USTA Calls for Removal of Legacy ILEC Regs

From the Director:

Dr. Robert Yadon



USTA Calls for Removal of Legacy ILEC Regs

Today (12-19-12) the US Telecom Association (USTA) asked the FCC to throw out a key doctrine that determines how telephone companies are regulated.  What they want is to remove the “dominant carrier” regulations that subject the carriers to price cap or rate-of-return regulations, and also require them to ask for permission to alter their tariffs or their voice services.  Why?


As DPI has noted in the past, the number of people using the public switched telephone network (PSTN) has declined over the past ten years as more and more people switch to mobile phones or other services. From a penetration high of 93-percent in 2003, the dependency on wireline as the primary line service has dropped to approximately 26-percent in 2013.


With consumers leaving the plain old telephone system (POTS) behind in favor of mobile and Internet-Protocol based networks,the suggestion that the FCC needs to alter the way in which “dominant carriers” are classified and regulated seems reasonable.  In a competitive world, these wireline carriers are no longer “dominant” and our federal regulations should reflect this evolving landscape.  They say that technology leads policy, and here is a case where it’s time to play catch-up.