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Case Basics
Docket No. 
WorldCom Technologies, Inc.
(Argued the cause for the petitioners)
(Argued the cause for the respondent United States)
(Argued the cause for the respondents WorldCom Technologies, Inc., MCI WORLDCOM Network Services, Inc., MCImetro Access Services LLC, and Focal Communi)
Facts of the Case 

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires that incumbent local-exchange carriers (LECs) provide interconnection with their existing networks; that the carriers then establish reciprocal compensation arrangements for transporting and terminating the calls of each others' customers; and that their interconnection agreements be approved by a state utility commission. The local LEC, Illinois Bell Telephone Company, doing business as Ameritech Illinois, refused to pay reciprocal compensation for calls made by its competitors' customers to the local access numbers of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Ameritech argued that ISP traffic was not local traffic subject to the reciprocal compensation agreement. The competitors filed complaints and the Illinois Commerce Commission ruled in their favor. In affirming, the District Court concluded that the Commission's decision did not violate the Act. The Court of Appeals affirmed.


Is a state commission's action relating to the enforcement of an interconnection agreement under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 reviewable in federal court? Does a state commission waive its Eleventh Amendment immunity by voluntarily participating in the regulatory scheme established by the Act? Does the doctrine of Ex parte Young permit suit for relief against state public utility commissioners in their official capacities for alleged ongoing violations of the Act?


In a per curiam opinion, the Court dismissed the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted. The Court noted that it had granted certiorari to review the same questions arising in the same factual context in Verizon Md. Inc. v. Public Serv. Comm'n of Md.

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MATHIAS v. WORLDCOM TECHNOLOGIES, INC.. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 26 August 2015. <>.
MATHIAS v. WORLDCOM TECHNOLOGIES, INC., The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 26, 2015).
"MATHIAS v. WORLDCOM TECHNOLOGIES, INC.," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 26, 2015,