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

In the Matter of                  )
                                 )
Informal Complaints Filed By      )
Independent Payphone Service      )   File Nos. IC-98-42853, et 
Providers Against Various         )   al.
Local Exchange Carriers           )
Seeking Refunds Of End User       )
Common Line Charges               )

                        
                            ORDER 

   
Adopted:  March 15, 2005                Released: March 25, 
2005

By the Deputy Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

   I.   INTRODUCTION

     1.   In this Order, we require each informal 
       complainant covered by this Order to submit notice of 
       intent to proceed on or before April 22, 2005, if it 
       wishes to pursue its claims, and set a final deadline 
       of September 9, 2005 for converting End User Common 
       Line (``EUCL'') informal complaints1 into formal 
       complaints.2  Further, in order to facilitate a more 
       efficient conversion process, we set forth 
       requirements for filing such formal complaints.  

   II.  BACKGROUND
        

     2.   In these informal complaints, independent payphone 
       providers (``IPPs'') allege that the defendant local 
       exchange carriers (``LECs'') improperly assessed EUCL 
       charges, in violation of the Commission's rules and 
       sections 201(b) and 202(a) of the Communications Act, 
       as amended (the ``Act'').3  In a series of orders 
       issued since the filing of these informal complaints, 
       the Bureau has continued to extend the six-month 
       period for converting the informal complaints into 
       formal complaints.4  Pursuant to the most recent 
       Enforcement Bureau order, informal complaints were 
       required to be converted by April 22, 2005, to 
       benefit from the relation back rule outlined in 
       section 1.718.5  

     3.   On April 26, 2002, thirteen IPPs converted their 
       pending informal complaints and filed formal 
       complaints challenging the LECs' imposition of the 
       EUCL charge.  On November 19, 2002, the Commission 
       issued an order concluding the liability phase of the 
       proceeding, finding that the defendant LECs violated 
       Section 201(b) of the Act and Part 69 of the 
       Commission's rules by improperly assessing EUCL 
       charges on IPP payphones and that the Complainants 
       are entitled to recover damages.6  In addition, the 
       Commission declined to toll the Section 415(b) two-
       year statute of limitations.7  Accordingly, the 
       Commission determined that each Complainant is 
       entitled to recover EUCL charges paid on its 
       payphones beginning two years prior to the date on 
       which the Complainant filed an informal complaint 
       with the Commission.  On April 30, 2004, the D.C. 
       Circuit affirmed the Commission's Liability Order in 
       all respects.8  Since the D.C. Circuit's ruling, 
       several of the formal complainants have settled and 
       the rest are in settlement discussions.

     4.   In addition to the thirteen formal complaints, 
       thousands of virtually identical informal complaints 
       are pending, similarly challenging the imposition of 
       EUCL charges on IPPs.  It is these informal 
       complaints that are the subject of this Order.  
       Although many informal complaints have settled, we 
       estimate that around 1500 such informal complaints 
       remain pending.  We further understand that 
       settlement discussions are underway among a number of 
       informal complainants and defendants.  


   III.   DISCUSSION

A.   Informal Complainants Must Provide Notice of Intent to 
Convert.

     5.   Discussions with a number of parties to these 
       informal complaints reveal that settlement is 
       hampered by the fact that some defendants are unable 
       to ascertain the magnitude of the active claims 
       pending against them.  Although many complainants, 
       particularly those represented by counsel, have 
       initiated settlement discussions, we understand that 
       literally hundreds of informal complainants have 
       never contacted defendants in an effort to obtain 
       payment (despite the fact that the legal issues have 
       largely been decided).  For some of these 
       complainants, it may be that there is no reason to 
       pursue their complaints.  For example, the November 
       2002 Liability Order decision with regard to statute 
       of limitations may have effectively nullified any 
       potential damages recovery for many informal 
       complainants. 9  We agree that ascertaining the 
       number and scope of complaints that will be pursued 
       against each defendant will facilitate the informal 
       resolution of these claims.  

