The Wireline Competition Bureau of the FCC issued a Public Notice on February 4, 2016 announcing that beginning February 18, 2016 the Bureau will accept applications from interconnected VoIP providers to obtain telephone numbers directly from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA).  Interconnected VoIP providers can submit applications for numbers electronically using the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS).

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The FCC recently announced revisions to its debt collection process for those carriers that are delinquent in contributing to the FCC’s Universal Service Fund (“USF”), Telecommunications Relay Services Fund (“TRS”) and North American Numbering Plan Fund (“NANP”) (collectively the “Funds”). Under the new procedures, the Fund administrators will forward delinquent accounts directly to the United States Department of Treasury (“Treasury”) for collection (where a 28% collection fee is added), rather than forwarding them to the FCC first. In addition, the FCC will no longer send delinquency notices to contributors for these types of debts.

These revisions could have a significant impact on telecommunications providers, who now may receive only a single notice before an outstanding debt is transferred to Treasury for collection. Contributors will have to exercise greater diligence to ensure that they receive notices of delinquent obligations to the Funds and do not mistakenly incur collection fees.
 


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With new access charge obligations for interconnected VoIP, new contribution obligations for non-interconnected VoIP, and possible outage reporting requirements, 2012 is shaping up as a year of changes for VoIP providers.  Another possible change may be in store for how VoIP providers obtain access to telephone numbers.

Since 2005, various petitions have been pending seeking a waiver of FCC