Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Petition for Stop Payment Order on U.S.-Pakistan Route

Download Options

Released: October 31, 2012

PUBLIC NOTICE

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th St., S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 12-1738
October 31, 2012

PETITION FOR PROTECTION FROM ANTICOMPETITIVE BEHAVIOR AND STOP

SETTLEMENT PAYMENT ORDER ON THE U.S.-PAKISTAN ROUTE

IB Docket No. 12-324

PLEADING CYCLE ESTABLISHED

Comments or Oppositions Due: November 13, 2012
Replies Due: November 20, 2012

This Public Notice is issued pursuant to Section 64.1002(d) of the Commission’s rules. 47 C.F.R.
§ 64.1002(d).
The International Bureau seeks comment on a petition filed by Vonage Holdings Corp.
(“Vonage”) on October 3, 2012, requesting that the Commission issue an order stopping U.S. settlement
payments to certain Pakistani long distance international (“LDI”) carriers.1 Vonage states that the LDI
carriers have implemented a new International Clearing House (“ICH”) exchange for all international
incoming calls to Pakistan, creating a monopoly provider of international termination in Pakistan, and
have increased by approximately 400% the termination rates to be paid by international
telecommunications carriers for terminating calls into Pakistan to more than $0.088 per minute.
Vonage requests that the Commission impose temporary requirements on U.S. carriers
prohibiting all U.S. carriers from paying the LDI carriers more than the current cost-based termination
rate to Pakistan, without prejudice to the Commission’s findings on Vonage’s petition requesting a stop
payment order on the U.S.-Pakistan route.
In its petition, Vonage states that, in 2011, the LDI carriers submitted to the Competition
Commission of Pakistan (“CCP”) an application seeking an exemption for the ICH Agreement under the
Pakistani Competition Act of 2010. The LDI carriers later withdrew the application in February 2012,
and the CCP subsequently issued an order that month disposing of the application and identifying
concerns with the application. In that order, the CCP outlined the following details of the ICH
Agreement: (1) it assigns the rights of 13 LDI carriers to terminate incoming international traffic to the


1 Vonage alleges that the following LDI carriers have colluded to engage in anticompetitive behavior: Pakistan
Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), Multinet Pakistan (Private) Limited, 4B General International
(Private) Limited, Wi-tribe Pakistan Limited, Dancom Pakistan (Private) Limited, Wise Communication System
(Private) Limited, Worldcall Telecom Limited, ADG (Private) Limited, Link Direct International (Private) Limited,
Telecard Limited, Circle Net Communications Pakistan (Private) Limited, Wateen Telecom Limited, Redtone
Telecommunications Pakistan (Private) Limited, and Telenor LDI Communications (Private) Limited.

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (“PTCL”), the incumbent telecommunications service
provider in Pakistan; (2) each LDI carrier is to suspend and keep suspended all interconnection capacities
in relation to Pakistan incoming international traffic; (3) PTCL is to act as the sole LDI operator with the
right to exclusively terminate all incoming traffic to Pakistan; (4) PTCL is to sell its call terminating
services to foreign carriers at the approved settlement rates of the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority
(“PTA”); and (5) each LDI carrier will get a pre-determined fixed quota from PTCL to terminate calls on
its network, and receive a fixed share of revenues generated from all incoming international traffic.
Vonage states in its petition that the Ministry of Information Technology of Pakistan (“MOIT”)
nevertheless subsequently issued a directive calling for the establishment of the ICH Plan. On August 28,
2012, the CCP sent a Policy Note to the PTA and the MOIT, warning that the ICH Plan was illegal under
Pakistan’s Competition Act. Vonage notes that the LDI carriers, PTA and MOIT have moved forward
with the ICH Plan and have implemented the rate increase to more than $0.088 per minute as of October
1, 2012.
Vonage’s petition points out that the Commission, under past precedent, protects U.S.-
international carriers and U.S. consumers from alleged anticompetitive behavior. Vonage argues that the
rate increase meets the Commission’s standard for finding anticompetitive conduct as it establishes a rate
floor above previously negotiated rates. Vonage further argues that the LDI carriers’ actions have created
a rebuttable presumption of harm to the public interest.
Vonage requests that the Commission respond by requiring U.S. carriers to stop settlement
payments to the LDI carriers until the ICH Plan is abrogated and international termination rates are re-
established at cost-based levels on the U.S.-Pakistan route.2 Vonage argues that the harm cannot be
addressed through post facto remedies. Thus, Vonage also requests that the Commission impose
temporary requirements on U.S. carriers prohibiting all U.S. carriers from paying the LDI carriers
anything more than the current termination rate to Pakistan.

EX PARTE STATUS OF THIS PROCEEDING

Pursuant to section 1.1200(a) of the Commission’s rules,3 the Commission may adopt modified or
more stringent ex parte procedures in particular proceedings if it finds that the public interest so requires.
We announce that this proceeding shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance
with the Commission’s ex parte rules.4
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


2 According to the most recent information filed with the Commission, the following carriers serve the U.S.-Pakistan
route: AT&T, MCI, Sprint, Bharti Airtel, France Telecom, iBasis/KPN, IDT Corp., New Century, Pacifica
Telecom/ITE, Primus Telecomm, Reach Services, Reliance Communications, Telecom Colombia USA, Telecom
Italia Sparkle, Telecom New Zealand, TRICOM, and Telia Sonera.
3 47 C.F.R. § 1.1200(a) (2011).
4 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200 et seq.
2

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.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Interested parties must file comments or oppositions to the petition no later than

November 13,

2012. Replies to such comments or oppositions must be filed no later than

November 20, 2012

. All
filings concerning matters referenced in this Public Notice should refer to

DA 12-1738, IB Docket No.
12-324

. 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.
§
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).
Additionally, filers may deliver courtesy copies by email or facsimile to the following
Commission staff:
3

(1) James Ball, Policy Division, International Bureau, at James.Ball@fcc.gov or (202) 418-2824
(facsimile);
(2) David Krech, Policy Division, International Bureau, at David.Krech@fcc.gov or (202) 418-2824
(facsimile);
(3) Kimberly Cook, Policy Division, International Bureau, at Kimberly.Cook@fcc.gov or (202) 418-2824
(facsimile);
(4) Mark Uretsky, Policy Division, International Bureau, at Mark.Uretsky@fcc.gov or (202) 418-2824
(facsimile).
For further information, contact James Ball, Policy Division, International Bureau, at 202-418-
0427 or David Krech, Policy Division, International Bureau, at 202-418-7443.
- FCC -
4

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.