FCC Upholds Denial of Worldcall Roaming Complaint Against AT&T


The FCC has issued an order denying an Application for Review filed by Worldcall Interconnect, Inc. (WCX) which requested a reversal of a previous order issued by the Enforcement Bureau’s Market Disputes Resolution Division late in 2016. In that previous order, the Commission denied portions of a formal complaint filed by WCX alleging that AT&T violated the agency’s roaming rules. Specifically, the previous order “concluded that AT&T is not obligated to offer data roaming to WCX in all areas that WCX had requested, and that WCX failed to meet its burden of showing that AT&T’s proposed data roaming rates are commercially unreasonable.” With respect to what rule(s) governs the rate dispute between WCX and AT&T, the Commission determined that Section 20.12(e), and not Section 20.12(d), covers WCX’s purchase of AT&T’s mobile broadband Internet access service through roaming. The fact that WCX customers will be using roaming via the “mobile broadband Internet” of AT&T to use traditional voice services is apparently irrelevant. In other words, the Commission has once again determined that Section 20.12(d) is to be strictly interpreted to only cover CMRS roaming for voice, text messaging and push-to-talk capabilities, but not any similar capabilities (i.e., voice and text) delivered through mobile broadband Internet obtained via roaming. With respect to the roaming rates being offered by AT&T, the Commission has again concluded that AT&T’s “strategic [roaming] agreements” should be excluded when determining commercial reasonableness, because they take into consideration factors that do not directly pertain to the pure furnishing of roaming services, and that once those special agreements are excluded, AT&T’s rates to all remaining carriers are commercially reasonable. Just as with the initial order, this latest order against WCX and favoring AT&T contains confidential text redacted from public viewing, so not all of the Commission’s analysis is available for scrutiny.

Share Button