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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of October 30, 2014

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 51 → Subpart D


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 51—INTERCONNECTION


Subpart D—Additional Obligations of Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers


Contents
§51.301   Duty to negotiate.
§51.303   Preexisting agreements.
§51.305   Interconnection.
§51.307   Duty to provide access on an unbundled basis to network elements.
§51.309   Use of unbundled network elements.
§51.311   Nondiscriminatory access to unbundled network elements.
§51.313   Just, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms and conditions for the provision of unbundled network elements.
§51.315   Combination of unbundled network elements.
§51.316   Conversion of unbundled network elements and services.
§51.317   Standards for requiring the unbundling of network elements.
§51.318   Eligibility criteria for access to certain unbundled network elements.
§51.319   Specific unbundling requirements.
§51.320   Assumption of responsibility by the Commission.
§51.321   Methods of obtaining interconnection and access to unbundled elements under section 251 of the Act.
§51.323   Standards for physical collocation and virtual collocation.
§51.325   Notice of network changes: Public notice requirement.
§51.327   Notice of network changes: Content of notice.
§51.329   Notice of network changes: Methods for providing notice.
§51.331   Notice of network changes: Timing of notice.
§51.333   Notice of network changes: Short term notice, objections thereto and objections to retirement of copper loops or copper subloops.
§51.335   Notice of network changes: Confidential or proprietary information.

§51.301   Duty to negotiate.

(a) An incumbent LEC shall negotiate in good faith the terms and conditions of agreements to fulfill the duties established by sections 251 (b) and (c) of the Act.

(b) A requesting telecommunications carrier shall negotiate in good faith the terms and conditions of agreements described in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) If proven to the Commission, an appropriate state commission, or a court of competent jurisdiction, the following actions or practices, among others, violate the duty to negotiate in good faith:

(1) Demanding that another party sign a nondisclosure agreement that precludes such party from providing information requested by the Commission, or a state commission, or in support of a request for arbitration under section 252(b)(2)(B) of the Act;

(2) Demanding that a requesting telecommunications carrier attest that an agreement complies with all provisions of the Act, federal regulations, or state law;

(3) Refusing to include in an arbitrated or negotiated agreement a provision that permits the agreement to be amended in the future to take into account changes in Commission or state rules;

(4) Conditioning negotiation on a requesting telecommunications carrier first obtaining state certifications;

(5) Intentionally misleading or coercing another party into reaching an agreement that it would not otherwise have made;

(6) Intentionally obstructing or delaying negotiations or resolutions of disputes;

(7) Refusing throughout the negotiation process to designate a representative with authority to make binding representations, if such refusal significantly delays resolution of issues; and

(8) Refusing to provide information necessary to reach agreement. Such refusal includes, but is not limited to:

(i) Refusal by an incumbent LEC to furnish information about its network that a requesting telecommunications carrier reasonably requires to identify the network elements that it needs in order to serve a particular customer; and

(ii) Refusal by an incumbent LEC to furnish cost data that would be relevant to setting rates if the parties were in arbitration.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 68 FR 52294, Sept. 2, 2003]

§51.303   Preexisting agreements.

(a) All interconnection agreements between an incumbent LEC and a telecommunications carrier, including those negotiated before February 8, 1996, shall be submitted by the parties to the appropriate state commission for approval pursuant to section 252(e) of the Act.

(b) Interconnection agreements negotiated before February 8, 1996, between Class A carriers, as defined by §32.11(a)(1) of this chapter, shall be filed by the parties with the appropriate state commission no later than June 30, 1997, or such earlier date as the state commission may require.

(c) If a state commission approves a preexisting agreement, it shall be made available to other parties in accordance with section 252(i) of the Act and §51.809 of this part. A state commission may reject a preexisting agreement on the grounds that it is inconsistent with the public interest, or for other reasons set forth in section 252(e)(2)(A) of the Act.

§51.305   Interconnection.

