And Then There Were Two: Cable And Telcos Don't Have To Let Anyone Else In

from the level-playing-field? dept

As was widely expected, the FCC voted today to reclassify DSL as an information service rather than a telecommunications service. What that means, is that it gets the telcos out from under line sharing rules and means they no longer have to allow competitive carriers to offer DSL on their lines. As the FCC will no doubt claim, this does further level the playing field between cable companies and telcos -- but certainly tilts it against anyone else. The reason telcos were supposed to share those lines is because most of those lines were set up when AT&T was a government backed monopoly -- so it gives them a bit of an unfair advantage. Still, while this clearly does favor the big incumbents, it's not a big surprise. Also, given that the FCC had already freed the telcos from having to share their new fiber lines, this just quickens the pace at which other providers will have to find alternative means of offering service. It's bad news for a number of smaller providers who were offering DSL -- but (hopefully) will spur additional investments in technologies that completely route around these incumbents, such as wireless offerings.
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  1. identicon
    Sofa King Stoned, 5 Aug 2005 @ 1:08pm

    Victim Impact Statement

    We are moving in September and I was thinking of ditch SBC DSL (which I've had forever) and going with the SpeakEasy/Slashdot branded service (just for shits and giggles). This ruling makes me hesitate to do that, now that it seems that SBC won't have any obligation to line-share with anyone else.

    Bob Dole does make a good point, though. Hopefully there will be some upside to this.
    (Who'd a thought Mr. Dole would have developed such insight after he left the senate. Still taking Viagra, Mr. Dole? How's Elizabeth? Bob Dole, the anti-dorpus)

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