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Severn, MD

Definition of "Common Carrier" as it relates to 499a f

This is probably one of those "if you have to ask..." questions, but common sense has never stopped me before.

As a small provider of hosted/managed business VoIP to a small handful of businesses, I'm trying to figure out if the FCC would classify us as a "common carrier" or not. We provide services utilizing excess capacity on a switch that we use for our own business operations and terms are negotiated privately with customers. I'd like to eventually take things to the next level with some real marketing to the general public, etc. but for now that's the situation here.

I'm seeing a fair amount of vague and conflicting info concerning common carrier vs. non common carrier status relating to market dominance, private negotiation of terms with customers, etc. but no real solid definition.

According to the FCC website, I can see that one of the highly-regarded "one man operation" carriers here has not filed a 499 since '08 and I'm wondering if we could also avoid this mess until we "go public". If anyone could shed some light on this, I would be eternally grateful.

OMG, what a regulatory Hell the FCC hath wrought.



- Phil

Streamwood, IL

1 edit

Re: Definition of "Common Carrier" as it relates to 49

I don't know, but » ··· _carrier makes it sound to me as if you are not a common carrier. I understand that is not authoritative.

Gershom 1624
reply to pquesinb
From the FCC website:

FCC Form 499-A Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet

Need to file if:

You must file if you are defined as a telecommunications carrier under section 3(44) of the Telecommunications Act or if you offer any interstate or international telecommunications services or interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The definition is very broad and covers many firms that have no other contact with the FCC. Wireline, wireless, wholesale only, resale, interstate, and international carriers (including ILECs, CLECs, prepaid card, prepaid wireless phone and pay telephone providers) as well as some other telecommunications providers must file.

» ··· ing.html

1) If it were my business, I would file.

2) Things are getting tougher all the time, as the authorities are increasingly concerned about spoofing, swatting, general fraud, and homeland security issues.

3) At a minimum, discuss with an attorney familiar with telecom issues.

4) I would not rely on the presence or absence of a 499 from any particular provider here.