers in the VoIP LNP Order. The Commission's 
porting rules impose an ``affirmative legal obligation'' on 
interconnected VoIP providers ``to take all steps necessary to initiate 
or allow a port-in or port-out.'' In the VoIP LNP Order, the Commission 
also ``clarif[ied] that carriers have an obligation under our rules to 
port-out NANP telephone numbers, upon valid request, for a user that is 
porting that number for use with an interconnected VoIP service.'' The 
Commission concluded at the time that it had ``ample authority'' to 
impose porting requirements on local exchange carriers and 
interconnected VoIP providers.
    55. Permitting interconnected VoIP providers direct access to 
numbers will enable interconnected VoIP providers to be more responsive 
to end user LNP requests by eliminating the extra time, complexity, and 
potential for confusion associated with the existing processes. It is 
our intention that users of interconnected VoIP services should enjoy 
the benefits of local number portability without regard to whether the 
interconnected VoIP provider obtains numbers directly or through a 
carrier partner. Thus, we modify our rules to include language 
codifying that intention. Specifically, we adopt an affirmative 
obligation requiring telecommunications carriers that receive a valid 
porting request to or from an interconnected VoIP provider to take all 
steps necessary to initiate or allow a port-in or port-out without 
unreasonable delay or unreasonable procedures that have the effect of 
delaying or denying porting of the NANP-based telephone number.
    56. We disagree with commenters' assertions that the Commission 
lacks authority to require local exchange carriers (LECs) and CMRS 
providers to port numbers to and from interconnected VoIP providers, or 
to require interconnected VoIP providers to port numbers to and from 
such carriers. The Act requires LECs ``to provide, to the extent 
technically feasible, number portability,'' and defines ``number 
portability'' as ``the ability of users of telecommunications services 
to retain, at the same location, existing telecommunications numbers 
without impairment of quality,

[[Page 66464]]

reliability, or convenience when switching from one telecommunications 
carrier to another.'' Opponents assert that these provisions limit the 
Commission to requiring number portability only between 
``telecommunications carriers,'' and since the Commission has not 
classified interconnected VoIP providers as such, it cannot require 
LECs or non-LEC CMRS providers to port numbers directly to and from 
interconnected VoIP providers.
    57. We disagree. We observe that while section 251(b)(2) expressly 
addresses LECs' obligations to port numbers when their customers switch 
to another telecommunications carrier, it is silent about any 
obligations of LECs beyond that, and does not preclude reliance on 
other, more general authority to impose additional LNP obligations on 
LECs under section 251(e)(1), nor does it address the obligations of 
non-LEC wireless carriers.192 Because number portability--whether to 
and from an interconnected VoIP provider, LEC, or non-LEC carrier--
clearly makes use of telephone numbers, implicating ``facets of 
numbering administration'' under section 251(e)(1), we conclude that 
section 251(e)(1) provides authority supporting LECs' and non-LEC 
wireless carriers' obligation to port numbers directly to and from 
interconnected VoIP providers.
    58. We also find that section 251(e)(1) provides sufficient 
authority to require interconnected VoIP providers that obtain numbers 
directly from the Numbering Administrators to port numbers to and from 
other providers of voice service. Section 251(e)(1) provides the 
Commission ``exclusive jurisdiction over those portions of the North 
American Numbering Plan that pertain to the United States,'' and the 
Commission has retained its ``authority to set policy with respect to 
all facets of numbering administration in the United States.'' As the 
Commission explained in the VoIP LNP Order, to the extent that an 
interconnected VoIP provider provides services that offer its customers 
NANP telephone numbers, the interconnected VoIP provider ``subjects 
[itself] to the Commission's plenary authority under section 251(e)(1) 
with respect to those numbers.'' As the Commission has previously 
found, ``[f]ailure to extend LNP obligations to interconnected VoIP 
providers . . . would thwart the effective and efficient administration 
of our numbering administration responsibilities under section 251 of 
the Act.''
    59. The industry and Commission have developed limits on the extent 
to which a provider must port numbers from one geographic area to 
another. For example, under a NANC guideline adopted by the Commission, 
a wireline carrier must port to another wireline carrier within the 
same rate center. A wireline carrier must port numbers to a wireless 
carrier where the requesting wireless carrier's coverage area overlaps 
with the geographic location of the customer's wireline rate center, so 
long as the porting-in wireless carrier maintains the number's original 
rate center designation following the port. A wireless carrier must 
port out a NANP telephone number to another wireless carrier, or a 
wireline carrier that is within the number's originating rate center. 
In the past, interconnected VoIP providers (with the exception of 
SBCIS) have obtained numbers through carrier partners, and the porting 
obligations to or from the interconnected VoIP provider stemmed from 
the status of the numbering partner.
    60. The Commission sought comment on the geographic limitations, if 
any, that should apply to ports between either a wireline or wireless 
carrier and an interconnected VoIP provider that has obtained its 
numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators. There is broad 
support in the record for industry involvement in addressing technical 
feasibility in porting arrangements between interconnected VoIP 
providers and wireline and wireless carriers. We agree that the 
industry should be involved in addressing these issues. Accordingly, we 
direct the North American Numbering Council (NANC) to examine and 
address any specific considerations for interconnected VoIP provider 
porting both to and from wireline, wireless, and other interconnected 
VoIP providers. In particular, we direct the NANC to examine any rate 
center or geographic considerations implicated by porting directly to 
and from interconnected VoIP providers, including the implications of 
rate center consolidation, as well as public safety considerations, any 
such PSAP and 911 issues that could arise. We also direct the NANC to 
give the Commission a report addressing these issues, which includes 
options and recommendations, no later than 180 days from the release 
date of this Report and Order.
    61. We find, however, that we need not delay giving interconnected 
VoIP providers direct access to numbers pending specific industry 
input. The Commission is currently examining how to address non-
geographic number assignment in an all-IP world, and that proceeding is 
the forum in which to address such concerns. The Direct Access Trial 
provided an opportunity to test porting directly to interconnected VoIP 
providers, and that porting occurred without incident. As such, we 
decline at present to articulate specific geographic limitations on 
ports between an interconnected VoIP provider that has obtained its 
numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators and a wireline or 
wireless carrier. Instead, we find that an interconnected VoIP provider 
that has obtained its numbers directly from the Numbering 
Administrators and is not utilizing the services of a numbering partner 
for LNP purposes must port telephone numbers to and from a wireline or 
wireless carrier where technically feasible. Similarly, a wireline or 
wireless carrier must also port in and port out telephone numbers to an 
interconnected VoIP provider that has obtained its numbers directly 
from the Numbering Administrators and that is not utilizing the 
services of a numbering partner for LNP purposes where technically 
feasible.
b. Interconnection Obligations
    62. The Commission reminds providers that the USF/ICC 
Transformation Order said that ``[t]he duty to negotiate in good faith 
has been a longstanding element of interconnection requirements under 
the Communications Act and does not depend upon the network technology 
underlying the interconnection'' and that the Commission ``expect[s] 
all carriers to negotiate in good faith in response to requests for 
[VoIP] interconnection.''
    63. VoIP interconnection is an important element in completing the 
transition from TDM to IP networks and services. As explained above, we 
find, and the record reflects, that permitting interconnected VoIP 
providers to obtain numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators 
will encourage and promote VoIP interconnection. For example, Vonage 
explains that direct access is necessary to achieve voluntary VoIP 
interconnection arrangements because ``providers must, as a practical 
matter, be able to see i[nterconnected ]VoIP providers as the `owners' 
of a number in the industry databases [in] order to route traffic to 
such providers directly. Without direct access, i[nterconnected ]VoIP 
providers' numbers appear to belong to underlying numbering partners, 
preventing direct routing between i[nterconnected ]VoIP providers and 
their potential IP interconnection partners.'' In the Direct Access 
Trial Report, the Bureau found

[[Page 66465]]

that the trial indicated that there may be some confusion regarding 
parties' rights and obligations with respect to interconnection, but 
that such matters could be addressed in pending rulemakings addressing 
the topic. Though some commenters assert that the Commission must 
address VoIP interconnection obligations in its pending rulemaking 
proceedings before permitting interconnected VoIP providers to obtain 
numbers directly, we disagree that such a step is required. The process 
and obligations we establish in this Order enable interconnected VoIP 
providers that are unable to obtain state certification to request 
Commission authorization in order to enable them to obtain numbers 
directly from the Numbering Administrators. Our actions in this Order 
neither rely on, nor require, the Commission to address the many issues 
surrounding VoIP interconnection. Thus, given the complexity and 
importance of VoIP interconnection in facilitating the transition to 
all-IP network, we find that issues relating to VoIP interconnection 
that may result from interconnected VoIP providers obtaining numbers 
directly from the Numbering Administrators are more appropriately 
addressed in the Commission's pending proceedings addressing VoIP 
interconnection.
c. Intercarrier Compensation
    64. In the USF/ICC Transformation Order, the Commission adopted a 
default uniform national bill-and-keep framework as the ultimate 
intercarrier compensation end state for all telecommunications traffic 
exchanged with a LEC, and established a measured transition that 
focused initially on reducing certain terminating switched access 
rates. As explained in the Direct Access NPRM, the Commission set forth 
several important policy goals for VoIP traffic in the USF/ICC 
Transformation Order. First, the Commission at that time `` `set an 
express goal of facilitating industry progression to all-IP networks.' 
'' Second, while providing a ``move away from the pre-existing, flawed 
intercarrier compensation regimes,'' the Commission sought to ``reduce 
disputes'' stemming from the lack of clarity regarding intercarrier 
compensation obligations for VoIP traffic. Third, the Commission stated 
that a significant goal was to eliminate opportunities and incentives 
to engage in access avoidance, both for non-VoIP traffic and for VoIP 
traffic.
    65. The implementation of intercarrier compensation obligations 
depends on whether the traffic being exchanged is tariffed or exchanged 
pursuant to an agreement. If traffic is subject to state or federal 
intercarrier compensation tariffs, intercarrier compensation generally 
is owed by the entity that receives the tariffed access services. For 
traffic exchanged pursuant to an agreement, intercarrier compensation 
is determined by such agreements. Interconnected VoIP providers that 
access numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators can enter 
into agreements to interconnect with other providers. Thus, the 
Commission sought comment on concerns about how the implementation of 
intercarrier compensation obligations may change as a result of 
granting interconnected VoIP providers direct access to numbers. The 
Commission also sought comment on how the Commission should address any 
new ambiguities in intercarrier compensation payment obligations that 
might arise as a result of permitting interconnected VoIP providers to 
access number directly.
    66. Intercarrier compensation was one of the considerations 
discussed in the technical trial completed in December 2013. Based on 
the results of that trial, the Bureau determined that ``participants 
were able to port-in and port-out numbers and issue new numbers to 
customers, with no significant billing, routing, or compensation 
disputes reported.'' The Bureau further found that ``the trial did not 
identify technical problems regarding . . . intercarrier 
compensation.''
    67. Commenters to this proceeding disagree as to what effect 
authorizing interconnected VoIP providers to obtain numbers directly 
from the Numbering Administrators will have on intercarrier 
compensation in the future. AT&T asserts that the Commission should 
reject concerns that implementation of intercarrier compensation 
obligations may change as a result of giving interconnected VoIP 
providers direct access to numbers, explaining that obligations to pay 
intercarrier compensation have never stemmed from numbers. Vonage 
contends that direct access enables interconnected VoIP providers to 
seek VoIP interconnection arrangements, which will facilitate the 
transition to a bill-and keep regime through commercial agreements. 
Other commenters agree that allowing direct access to numbers will have 
no effect on intercarrier compensation or outbound reciprocal 
compensation. On the other hand, Bandwidth asserts that failure to 
clearly address intercarrier compensation issues will ``almost 
certainly lead to an even higher incidence of call completion 
problems.'' Interisle contends that interconnected VoIP providers 
should not be allowed to use their OCNs for billing purposes due to 
concerns about ``misbilling'' and ``complexity,'' but should be 
required to bill for intercarrier compensation solely through their 
wholesale partners. NTCA expresses concerns about potential problems 
with phantom traffic.
    68. We find that concerns about potential intercarrier compensation 
issues are speculative and that they do not constitute sufficient 
grounds to delay authorizing direct access to numbers for 
interconnected VoIP providers. Bandwidth and NTCA fail to provide any 
data or evidence of problems with call completion or phantom traffic 
resulting from the trial, and the Direct Access Trial Report did not 
identify any such problems. Moreover, the vast majority of the issues 
raised, i.e., concerns about incorrect billing, phantom traffic, and 
call completion, were raised by commenters before the limited trial 
occurred, and such potential problems never materialized. For these 
reasons, we decline to delay our action here based on billing and 
intercarrier compensation concerns expressed in the record. We find 
that, on balance, authorizing interconnected VoIP providers to access 
numbers directly will serve the Commission's ``express goal of 
facilitating industry progression to all-IP networks.'' If, in the 
future, billing or intercarrier compensation issues related to 
interconnected VoIP providers having direct access to numbering 
resources arise, we will address them at that time.
d. Call Routing and Termination
    69. The Commission also sought comment generally on whether 
authorizing interconnected VoIP providers to obtain numbers directly 
from the Numbering Administrators would hinder or prevent call routing 
or tracking, and how the Commission can prevent or minimize such 
complications. The Commission sought comment on whether marketplace 
solutions are adequate to properly route calls by interconnected VoIP 
providers, absent a VoIP interconnection agreement, and whether the 
Commission should require interconnected VoIP providers to maintain 
carrier partners to ensure that calls are routed properly. The 
Commission also sought comment on the routing limitations that 
interconnected VoIP providers currently experience as a result of 
having to partner with a carrier in order to get numbers, and on the 
role and scalability of various industry databases in routing VoIP 
traffic directly to the interconnected VoIP provider over IP

