FCC Tosses Out DSL Sharing Rule

    August 5, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Facility sharing requirements imposed on telephone companies that required leasing lines to competitors has been abolished.

Today, the FCC voted unanimously to end the sharing requirement, long despised by telephone companies that provide DSL services. In a press release, the FCC stated its decision would place “telephone and cable companies on equal footing” as they compete for a share of the broadband market.

In its decision, the FCC noted the presence of multiple providers of broadband service in markets. It further referenced a Supreme Court decision that upheld the FCC’s handling of cable companies in deciding to end the sharing agreements.

Those multiple providers listed by the FCC include satellite and power line competitors along with cable and television. Satellite service is much more expensive than terrestrial options, and broadband over power lines has very little presence in the country today.

It isn’t clear why the FCC believes the decision will benefit competition. Many communities with cable broadband availability have a single cable provider. A choice of one provider isn’t a choice, but a monopoly.

Reducing the number of DSL providers today because the telephone companies might build out more capacity seems to place a great temptation to price those future services at a premium instead of a competitive rate.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.