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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
WorldCom, Inc. )
) File No. EB-00-TC-044
Operator Service Consumer ) NAL/Acct. No. 200132170013
Information Requirements )
1. This Consent Decree is entered into by the Enforcement
Bureau (``Bureau'') of the Federal Communications Commission (the
``FCC'' or the ``Commission'') and WorldCom, Inc. (``WorldCom''
or the ``Company''), by their counsel and authorized
representatives. This Consent Decree resolves an investigation
(the ``Investigation'') conducted by the Bureau regarding
compliance with the operator service requirements contained in
Section 226(b)(1)(C) of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended (the ``Act''), and Section 64.703(a)(3) of the
2. On December 1, 1999, the Enforcement Bureau initiated
an investigation concerning compliance with the operator service
requirements contained in the Act and the Commission's rules.2
Specifically, the Bureau's field staff investigated, inter alia,
compliance with Section 226(b)(1) of the Act,3 and portions of
section 64.703 of the Commission's rules.4 Over the next three
months, the Bureau's field staff assessed compliance at over
1,700 telephones throughout the United States. This information
was compiled and further evaluated by Commission staff in
3. WorldCom is a provider of operator services for
aggregator telephones throughout the United States.5 Under
Section 226 of the Act and the Commission's implementing rules,
operator service providers (``OSPs'') must, inter alia, audibly
identify themselves at the beginning of each operator-assisted
call and must also disclose immediately to the consumer, upon
request and at no charge: (1) a quotation of its rates or charges
for the call; (2) the methods by which such rates or charges will
be collected; and (3) the methods by which complaints concerning
such rates, charges, or collection practices will be resolved.6
4. Based on its nationwide investigation, the Bureau
identified possible violations of the Act and of the Commission's
rules regarding operator services. The Bureau contacted WorldCom
regarding potential problems with its disclosure to consumers of
rate and complaint information to consumers upon request.
Throughout the Investigation, WorldCom has cooperated fully with
5. For the Purposes of this Consent Decree, the following
definitions shall apply:
(a) The ``FCC'' or the ``Commission'' means all
Bureaus and Offices of the Commission,
including the Enforcement Bureau;
(b) ``Bureau'' means the Enforcement Bureau of the Federal
(c) ``WorldCom'' or the ``Company'' means
WorldCom, Inc., its subsidiaries, and its
(d) ``Parties'' means WorldCom and the Bureau;
(e) ``OSPs'' means providers of operator services, as
defined by the Act and the Commission's rules;7
(f) ``Order'' means the Order of the Bureau
adopting the terms and conditions of this
(g) ``Effective Date'' means the date on which
the Enforcement Bureau releases the Order.
6. WorldCom agrees that the Bureau has jurisdiction over
the matters contained in this Consent Decree and the authority to
enter into and adopt this Consent Decree.
7. The Parties agree that the provisions of this voluntary
Consent Decree shall be subject to final approval by the Bureau
by incorporation of such provisions by reference in the Order of
the Bureau adopting this Consent Decree.
8. The Parties agree that this Consent Decree shall become
effective on the date on which the Bureau releases the Order
adopting this Consent Decree. Upon release, the Order adopting
this Consent Decree and this Consent Decree shall have the same
force and effect as any other Order of the Commission, and any
violation of the terms and conditions of this Consent Decree
shall constitute a violation of a Commission Order entitling the
Commission to exercise any and all rights and to seek any and all
remedies authorized by law for the enforcement of a Commission
9. The Parties agree that this Consent Decree does not
constitute an adjudication on the merits or any finding on the
facts or law regarding any violations of the Act or of the
Commission's rules committed by WorldCom. The Parties agree that
by entering into this Consent Decree, the Company does not admit
any legal or equitable liability or any wrongdoing. Indeed,
WorldCom expressly denies any such violation or liability.
10. In express reliance on the representations contained
herein, the Bureau agrees to terminate the
11. WorldCom agrees to waive 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 this Consent Decree without
change, addition, or modification.
