Click here for Adobe Acrobat version
Click here for Microsoft Word version
This document was converted from Microsoft Word.
Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.
All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.
Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.
If you need the complete document, download the
Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat version.
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File No. EB-05-IH-0110
Madison River Communications, ) Acct. No.
and affiliated companies ) FRN: 0004334082
1. The Enforcement Bureau (``Bureau'') of the Federal
Communications Commission (the ``FCC'' or the ``Commission'') and
Madison River Communication, LLC on behalf of itself, its parent
company Madison River Telephone Company, LLC, and its affiliated
companies under common control or ownership of Madison River
Telephone Company, LLC (``Madison River'' or the ``Company''), by
their authorized representatives, hereby enter into this Consent
Decree to resolve an investigation (the ``Investigation'') by the
Bureau regarding Madison River's compliance with section 201(b)
of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,1 with respect to
the blocking of ports used for Voice over Internet Protocol
(``VoIP'') applications, thereby affecting customers' ability to
use VoIP through one or more VoIP service providers. The
Investigation was undertaken pursuant to sections 4(i), 4(j),
218, and 403 of the Communications Act.2
2. For the Purposes of this Consent Decree, the following
definitions shall apply:
(a) ``Adopting Order'' means an Order of the Bureau
adopting the terms and conditions of this Consent Decree
without change, addition or modification.
(b) ``Madison River'' or the ``Company'' means Madison
River Communications, LLC, and any affiliate, d/b/a,
predecessor-in-interest, parent companies and any direct
or indirect subsidiaries of such parent companies, or
other affiliated companies or businesses, and their
successors and assigns, including but not limited to,
Madison River Telephone Company, LLC, and its direct and
(c) ``Bureau'' means the Enforcement Bureau of the Federal
(d) ``Communications Act'' or ``Act'' means the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 151
(e) ``Effective Date'' means the date on which the Bureau
releases the Adopting Order.
(f) The ``FCC'' or the ``Commission'' means the Federal
(g) ``Investigation'' means the investigation commenced by
the Bureau's Letter of Inquiry dated February 11, 2005.
(h) ``Parties'' means Madison River and the Bureau.
3. On February 11, 2005, the Bureau issued a Letter of
Inquiry (``LOI'') to Madison River, initiating an investigation.
Specifically, the Bureau inquired about allegations that Madison
River was blocking ports used for VoIP applications, thereby
affecting customers' ability to use VoIP through one or more VoIP
service providers.3 Madison River submitted its initial response
to the LOI on February 18, 2005, and supplemented that response
on February 22, 2005.4
4. To avoid the expenditure of additional resources that
would be required to further litigate the issues raised in the
Investigation, and in consideration for the termination of the
Investigation in accordance with the terms of this Consent
Decree, Madison River agrees to make a voluntary payment to the
United States Treasury, without further protest or recourse to a
trial de novo, in the amount of fifteen thousand dollars
($15,000.00) within ten (10) business days after the Effective
Date of the Adopting Order. The payment may be made by check or
similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission. The payment must include the Acct.
No. and FRN No. referenced above. Payment by check or money
order must be mailed to Forfeiture Collection Section, Finance
Branch, Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 73482,
Chicago, IL, 60673-7482. Payment by overnight mail must be sent
to Bank One/LB 73482, 525 West Monroe, 8th Floor Mailroom,
Chicago, IL 60661. Payment by wire transfer must be made to ABA
Number 071000013, receiving bank Bank One, and account number
5. In order to resolve and terminate the Investigation,
the Bureau requires, and Madison River agrees, that Madison River
shall not block ports used for VoIP applications or otherwise
prevent customers from using VoIP applications.
6. The Parties agree and acknowledge that this Consent
Decree shall constitute a final settlement of the Investigation.
In express reliance on the covenants and representations
contained herein, and in order to avoid the potential expenditure
of additional public resources, the Bureau agrees to terminate
the Investigation. In consideration for the termination of this
Investigation, Madison River agrees to the terms, conditions, and
procedures contained herein.
7. The Bureau agrees that, in the absence of new evidence
relating to incidents that were not the subject of the
Investigation, the Bureau will not use the facts developed in the
Investigation, or the existence of this Consent Decree, to
institute, on its own motion, any new proceedings, formal or
informal, or to take any actions on its own motion against
Madison River, including referral of this matter to any other
government agency, concerning the matters that were the subject
of the Investigation.
