Telecommunications Alert: Because They Are “Information Services”: Federal District Court Finds That Access Charges Should Not Apply to VoIP-Originated Calls Regardless of Filed Tariff Language b

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On February 18, 2010, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia held1 that interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service is an information service not subject to access charges. It concluded that a carrier could not collect access charges for such a service notwithstanding that it had filed a tariff with the FCC purporting to impose access charges on VoIP-originated calls. The case arose out of a dispute over compensation for VoIP-originated long-distance calls by CommPartners customers that were converted by CommPartners to a different format before being transmitted to PAETEC customers and “terminated” using PAETEC’s facilities.

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