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Direct Access to Numbering NPRM, Order, and NOI

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Released: April 18, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-51

Before the


Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554


In the Matter of
)


)

Numbering Policies for Modern Communications
)
WC Docket No. 13-97

)

IP-Enabled Services
)
WC Docket No. 04-36

)

Telephone Number Requirements for IP-Enabled
)
WC Docket No. 07-243
Services Providers
)


)

Telephone Number Portability
)
CC Docket No. 95-116

)

Developing a Unified Intercarrier Compensation
)
CC Docket No. 01-92
Regime
)


)

Connect America Fund
)
WC Docket No. 10-90

)

Numbering Resource Optimization
)
CC Docket No. 99-200

)

Petition of Vonage Holdings Corp. for Limited
)

Waiver of Section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of the
)

Commission’s Rules Regarding Access to
)

Numbering Resources
)


)

Petition of TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. and
)

HBF Group, Inc. for Waiver of Part 52 of the
)

Commission’s Rules
)







NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING, ORDER AND NOTICE OF INQUIRY

Adopted: April 18, 2013

Released: April 18, 2013


Comment Date: (30 days after date of publication in the Federal Register)
Reply Comment Date: (60 after date of publication in the Federal Register)

By the Commission: Chairman Genachowski and Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel and Pai
issuing separate statements; Commissioner McDowell not participating.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Heading
Paragraph #
I. INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................................. 1
II. BACKGROUND .................................................................................................................................... 5
A. Commission Authority and Rules .................................................................................................... 5
B. Petitions for Direct Access to Telephone Numbers ....................................................................... 11
1. SBCIS Petition for Direct Access ........................................................................................... 11




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2. Subsequent Petitions for Direct Access ................................................................................... 13
III. NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING ........................................................................................ 16
A. Direct Access to Numbers by Interconnected VoIP Providers ...................................................... 16
1. Documentation Required to Obtain Numbers ......................................................................... 20
2. Numbering Administration Requirements for Interconnected VoIP Providers ...................... 22
3. Enforcement of Interconnected VoIP Providers’ Compliance with Numbering Rules ........... 36
B. Additional Issues Raised in Pending Waiver Proceedings ............................................................ 40
1. Databases, Call Routing and Termination ............................................................................... 41
2. Intercarrier Compensation ....................................................................................................... 47
3. VoIP Interconnection .............................................................................................................. 52
4. Local Number Portability Obligations .................................................................................... 57
5. Transitioning to Direct Access ................................................................................................ 65
6. Numbering Cost Allocation ..................................................................................................... 66
C. Direct Access to Numbers for Other Purposes .............................................................................. 70
1. Innovative Uses of Numbers ................................................................................................... 70
2. Access to p-ANI Codes for Public Safety Purposes ................................................................ 76
D. Legal Authority .............................................................................................................................. 83
IV. ORDER ................................................................................................................................................ 87
A. Access to Numbers Trial ................................................................................................................ 92
1. Background ............................................................................................................................. 92
2. Discussion ............................................................................................................................... 94
B. TCS Waiver Request.................................................................................................................... 109
1. Background ........................................................................................................................... 109
2. Discussion ............................................................................................................................. 112
V. NOTICE OF INQUIRY ..................................................................................................................... 115
A. Introduction .................................................................................................................................. 115
B. Discussion .................................................................................................................................... 119
1. Geographic Numbers ............................................................................................................. 119
2. Public Safety.......................................................................................................................... 125
3. Disability Access ................................................................................................................... 127
4. Routing and Interconnection ................................................................................................. 128
5. Other Issues ........................................................................................................................... 132
VI. PROCEDURAL MATTERS .............................................................................................................. 133
A. Ex Parte Rules – Permit-But-Disclose ........................................................................................ 133
B. Comment Filing Procedures ........................................................................................................ 134
C. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis ......................................................................................... 135
D. Paperwork Reduction Analysis .................................................................................................... 136
VII. ORDERING CLAUSES .................................................................................................................... 137
APPENDIX A – Proposed Rules
APPENDIX B – Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
Telephone numbers are a valuable and limited resource; access to and use of numbers
must be managed judiciously to ensure that they are available as needed and to protect the efficient and
reliable operation of the telephone network. At the same time, the Commission is engaged in a broad-
ranging effort to modernize our rules in light of significant ongoing technology transitions in the delivery
of voice services, with the goal of promoting innovation, investment, and competition for the ultimate
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benefit of consumers and businesses.1 Consistent with this effort, in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
(Notice), we 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. We
also seek comment on a forward-looking approach to numbers for other types of providers and uses,
including telematics and public safety, and the potential benefits and number exhaust risks of granting
providers other than interconnected VoIP providers direct access to numbers.
2.
In the attached Order, we establish a limited technical trial of direct access to numbers.
Specifically, we grant Vonage Holdings Corporation (Vonage) and other interconnected VoIP providers
that have pending petitions for waiver of section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of the Commission’s rules and that meet
the terms and conditions outlined below a limited, conditional waiver to obtain a small pool of telephone
numbers directly from the NANPA and/or the PA for use in providing interconnected VoIP services. We
tailor this waiver to test whether giving interconnected VoIP providers direct access to numbers will raise
issues relating to number exhaust, number porting, VoIP interconnection, or intercarrier compensation,
and if so, how those issues may be efficiently addressed. Trial participants will be required to file regular
reports throughout and at the end of the six-month trial, and state commissions and other interested parties
will have an opportunity to comment on these reports. The trial, and the public comment, will improve
the Commission’s ability to adopt well-crafted rules in this proceeding.
3.
In addition, we grant a narrow waiver of section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of our rules to allow
TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS) direct access to pseudo Automatic Number Identification (p-
ANI) codes for the purpose of providing 911 and Enhanced 911 (E911) service. As discussed below, this
limited waiver will allow TCS, which provides VoIP Positioning Center service, to better ensure that
emergency calls are properly routed to trained responders at public safety answering points, or PSAPs.
4.
Finally, in the accompanying Notice of Inquiry, we seek 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.

II.

BACKGROUND

A.

Commission Authority and Rules

5.
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.2 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.3 These measures

1 See FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Announces Formation of “Technology Transitions Policy Task Force”
(Dec. 10, 2012) (forming an agency-wide Technology Transitions Policy Task Force to “provide recommendations
to modernize the Commission’s policies”); FCC Announces First Technology Transitions Policy Task Force
Workshop
, GN Docket No. 13-5, Public Notice (rel. Feb. 12, 2013); see also FCC Announces Formation of the
Technological Advisory Council
, Public Notice (rel. Oct. 25, 2010).
2 47 U.S.C. § 251(e)(1). The NANP is the basic numbering scheme for telecommunications networks located in the
United States and its territories, Canada, and parts of the Caribbean. See 47 C.F.R. § 52.5(c).
3 For instance, in the NRO First Report and Order, the Commission adopted national thousands-block number
pooling as a mechanism to remedy the inefficient allocation and use of numbers and required thousands-block
(continued . . .)
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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, section 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.4 The Commission interpreted this rule in its NRO First Report and Order as requiring evidence
of either state certification or a Commission license.5
6.
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.6 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.7
(Continued from previous page)
pooling in the largest 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) within nine months of selection of a pooling
administrator. Numbering Resource Optimization, CC Docket No. 99-200, Report and Order and Further Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking, 15 FCC Rcd 7574, 7625, 7644-45, paras. 122, 157-158 (2000) (NRO First Report and
Order
). Since its implementation, pooling has expanded; and between 2007 and 2011, total blocks assigned in the
Pooling Administration System (PAS) increased 68%. See National Pooling Administration Annual Report
available at www nationalpooling.com.
4 47 C.F.R. § 52.15(g)(2)(i).
5 See NRO First Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 7615, para. 97 (requiring carriers seeking direct access to
telephone numbers to provide evidence that they are authorized to provide service in areas for which they are
seeking numbers, such as by submitting a state certification as a carrier); see also Telephone Number Requirements
for IP-Enabled Services Providers; Local Number Portability Porting Interval and Validation Requirements; IP-
Enabled Services; Telephone Number Portability; Numbering Resource Optimization
, WC Docket Nos. 07-243, 07-
244, 04-36, CC Docket Nos. 95-116, 99-200, Report and Order, Declaratory Ruling, Order on Remand, and Notice
of Proposed Rulemaking, 22 FCC Rcd 19531, 19537, para. 12 (2007) (VoIP LNP Order), aff’d sub nom. National
Telecomms. Cooperative Ass’n v. FCC
(D.C. Cir. Apr. 28, 2009).
6 See 47 C.F.R. § 9.3 (defining “interconnected VoIP service” as “a service that: (1) enables real-time, two-way
voice communications; (2) requires a broadband connection from the user’s location; (3) requires Internet protocol-
compatible customer premises equipment (CPE); and (4) permits users generally to receive calls that originate on
the public switched telephone network and to terminate calls to the public switched telephone network”); see also
IP-Enabled Services; E911 Requirements for IP-Enabled Service Providers, WC Docket Nos. 04-36, 05-196, First
Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 20 FCC Rcd 10245, 10257-58, para. 24 (2005) (VoIP 911
Order
), aff’d sub nom. Nuvio Corp. v. FCC, 473 F.3d 302 (D.C. Cir. 2006); 47 C.F.R. § 54.5 (defining
“interconnected VoIP provider”).
7 See Connect America Fund; A National Broadband Plan for Our Future; Establishing Just and Reasonable Rates
for Local Exchange Carriers; High-Cost Universal Service Support; Developing an Unified Intercarrier
Compensation Regime; Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service’ Lifeline and Link-
Up, Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 4554, 4710, para. 507, 4745-746, para. 610
(2011) (noting that the lack of classification for VoIP services has led to disputes between carriers and VoIP
providers regarding intercarrier compensation obligations for VoIP traffic); see also, e.g., Letter from Joseph A.
Douglas, Vice President-Government Relations, NECA, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CC Docket No. 01-
92, WC Docket No. 04-36, Attach. at 2 (filed May 23, 2008); Letter from Kristopher E. Twomey, Regulatory
Counsel, CommPartners, to Marlene H. Dortch, FCC, CC Docket No. 01-92 at 1 (filed Dec. 12, 2007); Letter from
Joseph A. Douglas, Vice President-Government Relations, NECA, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CC
Docket No. 01-92, WC Docket No. 04-36, Attach. at 6 (filed May 2, 2007); Letter from Gregory J. Vogt, Counsel
for CenturyTel, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CC Docket Nos. 96-45, 96-98, 99-68, WC Docket No. 05-
337 at 4-5 (filed Oct. 20, 2008); Windstream Comments, CC Docket Nos. 94-68, 96-45, 96-98, 99-68, WC Docket
Nos. 04-36, 05-337, 06-122, 07-135, 08-152 at 14-15 (filed Aug. 21, 2008); Letter from Stuart Polikoff, Director of
Government Relations, OPASTCO, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CC Docket Nos. 96-45, 01-92, WC
Docket No. 05-337, Attach. at 3 (filed Oct. 16, 2008); AT&T July 17, 2008 Ex Parte Letter, Attach. 1 at 11; Letter
(continued . . .)
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7.
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.8 Interconnected VoIP providers often cannot obtain telephone
numbers directly from the numbering administrators as they cannot provide the evidence of certification
required by section 52.15(g)(2)(i)—they typically do not hold state certifications or Commission
licenses.9 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.10
8.
The Commission has acted to ensure consumer protection, public safety, and other
important policy goals in orders addressing interconnected VoIP services,11 without classifying those
services as telecommunications services or information services under the Communications Act.12 For
(Continued from previous page)
from Melissa E. Newman, Vice President-Federal Regulatory, Qwest, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CC
Docket Nos. 99-68, 01-92, WC Docket Nos. 05-337, 06-122, 07-135 at 9-10 (filed Oct. 23, 2008); Letter from Colin
Sandy, Counsel, NECA, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, WC Docket No. 04-36, CC Docket No. 01-92 at 1
(filed Sept. 23, 2009); Letter from Tom Karalis, Fred Williamson & Associates, Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, GN Docket Nos. 09-47, 09-51, 09-137, 10-66, CC Docket Nos. 09-45, 01-92 Attach. at 11 (filed
Apr. 7, 2010).
8 See SBC IP Communications, Inc. Petition for Limited Waiver of Section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of the Commission’s
Rules Regarding Access to Numbering Resources, CC Docket No. 99-200, at 2–3 (filed July 7, 2004) (SBCIS
Waiver Petition).
9 Facilities-based interconnected VoIP providers own and operate the broadband access communications
infrastructure required to deliver VoIP services. They may provide retail VoIP services directly to residential and
business customers or they may provide wholesale VoIP services to other businesses, including non-facilities-based
VoIP providers that resell VoIP service to end users. See Local Telephone Competition: Status as of December 31,
2010, Industry Analysis and Technology Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, Federal Communications
Commission (Oct. 2011), Figure 5 – Interconnected VoIP Subscribership by Reported Service Features as of
December 31, 2010. Facilities-based VoIP customers do not need to subscribe to broadband Internet service for the
VoIP service to function. Non-facilities-based “over-the-top” VoIP or “nomadic” VoIP is a service that is offered
separately from the broadband Internet access service and can operate over any broadband connection.
10 See SBCIS Waiver Petition at 3. To date, the Commission has attempted to minimize disadvantages associated
with providing IP-based voice services relative to traditional, circuit-switched voice services by permitting such
partnerships between VoIP providers and LECs. See, e.g., Connect America Fund, et al., WC Docket Nos. 10-90, et
al., Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 17663, 18026-27, para. 970 (2011)
(USF/ICC Transformation Order) (permitting retail VoIP providers’ carrier partners to charge intercarrier
compensation charges for functions they and/or their retail VoIP provider partners perform to avoid disadvantaging
providers with IP-based networks relative to providers with TDM-based networks), pets. for review pending sub
nom. In re:
FCC 11-161, No. 11-9900 (10th Cir. filed Dec. 8, 2011); Time Warner Cable Request for Declaratory
Ruling that Competitive Local Exchange Carriers May Obtain Interconnection Under Section 251 of the
Communications Act of 1934, as Amended, to Provide Wholesale Telecommunications Services to VoIP Providers
,
WC Docket No. 06-55, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 22 FCC Rcd 3513, 3519-20, para. 13 (Wireline
Competition Bureau 2007) (permitting wholesale carriers to provide interconnection for VoIP provider customers
facilitates the introduction of new technology and the availability of VoIP services).
11 See VoIP LNP Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 19538, para. 14; IP-Enabled Services, WC Docket No. 04-36, Report and
Order, 24 FCC Rcd 6039, 6041, para. 5 (2009) (IP-Enabled Services Order).
12 The Commission did not classify VoIP services as “telecommunications services” or “information services” under
the Communications Act, but instead conducted its analysis by considering the Commission’s authority if VoIP
services ultimately were classified as telecommunications services or alternatively, if they were classified as
information services. See Petition of Vonage Holdings Corporation for Declaratory Ruling Concerning an Order of
the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
, WC Docket No. 04-267, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 19 FCC Rcd
22404 (2004).
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example, the Commission applied customer privacy protections to information held by VoIP providers,13
adopted requirements for access to interconnected VoIP services by people with disabilities,14 amended
its rules to ensure that consumers could easily port local numbers to and from VoIP providers,15 and
required VoIP providers to notify consumers before discontinuing service.16 To promote public safety,
interconnected VoIP providers must supply 911 emergency calling capabilities to their customers,17 must
comply with the requirements of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) to
ensure critical law enforcement access to VoIP calls,18 and must report network outages.19 The
Commission also assesses universal service contributions from VoIP providers.20
9.
In addition, under the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility
Act of 2010 (CVAA),21 providers of interconnected VoIP and non-interconnected VoIP services must
make their services available to people with disabilities.22
10.
The Commission is considering in other contexts how to ensure that consumers of VoIP
services receive appropriate protections.23

13 See Implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996: Telecommunications Carriers’ Use of Customer
Proprietary Network Information and Other Customer Information; IP-Enabled Services
, CC Docket No. 96-115,
WC Docket No. 04-36, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 22 FCC Rcd 6927, 6954–57,
paras. 54–59 (2007) (CPNI Order), aff’d sub nom. Nat’l Cable & Telecom. Ass’n v. FCC, 555 F.3d 996 (D.C. Cir.
2009).
14 See IP-Enabled Services, WC Docket No. 04-36, WT Docket No. 96-198, CG Docket No. 03-123, CC Docket
No. 92-105, Report and Order, 22 FCC Rcd 11275, 11283–291, paras. 17–31 (2007) (TRS Order).
15 See VoIP LNP Order, 22 FCC Rcd 19531, at 19548–49, para. 32 (2007). See also 47 C.F.R. § 52.34.
16 See 47 C.F.R. § 63.71; see also IP-Enabled Services Order, 24 FCC Rcd at 6040, para. 2. The Commission’s
rules pertaining to emergency discontinuances have also been applied to interconnected VoIP services. See IP-
Enabled Services Order
, 24 FCC Rcd at 6047, para. 14, n.44; 47 C.F.R. § 63.63.
17 The Commission imposed this obligation under section 251(e) of the Act, as well as under its Title I ancillary
authority. See VoIP 911 Order, 20 FCC Rcd at10246, para. 1; 47 C.F.R. § 54.5.
18 See Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act and Broadband Access and Services, ET Docket No.
04-295, RM-10865, First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 20 FCC Rcd 14989,
14991–92, para. 8 (2005) (CALEA First Report and Order), aff’d, Am. Council on Educ. v. FCC, 451 F.3d 226
(D.C. Cir. 2006).
19 See The Proposed Extension of Part 4 of the Commission’s Rules Regarding Outage Reporting To Interconnected
Voice Over Internet Protocol Service Providers and Broadband Internet Service Providers
, PS Docket No. 11-82,
Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 2650, 2651, para. 1 (2012).
20 See Universal Service Contribution Methodology, WC Docket No. 06-122; CC Docket Nos. 96-45, 98-171, 90-
571, 92-237; NSD File No. L-00-72; CC Docket Nos. 99-200, 95-116, 98-170; WC Docket No. 04-36, Report and
Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 21 FCC Rcd 7518, 7538–43, paras. 38–49 (2006) (2006 Interim
Contribution Methodology Order
), aff’d in part, vacated in part, Vonage Holdings Corp. v. FCC, 489 F.3d 1232,
1244 (D.C. Cir. 2007).
21 Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751
(2010) (as codified in various sections of Title 47 of the United Stated Code) (CVAA); see also Amendment of
Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-265, 124 Stat. 2795
(2010) (making technical corrections to the CVAA).
22 Section 3(36) of the Act, as added by the CVAA, defines “non-interconnected VoIP service” as a service that
“(i) enables real-time voice communications that originate from or terminate to the user’s location using Internet
protocol or any successor protocol; and (ii) requires Internet protocol compatible customer premises equipment” and
“does not include any service that is an interconnected VoIP service.” 47 U.S.C. § 153(36).
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B.

Petitions for Direct Access to Telephone Numbers

1.

SBCIS Petition for Direct Access

11.
On July 7, 2004, SBC Internet Services, Inc. (SBCIS)24 requested a limited waiver of
section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of our rules.25 SBCIS’s petition asserted its intention to use numbers to deploy IP-
enabled services, including VoIP services, on a commercial basis to residential and business customers.26
SBCIS limited its waiver request in duration until the Commission adopts final numbering rules in the IP-
Enabled Services
proceeding.27 SBCIS asserted that a limited waiver of our numbering rules would allow
it to deploy innovative new services using a more efficient means of interconnection between IP networks
and the PSTN.28
12.
On February 1, 2005, the Commission granted SBCIS’s waiver request for direct access
to NANP numbers for use in deploying IP-enabled services, including VoIP services, on a commercial
basis to residential and business customers, subject to the following conditions: (1) SBCIS is required to
comply with the Commission’s numbering utilization and optimization requirements, numbering
authority delegated to the states, and industry guidelines and practices, including filing the Numbering
(Continued from previous page)
23 See, e.g., Amending the Definition of Interconnected VoIP Service in Section 9.3 of the Commission’s Rules;
Wireless E911 Location Accuracy Requirements; E911 Requirements for IP-Enabled Service Providers
, GN Docket
No. 11-117, PS Docket No. 07-114, WC Docket No. 05-196, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Third Report and
Order, and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 7113, 7114, paras. 2-3 (2011) (proposing
measures to improve 911 availability and location determination for users of VoIP by applying the Commission’s
911 rules to “outbound-only” VoIP services and developing a framework to ensure that all covered VoIP providers
can provide automatic location information for VoIP 911 calls); Empowering Consumers to Prevent and Detect
Billing for Unauthorized Charges (“Cramming”); Consumer Information and Disclosure; Truth-in-Billing and
Billing Format
, CG Docket Nos. 11-116, 09-158, CC Docket No. 98-170, Report and Order and Further Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 4436, 4485-89, paras. 136-149 (2012) (seeking comment on whether the
Commission should adopt rules to prevent and detect the placement of unauthorized charges on VoIP telephone
bills, an unlawful and fraudulent practice commonly known as “cramming”); Modernizing the FCC Form 477 Data
Program; Development of Nationwide Broadband Data to Evaluate Reasonable and Timely Deployment of
Advanced Services to All Americans, Improvement of Wireless Broadband Subscribership Data, and Development of
Data on Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Subscribership; Service Quality, Customer
Satisfaction, Infrastructure and Operating Data Gathering; Review of Wireline Competition Bureau Data Practices
,
WC Docket Nos. 11-10, 07-38, 08-190, 10-132, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 1508, 1509-10, paras.
1-2 (2011) (2011 Data Gathering NPRM) (seeking comment on whether and how to reform the Form 477 data
program to improve the Commission’s ability to carry out its statutory duties, while streamlining and minimizing the
overall costs of the program, including the burdens imposed on service providers that are required to file this form,
such as interconnected VoIP providers).
24 The entity requesting the waiver was SBC IP Communications, Inc. (SBCIP), an information service provider
affiliate of SBC Communications, Inc. On January 27, 2005, SBC notified the Commission that SBCIP had been
consolidated into another SBC affiliate, SBC Internet Services, Inc. (SBCIS), effective December 31, 2004. See
Letter to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, from Jack Zinman, General
Attorney, SBC Telecommunications, Inc. (Jan. 25, 2005). Accordingly, in this Order we refer to SBCIS instead of
SBCIP.
25 See SBCIS Waiver Petition.
26 See id. at 1.
27 IP-Enabled Services, WC Docket No. 04-36, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 19 FCC Rcd 4863 (2004) (IP-
Enabled Services NPRM
). In the IP-Enabled Services NPRM, the Commission sought comment on whether any
action relating to numbers is desirable to facilitate or at least not impede the growth of IP-enabled services, while at
the same time continuing to maximize the use and life of numbers in the North American Numbering Plan. Id. at
4914, para. 76.
28 SBCIS Waiver Petition at 1.
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Resource Utilization and Forecast (NRUF) Report;29 (2) SBCIS is required to file requests for numbers
with the Commission and the relevant state commission at least 30 days before requesting numbers from
the number administrators;30 (3) SBCIS is required to comply with the “facilities readiness” requirement
as set forth in section 52.15(g)(2)(ii) of the rules;31 and (4) SBCIS is responsible for processing port
requests directly rather than going through a LEC.32 The Commission stated that, to the extent other
entities sought similar relief, it would grant such relief to a comparable extent.33 In addition, the
Commission asked the North American Numbering Council (NANC) to review whether and how our
numbering rules should be modified to allow IP-enabled service providers access to numbers in a manner
consistent with the Commission’s numbering optimization policies.34
2.

