WCB Waives “All or Nothing” Rule to Allow Consolidated Communications to Maintain Rate-of-Return Study Areas


The Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB, Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted a waiver of section 61.41 of the FCC’s rules (the “all or nothing” rule), which requires all rate regulated companies that become affiliated with a price-cap regulated company to convert to price cap regulation within one year of the time of affiliation.  Consolidated Communications of Pennsylvania Company, Inc. and Consolidated Communications of Maine Company, Inc. combined the local exchange affiliates in their respective states as part of an internal reorganization and sought a waiver to permit them to maintain several study areas under rate-of-return regulation.  WCB granted the waiver of the “all or nothing” rule and associated other rules related to intercarrier compensation and tariffing requirements.  The Bureau determined that these mergers do not “raise concerns about cost-shifting and gamesmanship because the Petitioners’ interstate rates and Universal Service Fund support for the relevant study areas are no longer calculated based on recorded costs … and [the waiver] will promote the Commission’s policy of encouraging the deployment of broadband infrastructure in rural areas.”

Share Button