INCOMPAS, CCA oppose USTelecom, ILEC request to extend special access review

INCOMPAS, which was formerly known as COMPTEL, has joined the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) in opposing a request from USTelecom to extend the upcoming comment and reply comment deadlines in the FCC's special access data review process.

In its filing, USTelecom asked the FCC to extend the filing deadlines by 30-60 days, an extension that INCOMPAS and CCA said will derail the review.

"USTelecom asks that the Commission extend the filing deadlines in this proceeding far longer than could possibly be warranted by the modest delay parties have experienced in accessing the information submitted in response to the mandatory data request," INCOMPAS and CCA said in a FCC filing. "In so doing, USTelecom has added further evidence that the incumbents have no desire for the Commission to complete its review of the special access marketplace. Rather, they will apparently use any opportunity to delay this proceeding, to run the clock down so that nothing is ever decided."

The two organizations have asked the FCC to deny "USTelecom's request for another two month extension and continue its progress toward adopting much needed reforms in this proceeding."

They added that USTelecom "offers no basis for this request" to delay the process.

Special access reform continues to be a dividing issue between ILECs and their CLEC customers that purchase special access circuits to fulfill multisite business customer service requests in areas where they have not built out their own network facilities.

For its own part, the FCC recently launched an investigation over claims from CLECs that AT&T (NYSE: T), CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) are implementing unreasonable terms and conditions in their plans.

A number of competitive providers, including Birch, BT, Level 3, Windstream and XO allege tariff pricing plans of AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier, and Verizon "are unreasonable, anticompetitive, and lock up the vast majority of the demand for TDM-based business data services -- assertions that the incumbent ILECs have disputed."

Amidst the growth of Ethernet services, the FCC's own preliminary analysis of special access data illustrates that TDM-based service revenues "continue to make up in the range of sixty percent of the roughly $40 billion." The FCC also found that in 2013 incumbent telcos got about three-quarters of the $20 billion in annual revenues from DS1 and DS3 TDM sales and nearly "two-thirds of all revenue from TDM sales."

For more:
- see this FCC filing (PDF)

Related articles:
Windstream says ILEC construction charges create barriers for CLECs, business customers
NTCA, COMPTEL want FCC to improve Lifeline verification process
COMPTEL advocates for special access reform to promote broadband competition
COMPTEL: Broadband competition is intertwined with ability to offer video service
Frontier, TDS join chorus calling on FCC to reform pole access rates

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