FCC’s Special Access Data Collection Order Is Necessary to Shed Light on Today’s Highly Competitive Marketplace

Today’s Special Access Market Is Quickly Leaving Outdated, TDM-Based Technology Behind – It’s Time for the FCC to Refocus its Priorities for America on How Best to Make the Transition to Next-Generation IP Networks for the Benefit of Consumers and Businesses Nationwide

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 18, 2012 – In response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) unanimous approval and release of its Special Access Order, the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA), a broad-based coalition supporting broadband access and adoption for all Americans, today issued the following statement:

“Moving forward with comprehensive data collection and analysis of the special access market to evaluate competition and infrastructure investment is a step in the right direction; the new data is expected to show that the market has grown highly competitive due to Fiber/ethernet network build-out by competitors and is dramatically different today than just five years ago. The demand for TDM-based services is declining with customers choosing to use high-speed IP-based services. Given this trend, it’s time for the FCC to refocus its priorities for America on how best to make the transition to next-generation IP networks for the benefit of consumers and businesses nationwide.  Policies regarding special access were put in place in the 1990’s when incumbent telephone company copper lines were the only available option, and clearly this is no longer the case.”

“Unfortunately, the FCC appears to be moving forward prematurely with its FNPRM on how to conduct its market analysis. Data should be collected first so that any future analyses will be based on a foundation of facts that reflect the current state of the marketplace. However, the FCC should be asking itself whether it is worthwhile to undertake such a large examination of competition for a service that is rapidly being replaced by an IP-based technology and whether its resources would be better spent creating a clear path forward for the deployment of this newer technology across America.