Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam urged lawmakers to ratify an international treaty that would clarify rules for building and repairing underwater telecom cables. "Senate ratification of the Convention will provide confidence to U.S. companies that their undersea submarine cable investments are protected by more specific and reliable international law," he noted. The Law of the Sea Treaty was signed in 1982, but it has yet to be vetted here in the States. Adoption would give operators of undersea cables the ability to use the treaty “to compensate cable owners, arbitrate disputes over service disruptions and deter future violations," he added. A vote could be taken after the fall election…On the docket for the next open FCC meeting (July 19) are presentations regarding use of white spaces for wireless broadband and the progress of the Broadband America initiative…Telecom data provider CCMI notes an uptick in LEC tariff filings regarding FCC Docket 10-90, which requires (as of next Monday) LECs to lower intrastate terminating access rates by half of the difference between their interstate and intrastate terminating access rates. “Depending on whether the LEC is subject to either price cap or rate-of-return regulation, this initial phase starts an implementation plan that spans seven and nine years, respectively,” the group says. So far, CCMI has processed more than 600 intrastate tariff transmittals related directly to the commission’s order.

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