[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

IP: FCC/Telco issues (fwd)

  new coalition on ISPs and network access fees.
  ---------- Forwarded message ----------
  Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 19:42:35 -0500
  From: Dave Farber <farber@cis.upenn.edu>
  To: interesting-people mailing list <interesting-people@eff.org>
  Subject: IP: FCC/Telco issues
  WASHINGTON, DC, U.S.A., 1996 NOV 15 (NB) -- By Bill Pietrucha.
  Internet users, take heart. A number of information technology
  companies and trade associations are trying to keep Internet usage fees
  from climbing. Yesterday marked the advent of the DATA Coalition,
  formed to protect consumers from efforts by Incumbent Local
  Exchange Carriers (ILECs) to hike fees for Internet usage.
  The Coalition, chaired by the Information Technology Association of
  America (ITAA), and the Information Technology Industry Council
  (ITI), is designed to ensure that the Federal Communications
  Commission (FCC) doesn't require Internet users to pay more for
  access through the same old voice telephone network; and to ensure
  that the FCC encourages the deployment of computer-friendly
  telecommunications technology and the introduction of true local
  According to ITI president, Rhett Dawson, the Coalition maintains that
  the local telephone companies have been slow to provide data-friendly
  digital connections and are resisting the introduction of competition.
  Dawson said that Coalition members "believe the health and continued
  growth of the Internet are at stake."
  "Ironically, these same local telephone companies that have failed to
  provide efficient data network alternatives and are aggressively
  marketing second telephone lines for Internet access are now
  complaining about excessive demand on their networks," Dawson
  said. "Their solution is to charge Internet users new fees before
  providing advanced technology that is appropriate for handling online
  data traffic."
  ITAA president, Harris Miller, concurred. "In a truly competitive
  environment, everyone need only pay for the access that he or she
  needs," Miller said. "This is what the Internet age demands. But in the
  meantime, we reject the idea that the Internet users pay for parts of the
  voice telephone network they don't need, that isn't even appropriate to
  handle data traffic."
  "While the rest of the world zooms toward the 21st Century, the
  ILECs are trotting back toward the 19th," Miller said.
  "We believe the phone companies' arguments are economically and
  technically unsound," said Intel's Paul Meisner. Meisner chairs the
  Coalition's Steering Committee.
  "We will identify alternatives to the phone companies' approach to the
  growing demand for Internet services that are more efficient," Meisner
  said. He added that "our solutions would eliminate congestion on the
  networks, significantly improve the quality of Internet access, and
  result in a healthier competitive environment."
  According to the Coalition, the Internet charge issue could be raised by
  the FCC in December as part of its rulemaking on access charge
  reform. These new rules will determine what the local phone
  companies can charge for access to their networks.
  Under current rules, enhanced service providers (ESPs), such as
  Internet service providers, are classified as "users" and do not pay
  access charges, Meisner told Newsbytes.
  Access charges, Meisner explained, are per-minute fees paid by long
  distance and telephone companies to ILECs for originating and
  terminating long distance calls.
  Although many local telephone companies have announced they will
  ask the FCC to make ESPs pay these additional charges as a means of
  reducing Internet and other enhanced services traffic, Meisner said, the
  DATA Coalition "believes it would be more appropriate for the FCC to
  address ESP access in a separate proceeding, to be undertaken as soon
  as possible, on new telecommunications technology.
  In addition to ITI and ITAA, the Coalition includes the American
  Electronics Association (AEA) and the Business Software Alliance
  (BSA). Companies represented by the DATA Coalition include
  America Online, Apple, Compaq, Compuserve, Digital Equipment
  Corporation, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Netscape, Novell and Oracle.
  (19961115/Press Contact: Bob Cohen, ITAA, tel 703-284-5333)
   From www.nbnn.com