FCC Proposes Rules Eliminating Outdated Network Unbundling/Resale Requirements

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The FCC has adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on proposals to eliminate and/or reduce requirements that telephone companies provide certain unbundled network elements. Specifically, the Commission proposes to: (1) eliminate DS1 and DS3 Loop unbundling obligations in counties and study areas deemed “competitive” in the FCC’s 2017 BDS Order and 2018 Rate-of-Return BDS Order; (2) eliminate DS0 Loop unbundling obligations in urban census blocks; (3) eliminate Legacy Narrowband Voice-Grade Loop obligations nationwide; (4) grant telephone companies relief from dark fiber transport unbundling requirements where competitive fiber exists within one-half mile of a wire center; (5) grant non-price cap ILECs relief from the requirement that they resell their legacy telecommunications services at statutorily prescribed rates; and (6) extend to all impacted carriers a three-year transition period in order to give existing customers served via these unbundling and resale obligations time to transition to alternative arrangements without service disruptions. Comments are due 30 days after the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, which has yet to occur, and reply comments are due 60 days after the same publication.

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