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[General] Net neutrality, FCC, fiber, "last mile"

I'm posting in the ATT forum but this is more generic and applies to all DSL-type broaband providers.

I was discussing bandwidth usage, the rise of streaming video popularity, and companies like ATT having to share copper with other ISPs.

My friend pointed out that ATT is promoting fiber because it doesn't qualify as "shareable" (by FCC definition) and they don't have to allow the other ISPs access to this medium.

This is obviously not a coherent description because I don't understand all that this entails, but is it true that fiber to the home is not required to be shared with other ISPs?


PS, if this forum is not the appropriate place for this post, just say the word and point me to a more-appropriate one.

Warner Robins, GA
At one time the phone companies were sharing dial up capability with dial up ISPs. That is why back in the dialup days you had a lot of dial up ISPs servicing many areas. But at some point the Bell companies got a rule that DSL was a different type of service and that line sharing was not required. Uverse is usually a Fiber To The Node(FTTN) system. The fiber goes to a node and then is distributed over twisted pair copper wires to the user. There are severe distance limitations for the copper lines if you are to get full functionality. I think the copper portion cannot be more than 1000 ft to get top performance. The copper portion is a DSL type service, so no line sharing is required. If you happen to be in one of the few areas with AT&T Fiber To The Home(FTTH) or Fiber To The Premises(FTTP), where there is no twisted pair copper, then there is no line sharing.


San Jose, CA
And a little of the rationale in the legal distinction between the sharing obligations: The general rule in the US is private property - someone invests in a phone line and thereby owns it, and that means he can exclude anyone else from using it. But the telephone network was created over a hundred years of government protection of the telephone companies from competition, so the government reasons that the public has a right to use those lines.

But that telephone network was built for voice. Dial up data access is essentially voice, so that's covered by the public's right to use the wires, but DSL is a whole new industry, not anticipated by the historical telephone network regulation. And FTTN networks are clearly a whole new enterprise.