Net neutrality, Google Fiber highlight transition, change in 2014: Year in Review

By Sean Buckley

As we end yet another year here at FierceTelecom, it's time to reflect back on the major news themes of the past year.

For today's issue of FierceTelecom, we are serving up our sixth annual Year in Review issue.

One of the most contentious issues this year was net neutrality. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had plenty on his plate to deal with in 2014, including two major mergers and the IP transition, but net neutrality remained a top issue. Ultimately, the FCC received 3 million comments about its proposed net neutrality rules.

On the broadband front, there was an even greater response to Google Fiber's 1 Gbps experiment. Initially, AT&T (NYSE: T) launched service in just the Austin market, while CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) took its service to Omaha, Neb., a former Qwest market where it previously built a substantial fiber network. Feeling satisfied with the results they got in each market, AT&T and CenturyLink both announced they would expand the scope of their FTTP service plans across a larger part of their territories. Meanwhile, a growing base of independent telcos and cable operators such as Cox and Grande entered the 1 Gbps game.

Consolidation was also a key theme in the telecom industry. Two notable deals that will have a direct impact on the industry, particularly on the Ethernet market, were Level 3's acquisition of tw telecom and Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) pending acquisition of Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC).

Other issues that dominated FierceTelecom headlines were the ITU's passing of the standard and the growing service provider implementation of software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV).

Once you've checked out this year's biggest stories below, please take a look at our previous Year in Review features from 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009. Also, definitely let us know what you think in the comments. And then don't forget to check out the 2014 Year in Review from FierceWireless, the 2014 Year in Review from FierceCable, the 2014 Year in Review from FierceOnlineVideo and the 2014 Year in Review from FierceWireless:Europe.--Sean

P.S. FierceTelecom will be on a publishing break for the holidays. We will update the website with any breaking news during the break, and our newsletter will be back in your inbox on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. Enjoy the holidays and have a Happy New Year! 

Net neutrality, Google Fiber highlight transition, change in 2014: Year in Review