FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 7, Pages 4843 to 5761, March 28 - April 08, 2011 Page: 5,228
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Federal Communications Commission
minute for direct service to Cuba. TeleCuba contends that the requested three-year waiver will allow it to
negotiate a lower settlement rate with ETECSA as it increases the volume of traffic to Cuba that it
handles over that period.74 Similarly, Verizon believes that during the waiver period, U.S. carriers may
be able to negotiate lower rates as the volume of traffic between the United States and Cuba increases.75
30. Given the high calling rates paid by U.S. consumers, however, we believe that any grant
of the requested waiver must be done with the reasonable expectation that settlement rates will be reduced
in order to allow U.S. carriers to offer reasonable calling rates to U.S. consumers. We will therefore grant
TeleCuba a three-year waiver of benchmark rates applicable to Cuba, subject to the conditions we identify
below. The objective of the conditions is to achieve, over time, a reduction of the requested settlement
rate to or below the current benchmark level, which should in turn lead to lower rates for U.S. consumers
commensurate with other destinations in the Caribbean region. Lower rates will achieve the U.S. policy
goal "to promote greater contact between separated family members in the United States and Cuba and
increase the flow of ... information to the Cuban people."76
31. Conditions. We grant TeleCuba a three-year waiver of the benchmarks policy in order to
pay the Cuban carrier a $0.84 settlement rate subject to the following conditions:
(1) TeleCuba must negotiate a written agreement with ETECSA, which it must file with the
Commission pursuant to section 43.51 of the rules.77 TeleCuba must report to the International Bureau
the status of its negotiations every 90 days after the effective date of this Order.
(2) The written agreement must comply with the ISP. TeleCuba must seek an ISP waiver for any
specific terms not in compliance with the ISP.
(3) The terms and conditions of the agreement may not be exclusive. Other U.S. carriers seeking
to provide direct service to Cuba must be able to do so on the same terms and conditions as those agreed
to between TeleCuba and ETECSA.
(4) TeleCuba may not enter into any oral agreement or understanding with ETECSA that gives
exclusive rights to TeleCuba or is otherwise inconsistent with the written agreement.
(5) The agreement must state that the intention of the parties to the agreement is to reduce the
termination rates toward or below the benchmark rate over time. Progress toward this goal must entail at
least one significant, commercially negotiated reduction in rates during the three-year period of the
waiver granted in this Order. The agreement should provide for a subsequent downward glidepath to
achieve reductions in settlement rates toward or below the benchmark rate after the initial three-year
waiver period. The glidepath should reflect negotiated reductions in settlement rates and include target
dates with anticipated reductions.
(6) The Commission will have ten (10) days to review the agreement after TeleCuba has filed it
with the Commission. The agreement will be effective, and TeleCuba may commence service under the
74 See Petitioner's Response to Supplemental Information Request at 2.
7s Verizon Reply Comments at 3.
7 Fact Sheet: Reaching Out to the Cuban People (available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/th-press-office/fact-
sheet-reaching-out-cuban-people). See also 2010 State Department Letter at 1.
77 See 47 C.F.R. 43.51. TeleCuba states that in previously providing service to Cuba, it "never had a written
agreement with ETECSA for the exchange of telephone traffic or for the establishment of a direct circuit between
the U.S. and Cuba." See Petitioner's Response to Supplemental Information Request at 1.
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United States. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 7, Pages 4843 to 5761, March 28 - April 08, 2011, book, April 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc52169/m1/400/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.