Tuesday, October 07, 2014

US Telecom Association wants 'archaic' regulations gone | TheHill

US Telecom Association wants 'archaic' regulations gone | TheHill: Steve Davis, chairman of the board of U.S. Telecom, said some of the regulations cited "don't apply to cable companies or any of our competitors, and to the extent that they ever served a purpose, that purpose has long since evaporated."

The group pointed to a number of regulations they want to avoid, including requirements that companies "separate local and long-distance business, and requiring traditional phone companies to continue the provisioning of obsolete technology."

The group cited a speech Wheeler gave in February in which he noted that a large percentage of investment recently by telephone companies went to "maintaining the declining telephone network, despite the fact that only one-third of U.S. households use it at all."

"The future regulatory environment should be one that is based upon the world as it exists today," the group’s president and CEO, Walter McCormick, told reporters. "That is sort of like the overall theme we think public policy should move towards. This petition is a little tiny baby step in that direction."

The world of POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) is still very much alive in much of the United States, where some 19 million homes and small businesses still rely on the publicly switched telephone network (PSTN) and dialup wireline Internet service. As long as it exists, regulators will be hard pressed to scrap rules designed for POTS without a firm transition plan in place.

The Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs) could potentially get more than they wish for in making this request. The Federal Communications Commission could respond by effectively saying, "OK, if you don't want to comply with outdated POTS rules, you are hereby subject to Title II of the Communications Act and thereby must deploy advanced telecommunications infrastructure throughout your service territories."

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