Text | Word97 | Poster | Audio


Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St., SW
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov
TTY: 202/418-2555

DA 00-891
April 19, 2000


CC Docket No. 96-98
CC Docket No. 98-147

Date: May 10, 2000
Location: Commission Meeting Room (Room TW-C305)
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554
Time: 1 pm - 4 pm

The Network Services Division, Common Carrier Bureau, and the Network Technology Division, Office of Engineering and Technology, will hold a roundtable forum to discuss policy and technical issues related to competitive access to next-generation remote terminals (RTs).1 The Network Services Division and the Network Technology Division have invited representatives from equipment manufacturers, incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs), and competitive local exchange carriers to discuss the broad implications of the incumbent LECs' efforts to deploy fiber closer to the customer, including all carriers' access to customers served by remote terminals and ability to provide new technology applications.

We commend the efforts of those carriers that are deploying fiber deeper and closer to customers to meet the escalating demand for greater bandwidth. We recognize, however, that the technology that incumbent LECs generally use in RTs, digital loop carrier (DLC) technology and integrated line cards that provide both voice and data services, creates unique challenges for the deployment of advanced services. In order to provide advanced services over such loops, the loop must be "rolled over" to a traditional copper loop that runs continuously from the central office to the customer premises. Alternatively, the electronics used to provide the advanced services, e.g., the Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer (DSLAM), must be deployed at the remote terminal location. For competitive LECs who want to provide telecommunications services, including advanced services, to customers served via remote terminals there is often little or no space available for collocation inside the structures used to house the remote equipment. Digital loop carrier systems pose additional difficulties for unbundling for competitive LECs who want to access the loop in the incumbent LEC's central office, because the copper loop to the subscriber (which is needed for xDSL-based services) is only available in the distribution plant, between the remote terminal (or optical network unit) and the network interface device at the customer's premises.2 In the feeder plant, between the remote terminal and the central office, individual subscribers' traffic is aggregated on digital circuits, and is difficult to separate.

This public forum will assist the Commission in determining whether vendors are developing and carriers are deploying new technologies in a manner that is both pro-competitive and supports the goals of rapid and cost effective deployment of advanced services. Participants at the forum will discuss at least four solutions for ensuring competitive and broad-based deployment of advanced services and other telecommunications services where incumbent LECs deploy integrated linecards in RTs. These solutions include: the resale of incumbent LEC-provided advanced services; the purchase of unbundled network elements and collocation of competitive LEC equipment in incumbent LEC remote terminals; adjacent collocation of competitive LEC equipment and interconnection to the incumbent LEC's RT or serving area interface; and the establishment of Commission or industry-based equipment compatibility standards.

One objective of the forum is to explore the various technical and operational aspects of these or any other proposed solutions, including issues such as the feasibility of allowing competitive LECs to install their own integrated line cards in the incumbent LEC remote terminal equipment, the complexity of developing back office systems to manage these proposed network configurations, lifeline power and heat limitations associated with competitive LEC collocation of next-generation xDSL equipment in remote terminals, and any network capacity and efficiency concerns associated with the proposed options. This technical background will also enable the roundtable participants to explore the Commission's policy role, if any, to ensure competitive access to customers served via next-generation remote terminals.

Participants are requested to forward any electronic presentations to Dann Oliver no later than 24 hours prior to the forum, at doliver@fcc.gov. For any special needs, please contact Ginny Kennedy no later than 24 hours prior to the forum at (202) 418-2328; gkennedy@fcc.gov.

This forum is open to the public. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Closed captioning will be provided on monitors within the meeting room. Videotapes of the forum, including closed captioning, may be purchased from Infocus, 341 Victory Drive, Herndon, VA 20170, at (703) 834-0100 (voice/TRS), (703) 834-0111(fax). Transcripts of the forum will be available 10 working days after the forum in the following dockets: Deployment of Wireline Services Offering Advanced Telecommunications Capability, CC Docket No. 98-147, and Implementation of the Local Competition Provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, CC Docket No. 96-98. Transcripts will be available for purchase from the FCC's duplicating contractor, International Transcription Services, Inc., 1231 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036, at (202) 857-3800 (voice/TRS) (202) 293-8810 (TTY), (202) 857-3805 (fax), or service@itsdocs.com (e-mail).

For more information about the forum, please contact:

News Media Contact: Michael Balmoris (202) 418-0253; mbalmori@fcc.gov
Common Carrier Bureau Contact: Douglas Cooper (202) 418-1686; dcooper@fcc.gov
Office of Engineering and Technology Contact: Jerome Stanshine (202) 418-2417; jstanshi@fcc.gov

1. The equipment in a remote terminal of a digital loop carrier (DLC) system converts analog signals from many copper loops that terminate at the remote terminal into digital signals, multiplexes these signals and other signals from terminating copper loops, and transports them over a shared medium to the central office.

2. An optical network unit is used to extend fiber beyond the remote terminal into neighborhoods as part of "fiber-to-the-curb" systems, which may be DLC or "home run" variety. In the case of DLC-based fiber-to-the-curb, fiber is run from the remote terminal to the optical network unit, which makes a fiber-copper conversion. From the optical network unit copper is then run to individual homes.