Before: Williams, Ginsburg, and Sentelle, Circuit Judges.
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT
Consolidated with Nos. 95-1194, 95-1200, 95-1201, 95-1207, 95-1208, 96-1081, 96-1111, 96-1112, 96-1114
On Petitions for Review of Orders of the Federal Communications Commission
Robert B. McKenna, Jr. argued the cause for petitioner, with whom Robert M. Lynch, Durward D. Dupre, M. Robert Sutherland, Jack B. Harrison, Thomas E. Taylor, David J. Gudino, Rodney L. Joyce, Michael S. Pabian, and Margaret E. Garber were on the briefs.
Stewart A. Block, Counsel, Federal Communications Commission, argued the cause for respondent. William E. Kennard, General Counsel, Daniel M. Armstrong, Associate General Counsel, John E. Ingle, Deputy Associate General Counsel, Carl D. Lawson, Counsel, Joel I. Klein, Acting Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, Robert B. Nicholson, and Robert J. Wiggers, Attorneys, were on the brief.
William J. Byrnes argued the cause for intervenors, with whom Frank W. Krogh, Victor J. Toth, and John H. Chapman were on the joint brief.
Opinion for the court filed by Circuit Judge Ginsburg.
In these consolidated petitions several local exchange carriers (LECs) challenge two orders of the Federal Communications Commission holding that they violated the Commission's rules by assessing certain resellers of 800 service excessive carrier common line (CCL) charges. Specifically, the Commission concluded that the petitioning LECs were liable to the resellers for a partial refund of the CCL charges because the LECs had assessed the resellers two terminating CCL charges (rather than one terminating and one originating charge) for each call made through the resellers' 800 services, in violation of the Commission's rules. We accept the reasoning of the Commission and deny the petitions for review.
The orders under review, Teleconnect Co. v. Bell Tel. Co. of Pennsylvania, 10 F.C.C.R. 1626 (1995), and Long Distance/USA, Inc., et al., 10 F.C.C.R. 1634 (1995), concern the CCL charges that LECs assess against interexchange carriers (IXCs) in order to recover their costs for services and facilities used to originate and terminate interstate long-distance calls. Thus, for each interstate call an IXC typically pays a CCL charge to the LEC originating the call and another CCL charge to the LEC terminating the call.
Initially the LECs levied the same charge at the originating and terminating ends of each call. For reasons that need not concern us here, the FCC created a bifurcated CCL rate system that required the LECs to recover their costs through the assessment of a lower CCL charge for originating and a higher CCL charge for terminating an interstate long-distance call. Although the difference between the originating and terminating charges has ...