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Interconnection Billing -- Considerations and Alternative Approaches


Document Number SR-5115
Issue Number 01
Issue Date Dec 1999
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    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
      bill.

    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.

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