More from the QROC: Cheryl Parrino is discussing the Qwest-MCI mediation for interconnection related to Section 251 unbundled elements. Cheryl also mediated an omnibus ICA between Qwest and all CLECs. The Qwest-MCI ICA was executed by both parties.
What strikes me most about the process is that is happened because of regulatory uncertainty. Since neither the CLECs nor Qwest knew who would "win" the Triennial Review appeal decision, they each had adequate incentive to negotiate. The regulatory background rules still defined the parameters of the discussion, but only because neither party had a clear property right was the mediation a success. For instance, if MCI knew it had an unambiguous property right to Qwest's network at TELRIC rates, it would not negotiate. Correlatively, if Qwest knew it had its rights to its own network, then its pricing offers would have been much different. I have no idea whether there is a general rule to tease out of this experience.