AT&T and Midcontinent Seeking Waiver of Rural Call Completion Rules

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The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau has announced that it is seeking public comment on petitions for waiver of the FCC’s rural call completion rules that were filed by Midcontinent Communications and AT&T Services, Inc.  Midcontinent is seeking “a limited, temporary waiver of the FCC’s rural call completion reporting requirements” because “imposition of the rules on Midcontinent will cause substantial financial hardship” without improving rural call completion percentages.  It proposes the FCC waive the rural call completion reporting requirements for Midcontinent until Midcontinent serves 250,000 retail access lines or for three years, whichever period is shorter.  AT&T is seeking a waiver of the call attempt recording, retention and reporting requirements because “[c]oming into full compliance with the…rules would require AT&T to invest millions of dollars in developing and executing costly and resource-intensive workarounds and retrofits, diverting resources from other priorities.”  Its waiver request is generally consistent with the waiver process that was laid out by the Commission in the Rural Call Completion Order.  Comments on the two petitions are due on or before May 12, 2014, and reply comments are due May 19, 2014.

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