General

Last Friday, IIA submitted comments to the FCC on AT&T’s recent petition regarding the transition from copper wire networks to networks that are all Internet Protocol (IP) based. From those comments:

While the era of the telecom monopoly is long over, monopoly-era regulations persist. In some ways this is predictable, since markets move faster than government, and entrepreneurs innovate more rapidly than policy makers.  By way of example, one of the most counter-productive, monopoly-era regulations still on-the-books is the requirement for legacy carriers to continue maintaining redundant legacy copper (nonIP) networks even when they are no longer needed for the carrier to serve its customers. While these rules made sense at the dawn of the Internet era when little, if any, competition existed, voice remained the essential product and telephone networks had been built via government-guaranteed-rate-of-return exclusivity, they have longbeen overtaken by events. For example, in many regions incumbent telephone companies have retained less than 30 percent of the customers, yet they are still required to cover 100 percent with their pre-IP, voice-grade networks. Voice is today just another application delivered over multiple IP platforms.

You can read our full comments, penned by our Honorary Chairman Rick Boucher and Co-Chairs Bruce Mehlman and Jamal Simmons, here.