Which Docket, Dave?

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| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

Which Docket, Dave?

Dave Rusin is the CEO of American Fiber Systems. He is a self-proclaimed fiber bigot. He has a two part blog post about the Special Access fight at the FCC. 

Dave may have his dockets confused. He calls it the Special Access docket at the FCC, but he is really ranting about the UNE docket. What's the difference?

The Special Access docket was started by Sprint and T-Mobile. It has to do with the Middle Mile. First off, Special Access circuits are tariffed. These circuits can be listed in a CLEC's Inter-Connect Agreement (ICA), but the pricing is either in the FCC filed tariff or it is listed in a Pricing Guide (for circuits like ATM and Frame Relay which the FCC unregulated in 2005). The FCC Tariff circuits are used to carry inter-LATA traffic - voice, data and Internet bandwidth. Sprint and T-Mobile buy Special Access / Middle Mile circuits to get traffic from cellular towers back to their own network. Enterprises purchase SA to get Internet bandwidth outside the MSA (metro areas). These circuits (the loops) are usually very expensive. It's why Internet Access in rural areas costs so much. The pinch is that the ILEC charge tariff rate to some customers, and sell a bundle of Internet Access to that region much cheaper than the loop and port cost in the tariff. Hence, the rub.  These are dockets DA 09-2186 and GN Docket Nos. 09-47, 09-51, 09-137.  It's not just cellcos that are getting pinched, but ISP's and IOC's (the independent telco that are members of NTCA and NRTC). The Middle Mile problem was addressed in the broadband stimulus legislation. 

I think all these carriers want is fair pricing. They should pay what the carrier's other divisions pay for circuits. For instance, a Metro Ethernet 10MB circuit is $720 in the former BellSouth region, but you can buy AT&T DIA for $890 - that's loop and Internet.

This SA docket is different from the Cbeyond petition for reasonable wholesale access to MSO and ILEC copper, fiber and hybrid network (plant). (WC Docket No. 09-223). This docket is a plea from the CLEC's - Cbeyond, One Communications, Covad, et al (the COMPTEL crew) - for better wholesale rates on network elements (UNE) and to expand the UNE to fiber and hybrid systems, which they are excluded from currently.

This is the docket that Dave is ranting about, I think. Not the Special Access one. If you want to read my whole reply to his rant (and some CLEC therapy), read it here.


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