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
    Confused!, 1 Apr 2007 @ 8:48am

    Who Where What When Why

    Ok, I can see the sign from my front door that says, "Do not dig - Buried Fiber" and my only option for internet at a fair price is Wildblue satellite which I get from who else but AT&T as a reseller for WildBlue. It seems odd to me with all these FCC folks working for the public interest (riiiight!!) that we'd have FTTC when the trench is in your yard. I called AT&T and they have no plans (public) to let me know when and if I will ever get higher speed from their fiber. Living in the country is nice but communications suck.

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