Subsequent Petitions for Direct Access

13.
Between February 2005 and August 2006, Vonage and other companies filed requests for
relief similar to the relief provided in the SBCIS Waiver Order.35 On March 8, 2011, Vonage renewed its
request, asserting that direct access to numbers will help it deploy innovative new services and transition
to an all IP network by enabling Vonage to implement IP-to-IP interconnection that integrates services
relying on PSTN numbers.36 Vonage agrees to adhere to the conditions imposed in the SBCIS Order, and
maintains that its request is consistent with the Commission’s approach to numbering and porting
obligations for interconnected VoIP providers.37 On November 11, 2011, Vonage supplemented its
request and offered commitments that could serve as additional conditions if the Commission granted the
requested waiver.38 On December 27, 2011, the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) released a Public

29 See 47 C.F.R. § 52.15(f)(3) (requiring carriers to file NRUF Reports). The NRUF Report is used by the
Commission, state regulatory commissions, and the NANPA to monitor numbering utilization by carriers and to
project the dates of area code and NANP exhaust. Carriers are required to file their reports with the NANPA by
February 1 and August 1 of each year. See 47 C.F.R. § 52.15(f)(6).
30 The number administrators include the NANPA and the PA.
31 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
C.F.R. § 52.15(g)(2)(ii).
32 Administration of the North American Numbering Plan, CC Docket No. 99-200, Order, 20 FCC Rcd 2957, 2961–
62, paras. 9–10 (2005) (SBCIS Waiver Order). The waiver is in effect until the Commission adopts final numbering
rules for IP-enabled services. Id. at 2963, para. 11.
33 Id. at 2959, para. 4.
34 Id. at 2962, para. 11. On August 3, 2005, the NANC submitted a Report and Recommendation entitled VoIP
Providers’ Access Requirements for NANP Resource Assignments. See Letter from Robert C. Atkinson, NANC
Chair, to Mr. Thomas Navin, Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau (filed Aug. 3, 2005) available at
http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/2005-nanc-correspondence.
35 Between February 2005 and August 2006, the following entities filed petitions for waiver of section
52.15(g)(2)(ii): Constant Touch Communications; CoreComm-Voyager, Inc.; Dialpad Communications, Inc.;
Frontier Communications of America, Inc.; Net2Phone Inc.; Nuvio Corporation; Qwest Communications
Corporation; UniPoint Enhanced Services d/b/a PointOne; RNK Inc.; VoEX, Inc.; Vonage Holdings Corporation;
and WilTel Communications, LLC. More recently the following entities have filed petitions for waiver of section
52.15(g)(2)(ii): SmartEdgeNet, LLC; Millicorp, LLC; and Bandwidth.com, Inc.
36 Letter from Brita D. Strandberg, Counsel to Vonage Holdings Corp., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 99-200 (filed Mar. 8, 2011) (Vonage Renewal).
37 Vonage Renewal at 1.
38 Vonage offered to commit to the following: (1) maintain at least a 65 percent number utilization rate across its
telephone number inventory; (2) offer IP interconnection to other carriers and service providers; (3) comply with the
Commission’s number administration requirements and ensure appropriate telephone number management; and (4)
(continued . . .)
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Notice to refresh the record on Vonage’s petition and on other pending petitions for waiver of section
52.15(g)(2)(ii).39 A number of parties filed comments in response.40 Twilio and VoN support direct
access to numbers for VoIP providers,41 while AT&T and various state commissions offer support,
subject to the conditions imposed in the SBCIS Waiver Order.42 The state commissions also encourage
the Commission to impose additional conditions to promote efficient number utilization and enhance their
ability to oversee number resources effectively.43 CenturyLink supports the pending request of its
wholly-owned subsidiary, now known as Qwest Communications Company, LLC (QCC/VoIP) for direct
access, and Neutral Tandem supports Vonage’s request. CLECs oppose Vonage’s request, arguing that
Vonage does not demonstrate that special circumstances warrant a deviation from the general rule or that
deviation would serve the public interest.44 They maintain that issues such as call routing and
interconnection should be addressed before granting non-carrier VoIP providers direct access to
numbers.45 Similarly, NCTA and NTCA encourage the Commission to commence a rulemaking to
examine the issues raised by granting VoIP providers direct access to telephone numbers.46 In related ex
(Continued from previous page)
provide the Commission with a migration plan for its transition to direct access to numbers within 90 days of
commencing the migration, and every 90 days thereafter for 18 months. Letter from Brita D. Strandberg, Counsel to
Vonage Holdings Corp., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, CC Docket No.
99-200 (filed Nov. 11, 2011) (Vonage Supplement).
39 Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks to Refresh Record on Petitions for Waiver of Commission’s Rules Regarding
Access to Numbering Resources
, CC Docket No. 99-200, Public Notice, 26 FCC Rcd 17039 (2011). On January 6,
2012, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) sought an extension of the deadline
to respond to the Public Notice. On January 9, 2012, the Bureau granted a 14-day extension of the comment
deadline. Numbering Resource Optimization, CC Docket No. 99-200, Order, 27 FCC Rcd 193 (2012).
40 The following parties filed comments: AT&T Inc. (AT&T); Bandwidth.com, Inc., (Bandwidth.com); Hypercube,
LLC, Level 3 Communications, LLC (Level 3), Pac-West Telecomm, Inc. and COMPTEL (CLEC Participants);
California Public Utilities Commission (California PUC); CenturyLink; Idaho Public Utilities Commission (Idaho
PUC); National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA); National Telecommunications Cooperative
Association (NTCA); Nebraska Public Service Commission (Nebraska PSC); Neutral Tandem; Public Service
Commission of Wisconsin (Wisconsin PSC); Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PaPUC); Twilio Inc.
(Twilio); Voice on the Net Coalition (VoN); and Vonage.
41 Twilio Comments at 1; VoN Comments at 1.
42 AT&T Comments at 1–2; California PUC Comments at 4; Wisconsin PSC Comments at 1–2; Nebraska PSC
Comments at 2; Letter from Paul Kjellander, President, Idaho Public Utilities Commission, to Marlene H. Dortch,
Federal Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 99-200 et al. (filed Jan. 26, 2012) (Idaho PUC Jan. 26 Ex
Parte
Letter).
43 Specifically, the California PUC proposes that the Commission give states the right to determine which rate
centers are available to each VoIP provider; that VoIP providers be required to have a minimum of 75 percent
utilization before obtaining additional numbers; that VoIP providers be required to expand number porting beyond
rate center boundaries; and that all calls to VoIP providers be deemed local. California PUC Comments at 6–10.
The Wisconsin PSC proposes that the Commission require petitioners to provide the relevant state commission with
regulatory and numbering contacts when the petitioners first request numbers in that state; consolidate and report all
numbers under their own unique Operating Company Number (OCN); provide customers with the ability to access
all N11 numbers in use in a state; obtain numbers from pooling rate centers; and maintain the original rate center
designation of all numbers in their inventories as wireline and wireless providers currently do. Wisconsin PSC
Comments at 4–7; see also Nebraska PSC Comments at 2; Idaho PUC Jan. 26 Ex Parte Letter.
44 CLEC Participants Comments at 6–8.
45 Id. at 8.
46 NCTA Comments at 1–2; NTCA Comments at 1–2.
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parte filings, Verizon supports direct access with conditions;47 the PaPUC opposes the Vonage waiver
request;48 and RNK Communications, NARUC, and the Rural Broadband Alliance assert that the
Commission should address the issue through the rulemaking process.49
14.
Vonage identifies a number of benefits that it claims would flow from direct access to
numbers. It asserts that direct access to numbers will improve its network reliability by enabling Vonage
to build additional redundancy into its network,50 and will improve the states’ ability to monitor and
manage number utilization.51 Vonage also says that moving to IP interconnection will reduce its costs by
allowing Vonage to reduce its reliance on wholesale third-party networks.52 Vonage also asserts that
other carriers have refused to route Vonage traffic directly to Vonage because industry routing databases
like the Number Portability Administration Center (NPAC) and Local Exchange Routing Guide (LERG)53
associate Vonage telephone numbers with Vonage’s underlying carriers, rather than with Vonage.
Vonage contends that having direct access to numbers will remove this barrier to IP interconnection and
facilitate IP exchange of Vonage traffic.54 According to Vonage, facilitating such exchange of traffic will
dramatically improve the quality of its customers’ calls by giving Vonage greater control over its calls;
avoid unnecessary Time Division Multiplexing and IP handoffs; provide Vonage greater visibility into

47 Letter from Ann Berkowitz, Director – Federal Regulatory Affairs, Verizon, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary,
Federal Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 99-200 et al. (filed June 8, 2012).
48 PaPUC Comments at 7–9.
49 Letter from Michael Tenore, Interim General Counsel, Vice President Regulatory Affairs, RNK Communications,
to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 99-200 (filed Dec. 22,
2011); Letter from James Bradford Ramsay, General Counsel, National Association of Regulatory Utility
Commissioners, to the Honorable Julius Genachowski, FCC Chairman, the Honorable Robert McDowell, FCC
Commissioner, and the Honorable Mignon Clyburn, FCC Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission,
CC Docket No. 99-200 (filed Mar. 30, 2012) (NARUC March 30 Ex Parte Letter); Letter from Stephen G. Kraskin,
Communications Advisory Counsel LLC, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission,
CC Docket No. 99-200 et al. (filed July 2, 2012).
50 See Vonage Comments at 6 (explaining that direct access will improve the redundancy of its networks by adding
direct IP interconnections in addition to existing CLEC inbound trunks, thereby reducing Vonage’s reliance on
particular CLEC trunks to handle inbound traffic and reducing the risk that traffic will be affected by CLEC trunk
outages).
51 Letter from Brita D. Strandberg, Counsel to Vonage Holdings Corp., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, at 2
(filed Jul. 31, 2012) (Vonage July 31 Ex Parte Letter).
52 Vonage July Ex Parte Letter at 2. Vonage also notes that it seeks bill-and-keep arrangements with IP
interconnection partners and that grant of its request will serve the public interest by facilitating the transition to
those arrangements.
53 The NPAC consists of regional databases that contain the necessary routing information on ported telephone
numbers and facilitate the updating of the routing databases of all subtending service providers in the portability
area. See NRO First Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 7623, n.242. The LERG is an industry guide generally used
by carriers in their network planning and engineering and numbering administration. It contains information
regarding all North American central offices and end offices. AT&T Corp. v. Alpine Communications, LLC, Clear
Lake Independent Telephone Co., Mutual Telephone Co. of Sioux Center, Iowa, Preston Telephone Co., and
Winnebago Cooperative Telephone Association
, EB-12-MD-003, Memorandum Opinion and Order, FCC 12-110
(rel. Sept. 11, 2012).
54 Vonage July 31 Ex Parte Letter at 1.
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call routing; and simplify troubleshooting.55 Vonage also maintains that having direct access to numbers
would improve its provision of call features to its customers.56
15.
Since the Bureau issued the Public Notice to refresh the record, three additional VoIP
providers, SmartEdgeNet, LLC, Millicorp, LLC, and Bandwidth.com, have filed waivers to obtain direct
access to NANP numbers.57 SEN asserts that direct access to numbers will, as stated by the Commission
in the SBCIS Waiver Order, help “expedite the implementation of IP-enabled services that interconnect to
the PSTN;” enable it to “deploy innovative new services and encourage the rapid deployment of new
technologies and advanced services that benefit American consumers;” and facilitate SEN’s ability to
“efficiently interconnect to the PSTN.”58 Millicorp maintains that direct access to telephone numbers will
prevent it from having to purchase Primary Rate Interface services from CLECs simply to obtain
numbers. By eliminating this added cost, Millicorp claims that it could increase its ability to compete
with traditional telephony providers and decrease the cost of providing VoIP services to customers.59
Bandwidth.com claims that it “cannot effectively compete if the Commission provides its competitors all
the regulatory rights but none of the obligations of regulated carriers.”60 The Commission sought
comment on those petitions,61 and received comment.62

55 Id. at 1–2. Vonage explains that with IP interconnection, it also has the opportunity to work directly with
connected providers to implement high definition (HD) audio codecs to improve the quality of voice service and
offer its customers end-to-end HD voice.
56 According to Vonage, direct access to numbers would enable it to offer customers new and improved features that
depend on end-to-end IP transport as the industry and technology develop. In addition, direct access to numbers
would enable it to more efficiently offer features such as caller ID and Short Message Service (SMS) that require
population in the call routing databases of certain call signaling fields. Vonage says it can only provide these
features today with the consent and cooperation of its numbering partners and that obtaining that consent and
cooperation can unnecessarily delay deployment of these customer-friendly features. Vonage July 31 Ex Parte
Letter at 2 (citing SBCIS Waiver Order, 20 FCC Rcd at 2960, para. 6).
57 See SmartEdgeNet, LLC Petition for Limited Waiver of Section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of the Commission’s Rules
Regarding Numbering Resources, CC Docket No. 99-200 (filed Mar. 6, 2012) (SEN Petition); Millicorp Petition for
Limited Waiver of Section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of the Commission’s Rules Regarding Numbering Resources, CC Docket
No. 99-200 (filed Mar. 14, 2012) (Millicorp Petition); Bandwidth.com, Inc. Petition for Limited Waiver of Section
52.15(g)(2)(i) of the Commission’s Rules Regarding Access to Numbering Resources, CC Docket No. 99-200 (filed
June 13, 2012) (Bandwidth.com Petition). Petitioners assert that a waiver of section 52.15(g)(2)(i) will facilitate the
development and deployment of innovative new services, promote innovation, foster competition, and encourage the
deployment of broadband infrastructure by facilitating the administration of IP-enabled services that interconnect
efficiently to the PSTN.
58 SEN Petition at 5.
59 Millicorp Petition at 3.
60 Bandwidth.com Petition at 8.
61 Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks Comment on SmartEdgeNet, LLC and Millicorp, LLC Petitions for Limited
Waiver of Commission’s Rules Regarding Access to Telephone Numbers
, CC Docket No. 99-200, Public Notice, 27
FCC Rcd 4188 (2012); Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks Comment on Bandwidth.com, Inc. Petition for Limited
Waiver of Commission’s Rules Regarding Access to Telephone Numbers
, CC Docket No. 99-200, Public Notice, DA
12-1288 (2012).
62 Bandwidth.com, Level 3, and COMPTEL (Joint Commenters); California PUC; and Securus Technologies, Inc.
(Securus) filed comments in response to the April 14, 2012 Public Notice. Reply comments were filed by the Joint
Commenters, Millicorp, and SEN. Commenters opposing the petitions assert that such a waiver would run counter
to the public interest and that the Commission should act through a rulemaking. Joint Commenters Comments at 2–
5. They argue that granting non-carriers direct access to telephone numbers is fundamentally unfair to certified
carriers who have duly complied with existing regulations, and that such access would exacerbate the problem of
number exhaust. Joint Commenters Comments at 11–12. The Joint Commenters also raise the concern that the
(continued . . .)
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III.

NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING

A.

Direct Access to Numbers by Interconnected VoIP Providers

16.
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.
17.
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 benefits outlined in paragraph 14, supra.
18.
We note that in October 2010, the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act (CVAA) became law.63 The CVAA codified the Commission’s definition of
“interconnected VoIP service” contained in Section 9.3 of the Commission’s rules, “as such section may
be amended from time to time.”64 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?
19.
In the following sections, 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 subsequent
parts, we address commenters’ concerns raised in the record on the Vonage petition, other entities that
potentially could gain access to numbers, and our legal authority for imposing proposed numbering
administration and other requirements on interconnected VoIP providers.
1.

Documentation Required to Obtain Numbers

20.
Under section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of the rules, an applicant for telephone numbers must
provide to the number administrator evidence of the applicant’s authority to provide service, such as a
license issued by the Commission or a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) issued by a
(Continued from previous page)
petitioners will utilize transport facilities and carrier switching to terminate their traffic without paying the same
intercarrier compensation that carriers currently pay. Joint Commenters Comments at 12.
63 Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751
(amending sections 3, 255, 303, 330, 710, and 713 of the Communications Act, and adding sections 615c and 715-
19, codified at 47 U.S.C. §§ 153, 225, 303, 330, 610, 613, 615c, 616-20).
64 Pub. L. 111-260, § 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”).
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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.65 Also, the Commission has
preempted state entry regulation for VoIP to the extent that it interferes with important federal
objectives.66 If any entity, including a telecommunications service provider, is unable to obtain a
CPCN—perhaps because of state deregulation of telecommunications services—what should that entity
be required to provide the numbering administrator as evidence of authority to provide service, in order to
obtain numbers? The Bureau recognized a similar issue when it established a permanent solution for the
administration of Pseudo Automatic Number Identification (p-ANI) codes, which are non-dialable
numbers used by entities to provide E911 capability.67 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.68 Therefore, the Bureau allowed the Routing
Numbering Authority, the administrator that disseminates p-ANI codes, to accept documentation different
than that required by certificated carriers.69 The Bureau permitted this documentation to be in the form of
pages 2 and 36 of the FCC Form 477, which collects information about broadband connections to end
user locations, wired and wireless local telephone services, and interconnected VoIP services, in
individual states. Pages 2 and 36 currently show that the entity submitting the form provides
interconnected VoIP service and in which states it provides those services.70
21.
We seek comment on what, if any, documentation interconnected VoIP providers should
be required to provide to the number administrator to receive numbers. Should interconnected VoIP
providers 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? Would data regarding the provision of interconnected

65 See Letter from Randall B. Lowe, Counsel to SmartEdgeNet, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 99-200 (filed Jun. 26, 2012) (stating that at least 24 jurisdictions
have precluded their utility commissions from regulating VoIP service, including issuing CPCNs).
66 See Petition of Vonage Holdings Corporation for Declaratory Ruling Concerning an Order of the Minnesota
Public Utilities Commission
, WC Docket No. 04-267, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 19 FCC Rcd 22404 (2004).
67 A p-ANI is a number, consisting of the same amount of digits as Automatic Number Identification (ANI), that is
not a North American Numbering Plan (NANP) telephone directory number and that may be used in place of an
ANI to convey special meaning to the selective router, public safety answering point, and other elements of the 911
system. See VoIP 911 Order, 20 FCC Rcd at 10252–53, para. 17; 47 C.F.R. § 9.3. The special meaning assigned to
the pseudo-ANI is determined by agreements, as necessary, between the system originating the call, intermediate
systems handling and routing the call, and the destination system. See 47 C.F.R. § 20.3.
68 The Bureau’s action fulfilled obligations stemming from the New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement
Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-283, 122 Stat. 2620 (2008) (NET 911 Act) (amending Wireless Communications and
Public Safety Act of 1999, Pub. L. No. 106-81, 113 Stat. 1286 (1999) (Wireless 911 Act)). In implementing the Net
911 Act, the Commission determined that p-ANIs are “capabilities” under that Act, and that interconnected VoIP
providers are entitled to access to these capabilities from any entity that owns or controls such capabilities. See
Implementation of the NET 911 Improvement Act of 2008, WC Docket No. 08-171, Report and Order, 23 FCC Rcd
15884 (2008) (NET 911 Order).; see also 47 C.F.R. § 9.7.
69 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. 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) (Permanent RNA Letter).
70 Permanent RNA Letter at 3. As noted above, the Commission is currently considering whether and how to reform
the Form 477 data program to improve the Commission’s ability to carry out its statutory duties. See supra note 23;
2011 Data Gathering NPRM, 26 FCC Rcd 1508. As such, the data collection regarding provision of interconnected
VoIP service on Form 477 could be modified.
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VoIP services from FCC Form 477 serve this role? If we required VoIP providers to make this
demonstration, are there 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? For
example, some states assert that they lack jurisdiction to certify wireless providers as Eligible
Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs), so the Commission has developed a process to certify wireless
providers in those circumstances.71 Should we adopt a similar process whereby the Commission will
provide the certification required by section 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? For those state commissions that lack
the authority to provide certification for interconnected VoIP service, should the Commission adopt a rule
whereby those states will be given a formal opportunity to object to the assignment of numbers to these
providers? Should the certification requirements 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 there is a broadband connection? In either case, what
should be shown, if anything to receive a certification? Could such a certification also serve the purpose
of permitting the Commission to exercise forfeiture authority without first issuing a citation?72 What
costs and burdens would rules resulting from this requirement impose upon small entities and how can
they be ameliorated? Are there any other issues or significant alternatives that the Commission should
consider to ease the burden on small entities?
2.

Numbering Administration Requirements for Interconnected VoIP
Providers

22.
Efficient Number Utilization. As part of the efficient administration of telephone
numbers, telecommunications carriers must 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.73 We propose to impose these same
requirements—the number utilization and optimization requirements and industry guidelines and practices
that apply to carriers—on interconnected VoIP providers that obtain direct access to numbers.74 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.75 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 with
numbering exhaust. The NRUF reporting requirement, in particular, will enable the Commission to more
effectively monitor the VoIP providers’ number utilization. Today, VoIP providers obtain numbers through
competitive LEC partners. Section 52.15(f)(1)(v) of the Commission’s rules requires these numbers to be
reported as “intermediate numbers” on the LEC’s NRUF report until the numbers have been assigned to

71 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.202; see also Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, CC Docket No. 96-45, Report
and Order, 20 FCC Rcd 6371 (2005).
72 See infra paras. 36-39 (discussing enforcement of the Commission’s numbering rules against interconnected VoIP
providers).
73 SBCIS Waiver Order, 20 FCC Rcd at 2959, para. 4.
74 See 47 C.F.R. Part 52. Specifically, section 52.15(f)(7) provides state commissions access to data reported to the
NANPA provided they have appropriate protections in place to prevent public disclosure of disaggregated, carrier-
specific data. 47 C.F.R. § 52.15(f)(7). Section 52.15(i) details the role of the state commissions in the reclamation
of numbering resources. 47 C.F.R. § 52.15(i). Section 52.15(f)(6) requires reporting carriers to file usage forecast
and utilization reports on a semi-annual basis. 47 C.F.R. § 52.15(f)(6).
75 See supra note 29.
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an end user, then the numbers may be reported on the NRUF as “assigned.”76 In practice, the numbers are
often identified in the LEC partners’ NRUF reports as “assigned,” whether or not the VoIP provider has an
end-user customer for the numbers.77 There is no way to know what portion of the numbers assigned to
VoIP providers is actually “in use.” By imposing the number utilization and reporting requirements directly
on VoIP providers, we expect to have a significantly more accurate assessment of number utilization and be
better able to anticipate, and limit, number exhaust. We seek comment on these requirements and on their
efficacy in conserving numbers and protecting consumers.
23.
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 VoIP provider is the customer of the wholesale carrier. We
seek comment on how we could revise our definition of “intermediate numbers” or “assigned numbers” to
ensure consistency among all reporting providers. For example, should the Commission define the term
“end user” to include use of the number by the retail end user, for purposes of identifying “intermediate
numbers” when reporting utilization? Or would it be easier to track these numbers if the definition
simply includes the requirement that the number is activated or in use?
24.
Several commenters are concerned that allowing interconnected VoIP providers direct
access to numbers will accelerate telephone number exhaust and promote waste of this valuable resource.
They are concerned, in particular, that interconnected VoIP providers will request Location Routing
Numbers (LRNs) in rural rate centers, which will strand many unused numbers.78 They explain that in
order to obtain an LRN, which is required for carriers to perform several important functions including
call routing, number pooling, and porting functions, service providers must become Code Holders in each
Local Access and Transport Area (LATA) in which they seek to operate.79 This in turn requires each
provider requesting an LRN to obtain 10,000 numbers in each LATA.80 When these providers request
numbers for LRNs in rural, lightly-populated rate centers, they are assigned blocks of additional numbers
that are unlikely to ever be assigned to end-users.81 Some commenters posit that if interconnected VoIP
providers are allowed direct access to numbers this problem will only intensify, stranding tens of
thousands of numbers and leading to waste and resource exhaustion.82

76 Section 52.15(f)(1)(v) defines “intermediate numbers” as numbers that are available for use by another
telecommunications carrier or non-carrier entity for the purpose of providing telecommunications service to an end
user or customer. 47 C.F.R. § 52.15(f)(1)(v).
77 Letter from F. Anne Ross, Staff Attorney, New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 08-154 (filed August 8, 2008).
78 California PUC Comments at 8; see also CLEC Participants July 19 Ex Parte Letter at 2; NARUC July 19 Ex
Parte
Letter at 4; Letter from Erin Boone, Senior Corporate Counsel, Federal Regulatory Affairs, Level 3
Communications, LLC to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 99-
200, at 4 (filed June 29, 2012) (Level 3 Jun. 29 Ex Parte Letter); Letter from Greg Rogers, Deputy General Counsel,
Bandwidth.com, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 99-200, at
2 (filed June 19, 2012) (Bandwidth.com Jun. 19 Ex Parte Letter); CLEC Participants Comments at 10–11.
79 Commenters are correct that an interconnected VoIP provider that obtains direct access to numbers must become a
code holder in any LATA where it provides service. See CLEC Participants Comments at 10–11. In those NPAs
subject to pooling, an interconnected VoIP provider must adhere to the same requirements for number pooling as
any other service provider. Therefore, once it establishes an LRN in a LATA, an interconnected VoIP provider must
return to the Pooling Administrator any unused blocks of numbers from that code for use by other service providers.
80 See Letter from Greg Rogers, Deputy General Counsel, Bandwidth.com, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC,
CC Docket No. 99-200, at 2 (filed June 11, 2012); California PUC Comments at 8.
81 California PUC Comments at 8.
82 Id. at 9; see also CLEC Participants July 19 Ex Parte Letter at 2; NARUC July 19 Ex Parte Letter at 4; Level 3
Jun. 29 Ex Parte Letter at 4; Bandwidth.com Jun. 19 Ex Parte Letter at 2; CLEC Participants Comments at 10–11.
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25.
To address this concern, the state commissions of Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Idaho
suggest a system in which interconnected VoIP providers may obtain numbers only from rate centers
subject to number pooling.83 Number pooling means that numbers are assigned in blocks of 1,000 rather
than 10,000. These commenters maintain that because many rural rate centers are not subject to pooling
requirements, an influx of additional number requests at such centers could accelerate central office code
assignments, strand large amounts of numbers, and contribute to area code exhaust.84 By restricting
access to rate centers that are subject to pooling requirements, these commenters assert that state
commissions could funnel numbering requests to centers able to distribute smaller blocks of numbers,
thereby reducing waste.
26.
We propose that interconnected VoIP providers may obtain telephone numbers from any
rate center unless a state commission finds that allowing direct access in non-pooling rate centers will
contribute substantially to number exhaust. This proposal should address the concerns of state
commissions in Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Idaho without restricting states that wish to allow access in
non-pooling rate centers. We seek comment on this proposal, as well as any concerns it may raise. Does
it make sense to differentiate between traditional carriers and interconnected VoIP providers in terms of
the rate centers from which they can request numbers? For example, is it important for VoIP providers to
obtain local telephone numbers that correspond to the location of the subscriber? And does that
importance differ depending on whether the VoIP provider is nomadic or facilities-based?85 Is such an
approach advantageous or problematic from a technological, policy, or legal standpoint? Does this
approach raise anti-competitive or public policy concerns? How will this approach affect existing VoIP
customers with numbers not in these rate centers, if at all? Will VoIP providers continue to purchase
services from CLECs to serve existing customers with numbers not in these rate centers? Would this
approach put consumers in rate centers not subject to pooling at a disadvantage by limiting their access to
innovative services? What are the projected costs and benefits associated with such an approach from a
monetary, administrative, technological, or policy standpoint?
27.
We seek comment on whether this approach is appropriately tailored to address the
problems of waste and number exhaust. Are there any alternative measures that would be more effective
in dealing with these issues? For example, the California PUC proposes that the Commission grant states
the right to specify which rate centers are available for VoIP number assignment.86 It claims that this
proposal would allow state commissions to steer LRN requests from interconnected VoIP providers
toward rate centers in more populated areas, where the numbers are more likely to be used. According to
the California PUC, this would mitigate the problem of number waste without harming requesting
providers, some of which have no geographic limitations on the location of their numbers and therefore
do not require LRNs from specific rural rate centers.87 We seek comment, in particular, on this proposal.
28.
In conjunction with these recommendations, the California PUC further proposes a
system in which all calls to VoIP providers are deemed to be local calls for numbering administration
purposes.88 Under this plan, VoIP numbers would work as if part of a nationwide area code overlay, and
all calls to these numbers would be treated like local calls from any PSTN rate center for numbering

