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Reacting to last month’s Policy Statement by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC),  trade associations representing a spectrum of telecommunications providers filed a joint Petition for Reconsideration and for a stay of the FCC’s new policy of imposing penalties of three times the amounts owed but not timely contributed to four FCC-managed funds.

The Policy Statement reevaluated the FCC’s methodologies for calculating fines for violations of the FCC’s rules governing contributions to the Universal Service Fund (USF), the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) fund, the local number portability (LNP) fund, and the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) fund. Under the prior approach, the Commission imposed a fine for each unpaid bill within the one-year statute of limitations and, for USF and TRS payment violations, added 50% of the highest amount owed. However, as the Policy Statement explains, the FCC found this process to be “unnecessarily cumbersome,” time consuming, and resource-intensive and thus the FCC sought to improve efficiency and effectiveness in dealing with contribution violations.

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