[[Page 66466]]

links. The Commission also asked how numbering schemes and databases 
integral to the operations of PSTN call routing will need to evolve to 
operate well in IP-based Networks.
    70. The record reflects that authorizing interconnected VoIP 
providers to obtain numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators 
will facilitate, rather than hinder, call routing and tracking. 
Further, based on the record, we have no reason to assume that 
marketplace solutions like those described in the Direct Access (NPRM) 
will not be adequate to properly route calls to and from interconnected 
VoIP providers, or that changes to the numbering databases are 
necessary as a result of this Order. We also find, in light of comments 
in the record and based on lessons learned from our technical trial 
that, as a technical matter, it is not necessary for interconnected 
VoIP providers to use a carrier partner to obtain numbers or complete 
calls. We agree with Telcordia and do not anticipate ``any database-
related call routing or tracking problems arising from allowing VoIP 
providers to have direct access to numbers.'' We disagree with 
commenters who assert that direct access to numbers for interconnected 
VoIP providers will raise significant routing issues, or that the 
Commission must mandate changes to the numbering databases at this 
time. We also disagree with commenters asserting that the Commission 
should require interconnected VoIP providers to have a carrier partner 
for routing purposes. We agree with Intelepeer that ``adopting an 
interim solution as a permanent requirement presumes that such 
arrangements will be necessary indefinitely, which consequently 
discourages the industry from continuing to pursue and develop better 
alternatives.'' Further, no trial participant reported any routing 
failures or billing or compensation disputes as a result of direct 
access to numbers for interconnected VoIP provider trial participants. 
Based upon this result, we conclude that further regulatory 
intervention is not needed at this time to ensure that routing works 
from a technical perspective. As Neustar and Telcordia noted, the 
numbering databases can accommodate a wide range of scenarios involving 
interconnected VoIP providers, whether those providers have direct 
access to numbers or obtain numbers through a carrier partner. We 
expect that interconnected VoIP providers will continue to route 
traffic consistent with existing guidelines and practices.
    71. We observe that in January 2014, the Commission initiated a 
proceeding inviting interested providers to submit detailed proposals 
to test real-world applications of planned changes in technology that 
are likely to have tangible effects on consumers. These voluntary 
service-based experiments will examine the impacts of replacing 
existing customer services with IP-based alternatives in discrete 
geographic areas or ways. As part of this proceeding and subsequent 
experiments, the Commission will evaluate any issues that may arise 
with call routing. In addition, the Commission held a workshop to 
facilitate the design and development of a Numbering Testbed to enable 
research into numbering in an all-IP network in March 2014. Thus, given 
the Commission's ongoing examination of issues relating to the 
transition to IP-based networks, including call routing issues, we 
conclude that the Commission's open proceedings addressing systematic 
reform are the most appropriate venue to address any call routing 
concerns stemming from interconnected VoIP providers obtaining numbers 
directly from the Numbering Administrators. However, as underscored in 
Commission orders, any call delivery failures have significant public 
interest ramifications. Therefore, the Commission stands ready to 
address any problems associated with interconnected VoIP providers' 
direct access to numbers that negatively affect the integrity of 
routing and call delivery processes.
6. Transitioning to Direct Access
    72. In the Direct Access (NPRM), the Commission recognized that 
allowing direct access to numbers by entities lacking state 
certification could affect existing revenue streams for companies that 
currently provide wholesale services to interconnected VoIP providers. 
The Commission also recognized that transferring numbers from one 
provider to another could potentially present logistical challenges, at 
least if the volume of numbers to be transferred in a rate center is 
large. The Commission therefore sought comment on whether any adopted 
changes should be made on a gradual or phased-in basis and, if so, what 
would be appropriate timeframes and limits for a graduated transition. 
In addition, the Commission sought comment on other steps it should 
take to ensure that any transition to direct access to numbers by 
interconnected VoIP providers occurs without unnecessary disruption to 
consumers or the industry.
    73. Few commenters addressed this issue or advocated that the rules 
should provide for a graduated or staged-in implementation. Level 3, 
expressing concerns about the orderliness and timeline of the 
transition and possible logistical challenges of transferring large 
volume of numbers, urged that the rules not take effect until at least 
90 days after adoption. Intelepeer contended that the rules could be 
implemented within 18 months after issuance of the NPRM, and within six 
months after the trial ended.
    74. After analyzing the record and lessons learned from the Direct 
Access Trial, we conclude that we need not phase in the rule changes 
that allow interconnected VoIP providers to obtain numbers directly 
from the Numbering Administrators. The industry has had ample 
opportunity to prepare for this change. The Direct Access (NPRM) was 
issued in April 2013 and the Direct Access Trial concluded more than a 
year ago. The Numbering Administrators and the industry will have even 
more time to transition to the new numbering regime, since 
interconnected VoIP providers must still apply for, and obtain, 
Commission authorization after this Order is adopted. With regard to 
possible logistical issues in that transition, the Direct Access Trial 
gave the Numbering Administrators and participants an opportunity to 
test the technical feasibility of providing interconnected VoIP 
providers direct access to numbering resources. Finally, because 
interconnected VoIP providers may not request more numbers than they 
are able to use (due to our utilization requirements), and because our 
porting rules provide additional time to accommodate requests for 
complex ports, we expect that the Numbering Administrators' will be 
able to handle number requests from interconnected VoIP providers 
without the need for a slowed or graduated implementation.

Scope of Commission's Decision

    75. In the Direct Access (NPRM), the Commission proposed to allow 
interconnected VoIP providers to obtain direct access to numbers and 
sought comment on whether it should expand direct access to numbers to 
other types of entities that use numbers indirectly. In particular, the 
Commission sought comment on whether it should expand access to numbers 
to all VoIP providers (interconnected and one-way) and on the types of 
services and applications that use numbers today, and that are likely 
to do so in the future.
    76. Our decision today applies solely to interconnected VoIP 
providers. We find that permitting interconnected VoIP providers to 
request and receive numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators 
is, in itself, a significant

[[Page 66467]]

step that has the potential to benefit a large number of consumers. 
According to the 2014 FCC Local Competition Report, the number of 
residential interconnected VoIP subscribers increased from 19.7 million 
subscribers in December 2008 to 37.7 million subscribers in December 
2013. As the transition from legacy circuit-switched to broadband 
networks and IP-based connections for voice progresses, we expect 
Americans' reliance on VoIP service to increase.
    77. While the Commission may consider permitting other types of 
entities to obtain numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators 
in the future, we decline to do so now. The bulk of the record focuses 
on the benefits and risks associated with extending direct access to 
numbers to interconnected VoIP providers. In addition, the technical 
trial was limited to interconnected VoIP providers. We thus find that 
we have sufficient information to establish appropriate terms and 
conditions for interconnected VoIP providers in light of the record and 
the trial. However, other types of entities might warrant different 
conditions for obtaining numbers, and we lack an adequate record on 
what such conditions should be. Thus, we reject proposals to expand 
direct access to numbers to entities other than interconnected VoIP 
providers at this time.

Legal Authority To Extend Numbering Requirements to Interconnected VoIP 
Providers That Choose Direct Access

    78. Section 251(e)(1) of the Act, which was enacted by the 
Telecommunications Act of 1996 (1996 Act), gives the Commission 
``exclusive jurisdiction'' over that portion of the North American 
Numbering Plan (NANP) that pertains to the United States, and provides 
that such numbers must be ``available on an equitable basis.'' The 
Commission retains ``authority to set policy with respect to all facets 
of numbering administration in the United States.'' The Commission has 
concluded that its numbering authority allows it to extend numbering-
related requirements to interconnected VoIP providers that utilize 
telephone numbers. Nothing in section 251(e)(1) limits access to 
numbers to ``telecommunications carriers'' or ``telecommunications 
services,'' and thus in defining the underlying policies regarding 
access to and use of numbers, we conclude that we can provide such 
access directly to interconnected VoIP providers, without regard to 
whether they are carriers. Moreover, the obligation to ensure that 
numbers are available on an equitable basis is reasonably understood to 
include not only how numbers are made available but to whom, and on 
what terms and conditions. Thus, we conclude that the Commission has 
authority under section 251(e)(1) to extend to interconnected VoIP 
providers both the rights and obligations associated with using 
telephone numbers.
    79. Some commenters assert that the Commission must classify 
interconnected VoIP providers as telecommunications carriers in order 
to authorize them access numbers directly from the Numbering 
Administrators, asserting that to do otherwise would allow 
interconnected VoIP providers the benefits of Title II classification 
without actually classifying interconnected VoIP providers as Title II 
telecommunications carriers and subjecting them to all of the 
requirements to which competing telecommunications carriers are 
subject. NARUC and Bandwidth assert that the Commission lacks authority 
to extend the benefits and obligations of number portability to 
providers that are not telecommunications carriers and do not offer 
telecommunications services. They assert that the authority granted to 
the Commission in section 251(e)(1) of the Act over ``those portions of 
the North American Numbering Plan that pertain to the United States'' 
must be read in conjunction with section 251(e)(2), which requires that 
the costs of both number administration and number portability be borne 
by ``all telecommunications carriers.'' NARUC and Bandwidth assert that 
the broader power to administer numbers cannot be applied in a way that 
conflicts directly with the more specific requirements and duties 
specified in sections 251(b), 251(e), 153(37), and 153(51), and in 
particular, the number portability obligations in the Act that apply to 
telecommunications carriers.
    80. We disagree. Nothing in section 251(e) restricts the 
Commission's jurisdiction to telecommunications carriers. In contrast, 
sections 251(a)-(c) pertain expressly to telecommunications carriers, 
local exchange carriers, and incumbent local exchange carriers, 
respectively. It is a well understood rule of statutory construction 
that, when Congress includes a term in one portion of the statute but 
not another, it did so intentionally. Congress's limitation in sections 
251(a) through (c) shows that where--in the same statutory section--
Congress wanted to limit certain rights or obligations just to 
telecommunications carriers or telecommunications services, it knew how 
to do so. The absence of any such express limitation in section 
251(e)(1) supports our finding that Congress did not intend to limit 
the Commission's flexibility to extend direct access to numbers to non-
carrier interconnected VoIP providers.
    81. Further, we do not find that extending direct access to numbers 
to interconnected VoIP providers conflicts with the specific provisions 
to which commenters cite. In particular, telecommunications carriers 
(and more particularly, their end-user customers) generally benefit 
from the telephone network, including not only the ability of the 
carriers' end-user customers to receive calls placed to the telephone 
numbers assigned to them, but also their ability to place calls to 
numbers assigned to other end users, whether those end users are 
customers of traditional voice telecommunications carriers or 
interconnected VoIP providers. Thus, authorizing interconnected VoIP 
providers to obtain numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators 
under section 251(e) does not conflict with the fact that recovery of 
the costs of numbering administration is focused on telecommunications 
carriers under section 251(e)(2). Further, as the Commission found in 
the VoIP LNP Order, the language in section 251(e)(2), which phrases 
the obligation to contribute to the costs of numbering administration 
as applying to ``all telecommunications carriers,'' reflects Congress's 
intent to ensure that no telecommunications carriers were omitted from 
the contribution obligation, and does not preclude the Commission from 
exercising its authority to require other providers of comparable 
services to make such contributions.
    82. Nor does authorizing direct access to numbers for 
interconnected VoIP providers under section 251(e) conflict with the 
fact that section 251(b)(2) addresses LECs' obligation to allow 
customers to port numbers when switching from one telecommunications 
carrier to another. We believe that section 251(b)(2) is reasonably 
understood simply as reflecting a requirement that Congress anticipated 
as necessary to promote competition in local markets, rather than 
reflecting any inherent Congressional judgment regarding the universe 
of entities that might have direct access to telephone numbers. And in 
any case, the Commission has required service providers that have not 
been found to be LECs, but that are expected to compete against LECs, 
to comply with the LNP obligations set forth in section 251(b)(2). 
Thus, because we conclude that the Commission has authority under 
section

