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FCC Deregulates DSL
[August 05, 2005]

FCC Deregulates DSL


By TED GLANZER
TMCnet Communications and Broadband Columnist

In a highly anticipated move, the Federal Communications Commission on Friday voted unanimously to remove regulations that required legacy phone companies to provide network access to their competitors, according to sources within the agency.



Specifically, RBOCs are no longer required to lease their infrastructures to ISPs and CLECs. Companies such as Verizon and SBC have claimed that the old rule created a disincentive to invest in their networks.

Apparently FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and his fellow commissioners agreed; for months Martin has stated that DSL and cable modems are comparable services that should be treated alike.


Martin has pushed for DSL deregulation ever since the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Brand X case in June. In that decision, the high court upheld the FCC's rule that cable companies are not required to share their broadband lines with competitors.

"[W]e should place all broadband providers on equal footing so that they can fairly compete in the marketplace - not in front of regulators," Martin said at a conference recently. "They will have the incentives to invest the capital necessary to make 21st century broadband capabilities available to all American consumers."

Industry analysts, however, say that today's ruling doesn't eliminate RBOC's competitors.

"[W]ith growing pressure (both regulatory and market-driven) on RBOCs to proliferate 'naked' DSL as primary line erosion continues, the door will increasingly be open to non-facilities-based VoIP competitors," stated an analyst at Deutsche Bank.

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Ted Glanzer is assistant editor for TMCnet. For more articles by Ted Glanzer, please visit:

http://www.tmcnet.com/tmcnet/columnists/columnist.aspx?id=100033&nm=Ted%20Gl
anzer

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