83 Wisconsin PSC Comments at 6. See also Idaho PUC Comments at 2; Nebraska PSC Comments at 2.
84 Id.; see also CLEC Participants July 19 Ex Parte Letter at 2; NARUC July 19 Ex Parte Letter at 4; Level 3 Jun.
29 Ex Parte Letter at 4; Bandwidth.com Jun. 19 Ex Parte Letter at 2; CLEC Participants Comments at 10–11.
85 We seek comment more broadly in the attached Notice of Inquiry about the continued importance of assigning
telephone numbers based on geography.
86 California PUC Comments at 8.
87 Id. at 9.
88 Id. at 10.
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administration purposes.89 The California commission argues that this would make the VoIP provider’s
choice of rate center irrelevant and allow the use of thousands of numbers currently stranded in rural rate
centers by eliminating the disincentives to request numbers from such centers.90 Is this system feasible
from a technological and administrative standpoint, and how would the Commission implement it?
Would implementation present any unique challenges for the provision of 911? Would such an approach
help reduce waste by allowing the use of more stranded numbers from rural rate centers? If the
Commission were to adopt this proposal, should we apply it to VoIP providers with existing numbers
obtained through a carrier partner as well as VoIP providers who obtain numbers at some point in the
future? If so, are there any drawbacks to applying this framework to existing VoIP numbers? Would
such a change in existing numbers cause any difficulties for VoIP providers or their customers, or have
impacts on compliance with other rules? Would this approach be consistent with our current intercarrier
compensation rules, and if not, should we adjust those rules, and how?91
29.
“Facilities Readiness.” Under our 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. We imposed on SBCIS a “facilities readiness”
requirement set forth in section 52.15(g)(2)(ii) of the rules. In general, we found that SBCIS should be
able to satisfy this requirement using the same type of information submitted by carriers. As noted by
SBCIS, however, one piece of evidence typically provided by carriers is an interconnection agreement
with the incumbent LEC that serves the geographic area in which the carrier proposes to operate.92 For
purposes of demonstrating compliance with section 52.15(g)(2)(ii), we concluded that if SBCIS is unable
to provide a copy of an interconnection agreement approved by a state commission it could submit
evidence that it has ordered an interconnection service pursuant to a tariff that is generally available to
other providers of IP-enabled voice services. We stated that the tariff must be in effect, and the service
ordered, before SBCIS submits an application for numbers. We seek comment on whether this remains a
good approach to addressing the concerns that our “facilities readiness” rule was meant to address.
30.
In its comments on the Vonage waiver petition, AT&T notes that today’s interconnected
VoIP providers may prefer to satisfy the facilities readiness requirement by acquiring PSTN connectivity
through alternative means, such as entering into “traffic exchange agreements with any LEC servicing the
relevant geographic area.”93 Given AT&T’s assertions, we seek comment on whether evidence that an
interconnection service pursuant to a tariff is still appropriate evidence of “facilities readiness” or whether
there are there better ways to demonstrate compliance with this requirement. Should the Commission
modify this requirement to allow more flexibility, and if so how?94
31.
Timing of Number Requests. 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.95 The 30-day notice period allows
the Commission and relevant state commission to monitor the VoIP providers’ numbers and to take

89 Id.
90 Id.
91 The USF/ICC Transformation Order adopted a prospective intercarrier framework for VoIP-PSTN traffic. This
framework includes two intercarrier compensation rates for VoIP-PSTN traffic: one rate for “toll” VoIP-PSTN
traffic and another for “other” VoIP-PSTN traffic. See USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 18008,
para. 944.
92 See SBCIS Reply at 11.
93 AT&T Comments at 3.
94 AT&T Comments at 2.
95 Commenters agree that the waivers should be subject to the conditions set forth in the SBCIS Waiver Order. See,
e.g
., AT&T Comments at 2; Wisconsin PSC Comments at 4; Vonage Renewal at 1.
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measures to conserve resources, if necessary, such as determining which rate centers are available for
number assignments. We seek comment on imposing this requirement on all interconnected VoIP
providers. We ask commenters to address the continuing need for this requirement for interconnected
VoIP providers and whether this requirement actually furthers the Commission’s goal of ensuring number
optimization.
32.
Vonage Commitments. In addition to complying with the Commission’s numbering
requirements and the requirements set forth in the SBCIS Waiver Order, Vonage offered several
commitments as a condition of obtaining direct access to numbers. Specifically, Vonage offered to:
maintain at least 65 percent number utilization across its telephone number inventory; offer IP
interconnection to other carriers and providers; and 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.96 Vonage indicates that these commitments will ensure efficient number
utilization and facilitate Commission oversight.97 Should the Commission impose some or all of these
requirements on interconnected VoIP providers, or on all entities that obtain telephone numbers? Are
there other numbering requirements the Commission should impose on VoIP providers that obtain direct
access to numbers? We seek comment on Vonage’s commitments. What is an appropriate transition
mechanism to ensure non-interrupted service to consumers? Is there a limit on the amount of numbers
that can be transitioned without impacting customer service?
33.
Requirements to Enhance State Oversight. Certain commenters note that state
certification of telecommunications carriers provides a process whereby carriers must demonstrate their
“financial, managerial, and technical” capabilities to provide service.98 These commenters also note that
state commissions obtain, and require to be kept current, corporate contact information for personnel
qualified to address issues relating to regulatory requirements, compliance, 911, and law enforcement.99
They maintain that interconnected VoIP providers do not go through a similar process to demonstrate
their capabilities, nor are they required to provide corporate contact information at the state or federal
level.
34.
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);100
(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.101 We seek comment on this proposal and
on whether additional oversight of the financial and managerial aspects of the VoIP providers’
capabilities is required. We seek particular comment on how providers of nomadic VoIP service could
comply with a requirement to provide access to the locally-appropriate N11 numbers.

96 Vonage Supplement at 5–6.
97 Id. at 5.
98 Letter from James C. Falvey, Counsel for CLEC Participants, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission (Apr. 13, 2012) (CLEC Participants April 13 Ex Parte Letter).
99 Id. at 2.
100 An “Operating Company Number” is a four-digit numerical code used to identify telecommunications service
providers. See ATIS-0300251, Codes for Identification of Service Providers for Information Exchange. The
National Exchange Carrier Association assigns all OCNs.
101 Wisconsin PSC Comments at 4–7.
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35.
Competitive Impact. We seek comment on whether our proposal to allow direct access to
numbers for interconnected VoIP providers might affect competition, and if so how. For example, would
it encourage companies that have both interconnected VoIP and CLEC affiliates to migrate more
functions into the interconnected VoIP affiliates? If so, would such migration affect competition and in
what way?
3.

Enforcement of Interconnected VoIP Providers’ Compliance with
Numbering Rules

36.
If we allow interconnected VoIP providers direct access to numbers, we must ensure our
ability to take appropriate enforcement action against such interconnected VoIP providers if they violate
the numbering rules.102 Toward this end, we seek comment on whether we should implement a
certification or blanket authorization process applicable to interconnected VoIP providers that elect to
obtain direct access to numbers. We also seek comment on ways to ensure that interconnected VoIP
providers that obtain direct access to numbers are treated on par with similarly situated traditional
common carriers with respect to our numbering rules.
37.
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.103 A Commission authorization is not currently required to provide interconnected VoIP
service. Should the Commission require that providers obtain a certification from the Commission before
gaining direct access to numbering resources, and if so, would Commission certification be necessary and
appropriate for all providers, not just those that cannot obtain certifications from the state commission?
Alternatively, would it be less administratively burdensome—to both the Commission and the provider—
if the Commission amended its rules to establish “blanket” authorization for interconnected VoIP
providers for access to numbering resources?104 If adopted, should the Commission’s certification or
blanket authority serve as the evidence of authority to provide service that is required under section
52.15(g)(2)(i) of our rules?105
38.
In addition, we seek comment on whether there are ways to ensure that VoIP providers
are subject to the same penalties and enforcement processes as traditional common carriers. For example,
could and should we require, as a condition of obtaining direct access to numbers, that VoIP providers
consent to be subject to the same penalties, in terms of potential dollars? Similarly, can and should we
require VoIP providers to waive any additional process protections that traditional common carrier would
not receive? Commenters advocating such approaches should discuss in detail the legal analysis and/or
any relevant precedent that they believe could justify such action. Are there other bases for imposing on

102 47 U.S.C. §§ 201(b), 208, 211(b), 216-218, and 503(b)(5). For instance, a common carrier may be assessed a
forfeiture up to a statutory maximum of $150,000 for each violation and up to a total of $1.5 million for continuing
violations, see 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(B); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(2), whereas a non-common carrier that does not hold a
Commission license could be subject to a statutory maximum of $16,000 per violation up to a total of $112,500 for
continuing violations. See 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(7).
103 See 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
104 The Commission could establish a blanket authorization process similar to that used by the Commission with
respect to domestic interstate service. See 47 C.F.R. 63.01; see also Implementation of Section 402(B)(2)(A) of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996
, Report and Order and Second Memorandum Opinion and Order, 14 FCC Rcd
11364 (1999) (the Commission conferred blanket authorization to carriers who sought to construct, operate, or
engage in transmission over domestic lines of communication).
105 See supra para. 21 for a solicitation of comments regarding the documentation, if any, that interconnected VoIP
providers should provide to the number administrators to receive numbers.
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interconnected VoIP providers equivalent enforcement provisions as those imposed on traditional
common carriers in the numbering context?
39.
Finally, should VoIP providers be prohibited from obtaining direct access to numbers if
they are “red-lighted” by the Commission for unpaid debts or other reasons? Are there other reasons for
which VoIP providers should be deemed ineligible to obtain numbers? We seek comment on these and
any alternative approaches that commenters believe would put interconnected VoIP providers on an equal
footing (regarding enforcement of numbering provisions) with traditional common carriers.

B.

Additional Issues Raised in Pending Waiver Proceedings

40.
In comments on the pending petitions for waiver, parties raise a number of additional
issues related to interconnected VoIP providers obtaining numbers directly from the numbering
administrators. Specifically, some commenters question how call routing and termination, intercarrier
compensation, IP interconnection, and local number portability would work in such a scenario. Others
respond that such concerns are overstated or can be readily addressed. We discuss and seek comment on
these issues in the following sections, although as discussed below, we believe these concerns generally
can be addressed through appropriate conditions on interconnected VoIP providers’ direct access to
numbers.
1.

Databases, Call Routing and Termination

41.
Commenters raise questions about the routing of calls by interconnected VoIP providers
that use their own telephone numbers. Specifically, commenters explain 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.106 Commenters claim that, without association to a
switch, carriers will not know where to route the calls, likely resulting in end user confusion and
interference with emergency services and response.107 Vonage responds that concerns regarding call
routing are misplaced,108 and that it will use marketplace solutions from companies such as Level 3 or
Neutral Tandem for transit and tandem routing functions.109 For instance, Vonage explains that it can
designate the switch of a carrier partner in the LERG and in the NPAC database, which is used for
number porting, as the default routing location for traffic bound for numbers assigned to Vonage in order
to route calls originated in the PSTN.110
42.
Neutral Tandem agrees that marketplace solutions are available that will allow carriers to
exchange traffic with VoIP providers through LERG-based routing, to the extent carriers do not choose to
exchange traffic through direct interconnection.111 Specifically, it notes that traffic for numbers assigned
to VoIP providers could be routed in the same manner that traffic is routed for numbers assigned to
CLECs that have designated alternative tandem switches as the homing tandem for those numbers.112
Thus, Neutral Tandem concludes that allowing interconnected VoIP providers to designate alternative

106 CLEC Participants Comments at 8. See supra note 53 for further explanation of the LERG.
107 Id. at 8–9.
108 Letter from Brita D. Strandberg, Counsel to Vonage Holdings Corp. to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission (May 7, 2012) (Vonage May 7 Ex Parte Letter).
109 Letter from Brita D. Strandberg, Counsel to Vonage Holdings Corp. to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission (Mar. 21, 2012) (Vonage Mar. 21 Ex Parte Letter).
110 Id. at 1.
111 Neutral Tandem Comments at 2.
112 Id.
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tandems in the LERG as the homing tandem does not appear to present any unique issues.113 CLECs,
however, note that even with the use of new marketplace transit services, there is no established rule for
how call routing look-ups for interconnected VoIP providers listed in the LERG will be accomplished.114
In addition, commenters indicate that Vonage has not made publicly available its interconnection
agreements that will help with its routing.115
43.
In its July letter, Vonage explains that, if it is granted direct access to numbers, it will
populate the NPAC or LERG as appropriate by associating Vonage’s OCN with Vonage-assigned
telephone numbers. Vonage asserts that this will enable providers accessing these databases to see the
Vonage OCN for Vonage-assigned numbers, thereby enabling them to route calls to Vonage-assigned
numbers directly pursuant to IP interconnection agreements. According to Vonage, where it lacks an IP
interconnection agreement, providers will route calls to it using the Common Language Location
Identification in the NPAC or LERG databases for the switch to which Vonage phone numbers will be
homed. Vonage explains that it plans to use carrier partners to provide the necessary switch facilities to
achieve this routing.116 Finally, Vonage states that it expects to continue relying in certain cases on
numbers obtained through carrier partners. It explains that, for these numbers, existing routing
arrangements based on the carrier partners’ OCN designation in the NPAC or LERG will remain in
place.117
44.
We seek comment generally on whether providing interconnected VoIP providers direct
access to numbers will hinder or prevent call routing or tracking, and how we can prevent or minimize
such complications. We also seek comment on whether the marketplace solutions described here will be
adequate to properly route calls by interconnected VoIP providers, absent a VoIP interconnection
agreement. Should we require interconnected VoIP providers to maintain carrier partners to ensure that
calls are routed properly?
45.
We seek 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. What are the restrictions imposed by providers of the various database services (e.g., Business
Integrated Routing & Rating Database System (BIRRDS)/LERG, NPAC, and Line Information Database
(LIDB)/Calling Name (CNAM)) on access to the databases? In order for interconnected VoIP providers
to have access to these databases, what restrictions need to be eliminated or modified? What restrictions
and signaling requirements must be maintained in order to provide security across interconnection points?
We also seek comment on the practices that service providers may need to alter to increase
interconnection and routing efficiency. Vonage has alleged that its CLEC partners refuse to list Vonage
as an alternate provider in the NPAC database. Should we require carriers to list VoIP providers in the
NPAC database? Is listing a non-facilities-based interconnected VoIP provider in the Alternate Service
Provider Identification (ALT SPID) field in the NPAC database sufficient to allow a provider to route
calls directly to a VoIP provider if the VoIP provider has a VoIP interconnection agreement? Would such
a listing provide information that could be used as a basis for assessing access charges? Should NPAC
information be used for that purpose?
46.
Finally, we seek comment on how numbering schemes and databases integral to the
operations of PSTN call routing will need to evolve to operate well in IP-based networks. In its recent

113 Id.
114 CLEC Participants Comments at 9.
115 Letter from James C. Falvey, Counsel for CLEC Participants to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission (Apr. 13, 2012) (CLEC Participants April 13 Ex Parte Letter).
116 Vonage July 31 Ex Parte Letter at 4.
117 Id.
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meetings, the Technological Advisory Council recommended that the Commission open a rulemaking and
seek comment on a variety of issues surrounding the transition to IP networks.118 We seek comment
generally on what databases need to be modified, how they should be modified, and what the role of
Commission and industry should be in ensuring a proper transition to VoIP call routing.119 Should the
Commission encourage development of a new set of databases, or should existing databases be modified
to account for new technological developments?120 How should the Commission approach numbering
policy if the industry transitions to using numbers as identifiers rather than addresses?121
2.

Intercarrier Compensation

47.
A number of commenters state that granting interconnected VoIP providers direct access
to numbers would undermine or confuse intercarrier compensation obligations. 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.122 The initial steps of the transition cap the vast majority of switched access rates123 and
require carriers to, among other things, reduce certain intrastate switched access rates to interstate levels
pursuant to the methodology contained in the rules.124
48.
The USF/ICC Transformation Order sets forth several important policy goals for VoIP
traffic. First, “the Commission has set an express goal of facilitating industry progression to all-IP
networks.”125 Second, while providing a “move away from the pre-existing, flawed intercarrier
compensation regimes,” the Commission sought to “reduce disputes” stemming from the lack of clarity
regarding the intercarrier compensation obligations for VoIP traffic.126 Third, the Commission stated that
a significant goal was to eliminate opportunities and incentives to engage in access avoidance, both for
non-VoIP traffic127 and for VoIP traffic.128
49.
The Commission noted that the “lack of clarity regarding the intercarrier compensation
obligations for VoIP traffic” had led to “significant billing disputes and litigation,”129 which in turn

118 Technological Advisory Council, Presentation to the Federal Communications Commission, at 55 (2012),
available at http://transition fcc.gov/bureaus/oet/tac/tacdocs/meeting121012/TAC12-10-12FinalPresentation.pdf .
119 See id. at 55, 60.
120 See id. at 60.
121 See id. at 57–58.
122 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17676–77, para. 35. “Under bill-and-keep arrangements, a
carrier generally looks to its end-users—which are the entities and individuals making the choice to subscribe to that
network—rather than looking to other carriers and their customers to pay for the costs of its network. To the extent
additional subsidies are necessary, such subsidies will come from the Connect America Fund, and/or state universal
service funds.” USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17904, para. 737.
123 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17934–36, para. 801 and Figure 9.
124 See 47 C.F.R. § 51.907(a); 47 C.F.R. § 51.909(a).
125 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 18123, para. 1335; see also id. at 17926, para. 783 (“[O]ur goal
is to facilitate the transition to an all-IP network and to promote IP-to-IP interconnection.”).
126 Id. at 18009, para. 946.
127 Id. at 17912, para. 754.
128 Id. at 18006, paras. 941, 951.
129 Id. at 18003–04, para. 937.
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produced uncertainty that was “likely deterring innovation” and the introduction of IP services.130 The
Commission thus adopted a prospective, transitional compensation framework for such traffic131 whereby,
in the absence of an agreement for intercarrier compensation, LECs may tariff, both at the state and
federal level, one of two default intercarrier compensation rates for originating or terminating VoIP-PSTN
traffic.132 Specifically, the default charge for “‘toll’ VoIP-PSTN traffic” is “equal to [the] interstate
access rate[] applicable to non-VoIP traffic, both in terms of the rate level and rate structure, ”133 and the
default charge for “other VoIP-PSTN traffic” is “the otherwise-applicable reciprocal compensation”
rate.134 The Commission further determined that this framework of default rates is subject to the rate
reductions adopted in the USF/ICC Transformation Order as part of the transitional recovery
mechanism.135 In March 2012, the Commission adopted a reconsideration order that, among other things,
permitted LECs to “tariff default charges equal to intrastate originating access for originating intrastate
toll VoIP traffic at intrastate rates . . . until June 30, 2014.”136
50.
As noted above, interconnected VoIP providers with direct access to numbers could enter
into agreements to interconnect137 with other providers.138 Pursuant to such an agreement, an
interconnected VoIP provider could have incoming calls routed directly to itself rather than to a carrier
partner. As an initial matter, the implementation of intercarrier compensation obligations depends on
whether the traffic being exchanged is tariffed or exchanged pursuant to contract. If the traffic is tariffed
at the state or federal level, intercarrier compensation generally is owed by the entity that receives the
tariffed services. For traffic exchanged pursuant to an agreement, intercarrier compensation is determined
by such agreements. Commenters have raised concerns about how the implementation of intercarrier
compensation obligations may change as a result of granting VoIP providers direct access to numbers.139
Specifically, CLEC Participants state that they are concerned about a “circumstance where a wholesale
carrier partners with a VoIP provider but the phone number is directly assigned to the VoIP provider . . .
[and] neither the wholesale partner nor the VoIP provider will make intercarrier compensation
payments.”140 Additionally, NTCA observes that “numerous intercarrier compensation tariffing issues”

130 Id. at 18005, para. 938.
131 Id. at 18008, paras. 943–44.
132 Id. at 18008, para. 944.
133 Id.
134 Id.
135 Id. at 18008, para. 945.
136 Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Second Order on Reconsideration, 27 FCC Rcd 4648,
4659, para. 30 (2012) (Second Order on Reconsideration).
137 See infra Section III.B.3, paras. 52-56; see also USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 18123, para.
1335.
138 Richard Shockey, Technical Challenges in the PSTN Transition from Plain Old Telephone Service, 7–9 attached
to
Letter from Richard Shockey, Shockey Consulting, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CC Docket No. 99-
200 et al. (filed Sept. 4, 2012) (“Technical Challenges”).
139 See, e.g., Letter from James C. Falvey, Counsel for CLEC Participants, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission, WC Docket No. 10-90 at 3-4 (Aug. 27, 2012) (CLEC Participants Aug. 27 Ex Parte
Letter); Letter from James C. Falvey, Counsel for CLEC Participants, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission, WC Docket No. 10-90 at 3-4 (July 16, 2012) (CLEC Participants July 16 Ex Parte
Letter).
140 See Letter from James C. Falvey, Counsel for CLEC Participants, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission, WC Docket No. 10-90 at 3 (Feb. 20, 2013) (“Carriers have a serious concern that
neither Vonage nor its intermediary carriers will pay to terminate Vonage calls. Today, the intermediary carrier can
(continued . . .)
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remain with respect to implementation of the USF/ICC Transformation Order.141 NTCA specifies that it
“remain[s] unclear . . . who would be liable for intercarrier compensation where a VoIP provider with
direct access to telephone numbers used a transiting carrier to achieve interconnection.”142 We seek
comment on these issues. How do commenters suggest the Commission address any new ambiguities in
intercarrier compensation payment obligations? Commenters asserting that the relief requested will result
in non-payment of or increased disputes concerning intercarrier compensation should address with
specificity differences in intercarrier compensation obligations for each entity in a call path that they
believe would be introduced by granting VoIP providers direct access to numbers. We also seek
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. Would any intercarrier compensation impacts be temporary, in light of the ongoing
transition toward a bill-and-keep intercarrier compensation framework?143
51.
Commenters have also stated that the responsibility for payments for traffic delivered to
the PSTN by tandem provider/carrier partner combinations “presents novel questions of law and policy
that have yet to be determined or even examined in detail.” 144 Competitive tandem providers may have
non-LEC and LEC operations. Accordingly, we seek comment about the regulatory status of competitive
tandem providers. In particular, are any portions of competitive operations regulated by the states or
Commission? If not, 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? Commenters should address with specificity any
uncertainty regarding which entity is responsible for intercarrier compensation for particular traffic in
such scenarios, why allowing VoIP providers direct access to numbers would have any impact, and on
ways we could address such concerns.
3.

