Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

FCC Against Forced (DSL) Nudity

from the stay-clothed dept

Just as California was getting ready to force SBC to offer naked DSL, apparently the FCC is thinking about overruling state regulations forcing the Baby Bells to offer naked DSL, and allowing them to go back to forced bundling. Of course, the FCC's reasoning probably does make some sense. Having every state impose different rules about naked DSL is a problem -- however, the fact that many don't want to do it (Qwest is the exception, Verizon claims they will, but haven't yet), certainly suggests they're abusing a (government granted) monopoly position in many localities. They're using their monopoly to force people to buy a service they don't want. That should be seen as a problem, not something to be encouraged. Hopefully, the FCC ruling is a prelude to a nationwide push to get these firms to offer DSL without phone lines. The silly thing is, of course, it would help increase business, by getting more customers who simply don't want a traditional POTS line any more. Update: Om Malik points to Qwest calling bull on the other Baby Bells for saying that naked DSL is somehow difficult from either the technical or the billing sides -- pointing out that it was no problem at all for them.

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