The State of Telecom Competition

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The State of Telecom Competition

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a great story on telecom competition. It is worth a read if you want to understand the plight of CLECs and the industry in general.
Here is an excerpt:
Greensburg-based Remi Communications, which competes with Verizon in both the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia markets, could end up being charged more to access the delivery lines than it would if it signed up for Verizon's services as a regular customer, said David Malfara, company CEO. "That's above retail rates," he said.

Higher prices would reduce not only competition, but also, possibly, the incentive and money available for improving broadband access. That's because companies that rent the copper lines from Verizon provide not just telephone service, but they also soup up the lines with their own equipment in order to offer broadband Internet and video services.

There is precedence for the exemptions. Verizon requested, and received, FCC "forbearance" relief from state and federal laws regulating high-capacity voice and data services. (That ruling was challenged by competitors in the U.S. Court of Appeals.) After that 2006 decision, AT&T, Qwest Communications and BellSouth Corp. filed for similar relief -- lifting regional, market-specific price caps.

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