AT&T, Verizon May Have to Share Lines Under FCC Plan [Bloomberg News]
A controversial proposal made by one small business network services provider could make it into the FCC's national broadband plan based on a report from Bloomberg News. Cbeyond Inc. has proposed that telephone companies be required to lease their high-speed fiber lines to smaller companies. Bloomberg indicates that an aide to FCC chairman Julius Genchowski says that the commission is giving serious consideration to Cbeyond's idea and that it has "a lot of appeal as part of a national broadband strategy."
As you can imagine, AT&T and Verzion aren't excited about the idea of the government mandating that they lease their infrastructure to their competitors. Both telcos have filed objections with the FCC stating that any lease requirement would have a stifling effect on their willingness to invest capital in building out their fiber networks, not to mention the ongoing capital it takes to bring new bandwidth-consuming future services.
What are the chances that the lease requirement make it into the FCC's broadband plan? Ars Technica points out that previous comments made by the coordinator of the FCC's broadband plan in December were not favorable to the idea. At this point, we'll just have to wait to see what is released in the plan, which is expected next month.