FCC Grants Petition Seeking Waiver of Interstate Revenue Threshold Associated with Limited International Revenue Exemption; Allows Tata to Qualify for LIRE in Spite of Interstate Revenue Exceeding 12%

Yesterday, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau released an order granting Tata Communications’ petition for waiver of rules governing the Limited International Revenue Exemption (LIRE) to allow Tata to maintain its eligibility for the exemption for contribution purposes once its interstate revenues exceed the current qualifying threshold for that exemption (currently 12% interstate revenue to 88% international). The Bureau found good cause to grant Tata’s request for waiver of the rules retroactively to 2020 revenue year and prospectively.  

The waiver granted to Tata would be terminated upon the effectiveness of any Commission rule that revises the LIRE on an industry-wide basis. Furthermore, the continued applicability of a waiver is conditioned on Tata’s percentage of interstate revenue remaining below the current contribution factor.  Tata must also periodically self-certify that it is in compliance with the waiver.

With the current USF contribution factor at 33.4%, the waiver would allow Tata to comfortably exceed the current 12% LIRE interstate revenue threshold without subjecting revenue from international telecommunications to USF contributions. 

If your company or an “Affiliate Group” of companies: (A) is currently qualified for the LIRE exemption, but concerned about losing the exemption or (B) recently lost its qualification for the LIRE exemption and would be interested in filing a “Me Too” waiver petition with the FCC, please contact Jonathan S. Marashlian at jsm@commlawgroup.com

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