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§ 251 Network Unbundling


Resource Page

For your convenience, a resources page has been created to assist researchers in finding relevant documents to the Triennial Review Remand. The Triennial Review Remand Resources Page can be located via this link,or by typing the following URL into your browser - http://www.fcc.gov/wcb/cpd/triennial_review/triennialremand.html

Background

Section 251(d)(2) of the Act directs the Commission to determine the specific network elements that incumbent LECs must provide to their competitors on an unbundled basis at cost-based rates. In December 2001, the Commission issued the Triennial Review NPRM seeking comment on how best to update its rules and make them more “granular” to reflect competitive conditions in different markets. The Commission’s prior rules specifying the list of unbundled network elements (UNEs) were struck down by the D.C. Circuit in United States Telecom Association v. FCC (USTA I) on May 24, 2002.

  • 6/8/07   INSIDE WIRE SUBLOOP CLARIFICATION ORDER  FCC Boosts Competitive Telephone, Video Service Opportunities in Multi-Unit Buildings.
    Order: Word | Acrobat
    News Release (5/31/07): Word | Acrobat
    Martin Statement: Word | Acrobat
    Copps Statement: Word | Acrobat
    Adelstein Statement: Word | Acrobat
    McDowell Statement: Word | Acrobat

  • 6/16/06    COVAD ORDER:  After nearly a decade of contentious litigation and three previous court defeats, the FCC on June 16, 2006 won judicial approval of its network element unbundling rules. In an opinion written by Judge Sentelle, the D.C. Circuit denied various petitions for review of the Commission's Triennial Review Remand Order.


  • 12/15/04   TRIENNIAL REVIEW REMAND ORDER:   In December 2004, the Commission adopted an Order on Remand, responding to the USTA II decision, and adopting new rules for network unbundling obligations of incumbent LECs . The key issues in this decision include the clarification of the impairment standard adopted in the Triennial Review Order in one respect and modification of the application of its unbundling framework in three respects.


  • 10/18/04    ORDER ON RECONSIDERATION:   This Order subjects fiber-to-the-curb (FTTC) loops to the same regulatory framework as FTTH loops, drawing on the same rationale it applied in the August MDU Reconsideration Order. In an effort to promote the growth of fiber-based broadband networks to residential customers, these new regulations alleviate the duty of incumbent LECs to provide unbundled access to newly deployed mass market FTTC loops. However, the Commission continues to recognize the persistence of entry barriers in overbuild situations and requires continued access to a copper loop or 64 kbps transition path in those circumstances.


  • 8/9/04   MDU RECON ORDER:  In this Order, the Commission extended the fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) rules to include multi-dwelling units (MDUs) that are primarily residential in nature. Under the existing FTTH rules adopted in the Triennial Review Order, incumbent LECs do not have to provide unbundled UNE access to most broadband fiber lines built to a home. The Commission promulgated this ruling in order to spur the deployment of fiber lines by removing the disincentive effects of further unbundling requirements.


  • 8/20/04   INTERIM ORDER AND NPRM:  The Commission issued this Interim Order and NPRM in response to the USTA II decision that vacated and remanded several sections of the Triennial Review Order. The Interim Order and NPRM invited comments on the implementation of section 251 unbundling obligations and the steps necessary to respond to the USTA II decision.


  • 7/13/04   ALL-OR-NOTHING/PICK AND CHOOSE-SECOND REPORT AND ORDER:   In this Order, the Commission adopted a new "all-or-nothing" rule regarding interconnection agreements that requires a requesting carrier seeking to avail itself of terms in another carrier's interconnection agreement to adopt the agreement in its entirety, taking all rates, terms, and conditions from the adopted agreement. This order overruled the Commission's previous "pick-and-chose" rules that allowed negotiating carriers to pick the most favorable individual provisions of state-approved interconnection agreements without being required to accept the terms and conditions of the entire agreement. The Commission determined that this new "all-or-nothing" approach will promote more efficient negotiations between carriers and reduce the burdens on negotiation.


  • 3/2/04   OPINION -UNITED STATES TELECOM ASS'N v. FCC (USTA II):   Several parties – including incumbent LECs, competitive LECs, state commissions, and state commission consumer advocates – challenged various aspects of the Triennial Review Order. These appeals were consolidated in the D.C. Circuit which issued an opinion in affirming in part, vacating and remanding in part, the Commission’s Triennial Review Order. The court decision, among other things, vacated the Commission’s delegation of authority to state commissions and the nationwide impairment findings for dedicated transport and mass market switching, while it upheld the Commission’s determinations on mass market broadband loops and the role of section 271 access obligations. After initial stays, the D.C. Circuit and Supreme Court denied further stay requests, allowing the mandate of the D.C. Circuit to become effective on June 16, 2004.


  • 8/21/03   TRIENNIAL REVIEW ORDER:    The Commission released a Report and Order and Order on Remand that comprehensively re-examines the network element unbundling obligations of incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) under section 251 of the Act. The Triennial Review Order created a new list of UNEs. The Commission’s framework provides incentives for carriers to invest in broadband network facilities, brings the benefits of competitive alternatives to all consumers, and provides for a significant state role in implementing these rules. The rules became effective on October 2, 2003, upon publication in the Federal Register.

 

last reviewed/updated on 08/19/2008 


For more information contact the Competition Policy Division at (202) 418-1580 or  via e-mail   fccinfo@fcc.gov

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