The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has adopted a Report and Order (Order) that eliminates legacy unbundling and resale rules that stifle technology transitions and broadband deployment. The rules, dating back to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, required monopoly local telephone companies to make portions of their networks and services available to competitors at regulated rates. The Commission argues that now with more robust competition in the marketplace, these rules are outdated and are stifling innovation. Specifically, the Order eliminates the rules requiring unbundling of the following network elements, subject to multiyear transition periods: (1) DS1 and DS3 loops; (2) DS0 loops; (3) Legacy Narrowband Voice-Grade loops; and (4) Dark Fiber Transport.
The Order also discontinues the requirement that incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) make available for resale their retail legacy telecommunications services at cost-based rates, subject to a three-year transition period.