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Special Access Nostalgia for Telecom's Bronze Age is No Path to 21st Century Broadband Leadership

The supreme irony of the special access* issue is that competitors, who want to avoid investing in next generation broadband access facilities, are demanding that the FCC... (whose top priority is a National Broadband Plan to encourage the rapid build-out of modern broadband facilities to all Americans) ...regulate copper access prices in a way that surely would discourage investment in the exact next generation facilities that the FCC wants to get built.

  • * "Special access" is basically the business-to-business leasing market of the copper wire connections that link many buildings and cell towers to the Internet backbone at DS1 (1.5 Mbs) and DS3 (44.7 Mbs) speeds.
  • Bronze is 90% copper and 10% tin.
  • The Bronze Age is the period in between the Stone Age and the Iron Age.
  • The "Telecom Bronze Age" is the period after Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone and the commencement of the broadband Internet Age.  (Source: Clela-pedia) 

When all is said and done, the crux of the special access issue will boil down to one simple question:

  • "Does the FCC want to encourage or discourage competitors to invest in 21st century broadband facilities?"

Establishing a new non-legislative priority to lower copper lease rates from the Telecom Bronze Age, would be both incongruous and hard for the FCC to publicly justify, given it's statutory focus on developing a National Broadband Plan for the 21st century.   

One more thing... How will lowering the price of relatively slow copper technology expand the capacity of, or increase the speed of, the nation's broadband Internet infrastructure?  ...I must not be that smart... what am I missing? 

 

 

Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths