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The Law Offices of
Edward A. Maldonado, PA

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Tel: (305) 477-7580 
Fax: (305) 477-7504 
Toll-Free: 1+ (877) 245-6326

eam@maldonado-group.com

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Edward A. Maldonado, Esq.
Practicing Attorney
since 1997

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FCC Search Links
Quick searches to verify your status

Search FCC for licensed 214 Carriers on:
International Bureau Electronic Filing System  (MyIBFS)

Search FCC for Companies with 499 Filer ID on:  Telephone Company Locator

Search FCC if back-due regulatory fees are due:
 Red Light Display (RLD) System

Search FCC for Radio frequency licenses:
Universal Licensing System

Search FCC for Wireless providers on:
Wireless Telecommunications Database Search

Search FCC for compliance filings made on your behalf:   Electronic Comment Fi ling System (ECFS)

Please inform us of any details you discover
through these links at the intake interview.

Telephone: 305-477-7580

Federal Communications Commission 214 Licensing

What you should know about the FCC 214 License:

All providers of telecommunication services (domestic or international) that provide their services to the general public for profit must have the prior approval of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) before offering or providing such services. 

This has been codified from the Communication Act of 1996 into 47 U.S.C. § 214.  This license has a wide variety of names including: the “FCC 214”, “FCC Section 214”, “214 Authority,” “FCC 214 License”, the “214 License” and the “International 214.”  Regardless of the name used, the FCC 214 license regulates the provider as a common carrier.  Important to this definition is Title 47 of the US Code – which defines and regulates telecommunication services at the federal level.  In particular:

47 U.S.C. § 153(44) (2009) defines “telecommunications carrier”' to mean "any provider of telecommunications services, except that such term does not include aggregators of telecommunications services (as defined in section 226 of this title). A telecommunications carrier shall be treated as a common carrier under this chapter only to the extent that it is engaged in providing telecommunications services, except that the Commission shall determine whether the provision of fixed and mobile satellite service shall be treated as common carriage."

Who is required to obtain an FCC 214 License and be a FCC 214 Licensee

All facility-based providers, resellers, wireless service providers, mobile virtual network operators, and retail service providers such as prepaid calling service providers are required to obtain authority by the FCC prior to beginning services pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 214.

To date, the FCC has not ruled on whether Interconnected VoIP Providers (and services) or VoIP Toll Resale Services are subject to 47 U.S.C. § 214

Recent Ruling by the FCC, in combination with compliance obligation imposed in 2005 by the FCC’s IP Enabled Services order that VoIP Service Providers obtain 499 Filer ID and report and contribute to the Universal Service Fund and other regulatory fees based upon the Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet (FCC Form 499-A). While still unsettled, there is a high probability that VoIP services will come under 47 U.S.C. § 214 in the near future.  Many VoIP Providers (Interconnected and Toll) are electing to become FCC 214 Licensee to hedge this regulatory change and have clear guidelines when it comes to regulatory reporting. 

Likewise, many VoIP toll resellers providing international services to or from the U.S., often obtain the FCC 214 to interconnect with larger foreign carriers, or larger U.S. carriers. 

The requirement to seek authority pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 214 to provide international or domestic long distance services is absolute. The statute is a prohibitive statue requiring prior approval by the FCC before services can be rendered.  This requirement is not only limited to upstart companies in the telecommunication field, but also acquisitions of telecommunication carriers by other carriers or companies, who must seek a transfer of control prior to any acquisition of a carrier or its assets, be they large or small.

Services include State Certification
and Licensure within 50 U.S. States
and Puerto Rico for:

Long Distance Wholesale, Resale as either facility based or switchless Interexchange Carrier (IXC)

Prepaid Calling Cards Providers and Online
Prepaid Calling Services

Competitive Local Exchange Carrier
(CLEC) facility based or switchless

Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) pursuant to 47. U.S.C. § 214(e)(2) and
State Certification as an ETC for low-cost,
highcost services under Universal
Services Fund

Subject to Intake, our flat fees for applications
are generally offered as follows:

International FCC 214 License owned entirely by U.S. Citizens (Streamlined) with no foreign ownership – generally $500.00 USD plus FCC filing fees and cost of appointment of DC registered agent.

International FCC 214 License with foreign ownership (Non-Streamlined) and Team Telecom review required – generally $1,300.00 USD plus FCC filing fees.

FCC 214 Special Temporary Authority to operate pending FCC 214 Approval due to a special circumstance – generally $900.00 USD plus FCC filing fees.

FCC Form 499 Filer ID – generally $300.00 USD plus cost of appointment of DC registered agent (for Domestic Long Distance Services under Domestic Blanket Authority, VoIP Toll, Wholesale, IP PBX Providers  and Interconnected VoIP Providers)

Cancellation, Discontinuance, and Surrender of FCC 214 License with notice to customers- generally $400.00 USD.

