Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Copper cartel" of telcos has anti-competitive stranglehold over U.S. last mile telecom infrastructure, CLEC complains

U.S. telcos such as AT&T and Verizon comprise a "copper cartel" that maintain an anti-competitive stranglehold over the nation's last mile telecommunications infrastructure, the head of one of the largest competitive local exchange carriers created under the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 told Congress this week.

“The predominant issue of 21st century telecommunications is broadband choice and options for businesses and consumers which allow them to choose their broadband provider based on customer need," XO Communications CEO Carl J. Grivner told the U.S. House Telecommunications Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, according to a news release issued by the CLEC. "But we continually face incumbents’ efforts to restrict access to essential last mile links that are critical to competitive broadband offerings.”

Griver complained telcos are using provisions of the 1996 law to get around rules requiring them to sell last mile connections at wholesale rates.

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