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International Benchmark Rates on the U.S.-Fiji Route

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Released: June 28, 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 13-1460
June 28, 2013



IB Docket No. 13-175


Comments or Oppositions Due: August 2, 2013
Replies Due: August 12, 2013

The International Bureau seeks comment on a petition filed by AT&T Inc. ("AT&T") on June 13,
2013, requesting that the Commission enforce its benchmark settlement rate of $0.19 per minute provided
in the Commission's Benchmarks Order1 with respect to international telephone traffic terminated with
Fiji International Telecommunications Limited ("Fintel"), the incumbent international carrier in Fiji.
The Commission found in the Benchmarks Order that above-cost accounting rates harm U.S.
consumers and may result in market distortions. The Commission adopted the Benchmarks Order in
1997 to ensure that U.S. consumers pay reasonable rates for international communications service and to
reduce the distortions that may result from above-cost accounting rates. The Commission established a
set of benchmark settlement rates to cap the rates that U.S. carriers may pay foreign carriers to terminate
international traffic originating in the United States. The Commission then concluded that the benchmark
rates were necessary because the settlement rates U.S. carriers pay foreign carriers to terminate U.S.-
originated traffic were in most cases substantially above the costs foreign carriers incur to terminate that
traffic. A Commission concern was that above-cost settlement rates contribute to the inflated prices paid
by U.S. consumers for international services.2 The benchmark settlement rates were established primarily
based upon countries' income per capita levels. For carriers in countries classified as lower middle
income countries, which includes Fiji, the Benchmarks Order requires a settlement rate that does not
exceed $0.19 per minute for traffic terminated after January 1, 2001. Settlement rates with Fiji complied
with benchmarks prior to the time it raised rates on November 17, 2011.
In its petition, AT&T states that, beginning in 2011, Fintel began to charge U.S. carriers above
benchmark settlement rates. It notes that in the years prior to 2011, average U.S.-Fiji termination rates

1 In the Matter of International Settlement Rates, IB Docket No. 96-261, Report and Order, FCC 97-280, 12 FCC
Rcd 19806, 19904-05, 216 (1997) (Benchmarks Order); Report and Order on Reconsideration and Order Lifting
Stay, 14 FCC Rcd 9256 (1999)(Benchmarks Reconsideration Order) ; aff'd sub nom. Cable & Wireless P.L.C. v.
, 166 F.3d 1224 (D.C. Cir. 1999).
2 See Benchmarks Reconsideration Order, 14 FCC Rcd at 9256, 3-4.

were in the range of $0.16-$0.18 per minute. AT&T states that, in 2010, the Fiji Commerce Commission
required all international traffic terminated in Fiji to pay a minimum rate of approximately $0.165 per
minute. Prior to November 17, 2011, Fintel terminated AT&T's U.S.-Fiji traffic for $0.165 per minute.
On November 7, 2011, the Fiji Commerce Commission increased the minimum termination rate for
inbound international traffic from $0.165 to $0.22 per minute. On November 8, 2011, Fintel notified
AT&T that it would raise termination rates for U.S.-Fiji traffic to $0.22 per minute on November 17,
AT&T further states that it has been attempting, but has been unable, to negotiate settlement rates
with Fintel that would continue to comply with the Benchmarks Order. AT&T maintains that Fintel's
action violates the Commission's benchmarks policies and requests that the Commission enforce the
Benchmarks Order on the U.S.-Fiji route by requiring all U.S. carriers to pay Fintel rates for U.S.-Fiji
traffic that do not exceed the $0.19 per minute benchmark.


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
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 section 1.1206(b). In proceedings
governed by section 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.


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

August 2,

2013. Replies to such comments or oppositions must be filed no later than

August 12, 2013

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

DA 13-1460, IB Docket No. 13-175


3 47 C.F.R. 1.1200(a) (2011).
4 47 C.F.R. 1.1200 et seq.

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

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 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:
(1) James Ball, Policy Division, International Bureau, at or (202) 418-2824
(2) David Krech, Policy Division, International Bureau, at or (202) 418-2824
(3) Kimberly Cook, Policy Division, International Bureau, at or (202) 418-2824
(4) Mark Uretsky, Policy Division, International Bureau, at or (202) 418-2824
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 -

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