Cancellation of FCC 499 Filer ID – generally $250.00 USD.

The Following Services may be offered on a flat fee basis, depending upon intake of full facts and ownership details of applicant:

Amendment of International FCC 214 License to reflect change of licensee’s new business address, other updates (non-ownership) or inclusion of fictitious name or registered trademark or service mark on public file.

Pro Forma Transfers of Control of International FCC 214 License to reflect structuring or re-structuring of ownership under revised or planned corporate holding.

Transfer of Control of International FCC 214 License with full U.S. ownership (Streamlined).

Transfer of Control of International FCC 214 License with foreign ownership (Non-Streamlined) and Team Telecom review.

Assignment of International FCC 214 License.

Transfer of Control of International FCC 214 License due to Licensee Bankruptcy.

Issuance of FCC International Point Codes.

Contact us to review your particular circumstances and potential application.  If you obtain a reasonable written quote or proposal from another provider for the same type of application we have quoted, present it to us and we will attempt to match or beat the offer, based upon our standards and your intake interview. We do not limit ourselves to only streamline qualified Aapplicants (U.S. Citizens) and have handled difficult filings in the past.  We also actively subcontract for other regulatory firms and attorneys.

Contact us here for immediate quote and intake interview


New FCC Regulations over Broadband and implication to VoIP and IP-In-the-Middle

On May 6, 2010, the FCC initiated proposed rule-making that the transport of broadband services should be regulated pursuant to Title II (Telecommunications Services) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.  The debate is on within the FCC, Congress and the industry on the overall implications of this rule-making and services such as VoIP toll services, interconnected VoIP, downloadable SIP and VoIP mobile applications, and other Broadband-based transport services.  The proposed regulatory scheme proposed is based in part on opinions within the Brand X case in 2005 which initially motivated the FCC to regulate interconnected VoIP as a hybrid information service.   All prospective clients who are VoIP Toll Providers, Interconnected VoIP Providers, and even ISPs are encouraged to read the FCC’s statements prior to speaking with us to better plan your potential licensure and certifications.  Many VoIP providers are now electing to obtain the Section 214 and begin compliance regimens in preparation of new regulations.  Others are waiting until a final rule comes into force.  Should you believe your services fall within a borderline of this potential regulation, please indicate this at your intake interview.  Also see the following:

FCC announcements of Broadband Re-classification Rule Making for further information:

FCC Chairman Video Address, New Media Resources on Third Way Legal Approach.
Statement of FCC General Counsel Austin Schlick: " A Third-Way Legal Framework for Addressing the Comcast Dilemma

Problems delaying or complicating the FCC 214 Application

Problems for providers generally arise when they are under-budgeted and enter the market first, seeking the FCC 214 authority months or years after their market entry.  Likewise, problems also arise when providers acquire a carrier, or substantial parts of its assets, and seek the FCC 214 transfer of control in a post-transaction clean-up of items under the new administration.   The major concern for both types of scenarios is that operating without the prior approval of the FCC under 47 U.S.C. § 214 is a violation of the Communication Act of 1934, as amended, and can result in an enforcementaction or a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) for forfeiture based upon that violation.

Common questions by prospective clients at intake interview:

What do I do if we are already offering services?

What do I do if we purchased a telecom
carrier without permission?

What must I file to cancel my 214 License?

When is a domestic 214 License necessary?

What is required for online prepaid PIN-Less and PIN-free ANI recognition accounts?

What regulations and registrations are required for Prepaid VoIP and SIP downloadable applications for
cellular phones?

What is required for prepaid cellular phones when services are provided by MVNO
or through MVNE?

What is required for Interconnected VoIP
services to consumers?

What is the proper registration of VoIP
Toll Resold services?

What is the proper licensure of Toll
Long Distance services?

What state laws and regulations supplement federal requirements?

What are the requirements for Wi-Max
or Wi-Fi?

What if I have a fine or FCC Enforcement Action from a prior company?

Team Telecom (Department of Homeland Security) review of foreign owners in FCC 214 applications

In approving FCC Section 214 authorization applications where there is foreign ownership of more than 5%, or a request for a declaratory ruling under section 310(b)(4) of the FCC’s rules for greater than 25% indirect foreign ownership of Wireless Carrier 214 License, the FCC refers the application to the Executive Branch for national security, law enforcement, foreign policy or trade concerns review.  The International Bureau specifically refers these applications to Team Telecom, an interagency group that reviews the applications for the Executive Branch. Team Telecom is comprised of staff from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice (including the FBI), representatives from the Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Treasury, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative.  Based on its review, Team Telecom may have no comment on any application or may request that the FCC condition grant of the application on compliance with assurances made by the applicant in either an exchange of letters or a formal security agreement. The FCC will not act on an application until Team Telecom has completed its review of the application. 

