Interconnection Billing -- Considerations and Alternative Approaches
Document Number SR-5115
Issue Number 01
Issue Date Dec 1999
ABSTRACT: The billing of Interexchange services is currently governed by the Multiple Exchange Carrier Access Billing (MECAB) document developed
by the industry and published by the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS). Billing for interconnection among local
exchange carriers (LECs) under reciprocal compensation arrangements are generally based on MECAB principles and procedures. As more and
more entrants enter the telecommunications marketplace, now may be the appropriate time to reexamine the underlying assumptions on
which MECAB billing and the MECAB document are based.
The purpose of Issue 1 of SR-5115, Interconnection Billing -- Considerations and Alternative Approaches, is to demonstrate that
Interconnection Billing, both interexchange and local, can be made more efficient and less expensive by changing some of the basic
assumptions of MECAB thereby altering the Interconnection Billing model.
The objectives of this document are:
- to identify some of the more serious shortcomings of existing MECAB procedures;
- to propose a different model for Interconnection Billing, both for Exchange Access and local Reciprocal Compensation and still meet
most existing regulatory requirements;
- to list some of the switch call processing changes, including changes to Automatic Message Accounting (AMA) and signaling, that
will facilitate the new model and free local exchange carriers from reliance on one another for rendering an accurate and verifiable
The approach discussed in this document calls for a change in the procedures under which usage is billed for all Interconnection
Arrangements. The first major change is that each carrier entity's bill stands alone and does not rely on the billing processes of
another carrier. The second major change is the elimination of mandated usage exchange between or among companies. Usage exchange would
be an option for companies based on mutual company needs and negotiated interconnection agreements, not on a regulatory mandate.
This Special Report discusses current industry methods and procedures for Interconnection Billing. It then discusses alternatives
to these procedures that are more compatible with a competitive local exchange telecommunications environment.