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

 
In the Matter of               )       File No. EB-04-IH-0012
                              )
CenturyTel, Inc., CenturyTel   )       Acct. No. 200432080136
of                             )
Washington, Inc., CenturyTel   )       FRN Nos. 0001-5846-97, 
of Cowiche, Inc., and                  0003-7386-89, 0001-5825-43                                   
CenturyTel of Inter Island, 
Inc.

                              ORDER

          Adopted:  July 9, 2004             Released:  July 12, 
     2004 

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

  1.      The Enforcement Bureau (``Bureau'') has been conducting 
     an investigation into possible violations by CenturyTel, 
     Inc., CenturyTel of Washington, Inc., CenturyTel of Cowiche, 
     Inc., and CenturyTel of Inter Island, Inc. (collectively, 
     ``CenturyTel'') of section 52.26(a) of the Commission's 
     rules1 by failing to route calls from CenturyTel's customers 
     to ported wireless numbers.2

  2.      The Bureau and CenturyTel have negotiated the terms of 
     a Consent Decree that would terminate the Bureau's 
     investigation.  A copy of the Consent Decree is attached 
     hereto and incorporated by reference.

  3.      We have reviewed the terms of the Consent Decree and 
     evaluated the facts before us.  We believe that the public 
     interest would be served by approving the Consent Decree and 
     terminating the investigation.

  4.      Based on the record before us we conclude that there 
     are no substantial or material questions of fact with 
     respect to this matter as to whether CenturyTel possesses 
     the basic qualifications, including those related to 
     character, to hold or obtain any Commission license or 
     authorization.

5.   Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to sections 4(i) and 
503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 
 154(i) and 503(b), 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 attached Consent Decree IS ADOPTED.

  6.      IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the above captioned 
     investigation is TERMINATED and the Notice of Apparent 
     Liability in this proceeding3 is RESCINDED.


                    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION



                    David H. Solomon
                    Chief, Enforcement Bureau



                         Before the
              Federal Communications Commission
                    Washington, DC 20554


In the Matter of                )      File No. EB-04-IH-0012
                               )
CenturyTel, Inc., CenturyTel    )      Acct. No. 200432080136
of                              )
Washington, Inc., CenturyTel    )      FRN Nos. 0001-5846-97, 
of Cowiche, Inc., and                  0003-7386-89, 0001-5825-43
CenturyTel of Inter Island, 
Inc.

                       CONSENT DECREE

   1.     The Enforcement Bureau (``Bureau'') of the Federal 
     Communications Commission (``Commission'') and 
     CenturyTel, Inc., CenturyTel of Washington, Inc., 
     CenturyTel of Cowiche, Inc., and CenturyTel of Inter 
     Island, Inc. (collectively, ``CenturyTel''), hereby 
     enter into this Consent Decree for the purpose of 
     terminating the Bureau's investigation into whether 
     CenturyTel violated section 52.26(a) of the 
     Commission's rules4 by failing to route calls from 
     CenturyTel's customers to ported wireless numbers.5   

   2.     For the purposes of this Consent Decree, the 
     following definitions shall apply:

          2)a.      ``Commission'' means the Federal 
             Communications Commission.

          2)b. ``Bureau'' means the Enforcement Bureau of 
            the Federal Communications Commission.

          2)c. ``CenturyTel'' means CenturyTel, Inc., 
            CenturyTel of Washington, Inc., CenturyTel of 
            Cowiche, Inc., and CenturyTel of Inter Island, 
            Inc., any affiliate, d/b/a, predecessor-in-
            interest, parent companies, any wholly or 
            partially owned subsidiary, or other affiliated 
            companies or businesses and their successors and 
            assigns.

             2)d.   ``Parties'' means CenturyTel and the 
               Bureau.

          2)e. ``Order'' or ``Adopting Order'' means an 
            Order of the Commission or the Bureau adopting 
            the terms of this Consent Decree without change, 
            addition, deletion, or modification.

          2)f. ``Effective Date'' means the date on which 
            the Commission or the Bureau releases the 
            Adopting Order.

          2)g. ``Investigation'' means the investigation 
            commenced by the Bureau's February 4, 2004 
            Letter of Inquiry regarding whether CenturyTel 
            violated section 52.26(a) of the Commission's 
            rules in connection with failing to route calls 
            from CenturyTel's customers to ported wireless 
            numbers.

