Sep 3, 2015 9:30:00 AM
The fall season is usually a time for new beginnings. School is back, football starts and of course there are new TV shows, most of which will be gone by year’s end. For the FCC it is a new season also, one that is likely to define its role for years to come. That's because the agency has positioned itself to take an activist role that we have never seen before. In issue after issue, ranging from the transition to the Internet protocol (IP) network, the special access investigation and the Internet, the Commission has provided itself with the regulatory authority to accept or reject individual company business plans and filings to an unprecedented level.
Aug 21, 2015 9:30:00 AM
We noted last time that on August 7, 2015, the FCC released its Technology Transitions Order in Docket 13-5. The Order is significant for the industry because it finally addresses the need for viable wholesale services for CLECs during the industry transition from a Time Division Multiplexed (TDM) network to a network using Internet Protocol (IP).
However, just like the FCC’s Open Internet Order, the Technology Transitions Order was approved on a 3-2 basis. It was supported by the three Democratic commissioners but rejected by the two Republicans. There are disagreements regarding the notice period for ILEC copper retirement, the proper scope for discontinuing services under section 214 of the Act, and the proper role of the Commission in evaluating reasonably comparable replacement wholesale services.
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:
May 22, 2015 9:57:07 AM
The most important competitive issue for CLECs in 2015 and beyond is the availability of Internet protocol (IP) wholesale services to replace time division multiplexed (TDM) services such as special access that are being phased out by ILECs. Without such replacement services, CLECs face the prospect of having no access to critical inputs, at least not on reasonable terms and conditions. Clearly, this would prevent them from continuing to provide competitive alternatives to small- and medium-sized businesses and other institutions like schools, libraries, and health care facilities.
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.
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.
Dec 1, 2014 10:36:00 AM
We are moving steadily toward an all Internet protocol (IP) Network. The latest proof comes from CenturyLink. In response to the FCC’s January 2014 “Technology Transitions” Order (in Docket 13-5), which launched a variety of experiments and data collection initiatives to evaluate how the industry will be affected by the network evolution, CenturyLink has proposed the second major IP trial:
CenturyLink proposes a service trial in a geographical area in Las Vegas, Nevada roughly encompassing twelve wire centers…to explore the impacts of the [Time Division Multiplexed] TDM-to-IP transition on business end users and providers exchanging Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) traffic through commercially negotiated connectivity utilizing Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). CenturyLink will be joined in this trial by two CLECs, Bandwidth.com, CLEC, LLC, and its affiliates (Bandwidth) and Inteliquent. The trial will enable these three providers to work through operational, technical, and logistical issues associated with the transition, generating valuable information for the Commission and other interested parties to ensure that the “enduring values” identified in the Technology Transitions Order continue to be fulfilled (CenturyLink Petition at pp. 2-3).