Thursday, September 13, 2007

FCC Delays Forbearance

As Phone+ writes, "AT&T Inc., Embarq, Frontier/Citizens Communications and Qwest all want the FCC to free them from rules that govern how they share their broadband networks with competitors and how they price those wholesale services. But commissioners appeared to be concerned about granting more Bell relief as they also consider whether to deregulate high-capacity special access."

The FCC pressured Qwest to pull its DSL (broadband) forbearance petition, which it re-filed 2 days later asking for an expedite, according to the Denver Post. Meanwhile, FCC Commissioner (and former COMPTEL employee) McDowell says he hasn't met a petition for deregulate that he hasn't wanted to pass.

Since 2005, Forbearance has been a hot issue, aggravated by the FCC in March 2006, when it failed to act on Verizon’s request for relief on broadband regulations, thus allowing it by fiat. (see more on this below)

Stifel Nicolaus analysts said on Tuesday the FCC seems to want to clarify and even pare back that relief. Verizon says the agency can’t legally do that without opening a new rulemaking. The company also contends there’s no market failure that would justify such a proceeding.

Let us not forget that VZ has another forbearance petition (WC Docket No. 06-172) pending that would Unregulate it in six Eastern MSA's - Boston, NYC, Phillie, Pittsburgh, Providence, and Virginia Beach, which the FCC extended for 90 days on August 15, 2007.

CyberTelecom has a list of the petitions here.

  • WC Docket 07-12 is from Cablevision Lightpath.
  • WC Dkt 06-147 is from Frontier/Citizens filed on 9/13/06.
  • WC Dkt 06-147 is also Embarq's BB petition filed 8/17/06.
  • WC Dkt 06-125 is BellSouth (now AT&T) DSL from 7/20/06
  • WC Dkt 06-125 is also the original Qwest BB docket from 6/13/06
  • Dkt No 04-440 is the VZ Petition that, pursuant to section 10(c), the relief requested in Verizon’s petition was deemed granted by operation of law, effective March 19, 2006.

In response to 04-440 and 06-125 and 06-147, VZ writes this to the FCC:

There are, however, pending forbearance petitions in the other two dockets, and those petitioners have shown that there is extensive competition nationwide to provide stand-alone broadband transmission services to the sophisticated, highly lucrative enterprise customers that purchase such services.

In case you don't know what VZ was granted, they let you know here:

The stand-alone broadband services at issue in the pending forbearance petitions are the same high-end, enterprise services for which Verizon already received relief. These services, which are among the most sophisticated services on the market, include (1) all packet-switched services capable of 200 kbps in each direction and (2) all non-TDM-based optical networking, optical hubbing, and optical transmission services.1 These services do not include traditional TDM-based special access services, such as traditional DS-1s or DS-3s. Id..


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