[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 118 (Wednesday, June 19, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 36725-36738]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-13703]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Part 52

[WC Docket Nos. 13-97, 04-36, 07-243, 10-90; CC Docket Nos. 95-116, 01-
92, 99-200; FCC 13-51]


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: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission 
(Commission) propose to promote innovation and efficiency by allowing 
interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers to obtain 
telephone numbers directly from the North American Numbering Plan 
Administrator (NANPA) and the Pooling Administrator (PA), subject to 
certain requirements. We anticipate that allowing interconnected VoIP 
providers to have direct access to numbers will 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. The accompanying Notice of Inquiry further seeks 
comment on a range of issues regarding our long-term approach to 
numbering resources. The relationship between numbers and geography--
taken for granted when numbers were first assigned to fixed wireline 
telephones--is evolving as consumers turn increasingly to mobile and 
nomadic services. We seek comment on these trends and associated 
Commission policies.

DATES: Comments are due on or before July 19, 2013. Reply comments are 
due on or before August 19, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by [WC Docket Nos. 13-
97, 04-36, 07-243, 10-90 and CC Docket Nos. 95-116, 01-92, 99-200], by 
any of the following methods:
    [ssquf] Federal Communications Commission's Web site: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. Follow the instructions for submitting 
comments.

[[Page 36726]]

    [ssquf] People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request 
reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language 
interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone: 202-418-
0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.
    For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional 
information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marilyn Jones, Wireline Competition 
Bureau, Competition Policy Division, (202) 418-1580, or send an email 
to marilyn.jones@fcc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Notice 
of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in WC Docket Nos. 13-97, 04-36, 07-243, 
10-90 and CC Docket Nos. 95-116, 01-92, 99-200, FCC 13-51, adopted and 
released April 18, 2013. 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. Background

    2. The Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act), grants the 
Commission plenary authority over the North American Numbering Plan 
(NANP) within the United States. In its Numbering Resource Optimization 
(NRO) proceeding, the Commission adopted several optimization measures 
that allow it to monitor more closely how telephone numbers are used 
within the NANP. These measures also promote more efficient allocation 
and use of numbers by tying a carrier's ability to obtain them more 
closely to its actual need for numbers to serve its customers. In 
particular, to combat the inefficient use of numbers, Sec.  
52.15(g)(2)(i) of the Commission's rules requires an applicant for 
telephone numbers to provide evidence that it is authorized to provide 
service in the area in which it is requesting those numbers. The 
Commission interpreted this rule in its NRO First Report and Order as 
requiring evidence of either state certification or a Commission 
license.
    3. Interconnected VoIP service enables users, over broadband 
connections, to receive calls that originate from the public switched 
telephone network (PSTN) or other VoIP users, and to terminate calls to 
the PSTN or other VoIP users. However, the Commission has not addressed 
the classification of interconnected VoIP services, and thus retail 
interconnected VoIP providers in many, but not all, instances take the 
position that they are not subject to regulation as telecommunications 
carriers, nor can they directly avail themselves of various rights 
under sections 251 and 252 of the Act.
    4. In order to provide interconnected VoIP service, a provider must 
offer consumers NANP telephone numbers; otherwise, a customer on the 
PSTN would not have a way to dial the interconnected VoIP customer 
using his PSTN service. Interconnected VoIP providers often cannot 
obtain telephone numbers directly from the numbering administrators as 
they cannot provide the evidence of certification required by Sec.  
52.15(g)(2)(i)--they typically do not hold state certifications or 
Commission licenses. Thus, these providers generally obtain NANP 
telephone numbers by purchasing wholesale services from a competitive 
local exchange carrier (CLEC), and then using these services to 
interconnect with the PSTN in order to send and receive certain types 
of traffic between the VoIP provider's network and the carrier 
networks.
    5. The Commission has acted to ensure consumer protection, public 
safety, and other important policy goals in orders addressing 
interconnected VoIP services, without classifying those services as 
telecommunications services or information services under the 
Communications Act.

II. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

A. Direct Access to Numbers by Interconnected VoIP Providers

    6. As part of our focused ongoing effort to modernize our rules 
during a period of significant technology transition, we propose to 
modify our rules to allow interconnected VoIP providers to obtain 
numbers directly from the number administrators, subject to a variety 
of requirements to ensure continued network integrity, allow oversight 
and enforcement of our numbering regulations, and protect the public 
interest. We expect that granting VoIP providers direct access to 
numbers--subject to the number utilization provisions we propose 
below--will enhance the effectiveness of our number conservation 
efforts, and will reduce costs and inefficiencies that arise today 
through the mandatory use of carrier-partners. We anticipate that these 
proposed rule changes will encourage providers to develop and deploy 
innovative new technologies and services that benefit consumers.
    7. We invite general comment on permitting interconnected VoIP 
providers to obtain phone numbers directly from the number 
administrators, as opposed to through carrier partners. Do commenters 
agree that allowing interconnected VoIP providers direct access to 
numbers will spur the introduction of innovative new technologies and 
services, increase efficiency, and facilitate increased choices for 
American consumers? Are there benefits to requiring carrier-partners? 
Are there alternate ways to accomplish these goals? We ask commenters 
who disagree with our proposal to address other ways the Commission's 
numbering policies can be utilized to achieve the outlined benefits.
    8. We note that in October 2010, the Twenty-First Century 
Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) became law. The CVAA 
codified the Commission's definition of ``interconnected VoIP service'' 
contained in Sec.  9.3 of the Commission's rules, ``as such section may 
be amended from time to time.'' We seek comment on whether any 
amendments to the Commission's definition of interconnected VoIP 
service are needed to allow direct access to numbers by interconnected 
VoIP providers. If so, should the amendments apply to all of the 
Commission's requirements that involve interconnected VoIP providers or 
should the Commission use the amended definition of interconnected VoIP 
solely for purposes of number administration?
    9. In various sections of the NPRM, we seek comment on: the type of 
documentation that interconnected VoIP providers should provide in 
order to obtain numbers; the numbering administration requirements that 
should apply to such providers; and enforcement of our numbering rules. 
In other parts, we discuss and seek comment on commenters' concerns 
raised in the record, such as databases, call routing and termination, 
intercarrier compensation, IP interconnection, local number 
portability, number cost allocation and transitioning to direct access 
if interconnected VoIP providers are granted direct access to numbers, 
other entities that potentially could gain access to numbers, and our 
legal authority for imposing proposed numbering administration and 
other

[[Page 36727]]

requirements on interconnected VoIP providers.

