Frontier and competitive carriers agree, at least regarding telephone service in California

by Steve Blum • , ,

Most of the issues between Frontier Communications and competitive local exchange carriers in California regarding Frontier’s proposed purchase of Verizon’s wireline telephone systems have been worked out. A settlement agreement was filed with the California Public Utilities Commission that addresses most of the objections that CLECs raised regarding the deal.

Boiled down, most of the settlement consists of Frontier saying it’ll honor Verizon’s current contracts with CLECs and keep current terms and interconnection agreements in effect for at least three years. CLECs will be able to get access to any new capacity that Frontier builds in order to stitch together the new territories it intends to acquire. Frontier will offer CLECs access to existing copper plant, or give specific reasons why it can’t do so…

Frontier will not require carriers to pay construction charges to install fiber, if working copper facilities have capacity and are available. Frontier will perform routine network modifications on copper facilities as Frontier reasonable determines to be appropriate and necessary. If Frontier denies any service request on the basis that no facilities are available, Frontier will inform the requesting CLEC of the copper facilities that terminate at the requested service location and identify the copper facilities that were tested.

The settlement also closes possible loopholes: Frontier is agreeing not to try to duck obligations by asking to be characterised as a rural carrier.

Some issues, particularly regarding Internet bandwidth and traffic, remain to be settled. In other words, Frontier isn’t backing away from its broader position that the CPUC doesn’t have the authority to get involved in regulating broadband, as opposed to telephone, service.