FCC Grants CenturyLink Forbearance From Cost Assignment Rules

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The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau has approved a Compliance Plan submitted by CenturyLink, and as a result, has granted the company forbearance from enforcement of the FCC’s cost assignment rules, which generally require carriers to assign network costs and network service revenues to specific categories, such as nonregulated or regulated service, intrastate or interstate jurisdiction, and specific access services, such as local switching or common line.  In a May 2013 Order, the FCC granted forbearance from enforcement of its cost assignment rules for all price cap carriers, subject to the approval of a compliance plan describing how they will meet certain statutory and regulatory obligations.  In its Compliance Plan, CenturyLink explains it will comply with the FCC’s Part 32 Uniform System of Accounts (USOA) rules by continuing to maintain USOA books of account for all of its regulated operating telephone companies.  CenturyLink then explains it will certify, on an annual basis, that it complies with section 254(k) of the Communications Act, and will maintain and provide any requested cost accounting information necessary to prove such compliance.  Additionally, CenturyLink explains that it is not seeking forbearance from Section 64.1903 of the FCC’s rules, which requires an independent incumbent carrier to provide in-region long distance services through the use of a separate affiliate.  If CenturyLink later decides to take advantage of forbearance from the rule, it must make a separate filing that addresses it.

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