[[Page 66468]]

251(e)(1) to extend the numbering requirements discussed above to 
interconnected VoIP providers, we find it unnecessary to first 
determine the classification of interconnected VoIP service, and 
decline to do so here.

Enabling Direct Access to p-ANI Codes for VoIP Positioning Center 
Providers

    83. Under the Commission's rules, applicants for p-ANI codes, like 
applicants for numbers, must provide evidence that they are authorized 
to provide service in the area in which they are requesting codes. As 
discussed above, telecommunications carriers are typically required to 
provide either (1) a Commission license or (2) a CPCN issued by a state 
regulatory commission in order to obtain numbers from the Numbering 
Administrators. However, in October 2008, as part of its implementation 
of the NET 911 Act, the Commission granted interconnected VoIP 
providers the right to obtain p-ANI codes without such authorization, 
for the purpose of providing E911 services. The Commission did not, in 
that Order, extend this right to VPC providers; it sought comment on 
this issue instead in the Direct Access (NPRM). Specifically, the 
Commission sought comment on whether allowing VPC providers access to 
p-ANI codes would enhance public safety by further ensuring that 
emergency calls are properly routed to trained responders of the PSAPs, 
and whether there are any unique technical characteristics of p-ANI 
codes that make them different from the numbers currently included in 
section 52.15(g)(2)(i). The Commission also sought comment on whether 
permitting VPCs direct access to p-ANI codes would encourage the 
continued growth of interconnected VoIP services. At the same time, the 
Commission granted Telecommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS), a VPC 
provider, a limited waiver of section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of the 
Commission's rules so that it could obtain p-ANI codes in South 
Carolina and in other states where it could not obtain state 
certification to show that it was authorized to provide service. The 
Commission limited the scope and duration of the waiver to such time as 
it addresses whether section 52.15(g)(2)(i) should be modified to allow 
all providers of VPC service to directly obtain p-ANI codes.
    84. As we discuss below, and based upon the record, we find that 
public safety and efficient p-ANI administration considerations 
necessitate a revision of our rules to permit VPC providers to obtain 
direct access to p-ANI codes for use in the delivery of E911 services 
in those states where VPC providers cannot obtain certification. We 
disagree with TCS's assertions that requiring VPC providers to obtain 
state certifications serves no purpose, and that state certification 
procedures are simply not designed to determine the suitability of a 
VPC that typically does not provide retail service and over whom the 
state commissions have little or no jurisdiction. Rather, we agree with 
Intrado and recognize the importance of state commissions in certifying 
and regulating 911 service providers. As such, we decline to adopt 
TCS's proposals to waive the authorization requirement in section 
52.15(g)(2)(i) in states that do offer certification, or to provide a 
national authorization for VPCs. Instead, we revise our rules to permit 
VPC's to request p-ANI codes from the RNA for public safety purposes in 
states where a provider of VPC service can demonstrate that it cannot 
obtain state certification because the state does not certify providers 
of VPC service.
    85. Public interest considerations necessitate this modification of 
our rules. The record demonstrates that the inability to obtain p-ANI 
codes to provide VPC services may disrupt E911 service. As TCS 
explains, it supports approximately 50 percent of all U.S. wireless 
E911 calls, serving over 140 million wireless and IP-enabled devices. 
One of the main purposes of its VPC service is to provide call routing 
instructions to the VoIP service provider's softswitch so that E911 
calls can be routed to the appropriate PSAP. P-ANI codes provide the 
means for that communication. TCS asserts that after extensive and 
expensive testing of each p-ANI code by the VPC provider, the code is 
assigned to a unique PSAP. The VPC provider then tests these p-ANI 
codes with a gateway service provider to make sure that the codes route 
to the proper PSAP. TCS further explains that it obtains p-ANI codes 
from a fixed pool that is shared by multiple VPC softswitches. 
Approximately ten p-ANI codes are assigned per PSAP. Once tested, these 
codes can be used simultaneously by multiple service providers. TCS 
argues that if it were unable to obtain its own p-ANI codes, nomadic 
VoIP providers would have to obtain, test, manage, and deploy their own 
p-ANI codes, requiring each PSAP to test p-ANI codes, at considerable 
time and expense, with ``dozens (or hundreds)'' of nomadic 
interconnected VoIP service providers that might never actually use the 
p-ANI codes assigned to them. This process, it predicts, would 
potentially exhaust the reservoir of assignable p-ANI codes and create 
disruption, confusion, and even danger to our E911 system. TCS asserts 
that allowing VPCs access to p-ANI codes would enhance public safety by 
ensuring that emergency calls are properly routed to the appropriate 
PSAPs, and help to encourage the continued growth of VoIP services by 
making it easier for small interconnected VoIP service providers to 
rely on VPCs.
    86. We acknowledge TCS's assertion that not providing a federal 
regulatory backstop in cases where state certification is unavailable 
runs counter to the public interest by making it more difficult for TCS 
to fulfill its regulatory obligations to provide E911 capabilities to 
interconnected VoIP service providers. Further, we agree that the 
alternative of continuing to require every small interconnected VoIP 
service provider to undertake the time and expense to secure p-ANIs 
themselves in states that do not certify VPCs is unnecessary and would 
only serve to hamper their operations. We concur with TCS that 
requiring interconnected VoIP providers to obtain p-ANI codes they 
might never use would be inefficient and would accelerate the exhaust 
of this valuable resource. While we are skeptical that ``dozens (or 
even hundreds)'' of individual VoIP service providers would 
individually undertake to deploy their own multi-jurisdictional, p-ANI-
based positioning solutions, we do recognize the economies of scale and 
the efficient use of limited numbering resources that result when a 
VPC's pool of p-ANIs is shared among multiple VoIP service providers.
    87. We decline to establish a separate Commission certification 
process to allow VPC providers direct access to p-ANI codes where 
states do not offer their own certification process for VPCs, as 
suggested by Intrado. TCS's comments reflect that, at the time of 
filing, it had obtained certification in 40 states. To date, we have 
not received additional requests from TCS or any other VPC provider 
under the temporary waiver. Therefore, we do not find that the benefits 
of establishing and requiring a separate certification process for VPCs 
outweigh the burdens of doing so at this time. Further, we also observe 
that, as p-ANIs are ``non-dialable'' numbers with unique technical 
characteristics that make them different from the numbers currently 
included in section 52.15(g)(2), granting VPCs direct access to p-ANI 
codes in states where certification is not available would not affect 
the pool of ``dialable'' numbers and would thus not affect number 
exhaust. Today's modification to our rules--which allow a VPC provider

[[Page 66469]]

unable to demonstrate authorization to provide service in a state to 
demonstrate instead that the state does not certify VPC providers in 
order to request p-ANI codes directly from the Numbering Administrators 
for purposes of providing E-911 service--is limited. It only applies to 
circumstances in which a VPC provider demonstrates that it cannot 
obtain p-ANI codes in a particular state because the state does not 
certify VPC providers. A VPC provider may make this showing, for 
example, by providing the RNA with a denial from a state commission 
with the reason for the denial being that the state does not certify 
VPC providers, or a statement from the state commission or its general 
counsel that it does not certify VPC providers. Unlike the limited 
waiver granted to TCS in the Direct Access NPRM, we require the VPC 
provider to make this showing directly to the RNA. Upon such a showing 
to the RNA, the VPC provider may obtain p-ANI codes in that particular 
state.