     6.   Therefore, we require every informal complainant 
       that intends to pursue its informal complaint(s) to 
       submit a notice to that effect, as described below.  
       In letters submitted to the Commission, the parties 
       differ as to the timing of the notice requirement.  
       Counsel for a large group of complainants requests 
       that we give the informal complainants 90 days to 
       submit such notice.10  Verizon, SBC, Qwest and 
       Century Tel, on the other hand, suggest that we 
       require that complainants submit notice of intent to 
       proceed by April 22, 2005, or about 30 days from the 
       release of this order.11  Counsel for complainants 
       contends that 30 days does not leave sufficient time 
       to finalize resolution of settlements, given the 
       number of individual complaints involved.12  

     7.   Although there are a large number of informal 
       complaints pending, the liability issues common to 
       all these complaints were conclusively decided in 
       April 2004.  Thus, in our view, counsel has had 
       adequate time to notify individual complainants of 
       their rights and undertake settlement efforts on 
       their behalf.  In addition, we note that in our 
       December 22, 2004 order, we indicated that informal 
       complainants would be required to provide such notice 
       of intent to proceed within 30 days of this order (or 
       by April 22, 2005) if they wished to pursue their 
       claims.13  Moreover, the notice submission described 
       below is not burdensome and is designed merely to 
       apprise defendants of the universe of claims pending 
       against them.  Therefore, we require every informal 
       complainant to notify the Commission no later than 
       April 22, 2005 if it intends to pursue its claim for 
       refund of unlawful EUCL charges.  Any informal 
       complainant that does not submit such notice on or 
       before April 22, 2005 waives its right to convert its 
       existing informal complaint into a formal complaint.  
       Once such notice is provided, all parties may take 
       the opportunity to resolve the claims before being 
       required to litigate formal complaints.  

     8.   Notice may be made by logging onto 
       http://www.fcc.gov/eb/eucl and clicking on 
       ``Complainant Notification Form.''  In order to 
       satisfy the notice requirement, complainants must 
       enter basic identifying information about the 
       complaint, including the date it was filed, the 
       complaint number, the defendant, and complainant's 
       contact information.14  If a complainant filed more 
       than one informal complaint, the complainant need 
       only enter its contact information once but will be 
       required to enter the informal complaint number, date 
       the complaint was filed, and defendant name for each 
       complaint.  Though defendant names may have changed, 
       given the passage of time, we suggest that 
       complainants enter the defendant named on their 
       original complaint.15  The EUCL electronic 
       notification web address will not allow submissions 
       after midnight (EST) on that day.  An alphabetical 
       list, by defendant, of all notifications will be 
       publicly available and updated daily.  This list will 
       be accessible by logging onto the same web address:  
       http://www.fcc.gov/eb/eucl and clicking on 
       ``Defendant Notification List.''  

B.   We Establish a Final Deadline for Converting to Formal 
Complaints.

     9.   In its February 17, 2005 letter, Verizon requests 
       that the Commission require complainants to convert 
       their informal complaints into formal complaints 
       within 20 days of filing their notice of intent to 
       proceed.16  SBC suggests that conversion be required 
       within three months,17 and Qwest and CenturyTel 
       recommend that conversion be required within five 
       months of the date of this order.18  Counsel for a 
       large group of complainants, on the other hand, 
       proposes that the Bureau set the conversion date no 
       earlier than October 22, 2005, or approximately seven 
       months from the date of this order. 19  Counsel for 
       these complainants contends that further time is 
       needed to continue settlement negotiations before 
       undertaking the process of preparing formal 
       complaints.20  Preparing the final complaints - even 
       pursuant to streamlined procedures - will be time-
       consuming, according to counsel for these 
       complainants, and establishing October 22 as the 
       final deadline will enable these complainants to file 
       their final complaints on a staggered basis over a 
       period of time.21  

     10.  We estimate that of the 3000 informal EUCL 
       complaints originally filed, approximately 1500 have 
       settled (or are in the process of settling) and 
       approximately 1500 remain pending.  We have no way of 
       knowing how many of the remaining complainants have 
       been engaged in settlement discussions or have even 
       made an effort to pursue their claim(s) after the 
       Commission issued the Liability Order in related 
       complaint proceedings.22  Nor do we know at this 
       point, more significantly, how many of these 
       complainants will seek to pursue their complaints at 
       all.  Once those informal complainants that intend to 
       pursue their claims identify themselves by submitting 
       the notice described above, we expect that any 
       parties who wish to settle their claims can do so 
       within a reasonable period of time.

     11.  Therefore, for those informal complainants that 
       timely submit the requisite notice by April 22, 2005, 
       we further extend the deadline for converting 
       informal complaints to formal complaints until 
       September 9, 2005.  This should provide sufficient 
       time for parties to engage in informal resolution 
       and, if such efforts are unsuccessful, to prepare 
       formal complaints pursuant to the procedures set 
       forth below.  This is the final deadline for 
       conversion.  Any informal complainant (having 
       submitted the requisite notice) must file a formal 
       complaint on or before September 9, 2005, or lose its 
       right to proceed.
       

