& cplSiteName &

FCC Zaps Broadband Carriage Regs

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
8/5/2005
50%
50%

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Friday removed the responsibilities of telephone companies to share their broadband loops with unaffiliated ISPs.

The order is meant to put telco broadband providers on equal regulatory footing with their cable modem competitors. The Brand X decision in June relieved the cable guys of sharing their broadband facilities (see Supremes Sing Cable's Praises).

Sources say the FCC has been ready to make today’s order since the Powell days, but needed affirmation from the Supreme Court in the Brand X case before issuing an order.

Specifically, the FCC ruled that the physical facilities that deliver broadband, and the broadband service itself are indistinguishable and inseparable. The two things together -- the facility and the service -- are now called an “information service.” The “facility” part of that service can no longer be separated and called a “telecommunication service,” and as such can't be subject to common carriage rules.

But that’s just the small print. The real question is whether or not today’s order will really spark more aggressive fiber and DSL buildout by the RBOCs (see BellSouth Fans Fiber Flames). The RBOCs have found broadband (and the services it makes possible) to be far more profitable than voice service, yet the Bells have cited “regulatory uncertainty” as a barrier to faster broadband deployment.

BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS) stated shortly after the Brand X decision that it would increase fiber deployment by 60 percent if the FCC went its way in today’s decision (see Supremes Sing Cable's Praises).

But BellSouth's message is a bit different today. “Well, I don’t know about fiber -- we’ve already done so much of that already,” hedges BellSouth spokesman Bill McCloskey.

“It will certainly help us move some of our consumer services out of the lab more quickly," McCloskey continues, "and it will help with our ability to see our way clear to profitability -- well, profitability’s probably not the right word -- but to roll out service into the rural areas faster."

The RBOC has said it will pass 200,000 new homes with fiber by the end of this year.

SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC) was equally noncommital. “We’ll assess our broadband deployment plans and make changes accordingly,” says SBC spokesman Mike Balmoris. "But we're not making any announcements on that today."

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was not immediately available for comment in the wake of the FCC’s action (see Verizon Expands FTTP Plan).

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) applauded today’s order, saying “fair is fair,” but took the opportunity to get in a shot about the telcos' efforts to get out of video franchising obligations (see SBC on TV Franchise Regs: We're Immune).

“We invite the telephone companies to... drop their self-serving demands for special treatment by the government when entering the video marketplace," says NCTA CEO Kyle McSlarrow.

The real losers here may be the ISPs (see RBOCs Clear (Another) Regulatory Hurdle). However, the ISPs have not faired well in competition against cable and telco for broadband subs – they control less than a tenth of broadband lines today.

Under the order, the LECs will continue providing ISPs with access to broadband facilities for another year. Also, the telco broadband providers will continue to contribute to universal service funding mechanisms at current rates while the commission works on new regulations specific to that issue.

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

(28)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
OldPOTS
50%
50%
OldPOTS,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:06:22 AM
re: FCC Zaps Broadband Carriage Regs
Looks like the Telcos and Cabelcos had the FCC lock out other competition. Now for the RBOC slow roll, since they were not forced to make a commitment. And since they hope to cherry pick those served.

Freezing out the municipalities ("information services") is next. rjm?

OldPOTS
palaeozoic
50%
50%
palaeozoic,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:06:22 AM
re: FCC Zaps Broadband Carriage Regs

The only true competition faced by the telcos is, in fact, the cable guys. And vice versa. CLECs and ISPs availing themselves of unbundled loops was never a form of competition; rather it was legislative boneheadedness.

What the FCC is saying is "If you want to compete, build a network. We're no longer going to force ILECs to lease you theirs."

Finally, sanity from the FCC.
aaron.glenn
50%
50%
aaron.glenn,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:06:21 AM
re: FCC Zaps Broadband Carriage Regs
How do you think the I in ILEC got there? The network RBOCs are basing their revenue on was built and subsidized by the American taxpayer; and therefore carry the burden of sharing it at a reasonable price.

This is insanity.
OSXman
50%
50%
OSXman,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:06:20 AM
re: FCC Zaps Broadband Carriage Regs
Kindly explain how they were subsidized by the taxpayer.

The network was originally builty by AT&T. Enough years have gone by that much of the network was probably built by the Baby Bells themselves. While AT&T was a monopoly, the Baby Bells are private corporations funded by shareholders and bondholders. AT&T, regulated monopoly or not, was also financed by stock and bondholders.
OldPOTS
50%
50%
OldPOTS,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:06:20 AM
re: FCC Zaps Broadband Carriage Regs
'What the FCC is saying is "If you want to compete, build a network. We're no longer going to force ILECs to lease you theirs."'

Then the FCC and RBOCs should have no problem with municipalities building a common network available to all SPs.

