Column: FCC Imposes New Regulatory Fee on Toll-Free Numbers

By Neil Ende, Managing Partner at Technology Law Group

The FCC is imposing new fees on toll-free numbers.

Prior to its 2014 Report and Order, the FCC did not assess regulatory fees on toll-free numbers. According to the FCC, this forbearance was based on the assumption that the carriers controlling these numbers were paying regulatory fees based on the revenues derived from the traffic using these numbers.

In its 2014 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC concluded that this assumption was not accurate as many toll-free numbers are no longer controlled or managed by RespOrgs that are not common carriers. Thus, in its 2014 Report and Order, the FCC concluded that it has “both the legal authority and responsibility to assess regulatory fees on toll-free numbers,” and it decided to impose these fees beginning in 2015.

The regulatory fee on toll-free numbers is assessed on RespOrgs for each working, assigned, reserved, in transit or any other status of toll free number, as defined in Section 52.103 of the Commission’s rules, that is managed by the RespOrg. The fee is payable for all toll-free numbers unless the toll-free number is only used to complete calls from other countries. Both Interstate Telecommunications Service Providers (ITSPs) that are RespOrgs and RespOrgs that are not ITSPs are responsible for the payment of this fee.

f you would like to discuss how this ruling will affect the telecom channel, please give us a call.  For the latest telecom news and access to valuable original content, please follow Technology Law Group on twitter @TechLawGroup.