Tuesday, March 21, 2006

VZ: No Common Carrier

Most of VZ's FCC Petition 04-440 was about DSL and Broadband, which the FCC already UN-regulated. But another part of it was about UN-regulating Frame Relay and ATM, since:
As of January 2004, these three long distance carriers together controlled 79% of the Frame Relay market and 60% of the ATM market, for a combined market share for enterprise broadband services of approximately 75%.% In contrast, Verizon accounts for only 4.2% of nationwide Frame Relay revenues, and only 5.6% of nationwide ATM revenues. The big three long distance providers are also the major providers for other specialized high-speed data services provided to business customers, such as IP VPN. And while AT&T, MCI & Sprint dominate, other carriers, such as such as Level 3, Qwest and XO also actively compete.
That's funny, because the competition NO LONGER EXISTS! Qwest and XO are reeling under debt - and really cannot compete against the new mega-telcos.

The Computer Inquiry rules impose a series of obligations on wireline common carriers that own transmission facilities and offer "enhanced services," including, among other things, Comparably Efficient Interconnection ("CEI") and Open Network Architecture ("ONA") requirements that force them to unbundle their broadband transmission services and to separate out and offer the transmission component of their services pursuant to tariff, on cost-based terms and conditions.

Common carrier was established in the 1934 Communications Act, which is the act that formed the basis of the FCC. "The concept of a common carrier is not exclusive to the telecom industry. It is a legal and social concept that dates back centuries. It was developed to ensure that the public retained access to fundamental services that use public rights of way. Other examples of common carriage include transportation services. For example, a ferry operator under the common carrier concept is free to operate a business transporting people and goods across a river, but because he is using a public waterway, he is required to provide service to everyone. He cannot indiscriminately choose to service some customers and not others. And while the ferry operator can determine the price for his services, the prices must be fair and reasonable." (From ZDNET) This begs the question: IF VZ is no longer a common carrier, do they have a right to the public right of way? Soon you will only be able to get any telecom service only if you live in a nice neighborhood.

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