Moderator's Note: This was copied from another forum, with the author's permission. It's a branch in the "retiring copper" thread, replying to other posts concerning the failure of various CLEC's, but I don't have permission to repost the previous emails, so this post contains some paraphrasing.+--------------------------------------------------------------+
What is your theory for why CLECs failed, if not for being techno- logically surpassed?
Keep in mind that there is more to CLECs than just DSL.
You can't point to FiOS exclusively as explaining or not explaining the failure of CLECs, as the more broader trend which predates FiOS was the arrival of cable Internet, which made easy work of surpassing the DSL service that the telcos had been dragging their feet on.
We seem to be repeating them same pattern now where existing broadband providers are dragging their feet on increasing speeds in order to milk the existing infrastructure for maximum profits, while Google Fiber comes along and makes it seem easy as pie to deliver 1 Gbps speed.
It's hard to draw conclusion on the viability of the idea of shared infrastructure when you are talking about the 50+ year old copper plant that was on the verge of obsolescence when the CLECs started getting into the game.
Fiber optics are a different animal. A fiber is a continuous piece of glass between the CO and the customer. The raw fiber has massive bandwidth capabilities. The equipment on the ends of that fiber can be upgraded to extend the capabilities for decades.
More importantly, the vendor who maintains the plant has far less involvement in keeping that fiber running than the telcos did with copper. No patch bays, line amplifiers, corroded connections, splices under water in manholes, etc.
A CLEC leasing your fiber could have their own termination equipment in the CO and their own customer premise equipment. The telco mostly just comes into the picture for installations and when a tree falls on a wire.