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Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Numbers, Please...

The California PUC is planning to open a new rulemaking by the end of May to re-examine all of the rules and funding mechanisms for California's extensive stand-alone state universal service and public policy programs (i.e. Calif. Teleconnect, Deaf and Disabled). Interestingly, AT&T is urging the CPUC to get rid of its surcharges on intrastate telecom revenues, and urging adoption of a numbers-based USF funding mechanism based on working telephone numbers that mirrors the proposal being advocated by some at the federal level. AT&T's proposal was unveiled in comments that were filed on a CPUC Staff Report in advance of a two-day workshop held in San Francisco on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, led by Commissioner Rachelle Chong and the assigned ALJ. The same questions that are greeting the federal proposal were raised at the workshop, including whether the contribution base would be adequate and whether or how the CPUC could assess surcharges on California numbers utilized by VoIP carriers that are not being used for intrastate access or in any way associated with California.


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