February 14, 2006 Washington, D.C. -- According to a press release, the Fiber-to-the-Home Council (FTTH Council) today urged Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to remove barriers to the deployment of next-generation broadband communications infrastructure.
In a filing submitted to the FCC, the FTTH Council presented evidence that it says shows that strictures often imposed on the acquisition of cable television franchises serve to slow next-generation broadband deployments, violating federal telecommunications laws and harming consumers.
Obstacles cited by the FTTH Council included: lengthy negotiating periods of six to 30 months; level-playing field laws (which serve to protect incumbents and deter new entries to the market); requirements to extend networks beyond economic limits; requirements to move aerial plants underground; and the imposition of unrelated fees and costs. The FTTH Council called on the FCC to use its authority to adopt regulations removing such barriers.
Also today, in testimony submitted to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the FTTH Council defended the rights of municipal governments to provide broadband services. Noting that municipal broadband networks often serve citizens who would otherwise have inadequate services, the FTTH Council urged support for legislation prohibiting restrictions on municipal broadband authored by Senators Frank Lautenberg (NJ) and John McCain (AZ).
"We believe municipalities and private sector broadband providers should work together to ensure national coverage of next-generation optical broadband," comments FTTH Council president Joseph P. Savage. "It is in the interest of the United States to have the world's most advanced communications network, and removing barriers to franchising and municipal broadband will help move us toward that goal."