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Verizon Clarifies Position on Business Broadband Deregulation

From the WSJ today($$$ link)….

Verizon (VZ), making clear its view on some implications of a confusing move by the Federal Communications Commission earlier this week, said regulators’ decision to deregulate broadband data services it provides to large business customers won’t free it from conditions imposed when it acquired MCI Inc. Verizon also said the decision won’t eliminate its obligation to continue payments to a fund that subsidizes phone services for low-income and rural customers.

It looks like access lines that were originally owned by MCI are still subject to price controls, but ones owned by Verizon are not? What about lines that were originally leased by MCI from Verizon? Anyone know a good source on the net to get good hard data on exactly what this ruling means?

What really strikes me about these recent developments is that the mainstream media could care less. When the Brand X decision was handed down, the digital elite prophesized doom at the hands of the cable and telco monopolies. The same thing happens with business broadband leased lines, you could hear crickets chirping, and good details are not readily available.

So far the only outrage is coming from Washington DC and the carriers that were previously free-riding on Verizon’s infrastructure. Here’s a quote from the best article I have found on the subject.

The latest move by the FCC is likely to face challenges from competitive carriers, say experts. But some analysts say these protests are just sour grapes, since the deregulation of business broadband is a necessary step in developing a mature, market-oriented broadband market.

“The standalone CLEC business is fading,” said Jeff Kagan, an independent telecommunications analyst based in Atlanta. “This isn’t the same industry that it was in the 1990s and the 1980s. There is much more competition. The CLECs complaining are likely the ones that haven’t evolved to change with the maturing market.”

Considering the fundamental value of these connections to businesses, two very different things could be happening:

  1. Businesses are aloof, and unaware of the massive monopoly that has now seized control of their key digital infrastructure
  2. Businesses see this as a positive development, that will give their broadband suppliers an incentive to build new, better infrastructire for them to use.

Got Facts? I’d like to get a debate started but they are in short supply.


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