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Communications

FCC Considers Opening Up US Broadband Access 253

An anonymous reader writes On October 14, the FCC issued a call for public comments on a study (PDF) done by Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society about whether the US should require the telephone and cable companies to open their networks to competitors so that independent ISPs could begin offering broadband, much in the way it was done back in the days of dialup access. The study found that open-access in virtually every other country 'is playing a central role in current planning exercises throughout the highest performing countries,' noting: 'While Congress adopted various open access provisions in the almost unanimously-approved Telecommunications Act of 1996, the FCC decided to abandon this mode of regulation for broadband in a series of decisions in 2001 and 2002. Open access has been largely treated as a closed issue in US policy debates ever since. We find that in countries where an engaged regulator enforced open access obligations, competitors that entered using these open access facilities provided an important catalyst for the development of robust competition which, in most cases, contributed to strong broadband performance across a range of metrics.'"

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