VoIP Interconnection

52.
Some commenters argue that the Commission should address interconnection-related
issues before granting interconnected VoIP providers direct access to numbers.145 They assert that we
should decide what interconnection provisions in sections 251 and 252 pertain to VoIP traffic before we
address whether to give VoIP providers direct access to numbers.146 We seek comment generally on the
effect that direct access to numbers will have on the industry’s transition to direct interconnection in IP.
The Commission has observed that “[t]he duty to negotiate in good faith has been a longstanding element
of interconnection requirements under the Communications Act and does not depend upon the network
(Continued from previous page)
be held responsible because the calls are traced to numbers assigned to that carrier. If numbers are assigned directly
to Vonage, neither the carrier nor Vonage will pay to terminate not only Section 251(b)(5), but also access traffic.”);
see also CLEC Participants Aug. 27 Ex Parte Letter at 3; CLEC Participants July 16 Ex Parte Letter at 3 (“Another
novel issue is whether Petitioners and/or their carrier partners would accept their responsibility to pay intercarrier
compensation if a phone number is directly assigned to them. Vonage has never committed to making such
payments.”).
141 See Letter from Michael R. Romano, Senior Vice President, NTCA, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission, WC Docket No. 10-90 at 2 (July 19, 2012) (NTCA July 19 Ex Parte Letter).
142 Id.
143 See USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17676–77, para. 35.
144 See Comments of National Telecommunications Cooperative Association, CC Docket No. 99-200 at 4 (Aug. 23,
2012).
145 See, e.g., NARUC Jul. 19 Ex Parte Letter , app. A, at 5.
146 Letter from James C. Falvey, Counsel for ILEC/CLEC Participants, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CC
Docket 99-200 et al. at 3 (filed Aug. 27, 2012).
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technology underlying the interconnection” and has stated that “we expect all carriers to negotiate in good
faith in response to requests for IP-to-IP interconnection.”147
53.
We seek comment on the status of IP interconnection for VoIP providers today. VoIP
telephony has existed for some time, and adoption by businesses and service providers is increasing.148
We also seek comment on the number of VoIP interconnection agreements that exist today and how
parties to those agreements treat technical issues. For example, some parties note that carriers have
historically relied primarily on the LERG and LNP databases to route calls, but these databases cannot
identify Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) endpoints.149 Some parties additionally note that the preference
to route calls to the VoIP provider’s CLEC partner via PSTN trunks, rather than to the VoIP provider
directly, has hampered the implementation of VoIP interconnection.150 We seek comment 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.
54.
We also seek comment on the extent to which our proposals would promote IP
interconnection. One of the Commission’s central missions is to make “available . . . to all the people of
the United States . . . a rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication
service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges.”151 The Commission has already set its goal to
“facilitate the transition to an all-IP network and to promote IP-to-IP interconnection.”152 We expect 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. We seek comment on
this analysis.
55.
Vonage asserts that some providers are reluctant to route traffic directly to Vonage over
an IP-to-IP interconnection arrangement, rather than through Vonage’s numbering partners using PSTN
trunks, because industry routing databases indicate that a given Vonage customer’s number is “owned” by

147 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 18045, para. 1011.
148 See CISCO SYSTEMS, THE TRANSITION TO IP TELEPHONY AT CISCO SYSTEMS 1 (2001) (noting that Cisco began
transitioning to IP telephony in 1998); Local Competition and Broadband Reporting, CC Docket No. 99-301, Notice
of Proposed Rulemaking, 14 FCC Rcd 18100, paras. 62–63 & n.99 (1999) (noting that the “public switched
telephone network” includes the traditional circuit-switched telephone network as well as all alternatives to the
wireline infrastructure, regardless of switching technology” and that “interconnection of IP-based and circuit-
switched networks presumably would allow an IP-telephony message to be delivered to any telephone service
subscriber”); 3rd Generation Partnership Project, Technical Specification Group Services and Systems Aspects, IP
Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), Stage 2 (Release 11)
, 5.4.2 to 5.4.3 (2012) (establishing transport and application level
interworking for SIP, and procedures for forwarding a call session to the PSTN).
149 Richard Shockey, Technical Challenges in the PSTN Transition from Plain Old Telephone Service, 7–9 attached
to
Letter from Richard Shockey, Shockey Consulting, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CC Docket No. 99-
200 et al. (filed Sept. 4, 2012) (“Technical Challenges”). Some carriers who interconnect in IP bilaterally have
apparently identified a modified method of routing using carrier ENUM or SIP Redirect queries after locating the
Service Provider Identification Number in a locally cached LERG database.
150 Letter from Robert W. Quinn, Jr., SVP, Federal Regulatory, AT&T, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CC
Docket No. 99-200, at 2-3 (filed May 29, 2012); Comments of Vonage Holdings Corp., CC Docket No. 99-200 at 6–
8 (Jan. 25, 2012).
151 47 U.S.C. § 151.
152 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17926, para. 783; see also National Broadband Plan at 49
(stating in recommendation 4.10 that “[t]he FCC should clarify interconnection rights and obligations and encourage
the shift to IP-to-IP interconnection”).
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a CLEC, and that traffic to this number should be routed to the CLEC’s switch.153 Vonage claims that,
without direct access to numbers, Vonage and its IP interconnection partners would need to develop
routing databases outside of existing industry databases, which would increase the cost and difficulty of
implementing IP-to-IP interconnection.154 Vonage therefore asserts that 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.155
We seek comment on these assertions. What further steps might the Commission take to eliminate
roadblocks and encourage VoIP interconnection?
56.
We seek comment on whether direct access to numbers will affect the rights and
obligations of service providers vis-à-vis VoIP interconnection.156 Some parties assert that they are
entering into commercial agreements for voice interconnection in IP format.157 Vonage also states that it
will seek agreements for VoIP interconnection if granted access to numbers.158 We seek comment on
whether granting direct access to numbers will accelerate this trend, and whether this should affect the
Commission’s proposal to permit interconnected VoIP providers to receive direct access to numbers.
4.

Local Number Portability Obligations

57.
In 2007, the Commission extended local number portability (LNP) obligations to
interconnected VoIP providers in the VoIP LNP Order.159 The CLEC Participants assert that the
Commission has not considered the scope of the number portability obligation for interconnected VoIP
providers where no carrier partner is involved.160 They assert that the examples of porting obligations
provided by the Commission in the VoIP LNP Order relate to “an interconnected VoIP provider that
partners with a wireline carrier for numbers,” and that the only other circumstance addressed is the case
where the interconnected VoIP provider is itself a carrier, and has a separate obligation to port numbers as
a carrier.161
58.
The CLEC Participants also point to the Act’s definition of “number portability”—“the
ability of users of telecommunications services to retain, at the same location, existing

153 Vonage Comments at 6.
154 Id.
155 Id.
156 We note that giving interconnected VoIP providers direct access to numbers does not, by itself, convey rights or
responsibilities under sections 251 and 252.
157 See Technical Challenges 7–9.
158 Vonage July 31 Ex Parte Letter at 1–2; Comments of Vonage Holdings Corp., CC Docket No. 99-200 at 6–8
(Jan. 25, 2012); Vonage March 12, 2012 Ex Parte Letter at 1–2.
159 VoIP LNP Order, 22 FCC Rcd 19531. Specifically, the Commission stated that “both an interconnected VoIP
provider and its numbering partner must facilitate a customer’s porting request to or from an interconnected VoIP
provider. By ‘facilitate,’ we mean that the interconnected VoIP provider has an affirmative legal obligation to take
all steps necessary to initiate or allow a port-in or port-out itself or through its numbering partner on behalf of the
interconnected VoIP customer (i.e., the ‘user’), subject to a valid port request, without unreasonable delay or
unreasonable procedures that have the effect of delaying or denying porting of the number.” Id. at 19548–49, para.
32 (emphasis added). See also 47 C.F.R. § 52.34 (explaining the obligation of interconnected VoIP providers to
facilitate “valid number portability request[s]”).
160 See Letter from James C. Falvey, Counsel for CLEC Participants, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CC
Docket No. 99-200 et al., at 5 (dated May 24, 2012) (CLEC Participants May 24 Ex Parte Letter); Level 3 Aug 23,
2012 Comments at 9–10.
161 CLEC Participants May 24 Ex Parte Letter at 6.
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telecommunications numbers without impairment of quality, reliability, or convenience when switching
from one telecommunications carrier to another”—as evidence that the Act’s number portability
obligations apply only when switching from one telecommunications carrier to another and to users of
telecommunications services.162 They assert that the Commission has not explained how “number
portability” as defined in the statute can apply to a provider like Vonage that neither considers itself a
“carrier” nor a provider of “telecommunications services.”163 The CLEC Participants assert that porting
disputes will likely occur if the Commission does not first clarify whether and pursuant to what legal
authority there exists an obligation to port numbers to non-carriers.164
59.
First, commenters seem to agree that VoIP providers are obligated to port numbers to
other providers.165 The Commission’s porting rules impose an “affirmative legal obligation” on
interconnected VoIP providers “to take all steps necessary to initiate or allow a port-in or port-out.”166
This obligation applies whether or not the interconnected VoIP provider obtains numbers from a
telecommunications carrier. Second, we believe that our rules already require carriers to port numbers to
VoIP providers directly, and not merely to the VoIP providers’ carrier partners. In the VoIP LNP Order,
the Commission “clarif[ied] that carriers have an obligation under our rules to port-out NANP telephone
numbers, upon valid request, for a user that is porting that number for use with an interconnected VoIP
service.”167 The Commission’s clarification did not specify that the obligation pertains only to an
interconnected VoIP provider with a numbering partner. In the VoIP LNP Order the Commission
concluded that it had “ample authority” to impose porting requirements on LECs and interconnected VoIP
providers.168
60.
Commission rules require carriers to port directly to interconnected VoIP providers that
themselves have direct access to numbers.169 The language in the VoIP LNP Order supports this reading,
as the Commission imposes a legal obligation on an interconnected VoIP provider itself to “initiate or
allow a port-in or port-out” and on carriers to do the same upon request from an interconnected VoIP
provider or its numbering partner.170 That requirement was imposed after the Commission granted a

162 47 U.S.C. § 153(30); CLEC Participants May 24 Ex Parte Letter at 6.
163 See CLEC Participants May 24 Ex Parte Letter at 6; Letter from James C. Falvey, Counsel for CLEC
Participants, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CC Docket No. 99-200 et al., at 3 (dated Jun. 25, 2012) (CLEC
Participants June 25 Ex Parte Letter); Level 3 Aug. 23, 2012 Comments at 9–10.
164 See Letter from James C. Falvey, Counsel for CLEC Participants, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CC
Docket No. 99-200 et al., at 2 (dated Jul. 19, 2012) (CLEC Participants July 19 Ex Parte Letter).
165 See Vonage July 31 Ex Parte Letter at 2 (explaining that the Commission’s rules require interconnected VoIP
providers like Vonage to port numbers whether or not the interconnected VoIP provider has a numbering partner);
Letter from Erin Boone, Senior Corporate Counsel, Level 3, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CC Docket No.
99-200 et al., at 4 (dated Jun. 28, 2012) (Level 3 June 28 Ex Parte Letter) (acknowledging that two-way
interconnected VoIP providers have legal obligations to port numbers).
166 47 C.F.R. § 52.34; see also Vonage July 31 Ex Parte Letter at 2.
167 See VoIP LNP Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 19550, para. 35.
168 These requirements were imposed pursuant to sections 251(e) and 251(b)(2) of the Act, as well as to the
Commission’s ancillary authority under Title I. See id. at 19543, para. 21, 19541, para. 19.
169 Thus carriers must port numbers to (a) interconnected VoIP providers that are licensed or certificated as a carrier
in a state, (b) SBCIS, which may access numbers directly pursuant to the SBCIS Waiver Order, and
(c) interconnected VoIP providers such as Vonage that receive direct access to numbers as a result of the
accompanying Order.
170 VoIP LNP Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 19548–49, para. 32.
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waiver of section 52.15(g)(2) in the SBCIS Waiver Order.171 Thus, when the Commission issued the
porting requirements, it contemplated that VoIP providers would have direct access to numbers in some
instances.172 Neither the language of the VoIP LNP Order nor the context in which it was issued suggest
that the requirement to port was limited to instances in which a VoIP provider obtained numbers through
a carrier partner.
61.
In any event, to the extent the record reflects confusion on this issue, we take this
opportunity to restate the Commission’s intention to allow users of interconnected VoIP services the
benefits of local number portability without regard to whether the VoIP provider obtains numbers directly
or through a carrier partner. To more expressly codify this intention, we propose to modify our rules to
include language 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. We seek comment on this proposal.
62.
In the VoIP LNP Order, the Commission also clarified that carriers “must port-out NANP
telephone numbers upon valid requests from an interconnected VoIP provider (or from its associated
numbering partner).”173 The CLEC Participants 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. As noted, we
propose to revise our rules to better reflect this obligation. Our proposed rule change should eliminate
any argument that a request to port to an interconnected VoIP provider is invalid merely because the
ported-to entity is an interconnected VoIP provider.174
63.
Geographic Limitations on Porting to and from VoIP Providers. The Commission has
established geographic limits on the extent to which a provider must port numbers. For interconnected
VoIP providers, which to date have generally obtained NANP numbers through commercial arrangements
with traditional telecommunications carriers, the porting obligations to or from the interconnected VoIP
provider stem from the status of the interconnected VoIP provider’s numbering partner and the status of
the provider to or from which the NANP telephone number is ported.175 NANC guidelines limit wireline-
to-wireline number porting to carriers with facilities or telephone numbers in the same rate center.176 A
wireline carrier must port numbers to a wireless carrier where the requesting wireless carrier’s coverage
area overlaps with the geographic location of the customer’s wireline rate center, so long as the porting-in

171 See SBCIS Waiver Order, 20 FCC Rcd at 2962, para. 9 (“Moreover, SBCIS will be responsible for processing
port requests directly rather than going through a LEC.”).
172 Moreover, the Commission at the time did not intend the SBCIS waiver to be unique. Rather, the Commission
stated that it intended to grant the same relief to similarly-situated VoIP providers. SBCIS Waiver Order, 20 FCC
Rcd at 2959, para. 4.
173 VoIP LNP Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 19550, para. 35 n.119 (emphasis added).
174 In a Declaratory Ruling, the Commission clarified the information necessary to present a “valid” request. Id. at
19554, para. 42. The Commission mandated that LNP validation should be based on no more than four information
fields for simple ports—customer telephone number, customer account number, five-digit zip code, and passcode (if
applicable). Id. at 19557–58, paras. 47–48. The Commission later revised these data exchange requirements in the
LNP Standard Fields Order, requiring 14 fields—and only those 14 fields—to accomplish a simple port in a valid
port request. Local Number Portability Porting Interval and Validation Requirements; Telephone Number
Portability
, WC Docket No. 07-244, CC Docket No. 95-116, Report and Order, 25 FCC Rcd 6953 (2010) (LNP
Standard Fields Order
).
175 VoIP LNP Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 19549-50, para. 34.
176 Id. at 19534, para. 6. A “rate center” is a geographic area that is used to determine whether a call is local or toll.
See id. at 19534, n.13.
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wireless carrier maintains the number’s original rate center designation following the port.177 Similarly, a
wireless carrier must port-out a NANP telephone number to another wireless carrier, or a wireline carrier
that is within the number’s originating rate center.
64.
We seek comment on the geographic limitations, 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. Should porting in these circumstances
be limited to where the interconnected VoIP provider’s coverage area overlaps with the geographic
location of the customer’s wireline rate center, as with wireline-wireless intermodal porting? Should
porting in these circumstances be limited to situations where the interconnected VoIP provider has
facilities or telephone numbers in the same rate center? Is there another standard that would be more
appropriate for ports involving interconnected VoIP providers that obtain their numbers directly from the
number administrators? Are geographic limitations on porting directly between an interconnected VoIP
provider and another carrier necessary? Are there any technical limitations that should govern the
circumstances under which porting is required when porting directly to or from an interconnected VoIP
provider (as opposed to an interconnected VoIP provider’s carrier numbering partner)? We seek
comment 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.
5.

Transitioning to Direct Access

65.
Level 3 argues that granting a waiver for direct access to numbers would “rapidly” erode
the market for certain CLEC services, while conducting a rulemaking would allow for an “orderly
transition and timeline” for business planning surrounding any rule change.178 Level 3 proposes that the
Commission ask the industry about “the reasonable lead time that would be required to design and test”
new products and services that could replace revenues lost as a result of a change in our rules regarding
access to numbers.179 We recognize that allowing direct access to numbers by entities without state
certification could affect existing revenue streams to companies that currently provide wholesale services
to interconnected VoIP providers. We also recognize that transferring numbers from one provider to
another could potentially present logistical challenges, at least if the volume of numbers to be transferred
in a rate center is unusually large. We therefore seek comment on whether, if we adopt the changes
proposed herein, we should do so on a gradual or phased-in basis. If so, what would be appropriate
timeframes and limits for a graduated transition? What period of time would permit the industry to adjust
to the changes? Should we limit the volume of numbers that any non-certified provider may obtain in a

177 See Telephone Number Portability; CTIA Petitions for Declaratory Ruling on Wireline-Wireless Porting Issues,
CC Docket No. 96-116, Memorandum Opinion and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 18 FCC Rcd
12697, 23706, para. 22 (2003) (Intermodal Number Portability Order). A wireless carrier’s coverage area is the
“area in which wireless service can be received from the wireless carrier.” Id. at 23698, para. 1. The Commission
found nothing in its rules that requires a wireless carrier to have a physical point of interconnection or numbering
resources in the rate center where the number is assigned. Id.
178 See, e.g., Letter from Erin Boone, Senior Corporate Counsel, Federal Regulatory Affairs, Level 3
Communications, LLC to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 99-
200 et al., at 2 (filed Oct. 17, 2012) (noting that, in addition to providing interconnected VoIP provider customers
with access to telephone number resources, local exchange services provided to interconnected VoIP providers
include inbound and outbound voice and network access services that provide interconnected VoIP providers with
connectivity to the PSTN).
179 See Letter from Michael J. Shortley, III, Vice President – Legal, Level 3 Communications, LLC to Marlene H.
Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 99-200 (filed Nov. 20, 2012).
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specified time period and/or for a particular rate center? 180 What other steps should the Commission take
to ensure that any transition to direct access to numbers by interconnected VoIP providers occurs without
unnecessary disruption to consumers or the industry? For example, because the numbers are part of a
numbering scheme for telecommunications networks located in various countries, would direct access
trigger any obligations to coordinate with those countries?181 We seek comment on these obligations and
any other potential international implications that direct access may raise.
6.

Numbering Cost Allocation

66.
Section 251(e)(2) of the Act requires that the “cost of establishing telecommunications
numbering administration arrangements and number portability . . . be borne by all telecommunications
carriers on a competitively neutral basis.”182 For the costs of number portability and number pooling, the
Commission distinguished between “carrier-specific costs,” which would be borne by each individual
carrier based on cost-causation principles, and “shared industry costs,” which would be apportioned
among carriers based on their end-user telecommunications revenues.183 Like the shared costs of number
portability and pooling, the costs of numbering administration are similarly allocated among carriers
based on their end-user telecommunications revenues.184
67.
The Commission required, consistent with the statute, that “all telecommunications
carriers bear in a competitively neutral manner the costs of providing long-term number portability for
interstate and intrastate calls.”185 The Commission established principles of competitive neutrality for
cost distribution and recovery mechanisms related to number portability. Competitive neutrality requires
that “the cost of number portability borne by each carrier does not affect significantly any carrier’s ability
to compete with other carriers for customers in the marketplace,” and the Commission adopted a two-part
test for making this determination.186 Under this test, number portability cost distribution and recovery
mechanisms: “(1) must not give one service provider an appreciable, incremental cost advantage over
another service provider when competing for a specific subscriber, and (2) must not disparately affect the
ability of competing service providers to earn a normal return.”187

180 We anticipate that our limited, conditional waiver to Vonage may also help us develop an appropriate transitional
mechanism, if any, with respect to the number of rate centers and volume of numbers involved.
181 Letter from Harold Feld, Senior Vice President, Public Knowledge, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 99-200 (filed April 12, 2013).
182 47 U.S.C. § 251(e)(2).
183 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 52.31–32; Telephone Number Portability, CC Docket No. 95-116, RM 8535, Third Report and
Order, 13 FCC Rcd 11701, 11738, para. 68 (1998) (Third Report and Order).
184 47 C.F.R. § 52.17.
185 Third Report and Order, 13 FCC Rcd at 11706, para. 8. “We conclude that ‘the cost[s] of . . . number portability’
that carriers must bear on a competitively neutral basis include the costs that LECs incur to meet the obligations
imposed by section 251(b)(2), as well as the costs other telecommunications carriers – such as interexchange carriers
(IXCs) and commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) providers – incur for the industry-wide solution to providing
local number portability. We also conclude that carrier-specific costs not directly related to providing number
portability are not costs of number portability and, consequently, are not subject to section 251(e)(2) and its
competitive neutrality mandate.” See id. (internal citations omitted).
186 Third Report and Order, 13 FCC Rcd at 11727, para. 41 (internal citations omitted).
187 Id. at 11731-32, para. 53. This test also applies to the costs for number pooling and numbering administration.
See Numbering Resource Optimization, 15 FCC Rcd 7574 at 7665, para. 199 (2000) (applying competitive
neutrality test to number pooling); see also 47 U.S.C. § 251(e)(2) (“The cost of establishing telecommunications
numbering administration arrangements and number portability shall be borne by all telecommunications carriers
on a competitively neutral basis as determined by the Commission.”) (emphasis added).
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68.
We seek comment on whether we should amend our numbering cost allocation rules in
light of changes in the industry, including the potential expansion of direct access to numbers to entities
that previously did not have direct access, for VoIP telephony and other purposes.188 Specifically, for
those costs of numbering administration, number portability, and number pooling that remain shared
across the industry, should non-telecommunications carriers contribute and, if so, on what basis? If those
costs continue to be allocated based on end-user telecommunications revenues, as required under current
rules, how should we treat ports to interconnected VoIP providers from their CLEC numbering partners
for these purposes? Should interconnected VoIP providers be treated the same as telecommunications
carriers for purposes of numbering cost allocation or are there unique circumstances the Commission
should consider? Commenting parties should include an analysis of how their proposals meet the
Commission’s competitive neutrality requirements. Parties should address any other issues relevant to
the potential expansion of the numbering cost allocation rules to interconnected VoIP or other providers.
69.
In addition, we seek comment on whether we should separately initiate a rulemaking to
examine our cost allocation rules for numbering administration, portability and pooling more generally in
light of changes to technology and the communications landscape.189 The telecommunications industry
has changed substantially in the 15 years since these rules were first adopted and the industry is now in
the midst of several technology transitions.190 Parties should address whether such changes warrant a
different approach to cost allocation and thus, the need to revisit these issues more broadly.

C.

Direct Access to Numbers for Other Purposes

1.

