Monday, February 15, 2010

USA - Regulators may drop broadband line-sharing bombshell

[ars technica] In a potentially significant reversal of policy, the Federal Communications Commission could be poised to make the big telecoms share their high-speed Internet fiber networks with smaller companies. They would, in turn, offer more broadband services to the public. That's according to a Bloomberg story published on Friday, which adds that the proposal being considered comes from the Cbeyond broadband/telecom services firm. We contacted the FCC about this and got no response. But we also called AT&T, and they're taking it seriously enough.

"We support the Commission's efforts to promote investment to achieve universal broadband and create jobs in this difficult economy," an AT&T spokesperson told us, "however, the rule changes pushed by Cbeyond will undermine these efforts."

This would big news if its true. The Commission's National Broadband Plan coordinator, Blair Levin, has recently made statements unsympathetic to this idea. "We're not that terribly interesting [or interested, one presumes] in moving toward things that will just freeze capital investment and have long, drawn-out court battles," Levin told Amy Schatz of the Wall Street Journal in late December. "That doesn't strike me as that productive." And when the FCC announced that it had commissioned a study which explored the line-sharing question, Levin's public statement declared that "We don't want to reinvent the wheel."

Regulators may drop broadband line-sharing bombshell

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