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Today, Verizon Wireless and INCOMPAS, a trade association representing telecommunications companies, sent a joint letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging the agency to adopt a permanent special access framework that accommodates new technology while encouraging the transition from legacy telecommunication services to internet protocol. Public Knowledge commends both Verizon and INCOMPAS for working together to craft a special access proposal that promotes competition and innovation in the marketplace.
The following may be attributed to Phillip Berenbroick, Government Affairs Counsel at Public Knowledge:
“Today’s proposal by INCOMPAS and Verizon is an important moment in over a decade of work to bring competition to the special access market.
“Currently, incumbent telecommunications providers make $20 billion in overcharges from business customers annually because the special access market is not competitive. Inevitably, those charges are passed along to consumers -- raising prices on nearly all goods and services we buy. As the Consumer Federation of America recently noted, these excessive special access charges cost the American economy $150 billion over the past five years.
“The INCOMPAS/Verizon framework would ensure that where the market for special access services is not competitive, the FCC would step in and ensure that business customers, wholesale providers, and ultimately, consumers, aren’t forced to pay unjustifiable or unreasonable special access rates. Importantly, the framework would recognize that markets with two or fewer special access providers would have inadequate price competition.
“Approximately 75 percent of markets have a monopoly special access provider and 97 percent have fewer than three providers. Public Knowledge applauds this important statement by INCOMPAS and Verizon and we look forward to swift FCC action to bring much needed competition to the special access market.”
You may view the letter here.