FCC scraps ‘outdated, burdensome’ ILEC unbundling requirements

8 Aug 2019

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has discontinued a pair of regulatory obligations relating to local loop unbundling (LLU), dismissing the 1996-era rules as ‘outdated, burdensome phone industry regulations.’ One requires price cap incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) to unbundle two-wire and four-wire analogue voice-grade copper loops, including the attached TDM equipment (‘UNE Analogue Loop Requirements’). The second rule requires price cap ILECs to offer for resale at wholesale rates telecoms services that the ILEC offers at retail to non-carrier customers (‘Avoided-Cost Resale Requirements’).

The FCC defends its position by saying: ‘Given the sweeping changes in the communications marketplace since the passage of the 1996 Act, including the increasing migration of consumers of all sorts and sizes away from TDM technology, copper loops and local telephone service toward newer, any-distance voice services over next-generation wireline and wireless networks and the wide range of competitors offering facilities-based voice service alongside over-the-top VoIP services, we find that the public interest is no longer served by maintaining these legacy regulatory obligations and their associated costs. Rather than a foothold for new entrants into the marketplace, they have become a vice, trapping ILECs into preserving outdated technologies and services at the cost of a slower transition to next-generation networks and services that benefit American consumers and businesses.’

United States, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)