Innovative Uses of Numbers

70.
Although our proposal is limited to expanding direct access to numbers to interconnected
VoIP providers, an increasingly wide array of services and applications rely on telephone numbers as the
addressing system for communications. For example, home security systems,191 programmable
appliances,192 payment authorization services,193 text messaging services194 and telematics195 all make use

188 See infra Section III.C.
189 We note that there are two outstanding petitions for Commission action on numbering cost allocation. See
BellSouth Petition for Rulemaking to Change the Distribution Methodology for Shared Local Number Portability
and Thousands-Block Number Pooling Costs, RM-11299 (filed Nov. 3, 2005). See also Petition of Verizon and
Verizon Wireless for Declaratory Ruling to Assess NPAC Database Intra-Provider Transaction Costs on the
Requesting Provider, WC Docket No. 11-95 (filed May 31, 2011).
190 See FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Announces Formation of ‘Technology Transitions Policy Task Force,’
Public Notice (rel. Dec. 10, 2012).
191 See Alarm Monitoring Solutions, PROTECT AMERICA, INC. (2012), http://www.protectamerica.com/pa/
monitoring/ security-system (last visited Nov. 26, 2012).
192 See, e.g., Android Apps for Home Control: Apps to Control Lights, Thermostat and Appliances Using Your
Android Device
, SMARTHOME: HOME AUTOMATION SUPERSTORE (2012), http://www.smarthome.com/ android
apps.html (last visited Nov. 26, 2012) (selling products that offer phone-to-appliance connectivity using Wi-Fi or
cellular communication); How do you find the iPad phone number for cellular data?, APPLE SUPPORT COMMUNITIES
(Dec. 22, 2011), https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3587659?start=0&tstart=0 (last visited Nov. 26, 2012)
(describing how to find the phone numbers associated with iPads).
193 See Hiawatha Bray, Smartphones Become the New Credit Cards, BOSTON GLOBE, July 26, 2012, available at
http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2012/07/26/the smartphone as a spending tool/ (describing
the applications and programs that allow users to obtain automatic payment authorizations and make credit card
payments using their smartphones); Automatic Payment Authorization Form, FULTON BANK (Oct. 18, 2012),
http://www.fultonbank.com/ resources/pdf/switchkit/fultonbank/AutomaticPaymentForm.pdf (last visited Nov. 26,
2012) (requiring a phone number to complete the automatic payment authorization).
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of telephone numbers. Some of these are voice services or include a voice component; others do not.
The use of wireless telematics has boomed.196 With the advent of SIP and the increasing popularity of IP-
based communications, companies now merge cloud computing and traditional communications,
integrating telephony and text messaging into web applications.197 Providers of these innovative
deployments often cannot obtain telephone numbers directly from the numbering administrators because
they do not meet the certification requirements,198 and instead obtain NANP telephone numbers by
purchasing services from a telecommunications service provider.199
71.
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.200 We seek comment on these assertions.
72.
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.201 Which machine uses require a telephone
(Continued from previous page)
194 See Refreshingly Simply Surprisingly Affordable SMS Marketing, EZ TEXTING.COM (2012),
http://www.eztexting.com/ (last visited Nov. 26, 2012) (requiring phone numbers to perform SMS marketing and
group texting services).
195 See Doug Newcomb, Car Tech 101: Telematics System Basics, EDMUNDS.COM, INC. (Aug. 25, 2011),
http://www.edmunds.com/car-technology/car-tech-101-telematics-system-basics html (noting that OnStar offers
hands-free calling using cellular modems embedded within cars, allowing subscribers to make calls through the
vehicle’s telematics system if they are unable to use their own cell phones).
196 See, e.g., Peter Koudal et al., OnStar: Connecting to Customers Through Telematics 1 (2004) (Onstar has grown
from 1000 customers in 1996 to over 2 million in 2004), available at http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-
SouthAfrica/Local%20Assets/Documents/StanfordOnStarCaseStudy.pdf.
197 See, e.g., TWILIO, http://www.twilio.com (last visited Oct. 17, 2012); RIBBIT, http://www ribbit.com (last visited
Oct. 17, 2012); GETVOCAL, http://getvocal.com (last visited Oct. 17, 2012); IFBYPHONE, http://www.ifbyphone.com/
(last visited Oct. 17, 2012).
198 See 47 C.F.R. § 52.15(g)(2)(i). See supra pp. 3–5, paras. 5–7 for a discussion of state certification requirements.
199 See SBCIS Waiver Petition at 3.
200 Twilio Comments at 4-5.
201 ATIS, Industry Numbering Committee (INC) Report to the NANC, at 4 (Sept. 20, 2012), available at
http://www.nanc-chair.org/docs/mtg docs/Sep12 INC Report.ppt.
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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.
73.
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.
74.
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?
75.
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.202 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

76.
VoIP Positioning Center (VPC) providers typically work with interconnected VoIP
providers to provide E911 access to customers. When an interconnected VoIP customer makes a 911 call,
the interconnected VoIP provider’s softswitch or call controller sends a query to the VPC, asking for
information as to where to route the 911 call. The VPC responds with call routing instructions for the
softswitch and a ten-digit p-ANI code, selected from a pool of numbers for the appropriate PSAP. The
softswitch or call controller does not itself use p-ANI for routing, but instead forwards it to various other
elements of the an E911 system, such as the Selective Router, where it is used for proper routing of the
call and determination of the caller’s location for the PSAP.
77.
We seek comment on whether the Commission should modify section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of
our rules203 to allow VPC providers204 direct access to p-ANI codes, for the purpose of providing 911 and
E911 service. As discussed in the accompanying Waiver Order,205 the Commission finds good cause to
grant the petition of TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS),206 allowing it direct access to p-ANI codes

202 Twilio Comments at 6.
203 See 47 C.F.R. §52.15(g)(2)(i).
204 VPC providers are entities that help interconnected VoIP providers deliver 911 calls to the appropriate public
safety answering point. Among other things, VPCs provide such capabilities as location-based call routing and real-
time delivery to the PSAP of the caller’s location information.
205 See infra, paras. 109–114.
206 TCS/HBF Petition; Vixxi Petition.
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from the Routing Number Administrator (RNA)207 in states where it is unable to obtain certification while
the Commission adopts final rules for direct access to numbers. We now consider whether all VPC
providers should be allowed direct access to p-ANI codes.
78.
Under section 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.208 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.209
79.
We seek comment on whether section 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 section 52.15(g)(2)(i).210 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?
80.
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.211 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?
81.
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.212 Should section 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 VoIP provider access to numbers that should
apply as well to VPC providers?
82.
We conclude in the accompanying Waiver Order that there is good cause to grant
Petitioners a waiver of rule 52.15(g)(2)(i) to provide 911 and E911 service. We seek to develop a more

207 In March 2012, Neustar’s Pooling Administrator assumed the responsibilities of the permanent p-ANI
Administrator, also known as the Routing Number Administrator. See Neustar Memo, FCC Approved Neustar’s
Permanent Routing Number Administrator Change Order Proposal #19 (dated June 20, 2011) available at
http://www.nationalpooling.com/tools/archives/change-orders/2011/index.htm (last visited Oct. 16, 2012).
208 See 47 C.F.R. §52.15(g)(2)(i).
209 Implementation of the NET 911 Improvement Act of 2008, WC Docket No. 08-171, Report and Order, 23 FCC
Rcd 15884, 15892-97, paras. 21-29 (2008) (NET 911 Order).
210 Reply Comments of Telecommunication Systems, Inc. WC Docket Nos. 07-243, 07-244, 04-36, CC Docket Nos.
95-116, 99-200 at 7 (filed Apr. 21, 2008) (arguing that “ESOKs are ‘non-dialable’ numbers and should not really be
considered numbering resources.”).
211 NET 911 Order, 23 FCC Rcd at 15897, para. 29.
212 Id. at 13.
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complete record on the issues discussed above and any other technical or policy issues the Commission
should consider specific to VPC providers’ direct access to p-ANI.

D.

Legal Authority

83.
In this Part, we address and seek comment on the Commission’s legal authority to adopt
the various requirements we propose to impose on interconnected VoIP providers obtaining direct access
to numbers.
84.
Section 251(e)(1) of the Act gives the Commission plenary authority over that portion of
the NANP that pertains to the United States,213 and the Commission retains “authority to set policy with
respect to all facets of numbering administration in the United States.”214 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.215 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.216
85.
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.”217 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.218 As to the second predicate, we seek comment on whether imposing numbering obligations on

213 47 U.S.C. § 251(e)(1) (providing that “[t]he Commission shall have exclusive jurisdiction over those portions of
the North American Numbering Plan that pertain to the United States”).
214 Implementation of the Local Competition Provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Interconnection
Between Local Exchange Carriers and Commercial Mobile Radio Service Providers, Area Code Relief Plan for
Dallas and Houston, Ordered by the Public Utility Commission of Texas, Administration of the North American
Numbering Plan, Proposed 708 Relief Plan and 630 Numbering Plan Area Code by Ameritech-Illinois
, CC Docket
No. 96-98, CC Docket No. 95-185, NSD File No. 96-8, CC Docket No. 92-237, IAD File No. 94-102, Second
Report and Order and Memorandum Opinion and Order, 11 FCC Rcd 19392, 19512, para. 271 (1996) (explaining
that by retaining exclusive jurisdiction over numbering policy the Commission preserves its ability to act flexibly
and expeditiously).
215 See VoIP 911 Order, 20 FCC Rcd at 10265, para. 33 (relying on the Commission’s plenary authority over U.S.
NANP numbers, particularly Congress’ direction to use that authority regarding 911, to impose 911 obligations on
interconnected VoIP providers, given interconnected VoIP providers’ use of NANP numbers to provide service).
216 Id. (extending LNP requirements to interconnected VoIP providers on the basis of section 251(e)(1) plenary
authority).
217 American Library Ass'n v. FCC, 406 F.3d 689, 691-92 (D.C. Cir. 2005)). See also, e.g., United States v.
Southwestern Cable Co.
, 392 U.S. 157, 177–78 (1968) (upholding certain regulations applied to cable television
systems at a time before the Commission had an express congressional grant of regulatory authority over that
medium).
218 See, e.g., CPNI Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 6955–56, para. 55; 2006 Interim Contribution Methodology Order, 21
FCC Rcd at 7542, para. 47; VoIP 911 Order, 20 FCC Rcd at 1026–62, para. 28 (“[I]nterconnected VoIP services are
covered by the statutory definitions of ‘wire communication’ and/or ‘radio communication’ because they involve
‘transmission of [voice] by aid of wire, cable, or other like connection . . .’ and/or ‘transmission by radio . . .’ of
(continued . . .)
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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 field219 and foster competition by eliminating barriers to, and incenting
development of, innovative IP services.220 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,221 to advance the number-portability requirements of section 251,222 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.223 We also seek comment on other possible
bases for the Commission to exercise ancillary authority here.
86.
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.”224
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
(Continued from previous page)
voice. Therefore, these services come within the scope of the Commission’s subject matter jurisdiction granted in
section 2(a) of the Act.”).
219 See Letter from James Falvey, Counsel, CLEC Participants, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 99-200, at 1 (filed July 19, 2012) (CLEC Participants July 19 Ex
Parte
Letter) (noting that granting waivers of section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of the Commission’s rules for direct access to
numbering resources would be “discriminatory vis á vis carriers that continue to comply with both federal and state
rules”); Letter from James Bradford Ramsay, General Counsel, National Association of Regulatory Utility
Commissioners (NARUC), to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, CC Docket No.
99-200, at 2 (filed July 19, 2012) (NARUC Jul. 19 Ex Parte Letter) (stating that the Commission “should not favor
one competitor other another. . . by making sure they don’t have to comply with the same rules as their
competitors”); Letter from Stephen G. Kraskin, Counsel, Rural Broadband Alliance (RBA), to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 99-200, at 2–3 (filed July 2, 2012) (arguing that
the non-authorized providers seeking direct access to numbers “essentially want the rights associated with the status
of an authorized provider while avoiding the responsibilities that go with those rights”); Letter from James Falvey,
Counsel, CLEC Participants, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, CC Docket
No. 99-200, at 1 (filed June 13, 2012) (emphasizing that granting non-carriers direct access to numbering resources
“would be discriminatory, essentially providing carrier rights to certain non-carriers that do not also shoulder carrier
obligations”).
220 Letter from Brita D. Strandberg, Counsel to Vonage Holdings Corp. to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 99-200, at 4–5 (filed Nov. 11, 2011) (Vonage Nov. 11 Ex Parte
Letter); see also Letter from Brita D. Strandberg, Counsel to Vonage Holdings Corp., to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 99-200, at 1–2 (filed Dec. 6, 2011).
221 47 U.S.C. § 251(e)(1).
222 The Commission adopted its existing local number portability rules governing interconnected VoIP providers as,
among other things, reasonably ancillary to its responsibilities under sections 251(b)(2). VoIP LNP Order, 22 FCC
Rcd at 19545–47, paras. 25–27.
223 See Preserving the Open Internet; Broadband Industry Practices, GN Docket No. 09-191, WC Docket No. 07-
52, Report and Order, 25 FCC Rcd 17905, 17972, para. 125 (2010) (Open Internet Order).
224 47 U.S.C. § 1302(a). Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-104, § 706, 110 Stat.
56, 153 (1996) (1996 Act), as amended by the Broadband Data Improvement Act (BDIA), Pub. L. No. 110-385, 122
Stat. 4096 (2008), is now codified in Title 47, Chapter 12 of the United States Code. See 47 U.S.C. § 1301 et seq.
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broadband connections and consequently encouraging more broadband investment and deployment
consistent with the goals of section 706.225

IV.

ORDER

87.
In this Order, we establish a limited trial of direct access to numbers. We grant Vonage
and other interconnected VoIP providers that have pending petitions for waiver of section 52.15(g)(2)(i)
of the Commission’s rules, and that meet the terms and conditions outlined below, a time-limited waiver,
subject to a number of conditions and limitations, to obtain a small pool of telephone numbers directly
from the administrators for use in providing IP services, including VoIP services, on a commercial basis
to residential and business customers.
88.
We grant this waiver to permit us to conduct a trial to help inform our decision on
whether, and if so how, the Commission should amend the rules to allow interconnected VoIP providers
to obtain telephone numbers directly. The trial strictly limits the amount of numbers Vonage and other
VoIP providers may obtain—representing a small fraction of their total volume of numbers—and requires
providers to comply with the Commission’s number utilization and optimization requirements and industry
guidelines and practices, including advance notice of numbering requests to states. During the trial,
Vonage and other participants will be subject to monthly reporting requirements that will be made public
to provide an opportunity for the state commissions, industry and general public to comment. Moreover,
we make clear that providers participating in the trial may be required to return numbers to a LEC partner
if problems arise. With these safeguards, and subject to the conditions described below, we expect that
the narrowly tailored trial will provide valuable technical insight for the Commission to assess whether
amending our rules to provide direct access to numbers routinely will raise issues relating to number
exhaust, number porting, VoIP interconnection, and intercarrier compensation, and if so, how those issues
may be efficiently addressed. Within 45 days of completion of the trial, the Bureau will report to the
Commission on the results of the trial. The report will be placed in the record and state commissions, the
industry and general public will have 30 days to provide comments on the report.
89.
We limit this trial to VoIP providers that have already sought waivers to obtain direct
access to numbers. With the exception of Vonage, those providers have not specifically committed to
comply with the terms or conditions set forth below.226 We expect that we could obtain useful
information from a trial involving additional VoIP providers, however. For example, different providers
might highlight unique problems or develop solutions to problems that would assist us in crafting final
rules. Therefore, other interconnected VoIP providers that have pending petitions for waiver of section
52.15(g)(2)(i) of the Commission’s rules may participate on the same terms and conditions and
proportionate scale as Vonage so long as they file a proposal with the Wireline Competition Bureau and
proceed on the same schedule as Vonage does.227 The Bureau may reject any proposal from a provider

225 See Availability of Advanced Telecommunications Capability in the United States, Fourth Report to Congress,
GN Docket No. 04-54, 19 FCC Rcd 20540, 20578 (2004) (“[S]ubscribership to broadband services will increase in
the future as new applications that require broadband access, such as VoIP, are introduced into the marketplace, and
consumers become more aware of such applications.”) (emphasis added).
226 The waiver we grant is not a blanket waiver, as Vonage and other VoIP providers requested. Rather, it is
circumscribed in a variety of ways described herein.
227 There are a substantial number of pending waiver requests, which will give us adequate opportunity to trial a
variety of factual scenarios. Because these petitions have been pending for months or years, we believe that all
potentially interested providers have had ample time to request a waiver. We therefore limit this grant to pending
petitioners. Moreover, the Commission has provided and received comment on those waiver petitions. See Wireline
Competition Bureau Seeks to Refresh Record on Petitions for Waiver of Commission’s Rules Regarding Access to
Numbering Resources
, CC Docket No. 99-200, Public Notice, 26 FCC Rcd 17039 (2011); Wireline Competition
Bureau Seeks Comment on SmartEdgeNet, LLC and Millicorp, LLC Petitions for Limited Waiver of Commission’s
Rules Regarding Access to Telephone Numbers
, CC Docket No. 99-200, Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd 4188 (2012);
(continued . . .)
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that is “red-lighted” by the Commission, is out of compliance with any Commission obligation to which it
is subject, or is otherwise determined to pose a risk to consumers that is not outweighed by the benefits of
permitting the VoIP provider to participate in the trial.
90.
In this Order, we also grant TCS, a provider of VPC service,228 a narrow waiver to allow
it to obtain p-ANI codes directly from the RNA for the purpose of providing 911 and E911 service, in
states where TCS is unable to obtain certification because TCS has either been denied certification or can
demonstrate that a state does not certify VPC providers.
91.
The standard of review for waiver of the Commission’s rules is well settled. The
Commission may waive its rules when good cause is demonstrated.229 The Commission may exercise its
discretion to waive a rule where the particular facts make strict compliance inconsistent with the public
interest.230 In doing so, the Commission may take into account considerations of hardship, equity, or
more effective implementation of overall policy on an individual basis.231 Commission rules are
presumed valid, however, and an applicant for waiver bears a heavy burden.232 Waiver of the
Commission’s rules is therefore appropriate only if special circumstances warrant a deviation from the
general rule, and such a deviation will serve the public interest.233

A.

Access to Numbers Trial

1.

Background

92.
On March 5, 2005, Vonage filed a petition requesting a waiver of section 52.15(g)(2)(i)
of the Commission’s rules so that it may obtain from the numbering administrator telephone numbers to
use in deploying IP-enabled services, including VoIP services, on a commercial basis to residential and
business customers. Vonage requested a waiver until the Commission adopts final numbering rules in the
IP-Enabled Services proceeding234 and stated that it would comply with the conditions the Commission
set forth in the SBCIS Waiver Order.235
(Continued from previous page)
Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks Comment on Bandwidth.com, Inc. Petition for Limited Waiver of Commission’s
Rules Regarding Access to Telephone Numbers
, CC Docket No. 99-200, Public Notice, DA 12-1288 (2012). Thus
interested parties have had an opportunity to comment about specific petitioners.
228 See supra para. 76.
229 47 C.F.R. § 1.3; see also WAIT Radio v. FCC, 418 F.2d 1153, 1159 (D.C. Cir. 1969), cert denied, 409 U.S. 1027
(1972) (WAIT Radio).
230 Northeast Cellular Telephone Co. v. FCC, 897 F.2d 1164, 1166 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (Northeast Cellular).
231 WAIT Radio, 418 F.2d at 1159; Northeast Cellular, 897 F.2d at 1166.
232 WAIT Radio, 418 F.2d at 1157.
233 Id. at 1159.
234 In the IP-Enabled Services NPRM, the Commission sought comment on whether any action relating to
numbering resources is desirable to facilitate or at least not impede the growth of IP-enabled services, while at the
same time continuing to maximize the use and life of numbering resources in the NANP. IP-Enabled Services
NPRM
, 19 FCC Rcd at 4914, para. 76.
235 Vonage Petition at 2. The Commission granted the SBCIS waiver request subject to compliance with (1) the
Commission’s number utilization and optimization requirements, (2) numbering authority delegated to the states,
and (3) industry guidelines and practices, including filing NRUF Reports. The Commission also required SBCIS to
file requests for numbers with the Commission and the relevant state commission at least 30 days prior to requesting
numbers from the Administrators. Finally, the Commission required SBCIS to comply with the requirement in 47
C.F.R. § 52.15(g)(2)(ii) that it be capable of providing service within 60 days of activating the numbers it requests.
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93.
Vonage renewed its request on March 8, 2011, noting that the opportunities to provide
consumers with advanced features and services continue to grow and maintaining that its request is
consistent with the Commission’s approach to numbering and porting obligations for interconnected VoIP
providers.236 On November 11, 2011, Vonage supplemented its request and offered to satisfy additional
conditions.237 On December 27, 2011, the Bureau released a Public Notice seeking to refresh the record
on Vonage’s petition and on pending petitions for limited waiver of 52.15(g)(2)(ii) filed by other
parties.238 Vonage filed several ex parte letters explaining why it believes that granting its petition would
serve the public interest and responding to commenters’ concerns about, inter alia, number porting,
interconnection, and intercarrier compensation.239
2.

Discussion

94.
We find that good cause exists to grant Vonage and other interconnected VoIP providers
with pending petitions a limited, conditional waiver of section 52.15(g)(2)(i) to permit them to obtain
telephone numbers directly from the number administrator, subject to the conditions set forth in the
SBCIS Waiver Order and various commitments detailed below.240 We grant this limited, conditional
waiver so the Commission may gauge the risks and benefits of allowing interconnected VoIP providers to
obtain direct access to numbers as part of a limited trial.241 This trial will inform the Commission’s
decisionmaking by providing real-world data on several issues raised in the proceeding by parties and
allow us to ensure that we have identified and resolved any potential technical complications, such as
routing, intercarrier compensation, and number utilization, about which parties have expressed concern.242

236 Letter from Brita D. Strandberg, Counsel to Vonage Holdings Corp. to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission (file Mar. 8, 2011) (Vonage Renewal).
237 Letter from Brita D. Strandberg, Counsel to Vonage Holdings Corp. to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission (filed Nov. 11, 2011) (Vonage Supplement). Namely, it offered to maintain at least a
65 percent number utilization rate across its telephone number inventory; to offer IP interconnection to other carriers
and providers; to comply with the Commission’s number administration requirements and ensure appropriate
telephone number management; and to provide the Commission with a migration plan for its transition to direct
access to numbers within 90 days of commencing the migration, and every 90 days thereafter for 18 months.
238 Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks to Refresh Record on Petitions for Waiver of Commission’s Rules Regarding
Access to Numbering Resources
, CC Docket No. 99-200, Public Notice, 26 FCC Rcd 17039 (2011). On January 6,
2012, the NARUC sought an extension of the deadline to respond to the Public Notice. On January 9, 2012, the
Bureau granted a 14-day extension of the comment deadline. Numbering Resource Optimization, CC Docket No.
99-200, Order, 27 FCC Rcd 193 (2012).
239 See, e.g., Vonage July 31 Ex Parte Letter.
240 The Commission emphasizes that it is not deciding in this Order whether VoIP is an information service or a
telecommunications service.
241 As noted above, other interconnected VoIP providers may obtain access to numbers on the same terms,
conditions, and schedule as Vonage. See supra para. 89.
242 The Commission has used pilot programs and trials in the past as tests to enable the Commission to gather data,
test technical concerns and develop appropriate policies and rules. See, e.g., Office of Engineering and Technology
Announces the Opening of Public Testing for Spectrum Bridge’s TV Band Database System
, ET Docket No. 04-186,
Public Notice, 26 FCC Rcd 12906 (2011); DTV Transition Premiers in Wilmington, North Carolina: DTV Test
Pilot Program to Begin September 8, 2008
, (May 8, 2008), available at
http://hraunfoss fcc.gov/edocs public/attachmatch/DOC-282032A1.pdf (last visited Apr. 9, 2013); Rural Health
Care Support Mechanism
, WC Docket No. 02-60, Order, 21 FCC Rcd 11111 (2006). The trial we approve today is
tailored to the circumstances of the particular issues that we would like to test and is not intended to prejudge how
we will address other such requests in the future, including those requests related to the work of the Technology
Transitions Policy Task Force.

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Moreover, the Commission has established robust conditions and safeguards to quickly address any
concerns in the context of this narrow trial.243
95.
Several competitive LECs including Bandwidth.Com, Voice Services, and Level 3
Communications, LLC (“CLEC Participants”) urge the Commission not to grant a waiver or conduct a
trial concurrent with the rulemaking.244 They assert that it is inappropriate to conduct such a trial before
the Commission has made a finding that “it is good policy to provide numbers to non-carriers” or has
established rules that will protect consumers and other companies.245 We disagree. The record on access
to numbers contains questions on a host of technical issues, and the trial we establish here will provide
critical information as we consider the questions raised in this Notice. Delaying the trial until after the
NPRM has been completed would needlessly delay resolution of these issues.
96.
The Commission’s authority to grant waivers of its own rules, and the associated waiver
standard which we apply here, are clear and well-tested in the courts.246 As explained in this part, we find
that standard to be met with regard to Vonage and other interconnected VoIP providers making the same
commitments: we impose a variety of conditions as part of this limited trial that will protect consumers
and companies. Moreover, even within the six-month trial, Vonage may be required to return numbers to
a LEC partner if problems arise. We are confident that consumers and companies are thus adequately
protected and that “good cause” for a waiver exists.247 We further disagree with the CLEC Participants
that a waiver or waivers “will effectively change the rules” ahead of our rulemaking. These waivers do
not prejudge the outcome of the NPRM. To the contrary, the waivers we grant are very limited in scope
and duration. The trial we establish will, however, provider valuable technical data to the Commission as
it considers the policy questions raised in the NRPM. Interested parties will have an opportunity to
comment on the trial and its results before the Commission makes any decision regarding final rules.
97.
In addition, the CLEC Participants are mistaken that we have proceeded to act on the
waiver petitions without notice and an opportunity to comment. Vonage’s waiver request was filed in
2005, and the Bureau sought comment on it at that time. Vonage filed a “renewal” of its request in 2011
and we sought comment again to refresh the record on all pending waiver requests.248 Indeed, the docket
reflects more than 200 filings from many different entities regarding the merits of granting a waiver to
Vonage, constituting a robust record on which to make our decision today to grant the waiver.
98.
We tailor the trial to provide a circumscribed and informative test case that will allow the
Commission to identify any problems and create industry-wide rules to address such issues. We therefore
limit the duration and geographic scope of the trial. We also impose on Vonage (and other interconnected
providers with pending petitions) a number of conditions that are similar to conditions we are exploring in

243 The Commission has in the past granted waivers to conduct limited trials while more general reforms are under
consideration. See, e.g., Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism, A National Broadband Plan for
Our Future
, CC Docket No. 02-6 and GN Docket No. 09-51, Sixth Report and Order, 25 FCC Rcd 18762 (2010).
244 See Letter from James C. Falvey, Counsel for CLEC Participants, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission (April 10, 2013) (CLEC Participants April 10, 2013 Ex Parte Letter); see also CLEC
Participants Comments at 3 (maintaining that the Commission should deny the waiver petitions and issue a notice of
proposed rulemaking); NCTA Comments at 1-2 (arguing that rather than addressing individual waivers, the
Commission should commence a rulemaking proceeding to address the direct access of numbers to VoIP providers);
NTCA Comments at 1 (urging the Commission to deny the petitions for waiver and commence a rulemaking
proceeding); NARUC March 30 Ex Parte Letter at 7 (cautioning the Commission against proceeding via a waiver
proceeding).
245 See CLEC Participants April 10, 2013 Ex Parte Letter at 2.
246 See WAIT Radio, 418 F.2d at 1159; Northeast Cellular, 897 F.2d at 1166.
247 47 C.F.R. § 1.3.
248 See supra n.39. The Commission also requested comment on subsequent waiver petitions. See supra n.61.
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the rulemaking. These conditions are thus designed not only to protect the public interest but to maximize
the probative value of the trial and help us identify the terms and conditions under which we might
expand direct access to numbers.
99.

