The Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council today applauded the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) decision to deregulate FTTH networks owned by incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs). This ruling provides the economic incentive for the ILECs to now join the competitive field to deploy FTTH networks. The FCC's ruling would remove FTTH from the so-called "unbundling" rules, which require ILECs to lease facilities to competitors.

Former FTTH Council President James Salter pointed out that the biggest ILECs -- the "Baby Bells" -- have largely stayed away from FTTH deployment, even as others are rushing in. "U.S. FTTH deployment is growing by around 300 percent per year," Salter said, "but the Bells account for less than 2 percent of that construction. With this ruling, all FTTH providers will be treated similarly by the regulators, and we think that's fair."

The FTTH Council believes all entities are equally competitive in this area since systems have to be built out to the customer. This decision now allows another group to join a rapidly growing market.

"This decision is not only a victory for the American consumers who will benefit from the advanced networks but is also a tremendous victory for the American economy and the telecommunications sector," stated Mike DiMauro, FTTH Council president. EC