FCC issues order to prevent access stimulation

We’ve been reporting many discussions and filings with the FCC about their proposed rule to redefine access stimulation. Today, the FCC issued an Order to enact the rule changes. The intention is to prevent access stimulation, which often presents as domestic traffic pumping.

The FCC reports that these access stimulation schemes indirectly cost consumers an estimated $60 million to $80 million annually.

In their press release, the FCC noted that “one access arbitrage scheme resulted in twice as many minutes of calls per month being routed to Redfield, South Dakota, population 2,300, as is routed to all of Verizon’s facilities in New York City, population 8.5 million.”

In his statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai described the order as follows:

  1. First, we shift the financial responsibility for paying certain access charges to the access-stimulating carriers that are responsible for generating them.
  2. Second, we close a loophole that allowed access-stimulating carriers to profit from high-volume calling even without using a revenue sharing agreement.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

To combat wasteful access stimulation schemes, the FCC made several reforms in 2011. But gaming of the system has persisted. So today, we take action to remove the financial incentives to engage in this arbitrage.

The order is WC Docket No. 18-155.

FCC invokes new access stimulation definition and rules