• United States
Managing Editor

Changing the rules

Jun 18, 20042 mins
GovernmentRegulationSystem Management

FCC begins crafting new UNE policy after appeals run out

FCC Chairman Michael Powell last week said the commission will craft new policy for wholesaling local access lines after the Bush administration decided not to appeal a court ruling overturning much of the network-sharing rules.

According to a Reuters report, Powell said the FCC would immediately work on new rules that would phase in any price increases by the Bells expected with the dismantling of UNE policy. The pronouncement comes after U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson announced that he will not ask the U.S. Supreme Court for an appeal of a March decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that threw out much of the FCC’s Triennial Review.

The FCC still could move ahead with a Supreme Court appeal, however. And the FCC has been working on new network-sharing rules since shortly after the appeals court decision.

In the meantime, RBOCs and CLECs, at the urging if the FCC, have been negotiating commercial leasing arrangements with limited results. A Memorial Day weekend meeting between the four RBOCs and two of the three IXCs resulted in only one arrangement, between MCI and Qwest.

Competitors of the four large incumbent carriers said Olson’s decision could result in higher telephone service prices. The RBOCs, understandably, cheered the solicitor general’s decision – they’ve argued for years that the FCC’s UNE leasing rates were below cost and a money-losing venture.

Managing Editor

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 28 years, 23 at Network World. He covers enterprise networking infrastructure, including routers and switches. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy and at

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