The Fiber Broadband Association believes that by reducing regulation, we can propel investment in all-fiber infrastructure. In the past, the Fiber Broadband Association has urged regulators to: not mandate unbundling of fiber facilities; not impose onerous open internet requirements on broadband providers; not require battery back up in all-fiber networks; and not regulate the prices for business data services provided over all-fiber facilities. In addition, the Fiber Broadband Association advocates for the removal of public and private barriers to investment, such as unreasonable fees for access to poles and rights of way and unreasonable franchise requirements.
On January 30th, the Federal Communications Commission announced a series of initiatives designed to forward the transition of telecom networks from legacy TDM-based to IP-based. As part of these initiatives, the FCC emphasized that it wanted all Americans to benefit from this transition, including those living in rural, high-cost areas. To that end, the FCC has called for entities to submit expressions of interest in providing high capacity broadband to rural areas in both price cap and rate of return territories.
Most importantly, the FCC is encouraging participation in these experiments from as many different entities as possible including incumbents, competitive LECs, munis and utilities. You do not need to be an ETC at the time of filing of the expresssions of interest, but must be prepared to become one if later on you submit an application for a grant that is accepted.
On February 6, the FCC released information as to the eligible areas for these experiments in price cap ILEC territories (Rate of return areas are not yet available). Please go to http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/rural-broadband-experiments to download the list of potential census blocks.
Here’s how to file:
Nonbinding Expressions of Interest are due March 7, 2014. They should be filed as a letter in WC Docket No. 10-90, although they will consider additional expressions of interest on a rolling basis after that date.
Information to be included in an expression of interest might include, but not be limited to:
The nature of the submitting entity or entities (e.g., incumbent LEC, municipality, utility,cable operator, wireless provider)
Identification of the proposed service area for the experiment, including census block number, with any relevant information regarding the number of locations that could be served, including schools, libraries, and other anchor institutions
The broadband technology or technologies to be deployed
Contemplated service offerings (e.g., description of voice service, broadband speed tiers, nature of video service, if any) and pricing of such offerings
If known, expected State and/or local or Tribal governmental participation in and/or support for the project (e.g., expedited permitting, access to rights of way, matching funds, etc.)
Whether the proposal is expected to require one-time or continuing funding and a high-level