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NPAC

FCC cannot lawfully accept NANC recommendation - Reply Comments

Neustar, the United States’ neutral and tested local number portability administrator (LNPA), filed reply comments on August 22, 2014, showing that the FCC cannot lawfully accept the recommendation of the North American Numbering Council (NANC) to select an untested and poorly documented offer by Ericsson and its subcontractor SunGard to serve as the next LNPA.

No commenter credibly addressed the legal objections to the NANC’s recommendation.

Core aspects of Neustar’s reply comments:

1. Ericsson, its wholly owned subsidiary Telcordia, or SunGard do not satisfy the impartiality and neutrality requirements within the FCC’s rules and the RFP.

The record confirms Ericsson’s many ties to the wireless industry and a few large carriers, including its managed services clients, such as Sprint and T-Mobile. These ties preclude the company from being impartial or neutral. The record also demonstrates that SunGard is not neutral, given its affiliation with telecommunication service providers and interconnected VoIP providers.

2. The FCC cannot adopt the NANC’s recommendation or alter the neutrality requirements without modifying its existing rules through an NPRM process.

Adopting the NANC’s recommendation or changing the neutrality rules would require a change to Commission rules via an NPRM. Claims that the designation of a numbering administrator is an adjudication is inconsistent with the FCC’s own precedent and finds no support in cases.

3. Flaws in the selection process – including the inexplicable failure to consider the best available proposals – preclude the Commission from relying on the NANC’s recommendation.

The NANC’s recommendation and the supporting documents demonstrate there was no factual or legal justification for the refusal to consider improved proposals.

4. The NANC’s recommendation fails to justify the proposed selection of Ericsson.

The recommendation fails to provide the FCC the detailed information it needs to conduct a meaningful independent review. The recommendation does not provide a sufficient basis for the Commission to conclude that Ericsson’s proposal matches Neustar’s on technical and management criteria; with regard to price, the recommendation also did not adequately consider the transition risks and costs. It also failed to address the impending IP transition.

5. The public safety, law enforcement and national security implications of selecting the LNPA were never considered.

Because the RFP did not include a mechanism for examining and assessing national security, law enforcement and public safety issues involved in an NPAC transition, the FCC must address those issues now with appropriate input from the Executive Branch agencies responsible for these matters. Once the FCC has defined the applicable security requirements, the bidding process should be reopened to permit vendors to compete on this critical aspect of the NPAC.

6. The Commission must consider the national security implications of potential foreign ownership of the LNPA.

The foreign ownership of LNPA was not addressed through the RFP process. Foreign ownership has not been an issue since the LNPA was first selected in 1997 and would now raise serious national security concerns.