(a) An incumbent LEC shall provide, for the facilities and equipment of any requesting telecommunications carrier, interconnection with the incumbent LEC's network:

(1) For the transmission and routing of telephone exchange traffic, exchange access traffic, or both;

(2) At any technically feasible point within the incumbent LEC's network including, at a minimum:

(i) The line-side of a local switch;

(ii) The trunk-side of a local switch;

(iii) The trunk interconnection points for a tandem switch;

(iv) Central office cross-connect points;

(v) Out-of-band signaling transfer points necessary to exchange traffic at these points and access call-related databases; and

(vi) The points of access to unbundled network elements as described in §51.319;

(3) That is at a level of quality that is equal to that which the incumbent LEC provides itself, a subsidiary, an affiliate, or any other party. At a minimum, this requires an incumbent LEC to design interconnection facilities to meet the same technical criteria and service standards that are used within the incumbent LEC's network. This obligation is not limited to a consideration of service quality as perceived by end users, and includes, but is not limited to, service quality as perceived by the requesting telecommunications carrier; and

(4) On terms and conditions that are just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory in accordance with the terms and conditions of any agreement, the requirements of sections 251 and 252 of the Act, and the Commission's rules including, but not limited to, offering such terms and conditions equally to all requesting telecommunications carriers, and offering such terms and conditions that are no less favorable than the terms and conditions upon which the incumbent LEC provides such interconnection to itself. This includes, but is not limited to, the time within which the incumbent LEC provides such interconnection.

(b) A carrier that requests interconnection solely for the purpose of originating or terminating its interexchange traffic on an incumbent LEC's network and not for the purpose of providing to others telephone exchange service, exchange access service, or both, is not entitled to receive interconnection pursuant to section 251(c)(2) of the Act.

(c) Previous successful interconnection at a particular point in a network, using particular facilities, constitutes substantial evidence that interconnection is technically feasible at that point, or at substantially similar points, in networks employing substantially similar facilities. Adherence to the same interface or protocol standards shall constitute evidence of the substantial similarity of network facilities.

(d) Previous successful interconnection at a particular point in a network at a particular level of quality constitutes substantial evidence that interconnection is technically feasible at that point, or at substantially similar points, at that level of quality.

(e) An incumbent LEC that denies a request for interconnection at a particular point must prove to the state commission that interconnection at that point is not technically feasible.

(f) If technically feasible, an incumbent LEC shall provide two-way trunking upon request.

(g) An incumbent LEC shall provide to a requesting telecommunications carrier technical information about the incumbent LEC's network facilities sufficient to allow the requesting carrier to achieve interconnection consistent with the requirements of this section.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 47351, Sept. 6, 1996; 68 FR 52294, Sept. 2, 2003]

§51.307   Duty to provide access on an unbundled basis to network elements.

(a) An incumbent LEC shall provide, to a requesting telecommunications carrier for the provision of a telecommunications service, nondiscriminatory access to network elements on an unbundled basis at any technically feasible point on terms and conditions that are just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory in accordance with the terms and conditions of any agreement, the requirements of sections 251 and 252 of the Act, and the Commission's rules.

(b) The duty to provide access to unbundled network elements pursuant to section 251(c)(3) of the Act includes a duty to provide a connection to an unbundled network element independent of any duty to provide interconnection pursuant to this part and section 251(c)(2) of the Act.

(c) An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier access to an unbundled network element, along with all of the unbundled network element's features, functions, and capabilities, in a manner that allows the requesting telecommunications carrier to provide any telecommunications service that can be offered by means of that network element.

(d) An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier access to the facility or functionality of a requested network element separate from access to the facility or functionality of other network elements, for a separate charge.

(e) An incumbent LEC shall provide to a requesting telecommunications carrier technical information about the incumbent LEC's network facilities sufficient to allow the requesting carrier to achieve access to unbundled network elements consistent with the requirements of this section.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 47351, Sept. 6, 1996]

§51.309   Use of unbundled network elements.

(a) Except as provided in §51.318, an incumbent LEC shall not impose limitations, restrictions, or requirements on requests for, or the use of, unbundled network elements for the service a requesting telecommunications carrier seeks to offer.

(b) A requesting telecommunications carrier may not access an unbundled network element for the exclusive provision of mobile wireless services or interexchange services.

(c) A telecommunications carrier purchasing access to an unbundled network facility is entitled to exclusive use of that facility for a period of time, or when purchasing access to a feature, function, or capability of a facility, a telecommunications carrier is entitled to use of that feature, function, or capability for a period of time. A telecommunications carrier's purchase of access to an unbundled network element does not relieve the incumbent LEC of the duty to maintain, repair, or replace the unbundled network element.

