Lightyear, Open Access settle $1.8M USF dispute with the FCC

Lightyear Network Solutions and Open Access Acquisition, two competitive service providers, have agreed to financial settlements with the FCC over possible violations of the Commission's Universal Service Fund (USF) contribution and federal reporting rules.

Kentucky-based Lightyear, which is being acquired by Birch Communications, will make a voluntary contribution of $475,000 to resolve what the FCC said were "alleged violations of the USF contribution requirements."

Laura Wagner, a spokeswoman for Birch, said that the decision had no effect on their purchase of Lightyear.

"The consent decree the FCC executed with Lightyear was required to be resolved between the FCC and Lightyear prior to Birch purchasing the acquired assets from Lightyear," she said in an e-mail to FierceTelecom. "We understand Lightyear already paid its $475,000 obligation under the decree, adding that "we understand the matter between the FCC and Lightyear related to problems that occurred five years ago."

Open Access, a Delaware-based service provider serving business customers in 23 states and the District of Columbia, agreed to pay $1.3 million to resolve the regulator's investigation over its failure to make USF, Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS), and numbering related contributions.

Under the terms of their agreement, the FCC said the two companies have "agreed to robust compliance plans that will govern their--and any successors'--operations over the next three years." 

For more:
- see the release

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