IV. Procedural Matters

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    88. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), as 
amended, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was 
incorporated in the Direct Access NPRM. The Commission sought written 
public comment on the proposals in the Direct Access NPRM, including 
comment on the IRFA. The Commission did not receive any comments on the 
Direct Access NPRM IRFA. This Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis 
(FRFA) conforms to the RFA.
1. Need for, and Objectives of, the Final Rules
    89. Section 52.15(g)(2) of the Commission's rules limits access to 
telephone numbers to entities that demonstrate they are authorized to 
provide service in the area for which the numbers are being requested. 
The Commission has interpreted this rule as requiring evidence of 
either a state certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) 
or a Commission license. As a practical matter, generally only 
telecommunications carriers are able to provide the proof of 
authorization required under our rules, and thus able to obtain numbers 
directly from the Numbering Administrators. Neither authorization is 
typically available in practice to interconnected VoIP providers 
because state commissions may lack jurisdiction to certify VoIP 
providers and they are not eligible for a Commission license. Also, the 
Commission has preempted state entry regulation of certain 
interconnected VoIP services to the extent that it interferes with 
important federal objectives.
    90. Establishing a Commission Authorization Process. The Report and 
Order (Order) finds that a state or Commission authorization is 
necessary to protect against number exhaust and to ensure a level 
competitive playing field among traditional telecommunications carriers 
and interconnected VoIP providers. As such, today's Order establishes a 
Commission authorization process that will enable interconnected VoIP 
service providers to voluntarily request and obtain telephone numbers 
directly from the Numbering Administrators, subject to several 
conditions designed to minimize number exhaust and preserve the 
integrity of the numbering system. This nationwide authorization will 
fulfill the requirement under the Commission's rules that entities must 
furnish evidence of authorization in order to provide service. The 
Order directs and delegates authority to the Wireline Competition 
Bureau to implement and maintain the authorization process. Once an 
interconnected VoIP provider has Commission authorization to obtain 
numbers, it may request them directly from the Numbering 
Administrators. We believe that this approach will provide a uniform, 
streamlined process while ensuring that the integrity of our numbering 
system is not jeopardized. The process also provides an opportunity for 
states to offer their unique perspective regarding numbering resources 
within their states, while acting consistent with national numbering 
policy.
    91. As part of the Commission authorization process, applicants 
must: (1) Comply with applicable Commission rules related to numbering, 
including, among others, numbering utilization and optimization 
requirements (in particular, filing Numbering Resource Utilization 
Forecast (NRUF) Reports), comply with guidelines and procedures adopted 
pursuant to numbering authority delegated to the states, and comply 
with industry guidelines and practices applicable to telecommunications 
carriers with regard to numbering; (2) file requests for numbers with 
the relevant state commission(s) at least 30 days before requesting 
numbers from the Numbering Administrators; (3) provide contact 
information for personnel qualified to address issues relating to 
Commission rules, compliance, 911, and law enforcement; (4) provide 
proof of compliance with the Commission's ``facilities readiness'' 
requirement in section 52.15(g)(2) of the rules; (5) certify that the 
applicant complies with its Universal Service Fund obligations under 47 
CFR part 54, subpart H, its Telecommunications Relay Service 
contribution obligations under 47 CFR section 64.604(c)(5)(iii), its 
NANP and LNP administration contribution obligations under 47 CFR 
section 52.17 and 52.32, its obligations to pay regulatory fees under 
47 CFR section 1.1154, and its 911 obligations under 47 CFR part 9; and 
(6) certify that the applicant has the requisite technical, managerial, 
and financial capacity to provide service. This certification must 
include the name of applicant's key management and technical personnel, 
such as the Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Technology Officer, 
or equivalent, and state that none of the identified personnel are 
being or have been investigated by the Commission or any law 
enforcement or regulatory agency for failure to comply with any law, 
rule, or order. We believe that these requirements will allow 
interconnected VoIP providers to obtain numbers with minimal burden or 
delay while simultaneously preventing providers from obtaining numbers 
without first demonstrating that they can deploy and properly utilize 
such resources.
    92. The Order finds that these terms and conditions appropriately 
reflect the unique circumstances that pertain to interconnected VoIP 
providers and are designed to expand the type of entities that can 
obtain numbers without unduly straining that limited resource. 
Requiring interconnected VoIP providers that obtain numbers directly 
from the Numbering Administrators to comply with the same numbering 
requirements and industry guidelines and practices as 
telecommunications carriers will help alleviate many concerns about 
number exhaust, ensure competitive neutrality among providers of voice 
services, and offer greater visibility into number utilization. 
Requiring proof of compliance with the Commission's facilities 
readiness requirement will also ensure that only interconnected VoIP 
providers that are prepared to provide service can gain direct access 
to numbers, and help to account for the unique circumstances of 
interconnected VoIP providers within the market for voice services 
while also ensuring that calls are interconnected with the PSTN and 
terminated properly.
    93. The 30-day notice required as a condition of authorization will 
allow the states to monitor number usage and raise any concerns about 
the request with the provider, the Commission, and the Numbering 
Administrators. It will

[[Page 66470]]

further contribute to the efficient utilization of numbering resources 
by allowing state commissions to advise interconnected VoIP providers 
as to which rate centers have excess blocks of numbers available. This 
notice period also gives state commissions the opportunity to 
determine, as they currently do with carriers, whether the request is 
problematic for any reason, such as the provider's failure to submit 
timely NRUF reports or meet the utilization threshold necessary to 
obtain additional numbers. We do not, however, require 30-days' notice 
be provided to the Commission, as the Commission will have access to 
this information once it is made available to the Numbering 
Administrators.
    94. This authorization process will remove regulatory barriers to 
efficient use of numbers and will further facilitate the creation and 
dissemination of innovative services and technologies that will benefit 
both consumers and providers. In addition, we expect that allowing 
interconnected VoIP providers to obtain telephone numbers directly from 
the Numbering Administrators will increase visibility and accuracy of 
number utilization and improve responsiveness in the number porting 
process by eliminating the extra time, complexity, and potential for 
confusion associated with the existing processes. This process will 
also increase the transparency of call routing, which will in turn 
enhance carriers' ability to ensure that calls are being completed 
properly. This enhanced ability is of value in addressing concerns 
about rural call completion. We expect that interconnected VoIP 
provider use of numbers obtained directly from the Numbering 
Administrators will enable more expedient troubleshooting of 
problematic calls to rural LECs that may originate from interconnected 
VoIP providers. We also expect that, to the extent that it facilitates 
direct IP interconnection, the authorization process established in the 
Order will result in the expansion of the broadband infrastructure 
necessary to support VoIP, and will further the Commission's goals of 
accelerating broadband deployment and ensuring that more people have 
access to higher quality broadband service. Further, permitting 
interconnected VoIP providers direct access to numbers can improve 
competition and benefit consumers by increasing demand for 
interconnected VoIP services and giving providers a greater incentive 
to expand their offerings to new service areas.
    95. Procedure for Requesting Commission Authorization. In order to 
streamline the processing of interconnected VoIP providers' Numbering 
Authorization Applications, the Order establishes a mechanism for these 
applications within the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System 
(ECFS). The Order delegates authority to the Bureau to oversee this 
mechanism and the processing of these applications. The mechanism 
established includes a ``Submit a Non-Docketed Filing'' module that 
facilitates filing of these applications into a single docket where all 
such applications must be filed. When making its submission, the 
applicant must select ``VoIP Numbering Authorization Application'' from 
the ``Submit a Non-Docketed Filing'' module within ECFS, or successor 
online-filing mechanism. The filing must include the application, as 
well as any attachments.
    96. Bureau staff will first review VoIP Numbering Authorization 
Applications for conformance with procedural rules. Assuming that the 
applicant satisfies this initial procedural review, Bureau staff will 
assign the application its own case-specific docket number and release 
an ``Accepted-For-Filing Public Notice'' seeking comment on the 
application. The Public Notice will be associated with the docket 
established for the application. All subsequent filings by the 
applicant and interested parties related to this application must be 
submitted via ECFS in this docket. Parties wishing to submit comments 
addressing the request for authorization should do so as soon as 
possible, but no later than 15 days after the Commission releases an 
Accepted-For-Filing Public Notice, unless the Public Notice sets a 
different deadline. On the 31st day after an ``Accepted-For-Filing 
Public Notice'' is released, the application will be deemed granted 
unless the Bureau notifies the applicant that the grant will not be 
automatically effective. The Bureau may halt this auto-grant process if 
(1) an applicant fails to respond promptly to Commission inquiries; (2) 
an application is associated with a non-routine request for waiver of 
the Commission's rules; (3) timely-filed comments on the application 
raise public interest concerns that necessitate further Commission 
review; or (4) the Bureau determines that the request requires further 
analysis to determine whether grant of an authorization would serve the 
public interest. To enable this process, the Order also delegates 
authority to the Bureau to make inquiries and compel responses from an 
applicant regarding the applicant and its principals' past compliance 
with applicable Commission rules. Once a Numbering Authorization 
Application is granted or deemed granted, the applicant can immediately 
proceed to provide states from which it intends to request numbers the 
required 30-days' notice. If the Bureau issues a public notice 
announcing that the application for authorization will not be 
automatically granted, the interconnected VoIP provider may not provide 
30-days' notice and obtain numbers until the Bureau announces in a 
subsequent order or public notice that the application has been 
granted. We believe that this process strikes a proper balance between 
expeditiously authorizing interconnected VoIP provider requests for 
direct access to numbers while providing an adequate opportunity to 
consider more fully those requests that raise concerns.
    97. Additional Requirements to Obtain Direct Access to Numbers. In 
order to improve efficiency and utilization data while facilitating 
better predictions of number exhaust, the Commission also requires 
interconnected VoIP providers to furnish accurate regulatory and 
numbering contact information to the relevant state commission(s) when 
they request numbers in that state and to update this information 
whenever it becomes outdated. This requirement will help states to 
effectively and readily address matters relating to regulatory 
compliance, provision of 911 service, and law enforcement. It will also 
enable state regulators to monitor local numbering issues, which will, 
in turn, assist the Commission in its overall efforts to conserve 
numbers.
    98. The Order also requires interconnected VoIP providers to 
utilize their own unique Operating Company Numbers (OCN) (as opposed to 
the OCNs of their carrier affiliates or partners) when obtaining 
numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators. Requiring each 
interconnected VoIP provider to use its own unique OCN follows the same 
procedure required for carriers who are already getting direct access 
to numbers. Additionally, requiring each interconnected VoIP service 
provider to show which numbers are in its own inventory--as opposed to 
in a carrier affiliate's or partner's inventories--will improve number 
utilization data used to predict number exhaust and enable states to 
more easily identify the service providers involved when porting issues 
arise.
    99. To balance state commission concerns about customers' 
expectation of access to all active N11 dialing arrangements as VoIP 
services become a replacement for traditional carrier

[[Page 66471]]

service and the industry concerns about the technical feasibility of 
providing N11, we require interconnected VoIP providers, as a condition 
of maintaining their authorization for direct access to numbers, to 
continue to provide their customers with the ability to access 911 and 
711, the Commission-mandated N11 numbers that interconnected VoIP 
providers are required to provide regardless of whether they obtain 
numbers directly or through a numbering partner. We also require 
interconnected VoIP providers to give their customers access to 
Commission-designated N11 numbers in use in a given rate center where 
an interconnected VoIP provider has requested numbering resources, to 
the extent that the provision of these dialing arrangements is 
technically feasible.
    100. We expect that interconnected VoIP providers will notify 
consumers and state commissions if they cannot provide access to a 
particular N11 code due to technical difficulties. These requirements 
will allow the potential availability of these dialing arrangements 
until the Commission has concluded its pending rulemaking addressing 
the technical feasibility of interconnected VoIP providers' offering of 
these codes. Absent continued access to these numbers, their 
availability will diminish as consumers increasingly favor VoIP 
services over traditional telecommunications services.
    101. The Order declines to adopt other proposals in the record 
calling for additional restrictions and conditions on interconnected 
VoIP providers' obtaining numbers, which are not imposed on 
telecommunications carriers. The Commission finds these additional 
restrictions to be unnecessary, with the potential to significantly 
disadvantage interconnected VoIP providers relative to competing 
carriers offering voice services. The record also does not demonstrate 
the need to impose additional restrictions at this time. We believe 
that the measures taken in the Order will sufficiently promote 
efficient number utilization and protect against number exhaust.
    102. Local Number Portability Obligations. The Commission intends 
that users of VoIP services should enjoy the benefits of local number 
portability (LNP) without regard to whether the interconnected VoIP 
provider obtains numbers directly or through a carrier partner. As 
such, the Order requires telecommunications carriers that receive a 
valid porting request to or from an interconnected VoIP provider to 
take all steps necessary to initiate or allow a port-in or port-out 
without unreasonable delay or unreasonable procedures that have the 
effect of delaying or denying porting of the NANP-based telephone 
number. The Order also requires interconnected VoIP providers that 
obtain numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators and which do 
not utilize the services of a numbering partner for LNP purposes to 
port telephone numbers to and from a wireline or wireless carrier.
    103. The Commission declines to articulate specific geographic 
limits on ports between an interconnected VoIP provider that has 
obtained its numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators and a 
wireline or wireless carrier at this time. Instead, the Commission 
directs the North American Numbering Council (NANC) to examine and 
address any specific considerations for interconnected VoIP provider 
porting both to and from wireline, wireless, and other interconnected 
VoIP providers. In particular, the Commission directs the NANC to 
examine any rate center or geographic considerations implicated by 
porting directly to and from interconnected VoIP providers, including 
the implications of rate center consolidation, as well as public safety 
considerations such as any Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and 911 
issues that could arise. The Order directs the NANC to give the 
Commission a report addressing these issues, which includes options and 
recommendations, no later than 180 days from the release date of the 
Order.
    104. Enabling Direct Access to p-ANI Codes for VPCs. The Order also 
finds that that public safety and efficient p-ANI administration 
considerations also necessitate a revision of our rules to permit VoIP 
Positioning Center (VPC) providers to obtain direct access to p-ANI 
codes for use in the delivery of E911 services in those states where 
VPC providers cannot obtain certification. Under section 52.15(g)(2) of 
our rules, applicants for p-ANI codes, like applicants for numbers, 
must provide evidence that they are authorized to provide service in 
the area in which they are requesting codes. We revise our rules to 
permit VPC's to request p-ANI codes from the Routing Number 
Administrator (RNA) for public safety purposes in states where a 
provider of VPC service can demonstrate that it cannot obtain state 
certification because the state does not certify providers of VPC 
service. A VPC provider may make this showing, for example, by 
providing the RNA with a denial from a state commission with the reason 
for the denial being that the state does not certify VPC providers, or 
a statement from the state commission or its general counsel that it 
does not certify VPC providers. Unlike the limited waiver granted to 
Telecommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS) in the Direct Access NPRM, we 
require the VPC provider to make this showing directly to the RNA. Upon 
such a showing to the RNA, the VPC provider may obtain p-ANI codes in a 
particular state.
    105. The record shows that the inability to obtain p-ANI codes to 
provide VPC services may disrupt E911 service. TCS supports 
approximately 50 percent all of U.S. wireless E911 calls, serving over 
140 million wireless and IP-enabled devices. One of the main purposes 
of its VPC service is to provide call routing instructions to the VoIP 
service provider's softswitch so that E911 calls can be routed to the 
appropriate PSAP. P-ANI codes provide the means for that communication. 
After extensive and expensive testing of each p-ANI code by the VPC 
provider, the code is assigned to a unique PSAP. The VPC provider then 
tests these p-ANI codes with a gateway service provider to make sure 
that the codes route to the proper PSAP. Approximately ten p-ANI are 
assigned per PSAP, which allows ten different calls from a variety of 
IP-enabled voice service providers to be processed simultaneously. Once 
tested, these codes can be used simultaneously by multiple service 
providers.
    106. The Order acknowledges TCS's assertion that not providing a 
federal regulatory backstop in cases where state certification is 
unavailable runs counter to the public interest by making it more 
difficult for TCS to fulfill its regulatory obligations to provide E911 
capabilities to interconnected VoIP service providers. Further, the 
Commission agrees that the alternative of continuing to require every 
small interconnected VoIP service provider to undertake the time and 
expense to secure p-ANIs themselves in states that do not certify VPCs 
is unnecessary and would only serve to hamper their operations. The 
Order concurs with TCS that requiring interconnected VoIP providers to 
obtain p-ANI codes they might never use would be inefficient and would 
accelerate the exhaust of this valuable resource. While we are 
skeptical that ``dozens (or even hundreds)'' of individual VoIP service 
providers would individually undertake to deploy their own multi-
jurisdictional, p-ANI-based positioning solutions, we do recognize the 
economies of scale and the efficient use of limited numbering resources 
that result when a VPC's pool of p-ANIs is shared among multiple VoIP 
service providers.
    107. The Order declines to establish a separate Commission 
certification

