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                         Before the
              Federal Communications Commission
                   Washington, D.C. 20554

                            `    
In the Matter of                  )
                                 )
Metro Teleconnect Companies,      )
Inc.,                             )
                                 )
      Complainant,                )
                                 )   File No. EB-02-MD-016
                v.                )
                                 )
Verizon Maryland Inc.,            )
                                 )
       Defendant.                 )



                MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER


Adopted:  April 30, 2003                Released:    May  1, 
2003

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

     1.   In this Order, we deny a formal complaint that 
Metro Teleconnect Companies, Inc. (``Metro Teleconnect''), a 
reseller of telecommunications services in Maryland, filed 
against Verizon Maryland Inc. (``Verizon'') pursuant to 
section 208 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended 
(the ``Act'').1  The Complaint alleges that Verizon has 
violated and is violating sections 201(b), 202(a), and 
251(c)(4) of the Act2 by failing to provide to Metro 
Teleconnect the same free call allowance for directory 
assistance calls that Verizon provides to its retail 
customers.3

     2.   We deny Metro Teleconnect's claims under section 
251(c)(4) for the reasons set forth in the recent Maryland 
271 Order,4  in which the Commission granted Verizon 
authority to provide interLATA services in Maryland pursuant 
to section 271 of the Act.5  In order to succeed on its 
section 271 application, Verizon had to show, among other 
things, that it provides access to directory assistance 
services and resells such services in accordance with the 
requirements of section 251(c)(4).6  In determining whether 
Verizon had satisfied this requirement, the Maryland 271 
Order analyzed the same directory assistance resale tariff 
challenged by Metro Teleconnect in its Complaint in this 
proceeding (``Maryland Tariff'').7  After reviewing the 
Maryland Tariff's directory assistance resale rates, the 
Commission in the Maryland 271 Order found that, ``although 
resellers do not get the free call allowance provided to 
retail customers, they receive an analogous benefit in the 
form of a larger discount off other retail service.''8  
Thus, the Commission concluded that ``we do not agree ... 
that Verizon's refusal to provide a free call allowance in 
Maryland places resellers at any significant competitive 
disadvantage.''9  The Commission summarizes its findings as 
follows:  ``Based on the record in this proceeding, we 
conclude ... that Verizon satisfied the requirements of this 
checklist item [i.e., section 271(c)(2)(B)(xiv)].''10  In 
sum, we deny Metro Teleconnect's claims under section 
251(c)(4) because the Commission in the Maryland 271 Order 
expressly found the same directory assistance resale rates 
at issue in the Complaint to comply with section 
251(c)(4).11   

     3.   We also deny Metro Teleconnect's claims under 
sections 201(b) and 202(a).  Section 251(c)(4) prohibits 
``unreasonable'' and ``discriminatory'' conduct.12  Metro 
Teleconnect has advanced no explanation as to how Verizon's 
conduct could comply with section 251(c)(4), but still 
violate the reasonableness standard of sections 201(b)13 and 
202(a).14  Given these circumstances, we deny Metro 
Teleconnect's Complaint in its entirety.15

     4.   ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to sections 
1, 4(i), 4(j), 201, 202, 208, and 251 of the Act, 47 U.S.C. 
 151, 154(i), 154(j), 201, 202, 208, 251, and sections 
1.720-1.736 of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.  1.720-
1.736, and the authority delegated by sections 0.111 and 
0.311 of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 
that the above-captioned formal complaint is DENIED, and 
this proceeding is hereby TERMINATED.

          
                              
                              FEDERAL         COMMUNICATIONS 
COMMISSION



                                           David H. Solomon
                                       Chief,    Enforcement 
Bureau




_________________________

1 47 U.S.C.  208.  See Formal Complaint, Metro Teleconnect 
Companies, Inc.  v. Verizon Maryland Inc.,  File No. EB-02-
MD-016 (filed Apr. 23, 2002) (``Complaint'').

2 47 U.S.C.  201(b), 202(a), 251(c)(4).

