Thursday, September 20, 2007

Telcos protest California PUC's draft build out requirements

When telcos advocated the enactment of California's Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006, they argued it would create a more competitive marketplace and speed the deployment of broadband-based telecommunications services to consumers.

However, judging from their recently filed comments on the California Public Utilities Commission's proposed rules implementing the statute's build out requirements, telcos could hardly be described as in a hurry to expand their systems and heartily embracing an open, competitive market.

They protest draft rules that would require franchisees to include "clearly stated build-out milestones " that "demonstrate a serious and realistic planning effort." In addition, the draft rules would require franchisees to "clearly state the constraints affecting the build-out" and "clearly delineate and explain" areas within the franchisee's service area that pose "substantially higher" costs.

The small telcos don't want to be held to the same build out requirements as the larger players like AT&T and Verizon. And the big guys don't want to provide customer data by census tract or report on how they are utilizing wireless technology to deliver broadband services.

One might think broadband providers would support regulation that actually encourages them to offer more services to greater numbers of customers. Nearly all other regulated industries desire this and typically complain regulation constrains their ability to offer new products and services to larger numbers of customers. But it's just the opposite in the perverse broadband marketplace. The providers want regulation that allows them to limit rather than expand their services and serve fewer rather than more customers. While providers may think less is more, less is truly less and explains why the United States is rapidly falling behind other developed parts of the world when it comes to broadband access and choices.

No comments:

Web Analytics