FCC Seeks Comment On Deregulating ILECs

Move Would Give Them Boost in Competition with New Players, including Cable Voice
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The FCC is seeking comment on a proposal to deregulate major phone companies.

The telephone companies last month asked to get out from under decades of voice service regs.

USTelecom asked for a declaratory ruling that the fact that incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) provide switched-access services no longer means they are presumptively the dominant providers of voice services, pointing to new IP nets and service provided by competitors, like cable operators now bundling voice service into their offerings.

Such a determination would get those telecoms out from under historic tariffs, though not obligations like 911 and privacy and disability access.

The FCC has set Feb. 25 as the deadline for comments and March 12 for reply comments.