Following its release of the most recent intercarrier compensation and USF reform proposal (NPRM), the FCC has announced that it will convene the first of several “public workshops to identify solutions to key issues in the USF/ICC proceeding.” (See Public Notice)
This first workshop will be held at the FCC’s offices in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, April 6th. The Commission will focus only on intercarrier compensation reform proposals at this workshop. Specific panelists or an agenda have not yet been released. The Commission is expected to focus on a number of the issues already teed up in the NPRM, including potential resolution of issues like VoIP compensation, phantom traffic, access stimulation and other similar issues.
Notably, in announcing this workshop the five Commissioners posted a joint blog entry (available here ) announcing their intent to “mov[e] to an Order within a few months” of closing the record in May of this year. Issuance of an order within that timeframe would be extraordinary, especially in light of the speed at which prior members of the FCC have addressed ICC reform issues. Whether the Commission can follow through on this aggressive timeline is, of course, a question as yet unanswered. Suffice it to say, many eyes will be watching.