Wiley Rein reports FCC initiates rulemaking to update unbundling and resale requirements

On November 25, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that seeks to update the unbundling and resale obligations of incumbent local exchange carriers. The FCC proposes to remove the following unbundling requirements:

  1. DS1 and DS3 loops in counties and study areas previously deemed competitive by the FCC, with an exemption for DS1 loops used to provide residential broadband service and telecommunications service in rural areas;

  2. DS0 loops in urban census blocks;

  3. Narrowband voice-grade loops;

  4. Subloops in the particular instances or geographic areas where the Commission proposes to eliminate the unbundling of the underlying loop to the customer’s premises; and

  5. Dark fiber transport in wire centers within a half-mile of alternative fiber.

The NPRM also proposes to forbear from unbundling requirements for network interface devices (NID) and operations support systems (OSS) and to remove avoided cost resale requirements in non-price cap incumbent service areas.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioners Michael O’Rielly, and Brendan Carr voted in favor of the NPRM, while Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks dissented. Comments and reply comments are due 30 and 60 days, respectively, from the date of publication in the Federal Register.

A summary of the NPRM is available here.

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