B. Direct Access to Numbers for Other Purposes

1. Innovative Uses of Numbers
    10. We seek comment on whether the Commission should expand access 
to numbers beyond the proposal regarding interconnected VoIP providers. 
For example, should the Commission expand access to numbers to VoIP 
providers (regardless of whether they are interconnected or one-way)? 
We seek comment on the types of services and applications that use 
numbers today, and that are likely to do so in the future. Is the lack 
of access to numbers a barrier to deployment of innovative services? 
Twilio states that making numbers more broadly available to other 
communications providers will lower the cost of accessing numbers and 
providing telecommunications services, and will encourage competition 
and innovation. We seek comment on these assertions.
    11. We seek comment on the potential benefits and risks of 
expanding direct access to numbers. For example, would extending access 
to numbers accelerate number exhaust and if so, what steps could we 
take to control number exhaust? What safeguards or countermeasures 
should the Commission utilize, and should these be specific to 
innovative providers? We note above that allowing interconnected VoIP 
providers direct access to numbers could enhance the ability to oversee 
number use and control exhaust. Do these same benefits apply to other 
types of innovative service providers that today only receive indirect 
access to numbers? We also seek comment on how we can maintain the 
integrity and oversight of our numbering system if we broadly extend 
direct access to numbers. For example, we seek comment on the numbers 
that should be provided to these other entities. Should the Commission 
limit distribution in some fashion? Should the Commission permit these 
other entities to obtain only non-geographic numbers? We note that the 
Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions' (ATIS) Industry 
Numbering Committee (INC) reported on its recent efforts, at the 
September NANC meeting, to revise the guidelines for assignment of non-
geographic numbers to reflect increased demand for their use with 
machine-to-machine applications. Which machine uses require a telephone 
number and why? Which ones do not? As an example, could some uses 
simply require an IP address or device ID to be assigned? Should 
machine-to-machine uses be assigned one type of number, with common 10-
digit area code numbers reserved for voice communications or SMS? We 
seek comment generally on relevant numbering limitations that should 
apply to innovative providers.
    12. There is a wide array of services and providers that today rely 
on indirect access to numbers. We recognize that those uses are likely 
to change and expand in unpredictable ways in the future. Are there 
distinguishing or limiting factors that should govern whether and how 
specific services or providers receive certain types of numbers? For 
example, should the Commission prioritize access to numbers by certain 
types of providers, or to services that are primarily (or exclusively) 
voice services? We seek comment on the relevant criteria the Commission 
should consider when deciding whether and on what terms to allow direct 
access to numbers.
    13. If we grant interconnected VoIP providers and other types of 
entities direct access to numbers, should we establish the same 
conditions and criteria, regardless of the service or technology? For 
example, should we impose the same documentation requirements and 
enforcement provisions on interconnected VoIP providers and other 
entities?
    14. Twilio states that the conditions Vonage identifies in its 
request for waiver, including utilization and optimization 
requirements, are appropriate for access by other VoIP providers. We 
seek comment on whether these limitations are sufficient for innovative 
providers. What protections are necessary in order to combat potential 
abuses by innovative providers? What safeguards should the Commission 
adopt in order to promote an orderly and efficient use of numbers by 
innovative providers? Finally, we seek comment on the rule changes 
necessary to effectively allow other carriers to have access to 
numbers. How would the proposed rule changes in this Notice need to be 
modified in order for innovative providers to have access to numbers?
2. Access to p-ANI Codes for Public Safety Purposes
    15. We seek comment on whether the Commission should modify Sec.  
52.15(g)(2)(i) of our rules to allow VPC providers direct access to p-
ANI codes, for the purpose of providing 911 and E911 service. VPC 
providers are entities that help interconnected VoIP providers deliver 
911 calls to the appropriate public safety answering point.
    16. Under Sec.  52.15(g)(2)(i) of our rules, applicants for 
numbers, including p-ANI codes, must provide evidence that they are 
authorized to provide service in the area in which they are requesting 
numbers. However, in October 2008, as part of its implementation of the 
NET 911 Act, the Commission granted interconnected VoIP providers the 
right to access p-ANI codes, without such authorization, for the 
purpose of providing 911 and E911 service.
    17. We seek comment on whether Sec.  52.15(g)(2)(i) should be 
modified to allow all providers of VPC service to directly access p-ANI 
codes. Would allowing VPC providers access to p-ANI codes enhance 
public safety by further ensuring that emergency calls are properly 
routed to trained responders of the PSAPs? Are there unique technical 
characteristics of p-ANI codes that make them different from the 
numbers currently included in Sec.  52.15(g)(2)(i). Are there any cost 
benefits to allowing VPC providers direct access to p-ANI codes? 
Furthermore, would such access help encourage the continued growth of 
interconnected VoIP services?
    18. In the NET 911 Order, the Commission determined that it has the 
authority to regulate VPC providers so they can perform their 
obligations under the NET 911 Act. We seek comment on whether there are 
distinctions the Commission should consider between VPC providers and 
interconnected VoIP providers with respect to the need to access p-ANI 
codes. Are there any technical or policy reasons why VPC providers 
should be denied direct access to p-ANI codes while interconnected VoIP 
providers have access under the Commission's NET 911 Order?
    19. We also seek comment on whether any evidence of authorization 
should be required for VPC providers to access p-ANI codes. TCS argued, 
in seeking a waiver of our rule, that if state competitive local 
exchange carrier certification is required, then obtaining one state 
certification should be adequate for a waiver. Should Sec.  
52.15(g)(2)(i) be modified to require VPC providers to provide the RNA 
with state certification from at least one state? Alternatively, should 
a ``national authorization'' be provided to VPC providers from a public 
safety organization? Should the Commission consider any other factors, 
such as whether VPC providers are current on state and local emergency 
fees and any appropriate universal service fund contributions in 
granting access to p-ANI codes? Are there other obligations on which we 
seek comment above for

[[Page 36728]]

VoIP provider access to numbers that should apply as well to VPC 
providers?

C. Legal Authority

    20. Section 251(e)(1) of the Act gives the Commission plenary 
authority over that portion of the NANP that pertains to the United 
States, and the Commission retains ``authority to set policy with 
respect to all facets of numbering administration in the United 
States.'' The Commission has concluded that the plenary numbering 
authority set forth in section 251(e)(1) of the Act provides ample 
authority for the Commission to extend numbering-related requirements 
to interconnected VoIP providers that obtain telephone numbers directly 
or indirectly, regardless of the statutory classification of 
interconnected VoIP service. Thus, because the Commission has plenary 
authority over the administration of NANP numbers in the United States, 
any entity that participates in that administration--including VoIP 
providers that obtain numbers, whether or not they are carriers--must 
adhere to the Commission's numbering rules. We believe that this 
rationale applies equally to the situation here. Thus, we believe that 
the Commission has authority under section 251(e)(1) to extend the 
numbering requirements discussed above to interconnected VoIP 
providers, and seek comment on this analysis.
    21. We also believe that the Commission has additional authority 
under Title I of the Act to impose numbering obligations on 
interconnected VoIP providers. Ancillary authority may be employed when 
``(1) the Commission's general jurisdictional grant under Title 1 
covers the regulated subject and (2) the regulations are reasonably 
ancillary to the Commission's effective performance of its statutorily 
mandated responsibilities.'' As to the first predicate, as we have 
concluded in numerous orders, interconnected VoIP services fall within 
the subject-matter jurisdiction granted to the Commission in the Act. 
As to the second predicate, we seek comment on whether imposing 
numbering obligations on interconnected VoIP providers would be 
reasonably ancillary to the Commission's performance of particular 
statutory duties, such as those under sections 251 and 201 of the Act. 
For example, adopting numbering obligations for interconnected VoIP 
providers that obtain direct access to numbers is necessary to ensure a 
level playing field and foster competition by eliminating barriers to, 
and incenting development of, innovative IP services. We thus seek 
comment on whether, for these or other reasons, imposing numbering 
obligations on interconnected VoIP providers that get direct access to 
numbers are reasonably ancillary to the Commission's responsibilities 
to ensure that numbers are made available on an ``equitable'' basis, to 
advance the number-portability requirements of section 251, or to help 
ensure just and reasonable rates and practices for voice 
telecommunications services regulated under section 201 through market 
discipline from interconnected VoIP services. We also seek comment on 
other possible bases for the Commission to exercise ancillary authority 
here.
    22. We note further that our proposed rules are consistent with 
other statutory provisions governing the Commission. For example, 
section 706(a) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 directs the 
Commission to encourage the deployment of advanced telecommunications 
capability to all Americans by using measures that ``promote 
competition in the local telecommunications market.'' Permitting 
interconnected VoIP providers to obtain direct access to telephone 
numbers may encourage more VoIP providers to enter the market, enabling 
consumers to enjoy more competitive service offerings. This will in 
turn spur consumer demand for these services, thereby increasing demand 
for broadband connections and consequently encouraging more broadband 
investment and deployment consistent with the goals of section 706.

