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October 8, 2007
Eschelon Telecom Inc. today will serve as a case study for how to successfully negotiate the change management process (CMP) clause of an ILEC interconnection agreement. Gregory Merz, a principal at Gray, Plant, Mooty helped the Minnesota-based CLEC seal the deal; he will head a panel that will give CLECs tips for following
Eschelons lead. Eschelon was able to negotiate a CMP with Qwest Communications International Inc.; Karen Clauson, senior director of interconnection for Eschelon, will be on hand to talk about the process so other CLECs can use the companys experience as a guide.
Other panelists will include Robin Casey, a partner at Casey, Gentz & Magness LLP, and Katherine Mudge, senior counsel for Covad Communications. Even though there are fewer interconnection agreements than there used to be because CLECs tend to specialize, if an issue over CMP arises, its a big deal, Merz said. If ILECs make changes to crucial services CLECs use, that impacts business. So the idea is to get the ILEC to agree to notify CLECs of any pending changes and give the CLEC a chance to push back if necessary.
The cases can go to state commissions for arbitration if the ILEC and CLEC cant agree. Federal law gives states broad authority to arbitrate, Merz said.
He recommends any CLEC dealing with an ILEC interconnection agreement and the CMP keep detailed records. That way, at arbitration, youre more likely to get what you need, Merz said. Also keep in mind the end-user impact of a disagreement.
Panelists also will discuss implementation of new rates, what access to network elements includes, and implementation of the FCCs Triennial Review Remand Order.
Casey, Gentz & Magness LLP www.phonelaw.com
Covad Communications www.covad.com
Eschelon Telecom Inc. www.eschelon.com
Gray, Plant, Mooty www.gpmlaw.com
Qwest Communications International Inc. www.qwest.com
Read more about:Agents
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