[[Page 66472]]

process to allow VPC providers direct access to p-ANI codes where 
states do not offer their own certification process for VPCs, as 
suggested by Intrado. TCS's comments reflect that, at the time of 
filing, it had obtained certification in 40 states. To date, the 
Commission has not received additional requests from TCS or any other 
VPC provider under the temporary waiver. Therefore, the Commission does 
not find that the benefits of establishing and requiring a separate 
certification process for VPCs outweigh the burdens of doing so at this 
time. Further, as p-ANIs are ``non dialable'' numbers with unique 
technical characteristics that make them different from the numbers 
currently included in section 52.15(g)(2), granting VPCs direct access 
to p-ANI codes in states where certification is not available would not 
affect the pool of ``dialable'' numbers and would thus not impact 
number exhaust.
2. Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response 
to the IRFA
    108. There were no comments filed that specifically addressed the 
rules and policies proposed in the IRFA. To the extent we received 
comments raising general small business concerns during this 
proceeding, those comments are addressed throughout the Order.
3. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities To Which 
the Rules Would Apply
    109. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and 
where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be 
affected by adopted rules. The RFA generally defines the term ``small 
entity'' as having the same meaning as the terms ``small business,'' 
``small organization,'' and ``small governmental jurisdiction.'' In 
addition, the term ``small business'' has the same meaning as the term 
``small-business concern'' under the Small Business Act. A ``small-
business concern'' is one which: (1) Is independently owned and 
operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) 
satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA.
a. Total Small Business
    110. A small business is an independent business having less than 
500 employees. Nationwide, there are a total of approximately 28.2 
million small businesses, according to the SBA. Affected small entities 
as defined by industry are as follows.
b. Internet Access Service Providers
    111. Internet Access Service Providers. The rules adopted in the 
Order apply to Internet access service providers. The Economic Census 
places these firms, whose services might include Voice over Internet 
Protocol (VoIP), in either of two categories, depending on whether the 
service is provided over the provider's own telecommunications 
facilities (e.g., cable and DSL ISPs), or over client-supplied 
telecommunications connections (e.g., dial-up ISPs). The former are 
within the category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which has an 
SBA small business size standard of 1,500 or fewer employees. These are 
also labeled ``broadband.'' The latter are within the category of All 
Other Telecommunications, which has a size standard of annual receipts 
of $25 million or less. These are labeled non-broadband. According to 
Census Bureau data for 2007, there were 3,188 firms in the first 
category, total, that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 
3,144 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees, and 44 firms had 
employment of 1,000 employees or more. For the second category, the 
data show that 1,274 firms operated for the entire year. Of those, 
1,252 had annual receipts below $25 million per year. Consequently, we 
estimate that the majority of broadband Internet access service 
provider firms are small entities that may be affected by the rules 
adopted in this Order.
    112. The broadband Internet access service provider industry has 
changed since this definition was introduced in 2007. The data cited 
above may therefore include entities that no longer provide broadband 
Internet access service, and may exclude entities that now provide such 
service. To ensure that this FRFA describes the universe of small 
entities that our action might affect, we discuss in turn several 
different types of entities that might be providing broadband Internet 
access service.
    113. Internet Publishing and Broadcasting and Web Search Portals. 
Our action pertains to interconnected VoIP services, which could be 
provided by entities that provide other services such as email, online 
gaming, web browsing, video conferencing, instant messaging, and other, 
similar IP-enabled services. The Commission has not adopted a size 
standard for entities that create or provide these types of services or 
applications. However, the Census Bureau has identified firms that 
``primarily engaged in (1) publishing and/or broadcasting content on 
the Internet exclusively or (2) operating Web sites that use a search 
engine to generate and maintain extensive databases of Internet 
addresses and content in an easily searchable format (and known as Web 
search portals).'' The SBA has developed a small business size standard 
for this category, which is: All such firms having 500 or fewer 
employees. According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were 2,705 
firms in this category that operated for the entire year. Of this 
total, 2,682 firms had employment of 499 or fewer employees, and 23 
firms had employment of 500 employees or more. Consequently, we 
estimate that the majority of these firms are small entities that may 
be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the NPRM.
c. Wireline Providers
    114. Wired Telecommunications Carriers. The SBA has developed a 
small business size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers, 
which consists of all such companies having 1,500 or fewer employees. 
According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were 3,188 firms in 
this category, total, that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 
3,144 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees, and 44 firms had 
employment of 1,000 employees or more. Thus, under this size standard, 
the majority of firms can be considered small.
    115. Local Exchange Carriers (LECs). Neither the Commission nor the 
SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically 
applicable to local exchange services. The closest applicable size 
standard under SBA rules is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers. 
Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or 
fewer employees. According to Commission data, 1,307 carriers reported 
that they were incumbent local exchange service providers. Of these 
1,307 carriers, an estimated 1,006 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 
301 have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission 
estimates that most providers of local exchange service are small 
entities that may be affected by the rules adopted in the Order.
    116. Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (Incumbent LECs). Neither 
the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard 
specifically for incumbent local exchange services. The closest 
applicable size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wired 
Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business 
is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.

[[Page 66473]]

According to Commission data, 1,307 carriers reported that they were 
incumbent local exchange service providers. Of these 1,307 carriers, an 
estimated 1,006 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 301 have more than 
1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that most 
providers of incumbent local exchange service are small businesses that 
may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the Order.
    117. We have included small incumbent LECs in this present RFA 
analysis. As noted above, a ``small business'' under the RFA is one 
that, inter alia, meets the pertinent small business size standard 
(e.g., a telephone communications business having 1,500 or fewer 
employees), and ``is not dominant in its field of operation.'' The 
SBA's Office of Advocacy contends that, for RFA purposes, small 
incumbent LECs are not dominant in their field of operation because any 
such dominance is not ``national'' in scope. We have therefore included 
small incumbent LECs in this RFA analysis, although we emphasize that 
this RFA action has no effect on Commission analyses and determinations 
in other, non-RFA contexts.
    118. Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (Competitive LECs), 
Competitive Access Providers (CAPs), Shared-Tenant Service Providers, 
and Other Local Service Providers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA 
has developed a small business size standard specifically for these 
service providers. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for 
the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size 
standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. 
According to Commission data, 1,442 carriers reported that they were 
engaged in the provision of either competitive local exchange services 
or competitive access provider services. Of these 1,442 carriers, an 
estimated 1,256 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 186 have more than 
1,500 employees. In addition, 17 carriers have reported that they are 
Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and all 17 are estimated to have 1,500 
or fewer employees. In addition, 72 carriers have reported that they 
are Other Local Service Providers. Of the 72, seventy have 1,500 or 
fewer employees and two have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, 
the Commission estimates that most providers of competitive local 
exchange service, competitive access providers, Shared-Tenant Service 
Providers, and other local service providers are small entities that 
may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the Order.
    119. Interexchange Carriers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has 
developed a small business size standard specifically for providers of 
interexchange services. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules 
is for the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size 
standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. 
According to Commission data, 359 carriers have reported that they are 
engaged in the provision of interexchange service. Of these, an 
estimated 317 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 42 have more than 1,500 
employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of 
IXCs are small entities that may be affected by rules adopted pursuant 
to the Order.
    120. Operator Service Providers (OSPs). Although we did not include 
Operator Service Providers (OSPs) as part of our Initial Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis in the Direct Access NPRM, after further analysis 
we conclude that some such providers may be affected by the rules 
adopted in this Order. We therefore include them as part of this Final 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has 
developed a small business size standard specifically for operator 
service providers. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for 
the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size 
standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. 
According to Commission data, 33 carriers have reported that they are 
engaged in the provision of operator services. Of these, an estimated 
31 have 1,500 or fewer employees and two have more than 1,500 
employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of 
OSPs are small entities that may be affected by rules adopted pursuant 
to the Order.
    121. Local Resellers. The SBA has developed a small business size 
standard for the category of Telecommunications Resellers. Under that 
size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer 
employees. According to Commission data, 213 carriers have reported 
that they are engaged in the provision of local resale services. Of 
these, an estimated 211 have 1,500 or fewer employees and two have more 
than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the 
majority of local resellers are small entities that may be affected by 
rules adopted in this Order.
    122. Toll Resellers. The SBA has developed a small business size 
standard for the category of Telecommunications Resellers. Under that 
size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer 
employees. According to Commission data, 881 carriers have reported 
that they are engaged in the provision of toll resale services. Of 
these, an estimated 857 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 24 have more 
than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the 
majority of toll resellers are small entities that may be affected by 
rules adopted pursuant to the NPRM.
    123. Other Toll Carriers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has 
developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable 
to Other Toll Carriers. This category includes toll carriers that do 
not fall within the categories of interexchange carriers, operator 
service providers, prepaid calling card providers, satellite service 
carriers, or toll resellers. The closest applicable size standard under 
SBA rules is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size 
standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. 
According to Commission data, 284 companies reported that their primary 
telecommunications service activity was the provision of other toll 
carriage. Of these, an estimated 279 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 
five have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission 
estimates that most Other Toll Carriers are small entities that may be 
affected by the rules and policies adopted pursuant to the NPRM.
d. Wireless Providers--Fixed and Mobile
    124. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). Since 
2007, the Census Bureau has placed wireless firms within this new, 
broad, economic census category. Under the present and prior 
categories, the SBA has deemed a wireless business to be small if it 
has 1,500 or fewer employees. For the category of Wireless 
Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite), census data for 2007 
show that there were 1,383 firms that operated for the entire year. Of 
this total, 1,368 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees and 15 
had employment of 1,000 employees or more. Since all firms with fewer 
than 1,500 employees are considered small, given the total employment 
in the sector, we estimate that the vast majority of wireless firms are 
small.
    125. Wireless Telephony. Wireless telephony includes cellular, 
personal communications services, and specialized mobile radio 
telephony carriers. The SBA has developed a small business size 
standard for Wireless

