ACA stated its views in reply comments filed with the FCC on Oct. 7, endorsing the consensus position that the legal basis for FCC action in this area is highly doubtful and that the industry itself was better suited to design and enforce network outage reporting standards that serve the needs of all providers, especially small companies that lack the financial resources to comply with federal regulations that tend to place disproportionate burdens on them.
ACA pointed out that the FCC's proposed rules were inappropriate for broadband Internet networks. In its comments, ACA stressed that operators had deployed a variety of broadband networks and that different equipment and techniques are used for monitoring the health of each type of network. As a result, potential reporting requirements under FCC consideration would probably fail to be flexible enough to match the existing technical characteristics and capabilities of all the various broadband networks.
In that regard, ACA explained the need for the FCC to avoid adopting rules that would directly or indirectly require operators to deploy costly new monitoring devices. Rather, ACA said the FCC should adopt reporting obligations that require operators to disclose only information they already have readily available about their own networks.
To the extent the FCC adopts regulations, ACA argued that the rules should apply to only unscheduled outages, for there may be instances where an operator takes down a network element for maintenance after providing notice to its customers.
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