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such telephone service between February 4, 1991 and April 12, 1991 without authorization and without filing schedules of tariff charges with this Commission.
2. Telecaribe's telephone service to Cuba also was the subject of action taken by the U.S. Department of Treasury. On March 20, 1991, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of Treasury issued an Order 10 Cease and Desist and Furnish Information to Telecaribe, stating that Telecaribe's actions could be in violation of the Trading With the Enemy Act 4 and the Cuban Assets Control Regulations. Telecaribe was ordered to immediately cease and desist all direct and indirect telephone service to Cuba.
3. For purposes of this Consent Decree, the following definitions apply:
7. In consideration for the termination of this proceeding in accordance with the terms of this Consent Decree, Telecaribe and Sablon agree to the following terms, conditions and procedures that the parties believe will facilitate
and expeditious resolution of the above-captioned proceeding in a manner that would serve the public interest. Telecaribe and Sablon agree to the following terms, conditions and procedures without admitting or denying any of the alleged violations which led to this proceeding, or admitting any other violations of law, rules or policy.
(a) Telecaribe agrees to make a voluntary contribution to the United States Treasury, without further protest, or recourse to a trial de novo, in the amount of $5000.00 within 5 days of the date on which the Order is released. (b) Telecaribe and Sablon agree that they will secure prior authorization pursuant to Section 214(a) of the Communications Act, file and establish effective schedules of charges in accordance with Section 203(c) of the Act, and comply fully with Commission rules implementing such sections of the Act before engaging in the provision of any common carrier telecommunications service from the United States to any foreign country.
(a) "Commission" means the Federal Communications Commission; (b) "Bureau" means the Commission's Common Carrier Bureau; (c) "Enforcement Division" means the Bureau's Enforcement Division; (d) "Sablon" means Ricardo Sablon, Jr., aka Richard Sablon; (e) "Telecaribe" means Telecaribe Corporation or any other similar telecommunications entity, affiliate, subsidiary, successor or company controlled directly or indirectly by Sablon or in which Sablon has or had an interest; (f) "Order" means the order of the Commission/Bureau adopting the terms and conditions of this Consent Decree and formally disposing of the above-captioned proceeding; (g) "Effective date of this Consent Decree" is the date that the Order adopting the terms and conditions of this Consent Decree is released.
4. Telecaribe and Sablon admit the jurisdiction of this Commission over it and its current and former principals and over the subject matter of this action for the purposes of this Consent Decree and any Order in recognition of the cost of enforcement actions which ensure compliance with the Communications Act and the Commission's rules.
5. Telecaribe and Sablon agree that, upon their signing and the signing of the Enforcement Division, the provisions of this Consent Decree shall be incorporated by reference in any Order, as described in paragraphs 8 and 11 below, formally adopting this Consent Decree and terminating the proceeding.
6. Telecaribe and Sablon waive any right they may have to appeal any Order, as described in paragraphs 8 and 11 below.
8. In light of the covenants and representations contained in paragraphs 4-7, supra, and in express reliance thereon, the Enforcement Division agrees that this document serves to resolve all issues arising from violations of the Communications Act and Commission rules by Telecaribe, if any, in its provision of telephone service to Cuba between February 4. 1991 and April 12. 1991. If this Consent Decree is adopted by Order of the Commission Bureau, such adoption shall constitute a decision to terminate the File No. ENF-91-06 investigatory proceeding without any finding of violation or liability on the part of Telecaribe. Sablon or any other former or current officer, director, stockholder or employee of Telecaribe.
9. Telecaribe and Sablon agree that any violation of the Order or of this Consent Decree shall constitute a separate violation of a Commission order, entitling the Commission to exercise any rights and remedies attendant to the enforcement of a Commission order.
10. Telecaribe, Sablon and the Enforcement Division further agree that the effectiveness of this Consent Decree is expressly contingent upon termination of the File No. ENF-91-06 proceeding, issuance of an Order as described herein, and the compliance of Telecaribe and Sablon with the terms and conditions in paragraphs 4-7, 9 and 11. If the Consent Decree is not signed by all the parties or is otherwise rendered invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, it shall become null and void and shall not become part of the record in the ENF-91-06 proceeding nor may it be used in any fashion by any party in a legal proceeding
[a]ny party that would be a non-dominant international communications service provider must file an application pursuant to $ 63.01 for certification to initiate that service
to any geographic market.... 50 U.S.C. App. I et seq. 531 C.F.R. $ 515.201.
