FCC Leaks Changed Broadband Plan

from the the-latest-in-an-ongoing-saga dept

As we get closer and closer to the FCC releasing a final version of their rules for how the incumbent telecom providers need to (or not) open up their networks, the rumors are flying with increasing speed. The latest is that the FCC has leaked yet another draft report, though, with some very significant changes. This one says that the incumbent carriers will need to continue sharing their old lines, but don’t need to share any new networks that they build. This, as you might imagine, would encourage everyone to get busy building new networks. This seems like the most reasonable “compromise” solution that I’ve heard. Of course, like any compromise, I imagine that it will please no one.

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Comments on “FCC Leaks Changed Broadband Plan”

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1 Comment
KR says:

RBOCs and broadband

re: continue sharing the old, but not the new…

Mike O’Dell (former CTO of UUNET) sums this up pretty well:

—— Forwarded Message
From: “Mike O’Dell”
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2003 09:30:17 -0500 (EST)
To: dave@farber.net
Subject: FCC to allow fiber monopolies in local loop ??

an article in this morning’s NYTimes indicates that the FCC
is about to allow the ILECs to build fiber to the home without
requiring any access requirements.

If the FCC would lift access requirements on “new builds” WITH
the proviso that such new builds cannot be done by the entity
subsizied by the rate payers, and that those links cannot connect
to any infrastructure subsizied by the rate payers without paying
interconnect charges defined by open-market competition, then
I would say “fine, let them have at it.”

HOWEVER – the public PSTN, while built by the ILECs back when they
were part of AT&T, was paid for by the rate payers and continues
to be subsidized by them based on a guaranteed rate of return
on investment afforded by their statutory monopoly status.

Note that the PSTN does not really “belong” to the ILECs. it
is a public trust, financed by the public to build and operate,
and the ILECs were made the stewards of that trust. Part of
the trade for the monopoly status is the notion that they sell
to everyone off the same price sheet. Allowing the ILECs to
build fiber-to-the-home using subsidized dollars and then not
require them to provide access to all comers under the same
conditions is to allow conversion of this public trust
infrastructure to a private asset without any remuneration to
the public trust.

Therefore, if the ILECs wish to build fiber-to-the-home,
which i think is a fine idea, they must do it the same way
everyone else has to, which is without subsidized dollars
and without using subsidized infrastructure for free.
If they pay the same interconnect charges that any other
fiber builder would pay, then fine.

Note they do still enjoy a huge advantage – they already have
the rights of way which can be used for the fiber builds.
By rights, those should be excluded as well, or at least
the footprint of the fiber build should be leased from the
regulated unit at a rate determined by open market forces.

To do any of this otherwise is an affront to the people who
have paid for this infrastructure for the last 100 years
and who should be enjoying the fruts of its evolution,
rather than being hobbled by the trustee’s intransigence.



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