Wednesday, May 4, 2005

FCC Denies SBC's Petition on IP Services

The FCC denied a petition from SBC Communications requesting that Title II common carrier regulations not be applied to IP services. The petition was denied on procedural grounds rather than as a matter of policy.


In February 2004, SBC filed a petition asking the FCC to forbear from applying Title II common carrier regulation to IP Platform Services, which it defined as "those services that enable any customer to send or receive communications in IP format over an IP platform, and the IP platforms on which those services are provided."


In this ruling, the FCC reasoned that it would be inappropriate to grant SBC's petition because it asks the FCC to forbear from enforcing requirements that may not even apply to the facilities and services in question. The FCC has not yet decided the extent to which IP-enabled services are covered by Title II and its implementing rules. Therefore, the FCC cannot "forbear" from applying rules have not yet been defined.


In a statement, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said the issues presented by this petition are important ones that require the Commission's attention. "Accordingly, in order to accomplish what will be one of the Commission's core priorities -- promoting the deployment of new packetized networks throughout the nation -- we should move forward to address the creation of a level-playing field for the provision of advanced services by similarly situated service providers. The removal of legacy regulations should spur investment and the deployment of new packetized networks and facilities that will bring new broadband services to all Americans throughout the nation."http://www.fcc.gov

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