Scope of Trial.

We limit the scope of the trial in several ways. We describe below the
limits as they apply to Vonage. As described above, however, other interconnected VoIP providers with
pending petitions may also participate in the trial, provided they comply with the terms below, including
filing proposal with the Wireline Competition Bureau and proceeding on the same schedule as Vonage
does. The Bureau may reject any proposal from a provider that is “red-lighted” by the Commission, is out
of compliance with any Commission obligation to which it is subject, or is otherwise determined to pose a
risk that is not outweighed by the benefits of permitting the VoIP provider to participate in the trial.
100.
First, under the trial, Vonage may obtain up to (1) twenty 1,000-blocks of new numbers
in pooling rate centers or LATAs, or (2) nineteen 1,000-blocks in pooling rate centers or LATAs and one
10,000-block in a non-pooling rate center or LATA.249 In addition, up to 125,000 numbers may be
reassigned from Vonage’s CLEC partners directly to Vonage. This will enable Vonage to test porting
processes for existing and new customers, as well as trial the process for assigning numbers to non-ported
customers. By design, these numerical limits will also limit the geographic scope of the trial for Vonage.
Other providers interested in participating in the trial may obtain a quantity of numbers proportionate to
their overall scale. Trial participants other than Vonage may obtain direct access to numbers to port up to
five percent of their interconnected VoIP service customers as of the date of the release of this
order.250 All such providers may obtain one 1,000- or 10,000-block of numbers in one rate center
(pooling or non-pooling, respectively), and an additional 1,000 block in a pooling rate center for every
6,500 numbers that can be ported (rounded down).251
101.
Second, Vonage must submit to the Wireline Competition Bureau and each relevant state
commission a numbering proposal within 30 days of the release of this order. That proposal must
(1) include a certification that Vonage will comply with the terms and conditions of this waiver,
(2) identify the rate centers or LATAs in which it wishes to have numbers directly assigned to it, and note
how many numbers in each rate center or LATA it proposes to receive as new numbers and how many it
proposes to port in from existing or new customers,252 and (3) describe the phase-in process to implement
the trial.253 The proposal will be approved 30 days after filing unless the Bureau finds that the proposal
does not comply with the requirements of this Order. Vonage may not request or obtain direct access to
numbers until its proposal is approved.

249 Vonage can use these blocks of new numbers to sign up a new customer that is changing providers or to give a
number to a customer does not yet have a number.
250 The limits we impose on Vonage represent less than 5 percent of its existing numbers, and approximately 5
percent of its total subscribers. See Vonage Holding Corp. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2012 Results,
http://pr.vonage.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=739997 (last visited April 18, 2013); Letter from Brita D.
Strandberg, Counsel to Vonage Holdings Corp., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications
Commission, CC Docket No. 99-200, at 5-6 (filed Nov. 11, 2011) (noting that Vonage maintains at least 65%
utilization across its telephone number inventory).
251 That is, a provider that may port in 5,000 numbers may also obtain new numbers in one rate center; a provider
that may port in 10,000 numbers may obtain new numbers in two rate centers; and a provider that may port in
15,000 numbers may obtain new numbers in three rate centers.
252 See Vonage Supplement at 5-6; Vonage July 31 Ex Parte Letter at 4-6 (committing, in connection with its
waiver request, to provide 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).
253 The plans, as well as the reports described in paragraph 101, will be available for public comment. Even if the
plans and reports contain confidential information, interested parties may review the information pursuant to a
Protective Order.
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102.
Third, the trial will remain in effect for six months from the date when Vonage receives
Bureau approval of its proposal to the Bureau. At the end of that time, the trial will expire and Vonage
may not obtain direct access to additional numbers under this time-limited waiver.254
103.
Fourth, to permit states, the public, and the Commission to monitor the impact of the
trial, Vonage must file monthly reports beginning 60 days after Vonage requests direct access to numbers
from a numbering administrator. These reports must include: (1) the total of new numbers placed in
service by Vonage; (2) Vonage’s total number of port-in requests (including existing Vonage customers
as well as newly won customers), and the percentage of successful ports-in; (3) the number of requests to
port out from Vonage a number that it holds directly rather than through a CLEC partner, and the
percentage of successful ports-out; (4) the total number of routing failures, along with the causes of those
failures; and (5) a description of any billing or compensation disputes. These reports will be public, and
entered into the record of the attached NPRM to provide an opportunity for public comment.
104.
We find that these limitations appropriately balance our goal of obtaining useful, real-
world data without prejudging the questions raised above regarding industry-wide changes. Finally, we
establish safeguards in the event the Commission has concerns that Vonage’s actions during this trial are
inconsistent with our rules, policies, or the conditions set forth herein. Specifically, under such
circumstances, immediately upon a directive from the Commission (or the Wireline Competition Bureau)
Vonage must make arrangements to port to a carrier numbering partner any numbers already in use by
customers, promptly and in a manner that does not disrupt service to consumers or other providers255 and
to return to the number administrators any numbers not yet in use by customers.
105.

Conditions of Trial.

Vonage has committed to comply with the conditions the
Commission set forth in the SBCIS Waiver Order256 and to comply with a number of additional
requirements intended to address commenters’ concerns.257 We agree that these conditions will ensure
that the public interest is protected, and will help test possible terms and conditions that might attach to a
rule change. We therefore condition our trial waiver of section 52.15(g)(2)(i) on Vonage’s compliance
with the following requirements. Vonage must satisfy the Commission’s number utilization and
optimization requirements and industry guidelines and practices,258 including abiding by the numbering
authority delegated to state commissions and filing NRUF Reports.259

254 We note that the expiration of the waiver alone does not require Vonage to return the numbers it has received
under the waiver. But the Commission reserves the right to order the return of such numbers. See supra para. 96.
255 For numbers already assigned to end users, we require Vonage to port those numbers to a carrier that can obtain
numbers directly from the administrators.
256 The Commission granted the SBCIS waiver request subject to compliance with (1) the Commission’s number
utilization and optimization requirements; (2) numbering authority delegated to the states; and (3) industry
guidelines and practices, including filing NRUF Reports. The Commission also requires SBCIS to file requests for
numbers with the Commission and the relevant state commission at least 30 days prior to requesting numbers from
the Administrators. SBCIS Waiver Order, 20 FCC Rcd at 2959, para. 4. Finally, the Commission requires SBCIS to
comply with the requirement in 47 C.F.R. § 52.15(g)(2)(ii) that it be capable of providing service within 60 days of
activating the numbers it requests. Id. at 2962, para. 10.
257 In its pleadings, Vonage noted its willingness to comply with federal and state numbering requirements. See,
e.g
., Vonage Comments at 4; Letter from Brita D. Strandberg, Counsel to Vonage Holdings Corp. to Marlene H.
Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission (June 27, 2012). Commenters agree that the waivers
should be subject to the conditions set forth in the SBCIS Waiver Order. See, e.g., AT&T at 2; Wisconsin PSC at 4;
Vonage Renewal at 1.
258 See 47 C.F.R. Part 52.
259 See 47 C.F.R. § 52.15(f)(6) (requiring carriers to file NRUF reports). Requiring Vonage to comply with
numbering requirements will help alleviate concerns with numbering exhaust. For example, the NRUF reporting
requirement will allow the Commission to better monitor Vonage’s number utilization. Most VoIP providers’
(continued . . .)
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106.
In addition to committing to comply with the requirements of the SBCIS Waiver Order,
Vonage committed to maintain at least 65 percent number utilization across its telephone number
inventory; offer IP interconnection to other carriers and providers; work to ensure that its carrier partners
comply with applicable law, including intercarrier compensation obligations; and comply with the
Commission’s numbering requirements.260 We condition Vonage’s limited waiver of section
52.15(g)(2)(i) on its adherence to these commitments. This will help us assess their benefit and efficacy
as permanent rules.
107.
In addition to the above conditions proposed by Vonage, some state commissions
recommended additional conditions to ensure efficient use of telephone numbers. We agree that many of
those conditions will help protect the efficient use of valuable, and limited, numbers, and will help our
assessment of whether and how to modify our rules governing access to numbers. Accordingly, we
require Vonage to comply with the following conditions: (1) provide the relevant State commission with
regulatory and numbering contacts when it requests numbers in that State; (2) consolidate and report all
numbers under its own unique Operating Company Number (OCN);261 (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.262 As noted above, Vonage is required to comply with specific reporting
requirements regarding the progress of the trial. In addition, we invite parties to submit information
regarding the trial. We are particularly interested in the experiences of customers and service providers that
are directly affected by Vonage receiving direct access to numbers. Commenters should address any
benefits or concerns with the trial as well as the effectiveness of the conditions. Upon completion of the
trial, the Bureau will report to the Commission on the results of the trial. The report will be placed in the
record and state commissions, the industry and general public may comment on the report. We will
consider those comments when we evaluate the trial and develop rules with respect to expanding access to
numbers.
108.
Pursuant to the parameters and the conditions set forth herein, we find that good cause
exists to grant Vonage a waiver of section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of the Commission’s rules in order to conduct a
limited technical trial.

B.

TCS Waiver Request

1.

Background

109.
On February 20, 2007, TCS filed a petition requesting that the Commission waive section
52.15(g)(2)(i) of our rules and find that TCS, as a provider of VPC service, is an eligible user of p-ANI
codes without having to demonstrate that it is certified in all 50 states.263 On April 21, 2008, TCS filed
reply comments, arguing that, although states have an interest in p-ANI utilization, state certification is
(Continued from previous page)
utilization information is embedded in the NRUF data of the LEC from whom it purchases a Primary Rate Interface
(PRI) line.
260 Vonage Supplement at 5–6; Vonage July 31 Ex Parte Letter at 4–6.
261 The Wisconsin PUC proposes this measure because of the importance of accurate and complete utilization and
forecast data. Consolidating and reporting all numbers under its own OCN will make it easier to determine the
actual utilization rates within a given state. Wisconsin PUC Comments at 5.
262 Maintaining the original rate center designation is important in order to facilitate number porting requests.
Wisconsin PUC Comments at 7.
263 See Petition of TeleCommunicatons Systems, Inc. and HBF Group, Inc. for Waiver of Part 52 of the Commission
Rules, CC Docket No. 99-200 (filed Feb. 20, 2007) (TCS Waiver). Although TCS filed jointly with HBF, Intrado,
Inc. acquired HBF in April 2008. Therefore, we only address the petition as it applies to TCS.
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not necessary to protect those interests.264 Moreover, TCS argues that if state CLEC certification is
required, then obtaining one state certification should be adequate to access p-ANI codes throughout the
country.265 TCS also argues that if some form of certification is required, it should come from the
Commission or a national public safety organization.266
110.
In October 2008, as part of its implementation of the NET 911 Act, the Commission
granted interconnected VoIP providers access to p-ANI codes for the purpose of providing 911 and E911
service.267 In March 2012, Neustar’s Pooling Administrator assumed the responsibilities of the permanent
p-ANI Administrator, also known as the Routing Number Administrator (RNA).268 Upon implementation
of the new permanent p-ANI administrator, entities that had been providing p-ANI resources to others, or
that had been maintaining their own inventory of p-ANIs, had to transition administration and control of
formerly assigned p-ANIs to the RNA.269
111.
In 2012, TCS refreshed the record in this proceeding and announced that it was certified
as a competitive local exchange carrier in 42 states and could obtain p-ANI codes directly for use in those
states. However, TCS states that it cannot obtain p-ANI codes in all states due to state certification
issues.270 Moreover, TCS notes that it had to relinquish its inventory of p-ANI codes to Neustar as part of
the Commission’s move to a permanent p-ANI administrator.271 TCS thus cannot obtain p-ANI codes in
certain states, and TCS asserts that this may result in disruptions to E911 and homeland security. It notes
in particular that its difficulty obtaining codes in South Carolina “is currently causing a 911 routing
disruption” in that state.272 TCS states that, “because it is not [a] CLEC certified in South Carolina and
there is not ‘central 911 authority’ in South Carolina from which to secure a waiver, [TCS] has been
denied access to p-ANI in this area.273 This places TCS’s customers, and their end users, in jeopardy.”274

264 Reply Comments of Telecommunication Systems, Inc. WC Docket Nos. 07-243, 07-244, 04-36, CC Docket Nos.
95-116, 99-200 at 8 (filed Apr. 21, 2008).
265 Id. at 13.
266 Id. at 13–14.
267 Implementation of the NET 911 Improvement Act of 2008, WC Docket No. 08-171, Report and Order, 23 FCC
Rcd 15884, 15892–97, paras. 21–29 (2008) (NET 911 Order).
268 See Neustar Memo, FCC Approved Neustar’s Permanent Routing Number Administrator Change Order Proposal
#19 (dated June 20, 2011) available at http://www.nationalpooling.com/tools/archives/change-
orders/2011/index htm (last visited Oct. 16, 2012). To ensure continued compliance with Part 52 of the
Commission’s rules and with the NET 911 Act for interconnected VoIP providers, the permanent RNA may accept
from VoIP providers documentation other than that required for certified carriers, as long as the documentation
demonstrates that the party requesting p-ANI resources provides VoIP service and identifies the jurisdiction(s) in
which it provides service. See generally id.
269 See generally id; see also Letter from Kim Robert Scovill, Senior Director of Legal and Government Affairs,
Telecommunication Systems, Inc. to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CC Docket No. 99-200 at 1-2 (filed May
18, 2012).
270 See TCS May 18, 2012 Ex Parte Letter at 2. TCS lacks certification in Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, South
Dakota, South Carolina, West Virginia, Alaska, and the District of Columbia, and has an open application in Maine.
TCS encountered certification questions in Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, and Arizona that directly related to the
inapplicability of CLEC certification to VoIP Positioning Services. Id.
271 Id. at 1-2.
272 TCS May 18, 2012 Ex Parte Letter at 1.
273 See Letter from Kim Robert Scovill, Senior Director of Legal and Government Affairs, Telecommunication
Systems, Inc. to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CC Docket No. 99-200 at 2 (filed Oct. 9, 2012) (TCS Oct. 9,
2012 Ex Parte Letter).
274 Id.
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TCS requests that the Commission grant a waiver so that TCS may obtain p-ANIs in states where TCS is
not certified.
2.

Discussion

112.
We grant TCS a limited waiver of section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of the Commission’s rules so
that it may obtain p-ANI codes from the RNA in South Carolina and other states where it cannot obtain
certification. TCS may show that it cannot obtain state certification by demonstrating that the state does
not certify VPC providers (it has already done so in South Carolina). We grant this limited waiver while
the Commission considers whether section 52.15(g)(2)(i) should be modified to allow all providers of
VPC service to directly access p-ANI codes.
113.
As described above, the Commission may waive its rules when good cause is
demonstrated,275 where the particular facts make strict compliance inconsistent with the public interest,276
and if special circumstances warrant a deviation from the general rule that will serve the public interest.277
In this instance, TCS has demonstrated good cause for a limited waiver of section 52.15(g)(2)(i). It has
shown that strict compliance with the rule is inconsistent with the public interest because the inability to
obtain p-ANI codes to provide VPC services may disrupt E911 service and threaten homeland security.278
TCS has demonstrated that special circumstances warrant a deviation from the general rule.
114.
This waiver is limited in duration and scope. It lasts only until the Commission addresses
whether to modify section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of the rules to allow all VPC providers direct access to numbers,
specifically p-ANI codes, for the purpose of providing 911 and E911 service. The waiver applies only
with respect to states where TCS demonstrates that it cannot obtain p-ANI codes because it cannot obtain
state certification. For example, TCS could provide the Commission with a denial from a state
commission with the reason for denial being that the state does not certify VPC providers, or a statement
from the state commission or its general counsel that it does not certify VPC providers. Upon such a
showing, the Bureau will notify the RNA that TCS may directly access p-ANI codes in a particular state.
We will consider broader relief, including options that TCS proposed, in the rulemaking. During the
pendency of the rulemaking, we find good cause to grant TCS a limited waiver of section 52.15(g)(2)(i)
of the Commission’s rules so that it may obtain p-ANIs in those states where it cannot obtain
certification.

V.

NOTICE OF INQUIRY

A.

Introduction

115.
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.279 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.

275 47 C.F.R. § 1.3; see also WAIT Radio, 418 F.2d at 1159.
276 Northeast Cellular Telephone Co., 897 F.2d at 1166.
277 WAIT Radio, 418 F.2d at 1159.
278 TCS May 18, 2012 Ex Parte Letter at 1.
279 See supra Section III.
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116.
In the early 20th century, telephone numbers were administered by the telephone
company as a way for people to call each other without having to go through an operator.280 The number
provided the carrier with billing information for the call, and also served as an address for the particular
switch in the network that served a particular customer. However, with the advent of neutral numbering
administration and number portability, the telephone number shed its addressing functionality.281 Carriers
must now query databases to determine how to route a call, but because numbers retain relevance for
billing, numbers are still given out based on rate centers.282
117.
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,283 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.284 Other services use a single number for multiple
devices.285
118.
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.286 In particular, the TAC recommended that the Commission consider “[f]ully decoupl[ing]
geography from number.”287 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.

B.

Discussion

1.

Geographic Numbers

119.
The increased use of mobile services, the evolution from TDM to IP technologies, and
the transition to bill-and-keep compensation each raise questions regarding the ongoing association of
numbers with geography. Decreasing need to associate numbers with geography could allow more
efficient allocation of limited numbering resources and expansion of the consumer benefits associated

280 Tom McGarry, Two Generations of Telephone Numbers, NEUSTAR INSIGHTS (Nov. 21, 2011),
http:/blog neustar.biz/neustar-insights/two-generations-of-telephone-numbers.
281 Id.
282 Id.
283 Skype, What is a Skype Number?, https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA331/what-is-a-skype-number (last visited
Feb. 6, 2013).
284 Google, About Google Voice, https://support.google.com/voice/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=115061 (last
visited Feb. 6, 2013).
285 Nathan Ingram, iOS 6 unifies your Apple ID and phone number for improved iMessage and Facetime support,
THE VERGE (June 11, 2012, 2:32 PM), 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.”).
286 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.
287 Id. at 60.
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with the ability to port wireline numbers.288 At the same time, we recognize the long history of
associating numbers and geography. In this section, we seek comment on the implications of separating
telephone numbers from their addressing and billing functionality.
120.
Telephone numbers have historically served as addresses used as part of a complex
hierarchical routing method, involving trunk group or tandem lookups during the dialing process.289 With
the advent of number portability and other advances, the end-user telephone number has been decoupled
from routing. And as the industry relies increasingly on SIP/RTP-based signaling and transport, and as
customers keep their telephone numbers when they change locations, there appears to be a decreasing
relationship between the network and the provision of service. What are the practical and policy
implications if we were to transition telephone numbers to non-geographic distribution? What would be
an appropriate timeframe and process for doing so?
121.
We seek comment on the benefits and limitations associated with our current number
assignment policy. Are there advantages to retaining geographic number assignment even as the industry
moves increasingly to all-IP systems? For example, is it still valuable to associate a number with a
geographic area for purposes of determining whether and what type of service is available in an area?290
Is there a benefit to being able to associate a telephone number to a particular area? For example, how
important is it for a business to be identified as a local business via its telephone number?
122.
We seek comment on the costs and benefits of assigning numbers without regard to
geography. Would decoupling numbers from specific geography slow, or accelerate, number exhaust in
certain area codes, and should such exhaust matter in a world where numbers are no longer tied to a
specific geography? What other considerations might weigh for or against moving to geographically
assigned numbers? Would non-geographically assigned numbers increase the risk of fraud or spoofing,
or make enforcement more difficult? What lessons can we derive from the distribution of toll-free
numbers, which are not assigned on a geographic basis, to guide us in a possible transition for non-toll-
free numbers?
123.
If the Commission were to modify the number assignment rules, we seek comment on
how a revised number assignment policy might be administered. For example, should the Commission
create a unified or national numbering regime that would apply equally to all service providers, regardless
of location? How should this regime incorporate the current authority of the various state commissions?
For the purpose of number administration, what if any relevant distinctions between service providers
would warrant different treatment? We also seek comment on whether certain numbers, such as those
traditionally associated with major cities, are likely to remain more desirable even if we transitioned from
geographic number assignment. We also seek comment on the best way would be to implement any
changes, to avoid abrupt transitions and ensure seamless provision of service to consumers.
124.
We seek comment on the impact on other regulatory entities if we modified our current
regime for assignment of telephone numbers. How would a move away from geographic number

288 See California PUC Comments at 3 (indicating that a numbering system that recognizes and accommodates new
technologies not constrained by geographic network deployment would eliminate elements of the current system
that make number utilization inefficient). Such inefficiencies include stranded resources in areas with lower demand
and scarcity in areas with higher demand.
289 DEEPANKAR MEDHI & KARTHIKEYAN RAMASAMY, NETWORK ROUTING: ALGORITHMS, PROTOCOLS, AND
ARCHITECTURES 415–16 (2010).
290 For example, NRUF data is often used in assessing competitive effects of transactions. See, e.g., Applications of
Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless, E.N.M.R. Telephone Cooperative, and its Wholly-Owned Subsidiary
Plateau Telecommunications, Incorporated for Consent to Assign Licenses, Numbering Resource Utilization and
Forecast Reports and Local Number Portability Reports to be Placed into the Record, Subject to Protective Order
,
Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd 11098 (Wireless Telecommunications Bureau 2012).
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assignment impact states’ role in numbering administration, which currently includes important functions
such as consumer protection and area code relief planning? How would it impact numbering
administration worldwide? Would adjustments that the Commission makes to geographic numbers
adversely affect international services that utilize telephone numbers?
2.

Public Safety

125.
Consumers today rely on the ubiquity and efficacy of 911 service to get help in an
emergency, and 911 services continue to evolve to meet the needs of a 21st Century communications
network. A traditional 911 call is routed by a local exchange carrier to a public safety answering point
(PSAP) staffed by professionals trained to assist callers in need of emergency services.291 Most PSAPs
have upgraded to E911, which allows a carrier to route a call to the most appropriate PSAP and provides
the PSAP with the caller’s call-back number and location information.292 Responding to the rise of
wireless communications, the Commission adopted E911 rules requiring wireless carriers to provide
PSAPs with accurate location information based on the caller’s real-time coordinates.293 In 2005, the
Commission also required interconnected VoIP services to support E911, but the VoIP E911 rules rely on
the VoIP customer to register his or her location manually, which is then passed to the PSAP during a 911
call.294 The Commission has also taken steps to facilitate the transition from legacy 911 and E911 to Next
Generation 911 (NG911), which will use IP-based technology to deliver and process 911 traffic, and will
support not only traditional voice 911 calls but also the transmission of text, photos, videos, and data.295
In 2012, Congress passed the Next Generation 9–1–1 Advancement Act to further improve 911
functionality across legacy wireline, wireless, and VoIP services.296
126.
We seek comment on whether removing geographic boundaries from number
administration could raise new public safety concerns associated with 911 call routing and provision of

291 Revision to the Commission’s Rules to Ensure Compatibility with Enhanced 911 Emergency Calling Systems, CC
Docket No. 94-102, RM-8143, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 11 FCC Rcd 18676,
18678, para. 2 (1996); 47 C.F.R. § 9.3. For a technical overview of 911, E911, and NG911 service, see also Legal
and Regulatory Framework for Next Generation 911 Services: Report to Congress and Recommendations, DOC
319165 (Feb. 22, 2013) (NG911 Framework Report), Section 3.1.
292 See NG911 Framework Report, Section 3.1.1. These E911 capabilities are known as Automatic Numbering
Information (ANI) and Automatic Location Identification (ALI), respectively.
293 See id., Section 3.1.1.2; see also Wireless E911 Location Accuracy Requirements, PS Docket No. 07-114, Second
Report and Order, 25 FCC Rcd 18909 (2010); 47 C.F.R. § 20.18. Subject to certain caveats, commercial mobile
radio service providers must provide PSAPs with latitude and longitude coordinates for wireless 911 calls that are
accurate to between 50 and 300 meters, depending on the location technology used and other factors. See 47 C.F.R.
§ 20.18(h)(1).
294 See NG911 Framework Report, Section 3.1.1.3; see also IP-Enabled Services; E911 Requirements for IP-
Enabled Service Providers
, WC Docket Nos. 04-36, 05-196, First Report and Order and Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking, 20 FCC Rcd 10245 (2005); 47 C.F.R. § 9.5. The Commission has also sought comment on how to
provide automatic location information in conjunction with VoIP 911 calls. Amending the Definition of
Interconnected VoIP Service; Wireless E911 Location Accuracy Requirements; E11 Requirements for IP-Enabled
Service
, GN Docket No. 11-117, PS Docket No. 07-114, WC Docket No. 05-196, Third Report and Order, Second
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 10074, 10098-10101,
paras. 69-77 (2011).
295 See NG911 Framework Report, Section 3.1.1.4; see also Framework for Next Generation 911 Deployment,
Notice of Inquiry, 25 FCC Rcd 17869 (2010); Facilitating the Deployment of Text-to-9–1–1 and Other Next
Generation 9-1-1 Applications
, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 13615 (2011); Further Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 15659 (2012).
296 See Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-96 (2012), Title VI, Subtitle E (Next
Generation 9–1–1 Advancement Act).
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location information. If geographically-based number administration were to be eliminated, we seek
comment on what if any mechanisms would be needed in order to ensure that emergency service is timely
and accurately provided. How would a shift away from rate-center bounded numbering impact E911 and
NG911 efforts, and how could the Commission administer its numbering policy in a manner that
enhances these important efforts?
3.

