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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

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

FCC Reveals New Regulations for Business Data Services

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Oct 19, 2016 10:00:00 AM

On October 7, 2016 the FCC circulated a draft order establishing new regulations for the business data services (BDS) market including ILEC special access and Ethernet services. At the same time, the agency released a summary of the plan which we discuss below. The proposed regulations may be adopted at the Commission’s October 27, 2016 meeting or, more likely in November. The rules are based on the Commission’s finding that ILECs continue to have market power in DS1 and DS3 services but face more competition in packet-based services where they face new entrants such as cable companies.  Here are the regulations the Commission is recommending:

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, special access, Business Data Services

CLEC Alert: Fate of Wholesale Network Platform To Be Determined In FCC’s Business Data Services Order

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Sep 30, 2016 10:00:00 AM

The Unbundled Network Element Platform (UNE-P) continues to live for now in the form of commercial wholesale network platform services offered by AT&T and Verizon. These services, called Local Service Complete and Wholesale Advantage respectively, provide CLECs unbundled access to ILEC voice loops, switching and transport in one package and provide the most cost efficient method to enter local markets without purchasing costly network facilities. However, they are in danger of ending when the FCC issues its Business Data Services (BDS) Order later this year.

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Topics: regulatory updates, CLECs, FCC, special access, Business Data Services

It’s True, Onerous Special Access Regulation Is Coming In 2017

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Sep 26, 2016 10:00:00 AM

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler made it official last week when he announced at a meeting of the Competitive Carriers Association that, before the end of the year, the Commission will release an Order prescribing new regulations for the Business Data Services (BDS) market consisting of special access and Ethernet services.  While no one outside of the agency knows exactly what the Order will include, an analysis of the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in Docket 16-143 and its public statements since, enable us to make the following educated guesses:

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, special access, Business Data Services

The Fate of Business Data Services Regulation is Far From Clear

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Sep 9, 2016 10:00:00 AM

It's rare when the entire telecommunications industry is united about a particular issue, but this is one of those rare times. Everyone in the industry believes that before the year is out, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will attempt to implement new regulations for the business data services market (BDS) consisting of special access and Ethernet. 

The new regulations are expected to include a market test to determine which markets are competitive versus those that are non-competitive. In competitive areas, the free market would be allowed to operate without Commission interference.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, special access, Ethernet, Business Data Services

Will the Industry Cut a Deal to Regulate Special Access and Ethernet?

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Aug 12, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Almost twenty years ago, a group of ILECs and IXCs (long-distance providers) made telecom history by putting aside their constant war with each other to agree to a plan that lowered switched access charges, froze special access rates, and increased subscriber line charges (SLCs) paid by end user customers. Everyone knew that the so-called CALLS (Coalition for Affordable Local and Long-Distance Service) Plan made economic sense since the end user making a phone call is the actual cost causer and should pay, at minimum, most of the costs. However, to this observer whose job at the time was to oppose all ILEC access increases on behalf of MCI (remember them); it was a jolt out of the blue. ILECs actually working with the ILECs to reach a common sense agreement just didn’t happen. But it did!

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, special access, Ethernet

FCC Rejects AT&T’s “Fix” for Unlawful Special Access “All-Or Nothing” Tariffs

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Jul 29, 2016 10:00:00 AM

We have been busy lately covering the FCC’s decision to make switched access a non-dominant service.  However, a couple of recent orders are too important to let slip through the cracks. On July 15, 2016, the Commission released two orders regarding AT&T’s special access tariff pricing plans (TPPs). Specifically, the Commission found that AT&T’s proposed revisions to its All-or-Nothing TPPs are unlawful and thus rejected them.  In a separate Order, the Commission found that AT&T’s proposed revisions to its special access “Early Termination” and “Shortfall” TPPs raised significant questions and were suspended for one day with an investigation into their lawfulness initiated.  Here is the background that led to these Orders.

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Topics: regulatory updates, rate and tariff data, FCC, special access

FCC Finds ILEC Switched Access Services to be Non-Dominant and Eases Service Discontinuance Rules

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Jul 15, 2016 10:00:00 AM

At its July 14, 2016 meeting, the FCC adopted a Declaratory Ruling in Docket 13-3, finding that ILEC interstate mass market and enterprise switched access services are no longer dominant services. The Ruling came in response to a 2012 USTelecom Petition followed by industry comments filed earlier this year to refresh the public record. Since the text of the Ruling has not yet been made public, we have scant details so far. In its April 14, 2016, News Release, the Commission stated only:

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, ILECs, special access, Business Data Services

Verizon Goes Its Own Way On Special Access Regulation

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Jul 1, 2016 10:00:00 AM

After more than 30 years working in telecom regulation, it is more than clear that there are three industry truisms: 

First, whenever a telecom company proposes something that is in the “public interest,” it really means that proposal is in its own interest. 

Second, whenever a new regulation is established, at least one telecom company will immediately test the limits of that regulation. 

Third, and up until now, most inviolable, the ILECs are a team that always works together with all disagreements kept far from the public eye. 

Astonishingly, this appears to be changing!

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, special access, Business Data Services

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