This has been the trouble with the FCC: the FCC has a poor record of merger conditions enforcement.
If this was the EPA, we would have pollution. If this was the FDA, we would have drugs killing people. Oh, wait.
We have a failed policy of competition that comes straight from the FCC. Granted that is a political organization with a change in thought every election. But when you consider the billions in Universal Service, RUS loans and grants, and the BIP and BTOP spent on telecom, especially rural telecom, why isn't creating a competitive environment Job 1?
Meanwhile, TheVerge is reporting that due to Storm Sandy, Verizon is taking the opportunity to cut whole copper lines. That's right, CLEC's out of that Central Office are now effectively screwed -- and so are their customers. Verizon's Executive Director of Operations, Christopher D. "Levendos says it's "far too tedious, time consuming, and not effective of a process to try and put this infrastructure back together," so Verizon's taking the opportunity to rewire with fiber optics instead."
CLEC's like TelePacific, MegaPath, integra and XO have spent tens of millions on EoC equipment from ADTRAN and Overture to provide mid-band Ethernet to the SMB marketplace nationwide. That investment is in jeopardy. The ripple effect of consolidation, lack of competition, and copper clipping will lead to many more layoffs, lost market and investment value, even less competition and the loss of hardware vendors as well.
Despite the RBOCs saying they are spending billions to build out fiber to replace copper, are they really doing it? Not really. With a contract in place, they will take 90-180 days to build out fiber to a customer. But overbuilding of copper stopped with the FiOS project.
This hurts the economy and competition. And it actually hurts the RBOCs. More CLEC's means more revenue (in wholesale dollars) and more feet selling against cable, who until recently were the enemy. Now, however, VZW and the MSO's are co-marketing!!! The FCC has basically punted on their responsibility. Nice job Julius, Kevin, and Michael.