Thursday, October 25, 2007

FCC Busy Helping Big Business

I have to wonder how K-Mart sleeps at night -- giving away American economic advantage to Corporate America.

  • Media Ownership means Consolidation. Check.
  • Spectrum to the highest bidder. Check.
  • Forbearance helps consumers. Check.
  • Mergers of RBOC and largest IXC and CLEC is good for America and consumers. Check.
  • Sold America to highest bidder for short term gains. Check.

What am I ranting about now, you ask? FCC Grants Embarq, Frontier /Citizens Forbearance. (WC Docket No. 06-147)

In this Order, we address petitions filed by Embarq and Frontier (collectively, petitioners), requesting that the Commission forbear, pursuant to section 10 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Communications Act or Act), from applying Title II of the Act and the Computer Inquiry rules to certain broadband services. Verizon’s forbearance petition was “deemed granted” on March 19, 2006. Embarq and Frontier seek relief comparable to the relief granted Verizon through that deemed grant. Consistent with our recent AT&T Title II and Computer Inquiry Forbearance Order,4 we grant substantial forbearance relief to Embarq and Frontier with regard to their existing packet-switched broadband telecommunications services and their existing optical transmission services. We also relieve the petitioners of their tariffing obligations under the Computer Inquiry rules in connection with these services, but require their compliance with the Computer Inquiry obligations that apply to all nonincumbent local exchange carrier (LEC), facilities-based wireline carriers.

What is Title II?

Title II of the Act and the Commission’s implementing rules impose both economic and noneconomic regulation on common carriers. Generally speaking, the most extensive regulations are imposed on dominant carriers (i.e., those with individual market power). These carriers are subject to price cap or rate-of-return regulation, and must file tariffs for many of their interstate telecommunications services – on either seven or fifteen days’ notice – and usually with supporting data.

What services are tariff and regulation free?

In light of these findings, we conclude that dominant carrier tariffing and pricing regulation of Frame Relay Services, ATM Services, LAN Services, Ethernet-Based Services, Video Transmission Services, Optical Network Services (OC-n), and Wave-Based Services, as offered by the petitioners today, is not necessary to ensure that the petitioners’ rates and practices for those services are just, reasonable, and not unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory.

When you read K-Mart's comments to these waivers, you will think that he is out of touch with the market he regulates, much like a politician who has no idea what the price of a gallon of milk is. To say that there are numerous companies offering Frame Relay and ATM TODAY is so erroneous as to be laughable.

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