competitors have complained about AT&T and Verizon cornering the special access market, allowing them to jack up prices on competitors for backhaul and other cross connectivity. For just about as long, the FCC has stated they'd investigate
the potential anti-competitive ramifications, with nothing much coming of it. With AT&T imposing another round of rate hikes on special access customers, the FCC now says they're putting a hold on AT&T's latest plans for five months so the FCC can investigate special access -- some more.
"We find that there are substantial questions regarding the lawfulness of AT&T’s tariff revisions that require further investigation," the FCC wrote in their five-page order
Companies like Sprint, Covad, T-Mobile and others formed a group called the No Choke Points Coalition
years ago to battle the hikes. They've long argued that given they have no other options for this connectivity, they have no other choice but to pay whatever rates AT&T and Verizon demand.
"The special access connections are essential, not only for wireless carriers to operate, but also for financial services, retailers, manufacturers and educational institutions," Sprint said in a statement. "With today’s move, the FCC is taking an important step in protecting innovation and investment in many sectors of the U.S. economy."