Tuesday, March 26, 2002

N.H. PUC opens copper to ISPs

Published in Interface Tech News

CONCORD, N.H. ‹ Bringing closure to a three-year-old controversy, the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission has ordered Concord-based Verizon New Hampshire to provide so-called "dry copper loops" to the state's Internet Service Providers on a trial basis.

The case arose in 1999 as a result of telephone network congestion that prevented residential phone customers from dialing 911 in an emergency. The cause for the congestion, which appears to no longer be a problem, was believed to be increased use of dial-up Internet connections.

One proposed solution to the congestion was giving ISPs access to copper circuitry already installed throughout the state, over which they could deliver high-speed Internet service off the telephone network.

The state's ISPs are happy about the development, with Brian Susnock, president of the Nashua-based Destek Networking Group, trumpeting "a landmark decision" that is "a major turning point" in the abilities of ISPs to offer high-speed Internet accesss at low prices.

"We're very excited about it," said Jeff Gore, CEO of Londonderry-based FCG Networks. Gore said he expects to participate in the trial as soon as it begins.

The new product will be part of a revision to the Verizon's existing Series 1000 tariff, governing BANA or alarm circuits, which currently cost $32 per month. Susnock said he hopes the dry copper offering will cost less.