Before Buckley, Randolph, and Tatel, Circuit Judges.
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT
American Telephone and Telegraph Company, Intervenor
Petition for Review of an Order of the Federal Communications Commission
Opinion for the court filed by Circuit Judge Buckley.
Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc. ("ATN") petitions for review of an order of the Federal Communications Commission conditionally authorizing ATN to provide international telephone service between the United States and Guyana. In re Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc., 8 F.C.C.R. 4776 (1993) ("Commission Order"). Finding the Commission's conditional authorization proper, we deny the petition.
Section 214 of the Communications Act of 1934 requires telephone operating carriers to secure FCC certification before constructing or operating interstate or international communications lines. That provision specifically provides that [n]o carrier shall ... acquire or operate any line, or extension thereof, or shall engage in transmission over or by means of such additional or extended line, unless and until there shall first have been obtained from the Commission a certificate that the present or future public convenience and necessity require or will require the ... operation[ ] of such additional or extended line....
47 U.S.C. Section(s) 214(a) (1988). If the Commission approves such an application, it may attach to the issuance of the certificate such terms and conditions as in its judgment the public convenience and necessity may require.
47 U.S.C. Section(s) 214(c).
This case involves such a condition. An understanding of its nature and purpose requires an overview of how international telephone carriers operate. While several domestic carriers compete to provide telephone service from the United States to foreign countries, typically only one government-controlled carrier provides telephone service in any particular foreign country. When a U.S. customer dials an overseas telephone number, a domestic "originating" carrier charges a "collection rate" for placing the international call through to the appropriate foreign "terminating" carrier, which connects the caller to his destination. The domestic originating carrier and the foreign terminating carrier negotiate an operating agreement that sets forth the "accounting rate" that is divided between the two carriers. For example, if the domestic carrier charges $2.00 per minute as its collection rate, and the two carriers negotiate a $1.00 per minute accounting rate to be divided equally between them, the ...