C.   We Establish a Streamlined Process for filing Formal 
Complaints and Answers.

     12.  Because the critical legal issues raised by these 
       informal complaints have been definitively addressed, 
       it is not necessary to require parties to file 
       lengthy formal complaints and answers complete with 
       legal analyses.  Under the unique circumstances here, 
       we expedite and streamline the process for converting 
       these informal complaints into formal complaints to 
       minimize the burden and expense on all parties and 
       the Commission.23  First, pursuant to section 
       1.722(c) of the Commission's rules,24 we will 
       bifurcate complaint proceedings and determine damages 
       in a separate proceeding.25  Therefore, the issue of 
       damages should not be addressed in either the 
       complaint or answer.  Second, we waive the 
       requirements in sections 1.720-1.723 of the 
       Commission's rules26 setting forth the requirements 
       for filing formal complaints, except as follows:  

     13.  1.721(a)(1)  A formal complaint shall contain the 
       name of each complainant and defendant;

     14.  1.721(a)(2)  The occupation, address and telephone 
       number of each complainant and, to the extent known, 
       each defendant.

     15.    1.721(a)(3)  The name, address and telephone 
       number of complainant's attorney, if represented by 
       counsel. 

     16.  1.721(a)(8)  Certification that the complainant 
       has, in good faith, discussed or attempted to discuss 
       the possibility of settlement with each defendant 
       prior to the filing of the formal complaint.  Such 
       certification shall specify the efforts made to 
       obtain payment from the defendant since April 2004 
       and briefly summarize all additional steps taken to 
       resolve the dispute prior to the filing of the formal 
       complaint.

     17.  1.721(a)(12)  A completed Formal Complaint Intake 
       Form.  A sample Formal Complaint Intake From is 
       attached at Appendix A.

     18.  1.721(a)(13)  A declaration, under penalty of 
       perjury, by the complainant or complainant's counsel 
       describing the amount, method, and date of the 
       complainant's payment of the filing fee required 
       under  1.1106 and the complainant's 10-digit FCC 
       Registration Number.  The fee as of the date of this 
       order is $180.00 per complaint.  47 C.F.R.  1.1106.  
       Complainants must check the regulations, however, 
       before filing, as this fee is updated periodically.

     19.  1.721(a)(14)  A certificate of service.

     20.  1.721(a)(15)  An FCC Registration Number as 
       required under Part 1, Subpart W of the Commission's 
       rules. 47 C.F. R.  1.8001-1.8004.  Submission of a 
       complaint without the FCC Registration Number as 
       required by Part 1, Subpart W will result in 
       dismissal of the complaint.

     21.  In lieu of strict compliance with section 
       1.721(a)(4)-(5) of the Commission's rules,27 the 
       complaint must include a statement that complainant 
       was assessed EUCL charges by defendant, and paid 
       those charges, prior to April 15, 1997.28  If a 
       different entity (or an entity with a different name) 
       was assessed and paid the EUCL charge, the complaint 
       should set forth the name and address of the entity 
       that was assessed and paid the EUCL charge, the 
       relationship of complainant to that entity and 
       documents sufficient to prove complainant's right to 
       sue on behalf of the entity that paid the EUCL 
       charge.  Further, the complaint must state the date 
       on which the complainant filed an informal complaint 
       with the Commission, and attach a copy of such 
       informal complaint.  

     22.  In addition, we waive the requirements of sections 
       1.724(c), (f), (i), (j), and (k) of the Commission's 
       rules29 with regard to answers. 

     23.  Finally, we waive the requirements of section 
       1.735(d) of the Commission's rules30 to the extent it 
       requires service by hand delivery and permit 
       complainants to serve defendants by overnight mail.

     24.  All other rules relating to formal complaints 
       apply in their entirety, including sections 1.725-
       1.736 of the Commission's rules.31

   IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

     25.  ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to sections 
       4(i), 4(j), and 208 of the Communications Act, as 
       amended, 47 U.S.C.  154(i), 154(j), 208, section 
       1.3 of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.  1.3, and 
       the authority delegated by sections 0.111 and 0.311 
       of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.  0.111 and 
       0.311, that on or before April 22, 2005, informal 
       complainants submit notice of intent to proceed as 
       specified above.  Any informal complainant that does 
       not provide such notice waives its right to convert 
       its informal complaint into a formal complaint for 
       damages.    

