FCC removes requirement for analogue voice-grade, copper loop unbundling [telecom]

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WASHINGTON, August 2, 2019 - Recognizing sweeping changes over the
past two decades in the market for voice telephone service, the
Federal Communications Commission issued an Order today granting
certain local phone companies relief from two 1996-era regulatory
obligations that no longer serve their intended purpose.

Specifically, the FCC granted certain legacy telephone companies
(called price cap incumbent local exchange carriers (LEC)) relief from
outdated and burdensome requirements from the Telecommunications Act
of 1996 designed to foster competition in the market for local
telephone service - (1) a requirement they offer competitors "analog
voice-grade copper loops" on an unbundled basis at regulated rates and
(2) a requirement they offer legacy services for resale at regulated
rates.  The communications marketplace has transformed over the past
twenty years, with consumers migrating away from plain old telephone
service provided over copper wires by their local telephone company
toward newer, any-distance voice services provided over
next-generation networks by cable, mobile and fixed wireless, and
over-the-top VoIP providers. In fact, according to the FCC's latest
published data, of the nearly 455 million active voice subscriptions
in the United States, only 55.8 million were provided by incumbent


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