Today, Chairman Tom Wheeler of the Federal Communications Commission reaffirmed the need for increased competition in the telecommunications marketplace during a speech at COMPTEL PLUS, the Competitive Communications Association’s Fall conference in Dallas, Texas. In his speech, Chairman Wheeler focused on the issues of special access, VoIP interconnection, copper retirement and other network transition issues.
Chairman Wheeler reaffirmed the FCC’s commitment to competition by addressing the unreasonable terms incumbent telecommunications providers can impose on competitors and small businesses through unfair special access rates, and indicated that the FCC should move on special access reform. Special access refers to the rates businesses and competitors pay to telcos for wholesale access to their telecommunications capacity. Many businesses rely on special access for connectivity, and smaller wireless carriers (such as Sprint and T-Mobile) must purchase special access lines to connect their wireless towers to the network. By improving the special access system, the FCC can lower costs for small businesses and promote wireless competition.
The following can be attributed to Jodie Griffin, Senior Staff Attorney of Public Knowledge:
“For too long, special access and other pro-competitive actions at the FCC have remained stalled. We welcome Chairman Wheeler's recognition that the FCC needs to take action to promote competition, not merely hope that competition springs up in the face of hostile incumbents. We commend Chairman Wheeler for continuing to make small businesses, consumers, and competition a priority.
“Competition and interconnection, along with other enduring network values like universal service, consumer protection, network reliability, and public safety, are critical to ensuring successful transitions to new technologies. It is encouraging to see the Commission recognize the importance of making sure new technologies are a true step forward for everyone.”
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-249-9435.