11. If the Commission brings an action in United States District Court to enforce the terms of the Order, Telecaribe and Sablon agree that they will not contest the validity of the Order, will waive their statutory right to a trial de novo and will consent to a judgment incorporating the terms of this Consent Decree.
For: Telecaribe Corporation
For: Enforcement Division
Common Carrier Bureau
Gregory A. Weiss
Vista also argues that its forecast of OB&C expenses reflects the fact that it will be obtaining these services from Centel under contract and therefore is correct. Vista further asserts that Centel has fully justified its allocation of OB&C expense to the Common Line rate element. Id. at 6-7.
5. Centel argues that the general corporate expenses MCI challenges are company-wide and are not directly dependent on individual operating companies. Thus, it says, the sale will not result in any reduction in these expenses. Centel Reply at 2-4. Finally, Centel states that its accounting and data processing expenses are increasing despite the transaction with Rochester but adds that they would increase more if it had not completed this transaction. Id. at 4-6.
6. The Common Carrier Bureau has reviewed the captioned tariff revisions, the petitions, and the replies of Centel and Vista. We conclude that no compelling argument has been presented that the tariff revisions are so patently unlawful as to warrant rejection, or that an investigation is warranted at this time.
7. Therefore, IT IS ORDERED that the petitions to reject or in the alternative to suspend and investigate Vista Telephone Company Tariff F.C.C. No. 1, Transmittal No. 1, filed by American Telephone and Telegraph Company and MCI Telecommunications Corporation, and the petition to reject or in the alternative to suspend and investigate Centel Telephone Companies Tariff F.C.C. No. 1, Transmittal No. 178 filed by MCI Telecommunications Corporation ARE DENIED.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Carl D. Lawson
1. The captioned tariff revisions, which were filed to reflect the sale of the properties of the Centel Telephone Companies (Centel) in lowa and Minnesota to Rochester Telephone Corporation,' are scheduled to become effective September 1, 1991 on 90 days' notice. American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) and MCI Telecommunications Corporation (MCI) have filed petitions against the Vista tariff and MCI has also filed a petition against Centel's tariff. Vista and Centel have filed replies.
2. AT&T argues that its petition against Centel's annual access tariff filing showed that Centel had substantially exceeded the assignment of Subscriber Line Charge billing costs to the Common Line rate element. AT&T contends that Vista's tariff should be suspended and investigated because Vista's tariff relies on Centel's projected assignments of Other Billing and Collection (OB&C) expense. Thus, AT&T concludes, Vista's tariff suffers from this same deficiency. AT&T Petition at 1-2.
3. MCI complains that the Vista rates for the two study areas that are significantly higher than the rates that Centel filed in its annual access tariff on April 2, 1991. MCI maintains that the lion's share of this increase is due to Vista's obligation immediately to pay approximately $1.4 million in deferred taxes previously booked by Centel. MCI argues that Vista should not be permitted to recover this increased tax expense from ratepayers. MCI Vista Petition at 2-3. MCI also argues that Centel has failed to reduce its general corporate expenses, despite the fact that it will have two fewer companies to administer. MCI Centel Petition at 2-3. Further, MCI contends that Centel has increased its accounting and data processing expenses despite Centel's claim that the sale of its lowa and Minnesota operations will reduce these expenses. Id. at 3-4.
4. In response, Vista describes its increased tax expense as an unavoidable consequence of the sale and concludes that it is entitled to recover these costs. Vista Reply at 4-5.
1. American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) has filed Transmittal No. 3216 to modify Virtual Telecommunications Network Service (VTNS) Option 66. under which AT&T provides voice and data communications service among locations in the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and specific international locations. Specifically, the modifications to Option 66: add the capability to place calls between specified international locations and the United States; modify the switched access charges, the Type II authorization codes, and the calling matrix to reflect the new international calling capability; introduce an international data transmission capability (DTC), voice transmission capability, and satellite transmission capability volume pricing plan; reduce the basic charge from $53,900 per month to $51.274 per month and modify the service elements included in the basic charge; modify the change charges provisions; modify the outage credit units; and make certain textual changes. See AT&T Transmittal No. 3216 Description and Justification (D&J) at 2-7. The transmittal is scheduled to take effect on September 4, 1991.
