The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to fine Simple Network, Inc., a prepaid calling card provider, $100,000 for allegedly providing interstate telecommunications services without registering with the FCC through the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC).
The FCC says that Simple Network's alleged failure to register allowed the company to avoid payments that support federal programs, including the Universal Service Fund (USF), and potentially created higher fees for companies which followed the law by registering with USAC.
"Registration as a telecommunications service provider is an essential first step toward rule compliance that also supports the affordable and convenient phone services that Americans have come to expect," said Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau. "Telecommunications providers, including prepaid calling services, should see this as a reminder that registration is required and that failing to register has significant consequences."
The FCC's Enforcement Bureau requested information from Simple Network to determine whether the company was registered with USAC, but the company was unable to demonstrate that it had filed the required forms, and further FCC investigation showed that Simple Network was not registered with the agency and USAC.
Companies that provide interstate telecommunications services are required to register with the FCC and USAC prior to entering interstate telecommunications service markets. Registration supports the programs and policies that work to ensure that all Americans have access to communications services.
These programs provide affordable national telephone services to high cost and low income areas, rural health care facilities, and schools and libraries; offer Americans with hearing and speech disabilities access to telephone services; allow Americans to maintain their phone number as they move between carriers; and support a standard dialing system in North America.
Failure to pay the required assessments for these services may increase the amounts that registered telecommunications service providers are required to pay, creating unfair advantages for unregistered companies.
View the FCC's Notice of Apparent Liability against Simple Network:https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-526A1.pdf