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FCC SEEKS TO LOWER PHONE BILLS FOR AMERICANS THROUGH ADDITIONAL DEREGULATION OF INTERNATIONAL TELEPHONY MARKET

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Released: May 13, 2011

NEWS

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830

Federal Communications Commission

TTY 202/418-2555

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

445 12th Street, S.W.
ftp.fcc.gov

Washington, D. C. 20554

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:

May 12, 2011

Thomas Sullivan: (202) 418-0411
Thomas.Sullivan@fcc.gov

FCC SEEKS TO LOWER PHONE BILLS FOR AMERICANS THROUGH ADDITIONAL

DEREGULATION OF INTERNATIONAL TELEPHONY MARKET

Proposal would promote competition and eliminate unnecessary regulation for U.S businesses


Washington, D.C. As part of its ongoing regulatory reform efforts, the Federal Communications
Commission today adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to eliminate outdated regulations
governing agreements between U.S. and foreign carriers for delivering international phone traffic, and to
seek comment on other ways to protect against anticompetitive conduct by monopolistic foreign carriers.
Established over eighty years ago, the International Settlements Policy (ISP) ensured fair treatment for U.S.
carriers negotiating agreements with foreign carriers with market power. However, over the past fifteen
years, in part because of the success of the ISP and the related Benchmarks Policy, global competition has
significantly increased, new alternative traffic routing possibilities have emerged, and the average U.S.
calling price for international phone calls has fallen from $0.74 per minute to $0.08 per minute, as annual
calling minutes have increased over 250%.
These changes have made the ISP less relevant and necessary to ensure fair competition. In some cases, the
ISP may now be hindering attempts by U.S. carriers to negotiate agreements that reduce international
telephone rates for American customers.
This proposal would give U.S. carriers greater flexibility to negotiate agreements with foreign counterparts
that reflect modern routing arrangements, resulting in lower rates for international calls. The Commission is
also seeking comment on measures to promote and protect competition on U.S.-international routes if the
need arises.
Comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be due 30 days after publication in the Federal
Register, with reply comments due 15 days thereafter.
Action by the Commission, May 12, 2011, by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 11-75). Chairman
Genachowski, Commissioners Copps, McDowell, and Clyburn. Commissioner Baker not participating.
FCC
For further information, contact Thomas Sullivan, International Bureau at (202) 418-0411; (202) 418-0431
(TTY); email: Thomas.Sullivan@fcc.gov.
For more news and information about the FCC please visit: www.fcc.gov

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