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Telcoms Adopt Common Fiber Requirements

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ATLANTA, SAN ANTONIO, and NEW YORK, May 30 -- Three of the nation's largest telecommunications service providers -- BellSouth, SBC Communications Inc. and Verizon -- reached an agreement Thursday to standardize a technology known as fiber to the premises (FTTP) -- fiber optic systems used to connect homes and businesses to telecom networks. The agreement paves the way to get ultra-fast Internet connections to homes more quickly and less expensively.

The three service providers issued a letter to telecom equipment manufacturers, alerting them that the providers will soon be seeking proposals for equipment based on the common requirements. BellSouth, SBC and Verizon will independently finalize their FTTP deployment plans for 2004 and beyond, based on the evaluation of these proposals, ongoing internal studies and the resolution of related regulatory issues.

Upcoming rulings from the FCC could settle some of the uncertainty regarding new technologies such as FTTP and clear the path for companies to deploy new and powerful networks. For example, the FCC is expected to soon issue its final order under its Triennial Review of network interconnection regulations. That ruling, the first of several anticipated, is expected to include provisions that more clearly set forth the FCC's policy regarding new network technologies like FTTP, including the extent to which unbundling and pricing regulations such as those imposed on traditional copper technologies will apply on a nationwide basis.

"Fiber to the premises could be the most fundamental and important enhancement in telecom communications services since wireless networks were built," said Matt Davis, director of Broadband Access Technologies at the Yankee Group, a market research company. "With these common technology requirements, and the expected resulting manufacturing economies, widespread FTTP deployment has the potential to spur new telecom investment, stimulate competition across the spectrum of communications and entertainment services and enable innovative, bandwidth-hungry applications for consumers."

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May 2003
CommunicationsindustrialNews & Features

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