FCC Seeks Comment on Petition for Waiver of “All-or-Nothing” Rule

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The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a Petition for Waiver filed by Consolidated Communications of Pennsylvania Company, Inc. (CCPC) and Consolidated Communications of Maine Company, Inc. (CCMC) of FCC rule section 61.41(c)(2), the “all-or-nothing” rule, which requires rate-of-return carriers that merged with price cap carriers to convert to price cap regulation within one year. Petitioners are both price-cap incumbent local exchange carriers wholly-owned by Consolidated Communications, Inc. (CCI). The request stems from an internal reorganization of the telecommunications companies owned by CCI which resulted in the merger and consolidation of rate-of-return telephone companies into CCPC and CCMC. The Petitioners state that CCI previously received a similar waiver to continue operating certain LEC affiliates as rate-of-return carriers notwithstanding their affiliation with price cap companies, and that to require conversion of the rate-of-return entities to price cap entities will be costly and disruptive. Petitioners also request waiver of the FCC’s pricing-related rules in Parts 51, 54, 61 and 69, to the extent necessary to facilitate the subject waiver. Comments are due October 4, 2019, and reply comments are due October 21, 2019.

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