As much as we continuously despise Ajit Pai’s FCC, especially with the latest debacle of charging for FCC intervention, the current board might achieve some universal good.
The FCC is set to vote on a ruling that makes Internet Service Provider (ISP) deployment simpler during their next Open Commission meeting on August 2nd. The system, known as One Touch Make Ready (OTMR), aims to simplify the process by allowing the new attacher to do much of the “make ready” work all at once. This system, heavily backed by Google, has the ability to speed up and reduce the cost of broadband deployment by “allowing the party with the strongest incentive — the new attacher — to prepare the pole quickly to perform all of the work itself, rather than spreading the work across multiple parties.”
OTMR is a common sense policy that will dramatically improve the ability of new broadband providers to enter the market and offer competitive service, reducing delays and lowering costs by allowing the necessary work on utility poles to be done much more efficiently. This also means fewer crews coming through neighborhoods and disrupting traffic, making it safer for both workers and residents.
Google, who aims to enter the ISP business with Google Fiber, understood that entering the business would be “hard, slow, and expensive.” However, the company didn’t “fully appreciate” how time-consuming the process was for placing the communication equipment on existing telephone poles would be:
One particular challenge revolves around making poles ready for new attachments. This “make ready” work has to be done to make room for new attachers’ equipment. The current system for make ready is done sequentially, and often involves multiple crews visiting the same pole several times over many months. This results in long delays, inflated costs and a frustrated community.
This is something being experienced with the Verizon FIOS rollout, which according to Verizon, typically takes “six to twelve months” for deployment after any property or area is fitted for FIOS. According to Google, however, the FCC is currently “poised to pass” this rule, and they “fully support” the agency’s decision:
We fully support this effort by the FCC and applaud the efforts of Chairman Pai to remove obstacles that reduce choice and competition for broadband consumers. As the FCC says in its order, One Touch Make Ready “will serve the public interest through greater broadband deployment and competitive entry” — we couldn’t agree more.
As referenced before, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has drawn the ire of a myriad of people with his recent decisions and indifference to the public opinion, most notably with the repeal of Obama-era regulations protecting the open Internet with explicit Net Neutrality guidelines. However, this measure, should it pass, more than likely will have an immediate effect on the availability of different options when it comes to ISPs. Living in New York City, there isn’t much in the way of options. It should also quicken the deployment of Verizon FIOS in most areas, which would be a boon for Verizon’s business, as well as any other startup that wants to provide a broadband option, whether for business or home usage. Everyone wins with OTMR.