Disability Access

127.
We also seek comment on how severing the connection between geography and number
assignment might affect access to communications services by people with disabilities. The Commission
has permitted video relay service (VRS) and Internet Protocol (IP) Relay users to register and obtain 10-
digit geographic numbers, allowing users to be reached through a single number that will automatically
connect to the registered user’s primary VRS or IP Relay provider and allow the provider to determine the
user’s IP address for the purpose of delivering incoming calls made to that number.297 The Commission
also adopted requirements allowing VRS and IP Relay users to have both their 10-digit number and
registered location information forwarded to the appropriate PSAP.298 We seek comment on whether
modifying number assignments would unduly affect VRS or IP Relay services, or undermine the
functional equivalence of such services to individuals with hearing and speech disabilities. We also seek
comment on the relationship between 911 service provisioning and VRS/IP Relay as it relates to the 10-
digit VRS/IP Relay numbering. What other services could be affected? What steps would need to be
taken to ensure that access to communications services for Americans with disabilities continues to be
robust and secure if numbers are assigned without regard to geography?
4.

Routing and Interconnection

128.
We seek comment on the database and routing issues that would be raised if the
Commission were to modify its geographic numbering policy. As more voice endpoints transition to
VoIP, how could the Commission’s numbering policies change to increase efficiencies in VoIP traffic
routing? We seek comment generally on whether altering geographic numbering limitations would affect
call routing or tracking, and how we would prevent or minimize complications. We also seek comment
on whether the marketplace solutions are developing to address these issues. How should the
Commission approach the database and routing issues generally, in a world where telephone numbers are
identifiers?
129.
We seek comment on the routing limitations that geographic numbering imposes on
various industry databases. What are the restrictions imposed by providers of the various database
services (e.g., BIRRDS/LERG, NPAC, and LIDB/CNAM) on access to the databases? Should these
databases be modified or eliminated in a world without geographic numbers? What restrictions would
need to be eliminated or modified? What restrictions and signaling requirements would need to be
maintained in order to provide security across interconnection points? We also seek comment on the
practices that service providers might need to alter to increase interconnection and routing efficiency if
we modified our geographic numbering policy.
130.
We also seek comment on how numbering schemes and databases integral to the
operations of PSTN call routing will need to evolve to operate well in IP-based networks. We seek
comment generally on what databases need to be modified, how they should be modified, and what the

297 Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech
Disabilities; E911 Requirements for IP-Enabled Service Providers
, CG Docket No. 03-123, WC Docket No. 05-
196, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 23 FCC Rcd 11591, 11592, para. 1 (2008); 47
C.F.R. § 64.605.
298 See Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech
Disabilities; E911 Requirements for IP-Enabled Service Providers
, 23 FCC Rcd at 11621-22, paras. 79-84.
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role of Commission and industry should be in ensuring a proper transition to VoIP call routing.299 Should
the Commission encourage development of a new set of databases, or should existing databases be
modified to account for new technological developments?300
131.
We seek comment on the effect that direct access to numbers, if numbers are no longer
tied to a particular geographic region, would have on the industry’s transition to direct VoIP
interconnection. VoIP telephony has existed for some time, and adoption by businesses and service
providers is increasing.301 Some parties note that carriers have historically relied primarily on the LERG
and LNP databases to route calls, but these databases cannot identify SIP endpoints.302 Some parties
additionally note that the preference to route calls to the VoIP provider’s CLEC partner via PSTN trunks,
rather than to the VoIP provider directly, has hampered the implementation of next generation
interconnection.303 We seek comment on how call routing efficiency would be impacted by a modified
numbering policy, and whether such changes would affect the likelihood of parties entering into
agreements for next generation interconnection. How would a modified numbering policy impact
interconnection arrangements?
5.

Other Issues

132.
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.304 Other than shifting away from geographic assignment, should the
Commission be considering long-term changes to the basic telephone numbering system?

299 Technological Advisory Council, Presentation to the Federal Communications Commission, at 55, 60 (2012),
available at http://transition fcc.gov/bureaus/oet/tac/tacdocs/meeting121012/TAC12-10-12FinalPresentation.pdf.
300 See id. at 60.
301 See CISCO SYSTEMS, THE TRANSITION TO IP TELEPHONY AT CISCO SYSTEMS 1 (2001) (noting that Cisco began
transitioning to IP telephony in 1998); Local Competition and Broadband Reporting, CC Docket No. 99-301, Notice
of Proposed Rulemaking, 14 FCC Rcd 18100, paras. 62–63 & n.99 (1999) (noting that the “public switched
telephone network” includes the traditional circuit-switched telephone network as well as all alternatives to the
wireline infrastructure, regardless of switching technology” and that “interconnection of IP-based and circuit-
switched networks presumably would allow an IP-telephony message to be delivered to any telephone service
subscriber”); 3rd Generation Partnership Project, Technical Specification Group Services and Systems Aspects, IP
Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), Stage 2 (Release 11)
, 5.4.2 to 5.4.3 (2012) (establishing transport and application level
interworking for SIP, and procedures for forwarding a call session to the PSTN).
302 Richard Shockey, Technical Challenges in the PSTN Transition from Plain Old Telephone Service, 7–9 attached
to
Letter from Richard Shockey, Shockey Consulting, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CC Docket No. 99-
200 et al. (filed Sept. 4, 2012) (“Technical Challenges”). Some carriers who interconnect in IP bilaterally have
apparently identified a modified method of routing using carrier ENUM or SIP Redirect queries after locating the
Service Provider Identification Number in a locally cached LERG database.
303 Letter from Robert W. Quinn, Jr., Senior Vice President, Federal Regulatory, AT&T, to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, CC Docket No. 99-200, at 2-3 (filed May 29, 2012); Comments of Vonage Holdings Corp., CC
Docket No. 99-200 at 6–8 (Jan. 25, 2012).
304 See Tom McGarry, The Future of Telephone Numbers: Numbers 3.0, NEUSTAR INSIGHTS (Nov. 15, 2011),
http://blog neustar.biz/neustar-insights/the-future-of-telephone-numbers-numbers-3-0/ (arguing for the continued
relevance of phone numbers); but see Nikhyl Singhal, Phone Numbers Are Dead, They Just Don’t Know It Yet,
TECHCRUNCH (Aug. 28, 2010), http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/28/phone-numbers-dead/ (arguing that phone
numbers are becoming increasingly irrelevant to modern communications).
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VI.

PROCEDURAL MATTERS

A.

Ex Parte

Rules – Permit-But-Disclose
133.
The proceeding this Notice initiates shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding
in accordance with the Commission’s ex parte rules.305 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 rule 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by rule 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

134.
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).
 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.


305 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200 et seq.
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 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 e-mail 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

135.
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA),306 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. 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

136.
This document contains proposed new information collection requirements. The
Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and
the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) to comment on the information collection requirements
contained in this document, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Pub. L. No. 104-13. In
addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-198, see 44
U.S.C. § 3506(c)(4), we seek specific comment on how we might “further reduce the information
collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.”

VII.

ORDERING CLAUSES

137.
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.
138.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1, 3, 4,
201-205, 251, and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 151, 153, 154,
201-205, 251, 303(r), the Petition of Vonage Holdings Corp. for Limited Waiver of Section 52.15(g)(2)(i)
of the Commission’s Rules Regarding Access to Numbering Resources; and the Petition of
TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. and HBF Group, Inc. for Waiver of Part 52 of the Commission’s Rules
ARE GRANTED to the extent set forth herein, and this Order SHALL BE EFFECTIVE upon release.
139.
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.



306 5 U.S.C. § 603.
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140.
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.

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION












Marlene H. Dortch





Secretary


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APPENDIX A


Proposed Rules


PART 52 – NUMBERING

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

1.
Amend Section 52.5 to read as follows:

*****

(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).

(c) North American Numbering Council (NANC). ***

(d) North American Numbering Plan (NANP). ***

(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.

(f) State. ***

(g) State Commission. ****

(h) Telecommunications. ***

(i) Telecommunications carrier or carrier. A “telecommunications carrier” or “carrier” is any provider
of telecommunications services, except that such term does not include aggregators of
telecommunications services (as defined in 47 U.S.C. 226(a)(2)). For the purposes of this part, the term
“telecommunications carrier” or “carrier” 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).

Subpart B – Administration

2.
Revise Section 52.15(g)(2) to read as follows:

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(g) Applications for Numbering Resources.

(1) General Requirements. All applications for numbering resources must include the
company name, company headquarters address, OCN, parent company’s OCN(s), and the
primary type of business in which the numbering resources will be used.

(2) Initial numbering resources. Applications for initial numbering resources shall include
evidence that:

(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.

3.
Amend Section 52.16 by deleting paragraph (g).

4.
Amend Section 52.17 by deleting paragraph (c).

Subpart C – Number Portability

5.
Amend Section 52.21 by deleting paragraph (h) and redesignating paragraphs (i)–(w).

6.
Amend Section 52.32 by deleting paragraph (e).

7.
Revise Section 52.33(b) to read as follows:


(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.

8.
Revise Section 52.34 by adding new subsection (c) as follows:


(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.

9.
Amend Section 52.35 be deleting paragraph (e)(1) and redesignating paragraphs (e)(2) and (e)(3)
as (e)(1) and (e)(2), respectively.

10.
Amend Section 52.36 by deleting paragraph (d).

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APPENDIX B


Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis



1.
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA),1 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).2 In addition, the NPRM and IRFA (or
summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.3

A.

Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

2.
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.4 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 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

3.
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

1 See 5 U.S.C. § 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. §§ 601–612, has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory
Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), Pub. L. No. 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996).
2 See 5 U.S.C. § 603(a).
3 Id.
4 See FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Announces Formation of “Technology Transitions Policy Task Force”
(Dec. 10, 2012) (forming an agency-wide Technology Transitions Policy Task Force to “provide recommendations
to modernize the Commission’s policies”); FCC Announces First Technology Transitions Policy Task Force
Workshop
, GN Docket No. 13-5, Public Notice (rel. Feb. 12, 2013); see also FCC Announces Formation of the
Technological Advisory Council
, Public Notice (rel. Oct. 25, 2010).




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technologies and services, increase efficiency, and facilitate increased choices for American consumers.5
The NPRM also seeks comment on whether there are alternate ways to accomplish these goals and
whether there are benefits to requiring carrier-partners.
4.
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.” 6 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.7
2.

Documentation Required to Obtain Numbers

5.
The NPRM notes that under section 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.8 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.9 In that case, the Bureau permitted the administrator that disseminates
p-ANI codes to accept documentation different than that required by certificated carriers.10 The Bureau
allowed this documentation to be in the form of pages 2 and 36 of the FCC Form 477.
6.
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.11 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

5 See supra Section III.A.
6 Pub. L. 111-260, § 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”).
7 See supra Section III.A.
8 See Letter from Randall B. Lowe, Counsel to SmartEdgeNet, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission, CC Docket No. 99-200 (filed Jun. 26, 2012) (stating that at least 24 jurisdictions
have precluded their utility commissions from regulating VoIP service, including issuing CPCNs).
9 The Bureau’s action fulfilled obligations stemming from the New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement
Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-283, 122 Stat. 2620 (2008) (NET 911 Act) (amending Wireless Communications and
Public Safety Act of 1999, Pub. L. No. 106-81, 113 Stat. 1286 (1999) (Wireless 911 Act)). In implementing the Net
911 Act, the Commission determined that p-ANIs are “capabilities” under that Act, and that interconnected VoIP
providers are entitled to access to these capabilities from any entity that owns or controls such capabilities. See
Implementation of the NET 911 Improvement Act of 2008, WC Docket No. 08-171, Report and Order, 23 FCC Rcd
15884 (2008) (NET 911 Order).; see also 47 C.F.R. § 9.7.
10 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. 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) (Permanent RNA Letter).
11 See supra Section III.A.1.
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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 section
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.12 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.13
3.

Numbering Administration Requirements for Interconnected VoIP
Providers

7.
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.14 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.15 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.16 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.17 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 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.
8.
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

12 See id.
13 See id.
14 SBCIS Waiver Order, 20 FCC Rcd at 2959, para. 4.
15 See 47 C.F.R. Part 52. Specifically, section 52.15(f)(7) provides state commissions access to data reported to the
NANPA provided they have appropriate protections in place to prevent public disclosure of disaggregated, carrier-
specific data. 47 C.F.R. § 52.15(f)(7). Section 52.15(i) details the role of the state commissions in the reclamation
of numbering resources. 47 C.F.R. § 52.15(i). Section 52.15(f)(6) requires reporting carriers to file usage forecast
and utilization reports on a semi-annual basis. 47 C.F.R. § 52.15(f)(6).
16 See 47 C.F.R. § 52.15(f)(3) (requiring carriers to file NRUF Reports). The NRUF Report is used by the
Commission, state regulatory commissions, and the NANPA to monitor numbering utilization by carriers and to
project the dates of area code and NANP exhaust. Carriers are required to file their reports with the NANPA by
February 1 and August 1 of each year. See 47 C.F.R. § 52.15(f)(6).
17 See supra Section III.A.2.
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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.18 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.19
9.
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.20
10.
Under the Commission’s rules, carriers must demonstrate “facilities readiness”21 before
they can obtain initial numbering resources, which helps to ensure that carriers are not building
inventories before they are prepared to offer service. 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.22
11.
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.23 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.24
12.
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

18 See id.
19 See id.
20 See id.
21 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
C.F.R. § 52.15(g)(2)(ii).
22 See supra Section III.A.2.
23 Commenters agree that the waivers should be subject to the conditions set forth in the SBCIS Waiver Order. See,
e.g
., AT&T Comments at 2; Wisconsin PSC Comments at 4; Vonage Renewal at 1.
24 See supra Section III.A.2.
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numbers within 90 days of commencing that migration and every 90 days thereafter for 18 months.25
Vonage indicates that these commitments will ensure efficient number utilization and facilitate
Commission oversight.26 The NPRM seeks comment on whether to impose some or all of these
requirements on interconnected VoIP providers.27
13.
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);28
(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.29 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.30
14.
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.31
4.

Enforcement of Interconnected VoIP Providers’ Compliance with
Numbering Rules

15.
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.32 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.33
16.
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.34 Comment

25 Vonage Supplement at 5–6.
26 Id. at 5.
27 See supra Section III.A.2.
28 An “Operating Company Number” is a four-digit numerical code used to identify telecommunications service
providers. See ATIS-0300251, Codes for Identification of Service Providers for Information Exchange. The
National Exchange Carrier Association assigns all OCNs.
29 Wisconsin PSC Comments at 4–7.
30 See supra Section III.A.2.
31 See id.
32 See 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
33 See supra Section III.A.3.
34 See id.
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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 should be deemed ineligible to obtain numbers.35
5.

Databases, Call Routing and Termination

17.
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.36 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. 37 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.38 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.39
18.
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.40 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.41

35 See id.
36 CLEC Participants Comments at 8. The LERG is an industry guide generally used by carriers in their network
planning and engineering and numbering administration. It contains information regarding all North American
central offices and end offices. AT&T Corp. v. Alpine Communications, LLC, Clear Lake Independent Telephone
Co., Mutual Telephone Co. of Sioux Center, Iowa, Preston Telephone Co., and Winnebago Cooperative Telephone
Association
, EB-12-MD-003, Memorandum Opinion and Order, FCC 12-110 (rel. Sept. 11, 2012).
37 Id. at 8–9
38 Id. at 1.
39 See supra Section III.B.1.
40 See id.
41 See id.
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6.

Intercarrier Compensation

19.
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.42 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.43 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.44
20.
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.45
7.

VoIP Interconnection

21.
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.46 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.47
22.
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.48 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

42 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17676–77, para. 35. “Under bill-and-keep arrangements, a
carrier generally looks to its end-users—which are the entities and individuals making the choice to subscribe to that
network—rather than looking to other carriers and their customers to pay for the costs of its network. To the extent
additional subsidies are necessary, such subsidies will come from the Connect America Fund, and/or state universal
service funds.” USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17904, para. 737.
43 See supra Section III.B.2.
44 See id.
45 See id.
46 See supra Section III.B.3.
47 See id.
48 See id.
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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.49
8.

Local Number Portability Obligations

23.
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.50
24.
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).”51 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.52
25.
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,
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.53 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.54
9.

Transitioning to Direct Access

26.
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.55
10.

Innovative Uses of Numbers

27.
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

49 See id.
50 See supra Section III.B.4.
51 VoIP LNP Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 19550, para. 35 n.119 (emphasis added).
52 See supra Section III.B.4.
53 See id.
54 See id.
55 See supra Section III.B.5.
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telematics.56 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.57
11.

Access to p-ANI Codes for Public Safety Purposes

28.
The NPRM seeks comment on whether the Commission should modify section
52.15(g)(2)(i) of its rules58 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.59
12.

Legal Authority

29.
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.60

B.

Legal Basis

30.
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


56 See supra Section III.C.1.
57 See id.
58 See 47 C.F.R. §52.15(g)(2)(i).
59 See supra Section III.C.2.
60 See supra Section III.D.
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31.
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.61 The RFA generally
defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small
organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.”62 In addition, the term “small business” has the
same meaning as the term “small-business concern” under the Small Business Act.63 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.64
32.

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.65 Affected small entities as defined by industry are as follows.
33.

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.66 According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were 3,188 firms in this category,
total, that operated for the entire year.67 Of this total, 3144 firms had employment of 999 or fewer
employees, and 44 firms had employment of 1000 employees or more.68 Thus, under this size standard,
the majority of firms can be considered small.
34.

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.69 According to Commission data,
1,307 carriers reported that they were incumbent local exchange service providers.70 Of these 1,307
carriers, an estimated 1,006 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 301 have more than 1,500 employees.71
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.
35.

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

61 See 5 U.S.C. § 603(b)(3).
62 See 5 U.S.C. § 601(6).
63 See 5 U.S.C. § 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of “small-business concern” in the Small
Business Act, 15 U.S.C. § 632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies
“unless an agency, after consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and after
opportunity for public comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the
activities of the agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register.”
64 See 15 U.S.C. § 632.
65 See SBA, Office of Advocacy, “Frequently Asked Questions,” available at
http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/FAQ_Sept_2012.pdf (lastvisited Mar. 27, 2012).
66 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517110.
67 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census, Information: Subject Series – Estab and Firm Size: Table 5,
“Employment Size of Firms for the United States: 2007, NAICS Code 517110” (issued Nov. 2010).
68 See id.
69 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517110.
70 See Trends in Telephone Service, Federal Communications Commission, Wireline Competition Bureau, Industry
Analysis and Technology Division at Table 5.3 (Sept. 2010) (Trends in Telephone Service).
71 See id.
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Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer
employees.72 According to Commission data, 1,307 carriers reported that they were incumbent local
exchange service providers.73 Of these 1,307 carriers, an estimated 1,006 have 1,500 or fewer employees
and 301 have more than 1,500 employees.74 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.
36.
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.”75 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.76 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.
37.

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.77
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.78 Of these 1,442 carriers, an
estimated 1,256 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 186 have more than 1,500 employees.79 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.80 In addition, 72 carriers have reported that they are Other Local Service
Providers.81 Of the 72, seventy have 1,500 or fewer employees and two have more than 1,500
employees.82 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.
38.

Interexchange Carriers (IXCs)

. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a
size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to interexchange services. The closest

72 See 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517110.
73 See Trends in Telephone Service at Table 5.3.
74 See id.
75 5 U.S.C. § 601(3).
76 See Letter from Jere W. Glover, Chief Counsel for Advocacy, SBA, to William E. Kennard, Chairman, FCC (May
27, 1999). The Small Business Act contains a definition of “small business concern,” which the RFA incorporates
into its own definition of “small business.” See 15 U.S.C. § 632(a); see also 5 U.S.C. § 601(3). SBA regulations
interpret “small business concern” to include the concept of dominance on a national basis. See 13 C.F.R. §
121.102(b).
77 See 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517110.
78 See Trends in Telephone Service at Table 5.3.
79 See id.
80 See id.
81 See id.
82 See id.
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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.83 According to Commission data,
359 companies reported that their primary telecommunications service activity was the provision of
interexchange services.84 Of these 359 companies, an estimated 317 have 1,500 or fewer employees and
42 have more than 1,500 employees.85 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.
39.

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.86 According to Commission data, 213 carriers have reported that they are engaged in
the provision of local resale services.87 Of these, an estimated 211 have 1,500 or fewer employees and
two have more than 1,500 employees.88 Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of
local resellers are small entities that may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the NPRM.
40.

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.89 According to Commission data, 881 carriers have reported that they are engaged in
the provision of toll resale services.90 Of these, an estimated 857 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 24
have more than 1,500 employees.91 Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of toll
resellers are small entities that may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the NPRM.
41.

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.92 According to Commission data, 284 companies reported that
their primary telecommunications service activity was the provision of other toll carriage.93 Of these, an
estimated 279 have 1,500 or fewer employees and five have more than 1,500 employees.94 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.
42.

Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite)

. Since 2007, the SBA has
recognized wireless firms within this new, broad, economic census category.95 Prior to that time, such

83 See 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517110.
84 See Trends in Telephone Service at Table 5.3.
85 See id.
86 See 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517911.
87 See Trends in Telephone Service at Table 5.3.
88 See id.
89 See 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517911.
90 See Trends in Telephone Service at Table 5.3.
91 See id.
92 See 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517110.
93 See Trends in Telephone Service at Table 5.3.
94 See id.
95 See 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517210.
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firms were within the now-superseded categories of Paging and Cellular and Other Wireless
Telecommunications.96 Under the present and prior categories, the SBA has deemed a wireless business
to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.97 For this category, census data for 2007 show that there
were 1,383 firms that operated for the entire year.98 Of this total, 1,368 firms had employment of 999 or
fewer employees and 15 had employment of 1000 employees or more.99 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.100 Of these, an estimated 261 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 152 have
more than 1,500 employees.101 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.
43.

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.102
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 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.103 According to Commission data, 291 carriers have reported that they are
engaged in Paging or Messaging Service.104 Of these, an estimated 289 have 1,500 or fewer employees,
and two have more than 1,500 employees.105 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.106 One hundred thirty-two companies claiming small

96 U.S. Census Bureau, 2002 NAICS Definitions, “517211 Paging,” available at http://www.census.gov/cgi-
bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=517211&search=2002%20NAICS%20Search (last visited Mar. 27, 2013); U.S.
Census Bureau, 2002 NAICS Definitions, “517212 Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications,” available at
http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=517212&search=2002%20NAICS%20Search (last visited
Mar. 27, 2013).
97 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517210. The now-superseded, pre-2007 C.F.R. citations were 13 C.F.R. §
121.201, NAICS codes 517211 and 517212 (referring to the 2002 NAICS).
98 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census, Information: Subject Series – Estab and Firm Size: Table 5,
“Employment Size of Firms for the United States: 2007, NAICS Code 517210” (issued Nov. 2010).
99 Id. Available census data do not provide a more precise estimate of the number of firms that have employment of
1,500 or fewer employees; the largest category provided is for firms with “1000 employees or more.”
100 See Trends in Telephone Service at Table 5.3.
101 See id.
102 See Revision of Part 22 and Part 90 of the Commission’s Rules to Facilitate Future Development of Paging
Systems
, WT Docket No. 96-18, PR Docket No. 93-253, Memorandum Opinion and Order on Reconsideration and
Third Report and Order, 14 FCC Rcd 10030, 10085–88, paras. 98–107 (1999) (Paging Third Report and Order)
103 See Alvarez Letter 1998.
104 See Trends in Telephone Service at Table 5.3.
105 See id.
106 See Lower and Upper Paging Band Auction Closes,” Public Notice, DA 01-2858, 16 FCC Rcd 21821 (2002).
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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.107 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.108 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.109
44.

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.”110 The
SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category, which is: all such firms having 1,500
or fewer employees.111 According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were a total of 955 firms in this
previous category that operated for the entire year.112 Of this total, 939 firms had employment of 999 or
fewer employees, and 16 firms had employment of 1000 employees or more.113 Thus, under this size
standard, the majority of firms can be considered small and may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to
the NPRM.
45.

