Just Because the FCC Is Cutting TDM Access Costs, Don’t Assume It Will Happen

Brian Washburn
Brian Washburn – Service Director, Business Network and IT Services

Summary Bullets:

• The FCC is getting ready to release an Order forcing double-digit rate cuts to DS3/DS1 special access services over three years.

• Enterprises looking for cost savings have a surer bet moving to Ethernet on broadband and/or fiber access alternatives wherever available.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) appears finally to be in the home stretch of a move to force incumbent carriers to reduce rates for certain types of access. Specifically, after much back and forth on details, the proposal is now tilting to an 11% blanket rate decrease in access costs implemented over three years, from July 2017-2020, and by 3% per year after that (adjusted by inflation). These new price protections cover dedicated access services at speeds below 45 Mbps — that puts a bull’s-eye on the venerable DS3 and DS1 circuits. Also planned are new price protections for buyers, and more power for the FCC to handle complaints. Continue reading “Just Because the FCC Is Cutting TDM Access Costs, Don’t Assume It Will Happen”

Dead or Alive? Copper Loops Merit Major New Platform Upgrade Investments

Brian Washburn
Brian Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • Counter to those who declare copper networks obsolete, platforms taking advantage of existing copper plant are drawing healthy new investment.
  • Both incumbents and competitive carriers are deploying platforms that wring faster speeds out of existing copper plant.

The telecom industry hasn’t talked up copper networking for years: Twisted-pair wire just doesn’t have the allure of fiber or wireless. But even with projects such as Verizon FiOS having run for many years, removing all copper from access networks has proved too expensive and difficult to be a feasible goal. Fiber steadily finds its way into access networks, but carriers – both incumbents and their facilities-based competitors – are also continuing to stretch existing copper plant in new ways. Just since the beginning of November, there has been a flurry of new industry activity: Continue reading “Dead or Alive? Copper Loops Merit Major New Platform Upgrade Investments”