I.   BACKGROUND

   3.     Number portability is defined as ``the ability of 
     users of telecommunications services to retain, at the 
     same location, existing telephone numbers without 
     impairment of quality, reliability, or convenience when 
     switching from one telecommunications carrier to 
     another.''6  Under the Communications Act of 1934, as 
     amended, (the ``Act''), all telecommunications carriers 
     have a duty to provide, to the extent technically 
     feasible, number portability in accordance with 
     requirements prescribed by the Commission.7  In 1996, 
     the Commission required all local exchange carriers 
     (``LECs'') to begin a phased deployment of local number 
     portability (``LNP'') within the 100 largest 
     metropolitan statistical areas.8  The Commission also 
     required all carriers to route calls to ported numbers. 
     9  Furthermore, the Commission imposed requirements on 
     the carrier immediately preceding the terminating 
     carrier, the ``N-1 carrier,'' to ensure that number 
     portability databases are queried and thus that calls 
     are properly routed.10

   4.     CenturyTel provides local exchange service in 22 
     states in rural markets and small-to-mid-sized cities, 
     as well as long distance service, Internet access, and 
     data services.11  After receiving information that 
     CenturyTel may not have been routing calls from 
     CenturyTel customers in Washington to wireless 
     customers with ported numbers, the Bureau issued a 
     Letter of Inquiry to CenturyTel requesting information 
     on this call routing issue.  CenturyTel submitted a 
     response to the Bureau's Letter of Inquiry on February 
     24, 2004.

   5.     On May 13, 2004, the Bureau issued a Notice of 
     Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'')12 proposing 
     a $100,000 forfeiture against CenturyTel and finding 
     that in circumstances where CenturyTel did not have an 
     LNP-capable switch and had a direct trunk with a 
     porting wireless carrier, CenturyTel default-routed 
     local and extended area service calls to the wireless 
     carrier that originally serviced the telephone number.  
     The NAL found that if this porting wireless carrier did 
     not perform a database query to determine where to 
     route the call, the CenturyTel customer would receive a 
     message that the wireless subscriber's number was not 
     in service, when in fact the number had been ported to 
     another carrier.

II.  AGREEMENT

   6.     The Parties agree and acknowledge that this 
     Consent Decree shall constitute a final settlement of 
     the Investigation between CenturyTel and the Bureau of 
     the apparent violations of the Commission's rules found 
     in the NAL, without issuance of an order finding 
     liability against CenturyTel for any such apparent 
     violations or any other violation of law arising out of 
     the same facts, and that the NAL will be rescinded as 
     of the Effective Date.  In consideration for the 
     termination of this Investigation and in accordance 
     with the terms of this Consent Decree, CenturyTel 
     agrees to the terms, conditions, and procedures 
     contained herein.  

   7.     The Parties agree that this Consent Decree does 
     not constitute either an adjudication on the merits or 
     a factual or legal finding or determination regarding 
     any compliance or noncompliance by CenturyTel with the 
     requirements of the Act or the Commission's rules or 
     orders.  The Parties agree that this Consent Decree is 
     for settlement purposes only.

   8.     CenturyTel agrees that it will make a voluntary 
     contribution to the United States Treasury in the 
     amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) 
     within 30 calendar days after the Effective Date of the 
     Adopting Order.  CenturyTel must make this payment by 
     check, wire transfer, or money order drawn to the order 
     of the Federal Communications Commission.  The check, 
     wire transfer, or money order should refer to ``Acct. 
     No. 200432080136'' and ``FRN Nos. 0001-5846-97, 0003-
     7386-89, 0001-5825-43.''  If CenturyTel makes this 
     payment by check or money order, it must mail the check 
     or money order to:  Forfeiture Collection Section, 
     Finance Branch, Federal Communications Commission, P.O. 
     Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois, 60673-7482.  If 
     CenturyTel makes this payment by wire transfer, it must 
     wire such payment in accordance with Commission 
     procedures for wire transfers.

   9.     For purposes of settling the matters set forth 
     herein, CenturyTel agrees to implement a Compliance 
     Plan related to LNP administration and consisting of 
     the components delineated below.  The Compliance Plan 
     will be for a period of 12 months after the Effective 
     Date, except as otherwise required to comply with the 
     Commission's rules.

          9)a.      Upon execution of this Consent Decree, 
             CenturyTel will have formed a team designated 
             the Network Support Center (``NSC''), 
             consisting of technical and managerial 
             employees.  The NSC will be designated as the 
             focal point for LNP deployment over 
             CenturyTel's system.

          9)b.      Within 20 days of the Effective Date, 
             CenturyTel will designate a Local Number 
             Portability Compliance Officer to whom all 
             inquires and concerns about LNP and call 
             routing may be addressed.  The Local Number 
             Portability Compliance Officer will supervise 
             CenturyTel's compliance with the Commission's 
             rules and the requirements regarding LNP and 
             CenturyTel's compliance with the requirements 
             of this Consent Decree.