Since review by Team Telecom is applicant specific, the time that Team Telecom may take on an application can vary based upon the circumstances of the applicant, their past history, and their country of origin.  Generally, Team Telecom review takes between six (6) to eleven (11) months to complete, however some reviews can be longer.    Lack of full disclosure on the questions presented by Team Telecom to the applicant can also extend the review process.  Important to remember is that the company with foreign ownership cannot operate in providing telecommunication services without the FCC 214 license, or it will be fined.  

The below are non-exhaustive summaries of what is generally required at both the state and federal level in terms of licensure and registration.  It serves as an informational guide, however, each case is particular, so at your intake interview please be careful to detail the full array of services you offer.


Toll Long Distance Services – Wholesale / Resale Circuit switched services

Federal: Obtain FCC 214 Authority prior to offering services to other carriers or end-users.
Federal: Obtain FCC 499 Filer ID to report telecommunication and VoIP revenues on FCC 499-A and 499-Q(s)
Federal:Establish CPNI policies & protective measures; prepare CPNI Certification for annual or periodic filing to FCC
State: Obtain State Certification (CPNC) as IXC in home state and where you operate facilities based upon your business model.

VoIP Toll Resold Services

Federal: Obtain FCC 499 Filer ID to report telecommunication and VoIP revenues on FCC 499-A and 499-Q(s)
Federal: Establish CPNI policies & protective measures; prepare CPNI Certification for annual or periodic filing to FCC
Federal: Consider obtaining FCC 214 Authority based upon business model and vender/supplier request from international providers.
State: Consider obtaining State Certification (CPNC) as IXC in home state or where you operate facilities based upon your business model.

Prepaid Calling Cards – Minimal Licensure and Filings

Federal: Obtain FCC 214 Authority prior to offering services to consumers.
Federal: Obtain FCC 499 Filer ID to report telecommunication and VoIP revenues on FCC 499-A and 499-Q(s)
Federal: Prepare to file quarterly PIU reports for usage of local access number associated with the cards
Federal: Establish CPNI policies & protective measures; prepare CPNI Certification for annual or periodic filing to FCC
State: Obtain State Certification (CPNC) as IXC or prepaid calling card provider prior to offering services to consumers ***
State: File a tariff, or request “de-tariff” status, with the state PUC and have tariff available upon request or on website. 

***A footprint of distribution and sales of service to end-users, delineated by state, is needed to evaluate the necessary state Certificate(s) of Public Necessity and Convenience (CPCN) needed to provide Inter-Exchange (IXC) Services. Some states have direct laws and regulation related to prepaid calling cards - for example, the State of Illinois. Others treat the service as any other common carrier service under their intra-state interexchange regulation.

Online Prepaid PIN-Less and PIN-free ANI recognition Accounts – Minimal Licensure

Federal: Obtain FCC 214 Authority Prior to offering services to consumers.
Federal: Obtain FCC 499 Filer ID to report telecommunication and VoIP revenues on FCC 499-A and 499-Q(s)
Federal: Establish CPNI policies & protective measures; prepare CPNI Certification for annual or periodic filing to FCC
State: Obtain State Certification (CPNC) as IXC or prepaid calling card provider prior to offering services to consumers
State: File a tariff, or request “de-tariff” status, with the state PUC and have tariff available upon request or on website. 

Prepaid Cellular Phones – MVNO

Federal: Obtain FCC 214 Authority Prior to offering services to consumers.
Federal: Obtain FCC 499 Filer ID to report telecommunication and VoIP revenues on FCC 499-A and 499-Q(s)
Federal: Establish CPNI Policies & Protective Measures; prepare CPNI Certification for annual or periodic filing to FCC
State: Consider obtaining State Certification (CPNC) as IXC in home state or based upon your business model.

Prepaid VoIP and SIP downloadable applications for Cellular Phones

Federal: Obtain FCC 214 Authority Prior to offering services to consumers.
Federal: Obtain FCC 499 Filer ID to report telecommunication and VoIP revenues on FCC 499-A and 499-Q(s)
Federal: Establish CPNI policies & protective measures; prepare CPNI Certification for annual or periodic filing to FCC
State: Consider obtaining State Certification (CPNC) as IXC in home state or based upon your business model.

Interconnected VoIP Services to Consumers

Federal: Obtain FCC 499 Filer ID to report telecommunication and VoIP revenues on FCC 499-A and 499-Q(s)
Federal: Establish CPNI policies & protective measures; prepare CPNI Certification for annual or periodic filing to FCC
State: Consider obtaining State Certification (CPNC) as IXC in home state or based upon your business model.



Contact our firm today at (305) 477- 7580, Toll-Free at 1-877-245-6326, or via e-mail for general questions as to our specific services or representation on a particular matter.

Individuals and businesses facing the threat of imminent lawsuits, regulatory Enforcement Actions or criminal charges are urged to contact The Law Offices of Edward A. Maldonado PA today to schedule a complementary consultation from our South Florida law firm.  Time is always of the essence in such cases.

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