     26.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to sections 4(i), 
       4(j), and 208 of the Communications Act, as amended, 
       47 U.S.C.  154(i), 154(j), 208, section 1.3 of the 
       Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.  1.3, and the 
       authority delegated by sections 0.111 and 0.311 of 
       the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.  0.111 and 0.311, 
       that section 1.718(a) of the Commission's rules, 47 
       C.F.R.  1.718(a), IS HEREBY WAIVED, with regard to 
       those IPP EUCL informal complaints about which notice 
       described herein has been timely filed, and the 
       deadline for the conversion and filing of these 
       informal complaints into formal complaints is hereby 
       extended to September 9, 2005.  This waiver is 
       effective as of the release of this Order.


     27.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to sections 4(i), 
       4(j), and 208 of the Communications Act, as amended, 
       47 U.S.C.  154(i), 154(j), 208, section 1.3 of the 
       Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.  1.3, and the 
       authority delegated by sections 0.111 and 0.311 of 
       the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.  0.111 and 0.311, 
       that the provisions of sections 1.720-1.724 and 1.735 
       of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.  1.720-1.724 
       and 1.735 ARE HEREBY WAIVED EXCEPT AS EXPLICITLY SET 
       FORTH ABOVE.  This waiver is effective as of the 
       release of this Order.



                              FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS 
                         COMMISSION



                              Christopher N. Olsen
                              Deputy Chief, Enforcement 
                         Bureau









                              Appendix A

   - Unhandled Picture -     - Unhandled Picture -    - Unhandled Picture -  
_________________________

1  The informal complaints covered  by this Order are those 
that are  subject to the  Common Carrier Bureau's  Order of 
September   10,  1999.    Informal   Complaints  Filed   By 
Independent  Payphone  Service  Providers  Against  Various 
Local Exchange Carriers Seeking  Refunds of End User Common 
Line Charges,  Order, 16 FCC  Rcd 3669 (CCB  1999) (``First 
Waiver Order'').      

2   Ordinarily,  section  1.718   requires  that  a  formal 
complaint must be filed within  six months of the carrier's 
response to the informal  complaint if the formal complaint 
is to  relate back for  statute of limitations  purposes to 
the  filing of  the informal  complaint.  See  47 C.F.R.   
1.718(a).

3  47  U.S.C.  201(b)  and 202(a);  47 C.F.R.   69.1 et 
seq. 

4   See  First Waiver  Order,  16 FCC  Rcd  at  3672,   8; 
Informal Complaints  Filed By Independent  Payphone Service 
Providers Against  Various Local Exchange  Carriers Seeking 
Refunds of End User Common  Line Charges, Order, 17 FCC Rcd 
2115   (EB  2002)   (``Second  Waiver   Order'');  Informal 
Complaints Filed By  Independent Payphone Service Providers 
Against Various Local Exchange  Carriers Seeking Refunds of 
End User Common  Line Charges, Order, 17 FCC  Rcd 14759 (EB 
2002) (``Third  Waiver Order''); Informal  Complaints Filed 
By Independent  Payphone Service Providers  Against Various 
Local Exchange Carriers Seeking  Refunds of End User Common 
Line Charges, Order,  18 FCC Rcd 12047  (EB 2003) (``Fourth 
Waiver Order'');  Informal Complaints Filed  By Independent 
Payphone Service  Providers Against Various  Local Exchange 
Carriers Seeking  Refunds of End User  Common Line Charges, 
Order, 19 FCC Rcd 9066  (EB 2004) (``Fifth Waiver Order''); 
Informal Complaints  Filed By Independent  Payphone Service 
Providers Against  Various Local Exchange  Carriers Seeking 
Refunds of End User Common  Line Charges, Order, 19 FCC Rcd 
19480   (EB  2004)   (``Sixth  Waiver   Order'');  Informal 
Complaints Filed By  Independent Payphone Service Providers 
Against Various Local Exchange  Carriers Seeking Refunds of 
End User Common Line Charges,  Order, 2004 WL 2973797, File 
Nos. IC-98-42853, et al., DA  No. 04-4022 (EB Rel. Dec. 22, 
2004) (``Seventh Waiver Order'').

5 Seventh Waiver Order, 2004 WL 2973797 (EB 2004).

6 Communications  Vending Corporation of Arizona,  Inc., et 
al.  v.  Citizens  Communications  Company  f/k/a  Citizens 
Utility  Company  and Citizens  Telecommunications  Company 
d/b/a  Citizens Telecom,  et  al.,  Memorandum Opinion  and 
Order, 17 FCC Rcd 24201, 24208 (2002) (``Liability Order'') 
at  15.

