Wholesale: Products & Services

Jointly Provided Access Services (Meet Point Billing) - V13.0

History Log

Product Description

Jointly Provided Access Services occurs when an Interexchange Carrier (IXC) receives feature group access service that is co-provided by more than one carrier. This co-provided service is referred to as Jointly Provided Access Services, Jointly Provided Switched Access and/or Meet Point Billing (MPB). Co-providers may consist of Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLECs), Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILECs) or Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS).

MPB standards are described in the Multiple Exchange Carrier Access Billing (MECAB) and the Multiple Exchange Carrier Ordering and Design Guidelines (MECOD). These guidelines provide information necessary for ordering, billing and design coordination to ensure that Jointly Provided Access Services are installed, tested and implemented in a timely manner.

The MECAB was developed by the Billing Committee of the Ordering and Billing Forum (OBF) and describes MPB standards which apply to both usage-sensitive and flat-rated access services.

Availability

Jointly Provided Access Services are available, where facilities exist, throughout CenturyLink QC.

Pricing

Rate Structure

CenturyLink™'s method of billing is referred to as Multiple Bill, Single Tariff. Each Co-provider bills the IXC for access elements at the tariffed rate, based on the Co-provider's ownership of the facilities.

Your CenturyLink Service Manager can provide you more information regarding CenturyLink Swtiched Access rates.

Tariffs, Regulations and Policy

Additional information is available in the state specific Tariffs/Catalogs/Price Lists.

Features/Benefits

Jointly Provided Access Services allow IXC traffic to be ordered, rated and billed in a timely and an accurate manner.

Features Benefits
Timely, auditable billing
  • IXCs receive accurate ordering and billing of switched access services when the IXC receives feature group access service co-provided by more than one carrier.
  • Industry and regulatory approved billing standards
  • IXC receives billing based on industry and regulatory approved standards.
  • Applications

    Switched access services are the primary application for Jointly Provided Access Services.

    Implementation

    Product Prerequisites

    If you are a new CLEC and are ready to do business with CenturyLink, view Getting Started as a Facility-Based CLEC or Getting Started as a Reseller. If you are an existing Co-provider wishing to amend your Interconnection Agreement or Customer Questionnaire, you can find additional information in the Interconnection Agreement.

    Pre-Ordering

    Before Jointly Provided Switched Access can be provided, the following activities must take place:

    • Both Co-providers should work cooperatively to reach agreement on which Co-provider will function as the Access Service Coordinator - Exchange Company (ASC-EC), as defined in the MECOD. The ASC will provide the operational, technical and administrative support required in the planning, provisioning and maintenance involved in the joint access provisioning process. CenturyLink will assume the responsibility as the ASC, if the Co-providers cannot reach agreement.

    • Each Co-provider will be responsible for obtaining regulatory approval of tariffs for any access services jointly provided by them.

    • CenturyLink will provide the one-time notification to the Co-provider of the billing name, billing address and Carrier Identification Codes (CIC) of the IXCs subtending any CenturyLink tandem to which the Co-provider directly connects.

    • The Co-providers should maintain provisions in their respective federal and state access tariffs, and/or provisions within the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) Tariff Federal Communications Commission (FCC) No. 4., or any successor tariff, sufficient to reflect the MPB arrangement, including Billing Percentages (BPs).

    Ordering

    The standards for processing orders for Jointly Provided Access Services are described in MECOD, Technical Alliance for Telecommunication Industry Solutions (ATIS)/OBF-MECOD-00X. These guidelines cover the ordering and design process from submission of an Access Service Request (ASR) through completion of the order and are based on the concept of one of the Co-providers being placed in an ASC-EC role.

    Detailed information describing field entry requirements is available on Access Service Request (ASR) Forms.

    Provisioning and Installation

    General provisioning and installation activities are described in the Provisioning and Installation Overview.

    The provisioning and operation of the access network used to furnish access services will be in accordance with the rules and regulations of the lawfully established tariffs applicable to the access services provided.

    Each Co-provider will cooperate with the other Co-provider to construct, equip, maintain, and operate its portion of the jointly provided facilities so that reliable and quality service will be furnished to IXCs at all times.

    Neither Co-provider will rearrange or change jointly provided access facilities without the prior written consent of the other Co-provider, where such change or rearrangement, if not concurred to by the other Co-provider, would impair the access services provided to the IXCs.

