Accusing the Baby Bells of unfair marketing practices, Bright House Networks continues to press federal regulators to consider requiring phone companies to sell digital-subscriber-line service as a stand-alone, or “naked,” product.
Bright House is advocating this approach in the face of ongoing problems with Verizon Communications in the Tampa, Fla., market.
In a Dec. 21 letter, Bright House told the Federal Communications Commission that Verizon won’t promptly transfer DSL customers’ phone numbers to the new provider in an effort to frustrate Bright House’s plans to sell a competing local phone service.
“As a result, many consumers who wish to obtain voice services from [Bright House] cannot readily do so,” Bright House outside counsel Christopher Savage said in the FCC letter.
A few cable companies and other phone providers have been complaining for months that some phone companies require their voice customers who subscribe to DSL to cancel DSL service when they want to drop just the voice product.
Competitors argued that this tying practice discourages DSL consumers from experimenting with new voice providers.
Cable companies have emphasized the number-portability issue, saying that FCC rules do not permit phone companies to force DSL disconnections prior to transferring numbers to competitors.