[ Text Version | WordPerfect Version ]

fcclogo NEWS

Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

Report No. CC 98-25 COMMON CARRIER ACTION August 14, 1998

FCC Proposes Forfeitures Against ConQuest Operator Services Corp. and Operator Communications, Inc. for Failure to Make Universal Service Payments

The FCC has proposed forfeitures against ConQuest Operator Services Corp. of Dublin, Ohio and Operator Communications, Inc. (OCI) of Dallas, Texas, in the amounts of $70,033 and $83,405, respectively, for the companies' failure to pay their assessed contributions to universal service. Each company has 30 days to either pay its forfeiture or show why the forfeiture should be reduced or not imposed.

One of the primary goals of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 is to ensure that consumers nationwide, including low-income consumers and those who live in rural and other high cost areas, have access to affordable telecommunications services. To that end, the Act requires telecommunications carriers to contribute to universal service funds. Funding is collected by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), an independent, not-for- profit entity.

USAC's records indicate that ConQuest and OCI did not pay their universal service contributions for January 1998. In addition, and despite repeated communications with USAC, neither of the companies provided any explanation for its failure to make payment. As a result, the FCC found that both companies apparently violated the Act by not making their universal service contributions in a timely manner. The Commission also noted that both companies appear to be in arrears for February though June of this year, which could form the basis for additional enforcement actions in the future.

The Commission did not disclose the universal service payment amounts owed by ConQuest and OCI or detail how the forfeitures were calculated due to a confidentiality request. The FCC noted, however, that it may disclose such information in the course of future enforcement actions. In addition, the FCC made clear that payment of the forfeitures in no way relieves the companies from their obligations to make their previously assessed universal service payments.

Action by the Commission, August 11, 1998, by Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (FCC 98-196 and 98-197). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness, Furchtgott- Roth, Powell, and Tristani.


News Media contact: Rochelle Cohen at (202) 418-0253.
Common Carrier Bureau contact: Jeff Dygert at (202) 418-7300.