III. Notice of Inquiry

    23. In the above Notice, we proposed a set of rules that would 
allow interconnected VoIP providers to obtain telephone numbers 
directly from number administrators rather than through intermediate 
carriers, subject to certain requirements. In this Notice of Inquiry 
(NOI), we seek initial comment on a broader range of numbering issues 
that result from ongoing transitions from fixed telephony to increased 
use of mobile services, from TDM to IP technologies, and from 
geography-based intercarrier compensation to bill-and-keep, focusing 
particularly on whether telephone numbers should remain associated with 
particular geographies.
    24. With the development of mobile services and IP technology, the 
way that consumers use telephone numbers has evolved. Some services 
have already broken the historical tie between a number and a specific 
device. For example, Skype permits users to register a telephone number 
that routes to the Skype service, and Google Voice permits users to 
register a telephone number that acts as an overlay on a user's 
existing telephony services, allowing selective routing of calls from 
certain numbers, and listening in on voicemails before picking up the 
phone. Other services use a single number for multiple devices. See 
Nathan Ingram, iOS 6 unifies your Apple ID and phone number for 
improved iMessage and Facetime support, The Verge (June 11, 2012, 2:32 
p.m.), http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/11/3078598/ios-6-unified-apple-id-phone-number (``Now, if someone calls your phone number for 
Facetime, you'll be able to answer on your Mac or iPad. The same goes 
for Messages--if you get an iMessage on your phone, it'll be delivered 
to your Mac and other iOS devices, even if the sender sent the message 
to your cell phone number and not your Apple ID email.'').
    25. In light of these changes, in this Notice we seek comment on 
some of the important recommendations made by the Technological 
Advisory Council (TAC) regarding the future of numbering. See 
Technological Advisory Council, Presentation to the Federal 
Communications Commission, at 60 (2012) (recommending that the 
Commission ``[i]nitiate rulemaking on the full range and scope of 
issues with numbers/identifiers''), available at http://transition.fcc.gov/bureaus/oet/tac/tacdocs/meeting121012/TAC12-10-12FinalPresentation.pdf. In particular, the TAC recommended that the 
Commission consider ``[f]ully decoupl[ing] geography from number.'' We 
seek comment on the specifics of such a transition, including how it 
would affect public safety communications, access to communications 
networks by Americans with disabilities, and reliability in routing of 
communications and interconnection.
    26. Aside from the geography-related issues addressed in the 
foregoing sections, the TAC and others have raised issues concerning 
number administration more generally. The memorability, ubiquity, 
convenience, and universality of telephone numbers as identifiers 
suggest that they will remain relevant for quite a while. Other than 
shifting away from geographic assignment, should the Commission be 
considering long-term changes to the basic telephone numbering system?

IV. Procedural Matters

A. Ex Parte Rules--Permit-But-Disclose

    27. The proceeding this Notice initiates shall be treated as a 
``permit-but-disclose'' proceeding in accordance

[[Page 36729]]

with the Commission's ex parte rules. See 47 CFR 1.1200 et seq. Persons 
making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written 
presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within 
two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline 
applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex 
parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the 
presentation must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise 
participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was 
made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during 
the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of 
the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the 
presenter's written comments, memoranda or other filings in the 
proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or 
arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings 
(specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data 
or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the 
memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex 
parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must 
be filed consistent with Sec.  1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by 
Sec.  1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method 
of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda 
summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, 
must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available 
for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., 
.doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding 
should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

B. Comment Filing Procedures

    28. Pursuant to Sec. Sec.  1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's 
rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and 
reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first and second 
pages of this document. Comments may be filed using the Commission's 
Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of 
Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).
    [ssquf] Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically 
using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.
    [ssquf] Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file 
an original and one copy of each filing. If more than one docket or 
rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers 
must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or 
rulemaking number.
    [ssquf] Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by 
commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. 
Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's 
Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
    [ssquf] All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for 
the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 
12th St. SW. Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 
8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with 
rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of 
before entering the building.
    [ssquf] Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service 
Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton 
Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
    [ssquf] U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail 
must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.
    [ssquf] People with Disabilities: To request materials in 
accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, 
electronic files, audio format), send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or 
call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 
(voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

C. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    29. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 
the Commission has prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis 
(IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on small entities of 
the policies and rules proposed in this document. See 5 U.S.C. 603. The 
analysis is found in Appendix B. We request written public comment on 
the analysis. Comments must be filed by the same dates as listed in the 
first page of this document, and must have a separate and distinct 
heading designating them as responses to the IRFA. The Commission's 
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, 
will send a copy of this Notice, including the IRFA, to the Chief 
Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

D. Paperwork Reduction Analysis

    30. This NPRM seeks comment on a potential new or revised 
information collection requirement. If the Commission adopts any new or 
revised information collection requirement, the Commission will publish 
a separate notice in the Federal Register inviting the public to 
comment on the requirement, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). In addition, pursuant 
to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, 
see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), the Commission seeks specific comment on how 
it might ``further reduce the information collection burden for small 
business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.''

V. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    31. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as 
amended (RFA), the Commission has prepared this Initial Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities by the policies and rules 
proposed in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). Written comments 
are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to 
the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines for comments on the NPRM. 
The Commission will send a copy of the NPRM, including this IRFA, to 
the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration 
(SBA). In addition, the NPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be 
published in the Federal Register.

A. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

    32. The NPRM proposes to remove unnecessary regulatory barriers to 
innovation and efficiency by allowing interconnected VoIP providers to 
obtain telephone numbers directly from the NANPA and the PA, subject to 
certain requirements. Telephone numbers are a valuable and limited 
resource, and access to and use of such numbers must be managed 
judiciously in order to ensure that they remain available and to 
protect the efficient and reliable operation of the telephone network. 
At the same time, the Commission is attempting to modernize its rules 
in light of significant and ongoing technology transitions in the 
delivery of voice services, with the goal of promoting innovation, 
investment, and competition for the ultimate benefit of consumers and 
businesses. In light of these twin concerns, the proposed rules 
allowing interconnected VoIP providers to have direct access to numbers 
will help modernize the Commission's

[[Page 36730]]

policies of fostering innovation and competition and speeding the 
delivery of innovative services to consumers and businesses, while also 
preserving the integrity of the telephone network and ensuring 
appropriate oversight of telephone number assignments. To ensure the 
efficient and judicious management of telephone numbers and promote 
further innovation and competition, the NPRM seeks comment on these 
proposed rules, including the requirements that must be met in order to 
obtain direct access the numbers, and potential issues involving 
intercarrier compensation, VoIP interconnection, and LNP obligations 
under the proposed rules.
1. Direct Access to Numbers by Interconnected VoIP Providers
    33. The NPRM first proposes to modify the Commission's rules to 
allow interconnected VoIP providers to obtain numbers directly from the 
NANPA and the PA, subject to a variety of requirements to ensure 
continued network integrity, allow oversight and enforcement of our 
numbering regulations, and protect the public interest. The NPRM seeks 
comment generally on permitting interconnected VoIP providers to obtain 
phone numbers directly from the number administrators and on whether 
allowing these parties direct access to numbers will spur the 
introduction of innovative new technologies and services, increase 
efficiency, and facilitate increased choices for American consumers. 
The NPRM also seeks comment on whether there are alternate ways to 
accomplish these goals and whether there are benefits to requiring 
carrier-partners.
    34. In October 2010, the CVAA codified the Commission's definition 
of ``interconnected VoIP service'' in Section 9.3 of the Commission's 
rules, ``as such section may be amended from time to time.'' See Pub. 
L. 111-260, section 101, adding definition of ``interconnected VoIP 
service'' to Section 3 of the Act, codified at 47 U.S.C. 153(25). The 
Senate Report reiterates that this term ``means the same as it does in 
title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as such title may be 
amended from time to time.'' S. Rep. No. 111-386, at 6 (2010) (``Senate 
Report''). The House Report is silent on this issue. H.R. Rep. No. 111-
563 (2010) (``House Report''). The NPRM therefore seeks comment on 
whether any amendments to the Commission's definition of interconnected 
VoIP service are needed to allow direct access to numbers by 
interconnected VoIP providers.
2. Documentation Required to Obtain Numbers
    35. The NPRM notes that under Sec.  52.15(g)(2)(i) of the rules, an 
applicant for telephone numbers must provide the number administrator 
with evidence of the applicant's authority to provide service, such as 
a license issued by the Commission or a CPCN issued by a state 
regulatory commission. Interconnected VoIP providers may be unable to 
provide the evidence required by this rule because states often refuse 
to certify VoIP providers. After the Commission required interconnected 
VoIP providers to comply with the same E911 requirements as carriers, 
the Bureau recognized that VoIP providers would not be able to provide 
the same documentation as certificated carriers to obtain the non-
dialable numbers necessary to provide E911 service. In that case, the 
Bureau permitted the administrator that disseminates p-ANI codes to 
accept documentation different than that required by certificated 
carriers. To ensure continued compliance with part 52 of the 
Commission's rules and with the NET 911 Act, an interconnected VoIP 
provider must demonstrate that it provides VoIP service and must 
identify the jurisdiction(s) in which it provides service. See Letter 
from Sharon E. Gillett, Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau, Federal 
Communications Commission, to Betty Ann Kane, Chair, North American 
Numbering Council and Ms. Amy L. Putnam, Director, Number Pooling 
Services, Neustar, Inc. (Dec. 14, 2010). The Bureau allowed this 
documentation to be in the form of pages 2 and 36 of the FCC Form 477.
    36. Given these issues, the NPRM seeks comment on what, if any, 
documentation interconnected VoIP providers should be required to 
provide to the number administrator to receive numbers. Specifically, 
comment is sought on whether interconnected VoIP providers should be 
required to demonstrate that they do or plan to offer service in a 
particular geographic area in order to receive numbers associated with 
that area. Comment is sought on whether data regarding the provision of 
interconnected VoIP services from FCC Form 477 would service this role, 
or whether there are alternative means for interconnected VoIP 
providers to demonstrate, absent state certification, that they are 
providing services in the area for which the numbers are being 
requested. Comment is further sought on whether the Commission should 
adopt a process whereby it will provide the certification required by 
Sec.  52.15(g)(2)(i), but only to the extent a state commission lacks 
authority to do so or represents that it has a policy of not doing so. 
The NPRM asks whether certification requirements should be different 
for providers of facilities-based interconnected VoIP, which is 
typically offered in a clearly defined geographic area, and over-the-
top interconnected VoIP, which can be used anywhere that has a 
broadband connection. Comment is also sought on whether certification 
would permit the Commission to exercise forfeiture authority without 
first issuing a citation. The NPRM further seeks comment on the costs 
and burdens imposed on small entities from the rules resulting from 
this requirement, and how those onuses might be ameliorated. Lastly, 
the NPRM asks whether there are other issues or significant 
alternatives that the Commission should consider to ease the burden of 
these proposed measures on small entities.
3. Numbering Administration Requirements for Interconnected VoIP 
Providers
    37. Telecommunications carriers are required to comply with a 
variety of Commission and state number optimization requirements and 
are expected to follow industry guidelines. In the SBCIS Waiver Order, 
the Commission imposed these requirements on SBCIS as a condition of 
its authorization to obtain telephone numbers directly from the number 
administrators. The NPRM proposes to impose these same number 
utilization and optimization requirements and industry guidelines and 
practices that apply to carriers, on interconnected VoIP providers that 
obtain direct access to numbers. See 47 CFR part 52. These requirements 
include, inter alia, adhering to the numbering authority delegated to 
state commissions for access to data and reclamation activities, and 
filing NRUF Reports. 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 numbering exhaust and 
will enable the Commission to more effectively monitor the VoIP 
providers' number utilization. The NPRM seeks comment on these 
requirements and on their efficacy in conserving numbers and protecting 
consumers. One reason numbers that interconnected VoIP providers obtain 
from CLECs are not reported as ``intermediate numbers'' is that some 
reporting carriers classify interconnected VoIP providers as the ``end 
user,'' because the interconnected

[[Page 36731]]

