International Settlements Policy Reform
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Federal Communications Commission
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov445 12th Street, S.W.
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:November 29, 2012
Francis Gutierrez: (202) 418-7370
FCC ELMINATES OUTDATED REGULATION OF INTERNATIONAL
CALLING CHARGES TO PROMOTE COMPETITION AND LOWER INTERNATIONAL
CALLING COSTS FOR CONSUMERSWashington D.C. – As part of ongoing regulatory reform efforts, the Commission today adopted a Report
and Order to further modernize its international telephony rules, lower costs, and increase competition. The
Report and Order eliminates outdated regulations governing agreements between U.S. and foreign carriers
for delivering international phone traffic, while strengthening the Commission’s ability to protect U.S.
consumers from the effects of anticompetitive conduct by foreign carriers where specific complaints arise.
The International Settlements Policy (ISP) was created to ensure fair treatment for U.S. international carriers
negotiating agreements with foreign carriers with market power by, among other things, requiring foreign
providers to offer all U.S. carriers the same settlement rate. But as global competition has increased, traffic
routing possibilities have multiplied, and the ISP has impeded robust competition. As a result, over the last
decade, the ISP has gradually been removed from most international routes. In this time, global competition
has led to the average U.S. calling price for international phone calls falling from $0.74 to about $0.053 per
minute from 1996 to 2011, even as minutes of use increased over 250%. Elimination of the policy on
remaining routes will give U.S. carriers flexibility to negotiate commercial agreements to further reduce
international telephone rates for consumers. At the same time, the Commission adopted safeguards to protect
against anticompetitive conduct in specific cases. These actions reflect the Commission’s view that
international traffic should be subject to market-based arrangements and not limited by unnecessary
Action by the Commission, released November 29, 2012, by Report and Order (FCC-12-145). Chairman
Genachowski, Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn, Rosenworcel and Pai.
– FCC –
For further information, contact Francis Gutierrez, International Bureau at (202) 418-7370; (202) 418-0431 (TTY);
For more news and information about the FCC please visit: www.fcc.gov
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