[[Page 66474]]

Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). Under the SBA small 
business size standard, a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer 
employees. According to Commission data, 413 carriers reported that 
they were engaged in wireless telephony. Of these, an estimated 261 
have 1,500 or fewer employees and 152 have more than 1,500 employees. 
Therefore, a little less than one third of these entities can be 
considered small.
    126. Paging (Private and Common Carrier). In the IRFA that was 
incorporated in the Direct Access NPRM, we included Paging (Private and 
Common Carrier) providers as one of the categories of small entities to 
which the proposed rules might have applied. Based on further analysis, 
we do not believe that the rules adopted in this Order will have an 
effect on this category of private entities. We therefore do not 
include them in our Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis.
e. Satellite Service Providers
    127. Satellite Telecommunications Providers. Although we did not 
include Satellite Telecommunications Providers as part of our Initial 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis in the Direct Access NPRM, after 
further analysis we conclude that some such providers may be affected 
by the rules adopted in this Order. We therefore include them as part 
of this Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis.
    128. Two economic census categories address the satellite industry. 
The first category has a small business size standard of $30 million or 
less in average annual receipts, under SBA rules. The second has a size 
standard of $30 million or less in annual receipts.
    129. The category of Satellite Telecommunications ``comprises 
establishments primarily engaged in providing telecommunications 
services to other establishments in the telecommunications and 
broadcasting industries by forwarding and receiving communications 
signals via a system of satellites or reselling satellite 
telecommunications.'' For this category, Census Bureau data for 2007 
show that there were a total of 512 firms that operated for the entire 
year. Of this total, 495 firms had annual receipts of under $50 
million, and 17 firms had receipts of over $50 million. Consequently, 
we estimate that the majority of Satellite Telecommunications firms are 
small entities that might be affected by our action.
    130. The second category of All Other Telecommunications comprises, 
inter alia, ``establishments primarily engaged in providing specialized 
telecommunications services, such as satellite tracking, communications 
telemetry, and radar station operation. This industry also includes 
establishments primarily engaged in providing satellite terminal 
stations and associated facilities connected with one or more 
terrestrial systems and capable of transmitting telecommunications to, 
and receiving telecommunications from, satellite systems. 
Establishments providing Internet services or Voice over Internet 
Protocol (VoIP) services via client-supplied telecommunications 
connections are also included in this industry.'' The SBA has developed 
a small business size standard for this category: That size standard is 
$30.0 million or less in average annual receipts. According to Census 
Bureau data for 2007, there were 2,383 firms in this category that 
operated for the entire year. Of these, 2,305 establishments had annual 
receipts of under $10 million and 78 establishments had annual receipts 
of $10 million or more. Consequently, we estimate that the majority of 
these firms are small entities that may be affected by our action.
f. Cable Service Providers
    131. Cable and Other Program Distributors. Since 2007, these 
services have been defined within the broad economic census category of 
Wired Telecommunications Carriers; that category is defined as follows: 
``This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating 
and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure 
that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, 
sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission 
facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of 
technologies.'' The SBA has developed a small business size standard 
for this category, which is: All such firms having 1,500 or fewer 
employees. To gauge small business prevalence for these cable services 
we must, however, use current census data that are based on the 
previous category of Cable and Other Program Distribution and its 
associated size standard; that size standard was all such firms having 
$13.5 million or less in annual receipts. According to Census Bureau 
data for 2007, there were a total of 3,188 firms in this category that 
operated for the entire year. Of this total, 2,694 firms had annual 
receipts of under $10 million, and 504 firms had receipts of $10 
million or more. Thus, the majority of these firms can be considered 
small and may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the Order.
    132. Cable Companies and Systems. The Commission has also developed 
its own small business size standards, for the purpose of cable rate 
regulation. Under the Commission's rules, a ``small cable company'' is 
one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers, nationwide. Industry data 
shows that there are 660 cable operators in the country. Of this total, 
all but eleven cable operators nationwide are small under this size 
standard. In addition, under the Commission's rules, a ``small system'' 
is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers. Current 
Commission records show 4,945 cable systems nationwide. Of this total, 
4,380 cable systems have less than 20,000 subscribers, and 565 systems 
have 20,000 or more subscribers, based on the same records. Thus, under 
this standard, we estimate that most cable systems are small entities.
    133. Cable System Operators. The Communications Act of 1934, as 
amended, also contains a size standard for small cable system 
operators, which is ``a cable operator that, directly or through an 
affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than 1 percent of all 
subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated with any entity 
or entities whose gross annual revenues in the aggregate exceed 
$250,000,000.'' The Commission has determined that an operator serving 
fewer than 677,000 subscribers shall be deemed a small operator if its 
annual revenues, when combined with the total annual revenues of all 
its affiliates, do not exceed $250 million in the aggregate. Based on 
available data, we find that all but ten incumbent cable operators are 
small entities under this size standard. We note that the Commission 
neither requests nor collects information on whether cable system 
operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues 
exceed $250 million, and therefore we are unable to estimate more 
accurately the number of cable system operators that would qualify as 
small under this size standard.
g. All Other Information Services
    134. All Other Information Services. The Census Bureau defines this 
industry as including ``establishments primarily engaged in providing 
other information services (except news syndicates, libraries, 
archives, Internet publishing and broadcasting, and Web search 
portals).'' Our action pertains to interconnected VoIP services, which 
could be provided by entities that provide other services such as 
email, online gaming, web browsing, video conferencing, instant 
messaging, and other, similar IP-enabled services. The

[[Page 66475]]

SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category; 
that size standard is $7.0 million or less in average annual receipts. 
According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were 367 firms in this 
category that operated for the entire year. Of these, 334 had annual 
receipts of under $5 million, and an additional 11 firms had receipts 
of between $5 million and $9,999,999. Consequently, we estimate that 
the majority of these firms are small entities that may be affected by 
our action.
4. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other 
Compliance Requirements for Small Entities
    135. In the Order, the Commission establishes a voluntary 
authorization process to enable interconnected VoIP providers that seek 
direct access to numbers and that are without a state certification to 
demonstrate that they are authorized to provide service under our 
rules. Once granted, this Commission authorization permits an 
interconnected VoIP provider to request numbers directly from the 
Numbering Administrators. The Commission expects that interconnected 
VoIP providers will continue to use carrier partners in some instances, 
and today's Order does not prohibit those partner relationships.
    136. To the extent that an interconnected VoIP provider voluntarily 
seeks to obtain direct access to numbers through a Commission 
authorization, the Commission imposes, as a condition of this 
authorization, the same requirements to which traditional 
telecommunications carriers are subject, as well as several unique 
conditions of access that reflect the particular circumstances of 
interconnected VoIP providers.
    137. In order to apply for Commission authorization, interconnected 
VoIP providers must (1) comply with applicable Commission rules related 
to numbering, including, among others, numbering utilization and 
optimization requirements (in particular, filing NRUF Reports), comply 
with guidelines and procedures adopted pursuant to numbering authority 
delegated to the states, and comply with industry guidelines and 
practices applicable to telecommunications carriers with regard to 
numbering; (2) file requests for numbers with the relevant state 
commission(s) at least 30 days before requesting numbers from the 
Numbering Administrators on an on-going basis; (3) provide contact 
information for personnel qualified to address issues relating to 
Commission rules, compliance, 911, and law enforcement; (4) provide 
proof of compliance with the Commission's ``facilities readiness'' 
requirement in section 52.15(g)(2) of the rules; (5) certify that the 
applicant complies with its Universal Service Fund obligations under 47 
CFR part 54, subpart H, its Telecommunications Relay Service 
contribution obligations under 47 CFR 64.604(c)(5)(iii), its NANP and 
LNP administration contribution obligations under 47 CFR 52.17 and 
52.32, its obligations to pay regulatory fees under 47 CFR 1.1154, and 
its 911 obligations under 47 CFR part 9; and (6) certify that the 
applicant has the requisite technical, managerial, and financial 
capacity to provide service. This certification must include the name 
of the applicant's key management and technical personnel, such as the 
Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Technology Officer, or 
equivalent, and state that none of the identified personnel are being 
or have been investigated by the Commission or any law enforcement or 
regulatory agency for failure to comply with any law, rule, or order.
    138. Among other things, NRUF reporting requires carriers to report 
how many of their numbers have been designated as ``assigned'' or 
``intermediate.'' This designation affects the utilization percentage, 
e.g., the percentage of the total numbering inventory that is assigned 
to customers for use, of the reporting carrier. An ``intermediate'' 
number is one that is made available for use by another 
telecommunications carrier or non-carrier, but has not necessarily been 
assigned to an end-user or customer. An ``assigned'' number is one that 
has been assigned to a specific end-user or customer. The Order 
clarifies that numbers provided to carriers, interconnected VoIP 
providers, or other non-carrier entities by numbering partners should 
be reported as ``intermediate,'' and that such entities do not qualify 
as ``end users'' or ``customers'' as those terms are used in the 
definition of ``assigned numbers'' in section 52.15(f)(1)(iii) of the 
Commission's rules. We find that this clarification is necessary to 
provide consistency and accuracy in number reporting and to limit 
telephone number exhaust.
    139. The Order also requires interconnected VoIP providers who 
obtain a Commission authorization to file notices of intent to request 
numbers with the relevant state commissions, on an ongoing basis, at 
least 30 days prior to requesting numbers from the Numbering 
Administrators.
    140. Under section 52.15(g)(2) of our rules, a provider must 
demonstrate that it ``is or will be capable of providing service within 
sixty (60) days of the numbering resources activation date.'' The Order 
requires interconnected VoIP providers that request numbers directly 
from the Numbering Administrators to comply with this ``facilities 
readiness'' requirement, consistent with the requirements imposed on 
other providers of competitive voice services. The Order permits an 
interconnected VoIP provider that has obtained Commission authorization 
to request numbers directly to demonstrate proof of facilities 
readiness by (1) providing a combination of an agreement between the 
interconnected VoIP provider and its carrier partner and an 
interconnection agreement between that carrier and the relevant LEC, or 
(2) proof that the interconnected VoIP provider obtains interconnection 
with the PSTN pursuant to a tariffed offering or a commercial 
arrangement (such as a TDM-to-IP or VoIP interconnection agreement) 
that provides access to the PSTN.
    141. In order to streamline the processing of an interconnected 
VoIP provider's Numbering Authorization Application, the Order 
establishes a ``Submit a Non-Docketed Filing'' module within the 
Commission's ECFS that facilitates filing of such applications into a 
single docket where all such applications must be filed. The applicants 
will be required to select ``Numbering Authorization Application'' from 
the ``Submit a Non-Docketed Filing'' module within ECFS, or successor 
online-filing mechanism. The filing must include the application, as 
well as any attachments. Once an interconnected VoIP provider's 
authorization application is granted or deemed granted, the applicant 
can immediately proceed to provide states from which it intends to 
request numbers the required 30-days' notice. Interconnected VoIP 
providers who apply for and receive Commission authorization for direct 
access to numbers are subject to, and acknowledge Commission 
enforcement authority.
    142. In addition to these requirements, interconnected VoIP 
providers seeking direct access must, as a condition of maintaining 
their authorization for direct access to numbers (1) provide accurate 
regulatory and numbering contact information to the relevant state 
commission(s) when they request numbers in that state and update this 
information whenever it becomes outdated; (2) use their own unique OCNs 
(as opposed to the OCNs of their carrier affiliates or partners) when 
obtaining numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators; and (3)

