LNP Order Reflects FCC Insensitivity to Rural Concerns

Arlington, Va., November 12, 2003 — In response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent ruling on local number portability (LNP), the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association’s (NTCA) Chief Executive Officer Michael E. Brunner issued the following statement:

"Unfortunately, in the case of many rural ILECs, porting from wireless to wireline is not always feasible. But the FCC seems to have no concern about that. It is clear that the FCC is insensitive to the unique circumstances surrounding intermodal porting in rural areas.

"NTCA lobbied hard on this issue.  We met with the commissioners and their advisers to discuss our concerns and, needless to say, we are disappointed. We are certain that this order will have a far-reaching impact on the rating and routing of traffic, and on intercarrier compensation—issues that greatly affect the way our member companies do business. 

"However, we are relieved that rural carriers have some additional time to comply with the order.  Hopefully, this time will afford the FCC an opportunity to address some of the outstanding technical and regulatory issues currently surrounding local number portability."


###

NTCA is the premier association representing more than 550 locally owned and controlled telecommunications cooperatives and commercial companies throughout rural and small-town America. NTCA provides its members with legislative,Contact Caitlin Colligan at 703-351-2086 regulatory, and industry representation; meetings, publications, and educational programs; and an array of employee benefit programs.