2. Williams Telecommunications Group, Inc. (Williams) filed a petition to reject or suspend and investigate the Option 66 modifications or to provide alternative relief, on July 8, 1991. ' AT&T filed a reply on July 15, 1991.
3. Williams contends that modified Option 66 raises the same issues as the options remanded by the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Tariff 12 Remand and must be reviewed in light of the remand. Williams Petition at 2. Williams alleges that Option 66 features bundling of 800 service with other Tariff 12 services which allows AT&T to take advantage of the lack of number portability and effectively preclude a customer from leaving AT&T. Id. at 2-7.
4. Williams claims that this filing is unlawful because it violates the anti-discrimination provisions of the Communications Act. Id. at 7-14. Specifically, Williams argues
that AT&T has failed to demonstrate that modified Option 66 is an integrated service package that is "unlike" its component services and thus has failed to justify the discrimination between this option and AT&T's other services. Id. at 8-12. Williams also contends that even if Option 66 could qualify as an integrated service package, its rates vary without justification from other options under Tariff 12 and are thus discriminatory. Id. at 12-14 (also insisting that because the integrated service packages are "like" the Commission should examine
the underlying contracts).
5. Williams further alleges that modified Option 66 violates the Commission's policy against geographic rate deaveraging, that it is not generally available. and that Tariff 12 packages violate the Commission's Private Line Guidelines. Id. at 14-17. Williams urges the Commission to reject or suspend Transmittal 3216, or at a minimum, requests that this transmittal take effect subject to the remand proceedings. Id. at 17-18.
6. AT&T replies that Williams makes no claims directed to the tariff revisions at issue here, but instead repeats the same arguments that it has advanced in opposition to virtually every Tariff 12 filing. AT&T Reply at 1. In response to Williams' new claim of improper bundling of 800 service access with other switched private line access AT&T responds that this assertion is meritless since it based on the parently false premise that VTNS is simply a combination of services. Id. at 1-2.
7. In response to Williams' charges of discrimination, bundling, "likeness" among options, lack of general availability, and geographic rate deaveraging, AT&T maintains that these allegations have been raised without success in previous VTNS filings and insists that Williams' claims provide no basis for any different treatment of the revisions to Option 66. Id. at 34. AT&T also insists that the Court of Appeals decision creates no basis to reject or suspend new or revised VTNS offerings and notes that the Commission has issued several orders allowing VTNS Options to become effective since the release of the Court of Appeals Tariff 12 Remand. Id. at 4. Therefore, AT&T asserts that the most that the Commission should do is make Option 66 subject to the outcome of the remand proceeding. Id. at 5.
8. The Common Carrier Bureau has reviewed AT&T Transmittal No. 3216, the petition filed by Williams, and AT&T's reply. We conclude that no compelling argument has been presented that the tariff revisions are so patently unlawful as to warrant rejection.
9. On October 23, 1990, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed and remanded the Commission's Order in CC Docket No. 87-568, AT&T Communications, Revisions to Tariff F.C.C. No. 12, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 4 FCC Rcd 4932, recon. denied, 4 FCC Rod 7928 (1989). See MCI Telecommunications Corp. v. FCC, 917 F.2d 30 (D.C. Cir. 1990). Although Transmittal 3216 does not present new
We do not address in this Order a petition submitted by MCI Telecommunications Corporation (MCI) 49 days after the filing deadline. MCI incorrectly cites Section 1.45 of the Commission's Rules as its authority for the late filing. Section 1.773 of the Commission's Rules controls here, and pursuant to Section 1.773(a)(2)(ii), petitions to reject this transmittal should have been filed no later than July 8, 1991.
See MCI Telecommunications Corp. v. FCC, 917 F.2d 30 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (Tariff 12 Remand), rev'g and remanding AT&T Communications, Revisions to Tariff F.C.C. No. 12, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 4 FCC Rcd 4932 (Tariff 12 Order), recon. denied, 4 FCC Rod 7928 (1989).
questions that warrant investigation at this time, it could be affected by the Commission's decision in the CC Docket 87-568 remand proceedings. Therefore, Transmittal 3216 takes effect subject to the outcome of the remand proceedings in CC Docket 87-568.
10. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that the petition to reject, or to suspend and investigate, American Telephone and Telegraph Company Tariff F.C.C. No. 12, Transmittal No. 3216 filed by Williams Telecommunications Group. Inc., IS DENIED.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Carl D. Lawson