AT&T announced late Tuesday that the company has agreed to pay $18.25 million to settle an investigation by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau.
The investigation stems back to whether the company improperly billed the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) fund for certain IP Relay (Internet-based TRS) calls.
Among the issues under investigation were whether AT&T billed the fund for IP Relay calls by persons whom the company registered for the service without first requiring them to provide such basic information as their names, and by persons whose registration information the company failed to adequately verify. These registration and verification requirements are designed to protect the program against waste, fraud and abuse.
Based on the facts presented in Tuesday evening’s announcement, AT&T agreed to reimburse the TRS Fund $7 million, which includes interest.
AT&T is also making a “voluntary contribution” of $11.25 million to the U.S. Treasury.
Further, AT&T must implement a robust compliance plan including new operating procedures, comprehensive training of its employees and contractors, and periodic reporting requirements.