Special Access Doublespeak

by Frank Simone

Vice President of Federal Regulatory

I’m often struck by the doublespeak that takes place in DC and, particularly, at the FCC when companies come to the agency to argue that the Commission should regulate their competitors. The Special Access proceeding at the Commission is one of those special dockets that is a real breeding ground for what I like to…

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Business Data Services: New Name, Same Old Problem

by Caroline Van Wie

Assistant Vice President of Federal Regulatory

Tomorrow, the FCC will release a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with the aim of resetting the conversation on “business data services” (BDS), the Commission’s new name for the decade-old proceeding on special access services. Despite the new moniker, we fear that this proceeding will just be more of the same – a proposal to…

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A Step toward an Effective Spectrum Sharing Framework

by Stacey Black

Assistant Vice President of Federal Regulatory

There has been a lot of talk lately about spectrum sharing – Spectrum Access Systems, Dynamic Spectrum Arbitrage, Environmental Sensing Capability, Shared Spectrum Access for Radar and Communications, to name just a few of the discussed approaches. The purveyors of these techniques believe that their technology will change the way spectrum is shared and will…

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AT&T Statement on Special Access and Broadband Investment

The following may be attributed to Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President-External and Legislative Affairs, and is in response to remarks made yesterday by FCC Chairman Wheeler: “We agree that incremental investment in broadband facilities for 5G and in rural areas is essential.  But imposing regulation on special access prices and contract terms is…

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BT Overreach: Stale Data Yield Rotten Results

by Rich Clarke

Assistant Vice President of Public Policy

BT Americas (BTA) has repeatedly beseeched the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to revoke its regulatory flexibility granted to DS1 and DS3 special access – and now argues that all U.S. Ethernet services should be similarly regulated if they are to perform as well as those in Europe. Further, BTA often asserts that the performance of…

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Something Amiss in Washington

by Len Cali

Senior Vice President of Global Public Policy

Last week, I had the privilege of participating in the Digital Economy: Chances and Challenges conference in Prague. The Czech national regulatory authority, Česky telekomunikační úrad (“CTU”), under the leadership of Chairman Jaromir Novak, organized the conference jointly with ICANN. The gathering offered me an opportunity to share AT&T’s view on innovation and regulation. Even…

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CLEC End Game is Ethernet Re-Regulation

by Caroline Van Wie

Assistant Vice President of Federal Regulatory

There’s no question that copper-based TDM services are in rapid decline.  AT&T’s access lines (copper last mile connections) are no exception – they have declined by almost 65% (more than 30 million lines, if you can believe it) since 2009. Yet, despite all the evidence pointing to the end of the copper era, the competitive…

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C’mon FCC, Take Your Thumb off the Scale

by Caroline Van Wie

Assistant Vice President of Federal Regulatory

The FCC initiated a proceeding to review special access competition way back in 2012 for which it gathered a huge amount of data from incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) and others (a whopping 120 million records making up more than 15 Gigabytes of data).  After reviewing this data, late last…

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Jim Cicconi Reflects on 20 Years Under 1996 Telecommunications Act

To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, the Federal Communications Law Journal (FCLJ) has compiled 32 essays from people who were “involved in the Act’s drafting, implementation, and attendant legal challenges.”  Below is an excerpt from a piece written by Jim Cicconi, AT&T’s Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs:…

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What the Data Shows: Special Access is Not Very Special Any More

by Bob Quinn

Former Senior Executive Vice President of External & Legislative Affairs, Retired May 2018

On Friday, Mother Nature willing, we will file our first set of comments analyzing the data submitted in the special access proceeding.  As a refresher course for the uninitiated, the special access services at issue here are not very special at all.  They are services sold mainly to businesses which provide pretty low speed data…

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