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.114 Industry data indicate that, of
1,076 cable operators nationwide, all but eleven are small under this size standard.115 In addition, under
the Commission’s rules, a “small system” is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers.116

107 See Lower and Upper Paging Bands Auction Closes,” Public Notice, DA 03-1836, 18 FCC Rcd 11154 (2003).
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.
108 See Lower and Upper Paging Bands Auction Closes,” Public Notice, 25 FCC Rcd 18164 (2010).
109 See Auction of Lower and Upper Paging Bands Licenses Scheduled For July 16, 2013, Comment Sought on
Competitive Bidding Procedures for Auction 95,
” Public Notice, 28 FCC Rcd 882 (2012).
110 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” (partial
definition), available at http://www.census.gov/cgi-
bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=517110&search=2007%20NAICS%20Search (lastvisited Mar. 27, 2013).
111 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517110.
112 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census, Information: Subject Series – Estab and Firm Size: Table 5,
“Employment Size of Firms for the United States: 2007, NAICS Code 5171102” (issued Nov. 2010).
113 See id.
114 See 47 C.F.R. § 76.901(e). The Commission determined that this size standard equates approximately to a size
standard of $100 million or less in annual revenues. See Implementation of Sections of the 1992 Cable Television
Consumer Protection and Competition Act: Rate Regulation
, MM Docket Nos. 92-266, 93-215, Sixth Report and
Order and Eleventh Order on Reconsideration, 10 FCC Rcd 7393, 7408 para. 28 (1995).
115 These data are derived from R.R. BOWKER, BROADCASTING & CABLE YEARBOOK 2006, “Top 25 Cable/Satellite
Operators,” pages A-8 & C-2 (data current as of June 30, 2005); WARREN COMMUNICATIONS NEWS, TELEVISION &
CABLE FACTBOOK 2006, “Ownership of Cable Systems in the United States,” pages D-1805 to D-1857.
116 See 47 C.F.R. § 76.901(c).
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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.117 Thus, under this second size standard,
most cable systems are small and may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the NPRM.
46.

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.”118 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.119 Industry data indicate that, of 1,076 cable operators nationwide, all but ten are small under
this size standard.120 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,121
and therefore we are unable to estimate more accurately the number of cable system operators that would
qualify as small under this size standard.
47.

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.”122 The SBA has developed a small business
size standard for this category, which is: all such firms having 1,500 or fewer employees.123 According to
Census Bureau data for 2007, there were 3,188 firms in this category, total, that operated for the entire
year.124 Of this total, 3,144 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees, and 44 firms had
employment of 1000 employees or more.125 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.126 Of this total,

117 WARREN COMMUNICATIONS NEWS, TELEVISION & CABLE FACTBOOK 2006, “U.S. Cable Systems by Subscriber
Size,” page F-2 (data current as of Oct. 2005). The data do not include 718 systems for which classifying data were
not available.
118 47 U.S.C. § 543(m)(2); see also 47 C.F.R. § 76.901(f) & nn.1–3.
119 47 C.F.R. § 76.901(f); see FCC Announces New Subscriber Count for the Definition of Small Cable Operator,
Public Notice, 16 FCC Rcd 2225 (Cable Services Bureau 2001).
120 These data are derived from R.R. BOWKER, BROADCASTING & CABLE YEARBOOK 2006, “Top 25 Cable/Satellite
Operators,” pages A-8 & C-2 (data current as of June 30, 2005); WARREN COMMUNICATIONS NEWS, TELEVISION &
CABLE FACTBOOK 2006, “Ownership of Cable Systems in the United States,” pages D-1805 to D-1857.
121 The Commission does receive such information on a case-by-case basis if a cable operator appeals a local
franchise authority’s finding that the operator does not qualify as a small cable operator pursuant to § 76.901(f) of
the Commission’s rules.
122 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” (partial
definition), available at http://www.census.gov/cgi-
bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=517110&search=2007%20NAICS%20Search (lastvisited Mar. 27, 2013).
123 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517110.
124 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census, Information: Subject Series – Estab and Firm Size: Table 5,
“Employment Size of Firms for the United States: 2007, NAICS Code 517110” (issued Nov. 2010).
125 See id.
126 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census, Information: Subject Series – Estab and Firm Size: Table 5,
“Employment Size of Firms for the United States: 2007, NAICS Code 5171103” (issued Nov. 2010).
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394 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees, and two firms had employment of 1000
employees or more.127 Consequently, we estimate that the majority of these firms are small entities that
may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the NPRM.
48.

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).”128 The SBA has developed a
small business size standard for this category, which is: all such firms having 500 or fewer employees.129
According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were 2,705 firms in this category that operated for the
entire year.130 Of this total, 2,682 firms had employment of 499 or fewer employees, and 23 firms had
employment of 500 employees or more.131 Consequently, we estimate that the majority of these firms are
small entities that may be affected by rules adopted pursuant to the NPRM.
49.

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).”132 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.133 According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were
367 firms in this category that operated for the entire year.134 Of these, 334 had annual receipts of under
$5.0 million, and an additional 11 firms had receipts of between $5 million and $9,999,999.135
Consequently, we estimate that the majority of these firms are small entities that may be affected by our
action.
50.

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

127 See id.
128 U.S. Census Bureau, “2007 NAICS Definitions: 519130 Internet Publishing and Broadcasting and Web Search
Portals,” available at http://www.census.gov/cgi-
bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=519130&search=2007%20NAICS%20Search (last visited Mar. 27, 2013).
129 See 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 519130.
130 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census, Information: Subject Series – Estab and Firm Size: Table 5,
“Employment Size of Firms for the United States: 2007, NAICS Code 519130” (issued Nov. 2010).
131 Id.
132 U.S. Census Bureau, “2007 NAICS Definitions: 519190 All Other Information Services”, available at
http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=519190&search=2007%20NAICS%20Search (lastvisited
Mar. 27, 2013).
133 See 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 519190.
134 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census, Information: Subject Series – Estab and Firm Size: Table 5,
“Employment Size of Firms for the United States: 2007, NAICS Code 519190” (issued Nov. 2010).
135 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census, Information: Subject Series – Estab and Firm Size: Table 4,
“Receipts Size of Firms for the United States: 2007, NAICS Code 519190” (issued Nov. 2010).
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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.”136 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.137 According to Census Bureau data for
2007, there were 2,383 firms in this category that operated for the entire year.138 Of these, 2,305
establishments had annual receipts of under $10 million and 84 establishments had annual receipts of $10
million or more.139 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

51.
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.140
Specifically, interconnected VoIP providers will be required under section 52.15(f)(6) to file usage
forecast and utilization (NRUF) reports on a semi-annual basis.141 Compliance with these reporting
obligations may affect small entities, and may include new administrative processes.
52.
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 section 52.15(g)(2)(ii) of the Commission’s rules.142 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.
53.
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

136 U.S. Census Bureau, “2007 NAICS Definitions: 517919 All Other Telecommunications,” available at
http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=517919&search=2007%20NAICS%20Search (last visited
Mar. 27, 2013).
137 See 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517919.
138 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census, Information: Subject Series – Estab and Firm Size: Table 4,
“Receipts Size of Firms for the United States: 2007, NAICS Code 517919” (issued Nov. 2010).
139 See id.
140 See 47 C.F.R. Part 52.
141 47 C.F.R. § 52.15(f)(6).
142 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
C.F.R. § 52.15(g)(2)(ii).
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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.
54.
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

55.
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.”143
56.
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.
57.
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 carriers, including filing semi-annual NRUF reports under section 52.15(f)(6) of the
Commission’s rules.144 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 477.145 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
58.
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

143 5 U.S.C. § 603(c)(1)–(c)(4).
144 See supra Section III.A.2.
145 See supra Section III.A.1.
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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.
59.
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.
60.
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.
61.
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.
62.
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

63.
None.


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STATEMENT OF

CHAIRMAN JULIUS GENACHOWSKI


Re:
Numbering Policies for Modern Communications, WC Docket No. 13-97; IP-Enabled Services,
WC Docket No. 04-36; Telephone Number Requirements for IP-Enabled Service Providers, WC
Docket No. 07-243; Telephone Number Portability, CC Docket No. 95-116; Developing a
Unified Intercarrier Compensation Regime
, CC Docket No. 01-92; Connect America Fund; WC
Docket No. 10-90; Numbering Resource Optimization, CC Docket No. 99-200; Petition of
Vonage Holdings Corp. for Limited Waiver of Section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of the Commission’s Rules
Regarding Access to Numbering Resources
; Petition of TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. and
HBF Group, Inc. for Waiver of Part 52 of the Commission’s Rules
.

Today we seek to ease access to phone numbers for innovative online companies and new
competitors, lowering the costs of competition and removing barriers to innovation.

Today’s notice continues our ongoing agency-wide effort to modernize our rules for today’s
broadband marketplace, while promoting competition, protecting consumers and ensuring public safety.

We developed the country’s first National Broadband Plan, providing a strategic roadmap for the
transition to all-IP networks.

As recommended in the plan, we’ve approved landmark reforms of USF, and overhauled
intercarrier compensation. We’ve sped the transition to next-generation 911. And we recently launched an
agency-wide Technology Transitions Task Force to provide recommendations to modernize the
Commission’s policies.

Building on this work, this item proposes to reduce barriers to innovation and competition for
innovative online providers of voice services.

Today these providers generally have to obtain telephone numbers through intermediate
providers, raising costs and creating potential gatekeepers to the deployment of new services.

Removing these barriers has the potential to deliver real benefits to consumers.

It could help improve call quality thanks to fewer hand-offs for calls, and promote deployment of
HD voice services. And it could fuel development of other innovative new products.

Already developers have used VoIP technology to develop new security features like automated
phone calls or text messages when an online user attempts to change sensitive data in a mobile app.

Innovative VoIP technology is also being used to rapidly deploy call centers, for example for
political campaigns, and to integrate automatic voice and text features into web sites.

We can only guess what’s next.

As we strive to unleash these innovations and consumer benefits, we have to make sure that calls
continue to complete reliably, that we don’t create new opportunities for providers to game the
intercarrier compensation system, and that we safeguard against number exhaust.

Today’s notice asks critical questions on all these issues.
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These questions are also why we’re proceeding with a narrowly-tailored trial, to test technical
issues that have been previously raised in the record.

This trial will provide a small pool of numbers to test giving VoIP providers direct access.

We have safeguards in place if problems arise, and a robust reporting and public comment
process.

Some have argued that a technical trial is premature. I disagree.

This access to numbers proceeding has been going on since 2005, with many of the same
comments and replies traded between parties time and again.

But the record we’ve received to date too often has simply been filled by hypothetical concerns
answered with hypothetical solutions.

It’s time for some data. The trial we adopt today is consistent with the data-driven approach
we’ve adopted agency-wide, it will help us protect consumers, and I’m glad we’re moving it forward.

Thank you to the entire Wireline Bureau team for their excellent work on this item, and to the
Technology Transitions Task Force as well for their assistance.


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STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER MIGNON L. CLYBURN


Re:
Numbering Policies for Modern Communications, WC Docket No. 13-97; IP-Enabled Services,
WC Docket No. 04-36; Telephone Number Requirements for IP-Enabled Service Providers, WC
Docket No. 07-243; Telephone Number Portability, CC Docket No. 95-116; Developing a
Unified Intercarrier Compensation Regime
, CC Docket No. 01-92; Connect America Fund; WC
Docket No. 10-90; Numbering Resource Optimization, CC Docket No. 99-200; Petition of
Vonage Holdings Corp. for Limited Waiver of Section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of the Commission’s Rules
Regarding Access to Numbering Resources
; Petition of TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. and
HBF Group, Inc. for Waiver of Part 52 of the Commission’s Rules
.

While I am personally unaware of anyone who makes calls from a rotary phone at least on a
regular basis, I know that there are thousands still in use. I retain fond memories of over-stretched cords,
the constant moving and plugging in of that cumbersome device from room to room, and even the
frustration I felt from the sound of a busy signal.

In actual years, that really wasn’t so long ago, but as technology continues to rapidly evolve we
must maintain a meaningful process of crafting rules that will dictate how the next voice, video, and data
systems will be governed. I feel that this NPRM and order is yet another step in our understanding of how
we will govern this space in the years to come. With a keen and steady eye toward promoting innovation,
investment, and competition in the marketplace, I support this item.

This NPRM contains meaningful and probing questions designed to answer in part just how much
benefit may be achieved by allowing direct access to numbering. And I expect that we will proceed with
caution in considering any regime change that would permit allotments from the North American
Numbering Plan Administration and the Pooling Administrator. As the item states, improved number
conservation, the removal of barriers for innovative offerings, and the elimination of inefficiencies
regarding the need for VoIP providers to obtain numbers through partners are all worthwhile objectives
that the FCC should strive to actualize in a sensible and timely manner.

When it comes to the request for a waiver, which would allow Vonage to conduct a trial and
directly obtain numbers from numbering pools rather than through the current partnering regime with
traditional carriers, I am supportive because I feel that granting this request will provide an opportunity
for us to better understand how a VoIP carrier would function if freed from a legacy regulatory
framework. This particular waiver involves a small sample of numbers that Vonage will use during its
trial – 145,000, where Vonage serves about 2.4 million subscribers today. This course will allow us to
craft best practices that may be used in allowing VoIP carriers access to numbering pools – which may be
an outcome of the IP transition – while not exhausting number sets in existing area codes.

As a former state regulator, I know how tied communities are to their area codes, and I trust that
this waiver will not result in any state having to split a community between two codes. I am also happy to
report that this waiver will conclude with a public comment period allowing parties the opportunity for
constructive engagement that will inform the FCC’s next steps. Regulators and customers will have the
chance to share their experiences with Vonage during the waiver process as well, and those comments
and the reports Vonage are required to submit will help inform the Commission as we decide on how best
to structure the upcoming IP transition rulemaking.

Further, integrating TeleCommunication Systems’ services with the pseudo-Automatic
Numbering Identification will enhance 911 call centers’ ability to determine where a VoIP call originates.

The combined effect of these waivers is, admittedly, quite small, but we must keep the larger
picture in front mind when considering them. The IP transition is happening, and we must do everything
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we can to ensure it as smooth as possible, for both industry and the public at large.

Knowing the differences between VoIP and traditional carriers’ use of number pools – how long
each holds a number and how long before that number can be recycled by another customer or carrier – as
well as how this waiver has impacted state regulators and their customers, will make the much bigger
step, IP transition, that much easier.

One of the toughest challenges of a communications’ regulator is making sure that the well-
intentioned rules we put in place today, will not stifle the technological opportunities of tomorrow. The
granting of limited waivers is yet another tool in our nimble rulemaking arsenal that should be embraced
whenever possible to keep our nation on the cutting edge of innovation.

I look forward to the comments to our NPRM, as well as the results of the trial. Both will assist
the Commission in moving forward in a prudent and well-reasoned fashion, and once again, I thank the
bureau for its diligent work. I want to offer much gratitude to Lisa Gelb, Bill Dever, Ann Stevens,
Marilyn Jones, Julie Veach and the others for their tremendous work.

Thank you.



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STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCEL


Re:
Numbering Policies for Modern Communications, WC Docket No. 13-97; IP-Enabled Services,
WC Docket No. 04-36; Telephone Number Requirements for IP-Enabled Service Providers, WC
Docket No. 07-243; Telephone Number Portability, CC Docket No. 95-116; Developing a
Unified Intercarrier Compensation Regime
, CC Docket No. 01-92; Connect America Fund; WC
Docket No. 10-90; Numbering Resource Optimization, CC Docket No. 99-200; Petition of
Vonage Holdings Corp. for Limited Waiver of Section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of the Commission’s Rules
Regarding Access to Numbering Resources
; Petition of TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. and
HBF Group, Inc. for Waiver of Part 52 of the Commission’s Rules
.


I remember eighteen years ago when my parents in Hartford, Connecticut announced that
henceforth, the childhood telephone number I had always known would change. The house had not
changed. Same collection of New England antiques. Same drafty windows. Same bulky telephones
bolted to the wall. But going forward, no more area code 203. Welcome to area code 860. Not an epic
moment in the lifetime of area code expansion. But I recall the mild sense of dislocation. I remember
feeling that something was different because something had changed.

What felt odd nearly two decades ago is now much more common. After all, the ways we
communicate have changed dramatically. Our networks and the number of devices we use have
multiplied. The link between number and place is still present, but that too has changed. People now
move and take their numbers with them. Case in point: in my office here at the Commission, half of
those who work with me have phone numbers with area codes that do not reflect where they live. And
what is happening in my office is not unusual, it is happening across the country.

With all this change, however, what still matters is numbers. They are still an essential part of
our communications networks. They are still an important part of the way we connect, a valuable and
finite resource. We must plan for their use judiciously. We must plan for their use consistent with the
law.

In the Communications Act, Congress directed this agency to ensure that numbers used for
communications are distributed “on an equitable basis.” The law requires distribution through “impartial
entities.” It also reserves for the Commission exclusive jurisdiction over numbering, but specifically
provides the agency with authority to delegate tasks involving numbering to our state counterparts.

Consistent with the law, from time to time the Commission updates its numbering policies to
reflect how the ways we communicate change. A decade ago, in 2003, the agency expanded number
portability to wireless services. For the first time, consumers could take their number with them when
they switched among wireless and wireline providers. A few years later, in 2007, the agency again
updated its rules to let consumers keep their numbers when switching to Voice over Internet Protocol
(VoIP) service. Both steps enhanced competition. Both steps were good for consumers.

Today, we update our policies yet again, to reflect further changes in communications and the
technologies we use to connect. There are two critical parts to today’s effort.

First, we conduct a broad rulemaking and inquiry into the operational implications of providing
interconnected VoIP providers with direct access to numbering resources. The time is right. We are mid-
course in a broader transition to IP services. VoIP subscriptions have risen more than 50 percent since
2008, and now number 37 million. Navigating the transition to IP-enabled services requires updating our
policies. As we do so, we must always keep in mind the four essential values in the Communications
Act: public safety, universal service, competition, and consumer protection. I think this effort is
consistent with that approach. To this end, I appreciate that we ask questions about the impact this will
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have on numbering exhaustion, routing, porting, and intercarrier compensation. I also appreciate that it
includes queries about the changing nature of the link between number and place, calling and geography,
and home and area code.

Second, we conduct a limited trial. We grant Vonage, a VoIP provider, a conditional six-month
waiver to allow direct access to numbering resources. This is a test. It will allow us to identify any
problems. It will allow us to have a real-time laboratory in which to study to issues. It will inform our
process as we chart a course toward more permanent policies. So I am pleased that the Chairman
accepted my recommendation to require the Wireline Competition Bureau to issue a report at the
conclusion of the trial so that we will have the opportunity to learn from the results before we move on to
final rules. Given our shared interest in these issues, I encourage our state counterparts to comment on
this report and the impact of this trial.

The mechanics of this proceeding are complex. But like so many other things before the agency,
this is a reminder of how the times we live in are transitional. My childhood home still has those bulky
phones bolted to the wall, but they are supplemented by wireless devices, Internet connections—and
technologies simply unimaginable two decades ago when the area code was changed.

In the face of all this change, updating how we manage our numbering resources is the right thing
to do. I support this effort. A trial like this is a smart way to proceed. So thank you to the Wireline
Competition Bureau for its efforts on these issues here and going forward.

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STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI


Re:
Numbering Policies for Modern Communications, WC Docket No. 13-97; IP-Enabled Services,
WC Docket No. 04-36; Telephone Number Requirements for IP-Enabled Service Providers, WC
Docket No. 07-243; Telephone Number Portability, CC Docket No. 95-116; Developing a
Unified Intercarrier Compensation Regime
, CC Docket No. 01-92; Connect America Fund; WC
Docket No. 10-90; Numbering Resource Optimization, CC Docket No. 99-200; Petition of
Vonage Holdings Corp. for Limited Waiver of Section 52.15(g)(2)(i) of the Commission’s Rules
Regarding Access to Numbering Resources
; Petition of TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. and
HBF Group, Inc. for Waiver of Part 52 of the Commission’s Rules
.

Telephone numbers are at the heart of voice communications in the United States. They are used
to connect one customer to another, to identify carriers on the public-switched telephone network (PSTN),
to enable texting and multimedia messaging, and to route emergency calls. And yet, no one ever seems
eager to talk about the Local Exchange Routing Guide or the Number Portability Administration Center
or the North American Numbering Plan, let alone how to integrate those last-generation systems with
next-generation technologies like the Session Initiation Protocol (for point-to-point Internet Protocol (IP)-
based calls) or ENUM (for mapping telephone numbers into the Internet space).1 In short, numbering
gets no respect.

But today, numbers rightfully take center stage. We need to address the subject now because
today’s numbering system is becoming an anachronism. It assumes the dominance of old-school carriers
interconnecting over time-division-multiplexed (TDM) circuits, using copper lines and the out-of-band
Signaling System No. 7. But that’s not how modern, IP-based networks operate.

This morning’s item comes none too late. It’s been nine years since then-Chairman Powell
recognized that IP-based communications were the future and opened up a proceeding on IP-Enabled
Services.2 Since then, interconnected voice over IP service providers have proliferated and consumers
have fled the PSTN. Meanwhile, the Commission has gained invaluable experience and perspectives. It
has managed a database to allow point-to-point IP-based communications via telephone numbers.3 It has
established a Technology Transitions Policy Task Force.4 And it has heard from its Technological
Advisory Council that the old TDM infrastructure should sunset in the next five years.5


1 Fun fact: The “E” in ENUM stands for E.164, the technical standard for telephone numbers, not “electronic.” For
a useful and readable description of ENUM and précis on the integration of traditional and IP-based networks, see
http://www.cisco.com/web/about/ac123/ac147/archived_issues/ipj_5-2/enum html. More intrepid readers can turn
to the International Telecommunications Union. See http://www.itu.int/osg/spu/enum/.
2 See IP-Enabled Services, WC Docket No. 04-36, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 19 FCC Rcd 4863 (2004).
3 See Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech
Disabilities; E911 Requirements for IP-Enabled Service Providers
, CG Docket No. 03-123, CC Docket No. 98-67,
WC Docket No. 05-196, Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration, 24 FCC Rcd 791 (2008) (creating
the iTRS Numbering Database).
4 Press Release, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Announces Formation of ‘Technology Transitions Policy Task
Force’ (Dec. 10, 2012), available at http://go.usa.gov/TWFB; Statement of Commissioner Ajit Pai on the Formation
of Technology Transitions Policy Task Force (Dec. 10, 2012), available at http://go.usa.gov/TWFw.
5 Meeting of the Technological Advisory Council of the Federal Communications Commission (June 29, 2011),
available at http://go.usa.gov/TWFe.
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It is time for the FCC to acknowledge that the IP Transition is upon us—that old copper-based
networks are fundamentally different from new IP-based networks, and that our legacy regulations slow
down the transformation from old to new (not to mention investment and innovation). Last month, I
highlighted the importance of revising numbering for next-generation networks as one task we must
undertake to facilitate the IP Transition.6 Needless to say, then, I am pleased that the Notice we adopt
today takes a fresh look at many of our numbering rules, including those regarding number portability and
numbering cost allocation.

I am particularly grateful to my colleagues for incorporating many of my suggestions. These
related primarily to the upcoming trial that will allow interconnected VoIP providers to gain direct access
to numbers. Most importantly, the trial now will place participants on a six-month schedule with a
limited geographic scope, which will help us identify and hopefully resolve any unforeseen problems.
And the trial will require reporting from participants on what worked and what didn’t—for we can’t
benefit from the lessons learned unless we learn the lessons. Additionally, the Wireline Competition
Bureau will report back to us (and the public) on the results of the trial, thanks to a proposal by my
colleague, Commissioner Rosenworcel. All of these changes will ensure that the trial is a real
experiment, one that will help us eschew opinions in favor of facts.

Speaking of trials, I feel compelled to mention another critical one that’s necessary for a smooth,
successful IP Transition: an All-IP Pilot Program. Just like the VoIP numbering trial we embrace today,
an All-IP Pilot Program would allow providers to voluntarily test the waters of the IP Transition, in this
case by turning off their old TDM electronics in a discrete number of wire centers and migrating
consumers to an all-IP platform. Like today’s trial, it would be geographically limited. Like today’s trial,
we’ll need to include consumer protections to make sure that no consumer loses voice service. And like
today’s trial, we’ll need to rigorously evaluate the results of that pilot program, so that we know how to
make the IP Transition a success for all Americans. I hope we undertake the All-IP Pilot Program soon.

But enough words about that. Today is appropriately a day for numbers.7 I want to thank the
numbering team in the Wireline Competition Bureau for all their work on this item. I look forward to
reviewing the results of the trial and moving forward with a Report and Order in this proceeding early
next year.



6 Remarks of Commissioner Ajit Pai, “Two Paths to the Internet Protocol Transition,” Hudson Institute,
Washington, DC (Mar. 7, 2013), available at http://go.usa.gov/TWMj.
7 Cf. Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth 176–77 (1961) (“[The Dodecahedron asked,] ‘Don’t you know anything
at all about numbers?’ ‘Well, I don’t think they’re very important,’ snapped Milo, too embarrassed to admit the
truth. ‘NOT IMPORTANT!’ roared the Dodecahedron, turning red with fury. ‘Could you have tea for two without
the two—or three blind mice without the three? Would there be four corners of the earth if there weren’t a four?
And how would you sail the seven seas without a seven? . . . Why, numbers are the most beautiful and valuable
things in the world. Just follow me and I’ll show you.’ He turned on his heel and stalked off into the cave.”).
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