Goto Section: 51.207 | 51.219 | Table of Contents
Revised as of September 1, 2021
Goto Year:2020 |
§ 51.217 Nondiscriminatory access: Telephone numbers, operator services,
directory assistance services, and directory listings.
(a) Definitions. As used in this section, the following definitions
(1) Competing provider. A “competing provider” is a provider of
telephone exchange or telephone toll services that seeks
nondiscriminatory access from a local exchange carrier (LEC) in that
LEC's service area.
(2) Nondiscriminatory access. “Nondiscriminatory access” refers to
access to telephone numbers, operator services, directory assistance
and directory listings that is at least equal to the access that the
providing local exchange carrier (LEC) itself receives.
Nondiscriminatory access includes, but is not limited to:
(i) Nondiscrimination between and among carriers in the rates, terms,
and conditions of the access provided; and
(ii) The ability of the competing provider to obtain access that is at
least equal in quality to that of the providing LEC.
(3) Providing local exchange carrier (LEC). A “providing local exchange
carrier” is a local exchange carrier (LEC) that is required to permit
nondiscriminatory access to a competing provider.
(b) General rule. A local exchange carrier (LEC) that provides operator
services, directory assistance services or directory listings to its
customers, or provides telephone numbers, shall permit competing
providers of telephone exchange service or telephone toll service to
have nondiscriminatory access to that service or feature, with no
unreasonable dialing delays.
(c) Specific requirements. A LEC subject to paragraph (b) of this
section must also comply with the following requirements:
(1) Telephone numbers. A LEC shall permit competing providers to have
access to telephone numbers that is identical to the access that the
LEC provides to itself.
(2) Operator services. A LEC must permit telephone service customers to
connect to the operator services offered by that customer's chosen
local service provider by dialing “0,” or “0” plus the desired
telephone number, regardless of the identity of the customer's local
telephone service provider.
(3) Directory assistance services and directory listings—(i) Access to
directory assistance. A LEC shall permit competing providers to have
access to its directory assistance services, including directory
assistance databases, so that any customer of a competing provider can
obtain directory listings, except as provided in paragraph (c)(3)(iv)
of this section, on a nondiscriminatory basis, notwithstanding the
identity of the customer's local service provider, or the identity of
the provider for the customer whose listing is requested. A LEC must
supply access to directory assistance in the manner specified by the
competing provider, including transfer of the LECs' directory
assistance databases in readily accessible magnetic tape, electronic or
other convenient format, as provided in paragraph (c)(3)(iii) of this
section. Updates to the directory assistance database shall be made in
the same format as the initial transfer (unless the requesting LEC
requests otherwise), and shall be performed in a timely manner, taking
no longer than those made to the providing LEC's own database. A LEC
shall accept the listings of those customers served by competing
providers for inclusion in its directory assistance/operator services
(ii) Access to directory listings. A LEC that compiles directory
listings shall share directory listings with competing providers in the
manner specified by the competing provider, including readily
accessible tape or electronic formats, as provided in paragraph
(c)(3)(iii) of this section. Such data shall be provided in a timely
(iii) Format. A LEC shall provide access to its directory assistance
services, including directory assistance databases, and to its
directory listings in any format the competing provider specifies, if
the LEC's internal systems can accommodate that format.
(A) If a LEC's internal systems do not permit it provide directory
assistance or directory listings in the format the specified by the
competing provider, the LEC shall:
(1) Within thirty days of receiving the request, inform the competing
provider that the requested format cannot be accommodated and tell the
requesting provider which formats can be accommodated; and
(2) Provide the requested directory assistance or directory listings in
the format the competing provider chooses from among the available
(iv) Unlisted numbers. A LEC shall not provide access to unlisted
telephone numbers, or other information that its customer has asked the
LEC not to make available, with the exception of customer name and
address. The LEC shall ensure that access is permitted to the same
directory information, including customer name and address, that is
available to its own directory assistance customers.
(v) Adjuncts to services. Operator services and directory assistance
services must be made available to competing providers in their
entirety, including access to any adjunct features (e.g., rating tables
or customer information databases) necessary to allow competing
providers full use of these services.
(d) Branding of operator services and directory assistance services.
The refusal of a providing local exchange carrier (LEC) to comply with
the reasonable request of a competing provider that the providing LEC
rebrand its operator services and directory assistance, or remove its
brand from such services, creates a presumption that the providing LEC
is unlawfully restricting access to its operator services and directory
assistance. The providing LEC can rebut this presumption by
demonstrating that it lacks the capability to comply with the competing
(e) Disputes—(1) Disputes involving nondiscriminatory access. In
disputes involving nondiscriminatory access to operator services,
directory assistance services, or directory listings, a providing LEC
shall bear the burden of demonstrating with specificity:
(i) That it is permitting nondiscriminatory access, and
(ii) That any disparity in access is not caused by factors within its
control. “Factors within its control” include, but are not limited to,
physical facilities, staffing, the ordering of supplies or equipment,
(2) Disputes involving unreasonable dialing delay. In disputes between
providing local exchange carriers (LECs) and competing providers
involving unreasonable dialing delay in the provision of access to
operator services and directory assistance, the burden of proof is on
the providing LEC to demonstrate with specificity that it is processing
the calls of the competing provider's customers on terms equal to that
of similar calls from the providing LEC's own customers.
[ 61 FR 47350 , Sept. 6, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 51911 , Sept. 27, 1999]
Goto Section: 51.207 | 51.219
Goto Year: 2020 |
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