3  The   Complaint  also  alleged  claims   under  sections 
252(d)(3)  and  271(c)(2)(B)  of  the  Act,  47  U.S.C.   
252(d)(3),  271(c)(2)(B),   but  Metro   Teleconnect  later 
withdrew those  claims with  prejudice.  Letter  dated June 
24,  2002   from  Glenn  S.  Richards,   counsel  to  Metro 
Teleconnect, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, File No. 
EB-02-MD-016 (filed June 24, 2002). 

4  Application  by  Verizon  Maryland  Inc.,  et  al.,  for 
Authorization to  Provide In-Region, InterLATA  Services in 
Maryland, Washington,  D.C., and West  Virginia, Memorandum 
Opinion and  Order, FCC 03-57,  2003 WL 1339419  (rel. Mar. 
19, 2003) (``Maryland 271 Order'').

5 See  generally Letter dated  April 4, 2003 from  Sherry A. 
Ingram,  counsel  to  Verizon, to  Alexander  Starr,  Chief, 
Market Disputes Resolution Division, FCC, File No. EB-02-MD-
016 (filed Apr. 28, 2003).
     
6  47 U.S.C.    271(c)(2)(B)(xiv).  As  the Maryland  271 
Order states, ``[s]ection 271(c)(2)(B)(xiv) requires that a 
BOC  make `telecommunications  services  ... available  for 
resale  in  accordance  with the  requirements  of  section 
251(c)(4) ... .'''  Maryland 271  Order, 2003 WL 1339419 at 
105,  153 (quoting 47 U.S.C.  271(c)(2)(B)(xiv)).

7  Maryland 271 Order, 2003  WL 1339419 at 106-110,  154-
158.

8 Maryland 271 Order, 2003 WL 1339419 at 109,  157.

9 Maryland 271 Order, 2003 WL 1339419 at 109,  157.

10 Maryland 271 Order, 2003 WL 1339419 at 105,  153.  

11 In  Metro Teleconnect's  view, because the  Maryland 271 
Order rested on evidence  indicating that retail and resale 
residential  customers in  Maryland make,  on average,  two 
directory assistance  calls per month, the  Commission left 
open  the  question  whether  Verizon  provides  resale  in 
compliance with section 251(c)(4) with respect to resellers 
whose calling  patterns exceed  the average.   Letter dated 
April  9, 2003  from Glenn  S. Richards,  counsel to  Metro 
Teleconnect, to Alexander P.  Starr, Chief, Market Disputes 
Resolution Division, FCC, File No. EB-02-MD-016 (filed Apr. 
9, 2003)  at 2 (citing Maryland  271 Order at 109,   157).  
We disagree.  Implicit in the Commission's reliance on data 
as to the average number  of directory assistance calls per 
month is the recognition that some customers may place more 
than two directory assistance calls per month (and some may 
place fewer).  Nevertheless,  the Commission concluded that 
Verizon's directory assistance resale rates (which, because 
they are set  forth in a tariff, apply  on an industry-wide 
basis) do not violate  section 251(c)(4).  Thus, as stated, 
the Maryland 271 Order  vitiates Metro Teleconnect's claims 
under section 251(c)(4).

12  Section 251(c)(4)  prohibits  incumbent local  exchange 
carriers such as Verizon  from ``impos[ing] unreasonable or 
discriminatory conditions or limitations  on, the resale of 
such  telecommunications  service  ...  .''   47  U.S.C.   
251(c)(4).

13 Section 201(b) declares unlawful any ``charge, practice, 
classification,   or   regulation   that   is   unjust   or 
unreasonable ... .''  47 U.S.C.  201(b).

14  Section  202(a)  declares   unlawful  any  ``unjust  or 
unreasonable   discrimination    in   charges,   practices, 
classifications, regulations, facilities or services for or 
in connection  with like communication service  ... .''  47 
U.S.C.  202(a).

15 Given  this result, we simply  assume, without deciding, 
that sections  201(b) and  202(a) of the  Act apply  to the 
circumstances  alleged; moreover,  we need  not and  do not 
reach Verizon's  defense that Metro  Teleconnect ``waived'' 
its claims in accordance with section 252(a)(1) of the Act, 
47 U.S.C.  252(a)(1).