AT&T: Government Networks Must Operate on Level Playing Field

Government-owned telecommunications networks should operate on a “level playing field” and not get preferential treatment over the private sector, AT&T said last week in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission.

AT&T also said municipal networks should not be deployed where the private sector is already offering broadband service “or can be expected to do so in a reasonable timeframe.”

The telecommunications giant filed the comments in a proceeding in which the FCC has been asked by a North Carolina city and Tennessee power board to preempt state laws that restrict public entities from offering broadband service in certain areas.

In the filing, AT&T didn’t comment on whether the FCC has authority to preempt state laws that restrict municipal broadband networks.

But the company called for safeguards to ensure a level playing field in cases in which a government entity seeks to operate a government network in a market where a private entity can reasonably serve the area.

Such protections should include granting commercial service providers a “right of first refusal” to craft a solution and subjecting government-owned networks (GONs) to the same regulations and laws as the private sector, AT&T said. GONs also should not reap any preferential tax treatment or get preferential access to rights-of-way, nor should they be permitted to enter into agreements that bar commercial rivals from offering services, the filing said.

“Without these protections, there is a real risk that the deployment of GONs will harm competition and consumers by deterring private sector investment that otherwise would occur,” said AT&T.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


In our Channel Influencer Awards digital issue, we highlighted eight technologies ready to "take off" in the channel this year. Which two will take off the most?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
The ID is: 89056