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Congress held hearings on “special access” services – voice and data services for the enterprise market.

Companies like Sprint can get access to enterprise customers only by using the networks of companies like Verizon and AT&T, who dominate the market. Sprint desires regulations that dictate lower pricing from Verizon and AT&T so that Sprint and others can provide more effective competition.

Verizon and AT&T do not want those regulations. Tom Tauke, Verizon executive vice president for public affairs, policy and communications, was on hand to argue that outdated regulations – including the ones that give Sprint and other companies special-access opportunities – should be scrapped, and all should be left to the market.

Other committees in Congress are turning their attention to a variety of different aspects of broadband policy, and Tauke took the opportunity of testifying before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet yesterday to address some of those issues, too. He recommended the government reform the Universal Service Fund, and adopt measures to encourage broadband adoption.

To the latter end, Congress ought to “target programs to support infrastructure investment through a combination of loans, tax credits, or grants,” Tauke said. He referred to ConnectedNation as an example of that approach. ConnectedNation is an organization that pursues public-private partnerships to increase deployment in rural states.

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