VoIP provider is the customer of the wholesale carrier. The NPRM 
therefore seeks comment on how to revise the Commission's definition of 
``intermediate numbers'' or ``assigned numbers'' to ensure consistency 
among all reporting providers.
    38. The NPRM proposes to allow interconnected VoIP providers to 
obtain telephone numbers only from rate centers subject to pooling, in 
order to reduce waste. The NPRM seeks comment on this proposal and any 
concerns it may raise. Comment is also sought on whether it makes sense 
to differentiate between traditional carriers and interconnected VoIP 
providers in terms of the rate centers from which they can request 
numbers, and whether this approach raises anti-competitive or public 
policy concerns. The NPRM seeks further comment on how this approach 
will affect existing VoIP customers with numbers not in these rate 
centers, if at all. Comment is sought on whether this approach is 
appropriately tailored to address the problems of waste and number 
exhaust, and whether there are any alternative measures that would be 
more effective in dealing with these issues. The NPRM also details an 
alternative proposal by the California PUC in which the Commission 
would grant states the right to specify which rate centers are 
available for VoIP number assignment. The NPRM seeks comment, in 
particular, on this alternative proposal.
    39. In conjunction with these recommendations, the California PUC 
proposes a system in which all calls to VoIP providers are deemed to be 
local calls for numbering administration purposes. Comment is sought on 
the feasibility of this plan and the method by which the Commission 
might implement it. The NPRM also seeks comment on any drawbacks posed 
by this system to VoIP providers and their customers.
    40. Under the Commission's rules, carriers must demonstrate 
``facilities readiness'' before they can obtain initial numbering 
resources, which helps to ensure that carriers are not building 
inventories before they are prepared to offer service. Section 
52.15(g)(2)(ii) of the Commission's rules requires that an applicant 
for initial numbering resources is or will be capable of providing 
service within sixty (60) days of the activation date of the numbering 
resources. 47 CFR 52.15(g)(2)(ii). The NPRM proposes to extend these 
``facilities readiness'' requirements to interconnected VoIP providers 
who obtain direct access to numbers. Comment is sought on whether 
requiring interconnected VoIP providers to submit evidence that they 
have ordered an interconnection service pursuant to a tariff is 
appropriate evidence of ``facilities readiness'' or whether there are 
better ways to demonstrate compliance with this requirement. Comment is 
sought further on whether the Commission should modify this requirement 
to allow more flexibility, and if so, how.
    41. In the SBCIS Waiver Order, the Commission required SBCIS to 
file any requests for numbers with the Commission and the relevant 
state commission at least 30 days prior to requesting numbers from the 
number administrators. The 30-day notice period allows the Commission 
and relevant state commission to monitor the VoIP providers' numbers 
and to take measures to conserve resources, if necessary, such as 
determining which rate centers are available for number assignments. 
The NPRM seeks comment on whether to impose this requirement on all 
interconnected VoIP providers that obtain direct access to numbers.
    42. In addition to complying with the Commission's existing 
numbering requirements and the obligations set forth in the SBCIS 
Waiver Order, Vonage offered several commitments as a condition of 
obtaining direct access to numbers. Specifically, Vonage offered to: 
(1) Maintain at least 65 percent number utilization across its 
telephone number inventory; (2) offer IP interconnection to other 
carriers and providers; and (3) provide 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 indicates that these commitments will ensure efficient 
number utilization and facilitate Commission oversight. The NPRM seeks 
comment on whether to impose some or all of these requirements on 
interconnected VoIP providers.
    43. To enhance the ability of state commissions to effectively 
oversee numbers, which will in turn promote better number utilization, 
the Wisconsin PSC suggests that the Commission require interconnected 
VoIP providers to do the following in order to obtain telephone 
numbers: (1) Provide the relevant state commission with regulatory and 
numbering contacts upon first requesting numbers in that state; (2) 
consolidate and report all numbers under its own unique Operating 
Company Number (OCN); (3) provide customers with the ability to access 
all N11 numbers in use in a state; and (4) maintain the original rate 
center designation of all numbers in its inventory. The NPRM seeks 
comment on this proposal and whether additional oversight of the 
financial and managerial aspects of interconnected VoIP providers is 
needed. In particular, comment is sought on how providers of nomadic 
VoIP service could comply with a requirement to provide access to the 
locally-appropriate N11 numbers.
    44. The NPRM further seeks comment on whether the proposal to allow 
direct access to numbers for interconnected VoIP providers might affect 
competition, and if so, how.
4. Enforcement of Interconnected VoIP Providers' Compliance With 
Numbering Rules
    45. The NPRM notes that in order for the Commission to exercise its 
forfeiture authority for violations of the Act and its rules without 
first issuing a warning, the wrongdoer must hold (or be an applicant 
for) some form of authorization from the Commission, or be engaged in 
activity for which such an authorization is required. A Commission 
authorization is not currently required to provide interconnected VoIP 
service. The NPRM therefore seeks comment on whether the Commission 
should implement a certification or blanket authorization process 
applicable to interconnected VoIP providers that elect to obtain direct 
access to numbers. Comment is also sought on whether Commission 
certification would be necessary and appropriate for all providers, not 
just those that cannot obtain certifications from state commissions. 
Alternatively, comment is sought on whether it would be less 
administratively burdensome if the Commission amended its rules to 
establish ``blanket'' authorization for interconnected VoIP providers 
for access to numbering resources.
    46. In addition, the NPRM seeks comment on whether there are ways 
to ensure that VoIP providers are subject to the same penalties and 
enforcement processes as traditional common carriers. More 
specifically, comment is sought on whether VoIP providers must consent 
to be subject to the same monetary penalties as common carriers as a 
condition of obtaining direct access to numbers. Comment is also sought 
on whether the Commission can and should require VoIP providers to 
waive any additional process protections that traditional common 
carriers would not receive. Lastly, the NPRM seeks comments on whether 
VoIP providers should be prohibited from obtaining direct access to 
numbers if they are ``red-lighted'' by the Commission for unpaid debts 
or other reasons. The NPRM asks if there are any other reasons for 
which VoIP providers

[[Page 36732]]

