In last week’s post (VoIP Numbering Trial Off to a Slow Start, posted November 6, 2013), I referenced an October 29 ex parte filing by Vonage, in which it reported that AT&T and Verizon had negotiated interconnection agreement amendments with Vonage’s CLEC partner in the Atlanta and Boston markets, respectively, while CenturyLink had refused to negotiate a similar amendment in the Phoenix market. The agreements with AT&T and Verizon allow the CLEC partner to deliver PSTN-originated traffic to Vonage’s OCN over existing interconnection trunks.
A comment in response to that prior post asked whether those AT&T and Verizon amendments would be available for adoption by other CLECs who act as partners to interconnected VoIP providers . Under FCC rules, CLECs cannot “pick and choose” individual components of an interconnection agreement to adopt, including specific amendments to underlying agreements that may differ from their own agreement. However, a CLEC without a pre-existing agreement could presumably adopt an existing agreement that included the amendment referenced in Vonage’s ex parte. Or, a similarly situated CLEC with a pre-existing agreement might be able to negotiate a comparable amendment.
Unfortunately, in this case, neither scenario looks plausible, at least with respect to the amendment that was negotiated with AT&T. I located the AT&T-Neutral Tandem amendment on the Georgia PSC’s website. It is very narrowly constructed to apply only in connection with the FCC numbering trial and only for the duration of that trial. It states: “For avoidance of doubt, after conclusion of the trial, Neutral Tandem and AT&T Georgia shall no longer exchange traffic destined to or originating from IVPs [interconnected VoIP providers], pursuant to this Agreement.” With this narrow construction, it seems unlikely that CLECs who are not VoIP numbering trial partners would be able to adopt the amendment or negotiate similar agreements with AT&T, at least for now.
If you are interested in seeing the AT&T-Neutral Tandem amendment, it is available for download below. So far, I have been unable to locate the Verizon ICA amendment but have requested it from the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable, and I will post it if it becomes available.