Law and Regulation of Common Carriers in the Communications Industry

By Daniel L. Brenner | Go to book overview

4
STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS: "JUST AND REASONABLE"; "UNREASONABLE DISCRIMINATION"

NOTE ON THE STATUTORY BASIS OF THE FEDERAL TARIFF FILING REQUIREMENT
The requirement that carriers file tariffs arises from §203 of the Communications Act of 1934. That section provides in essential part that: "Every common carrier . . . shall . . . file with the Commission . . . schedules showing all charges . . . for interstate and foreign wire or radio communication . . . and showing the classifications, practices and regulations affecting such charges." Carriers are then prohibited from charging or collecting any amount that differs from the tariffed rates. Tariffed rates, terms and conditions must not be unjust, unreasonable or discriminatory, under §202(a).The FCC implements these statutory requirements by reviewing tariffs for conformance with the detailed requirements set forth in Part 61 of the Commission's rules. As a general matter, tariffs are required to contain "clean and explicit explanatory statements regarding the rates and regulations." More specifically, all tariffs must contain the following elements:
A title page (which must indicate the carrier issuing the tariff, the service being tariffed, the geographic application of the tariff, and the type of facilities used to provide service); a check sheet (which indicates the number of pages in the tariff and the number of revisions made); a table of contents; a list of concurring, connecting, or other participating carriers; and an explanation of all symbols and abbreviations used in the tariff.
An explanation of all the rules, regulations, exceptions, and conditions that govern the tariff. Such rules address, for example, the applicability of discounts, carrier liability provisions and billing practices and procedures.
Finally, the rates for the service(s) at issue.

-79-

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