should be deemed ineligible to obtain numbers.
5. Databases, Call Routing and Termination
    47. The NPRM also seeks comment on the routing of calls by 
interconnected VoIP providers that use their own telephone numbers. 
Specifically, the NPRM explains that interconnected VoIP provider 
switches do not appear in the LERG, the database which enables carriers 
to send traffic to, and receive traffic from, a given telephone number. 
The NPRM notes that some commenters claim that, without association to 
a switch, carriers will not know where to route calls, likely resulting 
in end user confusion and interference with emergency services and 
response. Other commenters have responded that marketplace solutions 
from companies such as Level 3 or Neutral Tandem can be employed to 
solve these problems by, for instance, designating the switch of a 
carrier partner in the LERG and in the NPAC database as the default 
routing locations for traffic bound for numbers assigned to 
interconnected VoIP providers in order to route calls originated in the 
PSTN. The NPRM seeks comment generally on whether providing 
interconnected VoIP providers direct access to numbers will hinder or 
prevent call routing or tracking, and how such complications can be 
prevented or minimized. The NPRM also seeks comment on whether the 
marketplace solutions described by the commenters will be adequate to 
properly route calls by interconnected VoIP providers, absent a VoIP 
interconnection agreement. The NPRM further asks whether the Commission 
should require interconnected VoIP providers to maintain carrier 
partners to ensure that calls are routed properly.
    48. The NPRM seeks 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 VoIP provider over IP links. Specifically, the 
NPRM asks what restrictions are imposed by the administrators of the 
various database services on access to the databases, and on the 
practices that service providers may need to alter to increase 
interconnection and routing efficiency. Specifically, the NPRM asks 
whether listing a non-facilities-based interconnected VoIP provider in 
the Alternate Service Provider Identification (ALT SPID) field in the 
NPAC database is sufficient to allow a provider to route calls directly 
to a VoIP provider if the VoIP provider has a VoIP interconnection 
agreement. Lastly, the NPRM seeks comment on how numbering schemes and 
databases integral to the operation of PSTN call routing will need to 
evolve to operate well in IP-based networks.
6. Intercarrier Compensation
    49. 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 the NPRM notes, interconnected VoIP providers with direct 
access to numbers could enter into agreements to interconnect with 
other providers. The NPRM seeks comment on how to address any 
ambiguities in intercarrier compensation payment obligations that may 
be introduced by granting interconnected VoIP providers direct access 
to numbers. The NPRM also seeks comment on whether granting 
interconnected VoIP providers direct access to numbers would improve 
the accuracy and utility of call signaling information for traffic 
originated by customers of interconnected VoIP providers. The NPRM asks 
further whether any intercarrier compensation impacts would be 
temporary, given the ongoing transition toward a bill-and-keep 
intercarrier compensation framework.
    50. The NPRM also seeks comment on the regulatory status of 
competitive tandem providers, and in particular, whether any portions 
of competitive operations are regulated by the states or Commission. If 
not, the NPRM asks what intercarrier compensation obligations apply, 
and to what entity, for traffic that a VoIP provider originates or 
terminates in partnership with a competitive tandem provider that is 
not certified by the Commission or any state commission.
7. VoIP Interconnection
    51. The NPRM seeks comment generally on the effect that direct 
access to numbers will have on the industry's transition to direct 
interconnection in IP, and on the status of IP interconnection for VoIP 
providers today. The NPRM also asks how many VoIP interconnection 
agreements currently exist and how parties to those agreements treat 
technical issues. Comment is further sought on whether access to 
numbers will increase call routing efficiency when one of the providers 
is a VoIP provider, and whether such efficiency will affect the 
likelihood of parties entering into agreements for VoIP 
interconnection.
    52. The NPRM also seeks comment on the extent to which its 
proposals would promote IP interconnection. As stated in the NPRM, the 
Commission expects that granting VoIP providers direct access to 
numbers would facilitate several types of VoIP interconnection, 
including interconnection between over-the-top VoIP providers and cable 
providers, interconnection between two over-the-top providers, and 
interconnection between cable providers. Comment is sought on this 
analysis, and on whether granting VoIP providers direct access to 
numbers will encourage IP-to-IP interconnection by eliminating 
disincentives to interconnect in IP format and lowering the costs 
associated with implementing IP-to-IP interconnection agreements. The 
NPRM further asks whether direct access to numbers will affect the 
rights and obligations of service providers with regards to VoIP 
interconnection.
8. Local Number Portability Obligations
    53. The NPRM proposes to modify the Commission's rules to include 
language specifying that users of interconnected VoIP services should 
enjoy the benefits of local number portability without regard to 
whether the VoIP provider obtains numbers directly or through a carrier 
partner. The NPRM seeks comment on this proposal.
    54. In the VoIP LNP Order, the Commission clarified that carriers 
``must port-out NANP telephone numbers upon valid requests from an 
interconnected VoIP provider (or from its associated numbering 
partner).'' Some CLECs have argued that a port directly to a non-
carrier interconnected VoIP provider (that has not been certificated by 
a state), is not a ``valid port request,'' so there is no obligation to 
port directly to a non-carrier interconnected VoIP provider. The NPRM 
proposes rules that will better reflect this obligation by making clear 
the requirement to port directly to a non-carrier interconnected VoIP 
provider upon request. This proposed rule change should eliminate any 
argument that a request to port to a VoIP provider is invalid merely 
because the ported-to entity is a VoIP provider. In doing so, the 
proposed rule will benefit users of interconnected VoIP services by 
increasing the ease of portability.
    55. The NPRM also notes that the Commission has established 
geographic limits on the extent to which a provider must port numbers. 
The NPRM seeks comment on the geographic limitations,

[[Page 36733]]

if any, that should apply to ports between a wireline carrier and an 
interconnected VoIP provider that has obtained its numbers directly 
from the number administrators, or between a wireless carrier and an 
interconnected VoIP provider that has obtained its numbers directly 
from the number administrators. The NPRM asks further whether 
geographic limits on porting directly between an interconnected VoIP 
provider and another carrier are necessary. Comment is also sought on 
whether, as a practical matter, interconnected VoIP providers will need 
to partner with a carrier numbering partner to port numbers in some or 
all instances, even if they are granted direct access to numbers.
9. Transitioning to Direct Access
    56. On a general level, the NPRM seeks comment on whether the 
changes proposed herein should be adopted on a gradual or phased-in 
basis. More specifically, the NPRM asks what timeframes would be 
appropriate for a graduated transition, and what period of time would 
permit the industry to adjust to the proposed changes. Comment is also 
sought on what steps the Commission 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.
10. Innovative Uses of Numbers
    57. The NPRM notes that beyond interconnected VoIP providers, an 
increasingly wide array of services and applications rely on telephone 
numbers as the addressing system for communications, including home 
security systems, payment authorization services, text messaging 
services, and telematics. The NPRM therefore seeks comment on whether 
the Commission should expand access to numbers beyond the proposal 
regarding interconnected VoIP providers. Specifically, the NPRM asks 
whether access to numbers should be expanded to one-way VoIP providers. 
The NPRM also seeks comment on the types of services and applications 
that use numbers today and that are likely to do so in the future. 
Comment is further sought on the potential benefits and risks of 
expanding direct access to numbers, and any safeguards or 
countermeasures that could be employed to counteract any conceivable 
downsides. The NPRM also asks whether there are distinguishing or 
limiting factors that should govern whether and how specific services 
or providers receive certain types of numbers. Comment is sought on 
whether the same criteria and conditions should be implemented 
regardless of the service or technology offered if interconnected VoIP 
providers and other types of entities are granted direct access to 
numbers.
11. Access to p-ANI Codes for Public Safety Purposes
    58. The NPRM seeks comment on whether the Commission should modify 
Sec.  52.15(g)(2)(i) of its rules to allow VoIP Positioning Center 
(VPC) providers direct access to numbers, specifically p-ANI codes, for 
the purpose of providing 911 and E911 service. In the Waiver Order, the 
Commission found good cause to grant the petition of TeleCommunication 
Systems, Inc. (TCS), allowing it direct access to p-ANI codes from the 
RNA in states where it is unable to obtain certification while the 
Commission adopts final rules for direct access to numbers. The NPRM 
asks whether all VPC providers should be allowed direct access to p-ANI 
codes. Comment is further sought on whether there are any costs or 
benefits to allowing VPC providers direct access to p-ANI codes, and 
whether such access would help to encourage the continued growth of 
interconnected VoIP services. The NPRM also asks whether there are any 
technical or policy reasons why VPC providers should be denied direct 
access to p-ANI codes. Lastly, the NPRM asks whether any evidence of 
authorization should be required for VPC providers to access p-ANI 
codes.
12. Legal Authority
    59. The NPRM also seeks comment on the Commission's legal authority 
to adopt the various requirements proposed. Comment is sought on the 
Commission's plenary authority under section 251(e)(1) of the Act to 
impose the various proposed requirements on interconnected VoIP 
providers obtaining direct access to numbers. The NPRM also asks 
whether imposing numbering obligations on interconnected VoIP providers 
would be reasonably ancillary to the Commission's performance of 
particular statutory duties, such as those under sections 251 and 201 
of the Act, to allow the Commission to impose such obligations under 
its Title I ancillary authority.

B. Legal Basis

    60. The legal basis for any action that may be taken pursuant to 
the NPRM is contained in sections 1, 3, 4, 201-205, 251, and 303(r) of 
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 153, 154, 
201-205, 251, and 303(r).

C. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities To Which 
the Proposed Rules Will Apply

    61. 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 the proposed rules, if adopted. See 5 U.S.C. 603(b)(3). The 
RFA generally defines the term ``small entity'' as having the same 
meaning as the terms ``small business,'' ``small organization,'' and 
``small governmental jurisdiction.'' See 5 U.S.C. 601(6). In addition, 
the term ``small business'' has the same meaning as the term ``small-
business concern'' under the Small Business Act. See 5 U.S.C. 601(3). 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. See 15 U.S.C. 
632.
    62. Small Businesses. A small business is an independent business 
having less than 500 employees. Nationwide, there are a total of 
approximately 27.9 million small businesses, according to the SBA. 
Affected small entities as defined by industry are as follows.
    63. 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, 
3144 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees, and 44 firms had 
employment of 1000 employees or more. Thus, under this size standard, 
the majority of firms can be considered small.
    64. 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 and policies proposed in the 
NPRM.

[[Page 36734]]

    65. Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (incumbent LECs). Neither the 
Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small 
businesses specifically applicable to incumbent 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 incumbent 
local exchange service are small businesses that may be affected by 
rules adopted pursuant to the NPRM.
    66. 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.
    67. 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 NPRM.
    68. Interexchange Carriers (IXCs). Neither the Commission nor the 
SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically 
applicable to interexchange 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, 359 companies reported 
that their primary telecommunications service activity was the 
provision of interexchange services. Of these 359 companies, 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 
interexchange service providers are small entities that may be affected 
by rules adopted pursuant to the NPRM.
    69. 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 pursuant to the NPRM.
    70. 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.
    71. 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.
    72. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). Since 
2007, the SBA has recognized wireless firms within this new, broad, 
economic census category. Prior to that time, such firms were within 
the now-superseded categories of Paging and Cellular and Other Wireless 
Telecommunications. 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 this category, 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 
1000 employees or more. Similarly, according to Commission data, 413 
carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of wireless 
telephony, including cellular service, Personal Communications Service 
(PCS), and Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) Telephony services. Of these, 
an estimated 261 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 152 have more than 
1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that 
approximately half or more of these firms can be considered small. 
Thus, using available data, we estimate that the majority of wireless 
firms can be considered small.
    73. Paging (Private and Common Carrier). In the Paging Third Report 
and Order, we developed a small business size standard for ``small 
businesses'' and ``very small businesses'' for purposes of determining 
their eligibility for special provisions such as bidding credits and 
installment payments. A ``small business'' is an entity that, together 
with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross 
revenues not exceeding $15 million for the preceding

[[Page 36735]]

three years. Additionally, a ``very small business'' is an entity that, 
together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average 
gross revenues that are not more than $3 million for the preceding 
three years. The SBA has approved these small business size standards. 
According to Commission data, 291 carriers have reported that they are 
engaged in Paging or Messaging Service. Of these, an estimated 289 have 
1,500 or fewer employees, and two have more than 1,500 employees. 
Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of paging 
providers are small entities that may be affected by our action. An 
auction of Metropolitan Economic Area licenses commenced on February 
24, 2000, and closed on March 2, 2000. Of the 2,499 licenses auctioned, 
985 were sold. Fifty-seven companies claiming small business status won 
440 licenses. A subsequent auction of MEA and Economic Area (``EA'') 
licenses was held in the year 2001. Of the 15,514 licenses auctioned, 
5,323 were sold. One hundred thirty-two companies claiming small 
business status purchased 3,724 licenses. A third auction, consisting 
of 8,874 licenses in each of 175 EAs and 1,328 licenses in all but 
three of the 51 MEAs, was held in 2003. Seventy-seven bidders claiming 
small or very small business status won 2,093 licenses. The current 
number of small or very small business entities that hold wireless 
licenses may differ significantly from the number of such entities that 
won in spectrum auctions due to assignments and transfers of licenses 
in the secondary market over time. In addition, some of the same small 
business entities may have won licenses in more than one auction. A 
fourth auction of 9,603 lower and upper band paging licenses was held 
in the year 2010. Twenty-nine bidders claiming small or very small 
business status won 3,016 licenses. On February 1, 2013, the Wireless 
Telecommunications Bureau announced an auction of 5,905 lower and upper 
band paging licenses to commence on July 16, 2013, and sought comment 
for the procedures to be used for this auction.
    74. Cable and Other Program Distribution. 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. According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were a total 
of 955 firms in this previous category that operated for the entire 
year. Of this total, 939 firms had employment of 999 or fewer 
employees, and 16 firms had employment of 1000 employees or more. Thus, 
under this size standard, the majority of firms can be considered small 
and may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the NPRM.
    75. Cable Companies and Systems. The Commission has 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. The Commission 
determined that this size standard equates approximately to a size 
standard of $100 million or less in annual revenues. Industry data 
indicate that, of 1,076 cable operators nationwide, all but eleven 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. Industry data indicate that, of 7,208 systems nationwide, 
6,139 systems have under 10,000 subscribers, and an additional 379 
systems have 10,000-19,999 subscribers. Thus, under this second size 
standard, most cable systems are small and may be affected by rules 
adopted pursuant to the NPRM.
    76. Cable System Operators. The Act 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. Industry data indicate that, of 1,076 cable operators 
nationwide, all but ten are small 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.
    77. Internet Service Providers. 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. 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 1000 employees or more. Thus, under this 
size standard, the majority of firms can be considered small. In 
addition, according to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were a total 
of 396 firms in the category Internet Service Providers (broadband) 
that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 394 firms had 
employment of 999 or fewer employees, and two firms had employment of 
1000 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.
    78. Internet Publishing and Broadcasting and Web Search Portals. 
Our action may pertain 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

[[Page 36736]]

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.
    79. 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 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 $5.0 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.
    80. All Other Telecommunications. The Census Bureau defines this 
industry as including ``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 84 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.

D. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other 
Compliance Requirements for Small Entities

    81. In the NPRM, the Commission proposes to require interconnected 
VoIP providers seeking direct access to numbers to submit specific 
documentation, a requirement which may necessitate filing FCC Form 477 
with the Commission. The NPRM further proposes to require these 
providers to comply with the same numbering obligations and industry 
guidelines as traditional common carriers. Specifically, interconnected 
VoIP providers will be required under Sec.  52.15(f)(6) to file usage 
forecast and utilization (NRUF) reports on a semi-annual basis. 
Compliance with these reporting obligations may affect small entities, 
and may include new administrative processes.
    82. In the NPRM, the Commission also proposes to allow 
interconnected VoIP providers to obtain telephone numbers only from 
rate centers subject to pooling. The NPRM further suggests imposing a 
``facilities readiness'' requirement on interconnected VoIP providers 
seeking direct access to numbers under Sec.  52.15(g)(2)(ii) of the 
Commission's rules. Under this proposal, providers would be required to 
provide evidence that they have ordered an interconnection service 
pursuant to a tariff that is generally available to other providers of 
IP-enabled voice services. The NPRM also proposes to require 
interconnected VoIP providers to file any requests for numbers with the 
Commission and relevant state commission at least 30 days prior to 
requesting numbers from the number administrators.
    83. In the NPRM, the Commission further proposes to require all 
interconnected VoIP providers seeking direct access to numbers to: (1) 
maintain at least 65 percent number utilization across its telephone 
number inventory; (2) offer IP interconnection to other carriers and 
providers; and (3) provide 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. Moreover, 
the NPRM proposes to require these providers to: (1) provide the 
relevant state commission with regulatory and numbering contacts upon 
first requesting numbers in that state; (2) consolidate and report all 
numbers under its own unique Operating Company Number (OCN); (3) 
provide customers with the ability to access all N11 numbers in use in 
a state; and (4) maintain the original rate center designation of all 
numbers in its inventory.
    84. In addition, the Commission proposes to amend its rules to 
establish ``blanket'' authorization for interconnected VoIP providers 
for access to numbering resources, or, in the alternative, to require 
interconnected VoIP providers to obtain a certification from the 
Commission before gaining direct access to numbering resources. The 
NPRM also proposes rules that will make clear the requirement to port 
directly to a non-carrier interconnected VoIP provider upon request. 
Compliance with these reporting obligations may affect small entities, 
and may include new administrative processes. We note parenthetically 
that in the NPRM, the Commission seeks comment on the benefits and 
burdens of these proposals, on the costs that these proposals are 
likely to impose on small entities, and how those onuses might be 
ameliorated. In some instances, the NPRM asks further whether there are 
other issues or significant alternatives that the Commission should 
consider to ease the burden of these proposed measures on small 
entities.

