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Comments requested on Covista/Birch domestic 214 transfer

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Released: February 20, 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 13-242

Released: February 20, 2013





WC Docket No. 13-47

Comments Due: March 6, 2013
Reply Comments Due: March 13, 2013

On December 20, 2012, Birch Communications, Inc. (BCI), Birch Telecom, Inc. (Birch Telecom,
and together with BCI, Birch), and Covista, Inc. (Covista) (collectively, Applicants) filed an application
pursuant to section 63.03 of the Commission’s rules1 transfer certain Covista assets to Birch.
Covista, a New Jersey corporation, offers or is certificated to offer competitive local exchange
and interexchange services in the District of Columbia and all 50 states except Alaska. Birch Telecom, a
Delaware corporation, is a wholly owned subsidiary of BCI, a Georgia corporation. Birch
Communications Holdings, Inc. (Birch Holdings), a Georgia corporation, owns a 100 percent equity and
voting interest in BCI. Applicants state that Holcombe Green, a U.S. citizen, holds a 66 percent equity
and voting interest, and R. Kirby Godsey, a U.S. citizen, holds a 32 percent equity and voting interest in
Birch Holdings. Applicants further state that these individuals do not hold any interests in other
telecommunications entities. Birch and its wholly owned U.S. based subsidiaries offer or are certificated
to offer competitive local exchange and interexchange services in 42 states.2
Pursuant to the terms of the proposed transaction, Birch will purchase certain assets and
customers of Covista, including accounts and contracts for customers that Covista serves in the District of

1 47 C.F.R § 63.03; see 47 U.S.C. § 214. Applicants are also filing applications for transfer of control associated
with authorization for international services. Any action on this domestic section 214 application is without
prejudice to Commission action on other related, pending applications. Applicants filed a supplement to their
domestic section 214 application on February 20, 2013.
2 The states are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa,
Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana,
New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon,
Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Applicants state that Birch recently received authority to offer service in the District of Columbia, Maine, Rhode
Island, and Vermont and is in the process of obtaining certification to offer service in Connecticut, Idaho, Nevada,
and New Hampshire.

Columbia and all 50 states except Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Utah, and West Virginia. Applicants assert
that the proposed transaction is entitled to presumptive streamlined treatment under section 63.03(b)(2)(i)
of the Commission’s rules and that a grant of the application will serve the public interest, convenience,
and necessity.3
Domestic Section 214 Application Filed for the Acquisition of Certain Assets of Covista,
Inc. by Birch Communications, Inc. and Birch Telecom, Inc., WC Docket No. 13-47
(filed Dec. 20, 2012).


The transfer of control identified herein has been found, upon initial review, to be acceptable for
filing as a streamlined application. The Commission reserves the right to return any transfer application
if, upon further examination, it is determined to be defective and not in conformance with the
Commission’s rules and policies. Pursuant to section 63.03(a) of the Commission’s rules, 47 CFR §
63.03(a), interested parties may file comments on or before March 6, 2013, and reply comments on or
before March 13, 2013.
Unless otherwise notified by the Commission, the Applicants may transfer
control on the 31st day after the date of this notice.4 Comments should be filed using the Commission’s
Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking
, 63 FR 24121 (1998).
Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the

In addition, e-mail one copy of each pleading to each of the following

1) The Commission’s duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc.,;
phone: (202) 488-5300; fax: (202) 488-5563;
2) Tracey Wilson, Competition Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau,;
3) Jodie May, Competition Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau,;
4) David Krech, Policy Division, International Bureau,; and
5) Jim Bird, Office of General Counsel,
Filings 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) 488-5563; e-mail:; url:
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 or call the
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (tty).

3 47 C.F.R. § 63.03(b)(2)(i).
4 Such authorization is conditioned upon receipt of any other necessary approvals from the Commission in
connection with the proposed transaction.

For further information, please contact Tracey Wilson at (202) 418-1394 or Jodie May at
(202) 418-0913.
- FCC -

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