Broadband services

Competify Campaign Hopes to Cure Broadband Blues

A new coalition including Sprint, BT, XO, Level 3 and others has joined forces to send a message to the FCC: The broadband industry is sick, and new rules to protect competition are the cure.

The campaign, called "Competify" and kicked off with a full-page ad in The New York Times, uses a medical theme to make the point that more competition is needed to offset the "chronic disease" that is the "powerful few" that "control our broadband pipelines," making them more expensive and slow.

The group includes the Ad Hoc Telecommunications Users Committee, Broadband Coalition, BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Competitive Carriers Association (CCA), Incompas , Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), Engine, Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT), Public Knowledge , Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and XO Communications Inc.

Their aim is to influence the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to "protect consumers and American businesses from price gouging." The campaign site reads, "The Commission can stop these dominant companies from using their market power to extract unjust and unreasonable rates over these critical broadband inputs. The future of competition depends on the FCC. The FCC must try Competify." (See FCC Chairman Talks Up SDN/NFV.)

For more on broadband competition in the US and abroad, visit the dedicated Gigabit/broadband content channel here on Light Reading.

More specifically, the group is hoping to influence the FCC's upcoming competitive access proceeding, in which it will decide whether small carriers should get special access to last-mile resources as they transition their networks to all-IP. That IP transition decision is on the FCC docket for August.

A source tells Multichannel News that recent net neutrality scuttlebutt and mergers, including the land grab for Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), also sparked the formation of the group. (See FCC Sets Up Review Team for Charter Deals, Charter Seals Deals for TWC, Bright House and Comcast Formally Ends Its Bid for TWC.)

— Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading

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