E. Steps Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small 
Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    85. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant, 
specifically small business, alternatives that it has considered in 
reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four 
alternatives (among others): ``(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.'' See 5 U.S.C. 603(c)(1)-(c)(4).
    86. The Commission is aware that some of the proposals under 
consideration will impact small entities by imposing costs and 
administrative burdens. For this reason, the NPRM proposes a number of 
measures to minimize or eliminate the costs and burdens generated by 
compliance with the proposed rules.
    87. First, the NPRM proposes to require only those interconnected 
VoIP providers seeking direct access to numbers to comply with the same 
numbering requirements and industry guidelines as traditional common

[[Page 36737]]

carriers, including filing semi-annual NRUF reports under Sec.  
52.15(f)(6) of the Commission's rules. Although the NPRM proposes to 
require such providers to submit specific documentation as a condition 
of obtaining numbers, the Commission has attempted to minimize this 
burden by proposing that this documentation take the form of pages 2 
and 36 of FCC Form 477. Since interconnected VoIP providers are already 
required to file this form with the Commission, this proposal should 
not have a significant economic impact on small entities. Moreover, the 
NPRM further seeks comment on the costs and burdens imposed on small 
entities from the rules resulting from this requirement, and on how 
those onuses might be ameliorated. It also asks whether there are other 
issues or significant alternatives that the Commission should consider 
to ease the burden of these proposed measures on small entities
    88. The NPRM also proposes to impose a ``facilities readiness'' 
requirement on interconnected VoIP providers seeking direct access to 
numbers. Although this may obligate providers to provide evidence that 
they have ordered an interconnection service pursuant to a tariff, the 
NPRM seeks comment on whether there are better ways to demonstrate 
compliance with this requirement, and whether the Commission should 
modify this requirement to allow providers more flexibility.
    89. The NPRM also proposes to require interconnected VoIP providers 
seeking direct access to numbers to: (1) Maintain at least 65 percent 
number utilization across its telephone number inventory; (2) offer IP 
interconnection to other carriers and providers; and (3) provide 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. Because the Commission recognizes that some 
of these requirements may place an administrative burden and exert an 
economic impact on small entities, it seeks comment on whether it 
should impose these requirements on interconnected VoIP providers to 
begin with. Moreover, these requirements are only extended to those 
interconnected VoIP providers seeking direct access to numbers.
    90. The NPRM proposes to require interconnected VoIP providers 
seeking direct access to numbers to: (1) provide the relevant state 
commission with regulatory and numbering contacts upon first requesting 
numbers in that state; (2) consolidate and report all numbers under its 
own unique Operating Company Number (OCN); (3) provide customers with 
the ability to access all N11 numbers in use in a state; and (4) 
maintain the original rate center designation of all numbers in its 
inventory. While these requirements may impose administrative burdens 
on small entities, the Commission has limited them to interconnected 
VoIP providers seeking direct access to numbers. Additionally, the NPRM 
seeks comment on how providers of nomadic VoIP services could comply 
with a requirement to provide access to the locally-appropriate N11 
numbers, in order to better ease the burden on such entities.
    91. Although the NPRM proposes to require interconnected VoIP 
providers to obtain a certification from the Commission before gaining 
direct access to numbering resources, it also proposes, in the 
alternative, to amend the Commission's rules to establish ``blanket'' 
authorization for interconnected VoIP providers for access to numbering 
resources. This proposed alternative would decrease the administrative 
and cost burdens imposed on small entities.
    92. The Commission expects to consider the economic impact on small 
entities, as identified in comments filed in response to the NPRM, in 
reaching its final conclusions and taking action in this proceeding. 
The proposed reporting requirements in the NPRM could have an economic 
impact on both small and large entities. However, the Commission 
believes that any impact of such requirements is outweighed by the 
accompanying benefits to the public and to the operation and efficiency 
of the telecommunications industry.

F. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the 
Proposed Rules

    93. None.

VI. Ordering Clauses

    94. 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. 151, 153, 154, 201-205, 251, 303(r), the notice of proposed 
rulemaking is hereby adopted.
    95. It is further 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. 151, 153, 154, 201-205, 251, 303(r), the notice of inquiry is 
hereby adopted.
    96. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer 
Information Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of 
this notice of proposed rulemaking, including the Initial Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of Small 
Business Administration.

List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 52

    Communications common carriers, Telecommunications, Telephone.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary.
    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission proposes to amend 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, 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.

Subpart A--Scope and Authority

0
2. Amend Sec.  52.5 as follows:
0
a. Remove paragraph (i);
0
b. Redesignate paragraphs (d) through (h) as paragraphs (f) through 
(j);
0
c. Redesignate paragraphs (b) and (c) as paragraphs (c) and (d);
0
d. Add new paragraphs (b) and (e); and
0
e. Revise newly redesignated paragraphs (i) and (j).
    The additions and revisions read as follows:


Sec.  52.5  Definitions.

* * * * *
    (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 term is 
defined in 47 U.S.C. 153(25).
* * * * *
    (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'' shall include an interconnected VoIP service 
provider.
* * * * *
    (i) Telecommunications carrier or carrier. A ``telecommunications 
carrier'' or ``carrier'' is any provider of

[[Page 36738]]

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'' shall include 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'' shall include interconnected VoIP 
service as that term is defined in 47 U.S.C. 153(25).3.
0
3. Amend Sec.  52.15 by revising paragraphs (g)(2)(i) and (ii) to read 
as follows:

Subpart B--Administration


Sec.  52.15  Central office code administration.

* * * * *
    (g) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) The applicant is authorized to provide service in the area for 
which the numbering resources are being requested; and the applicant is 
or will be capable of providing service within sixty (60) days of the 
numbering resources activation date.
    (ii) Interconnected VoIP service providers may use the appropriate 
pages of their most recent FCC Form 477 submission as evidence of 
authorization to provide service in the area for which resources are 
being requested. Interconnected VoIP service providers must also 
provide the relevant state commission with regulatory and numbering 
contacts upon first requesting numbers in that state.
* * * * *


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).
    Subpart C--Number Portability


Sec.  52.21  [Amended]

0
6. Amend Sec.  52.21 by removing paragraph (h) and redesignating 
paragraphs (i) through (w) as (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 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 (3) as (e)(1) and (2).


Sec.  52.36  [Amended]

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

[FR Doc. 2013-13703 Filed 6-18-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P