AT&T has announced that as of June 30, 2020, it intends to terminate all existing Extended Access Service (EAS) and Traffic Termination Agreements (TTA) and will initiate negotiations to enter a new single agreement that will supersede current existing EAS and TTA arrangements. AT&T has sent this notice to many RLECs in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. JSI expects that eventually all RLECs that connect with AT&T will receive such notices from AT&T.
In the notice, AT&T states that as of July 1, 2020, it will no longer accept or pay billing invoices for ILEC terminating switched end office and reciprocal compensation, including settlement arrangements.
Under the FCC’s 2011 ICC Order, reciprocal compensation for local traffic cannot be higher than access payments. On July 1, the end office terminating access element will be zero for RLECs. AT&T’s notice informs RLECs that it will no longer pay reciprocal compensation for the end office element.
AT&T does have the right to implement the FCC rules. However, the notice implies that AT&T wants to include other settlement arrangements set up by the states, such as Originating Responsibility Plans (ORP) and Area Calling Plans (ACP) and potentially all intercarrier compensation. The replacement agreements will also be a full replacement of existing agreements. Typically, the existing traffic agreement includes trunking arrangements, responsibility for transport, and other issues not addressed in the ICC order.
JSI is offering clients guidance in how to respond and can help negotiate the new agreement with AT&T. If you have questions regarding this notice, contact Valerie Wimer at 301-459-7590.