USTelecom President, Walter McCormick, praised the FCC for ending some of its outdated rules in a statement following Thursday’s meeting. “The commission’s decision to remove unnecessary rules, such as those tied to outdated definitions making a distinction between local and long-distance service, will enable our industry to better focus on forward-looking investments that will best serve consumers,” he said.
Pai and O’Rielly said the FCC should have gone farther to relieve legacy companies of the hefty costs associated with other outdated requirements. “The item has been sold in a number of settings as half a loaf, and I think that when people actually have a chance to read it, they’ll find it’s less than half a loaf and less than advertised,” O’Rielly said. “I would’ve gone much further and I find some of the arguments against the provisions need relief to be lacking”
Legacy phone companies (dominant carriers) are subject to regulations and requirements that the smaller, competitive phone and wireless companies (non-dominant carriers) are not. USTelecom pushed for the FCC to change the classification in a 2012 petition.
Commissioner O’Rielly was put off by the order’s failure to include non-dominance. O’Rielly said he tried to ask within the agency to see how non-dominance related to the response to USTelecom’s petition. FCC staff didn’t give him the answers he needed, he said, and that he had heard that his questions were not appreciated. “I find that discouraging and disappointing,” he said.