[[Page 66476]]

continue to provide their customers with the ability to access 911 and 
711, the Commission-mandated N11 numbers that interconnected VoIP 
providers are required to provide regardless of whether they obtain 
numbers directly or through a numbering partner, as well as give their 
customers access to Commission-designated N11 numbers in use in a given 
rate center where an interconnected VoIP provider has requested 
numbering resources, to the extent that the provision of these dialing 
arrangements is technically feasible.
    143. The Order further imposes an affirmative obligation on 
telecommunications carriers to facilitate a valid porting request to or 
from an interconnected VoIP provider. Carriers are obligated to take 
all steps necessary to initiate or allow a port-in or port-out itself 
without unreasonable delay or unreasonable procedures that have the 
effect of delaying or denying porting of the NANP-based telephone 
number. An interconnected VoIP provider that has obtained its numbers 
directly from the Numbering Administrators and is not utilizing the 
services of a numbering partner for LNP purposes must port telephone 
numbers to and from a wireline or wireless carrier.
    144. The Order also permits VPC providers to obtain direct access 
to p-ANI codes for use in the delivery of E911 services in those states 
where a VPC provider can demonstrate that it cannot obtain state 
certification because the state does not certify providers of VPC 
service. A VPC provider may make this showing, for example, by 
providing the RNA with a denial from a state commission with the reason 
for the denial being that the state does not certify VPC providers, or 
a statement from the state commission or its general counsel that it 
does not certify VPC providers. Unlike the limited waiver granted to 
TCS in the Direct Access NPRM, we require the VPC provider to make this 
showing directly to the RNA. Upon such a showing to the RNA, the VPC 
provider may obtain p-ANI codes in a particular state.
5. Steps Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small 
Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered
    145. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant 
alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, 
which may include (among others) the following four alternatives: (1) 
The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or 
timetables that take into account the resources available to small 
entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of 
compliance and reporting requirements under the rules for such small 
entities; (3) the use of performance rather than design standards; and 
(4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for 
such small entities.
    146. The Commission is aware that some of the rules adopted in this 
Order will impact small entities by imposing costs and administrative 
burdens. For this reason, in reaching its final conclusions and taking 
action in this proceeding, the Commission has taken a number of 
measures to minimize or eliminate the costs and burdens generated by 
compliance with the adopted regulations.
    147. Interconnected VoIP providers are not required to seek 
Commission authorization--the Order establishes a voluntary process 
designed to allow interconnected VoIP providers that seek direct access 
to obtain it. Telecommunications carriers in like positions must 
similarly seek state certification or a Commission license. The Order 
only requires those interconnected VoIP providers seeking a Commission 
authorization to request numbers directly from the Numbering 
Administrators to comply with the applicable Commission rules related 
to numbering, including, among others, numbering utilization and 
optimization requirements, complying with guidelines and procedures 
adopted pursuant to numbering authority delegated to the states, and 
complying with industry guidelines and practices applicable to 
telecommunications carriers with regard to numbering. Although the 
Order requires such providers to submit specific documentation as a 
condition of obtaining Commission authorization, the Commission has 
attempted to minimize this burden by streamlining the application 
process as much as possible. For instance, to ease the administrative 
burden on small entities of producing and submitting a Numbering 
Authorization Application, the Commission has established within its 
own ECFS a module that facilitates filing of applications online.
    148. While the Order adopts several requirements that 
interconnected VoIP providers must fulfill as a condition of receiving 
Commission authorization, the Commission declined to adopt several 
other proposals that would have placed a greater monetary and 
administrative burden on small entities, including proposals in the 
record that, as a condition of direct access, an interconnected VoIP 
provider be required to (1) transfer all of the numbers it has obtained 
from its numbering partners to the interconnected VoIP provider's new 
OCN, and (2) take numbers from certain rate centers chosen by the state 
commissions in more populous areas or in blocks of less than 1000 
numbers. The Commission also declined to revise its current reporting 
requirements and adopt as requirements additional voluntary commitments 
imposed in the Direct Access Trial, as some commenters suggested. The 
Commission concluded that additional restrictions beyond those adopted 
are unnecessary and would significantly burden and disadvantage small 
interconnected VoIP providers relative to competing carriers offering 
voice services. The Commission also considered, and ultimately declined 
to adopt further rules or take further action, pertaining to VoIP 
interconnection obligations, intercarrier compensation obligations, or 
call routing and tracking. We believe that the measures taken in this 
Order will promote efficient number utilization and protect against 
number exhaust without the need for further restrictions and 
regulations at this time.
    149. We find also that the establishment of a Commission 
authorization process to enable interconnected VoIP providers to obtain 
direct access to numbers may lower costs for interconnected VoIP 
providers in some instances, by allowing them to obtain telephone 
numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators without having to 
retain the services of a carrier partner. In its comments, Vonage 
asserts that doing so will improve competition in the voice services 
market, broadening the options for consumers and reducing costs by 
eliminating the middleman for telephone numbers. Thus, the regulations 
promulgated in the Order may benefit small entities financially by 
eliminating inefficiencies and the associated expenses.
6. Report to Congress
    150. The Commission will send a copy of the Order, including this 
FRFA, in a report to be sent to Congress and the Government 
Accountability Office pursuant to the Small Business Regulatory 
Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. In addition, the Commission will send 
a copy of the Order, including the FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for 
Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. A copy of the Order and 
FRFA (or summaries thereof) will also be published in the Federal 
Register.

[[Page 66477]]

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

    151. This document contains new information collection requirements 
subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-
13. It will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review under section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the general public, 
and other federal agencies are invited to comment on the new 
information collection requirements contained in this proceeding. In 
addition, we note that pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief 
Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we 
previously sought specific comment on how the Commission might further 
reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns 
with fewer than 25 employees.
    152. In this document, we establish a process to authorize 
interconnected VoIP providers to obtain telephone numbers directly from 
the Numbering Administrators, rather than through carrier affiliates or 
partners. We have assessed the effects of these rules and find that any 
burden on small businesses and other small entities will be minimal 
because the decision to apply for Commission authorization to obtain 
numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators is strictly 
voluntary. Interconnected VoIP providers, including small businesses, 
may continue to obtain numbers through numbering partners. Moreover, 
the Commission has attempted to ease the administrative burden on small 
entities that do decide to submit Numbering Authorization Applications 
by streamlining the application process as much as possible, including 
the establishment of a module within the Electronic Comment Filing 
System that facilitates filing of applications electronically.

Congressional Review Act

    153. The Commission will send a copy of this Report and Order to 
Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the 
Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. Section 801(a)(1)(A).

Accessible Formats

    154. To request materials in accessible formats for people with 
disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), 
send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental 
Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

V. Ordering Clauses

    155. Accordingly, it is ordered that pursuant to Sections 1, 3, 4, 
201-205, 251, and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 
47 U.S.C. Sections 151, 153, 154, 201-205, 251, 303(r), the Report and 
Order hereby is adopted and part 52 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 
part 52, is amended as set forth in Appendix B of this Report and 
Order. The Report and Order shall become effective November 30, 2015, 
except for 47 CFR 52.15(g)(2) through(g)(3), which contains information 
collection requirements that have not be approved by OMB, the Federal 
Communications Commission will publish a document in the Federal 
Register announcing the effective date.
    156. It is further ordered that, pursuant to the authority 
contained in sections 1, 3, 4, 201-205, 251, and 303(r) of the 
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. Sections 151, 153, 
154, 201-205, 251, 303(r), the Petition of TeleCommunication Systems, 
Inc. and HBF Group, Inc. for Waiver of Part 52 of the Commission's 
Rules, filed February 20, 2007 in CC Docket No. 99-200, and the 
Petition of Vixxi Solutions, Inc. for Limited Waiver of Number Access 
Restrictions, filed September 8, 2008 in CC Docket No. 99-200 are 
denied to the extent set forth herein, effective upon release.
    157. It is further ordered that pursuant to the authority contained 
in sections 1, 3, 4, 201-205, 251, and 303(r) of the Communications Act 
of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. Sections 151, 153, 154, 201-205, 251, 
303(r), the Petitions for Limited Waiver of Section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of 
the Commission's Rules Regarding Numbering Resources filed in CC Docket 
No. 99-200 by RNK Inc. on February 4, 2005; Nuvio Corporation on 
February 15, 2005; Dialpad Communications, Inc. on March 1, 2005; 
UniPoint Enhanced Services d/b/a PointOne on March 2, 2005; VoEX, Inc. 
on March 4, 2005; Vonage Holdings Corp. on March 4, 2005; Qwest 
Communications Corporation on March 29, 2005; CoreComm-Voyager, Inc. on 
April 22, 2005; Net2Phone Inc. on May 5, 2005; WilTel Communications, 
LLC on May 9, 2005; Constant Touch Communications on May 23, 2005; 
Frontier Communications of America, Inc. on August 29, 2006, 
SmartEdgeNet, LLC on March 6, 2012; Millicorp, LLC on March 14, 2012, 
and Bandwidth.com, Inc. on June 13, 2012 are dismissed as moot, 
effective upon release.
    158. It is further ordered that, pursuant to sections 1, 4(i), 
4(j), 251, and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 
U.S.C. Sections 151, 154(i)-(j), 251, 303(r), and sections 52.11(b) and 
52.25(d) of the Commission's rules, 47 CFRs 52.11(b), 52.25(d), the 
North American Numbering Council shall submit its recommendations to 
the Commission within 180 days of the release date of this Report and 
Order, as discussed in paragraph 60 of this Report and Order.
    159. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and 
Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a 
copy of this Report and Order, including the Final Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small 
Business Administration.

List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 52

    Communications common carriers, Telecommunications, Telephone.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary.

Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 52 as follows:

PART 52--NUMBERING

0
1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Sections 1, 2, 4, 5, 48 Stat. 1066, as amended; 47 
U.S.C. 151, 152, 154, and 155 unless otherwise noted. Interpret or 
apply secs. 3, 4, 201-05, 207-09, 218, 225-27, 251-52, 271 and 332, 
48 Stat. 1070, as amended, 1077; 47 U.S.C. 153, 154, 201-05, 207-09, 
218, 225-27, 251-52, 271 and 332 unless otherwise noted.


0
2. Revise Sec.  52.5 to read as follows:


Sec.  52.5  Central office code administration.