(d) A requesting telecommunications carrier that accesses and uses an unbundled network element consistent with paragraph (b) of this section may provide any telecommunications services over the same unbundled network element.

(e) Except as provided in §51.318, an incumbent LEC shall permit a requesting telecommunications carrier to commingle an unbundled network element or a combination of unbundled network elements with wholesale services obtained from an incumbent LEC.

(f) Upon request, an incumbent LEC shall perform the functions necessary to commingle an unbundled network element or a combination of unbundled network elements with one or more facilities or services that a requesting telecommunications carrier has obtained at wholesale from an incumbent LEC.

(g) An incumbent LEC shall not deny access to an unbundled network element or a combination of unbundled network elements on the grounds that one or more of the elements:

(1) Is connected to, attached to, linked to, or combined with, a facility or service obtained from an incumbent LEC; or

(2) Shares part of the incumbent LEC's network with access services or inputs for mobile wireless services and/or interexchange services.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 68 FR 52294, Sept. 2, 2003; 70 FR 8952, Feb. 24, 2005]

§51.311   Nondiscriminatory access to unbundled network elements.

(a) The quality of an unbundled network element, as well as the quality of the access to the unbundled network element, that an incumbent LEC provides to a requesting telecommunications carrier shall be the same for all telecommunications carriers requesting access to that network element.

(b) To the extent technically feasible, the quality of an unbundled network element, as well as the quality of the access to such unbundled network element, that an incumbent LEC provides to a requesting telecommunications carrier shall be at least equal in quality to that which the incumbent LEC provides to itself. If an incumbent LEC fails to meet this requirement, the incumbent LEC must prove to the state commission that it is not technically feasible to provide the requested unbundled network element, or to provide access to the requested unbundled network element, at a level of quality that is equal to that which the incumbent LEC provides to itself.

(c) Previous successful access to an unbundled element at a particular point in a network, using particular facilities, is substantial evidence that access is technically feasible at that point, or at substantially similar points, in networks employing substantially similar facilities. Adherence to the same interface or protocol standards shall constitute evidence of the substantial similarity of network facilities.

(d) Previous successful provision of access to an unbundled element at a particular point in a network at a particular level of quality is substantial evidence that access is technically feasible at that point, or at substantially similar points, at that level of quality.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 68 FR 52294, Sept. 2, 2003]

§51.313   Just, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms and conditions for the provision of unbundled network elements.

(a) The terms and conditions pursuant to which an incumbent LEC provides access to unbundled network elements shall be offered equally to all requesting telecommunications carriers.

(b) Where applicable, the terms and conditions pursuant to which an incumbent LEC offers to provide access to unbundled network elements, including but not limited to, the time within which the incumbent LEC provisions such access to unbundled network elements, shall, at a minimum, be no less favorable to the requesting carrier than the terms and conditions under which the incumbent LEC provides such elements to itself.

(c) An incumbent LEC must provide a carrier purchasing access to unbundled network elements with the pre-ordering, ordering, provisioning, maintenance and repair, and billing functions of the incumbent LEC's operations support systems.

§51.315   Combination of unbundled network elements.

(a) An incumbent LEC shall provide unbundled network elements in a manner that allows requesting telecommunications carriers to combine such network elements in order to provide a telecommunications service.

(b) Except upon request, an incumbent LEC shall not separate requested network elements that the incumbent LEC currently combines.

(c) Upon request, an incumbent LEC shall perform the functions necessary to combine unbundled network elements in any manner, even if those elements are not ordinarily combined in the incumbent LEC's network, provided that such combination:

(1) Is technically feasible; and

(2) Would not undermine the ability of other carriers to obtain access to unbundled network elements or to interconnect with the incumbent LEC's network.

(d) Upon request, an incumbent LEC shall perform the functions necessary to combine unbundled network elements with elements possessed by the requesting telecommunications carrier in any technically feasible manner.

(e) An incumbent LEC that denies a request to combine elements pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) or paragraph (d) of this section must prove to the state commission that the requested combination is not technically feasible.

