FCC Eliminates Most PIU Reporting and Certification Requirements

On May 17, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) granted a Petition for Forbearance abolishing certain Percentage of Interstate Usage (“PIU”) reporting requirements for prepaid calling card providers (“PCCP”). Specifically the FCC abolished requirements adopted under Section 64.5001 which require PCCPs to report and certify prepaid calling card traffic data to underlying carriers and the FCC.  The FCC also granted limit forbearance from certification requirements regarding Federal Universal Service Fund (“FUSF”) compliance for PCCPs that have a two (2) year track record of timely filing requisite annual and quarterly FCC Forms 499s.

REPORTING DETAILS

Prior to forbearance, Section 64.5001(c) of the FCC’s rules required an officer from each PCCP to submit a quarterly certification to the FCC stating, among other things: (a) its percentage of intrastate, interstate, and international calling card minutes for the reporting period; (b) that the provider is making the required Universal Service Fund (“USF”) contributions; and (c) that it has complied with its PIU reporting obligations to its underlying carriers.

Pursuant to the FCC’s recent  forbearance order, PCCPs are no longer required to report and file PIU traffic and revenue data with underlying carriers because the Commission held that inter-carrier reports “distinguishing minutes of use between interstate and intrastate jurisdictions are no longer necessary to ensure just and reasonable rates or to prevent unreasonable or unjust discrimination.” Likewise, PCCPs also do not have to provide PIU traffic and revenue data to the FCC in quarterly Certifications, as the FCC held that “the industry has established business practices to achieve the same purposes, and it is in the public interest to remove duplicative, outmoded and unnecessary requirements in response to the marketplace.”

However, while the FCC eliminated PIU traffic and revenue data reporting requirements, the FCC retained the requirement that PCCPs who do not have a two year track record of timely filing FCC Form 499s certify compliance with Federal Universal Service Fund (“FUSF”) contribution rules for carriers.  Consequently, newly licensed PCCPs and PCCPs that do not file requisite FCC Form 499s by the applicable filing deadline are still required to file quarterly Certifications with the FCC. This Certification, signed under penalty of perjury,  must certify that the company is making all required FUSF contributions.  PCCP providers that have timely filed FCC Forms 499s for a period of two years may cease filing all quarterly certifications with the FCC.

CLIENT ACTION ITEMS

As a courtesy to clients subscribed to The Commpliance Group’s Managed Compliance Service, regulatory consultants will review subscriber’s two year FCC Form 499 filing history to determine if the client may qualify for the PIU Officer Certification exemption.  Clients deemed to have timely filed FCC Form 499 for the past two years will not be required to file the PIU Certification at this time.

Managed Compliance Services Subscribers: Clients currently subscribed to our Managed Compliance Service through our firm’s regulatory consulting affiliate, The Commpliance Group, will be contacted shortly to determine if they are exempt from PIU Certification requirements.  Filers that are not considered exempt will be provided with a newly updated PIU Certification for review and signature.

Non-Subscribers: Clients not currently subscribed to our Managed Compliance Service through The Commpliance Group, but who require assistance evaluating PIU Certification obligations may contact Christopher Canter, at cac@commpliancegroup.com, to make appropriate arrangements.

ATTORNEY ADVERTISING DISCLAIMER: This information may be considered advertising in some jurisdictions under the applicable law and ethical rules. The determination of the need for legal services and the choice of a lawyer are extremely important decisions and should not be based solely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers