TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Appeals Court Backs FCC on Fiber Line Sharing

Appeals Court Backs FCC on Fiber Line Sharing

Reuters News Wire (
Tue, 15 Aug 2006 15:34:27 -0500

Appeals court backs FCC on fiber line sharing

A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday upheld a 2004 decision by
telecommunications regulators allowing regional phone companies to
deploy new fiber-optic lines without having to share them with

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a
legal challenge by Internet service provider EarthLink Inc. aimed at
overturning a decision by the Federal Communications Commission.

The court said it was "permissible" for the FCC to absolve the
dominant local telephone carriers, known as the Baby Bells, of sharing
requirements when it comes to new fiber optic networks.

To promote competition, previous rules have required the Bells to
lease access to their copper networks since they own the lines into
most American homes. But the FCC so far has been reluctant to apply
those regulations to new fiber lines.

New fiber-optic networks are seen as pivotal for telephone companies
because the capacity of those lines enable them to offer high-speed
Internet service -- or broadband -- to more customers, as well as
launch video and other services.

They are facing fierce competition from cable television companies
that have already upgraded their networks and offer customers those

EarthLink's executive vice president for public policy, Chris Putala,
said the company would "continue to pursue commercial negotiations for
access to fiber just as we have for DSL (digital subscriber line)."

"If we see that consumers are being harmed by a lack of competition,
we will be revisiting this issue with the FCC and Congress," Putala

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at . Hundreds of new
articles daily. And, discuss this and other topics in our forum at (or)

For more news and headlines of interest, please go to:

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Knowing About: "Logitech Dives Into VoIP"
Go to Previous message: Reuters News Wire: "AOL Decides to Seize Assets From Convicted Spammer"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page