Aug 06, 2015
Who says Washington never gets things done?Today, the Federal Communications Commission acted quickly – and, based on what we know, wisely – to accelerate phone and Internet providers’ IP transition.
With its latest policy reforms, the FCC acted to preserve both the competition and innovation fueling the ongoing broadband revolution.
Very likely, we have a textbook example of “done” and “done right” in the making. But we’ll need to read the fine print.
In the meantime, a quick look at the issue: Competitive companies like Windstream invest in networks and differentiated services to compete with the incumbents in the important business services market. Together, we are the big guys’ biggest competitor.
But they have an Ace up their sleeve – control of the last mile, which dates to their first-mover, monopoly-era days. They’ve created a last-mile pricing barrier (e.g., one company charges eight times more for a basic, last-mile connection in IP versus TDM at one site) to lock folks out.
By “folks” I mean competitors and customers that, for our part, include small and medium businesses, non-profits, health care facilities, and schools.
Fortunately, today’s 3-2-vote by the FCC includes an interim requirement for incumbents to offer IP replacement services to competitive providers that are reasonably comparable to current TDM legacy services.
The FCC’s plan helps clear the TDM to IP migration path, preserve competition and benefit all types of business customers.
That is great news for the future of good government…and an example of enlightened broadband communications policy.
It may even provide good government enthusiasts with a rope to grab onto in today’s swift moving waters.