(f) An incumbent LEC that denies a request to combine unbundled network elements pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section must demonstrate to the state commission that the requested combination would undermine the ability of other carriers to obtain access to unbundled network elements or to interconnect with the incumbent LEC's network.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 68 FR 52294, Sept. 2, 2003]

§51.316   Conversion of unbundled network elements and services.

(a) Upon request, an incumbent LEC shall convert a wholesale service, or group of wholesale services, to the equivalent unbundled network element, or combination of unbundled network elements, that is available to the requesting telecommunications carrier under section 251(c)(3) of the Act and this part.

(b) An incumbent LEC shall perform any conversion from a wholesale service or group of wholesale services to an unbundled network element or combination of unbundled network elements without adversely affecting the service quality perceived by the requesting telecommunications carrier's end-user customer.

(c) Except as agreed to by the parties, an incumbent LEC shall not impose any untariffed termination charges, or any disconnect fees, re-connect fees, or charges associated with establishing a service for the first time, in connection with any conversion between a wholesale service or group of wholesale services and an unbundled network element or combination of unbundled network elements.

[68 FR 52294, Sept. 2, 2003]

§51.317   Standards for requiring the unbundling of network elements.

(a) Proprietary network elements. A network element shall be considered to be proprietary if an incumbent LEC can demonstrate that it has invested resources to develop proprietary information or functionalities that are protected by patent, copyright or trade secret law. The Commission shall undertake the following analysis to determine whether a proprietary network element should be made available for purposes of section 251(c)(3) of the Act:

(1) Determine whether access to the proprietary network element is “necessary.” A network element is “necessary” if, taking into consideration the availability of alternative elements outside the incumbent LEC's network, including self-provisioning by a requesting telecommunications carrier or acquiring an alternative from a third-party supplier, lack of access to the network element precludes a requesting telecommunications carrier from providing the services that it seeks to offer. If access is “necessary,” the Commission may require the unbundling of such proprietary network element.

(2) In the event that such access is not “necessary,” the Commission may require unbundling if it is determined that:

(i) The incumbent LEC has implemented only a minor modification to the network element in order to qualify for proprietary treatment;

(ii) The information or functionality that is proprietary in nature does not differentiate the incumbent LEC's services from the requesting telecommunications carrier's services; or

(iii) Lack of access to such element would jeopardize the goals of the Act.

(b) Non-proprietary network elements. The Commission shall determine whether a non-proprietary network element should be made available for purposes of section 251(c)(3) of the Act by analyzing, at a minimum, whether lack of access to a non-proprietary network element “impairs” a requesting carrier's ability to provide the service it seeks to offer. A requesting carrier's ability to provide service is “impaired” if, taking into consideration the availability of alternative elements outside the incumbent LEC's network, including elements self-provisioned by the requesting carrier or acquired as an alternative from a third-party supplier, lack of access to that element poses a barrier or barriers to entry, including operational and economic barriers, that are likely to make entry into a market by a reasonably efficient competitor uneconomic.

[70 FR 8952, Feb. 24, 2005]

§51.318   Eligibility criteria for access to certain unbundled network elements.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, an incumbent LEC shall provide access to unbundled network elements and combinations of unbundled network elements without regard to whether the requesting telecommunications carrier seeks access to the elements to establish a new circuit or to convert an existing circuit from a service to unbundled network elements.

(b) An incumbent LEC need not provide access to an unbundled DS1 loop in combination, or commingled, with a dedicated DS1 transport or dedicated DS3 transport facility or service, or to an unbundled DS3 loop in combination, or commingled, with a dedicated DS3 transport facility or service, or an unbundled dedicated DS1 transport facility in combination, or commingled, with an unbundled DS1 loop or a DS1 channel termination service, or to an unbundled dedicated DS3 transport facility in combination, or commingled, with an unbundled DS1 loop or a DS1 channel termination service, or to an unbundled DS3 loop or a DS3 channel termination service, unless the requesting telecommunications carrier certifies that all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The requesting telecommunications carrier has received state certification to provide local voice service in the area being served or, in the absence of a state certification requirement, has complied with registration, tariffing, filing fee, or other regulatory requirements applicable to the provision of local voice service in that area.

