Cable Operators

ACA: IP Nets Need Interconnection Mandates, Too

Cable Group Says ILECs Have Too Much Power to Cut Them Loose 2/26/2013 9:55 AM Eastern

The American Cable Association says the FCC needs to apply interconnection mandates to IP networks, just as it does to traditional switched phone services.

AT&T has asked the FCC to deregulate phone traffic as networks transition to all-IP service.

ACA falls on the other end of the continuum from Comcast, the nation's largest cable operator, which backs removing the regs, and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, which  argues for marketplace negotiations for exchange of traffic, but with the FCC insuring those are fair deals.

"Because of the market power of the larger incumbent local exchange carriers [ILECs]," says ACA president Matt Polka. "The FCC should immediately affirm that the interconnection mandates [Sections 251 and 252] apply regardless of the technology platforms involved. In addition, by taking this course, the FCC will provide the proper incentives for providers to continue to compete and invest in the market."

ACA points out that the FCC has already staked out a position that interconnection applies no matter what the technology.

"In the Connect America Fund Further Notice, the FCC stated: "We observe that section 251 of the [Telecommunications] Act is one of the key provisions specifying interconnection requirements, and that its interconnection requirements are technology neutral - they do not vary based on whether one or both of the interconnecting providers is using TDM, IP, or another technology in their underlying networks."

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