Six months after releasing a preliminary sketch of the revised rules for local telecom and broadband policy in America, the Federal Communications Commission released its final 576‐page unbundled network element (UNE) triennial review order on August 21. Specifically, the FCC examined the UNEs that local telephone carriers must provide to competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) at regulated rates and ruled that incumbent carriers must continue to unbundle and share much of their network with rivals. The order also envisioned a broader role for state regulators in tailoring UNE guidelines. Going in the opposite direction, the FCC exempted new fiber networks from such sharing rules and scaled back sharing requirements for some other services.
What impact will this latest decision have on the telecom and broadband marketplace? Will the FCC’s latest interpretation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 pass muster in the courts or be rejected like previous rulings? Panelists will debate the legal, economic, and financial implications of this important ruling.