CLEC Enterprise Customers Must Proactively Ensure They Are Protected as Industry Transitions to Internet Protocol
Sep 29, 2015 9:30:00 AM
This is a crucial time for the thousands of businesses that purchase telecommunications from Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs). For several years Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs) have been modernizing their networks, retiring and replacing copper with fiber and transitioning to networks that use Internet protocol (IP).
Often, this technology change significantly impacts the services ILECs provide over their networks, including the wholesale services CLECs purchase to provide their own services to business customers. While CLECs may have the opportunity to purchase a replacement ILEC IP service such as Ethernet to resell, there have never been rules in place to ensure that any replacement wholesale service will offer rates, terms and conditions that will enable a CLEC to continue to offer the same service and maintain the same relationship with its business customers.
FCC’s Technology Transitions Order Requires Reasonably Comparable DS1, DS3 and Network Platform Wholesale Services
Aug 14, 2015 9:29:10 AM
On August 7, 2015, the FCC released a Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in Docket 13-5, its “Technology Transitions” Proceeding.
The Order finally addresses, at least on an interim basis, CLEC concerns about the availability of wholesale services during the industry transition from a Time Division Multiplexed (TDM) network to a network using Internet Protocol (IP). It also provides protection for consumers as copper is retired and/or services are discontinued during this transition. Here are the key points:
Jul 17, 2015 9:47:10 AM
The FCC has finally responded to years of CLEC lobbying! Earlier this week FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler indicated that the Commission on August 6, will adopt an order requiring ILECs to make “reasonably comparable” wholesale services available to CLECs as they replace their copper networks with fiber-based Internet protocol (IP) networks. These new rules will be in place on an interim basis until the Commission completes its ongoing investigation into ILEC special access services.
May 11, 2015 9:02:03 AM
Telecommunications carriers are rapidly, and apparently successfully, moving to all Internet Protocol (IP) networks. The latest evidence is a report AT&T just filed with the FCC for the fourth quarter of 2014 reviewing the progress it has made so far in its “technology transitions” trial in Carbon Hill, Alabama and West Delray Beach, Florida. This experiment, sanctioned by the Commission in Docket 13-5, is the first major industry test to determine how the network change would impact actual consumers and businesses, including the wholesale providers serving these areas.
May 1, 2015 10:39:00 AM
The FCC’s failure to publicize rules to guide the industry transition to a fiber-based Internet Protocol (IP) continues to lead to endless arguments between ILECs and CLECs. The latest debate centers on the legitimacy of special construction charges assessed by Verizon on CLECs ordering both Time Division Multiplexed (TDM) and IP-based wholesale services.
A number of CLECs, including Windstream, XO, Level 3, and CompTel have recently made presentations to the FCC alleging that Verizon is assessing unwarranted and excessive special construction charges on wholesale business services such as DS1, DS3 and Ethernet. They claim that such charges could allow Verizon to introduce backdoor price increases for wholesale services and thereby disadvantage its competitors in the business services market, leading to less choice and higher prices for retail customers.
Apr 10, 2015 9:30:00 AM
There is an important battle currently being waged between ILECs and CLECs regarding the continuing need for ILECs to provide cost-effective wholesale services to replace special access during the transition from the copper circuit switched network to one based on fiber and Internet protocol. The FCC finally waded into this battle in November, when it released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in Docket 14-174, tentatively concluding that to receive authority to discontinue, reduce, or impair a legacy copper service that is used as a wholesale input by CLECs, an ILEC must commit to providing CLECs equivalent wholesale access on equivalent rates, terms, and conditions. For more details on this NPRM, please see our December 5, 2014 blog.
Feb 16, 2015 9:17:16 AM
While the bitter battle over Internet regulation commands all the media attention, there is another important industry dispute that is intensifying well beneath the public’s radar. That is the battle between ILECs and CLECs regarding the federal regulations that will guide the industry transition to fiber networks using Internet protocol (IP).
Simply put, ILECs believe that their interconnection and unbundled network element (UNE) obligations codified in the 1996 Telecommunications Act in section 251 do not apply to their new IP networks. Conversely, CLECs assert that, not only do these ILEC requirements apply to IP, the FCC must also ensure that ILECs provide wholesale services that are functionally equivalent service to the time division multiplexed (TDM) services such as special access that are being phased out.
Jan 9, 2015 10:00:16 AM
As we begin 2015, it is appropriate to unveil the regulatory crystal ball and make our predictions for the FCC and the telecom industry for the year to come. Things will not get any easier for the Commission this year since it failed to solve so many of the outstanding issues it faced in 2014.
Dec 29, 2014 11:22:00 AM
2014 was a volatile year for the telecom industry. The FCC’s approval of AT&T’s two TDM-IP market trials marked the official start of a technological transition that impacts every carrier and service provider and the businesses and consumers who rely on their services. And while the network migrates to all IP, policy debates continue to swirl around issues like inter-carrier compensation, IP interconnection, net neutrality and the rules that carriers must follow as they transition to IP.
Dec 5, 2014 10:51:23 AM
The FCC has finally responded to months of CLEC lobbying! On November 25, 2014, the Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in new Docket 14-174 addressing CLEC concerns about the availability of wholesale services during the transition from the Time Division Multiplexed (TDM) network to a network using Internet Protocol (IP). Industry comments are due 30 days after the NPRM appears in the Federal Register. And while the NPRM is a good first step to addressing the wholesale service availability issue, as we discuss below, there is still a huge amount of uncertainty facing the industry.