          9)c.      Upon execution of this Consent Decree, 
             CenturyTel will have deployed LNP capability to 
             all 398 of its host switches throughout its 22 
             state territory.

          9)d.      Upon execution of this Consent Decree, 
             company-wide on all 398 of its host switches 
             and whenever CenturyTel is the N-1 carrier, 
             CenturyTel will perform or will have performed 
             on its behalf, a database query to obtain the 
             Location Routing Number (``LRN'') that 
             corresponds to any dialed number.  Whenever it 
             is the N-1 carrier, CenturyTel will ensure that 
             any call placed by a CenturyTel customer to a 
             ported telephone number is properly routed to 
             the network of the current carrier serving that 
             telephone number, based on the LRN. 

          9)e.      CenturyTel will ensure that any switch 
             added to CenturyTel's system after the 
             Effective Date is LNP capable within a 
             reasonable period of time following 
             CenturyTel's acquisition of that switch.  If a 
             switch is added to CenturyTel's system that is 
             not LNP capable, CenturyTel will ensure that 
             whenever CenturyTel is the N-1 carrier 
             CenturyTel will perform or will have performed 
             on its behalf a database query to obtain LRN 
             information in order to ensure that calls 
             placed by CenturyTel customers to ported 
             telephone numbers are properly routed to the 
             network of the current carrier serving that 
             telephone number, based on the LRN. 

          9)f.      Prior to September 1, 2004, in certain 
             instances CenturyTel will have a third party 
             perform certain LRN database queries as 
             described in paragraph 9(d).  After September 
             1, 2004, CenturyTel will implement its own 
             local service management system (``LSMS'') to 
             perform database queries.

          9)g.      Upon execution of this Consent Decree, 
             CenturyTel will have developed written rules 
             and policies regarding the LNP ordering 
             process, including a customer service 
             representative handbook, and materials for 
             public relations teams to prepare them to 
             answer LNP questions from consumers. 

          9)h.      Upon execution of this Consent Decree, 
             CenturyTel will have incorporated LNP 
             compliance training into its existing training 
             for employees who engage in LNP activities, 
             including but not limited to customer service 
             representatives, public relations department 
             employees, and engineering group employees.  
             Training sessions will be conducted for new 
             employees within the first 90 days of 
             employment.

          9)i.      Upon execution of this Consent Decree, 
             CenturyTel will have established specific 
             policies and procedures for handling LNP-
             related complaints, including complaints about 
             dropped calls to ported numbers.  Specifically, 
             CenturyTel's policies will require a customer 
             service center representative who receives a 
             complaint regarding LNP to prepare a trouble 
             ticket and dispatch it to the central office 
             serving the complaining CenturyTel customer to 
             verify it is LNP-related.  If so, the central 
             office will send the trouble ticket to the NSC 
             for resolution with a copy to the Local Number 
             Portability Compliance Officer.  The NSC will 
             work to resolve the problem as soon as 
             practicable.  If the matter is not resolved 
             within 48 hours, the Local Number Portability 
             Compliance Officer will be notified and will 
             become the primary party responsible for 
             resolving the matter.  The customer will be 
             kept apprised within a reasonable time of all 
             efforts to resolve the matter.

          9)j.      CenturyTel will not avail itself of any 
             suspension or modification of the Commission's 
             LNP requirements granted to CenturyTel prior to 
             the Effective Date pursuant to any application 
             for relief from a state public service 
             commission.  

   10.    In express reliance on the covenants and 
     representations contained herein, the Bureau agrees to 
     terminate the Investigation.  

   11.    The Bureau agrees that it will not use the facts 
     developed in this Investigation through the Effective 
     Date of the Consent Decree or the existence of this 
     Consent Decree to institute, on its own motion, any new 
     proceeding, formal or informal, or take any action on 
     its own motion against CenturyTel concerning the 
     matters that were the subject of the Investigation.  
     The Bureau also agrees that it will not use the facts 
     developed in this Investigation through the Effective 
     Date of this Consent Decree or the existence of this 
     Consent Decree to institute on its own motion any 
     proceeding, formal or informal, or take any action on 
     its own motion against CenturyTel with respect to 
     CenturyTel's basic qualifications, including its 
     character qualifications, to be a Commission licensee 
     or authorized common carrier.  Nothing in this Consent 
     Decree shall prevent the Commission or its delegated 
     authority from adjudicating complaints filed pursuant 
     to section 208 of the Act against CenturyTel or its 
     affiliates for alleged violations of the Act, or for 
     any other type of alleged misconduct, regardless of 
     when such misconduct took place.  The Commission's 
     adjudication of any such complaint will be based solely 
     on the record developed in that proceeding.  Except as 
     expressly provided in this Consent Decree, this Consent 
     Decree shall not prevent the Commission from 
     investigating material new evidence of noncompliance by 
     CenturyTel of the Act, the rules, or this Order.

