It must be true; or not. An editorial in today's New York Times supports a Supreme Court review for the FCC's beleaguered telecom rules. (Free registration required.) The piece rests on shoddy analysis and I'll refrain from fisking the whole piece. However, one point stands out for special attention: "Some 20 million American households no longer rely on the local phone company for local service, thanks to competition inducing rules, which can be traced to the 1996 Telecommunications Act."
Where did the Grey Lady get this number? Perhaps the editorialists referred to the FCC's most recent competition report that shows 20.6 million CLEC lines provided by UNEs or as resale. Funny, when they found this number they must have seen in the same table that more than six million CLEC lines are self-provisioned. Nearly a quarter of CLEC lines no longer rely on the incumbent while the remaining 20 million lines are entirely reliant on the incumbents' facilities.
Perhaps evidence of facilities based CLECs are inconvenient if you believe that competition cannot emerge without the helping hand of regulated prices. That's too bad and another mar on the reputation of the Times.