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ACA: IP Nets Need Interconnection Mandates, Too

The American Cable Association says the FCC needs to apply
interconnection mandates to IP networks just as they do to traditional switched
phone service.

AT&T has asked the FCC to deregulate phone traffic as
networks transition to all-IP service.

ACA falls on the other end of the continuum from Comcast,
the nation's largest cable operator, which backs removing the regs, and the
National Cable and Telecommunications Association, which  argues for
marketplace negotiations for exchange of traffic, but with the FCC insuring
those are fair deals.

"Because of the market power of the larger incumbent local
exchange carriers [ILECs]," says ACA president Matt Polka. "The
FCC should immediately affirm that the interconnection mandates [Sections 251
and 252] apply regardless of the technology platforms involved. In addition, by
taking this course, the FCC will provide the proper incentives for providers to
continue to compete and invest in the market."

ACA points out that the FCC has already staked out a
position that interconnection applies no matter what the technology.

"In the Connect America Fund (CAF) Further Notice, the
FCC stated: "We observe that section 251 of the [Telecommunications] Act
is one of the key provisions specifying interconnection requirements, and that
its interconnection requirements are technology neutral - they do not vary
based on whether one or both of the interconnecting providers is using TDM, IP,
or another technology in their underlying networks."