Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

FCC Issues Ruling On Prepaid Calling Cards

In In the matter of Regulation of Prepaid Calling Card Services (WC Docket No. 05-68), the FCC has [taken] "steps necessary to protect the federal universal service program and promote stability in the market for prepaid calling cards.  In particular, we will treat certain prepaid calling card service providers as telecommunications service providers. As such, these providers must pay intrastate access charges for interexchange calls that originate and terminate in the same state and interstate access charges on interexchange calls that originate and terminate in different states.  They also must contribute to the federal Universal Service Fund (USF) based on their interstate revenues, subject to the limitations set forth below. We also address a petition for interim relief filed by AT&T and adopt interim rules to facilitate compliance with the universal service and access charge rules.  Specifically, on an interim and prospective basis, we require all prepaid calling card providers to comply with certain reporting and certification requirements." [footnotes omitted]

The agency ruled that "menu-driven" cards are subject to fees. Read the ruling in full here. Read more here in a Business Week article.

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