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.
The argument of some CLECs that we need to preserve the old technologies (really, preserve the CLECs' business models) for the benefit of special access customers is starting to fall apart. And it's falling apart without government intervention, through the use of private, market-based agreements.
Despite reports that special access is somehow a secret monopoly, today's reality is that the business market served by special access services is robustly competitive--and many Americans (including businesses) have already abandoned it.
AT&T's desire to eliminate pricing discounts on special access contracts that are longer than three years now faces its latest challenge from CompSouth, an association of CLECs serving business customers in the Southeast.