Miami, Florida – Hard core phone geeks are buzzing over the Federal Communication Commission (FCC)’s plans to release a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for intercarrier compensation reform of February.
Previously, in the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, the agency proposed to phase out the framework of intercarrier compensation rules within a decade, getting rid of per minute billing and all the other complicated rules associated with long-distance phone calls.
How the news fly with the phone companies large and small is anyone’s guess. Rural phone companies have been raking in tons of money by having calls directed to them by a third-party – 900 services, free conferencing services. Since the calls terminate at the phone numbers controlled by a rural carrier, the carrier gets the termination and per-minute fees for the call.
Needless to say, rural phone companies are able to charge more per call based up compensation schemes worked out decades ago and end up making sweet money. They are likely not willing to give up all that cash without a huge fight involving lawyers, lobbyists, and Congress, pitting rural districts against urban ones.