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

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: FCC, regulatory updates, special access, Ethernet

Forget Innovation, FCC May Require Ethernet Pricing Based on a Cost Model

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Jun 10, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Imagine it is the year 2020. You are the CEO of a medium-sized cable company considering whether to enter the western Loudoun County market in Northern Virginia about 50 miles from Washington, DC. The area has long been rural but recently has become more suburban as more and more businesses move further out from the city core. You strongly believe your new Ethernet service is innovative and you plan on offering a cadre of price options to win the business of enterprises and CLECs.

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

FCC Will Introduce New Regulatory Regime For Ethernet and Special Access

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Apr 15, 2016 10:00:00 AM

We have said here for a while that the FCC’s decade-long investigation of the special access market is going nowhere.  While special access customers and providers continue to argue over which market data should be made public and the Commission has yet to decide on the type of analysis it will conduct, the industry is moving on. While special access is still a multi-billion industry, more and more carriers and enterprises are moving away from circuit-switched dedicated services to packet-based services such as Ethernet. Finally, it appears the FCC

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, special access, Ethernet

CLECs Claim FCC Forbearance Does Not Apply to New ILEC Ethernet Services

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Apr 8, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Ethernet_cables_2.jpgThe telecommunications industry is finally looking to the future when it comes to their private network needs. Despite the fact that there are two huge special access investigations in progress that are worth millions of dollars to the participants, ILECs and CLECs are increasingly turning their attention to the next generation of dedicated services – Ethernet. This has been made clear in the recent onslaught of CLEC letters and meetings with the FCC arguing that the agency’s decision several years ago to forbear from enforcing dominant carrier status on ILEC Ethernet services only applied to services existing at that time and does not apply to Ethernet services that have been introduced since. As we discuss below, the argument is fatally flawed and has little chance of succeeding, but it is important nevertheless, because it is the first skirmish of the many battles to come regarding Ethernet prices, terms and conditions.   

In a series of decisions beginning in 2006 with Verizon,

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Topics: regulatory updates, CLECs, FCC, Ethernet

ILECs Tell FCC Their Special Access and Ethernet Services Cannot be Re-Regulated

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Oct 2, 2015 10:00:00 AM

The special access battle is on! On September 11, 2015, we detailed how CLECs are aggressively demanding the FCC to re-regulate ILEC special access rates before the special access investigation is completed by removing their pricing flexibility status and once again making them a part of price cap regulation (Read more here). The CLEC demands came in a joint FCC filing made on August 28, 2015 in Docket 05-25 by Birch Communications, BT Americas, and Level 3 Communications (“Joint CLECs”). 

In addition to seeking increased special access regulation, the CLECs argued that the Commission also had the authority to reverse its decision to forbear from dominant carrier regulation of ILEC Ethernet services. That forbearance decision enabled ILECs to offer these services through negotiated contracts for the last eight years without having to file tariffs or cost support.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, ILECs, special access, Ethernet

What to Buy and Who to Pick: The Tightly Linked Big Questions of IP Transformation

Posted by David Rohde

Apr 6, 2015 11:15:00 AM

The following is a guest post by David Rohde of TechCaliber Consulting, LLC.

It’s an axiom of enterprise telecom RFPs that you probably want to award some business to competitive providers to keep the big incumbents on their toes. And in the old days, throwing some intercity private lines or some outbound long distance minutes to Carrier X was a nice, tactical way to achieve this purpose without much operational risk.

But we do not live in tactical times. A massive strategic shift is well under way in the enterprise market. Business customers are procuring products and services that have to be stable in the new, all-IP network environment as the TDM-based Public Switched Telephone Network is about to be ripped out of the ground.

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Topics: Negotiate Enterprise Communications Deals, Enterprise Users, Ethernet, Cloud, Enterprise Market, IP Transformation