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Announcement Flyer


Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St., SW
Washington, D.C. 20554
DA 01-621

News media information 202/418-0500    Fax-On-Demand 202/418-2830    Internet: http://www.fcc.gov    ftp.fcc.gov


CC Docket Nos. 96-98 & 98-147

Release Date: March 13, 2001

Date: March 29, 2001
Location: Commission Meeting Room (Room TW-C305)
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554
Time: 1-4 P.M.

The Common Carrier Bureau and the Office of Engineering and Technology, Network Technology Division, will hold a roundtable forum to discuss technical issues related to competitive access to transmission facilities between the central office and end-users in next generation networks. The Common Carrier Bureau and Office of Engineering and Technology have invited representatives from equipment manufacturers, incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs), competitive LECs, and industry technical standards-setting groups to discuss the implications of incumbent LECs' efforts to deploy fiber closer to the customer and how that affects the ability of all carriers to provide traditional voice and advanced services to customers served by next generation networks and remote terminal architectures.

This forum follows a prior forum on competitive access to remote terminals that focused on the next generation digital loop carrier (DLC) technology and integrated line cards that incumbent LECs typically use in remote terminals.1 At that forum, we commended the efforts of carriers that are deploying fiber deeper in their physical plant and closer to customers to meet the escalating demand for greater bandwidth. We recognized, however, that the technology that incumbent LECs are deploying or plan to deploy can create unique challenges for the deployment of traditional voice and advanced services by all carriers. Our upcoming forum will focus on the technical challenges associated with providing competitive access to fiber-fed transmission facilities deployed between end-user customers and incumbent LEC central offices.

Particular methods of competitive and broad-based deployment of traditional voice and advanced services may depend upon the architecture and capabilities of the equipment the incumbent LEC has deployed. DLC systems, for example, pose difficulties for competitive LECs who want to access the loop in order to serve customers with advanced services. In fiber-fed next generation DLC configurations, in particular, the copper wire to the subscriber (which is needed for xDSL-based services) may be only available in the distribution plant, between the remote terminal (or optical network unit) and the network interface device at the customer's premises. In the feeder plant between the remote terminal and the central office, which typically is fiber optic cable, individual subscribers' traffic is aggregated onto digital circuits. While enabling carriers to serve customers with xDSL-based services who otherwise may be located too far from the central office, these next generation network architectures pose particular challenges for ensuring competitive access.

Possible solutions to ensure competitive access to customers served by next generation networks and remote terminal architectures may 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 remote terminal or serving area interface/feeder distribution interface; the purchase of unbundled packet switching (where applicable under Commission rules)2 or the use of packet technology in the fiber feeder subloop to transmit the competitive carrier's data traffic between the remote terminal and central office; and the purchase of a wholesale unbundled network platform for data from the incumbent LEC.

This public forum will assist the Commission in determining the various technical and operational aspects of competitive access to transmission between the central office and end- users in next generation networks. Topics for discussion will include: the characteristics of shared transmission facilities between the central office and remote terminal, including the feasibility of incumbent LECs providing competitors with service level agreements for transmission provided over the fiber feeder facility; network capacity and efficiency concerns; the capabilities of back office systems to manage these proposed network configurations; and the methods available to competitors to access the individual copper pairs inside a remote terminal.

Participants are requested to forward any electronic presentations (no larger than 1.2 Megabits) to Daniel 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 Infofocus, 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 Implementation of the Local Competition Provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, CC Docket No. 96-98, and Deployment of Wireline Services Offering Advanced Telecommunications Capability, CC Docket No. 98-147. Transcripts will be available for purchase from the FCC's duplicating contractor, International Transcription Services, Inc., 1231 20th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 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 Contacts: Johanna Mikes (202) 418-1535, jmikes@fcc.gov; Jessica Rosenworcel (202) 418-2764, jrosenwo@fcc.gov
Office of Engineering and Technology Contact: Jerry Stanshine (202) 418-2417, jstanshi@fcc.gov

1. See Common Carrier Bureau and Office of Engineering and Technology Announce Public Forum on Competitive Access to Next-Generation Remote Terminals, CC Docket Nos. 96-98, 98-147, NSD-L-00-48, DA 00- 891 (rel. April 19, 200).

2. See 47 C.F.R. 51.319(c)(5).