TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: FCC: Phone Companies Don't Have to Sell DSL as a Stand-Alone

FCC: Phone Companies Don't Have to Sell DSL as a Stand-Alone

Jack Decker (jack-yahoogroups@withheld)
Mon, 28 Mar 2005 11:10:56 -0500

By Yuki Noguchi / The Washington Post

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Communications Commission announced Friday
that states cannot require regional phone companies to sell high-speed
Internet service as a stand-alone product.

The 3 to 2 decision along party lines, voted on last week and released
Friday, was a victory for BellSouth Corp., which had asked the
commission for a ruling in 2003.

The ruling effectively gives BellSouth and other regional giants an
advantage over competitors trying to sell alternative phone service.

Democratic Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps
dissented, calling the practice of "tying" phone service to high-speed
Internet service anti-competitive.

In doing so, Copps and Adelstein echoed the concerns of smaller
carriers and Internet phone providers such as Vonage Holdings Corp.,
which have argued that requiring customers to buy Internet access and
phone service from a single provider limits consumers' choices.

"If it is permissible to deny consumers DSL if they do not also order
... voice service, what stops a carrier from denying broadband
service to an end-user who has cut the cord and uses only a wireless
phone?" the Democrats wrote in a joint statement.

Full story at:

How to Distribute VoIP Throughout a Home:

If you live in Michigan, subscribe to the MI-Telecom group:

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I have said before that the best
thing to do, IMO, is go with cable internet _whenever possible_ and
try to avoid Bell and its DSL completely, for just these same
reasons. Bell has a long, sordid history of being very tricky and
difficult to deal with. If cable internet is not available, then of
course take Bell service and its DSL, but watch for any possible
opportunity -- such as cable being installed or expanded in your area --
to break away to a competitive CLEC and cable internet, such as I
have done, now two years ago with Prairie Stream and Cable One. PAT]

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