FCC Authorizes Interconnected VoIP Providers To Obtain Telephone Numbers Directly
On June 22, 2015, the FCC released an order authorizing interconnected VoIP providers to obtain telephone numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators, rather than through intermediaries or wholesale carriers. Generally, the FCC will now require interconnected VoIP providers to follow the same requirements applicable to traditional TDM-based carriers seeking to obtain numbers.
Those interconnected VoIP providers without a state-issued certification may pursue a three-step process to obtain direct access to numbers:
- File a VoIP Numbering Authorization Application with the FCC requesting direct access to numbers, which may be “deemed granted” on the 31st day after filing;
- After FCC grant, provide state commissions with 30 days’ notice of any attempt to access numbers (along with contact information and the like); and
- After the 30-day state notice period, establish an “Operating Company Number” with the Numbering Administrators and request numbers on a state-by-state basis.
Although these topside steps appear simple, obtaining numbers may be administratively complex. First, the FCC (or more specifically, the Wireline Competition Bureau) may suspend the “deemed granted” period if the Bureau has questions or needs more information. Once suspended, there is no mechanism ensuring a grant.
*This alert was originally posted on Arent Fox's Deadlines and Headlines blog. To read this alert in its entirety, please click here.