Public Service Commission Upholds Frontier Fiber Access Decision
Frontier had balked at providing access to its fiber-optic network, as required by the federal law, to Citynet
The West Virginia Public Service Commission found that Frontier Communications must lease part of its fiber-optic cable network to Citynet, a move that could boost high-speed Internet service competition in the state.
The commission upheld the bulk of an administrative law judge’s decision requiring Frontier to lease unused fiber to Citynet in several rural areas, including Phillipi, Buckhannon and Elkins.
Citynet was represented by attorneys Ben Bailey and Rebecca Pomeroy of Bailey Glasser’s Charleston, West Virginia, office.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 aimed to increase competition among telecommunications providers by obligating existing carriers to open up their networks to competing carriers at wholesale rates.
But Frontier had denied several recent requests by Citynet to lease available fiber capability between Clarksburg and Philippi and between Clarksburg and Elkins. These requests were denied with little or no explanation in what Citynet believed was a violation of its interconnect agreement with Frontier.
Expanding this “middle-mile” capacity would help Citynet provide more innovative telecommunications services to its customers at a lower cost.
In addition, Frontier was ordered to provide better training to its employees on its obligations under the interconnection agreement after the hearing made clear that employees handling requests under the agreement were not trained and were completely unaware of Frontier’s obligations.