OldPOTS
rjmcmahon
50%
50%
rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:06:19 AM
re: FCC Zaps Broadband Carriage Regs
Then the FCC and RBOCs should have no problem with municipalities building a common network available to all SPs.

The FCC can't base a policy on municipalities building out real broadband. It's too much of a long shot. The RBOCs, on the otherhand, seems to have hired too many lawyers and lobbyists who don't have anything better to do but get in the way of a few little guys trying to improve their communities.
rjmcmahon
50%
50%
rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:06:19 AM
re: FCC Zaps Broadband Carriage Regs
Looks like the Telcos and Cabelcos had the FCC lock out other competition.

I think the FCC is trying to eliminate the state PUCs as rate setting bodies as well. They also may have hopes that they might stimulate investor interest towards infrastructures upgrades if they permit private unregulated monopolies for the incumbents. Time will tell if this approach will solve the US broadband problem or not. I don't think it will and my guess is the FCC doesn't have a backup plan in the event their policy doesn't work out.

(Note: Ensign's bill defines broadband as anything above 64Kbs and doesn't mention internet style open access - so "broadband" is being redefined per the incumbents ignoring things like Moore's and Metcalfe's laws. A problem the US faces is that Asia is building out the real stuff hence next generations here will be at a disadvantage.)

Now for the RBOC slow roll, since they were not forced to make a commitment. And since they hope to cherry pick those served.

I think the RBOCs may do a "no roll" when it comes to fiber based, real broadband for residences. The economics don't pay for the new outside plants. They'll probably only run fiber to industry parks where they can get an ROI.

Freezing out the municipalities ("information services") is next. rjm?

It's sad that this happening. Many (most) municpalities are struggling to find ways to pay for things like sidewalk repairs so the issue of real broadband is far from being on their radar. Incumbents have too many lawyers and lobbyists who'll even block an extreme long shot. We're all the worse off for these behaviors which don't add value to a society.
dslguy76
50%
50%
dslguy76,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:06:19 AM
re: FCC Zaps Broadband Carriage Regs
Can someone give more information as to how this new FCC ruling will affect CLEC's and DLEC's like earthlink and covad in the short term as well as in the long term.

Thanks in advance
st0
50%
50%
st0,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:06:18 AM
re: FCC Zaps Broadband Carriage Regs
"Finally, sanity from the FCC."
===
after they killed ATT comletly... sad history and excellent example of political damage of the best, most innovative company in US history.... ATT is dead, long live the ATT spirit (still can see the faces of downsized mid 80s Bell lab researches.. force to scatter around in university lab holes... just check NC, UCSB, NYU, MIT, etc.etc.)... The destruction is complete and successful by FCC...Down with all the ATT share holder value....
Not even a word to mention the damage done by them in the past... "no longer"..? Never was...
-st
alchemy
50%
50%
alchemy,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:06:17 AM
re: FCC Zaps Broadband Carriage Regs
OSXman writes:
Kindly explain how they were subsidized by the taxpayer.

s/taxpayer/ratepayer/

The AT&T monopoly became great by having business and wealthy urban & suburban customers subsidize rural and poor areas. With the infinite money of a regulated monopoly, they were able to fund basic research at Bell Labs.

If you look at the rate of innovation today compared to when stodgy AT&T ruled the roost, today's environment is better for advancing technology but not necessarily the best for having bomb-proof primary line telephony service.

I have Verizon dragging fiber around my town. It'll be decades before they get to rural and ghetto areas. It's rational business sense but not necessarily the best public policy.
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Documentaries
All Change in Video

2|11|16   |   33:12   |   (1) comment


At this moderated panel at 2020 Vision in Dublin, Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader of Light Reading, sits down with Jeff Finkelstein, director of network architecture at Cox Communications, to discuss the rapidly changing video market.
LRTV Custom TV
Hosting in Ireland, Past & Present

2|10|16   |   16:07   |   (0) comments


Garry Connolly, president of Host in Ireland, presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
What's Hot in Mobile Commerce?

2|10|16   |   12:18   |   (1) comment


Claire Maslen, financial services relationship manager at the GSMA, talks about the development of the digital commerce sector and the types of relationships that mobile operators are developing to further their m-commerce strategies.
LRTV Documentaries
EANTC Tests Nokia IP Routing & Mobile Gateway VNFs for Real World Deployment

2|9|16   |   5:08   |   (1) comment


Nokia obtained validation of its virtualized router and virtualized mobile gateway capabilities through rigorous testing performed by EANTC. The results set a new industry benchmark for outstanding performance, scalability, resiliency and manageability. Nokia VNFs are ready for telco cloud deployment, so that service providers can accelerate mobile, business and ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
Cincinnati Bell Joins Weight Watchers Club
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/5/2016
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
It's Time to Integrate OTT Video
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/8/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Animals with Phones
Retro Is the Way to Be Click Here
Some animals are too cute for smartphones.
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.