8. Madison River waives any objection to the authority of
the Bureau to enter into and adopt this Consent Decree.
9. Madison River represents and warrants that it is the
properly named party to this Consent Decree and is solvent and
has sufficient funds available to meet fully all financial and
other obligations set forth herein. Madison River further
represents and warrants that it has caused this Consent Decree to
be executed by its authorized representative, as a true act and
deed, as of the date affixed next to said representative's
signature. Said representative and Madison River respectively
affirm and warrant that said representative is acting in his/her
capacity and within his/her authority as a corporate officer of
Madison River, and on behalf of Madison River and that by his/her
signature said representative is binding Madison River to the
terms and conditions of this Consent Decree.
10. The Parties agree that this Consent Decree does not
constitute either an adjudication on the merits or a factual or
legal finding regarding any compliance or noncompliance with the
requirements of the Act and the Commission's orders and rules.
The Parties agree that this Consent Decree is for settlement
11. Nothing in this Consent Decree shall limit the
Commission's authority to enforce this Consent Decree in
accordance with its terms, nor shall anything in this Consent
Decree limit the Commission's authority to consider and
adjudicate any formal complaint that may be filed pursuant to
section 208 of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 208, and to take any action
in response to such complaint.
12. Madison River 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 Decree and the Order adopting this Consent Decree,
provided the Order adopts the Consent Decree without change,
addition, or modification.
13. Madison River's decision to enter into this Consent
Decree is expressly contingent upon the Bureau's issuance of an
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
15. The Parties also agree that if any provision of this
Consent Decree conflicts with any subsequent rule or order
adopted by the Commission (except an order specifically intended
to revise or otherwise modify the terms of this Consent Decree to
which Madison River does not consent) that provision will be
superseded by such Commission rule or order.
16. By this Consent Decree, Madison River does not waive or
alter its right to assert and seek protection from disclosure of
any privileged or otherwise confidential and protected documents
and information, or to seek appropriate safeguards or
confidentiality for any competitively sensitive or proprietary
information. Nothing in this Consent Decree shall be deemed to
prejudice Madison River's rights to seek exemption from
disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act and the
Commission's implementing regulations for documents provided by
Madison River to the Commission, or for Madison River to contest
any request for disclosure of agency records relating to the
subject of this Consent Decree.
17. 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 Madison River nor the Bureau shall
contest the validity of the Consent Decree or the Adopting Order,
and Madison River and the Bureau will waive any statutory right
to a trial de novo with respect to the issuance of the Adopting
Order and shall consent to a judgment incorporating the terms of
this Consent Decree.
18. Madison River agrees that any violation of the Consent
Decree or the Adopting Order will constitute a separate violation
of a Commission order, entitling the Commission, or its delegated
authority, to exercise any rights or remedies attendant to the
enforcement of a Commission order.
19. The Parties agree that the requirements of this
Consent Decree shall expire on the earlier of thirty (30) months
from the Effective Date, or the effective date of a federal
statute or Commission rule or order declaring or clarifying that
the conduct described in paragraph 5 above does or does not
violate the Act or Commission rules.
20. This Consent Decree may be signed in counterparts.
For: Madison River Communications, LLC.
Date Matt L. Springer
Vice President and General Counsel
For: Enforcement Bureau
Federal Communications Commission
Date David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 U.S.C. § 201(b).
2 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 154(j), 218 and 403.
3 See Letter dated February 11, 2005 from Hillary S. DeNigro,
Deputy Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement
Bureau, FCC, to Steve Vanderwoude, Chairman & CEO, Madison River
Communications, LLC, (``February 11 LOI'').
4 See Letter dated February 18, 2005 from Kenneth E. Hardman,
Attorney for Madison River Telephone Company, LLC, et al., to
Hillary S. DeNigro, Deputy Chief, Investigations and Hearings
Division, Enforcement Bureau, FCC (``Madison River Response'');
Letter dated February 22, 2005 from Kenneth E. Hardman, Attorney
for Madison River Telephone Company, LLC, et al., to Hillary S.
DeNigro, Deputy Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division,
Enforcement Bureau, FCC (``Madison River Supplement'').