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SBA sides with rural telcos in appeal against intermodal LNP

WASHINGTON-The Small Business Administration said on Feb. 13 that it will join the appeals court challenge of the intermodal local number portability rules.

“Advocacy will reach out to the Federal Communications Commission to discuss alternative means to resolve the small business issues in this challenge while preparing to file in support of the small business petitioners,” said the SBA’s Office of Advocacy.

The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association and the Organization for the Promotion of Small Telephone Companies filed suit in December claiming the FCC did not conduct a required regulatory flexibility analysis when it said in November that intermodal porting could occur even if a wireless carrier did not have a switch located in a rate center or there was no interconnection agreement in place.

“The SBA’s involvement illustrates the merits of the associations’ case,” said NTCA and OPASTCO in a joint statement.
Wireline carriers have complained that it is not fair to make them port outside a rate center-a geographic distinction used to determine the amount to charge for completing a call. Currently wireline carriers do not port outside rate centers because this is considered geographic porting. The confusion occurred when the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association pointed out that if the FCC did not allow out-of-rate-center porting, only one in eight customers would be eligible to cut the cord.

The FCC sided with CTIA on Nov. 10 but recently said that wireline carriers who serve less than 2 percent of the nation’s telephone lines could wait until May 24 deadline for nationwide LNP to comply.

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