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ILECs Ordered to Share Lines, Unbundle Networks

Federal Communications Commission Chairman William Kennard this week said traditional boundaries of the federal regulatory agency are already being reinvented for the 21st Century.

Kennard outlined his vision Wednesday for the future of the FCC before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade, and Consumer Protection on Reauthorization of the Federal Communications Commission. Kennard said the FCC to focusing on three core functions: consumer protection, enforcement and spectrum management.

"In a world where old industry boundaries are no longer and competition is king, we need a new FCC. The traditional boundaries delineating the FCC's current operating bureaus will cease to be relevant," Kennard said.

Kennard added that "change is inevitable; it is necessary. But while we need change, we do not need chaos. We must re-organize the FCC in such a way that respects the integrity of our staff and protects the interests of the American people. And we cannot use this process as a back-door way to re-open the Telecom Act."

In the FCC's open meeting held Thursday, the Commission effectively reiterated their commitment to competition and consumers with a pro-competition orders designed to cut through chaos.

The FCC is looking to eliminate the delays involved in collocating services at incumbent carriers central offices. The FCC decided to strengthen collocation regulations in order to hasten deployment of enhanced services and the demand for high-speed, high bandwidth services.

The commission issued a request for comments regarding spectrum interference guidelines and line sharing recommendations. ILECs have opposed development of collocation services at their central offices due to network degradation and network bundling restrictions.

The FCC believes the ruling will promote competition among incumbents and new business entities, to develop advanced services. The order will clearly delineate the rights and obligations of incumbents and new competitors in sharing access to local loop facilities and unbundled networks.

The commission concurred that the "rules will alleviate barriers to CO access while providing additional guidance that will streamline and expedite the development of advanced services over existing copper wires." The Commission noted that major ILECs have already committed to complying with the order.



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