7 Id. at 24227,  64.

8 Communications  Vending Corporation of Arizona,  Inc., et 
al., v. FCC, et al., 365 F.3d 1064 (D.C. Cir. 2004).

9 See  Liability Order, 17  FCC Rcd  at 24227,   64 (``We, 
therefore, agree  with Defendants  that Section  415 limits 
Complainants' claims  for recovery to those  charges levied 
no earlier  than two years  prior to the  date Complainants 
filed their  informal complaints.   Because the  charges at 
issue ceased on  April 15, 1997, we can  only award damages 
where informal complaints were filed by April 15, 1999'').

10   Letter   from   Katherine  J.   Henry,   counsel   for 
complainants, to Radhika  V. Karmarkar, Enforcement Bureau, 
File Nos.  IC-98-42853, et al.  (dated Feb. 17, 2005)  at 6 
(``February 17 Dickstein Letter'').

11 See Letter  from Sherry A. Ingram,  counsel for Verizon, 
to Rosemary  McEnery, Enforcement Bureau, File  Nos. IC-98-
42853, et al., (dated Feb. 17, 2005) (``February 17 Verizon 
Letter) at 1; Letter from Davida Grant, counsel for SBC, to 
Radhika V. Karmarkar, Enforcement  Bureau, File Nos. IC-98-
42853, et al., (dated Feb. 25, 2005) (``SBC Letter'') at 3; 
Letter from Daphne E. Butler, counsel for Qwest, to Radhika 
V. Karmarkar, Enforcement Bureau, File Nos. IC-98-42853, et 
al., (dated Feb. 25, 2005)  (``Qwest Letter'') at 1; Letter 
from  Benjamin H.  Dickens,  Jr. to  Radhika V.  Karmarkar, 
Enforcement Bureau,  File Nos. IC-98-42853, et  al., (dated 
Feb. 25, 2005) (``CenturyTel Letter'') at 1.

12 Letter from Albert  H. Kramer, counsel for complainants, 
to Radhika V. Karmarkar,  Enforcement Bureau, File Nos. IC-
98-42853, et al.  (dated Feb. 25, 2005)  at 3-4 (``February 
25 Dickstein Letter'').

13 See Seventh Waiver Order at  3.

14  Attorneys  representing  large groups  of  complainants 
(i.e., more than  50) may contact Commission  staff at 202-
418-7330 to  discuss the possibility of  submitting notices 
via disk.

15 While electronic notice is strongly preferred, notice of 
intent to  proceed may be  made by sending  the information 
set forth in  Paragraph 8 by certified  mail (postmarked no 
later  than  April  22,  2005) to  the  following  address:  
EB/MDRD,  Federal   Communications  Commission,   445  12th 
Street,   S.W.,  Room   4-C366,  Washington,   D.C.  20554, 
Attention:  EUCL Notice.

16 See February 17 Verizon Letter at 2.

17 See SBC Letter at 4.

18 See Qwest Letter at 2; CenturyTel Letter at 2.

19 February 17 Dickstein Letter at 7.

20 Id. at 7.

21 Id.

22 Liability Order, 17 FCC Rcd 24201.

23 The Commission has discretion  to waive any provision of 
the rules  of practice  upon its own  motion.  47  C.F.R.  
1.3.

24 47 C.F.R.  1.722(c).

25  At  the  initiation  of the  damages  proceeding,  each 
complainant  will be  directed  to  provide its  respective 
defendant(s)  a  detailed  computation of  each  and  every 
category  of  damages for  which  recovery  is sought,  and 
produce copies of all relevant documents and materials that 
support such  computation.  Thereafter, defendants  will be 
required  to  respond  specifically  to  the  complainant's 
computations  in   writing  and   produce  copies   of  all 
documents,  data  compilations  and  other  things  in  the 
defendant's  possession,  custody,   or  control  that  are 
relevant  to that  complainant's  claim of  damages or  are 
likely to bear significantly on  any claim or defense.  For 
this  reason, this  order does  not address  suggestions in 
letters from the  parties relating to the  damages phase of 
this litigation.

26 47 C.F.R.  1.720-1.723.

27 47 C.F.R.  1.721(a)(4)-(5).

28 See supra n.9.

29 47 C.F.R.  1.724(c),(f), (i),(j), and (k).

30 47 C.F.R.  1.735(d).

31 47 C.F.R. 1.724-1.736.