FRAMINGHAM (03/20/2000) - State telecom regulators have decided they don't like a lobbying effort under way to allow Bell companies to carry data and Internet traffic across local boundaries before they get general long-distance approval.
The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, which represents telecom and energy regulators in the 50 states, passed a resolution opposing congressional bills to free up Bells to create long-haul data backbones even before they submit state-by-state, long-distance applications to the government. Some of the Bells have funded a lobbying group headed by former White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry to push for the idea, arguing they could provide a needed boost in Internet backbone capacity. Critics say the Bells could do a lot more for the Internet by concentrating on speeding up the local loop.
Broadband carrier Level 3 Communications Inc. is spreading its wings overseas, announcing last week it has completed metropolitan fiber networks in Amsterdam and Frankfurt and opened a switching gateway with collocation space for other carriers in Brussels. It now has facilities in 27 U.S. and five foreign markets, on its way to a goal of 56 U.S. and 21 international markets.
Big names in carrier networking are teaming with smaller digital subscriber line companies to offer voice-over-DSL platforms to carriers. Alcatel SA and CopperCom are teaming to sell their equipment, as are Lucent Technologies Inc. and Jetstream. Alcatel and Lucent sell DSL multiplexers but lack their own voice-over-DSL gear. Carriers would use the equipment packages to offer multiple voice channels plus data all over a single DSL link.