has decided today is weighing a request that would force cable providers and carriers to lease FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) lines to competitive carriers and application service providers. A favorable FCC ruling would be a major change in policy. Previously, incumbents (read AT&T and Verizon) were under no obligation to grant access to their fiber plant at wholesale rates–“unbundle” their network.
You can get a flavor of the dissenting comments (you didn’t think this petition would go unanswered?) by reviewing this one from the Telecommunications Industry Association.
Obviously, a decision to unbundle fiber would be a big setback to Verizon. I’ll have more analysis on Monday.
(Editor’s note: The petition from Cbeyond, is under review, and has a better chance of being considered under Genachowski.)