(2) The following criteria are satisfied for each combined circuit, including each DS1 circuit, each DS1 enhanced extended link, and each DS1-equivalent circuit on a DS3 enhanced extended link:

(i) Each circuit to be provided to each customer will be assigned a local number prior to the provision of service over that circuit;

(ii) Each DS1-equivalent circuit on a DS3 enhanced extended link must have its own local number assignment, so that each DS3 must have at least 28 local voice numbers assigned to it;

(iii) Each circuit to be provided to each customer will have 911 or E911 capability prior to the provision of service over that circuit;

(iv) Each circuit to be provided to each customer will terminate in a collocation arrangement that meets the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section;

(v) Each circuit to be provided to each customer will be served by an interconnection trunk that meets the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section;

(vi) For each 24 DS1 enhanced extended links or other facilities having equivalent capacity, the requesting telecommunications carrier will have at least one active DS1 local service interconnection trunk that meets the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section; and

(vii) Each circuit to be provided to each customer will be served by a switch capable of switching local voice traffic.

(c) A collocation arrangement meets the requirements of this paragraph if it is:

(1) Established pursuant to section 251(c)(6) of the Act and located at an incumbent LEC premises within the same LATA as the customer's premises, when the incumbent LEC is not the collocator; and

(2) Located at a third party's premises within the same LATA as the customer's premises, when the incumbent LEC is the collocator.

(d) An interconnection trunk meets the requirements of this paragraph if the requesting telecommunications carrier will transmit the calling party's number in connection with calls exchanged over the trunk.

[68 FR 52295, Sept. 2, 2003, as amended at 68 FR 64000, Nov. 12, 2003]

§51.319   Specific unbundling requirements.

(a) Local loops. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to the local loop on an unbundled basis, in accordance with section 251(c)(3) of the Act and this part and as set forth in paragraphs (a)(1) through (8) of this section. The local loop network element is defined as a transmission facility between a distribution frame (or its equivalent) in an incumbent LEC central office and the loop demarcation point at an end-user customer premises. This element includes all features, functions, and capabilities of such transmission facility, including the network interface device. It also includes all electronics, optronics, and intermediate devices (including repeaters and load coils) used to establish the transmission path to the end-user customer premises as well as any inside wire owned or controlled by the incumbent LEC that is part of that transmission path.

(1) Copper loops. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to the copper loop on an unbundled basis. A copper loop is a stand-alone local loop comprised entirely of copper wire or cable. Copper loops include two-wire and four-wire analog voice-grade copper loops, digital copper loops (e.g., DS0s and integrated services digital network lines), as well as two-wire and four-wire copper loops conditioned to transmit the digital signals needed to provide digital subscriber line services, regardless of whether the copper loops are in service or held as spares. The copper loop includes attached electronics using time division multiplexing technology, but does not include packet switching capabilities as defined in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section. The availability of DS1 and DS3 copper loops is subject to the requirements of paragraphs (a)(4) and (5) of this section.

(i) Line splitting. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier that obtains an unbundled copper loop from the incumbent LEC with the ability to engage in line splitting arrangements with another competitive LEC using a splitter collocated at the central office where the loop terminates into a distribution frame or its equivalent. Line splitting is the process in which one competitive LEC provides narrowband voice service over the low frequency portion of a copper loop and a second competitive LEC provides digital subscriber line service over the high frequency portion of that same loop. The high frequency portion of the loop consists of the frequency range on the copper loop above the range that carries analog circuit-switched voice transmissions. This portion of the loop includes the features, functions, and capabilities of the loop that are used to establish a complete transmission path on the high frequency range between the incumbent LEC's distribution frame (or its equivalent) in its central office and the demarcation point at the end-user customer premises, and includes the high frequency portion of any inside wire owned or controlled by the incumbent LEC.

(A) An incumbent LEC's obligation, under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section, to provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with the ability to engage in line splitting applies regardless of whether the carrier providing voice service provides its own switching or obtains local circuit switching from the incumbent LEC.

(B) An incumbent LEC must make all necessary network modifications, including providing nondiscriminatory access to operations support systems necessary for pre-ordering, ordering, provisioning, maintenance and repair, and billing for loops used in line splitting arrangements.