    (a) Incumbent local exchange carrier. With respect to an area, an 
``incumbent local exchange carrier'' is a local exchange carrier that:
    (1) On February 8, 1996, provided telephone exchange service in 
such area; and
    (2)(i) On February 8, 1996, was deemed to be a member of the 
exchange carrier Association pursuant to Sec.  69.601(b) of this 
chapter (47 CFR 69.601(b)); or
    (ii) Is a person or entity that, on or after February 8, 1996, 
became a successor or assign of a member described in paragraph 
(a)(2)(i) of this section.
    (b) Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service 
provider. The term ``interconnected VoIP service provider'' is an 
entity that provides interconnected VoIP service, as that

[[Page 66478]]

term is defined in 47 U.S.C. Section 153(25).
    (c) North American Numbering Council (NANC). The ``North American 
Numbering Council'' is an advisory committee created under the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C., App (1988), to advise the Commission 
and to make recommendations, reached through consensus, that foster 
efficient and impartial number administration.
    (d) North American Numbering Plan (NANP). The ``North American 
Numbering Plan'' is the basic numbering scheme for the 
telecommunications networks located in American Samoa, Anguilla, 
Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, 
Cayman Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, 
Montserrat, Sint Maarten, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, 
Turks & Caicos Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, and the United States 
(including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth 
of the Northern Mariana Islands).
    (e) Service provider. The term ``service provider'' refers to a 
telecommunications carrier or other entity that receives numbering 
resources from the NANPA, a Pooling Administrator or a 
telecommunications carrier for the purpose of providing or establishing 
telecommunications service. For the purposes of this part, the term 
``service provider'' includes an interconnected VoIP service provider.
    (f) State. The term ``state'' includes the District of Columbia and 
the Territories and possessions.
    (g) State commission. The term ``state commission'' means the 
commission, board, or official (by whatever name designated) which 
under the laws of any state has regulatory jurisdiction with respect to 
intrastate operations of carriers.
    (h) Telecommunications. ``Telecommunications'' means the 
transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of 
information of the user's choosing, without change in the form or 
content of the information as sent and received.
    (i) Telecommunications carrier or carrier. A ``telecommunications 
carrier'' or ``carrier'' is any provider of telecommunications 
services, except that such term does not include aggregators of 
telecommunications services (as defined in 47 U.S.C. 226(a)(2)). For 
the purposes of this part, the term ``telecommunications carrier'' or 
``carrier'' includes an interconnected VoIP service provider.
    (j) Telecommunications service. The term ``telecommunications 
service'' refers to the offering of telecommunications for a fee 
directly to the public, or to such classes of users as to be 
effectively available directly to the public, regardless of the 
facilities used. For purposes of this part, the term 
``telecommunications service'' includes interconnected VoIP service as 
that term is defined in 47 U.S.C. 153(25).

Subpart B--Administration

0
3. Amend Sec.  52.15 by revising paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2), 
redesignate paragraphs (g)(3) through (g)(5) as paragraphs 
(g)(4)through (g)(6), and add new paragraph (g)(3) to read as follows:


Sec.  52.15  Central office code administration.

* * * * *
    (g) * * *
    (1) General requirements. An applicant for numbering resources must 
include in its application the applicant's company name, company 
headquarters address, OCN, parent company's OCN(s), and the primary 
type of business in which the numbering resources will be used.
    (2) Initial numbering resources. An applicant for initial numbering 
resources must include in its application evidence that the applicant 
is authorized to provide service in the area for which the numbering 
resources are requested; and that the applicant is or will be capable 
of providing service within sixty (60) days of the numbering resources 
activation date. A provider of VoIP Positioning Center (VPC) services 
that is unable to demonstrate authorization to provide service in a 
state may instead demonstrate that the state does not certify VPC 
service providers in order to request pseudo-Automatic Numbering 
Identification (p-ANI) codes directly from the Numbering Administrators 
for purposes of providing 911 and E-911 service.
    (3) Commission authorization process. A provider of interconnected 
VoIP service may show a Commission authorization obtained pursuant to 
this paragraph as evidence that it is authorized to provide service 
under paragraph (g)(2) of this section.
    (i) Contents of the application for interconnected VoIP provider 
numbering authorization. An application for authorization must 
reference this section and must contain the following:
    (A) The applicant's name, address, and telephone number, and 
contact information for personnel qualified to address issues relating 
to regulatory requirements, compliance with Commission's rules, 911, 
and law enforcement;
    (B) An acknowledgment that the authorization granted under this 
paragraph is subject to compliance with applicable Commission numbering 
rules; numbering authority delegated to the states; and industry 
guidelines and practices regarding numbering as applicable to 
telecommunications carriers;
    (C) An acknowledgement that the applicant must file requests for 
numbers with the relevant state commission(s) at least 30 days before 
requesting numbers from the Numbering Administrators;
    (D) Proof that the applicant is or will be capable of providing 
service within sixty (60) days of the numbering resources activation 
date in accordance with paragraph (g)(2) of this section;
    (E) Certification that the applicant complies with its Universal 
Service Fund contribution obligations under 47 CFR part 54, subpart H, 
its Telecommunications Relay Service contribution obligations under 47 
CFR 64.604(c)(5)(iii), its NANP and LNP administration contribution 
obligations under 47 CFR 52.17 and 52.32, its obligations to pay 
regulatory fees under 47 CFR 1.1154, and its 911 obligations under 47 
CFR part 9; and
    (F) Certification that the applicant possesses the financial, 
managerial, and technical expertise to provide reliable service. This 
certification must include the name of applicant's key management and 
technical personnel, such as the Chief Operating Officer and the Chief 
Technology Officer, or equivalent, and state that none of the 
identified personnel are being or have been investigated by the Federal 
Communications Commission or any law enforcement or regulatory agency 
for failure to comply with any law, rule, or order; and
    (G) Certification pursuant to Sections 1.2001 and 1.2002 of this 
chapter that no party to the application is subject to a denial of 
Federal benefits pursuant to section 5301 of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 
1988. See 21 U.S.C. 862.
    (ii) An applicant for Commission authorization under this section 
must file its application electronically through the ``Submit a Non-
Docketed Filing'' module of the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing 
System (ECFS). Once the Commission reviews the application and assigns 
a docket number, the applicant must make all subsequent filings 
relating to its application in this docket. Parties may file comments 
addressing an application for authorization no later than 15 days after 
the Commission releases a public notice stating that the application 
has been accepted for filing, unless the

[[Page 66479]]

public notice specifies a different filing date.
    (iii) An application under this section is deemed granted by the 
Commission on the 31st day after the Commission releases a public 
notice stating that the application has been accepted for filing, 
unless the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) notifies the applicant 
that the grant will not be automatically effective. The Bureau may halt 
this auto-grant process if;
    (A) An applicant fails to respond promptly to Commission inquiries,
    (B) An application is associated with a non-routine request for 
waiver of the Commission's rules,
    (C) Timely-filed comments on the application raise public interest 
concerns that require further Commission review, or
    (D) The Bureau determines that the application requires further 
analysis to determine whether granting the application serves the 
public interest. The Commission reserves the right to request 
additional information after its initial review of an application.
    (iv) Conditions applicable to all interconnected VoIP provider 
numbering authorizations. An interconnected VoIP provider authorized to 
request numbering resources directly from the Numbering Administrators 
under this section must adhere to the following requirements:
    (A) Maintain the accuracy of all contact information and 
certifications in its application. If any contact information or 
certification is no longer accurate, the provider must file a 
correction with the Commission and each applicable state within thirty 
(30) days of the change of contact information or certification. The 
Commission may use the updated information or certification to 
determine whether a change in authorization status is warranted;
    (B) Comply with the applicable Commission numbering rules; 
numbering authority delegated to the states; and industry guidelines 
and practices regarding numbering as applicable to telecommunications 
carriers;
    (C) File requests for numbers with the relevant state commission(s) 
at least thirty (30) days before requesting numbers from the Numbering 
Administrators;
    (D) Provide accurate regulatory and numbering contact information 
to each state commission when requesting numbers in that state.
    (4) Growth numbering resources. (i) Applications for growth 
numbering resources shall include:
    (A) A Months-to-Exhaust Worksheet that provides utilization by rate 
center for the preceding six months and projected monthly utilization 
for the next twelve (12) months; and
    (B) The applicant's current numbering resource utilization level 
for the rate center in which it is seeking growth numbering resources.
    (ii) The numbering resource utilization level shall be calculated 
by dividing all assigned numbers by the total numbering resources in 
the applicant's inventory and multiplying the result by 100. Numbering 
resources activated in the Local Exchange Routing Guide (LERG) within 
the preceding 90 days of reporting utilization levels may be excluded 
from the utilization calculation.
    (iii) All service providers shall maintain no more than a six-month 
inventory of telephone numbers in each rate center or service area in 
which it provides telecommunications service.
    (iv) The NANPA shall withhold numbering resources from any U.S. 
carrier that fails to comply with the reporting and numbering resource 
application requirements established in this part. The NANPA shall not 
issue numbering resources to a carrier without an OCN. The NANPA must 
notify the carrier in writing of its decision to withhold numbering 
resources within ten (10) days of receiving a request for numbering 
resources. The carrier may challenge the NANPA's decision to the 
appropriate state regulatory commission. The state commission may 
affirm or overturn the NANPA's decision to withhold numbering resources 
from the carrier based on its determination of compliance with the 
reporting and numbering resource application requirements herein.
    (5) Non-compliance. The NANPA shall withhold numbering resources 
from any U.S. carrier that fails to comply with the reporting and 
numbering resource application requirements established in this part. 
The NANPA shall not issue numbering resources to a carrier without an 
Operating Company Number (OCN). The NANPA must notify the carrier in 
writing of its decision to withhold numbering resources within ten (10) 
days of receiving a request for numbering resources. The carrier may 
challenge the NANPA's decision to the appropriate state regulatory 
commission. The state commission may affirm, or may overturn, the 
NANPA's decision to withhold numbering resources from the carrier based 
on its determination that the carrier has complied with the reporting 
and numbering resource application requirements herein. The state 
commission also may overturn the NANPA's decision to withhold numbering 
resources from the carrier based on its determination that the carrier 
has demonstrated a verifiable need for numbering resources and has 
exhausted all other available remedies.
    (6) State access to applications. State regulatory commissions 
shall have access to service provider's applications for numbering 
resources. The state commissions should request copies of such 
applications from the service providers operating within their states, 
and service providers must comply with state commission requests for 
copies of numbering resource applications. Carriers that fail to comply 
with a state commission request for numbering resource application 
materials shall be denied numbering resources.


Sec.  52.16  [Amended]

0
4. Amend Sec.  52.16 by removing paragraph (g).


Sec.  52.17  [Amended]

0
5. Amend Sec.  52.17 by removing paragraph (c).


Sec.  52.21  [Amended]

0
6. Amend Sec.  52.21 by removing paragraph (h) and redesignating 
paragraphs (i) through (w) as paragraphs (h) through (v).


Sec.  52.32  [Amended]

0
7. Amend Sec.  52.32 by removing paragraph (e).

0
8. Amend Sec.  52.33 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  52.33  Recovery of carrier-specific costs directly related to 
providing long-term number portability.

* * * * *
    (b) All telecommunications carriers other than incumbent local 
exchange carriers may recover their number portability costs in any 
manner consistent with applicable state and federal laws and 
regulations.
* * * * *

0
9. Amend Sec.  52.34 by adding paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  52.34  Obligations regarding local number porting to and from 
interconnected VoIP or Internet-based TRS providers.

* * * * *
    (c) Telecommunications carriers must facilitate an end-user 
customer's valid number portability request either to or from an 
interconnected VoIP or VRS or IP Relay provider. ``Facilitate'' is 
defined as the telecommunication carrier's affirmative legal obligation 
to

[[Page 66480]]

take all steps necessary to initiate or allow a port-in or port-out 
itself, subject to a valid port request, without unreasonable delay or 
unreasonable procedures that have the effect of delaying or denying 
porting of the NANP-based telephone number.


Sec.  52.35  [Amended]

0
10. Amend Sec.  52.35 by removing paragraph (e)(1) and redesignating 
paragraphs (e)(2) and (e)(3) as (e)(1) and (e)(2).


Sec.  52.36  [Amended]

0
11. Amend Sec.  52.36 by removing paragraph (d).

[FR Doc. 2015-20900 Filed 10-28-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6712-01-P