[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 87 (Tuesday, May 6, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 25682-25683]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-10261]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Part 64

[WC Docket No 13-39; DA 14-526]


Rural Call Completion Order

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Comments requested.

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SUMMARY: This document seeks comment on whether additional guidance, 
clarification, or modification regarding the ``answered'' and ``ring no 
answer'' categories of call attempts described in Appendix C of the 
Rural Call Completion Order is necessary. Appendix C provides a 
spreadsheet that covered providers must use to file the required call 
completion data with the Commission each quarter. This document seeks 
comment on whether Appendix C should be clarified to eliminate any 
basis for interpreting it inconsistently with the definition of 
``answered call'' in the Order, and revise the description of ``ring no 
answer'' call attempts in Appendix C to provide clearer guidance to 
covered providers.

DATES: Comments must be filed by May 13, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by WC Docket No. 13-39, 
by any of the following methods:
     Federal Communications Commission's Web site: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Email ecfs@fcc.gov, and include the following words in the 
body of the message: ``get form.'' A sample form and directions will be 
sent in response. Include the docket numbers in the subject line of the 
message.
     Mail: Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 
12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gregory Kwan, Wireline Competition 
Bureau, Competition Division, at (202) 418-1191 or by email at 
Gregory.Kwan@fcc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Bureau's document 
in Rural Call Completion, FCC 13-135, published at 78 FR 76218, 
December 17, 2013. The complete text of this document is available on 
the Commission's Internet site at www.fcc.gov and for public inspection 
Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. 
to 11:30 a.m. in the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs 
Bureau Reference Information Center, Room CY-A257, 445 12th Street SW., 
Washington, DC 20554. The full text of this document may also be 
purchased from the Commission's duplicating contractor, Best Copy and 
Printing, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554, 
telephone 202-488-5300, facsimile 202-488-5563, email at 
fcc@bcpiweb.com, or via its Web site at http://www.bcpiweb.com.
    Pursuant to sections 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 page 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).

[[Page 25683]]

     Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically 
using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.
     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.
    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.
     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.
     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.
     U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority 
mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington DC 20554.
    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).

Synopsis

    The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on whether guidance 
or additional clarification would assist providers with their filing 
obligations related to the Rural Call Completion Order, FCC 13-135, 
published at 78 FR 76218, December 17, 2013. Specifically, we seek 
comment on whether to modify or otherwise provide assistance regarding 
the criteria described in Appendix C of the Rural Call Completion Order 
for categorizing certain types of call attempts. We release this 
document in response to questions raised in the record regarding the 
``answered'' and ``ring no answer'' categories of call attempts 
described in Appendix C, pursuant to delegated authority. These 
questions raise the possibility that the relevant criteria in Appendix 
C were inadvertently drafted in a way that fails to reflect the 
Commission's clear intent, as expressed in the Order.
    ``Answered'' call attempts. The reporting requirements in the Rural 
Call Completion Order require covered providers to categorize call 
attempts either as ``answered'' or as one of three types of calls that 
are not answered: ``busy,'' ``ring no answer,'' or ``unassigned 
number.'' The Rural Call Completion Order defines ``answered call'' as

    a call that was answered by or on behalf of the called party 
(including calls completed to devices, services or parties that 
answer the call such as an interactive voice response, answering 
service, voicemail or call-forwarding system), causing the network 
to register that the terminating party is prepared to receive 
information from the calling user.

The Commission emphasized that ``the call answer rate is the data point 
least susceptible to variations in data reporting or to differences in 
the quality or accuracy of signaling: the called party either answered 
the call or did not answer the call.''
    Appendix C of the Rural Call Completion Order provides a 
spreadsheet that covered providers must use to file the required call 
completion data with the Commission each quarter. The legend 
accompanying the spreadsheet identifies specific ``ISUP Cause values 
and corresponding SIP Response messages'' for each category of call 
attempt. An ``answered'' call is described in Appendix C as a call 
attempt ``signaled back with ISUP 16 & 31 and SIP BYE & CANCEL.''
    In recent meetings with Commission staff, Level 3 and Verizon 
explained that release cause code 16--one of the codes identified in 
Appendix C as denoting an answered call--is also used to indicate that 
the calling party has hung up before the called party answered. Level 3 
contends that including calling-party hangups as answered calls would 
result in a ``much higher'' reported call-completion rate than a 
provider would report if it excluded them.
    In this document, we seek comment on this contention and on whether 
it would assist providers if the Bureau clarified that, as specified in 
the Order, covered providers should record and report calls as 
``answered'' only to the extent that such calls satisfy the definition 
of ``answered call'' that appears in paragraph 72 of the Rural Call 
Completion Order. Appendix C could be clarified to eliminate any basis 
for interpreting it inconsistently with the definition of ``answered 
call'' in the Order. If so, should the description of ``answered call'' 
in Appendix C be revised to include a different description (e.g., a 
different set of release codes) of how networks identify answered 
calls? Or should the legend in Appendix C simply be deleted, allowing 
each covered provider to identify answered calls in a manner consistent 
with the definition in the Rural Call Completion Order and with 
industry practice?
    ``Ring no answer'' call attempts. The Rural Call Completion Order 
requires covered providers to record and report ``ring no answer'' call 
attempts, which are required to calculate the network effectiveness 
ratio (NER). A ``ring no answer'' call is described in Appendix C as a 
call attempt that is ``signaled back with ISUP 18 & 19 and IP 408 & 
480.''
    Level 3 asserted that some of the criteria in Appendix C for ``ring 
no answer'' call attempts will only capture a very small percentage of 
the intended call attempts. Verizon expressed concern about using call 
signaling data to identify ``ring no answer'' calls at all. We 
therefore seek comment on whether the description of ``ring no answer'' 
call attempts in Appendix C should be revised to provide clearer 
guidance to covered providers, and if so, how. Alternatively, should 
the legend in Appendix C be deleted, allowing each covered provider to 
interpret the required call attempt categories in a manner consistent 
with industry practice and with the Commission's stated intent in the 
Rural Call Completion Order?

Federal Communications Commission.
Lisa S. Gelb,
Deputy Bureau Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau.
[FR Doc. 2014-10261 Filed 5-5-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P