Waivers Granted for Rate Adjustment, But Not for Imputation Rule

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The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) has granted waiver petitions for Butler-Bremer Mutual Telephone Company, Inc., Panora Communications Cooperative (Panora), and Prairie Telephone Co., Inc. (Prairie).  The waivers permit the companies to modify their capped switched access charge rates to utilize different rate bands in the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) tariff in order to implement mergers and consolidations of certain study areas.  The Bureau found that allowing the consolidating carriers to offer modified switched access charge rates would serve the public interest by promoting better productivity and efficiencies that in turn result in company cost savings and create broadband deployment opportunities.  However, the Bureau denied the requests of Panora and Prairie seeking a waiver of the imputation rule.  The Bureau explained that by merging prior to seeking a waiver, the companies voluntarily reduced the rate assessed on local switching in the Prairie exchange. Accordingly, Panora and Prairie must impute the local switching rate for Prairie traffic at the higher rate from the merger closing date to the effective date of the Bureau’s order.

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