The headline from a Oct. 1 TR Daily report states: "Line Sharing to end; Copps Wants FCC Action." The report says the line sharing mandate is supposed to end this past weekend, and Commissioner Copps fears for the future of broadband competition.
Putting aside questions whether regulatorily-mandated line-sharing constitutes competition or has any real postive impact on competition, the last sentence of the report caught my eye: "Line-sharing arrangements won't necessarily disappear immediately or completely. Covad Communications Group, Inc., for example, has negotiated line-sharing deals with SBC Communications, Inc., Verizon Communications, Inc., and Qwest Communications International, Inc., that continue into 2005, and beyond in the case of Qwest."
Say that again, slowly! The end of government-mandated line-sharing won't mean the end of the sharing of lines because COVAD has negotiated a deal with the ILECs to continue using the ILECs' lines. I'm sure we will see a lot more of this type of commercial negotiation if we see the end of more regulatorily-mandated sharing requirements. Both those that have facilities and those that don't will have incentives to reach deals that make sense for both in the marketplace.