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FCC’s BDS Competitive Market List Cannot Pass the Laugh Test

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

May 26, 2017 10:00:00 AM

On May 15, 2017 the FCC finally released the list of competitive, non-competitive and grandfathered markets it identified in its Business Data Services (BDS) Report and Order (Order) in Docket 17-43. In that Order, the Commission decided to eliminate price cap regulation for ILEC DS1 and DS3 special access services in counties deemed “competitive,” and in counties that previously obtained Phase II pricing flexibility (grandfathered counties), while keeping price cap regulation on DS1 and DS3 channel terminations in “non-competitive” markets. 

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Business Data Services

Will “Bright-Line” Net Neutrality Rules Be Eliminated?

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

May 19, 2017 10:00:00 AM

By a 2-1 party line vote yesterday, the FCC voted to approve a Notice of Approved Rulemaking (NPRM) that will substantially remake regulations for the Internet. Although in theory the Commission has an open mind when it begins a new proceeding, in this Docket (17-108) it is no secret that the two Republican Commissioners plan on using their majority to reclassify broadband Internet access as a Title I information service and do away with the vague rule providing it with authority to regulate all ISP future Internet behavior.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Net Neutrality

CenturyLink Seeks Stay of Tandem Transport Transition to Bill-and-Keep

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

May 12, 2017 10:00:00 AM

The 2017 Annual Access Filings are a month away as part of the movement of terminating access rates to bill-and-keep, price cap ILECs (and mirroring CLECs) are required to reduce their tandem-switched transport rates to $0.0007 as the final interim step before reducing them to $0.00 in 2018.  Now, however, that expected reduction is in some doubt.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, bill-and-keep

Special Access Deregulation: What You Need to Know

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

May 5, 2017 10:00:00 AM

On April 28, 2017 the FCC released the text of its Report and Order (Order) in Docket 17-43, capping the decade long proceeding by detariffing and eliminating pricing rules for most ILEC special access services. Price cap regulation will continue for ILEC DS1 and DS3 end user channel terminations only in counties that fail a competitive market test and are classified as non-competitive. CLECs will also have to detariff their special access services.

The Order will become effective 60 days after it appears in the Federal Register. The industry has up to three years from the Order’s effective date to transition to the new detariffing requirements. Here are the important points special access suppliers and customers need to know:

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, special access

Pai Launches New Effort to Kill Title II Internet Regulation

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Apr 28, 2017 10:00:00 AM

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai this week began his long expected effort to repeal and replace the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order which classified broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a Title II telecommunications service and required all Internet traffic to be treated equally. According to Pai, the Commission will vote on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) at its May 18, 2017 meeting and will begin accepting industry comments on July 17, 2017. An order could be issued late this year. The goals of the NPRM are to reclassify BIAS as a Title I information service and develop rules to regulate the Internet going forward with a “light touch.”

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Net Neutrality

The End of Net Neutrality: Catastrophe or Godsend?

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Apr 21, 2017 10:00:00 AM

While perusing the latest FCC filings and news stories trying to decide what to write about this week, I couldn’t help but notice that so many are already characterizing the Commission’s upcoming review of the 2015 Open Internet Order (widely known as the Net Neutrality Order) in apocalyptic terms. 

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Net Neutrality

CLECs: Thumbs Down to FCC Deregulation of ILEC Special Access

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Apr 14, 2017 10:00:00 AM

CLECs wasted little time in attacking the FCC’s draft Report and Order (Order) that the FCC will vote on and approve on April 20, 2017. The Order will deregulate and eliminate pricing rules for most ILEC special access services. In a series of ex parte filings and visits to the Commission this week, CLECs made it clear that they don’t accept the market test that would be used to classify markets into competitive or non-competitive buckets, believing that too many DS1 and DS3 customers will be left at the mercy of ILEC monopoly pricing.

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Topics: regulatory updates, CLECs, FCC, ILECs

FCC Order Will Detariff Most ILEC Special Access Services

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Apr 7, 2017 10:00:00 AM

In one of its most deregulatory decisions ever, the FCC has released a draft Report and Order (Order) to be voted on at its April 20, 2017 meeting that would largely detariff and eliminate pricing rules for most ILEC special access services. Price cap regulation would continue for ILEC DS1 and DS3 channel terminations only in counties that the Commission deems as non-competitive.  Ethernet and ILEC packet services would continue to be provided under contracts. The Order is a major victory for ILECs and cable companies and a major loss for IILEC competitors. 

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, ILECs, special access

Repeal of ISP Privacy Rules not End of World for Consumers

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Mar 31, 2017 10:00:00 AM

It appears that as long as Donald Trump is President, every action taken by the federal government will be portrayed as catastrophic for the public. This is certainly true for how the media has characterized the Congressional resolution this week to repeal the FCC’s recent ISP Privacy Order. The resolution, which is expected to soon be signed into law, has been described as providing an open door for ISPs to abuse all customer data with no limits on their behavior. This is a remarkable characterization for a rule that has never taken effect, and willfully ignores the checks on ISP behavior that have existed for years, will continue to exist, and have worked well.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC

Frontier and Windstream Seek Payment Conditions on CenturyLink’s Acquisition of Level 3

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Mar 24, 2017 10:00:00 AM

We normally do not discuss telecom mergers here, viewing them as regrettable but unavoidable byproducts of the current business environment. However, the pending CenturyLink acquisition of Level 3 caught our eye this week with the potentially troubling issues raised by Frontier and Windstream. 

The carriers claim that as the acquisition gets closer to FCC approval, Level 3 has unreasonably refused to pay or delayed payment on millions of dollars for services rendered and initiated a significant number of rate increases that are inconsistent with the company’s past practices.  As Windstream notes in a March 10, 2017 letter to the FCC:
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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, telecom mergers

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