COMPTEL: Confronting Forbearance – What Approved, Pending Petitions Mean to CLECs

The past year has been a roller coaster ride on the forbearance front. The FCC has approved some petitions that will impact competitors’ operations, while denying others that really would have ripped the roof off the CLEC space.

This morning’s panel will review the prior forbearance decisions and consider the current and potential effects of the FCCs actions. Experts also will examine how CLECs might address pending and future petitions. They’ll further discuss what role third parties, such as states, customers and the public, can and should play in the forbearance process.

“I am hoping this will be a practical guide to forbearance for COMPTEL PLUS attendees,” said Greg Kennan, federal counsel for One Communications Corp. Kennan will act as moderator of the panel.

Other slated participants include Kim Koontz Bayliss, managing principal for Dutko Worldwide, a government affairs strategy and management firm; Heather Burnett Gold, senior vice president of external affairs for XO Communications; and Thomas Jones, a partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

Koontz Bayliss has extensive experience in legislative advocacy on Capitol Hill, including efforts regarding the Verizon Communications Inc. forbearance petitions. Burnett Gold, a familiar face to COMPTEL attendees, was a key organizer in CLECs’ efforts to oppose the Verizon petitions. Finally, Jones has represented several major CLECs in various FCC forbearance proceedings.

The four will talk about the major forbearance petitions the FCC addressed in the past year, including petitions by AT&T Inc. and Embarq regarding their status as dominant providers of broadband services. There also was the controversial request by Verizon for loop and transport unbundling relief in six major metropolitan areas. Past FCC decisions granted forbearance relief from unbundling obligations to Qwest Communications International Inc. in Omaha and ACS in Anchorage and from dominant carrier regulation of certain Verizon broadband services.

Petitions by Qwest for UNE relief in four markets and by several ILECs for relief from ARMIS reporting obligations are pending. Panelists will discuss whether Qwest’s petition will turn out differently from Verizon’s six-MSA denial as well as what federal lawmakers think about forbearance proceedings.

“The panelists bring a great depth of expertise and a variety of viewpoints to the discussion,” Kennan said. “I believe it will be a very interesting discussion.”

AT&T Inc.
Dutko Worldwide
One Communications Corp.
Verizon Communications Inc.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
XO Communications Inc.


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