12. WorldCom waives any rights it may have under any
provision of the Equal Access to Justice Act, 5 U.S.C. § 504, and
47 C.F.R. § 1.1501 et seq.
13. WorldCom shall make a voluntary contribution to the
United States Treasury in the amount of fifty-six thousand
dollars ($56,000) within 30 days of the Effective Date of this
Consent Decree. Such contribution shall be made, without further
protest or recourse, by certified check, cashier's check, or
money order drawn to the order of the Federal Communications
Commission, and shall be mailed to the Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482,
reflecting account number 200132170013.
14. WorldCom represents that it is committed to lawful
provision of ``0+'' services in compliance with the rules and
regulations of the Commission and the provisions of the Act. In
response to the Bureau's concerns, and as set forth in the
Company's correspondence to the Commission dated July 13, 2000,
WorldCom has undertaken a series of initiatives, listed in
Paragraphs 15-18, infra.
15. WorldCom is developing additional training materials
for its customer service representatives on the handling of
``0+'' calls, to promote compliance with the Act and the
16. WorldCom will conduct in-person training for all new
customer service representatives and in-person refresher training
for its existing customer service representatives concerning
operator service calls at least every six (6) months to ensure
customer service representatives understand the legal
requirements concerning operator service calls and that
disciplinary action may be taken absent full compliance with
17. WorldCom will monitor, through its internal test
calling procedures, the efficacy of the Company's customer
service processes for ``0+'' calls. This will be incorporated as
part of the on-going and periodic monitoring process that is
currently in effect for these representatives. WorldCom will
test a minimum of 50 calls per month specifically on the operator
service requirements set forth infra.
18. The Parties agree that this Consent Decree shall become
effective on the date on which the Order adopting this Consent
Decree is released, and shall remain in effect for two (2) years
after its effective date.
19. The Parties agree and acknowledge that this Consent
Decree shall resolve fully and finally the Investigation. The
FCC will not initiate on its own motion any other enforcement
action against WorldCom, or seek on its own motion any
administrative or other penalties from the Company, based on any
evidence gathered as part of this Investigation.
20. The Parties agree that if any provision of the Consent
Decree conflicts with any subsequent rule or order adopted by the
Commission, it will be superseded by such Commission rule or
21. If this Consent Decree is not signed by both Parties,
is not adopted by the Bureau, or is otherwise rendered invalid by
any court of competent jurisdiction, it shall become null and
void and shall not become part of the record in this enforcement
proceeding, nor may it be used in any fashion by any party in a
22. WorldCom and the Bureau agree to be bound by the terms
and conditions stated herein.
23. The Parties agree that this Consent Decree may be
signed in counterparts.
FOR THE FEDERAL
David H. Solomon
Thomas F. O'Neil III
Chief Legal Counsel
Senior Vice President
1 47 U.S.C. § 226(b)(1)(C); 47 C.F.R. §§ 64.703(a)(3), (a)(4).
2 47 U.S.C. § 226 (b)(1)(C); 47 C.F.R. 64.703(a)(3).
3 47 U.S.C. § 226(b)(1) (Requirements for Providers of Operator
4 47 C.F.R. §§ 64.703(a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4) (Consumer
5 ``Operator services'' is defined by the Act and Commission
rules as ``any interstate telecommunications service from an
aggregator location that includes, as a component, any automatic
or live assistance to a consumer to arrange for billing or
completion, or both, of an interstate telephone call through a
method other than: (1) automatic completion with billing to the
telephone from which the call originated; or (2) completion
through an access code used by the consumer, with billing to an
account previously established with the carrier by the consumer.
'' 47 U.S.C. § 226(a)(7); 47 C.F.R. § 64.708(i). A ``provider
of operator services'' means ``any common carrier that provides
operator services or any other person determined by the
Commission to be a provider of operator services.'' 47 U.S.C. §
226(a)(9); 47 C.F.R. § 64.708(l). An ``aggregator'' is defined
by the Act and the Commission's rules as ``any person that, in
the ordinary course of its operations, makes telephones
available to the public or to transient users of its premises,
for interstate telephone calls using a provider of operator
services.'' 47 U.S.C. § 226(a)(2); 47 C.F.R. § 64.708(b).
6 47 U.S.C. § 226(b)(1); 47 C.F.R. § 64.703(a)(3).
7 47 U.S.C. § 226(a)(9); 47 C.F.R. § 64.708(l).