    The ASC-EC is the overall controlling company for provisioning and installation.

    The ATIS Network Interconnection Interoperability Forum (NIIF) has published recommended methodologies that should be adhered to for all Local Exchange Carriers (LECs) to provide timely notification to the industry of changes in their access network architecture. These methodologies apply to any access network reconfiguration that affects customer routing or rating of calls such as:

    • Tandem homing arrangements
    • Switch reconfigurations affecting rating or routing
    • New or changed NXX, including new and existing NXXs designated as portable
    • New or changed NPA
    • Changes in rate centers.

    The ATIS document is titled Recommended Notification Procedures to Industry for Changes in Access Network Architecture.

    Timely notice of access network changes is critical to minimize customer confusion, traffic blocking and ensures a successful network change.

    Maintenance and Repair

    General maintenance and repair activities are described in the  Maintenance and Repair Overview.

    Billing

    The standards for billing and data exchange will be in accordance with and are described in the MECAB guidelines, Technical Reference ATIS/OBF-MECAB-00x.

    Meet Point Billing (MPB)

    The Co-providers will use industry standards developed to bill Jointly Provided Switched Access Services (MECAB, MECOD and the Co-provider's FCC and state access tariffs).

    All Co-providers will render a separate bill to the IXC.

    The Co-providers will agree on a BP to enable the joint provisioning and billing of Switched Access Services in conformance with the MPB guidelines adopted by and contained in MECAB and MECOD documents and referenced in CenturyLink's Switched Access Tariffs.

    BPs are listed by service type for each A + Z location between which access services are provided on a Meet Point basis. The sum of the BPs filed for each route must equal 100%. For each A + Z location, the involved Co-providers must agree in writing to their respective BPs. The industry reference for listing end point locations, BPs, and the providers involved in a MPB environment is the NECA Tariff FCC. No. 4. The information contained in this tariff specifies the apportionment of local transport or channel mileage rate element(s) among the Co-providers and/or jurisdictions involved in an access service based on BPs. Each route, the related BPs and the Co-providers involved must be filed in NECA Tariff FCC. No. 4 by the first of the month, to be effective the first day of the following month.

    The Co-providers should maintain provisions in their respective federal and state access tariffs, and/or provisions within the NECA Tariff No. 4, or any successor tariff, sufficient to reflect this MPB arrangement, including BPs.

    As detailed in the MECAB document, the Co-providers and CenturyLink will exchange all information necessary to bill IXCs for Jointly Provided Switched Access Services. For Usage-Sensitive Access services under MPB, the exchange of usage data among Co-providers plays a critical role in providing the IXC with an accurate, timely, and auditable bill. Various Co-providers can be involved in recording the usage data for a single End Office location depending upon the network architecture, type of office, feature group, and type of traffic.

    The Exchange Message Record (EMR), as defined in Telcordia document BR 010-200-010 CRIS Exchange Message Record, provides mechanized record formats that should be used to exchange access usage information among Co-providers. Category 11-01 series Access Usage Records (AURs) are used to exchange detailed access usage information.

    When Interconnection Agreements have been signed by all Co-providers and received by CenturyLink; and the Access Billable Information Worksheet has been provided to CenturyLink with complete and accurate information, as agreed upon by both Co-providers, CenturyLink will proceed with the implementation process for the distribution of the Category 11-01 AURs to the Co-provider. The Access/Billable Information section is available in the Customer Questionnaire.

    The Record Exchange process for meet point/meet point-like record exchange and billing for facility based ILECs, CLECs or CMRS is consistent with the processes for Unbundled Network Element (UNE) record exchange and billing.

    Training

    View CenturyLink courses in the Course Catalog.

    Contacts

    For more information regarding Jointly Provided Access Services, contact your CenturyLink Service Manager.

    Additional CenturyLink contact information is available in Wholesale Customer Contacts.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Are there unique record exchange processes when CenturyLink acts as the 800 Service Control Point (SCP) for the CLEC, ILEC or CMRS?
    When CenturyLink performs the 800 database function for the CLEC, ILEC or CMRS, CenturyLink provides 11-01-25 records for Originating 800 Database Usage data in a Meet Point Billing environment. The CLEC, ILEC or CMRS is required to return the same 11-01-25 records to CenturyLink so we can bill our portion of access. This is necessary to prevent the possibility of duplicate billing.

    Last Update: August 18, 2014