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WCB Approves The Compliance Plans of Birch Communications

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Released: August 8, 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 12-1286

Release Date: August 8, 2012

WIRELINE COMPETITION BUREAU APPROVES THE COMPLIANCE PLANS OF BIRCH

COMMUNICATIONS, BOOMERANG WIRELESS, IM TELECOM, Q LINK WIRELESS AND

TAG MOBILE

WC Docket Nos. 09-197 and 11-42

The Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) approves the compliance plans of five carriers: Birch
Communications, Inc. (Birch); Boomerang Wireless, LLC (Boomerang); IM Telecom, LLC (IM); Q Link
Wireless, LLC (Q Link); and TAG Mobile, LLC (TAG). The compliance plans were filed pursuant to the
Lifeline Reform Order as a condition of obtaining forbearance from the facilities requirement of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act), for the provision of Lifeline service.1
The Act provides that in order to be designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier for the
purpose of universal service support, a carrier must “offer the services that are supported by Federal
universal service support mechanisms . . . either using its own facilities or a combination of its own
facilities and resale of another carrier’s services . . . .”2 The Commission recently amended its rules to
define voice telephony as the supported service and removed directory assistance and operator services,
among other things, from the list of supported services.3 As a result of these amendments, many Lifeline-
only ETCs that previously met the facilities requirement by providing operator services, directory
assistance or other previously supported services no longer meet the facilities requirement of the Act.4 In
the Lifeline Reform Order, the Commission found that a grant of blanket forbearance of the facilities
requirement, subject to certain public safety and compliance obligations, is appropriate for carriers


1 See Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization et al, WC Docket No.11-42 et al., Report and Order and
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 6656, 6816-17 at paras. 379-380 (2012) (Lifeline Reform
Order
). A list of the compliance plans approved through this Public Notice can be found in the Appendix to this
Public Notice.
2 47 U.S.C. § 214(e)(1)(A).
3 See Connect America Fund, WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 17663, 17692-93, paras. 77-78, 80 (2011); pets. for review pending sub nom. In re: FCC
11-161
, No. 11-9900 (10th Cir. filed Dec. 8, 2011); Connect America Fund, WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Order on
Reconsideration, 26 FCC Rcd 17633, 17634-35, para. 4 (2011) (USF/ICC Transformation Order on
Reconsideration
).
4 See Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd 6812, at para. 366, App. A; USF/ICC Transformation Order on
Reconsideration
at para. 4. Some ETCs have included language in their compliance plans indicating that they have
facilities or plan to acquire facilities in the future. See, e.g., Blanket Forbearance Compliance Plan, WC Docket
Nos. 09-197 and 11-42, Q Link Wireless, LLC’s Third Amended Compliance Plan at 4 n. 2 (filed July 30, 2012).
To the extent ETCs seek to avail themselves of the conditional forbearance relief established in the Lifeline Reform
Order
, we presume they lack facilities to provide the supported service under section 54.101 and 54.401 of the
Commission’s rules. See 47 C.F.R. §§ 54.101 and 54.401. Such ETCs must comply with the compliance plan
approved herein in each state or territory where they are designated as an ETC, regardless of their claim of facilities
for other purposes, such as eligibility for state universal service funding.

seeking to provide Lifeline-only service.5 Therefore, in the Lifeline Reform Order, the Commission
conditionally granted forbearance from the Act’s facilities requirement to all telecommunications carriers
seeking Lifeline-only ETC designation, subject to the following conditions: (1) compliance with certain
911 and enhanced 911 (E911) public safety requirements; and (2) Bureau approval of a compliance plan
providing specific information regarding the carrier and its service offerings and outlining the measures
the carrier will take to implement the obligations contained in the Order.6
The Bureau has reviewed the five plans listed in the Appendix for compliance with the conditions
of the Lifeline Reform Order, and now approves those five compliance plans.7
Filings, including the Compliance Plans identified in the Appendix, and comments are available
for public inspection and copying during regular business hours at the FCC Reference Information
Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room CY-A257, Washington, D.C. 20554. They may also be
purchased from the Commission’s duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., Portals II, 445
12th Street, S.W., Room CY-B402, Washington, D.C. 20554, telephone: (202) 488-5300, fax: (202) 448-
5563, or via email www.bcpiweb.com.
People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities
(Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-7400 or TTY (202) 418-0484.
For further information, please contact Divya Shenoy, Telecommunications Access Policy
Division, Wireline Competition Bureau at (202) 418-7400 or TTY (202) 418-0484.
- FCC -


5 See Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd 6813-6817 at paras. 368-381.
6 See id. at paras. 373 and 389. Subsequently, the Bureau provided guidance for carriers submitting compliance
plans pursuant to the Lifeline Reform Order. Wireline Competition Bureau Provides Guidance for the Submission of
Compliance Plans Pursuant to the Lifeline Reform Order
, WC Docket Nos. 09-197 and 11-42, Public Notice, 27
FCC Rcd 2186 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2012).
7 The Commission has not acted on any pending ETC petitions filed by these carriers, and this Public Notice only
approves the compliance plans of the carriers listed above. While these compliance plans contain information on
each carrier’s Lifeline offering, we leave it to the designating authority to determine whether or not the carrier’s
Lifeline offerings are sufficient to serve consumers. See Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd 6679-80, 6818-19 at
paras. 50 and 387.
2

APPENDIX

Petitioner

Compliance Plans

Date of Filing

Docket

As Captioned by Petitioner

Numbers

Birch Communications,
Further Amended Compliance Plan of
July 2, 2012
09-197; 11-42
Inc.
Birch Communications, Inc.
Boomerang Wireless,
Boomerang Wireless, LLC Revised
July 26, 2012
09-197; 11-42
LLC
Compliance Plan
IM Telecom, LLC
IM Telecom, LLC d/b/a Infiniti Mobile
July 5, 2012
09-197; 11-42
Compliance Plan
Q Link Wireless, LLC
Q Link Wireless, LLC’s Third
July 30, 2012
09-197; 11-42
Amended Compliance Plan
TAG Mobile, LLC
TAG Mobile, LLC Compliance Plan
July 26, 2012
09-197; 11-42
3

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