FTTH Council North America against Open Access

Us_dp Tim points out a tidbit of interesting news that I had missed: The FTTH Council North America and TIA came out vocally against open access for Fiber in filing to the FCC. As Tim points out, they oppose it mostly on principle and try to discredit the Berkman Study on telecom policy which quite convincingly shows how open access policies in European and Asian countries have spurred on competition and contributed to the development of telecom markets in these countries.

This is not a new discourse in the US and as such does not really surprise me. I've heard or read similar arguments (especially the attempts to poke holes in the Berkman Study) in the last few months. What's most interesting to me is the fact that this comes from the FTTH Council NA.

This kind of policy positioning highlights the key difference between the North American and European FTTH Councils. The NA Council has Service Provider membership and acts as one of many lobbying arms for incumbents in the North American market (although none of the big players are actual members). The European Council has only vendor membership and can therefore stay more neutral about topics such as this one (the European council has expressed policy solutions around various scenarios depending on geography, but certainly hasn't in any way expressed a pro- or against- position on something as sensitive as open access.

This also raises interesting questions about a possible future alignment of the three councils on policy aspects. It seems unlikely that any form of significant collaboration can be envisaged with differences in position such as these…