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CenturyLink Discontinuance Not Automatically Granted

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Released: December 13, 2013


Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th St., S.W.


Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 13-2394

Released: December 13, 2013




WC Docket No. 13-266

Comp. Pol. File No. 1126


October 31, 2013, Qwest Communications Company, LLC d/b/a CenturyLink QCC

(CenturyLink or Applicant), located at 100 CenturyLink Drive, Monroe, LA 71203, filed an application
with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) requesting authority, under section
214 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 214, and section 63.71 of the
Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 63.71, to discontinue certain domestic telecommunications services in
all fifty states, U.S. possessions and territories (collectively, Service Areas).1 By this Public Notice, the
Wireline Competition Bureau announces that CenturyLink’s application to discontinue service will not be
automatically granted pursuant to section 63.71.
The application indicates that CenturyLink currently offers QCC Frame Relay (FR) and QCC
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) services in the Service Areas. CenturyLink describes QCC FR
service as a connection-oriented packet-switched data service allowing for the interconnection of Local
Area Networks (LAN) or other comparable customer equipment. CenturyLink explains that QCC ATM
service is a connection-oriented multiplexing and switching service based on ATM cell-based switching
technology. CenturyLink further explains that QCC ATM service uses fixed-length cells to support
transmission of multiple types of traffic, such as data, voice and video, over a LAN or Wide Area
Network. CenturyLink states, however, that in 2011 it was advised by equipment manufacturer Alcatel-
Lucent that the equipment used for its QCC FR and QCC ATM services would no longer be
manufactured as of December 31, 2011 and that all support would be discontinued as of December 31,
2014. CenturyLink asserts, therefore, that it plans to grandfather and eventually discontinue QCC FR and
QCC ATM services in the Service Areas on December 15, 2013, or as soon thereafter as the necessary
regulatory approvals can be obtained. CenturyLink submits that on or after that date, it will no longer
offer these services to new customers or accept new orders from existing customers except to the extent
that such orders are permitted by contract. CenturyLink clarifies that, on or after December 15, 2013, it

1 The application was subsequently received in the Competition Policy Division of the Wireline Competition Bureau
on November 6, 2013. By Public Notice dated November 15, 2013, the Commission notified the public that, in
accordance with 47 C.F.R. § 63.71(c), CenturyLink’s application would be deemed to be automatically granted on
the 31st day after the release date of the notice, unless the Commission notifies CenturyLink that the grant will not
be automatically effective. Comments Invited on Application of Qwest Communications Company, LLC d/b/a
CenturyLink QCC to Discontinue Domestic Telecommunications Services
, Public Notice, WC Docket No. 13-266,
DA 13-2203 (WCB November 15, 2013). Accordingly, the automatic grant date for CenturyLink’s application
would have been December 16, 2013.

plans to grandfather existing customers as follows: 1) existing contracts for these services will not be
renewed; 2) customers with a contract that expires prior to December 15, 2014 may retain their QCC FR
and/or QCC ATM service covered by that contract on a month-to-month basis until December 15, 2014;
and 3) customers with a contract that expires after December 15, 2014 may retain their QCC FR and/or
QCC ATM service covered by that contract until the expiration of that contract. According to
CenturyLink, customers have the option of moving to alternative CenturyLink services, such as IQ
Networking Private Port Service, which uses the latest technology to create a robust VPN service.
CenturyLink notes that customers can also turn to numerous other providers of similar services.

The Commission has received two comments in opposition to CenturyLink’s proposed
discontinuance.2 The Commission normally will authorize proposed discontinuances of service unless it
is shown that customers or other end users would be unable to receive service or a reasonable substitute
from another carrier, or that the public convenience and necessity would be otherwise adversely affected.
Where there is question as to whether a service has reasonable substitutes or whether the present or future
public convenience and necessity will be adversely affected, the Commission will scrutinize the
discontinuance application, consistent with its statutory obligations.3 Because the comments require
further analysis to determine whether CenturyLink’s proposed discontinuance would serve the public
interest, CenturyLink is notified by this public notice that its application to discontinue domestic
telecommunications services will not be granted automatically.4
For further information, contact Carmell Weathers, (202) 418-2325 (voice),, or Kimberly Jackson, (202) 418-7393 (voice),,
of the Competition Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau. The tty number is (202) 418-0484.
For further information on procedures regarding section 214 please visit
– FCC –

2 See International Business Machines Corporation Comments; Xcel Energy Services, Inc. Comments. Commenters
primarily raise concerns about the potential impact of a premature discontinuance on their ability to maintain the
reliability and security of critical portions of the United States national electric grid, and seek an extension of service
until December 31, 2017. Id.
3 See 47 U.S.C. § 214(a); 47 C.F.R. § 63.71; see also Policy and Rules Concerning Rates for Competitive Common
Carrier Services and Facilities Authorizations Therefor
, First Report and Order, CC Docket No. 79-252, 85 FCC 2d
1, 49 (1980) (Competitive Carrier First Report and Order) (“we have retained the right to delay grant of a
discontinuance authorization if we believe an unreasonable degree of customer hardship would result.”); Federal
Communications Comm’n v. RCA Communications, Inc.
, 346 U.S. 86, 90 (1953). See, e.g., AT&T Application to
Discontinue Interstate Sent-Paid Coin Service Not Automatically Granted
, Public Notice, NSD File No. W-P-D-497
(Aug. 3, 2001).
4 See 47 C.F.R. § 63.71(c) (“The application to discontinue . . . shall be automatically granted on the 31st day . . .
unless the Commission has notified the applicant that the grant will not be automatically effective.”).

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