ORLANDO, Fla.--Sprint may be in the midst of aggressively expanding its wireless network with plans to potentially deploy 20,000 cell sites and repurposing existing sites, but all of those efforts will require a robust backhaul network that today in some markets is often limited to just a few wireline operators.
Cable companies may still not have the same ubiquity or clout that incumbent telcos have enjoyed for years in the wholesale market, but it's clear that they are having an impact. In our latest feature, Cable hones its wholesale skills in special access and wireless backhaul, we take a look at how cable operators are taking on the wholesale services industry, providing services to a host of wireless operators, CLECs, IXCs and ILECs that need to fulfill out-of-territory service requirements for multi-site business customers.
The FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) is giving incumbent telcos and their wholesale CLEC customers more time to file comments in response to the regulator's Special Access final notice of proposed rulemaking (FNPRM) in the special access rulemaking proceeding.
AT&T says that as the FCC looks to analyze the data it has collected in the special access proceeding, it will see that there are plenty of alternatives to incumbent players that CLECs can choose from to purchase wholesale circuits to extend their service into areas where they can't reach today.
CenturyLink has received forbearance on dominant-carrier regulation from the FCC related to its packet-switched and optical switching services, but competitive groups say the decision could set a dangerous precedent of jacking up wholesale rates for CLECs.
Windstream says in two new filings it made with the FCC that the incumbent telcos' move to an all-IP network, while promising in terms of new services, should not give them license to raise prices on wholesale circuits they provide to CLECs, a factor that would increase costs for the small to medium businesses (SMBs) they serve.
During its November open meeting on Friday, the FCC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) related to the proposed transition large service providers are making from traditional TDM to IP, with an eye on consumers and small businesses that rely on services that may not be supported following a transition.
Windstream is not opposed to AT&T or any traditional telco's migration from TDM to IP-based services, but it is calling for regulators to ensure that it and other competitors can get last-mile circuits for equivalent prices.
DALLAS—FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, like his commission colleagues, is a champion of the IP transition and the capabilities it will bring to service providers but wants to ensure it does not affect competition.
The FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau has gotten approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to move ahead with the process of reviewing data from ISPs and service providers on the state of the special-access market.