FCC to address phone traffic payments

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin has proposed a change in the way mobile phone carriers pay to route phone traffic with a new proposal called the Intercarrier Compensation and Universal Service Program Reform.

The proposal aims to address the “the comprehensive reform of intercarrier compensation and universal service.” 

This suggestion has many small to midsize mobile phone carriers concerned, as it could increase the payments that carriers are forced to make and may hurt their ability to offer competitive pricing for customers in rural areas.

“This has the potential to change the dynamic of our business models, and we would have to raise costs tremendously, which would in turn be passed on to consumers,” said Matt Salmon, president of CompTel, in a conference call.

However, Bob Quinn, SVP for regulatory policy at AT&T, told the Associated Press that revenue for the phone giant is down as more consumers move to cable to host phone communications.

The five-member FCC voting panel will address Martin’s proposal at a public meeting on Nov. 4.

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