   12.    CenturyTel waives any and all rights it may have 
     to seek administrative or judicial reconsideration, 
     review, appeal or stay, or to otherwise challenge or 
     contest the validity of this Consent Degree and the 
     Order adopting this Consent Decree, provided the Bureau 
     issues an Order adopting the Consent Decree without 
     change, addition, modification, or deletion.  
     CenturyTel shall retain the right to challenge 
     Commission interpretation of the Consent Decree or any 
     terms contained herein.

   13.    CenturyTel's decision to enter into this Consent 
     Decree is expressly contingent upon the Bureau's 
     issuance of an Order that is consistent with this 
     Consent Decree, and which adopts the Consent Decree 
     without change, addition, modification, or deletion.

   14.    In the event that this Consent Decree is rendered 
     invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, it 
     shall become null and void and may not be used in any 
     manner in any legal proceeding.

   15.    If either Party (or the United States on behalf of 
     the Commission) brings a judicial action to enforce the 
     terms of the Adopting Order, neither CenturyTel nor the 
     Commission shall contest the validity of the Consent 
     Decree or the Adopting Order, and CenturyTel shall 
     waive any statutory right to a trial de novo.  
     CenturyTel shall retain the right to challenge 
     Commission interpretation of the Consent Decree or any 
     terms contained herein.

   16.    Any violation of the Consent Decree or the 
     Adopting Order will constitute a separate violation of 
     a Commission order, entitling the Commission to 
     exercise any rights or remedies authorized by law 
     attendant to the enforcement of a Commission order.

   17.    The Parties also agree that if any provision of 
     the Consent Decree conflicts with any subsequent rule 
     or order adopted by the Commission (except an order 
     specifically intended to revise the terms of this 
     Consent Decree to which CenturyTel does not consent) 
     that provision will be superseded by such Commission 
     rule or order.

   18.    CenturyTel hereby agrees to waive any claims it 
     may otherwise have under the Equal Access to Justice 
     Act, 5 U.S.C.  504 and 47 C.F.R.  1.1501 et seq., 
     relating to the matters addressed in this Consent 
     Decree.
   19.    This Consent Decree may be signed in counterparts.







________________________________
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
Federal Communications 
Commission


________________________________
Date

________________________________
Stacey W. Goff 
General Counsel of CenturyTel, 
Inc.
CenturyTel, Inc., CenturyTel of 
Washington, Inc., CenturyTel of 
Cowiche,
Inc., and CenturyTel of Inter 
Island, Inc.


________________________________
Date


_________________________

1 47 C.F.R.  52.26(a).

2 See CenturyTel, Inc., CenturyTel of Washington, Inc., 
CenturyTel of Cowiche, Inc., and CenturyTel of Inter Island, 
Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability, DA 04-1304 (rel. May 13, 
2004).

3 Id.

4  47 C.F.R  52.26(a).

5  See Letter from Hillary S. DeNigro, Deputy Chief, 
Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, 
FCC to Glen F. Post, III, Chief Executive Officer, 
CenturyTel, Inc. (Feb. 4, 2004) (``Letter of Inquiry'').  
See also CenturyTel, Inc., CenturyTel of Washington, Inc., 
CenturyTel of Cowiche, Inc., and CenturyTel of Inter Island, 
Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability, DA 04-1304 (rel. May 13, 
2004) (``CenturyTel NAL'').

6  47 U.S.C.  153(30); 47 C.F.R.  52.21(l).

7  47 U.S.C.  251(a)(2).

8  Telephone Number Portability, First Report and Order and 
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 11 FCC Rcd 8352 
(1996).  On reconsideration, the Commission clarified that 
LECs need only provide number portability within the 100 
largest MSAs for switches in which another carrier made a 
specific, bona fide, number portability request Telephone 
Number Portability, First Memorandum Opinion and Order on 
Reconsideration, 12 FCC Rcd 7236, 7273,  60 (1997) (``First 
Reconsideration Order'').

9  First Reconsideration Order, 12 FCC Rcd at 7277,  69.  
See also Telephone Number Portability, CTIA Petitions for 
Declaratory Ruling on Wireline-Wireless Porting Issues, 
Memorandum Opinion and Order and Further Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking, 18 FCC Rcd 23697, 23711-12 n.92 (2003).

10   Telephone Number Portability, Second Report and Order, 
12 FCC Rcd 12281, 12323-24,  73-74 (1997).    

11   See www.centurytel.com.  

12   See CenturyTel NAL.