Along with many stakeholders, ACA is urging the FCC to postpone action in this area until after its legal jurisdiction to regulate VoIP and broadband Internet access providers has become less unsettled.
"There is widespread concern about the wisdom of FCC action until more is known about its legal authority to act, even among entities that believe such jurisdiction exists. ACA agrees that significant questions exist concerning the FCC's authority to expand its outage reporting requirements and that the better course of action is to resolve those questions before proceeding," Polka said.
Apart from threshold legal matters, ACA's comments filed Aug. 8 at the FCC focused on the need for the agency to refrain from imposing costly regulatory burdens on VoIP and broadband access providers, especially now when ACA's members face serious capital constraints in a difficult economy. ACA members utilize a variety of methods to determine when, where, and why the network has gone down. As a result, the FCC should take these different methods into account and not require broadband network operators to generate new information that they do not currently have the ability to collect.
"A rule that requires monitoring over and above that which broadband providers are currently capable of could require significant new expenditures in network monitoring equipment, software, and personnel. Such a requirement would place additional burdens on ACA members, who are already actively investing in their broadband networks to increase capacity, extend their networks, and increase redundancy to limit outages," Polka said.
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