FCC Caught 'With Its Regulatory Pants Down?'

US Internet Service Providers Association (USISPA)

Urges FCC to Do Right by Competition



Apr 17, 2001, 01:00 ET from U.S. Internet Service Providers Alliance

    WASHINGTON, April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The nation's largest grassroots
 network of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and state ISP associations,
 USISPA, yesterday filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission
 (FCC) in its latest open network proceeding (Computer III Further Remand
 Proceedings: Bell Operating Company Provision of Advanced Services, CC Docket
 No. 95-20; and, the 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review - Review of Computer III
 and ONA Safeguards and Requirements).
     USISPA urged the Commission to finally do right by competitors of the
 ever-strengthening Bell monopolies and acknowledge the failure of the Computer
 III open network rules as well as the Commission's implementation of the
 Telecommunications Act of 1996' unbundling requirements (Section 251).  USISPA
 recommended today that the Commission not try to fix what was broken from the
 start, and instead adopt a new model that will ensure a true open and
 competitive local network.
     The recommendation is not a mere regulatory exercise, but instead
 addresses the crucial centerpiece of competition, which is access to the local
 network.  Regardless of Bell companies' attempts to state otherwise, it is no
 secret that they still control well over 90% of access lines across America.
     Neither Computer III or Section 251 have given competitors access to the
 crucial local network elements upon which they depend to serve customers.  The
 Computer III regimes were rife from the beginning with structural flaws and
 perverse incentives that were litigated, amended and waived, achieving only to
 confuse the industry while allowing the Bell companies to continue providing
 enhanced services without interruption.  The implementation of Section 251 of
 the Telecommunications Act resulted similarly in litigation, confusion and
 lack of enforcement that again enabled the Bell companies to run circles
 around the law.
     "The Commission today has the opportunity to create a regime in which
 Internet service providers can obtain meaningful network access.  We urge
 them, under Chairman Powell's renewed spirit of enforcement and commitment to
 American consumers, to heed the lessons of Computer III and the 1996 Act, and
 finally open the local network to competition" said David Robertson, Chairman
 of the USISPA Advisory Board.
     Understanding present market conditions, USISPA understands that there
 will be no one-size-fits-all solution, and recommended that the Commission
 consider a menu of options, including:  competitively neutral access,
 structural separation, Section 251 enforcements and federalized broadband
 provisioning rules.
     "As leaders in bringing Internet access and services to consumers all over
 the country, USISPA very much looks forward to working with Chairman Powell
 and the Commission in this most important endeavor" continued Roberston.
 
     The U.S. Internet Service Providers Alliance (USISPA) is the nation's
 largest coalition of state and national trade associations and independent
 ISPs that includes more than 800 individual members.  Independent ISPs are one
 the nation's largest consumers of telecommunications services, as well as
 critical suppliers of Internet access for millions of Americans.  USISPA is
 sponsored by the Commercial Internet eXchange Association (CIX).  For more
 information, please visit http://www.usispa.org .
 
 

SOURCE U.S. Internet Service Providers Alliance
    WASHINGTON, April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The nation's largest grassroots
 network of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and state ISP associations,
 USISPA, yesterday filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission
 (FCC) in its latest open network proceeding (Computer III Further Remand
 Proceedings: Bell Operating Company Provision of Advanced Services, CC Docket
 No. 95-20; and, the 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review - Review of Computer III
 and ONA Safeguards and Requirements).
     USISPA urged the Commission to finally do right by competitors of the
 ever-strengthening Bell monopolies and acknowledge the failure of the Computer
 III open network rules as well as the Commission's implementation of the
 Telecommunications Act of 1996' unbundling requirements (Section 251).  USISPA
 recommended today that the Commission not try to fix what was broken from the
 start, and instead adopt a new model that will ensure a true open and
 competitive local network.
     The recommendation is not a mere regulatory exercise, but instead
 addresses the crucial centerpiece of competition, which is access to the local
 network.  Regardless of Bell companies' attempts to state otherwise, it is no
 secret that they still control well over 90% of access lines across America.
     Neither Computer III or Section 251 have given competitors access to the
 crucial local network elements upon which they depend to serve customers.  The
 Computer III regimes were rife from the beginning with structural flaws and
 perverse incentives that were litigated, amended and waived, achieving only to
 confuse the industry while allowing the Bell companies to continue providing
 enhanced services without interruption.  The implementation of Section 251 of
 the Telecommunications Act resulted similarly in litigation, confusion and
 lack of enforcement that again enabled the Bell companies to run circles
 around the law.
     "The Commission today has the opportunity to create a regime in which
 Internet service providers can obtain meaningful network access.  We urge
 them, under Chairman Powell's renewed spirit of enforcement and commitment to
 American consumers, to heed the lessons of Computer III and the 1996 Act, and
 finally open the local network to competition" said David Robertson, Chairman
 of the USISPA Advisory Board.
     Understanding present market conditions, USISPA understands that there
 will be no one-size-fits-all solution, and recommended that the Commission
 consider a menu of options, including:  competitively neutral access,
 structural separation, Section 251 enforcements and federalized broadband
 provisioning rules.
     "As leaders in bringing Internet access and services to consumers all over
 the country, USISPA very much looks forward to working with Chairman Powell
 and the Commission in this most important endeavor" continued Roberston.
 
     The U.S. Internet Service Providers Alliance (USISPA) is the nation's
 largest coalition of state and national trade associations and independent
 ISPs that includes more than 800 individual members.  Independent ISPs are one
 the nation's largest consumers of telecommunications services, as well as
 critical suppliers of Internet access for millions of Americans.  USISPA is
 sponsored by the Commercial Internet eXchange Association (CIX).  For more
 information, please visit http://www.usispa.org .
 
 SOURCE  U.S. Internet Service Providers Alliance