(ii) Line conditioning. The incumbent LEC shall condition a copper loop at the request of the carrier seeking access to a copper loop under paragraph (a)(1) of this section or a copper subloop under paragraph (b) of this section to ensure that the copper loop or copper subloop is suitable for providing digital subscriber line services, whether or not the incumbent LEC offers advanced services to the end-user customer on that copper loop or copper subloop. If the incumbent LEC seeks compensation from the requesting telecommunications carrier for line conditioning, the requesting telecommunications carrier has the option of refusing, in whole or in part, to have the line conditioned; and a requesting telecommunications carrier's refusal of some or all aspects of line conditioning will not diminish any right it may have, under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, to access the copper loop or the copper subloop.

(A) Line conditioning is defined as the removal from a copper loop or copper subloop of any device that could diminish the capability of the loop or subloop to deliver high-speed switched wireline telecommunications capability, including digital subscriber line service. Such devices include, but are not limited to, bridge taps, load coils, low pass filters, and range extenders.

(B) Incumbent LECs shall recover the costs of line conditioning from the requesting telecommunications carrier in accordance with the Commission's forward-looking pricing principles promulgated pursuant to section 252(d)(1) of the Act and in compliance with rules governing nonrecurring costs in §51.507(e).

(C) Insofar as it is technically feasible, the incumbent LEC shall test and report troubles for all the features, functions, and capabilities of conditioned copper lines, and may not restrict its testing to voice transmission only.

(iii) Maintenance, repair, and testing. (A) An incumbent LEC shall provide, on a nondiscriminatory basis, physical loop test access points to a requesting telecommunications carrier at the splitter, through a cross-connection to the requesting telecommunications carrier's collocation space, or through a standardized interface, such as an intermediate distribution frame or a test access server, for the purpose of testing, maintaining, and repairing copper loops and copper subloops.

(B) An incumbent LEC seeking to utilize an alternative physical access methodology may request approval to do so from the state commission, but must show that the proposed alternative method is reasonable and nondiscriminatory, and will not disadvantage a requesting telecommunications carrier's ability to perform loop or service testing, maintenance, or repair.

(iv) Control of the loop and splitter functionality. In situations where a requesting telecommunications carrier is obtaining access to the high frequency portion of a copper loop through a line splitting arrangement, the incumbent LEC may maintain control over the loop and splitter equipment and functions, and shall provide to the requesting telecommunications carrier loop and splitter functionality that is compatible with any transmission technology that the requesting telecommunications carrier seeks to deploy using the high frequency portion of the loop, as defined in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section, provided that such transmission technology is presumed to be deployable pursuant to §51.230.

(2) Hybrid loops. A hybrid loop is a local loop composed of both fiber optic cable, usually in the feeder plant, and copper wire or cable, usually in the distribution plant.

(i) Packet switching facilities, features, functions, and capabilities. An incumbent LEC is not required to provide unbundled access to the packet switched features, functions and capabilities of its hybrid loops. Packet switching capability is the routing or forwarding of packets, frames, cells, or other data units based on address or other routing information contained in the packets, frames, cells or other data units, and the functions that are performed by the digital subscriber line access multiplexers, including but not limited to the ability to terminate an end-user customer's copper loop (which includes both a low-band voice channel and a high-band data channel, or solely a data channel); the ability to forward the voice channels, if present, to a circuit switch or multiple circuit switches; the ability to extract data units from the data channels on the loops; and the ability to combine data units from multiple loops onto one or more trunks connecting to a packet switch or packet switches.

(ii) Broadband services. When a requesting telecommunications carrier seeks access to a hybrid loop for the provision of broadband services, an incumbent LEC shall provide the requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to the time division multiplexing features, functions, and capabilities of that hybrid loop, including DS1 or DS3 capacity (where impairment has been found to exist), on an unbundled basis to establish a complete transmission path between the incumbent LEC's central office and an end user's customer premises. This access shall include access to all features, functions, and capabilities of the hybrid loop that are not used to transmit packetized information.

(iii) Narrowband services. When a requesting telecommunications carrier seeks access to a hybrid loop for the provision of narrowband services, the incumbent LEC may either:

(A) Provide nondiscriminatory access, on an unbundled basis, to an entire hybrid loop capable of voice-grade service (i.e., equivalent to DS0 capacity), using time division multiplexing technology; or

(B) Provide nondiscriminatory access to a spare home-run copper loop serving that customer on an unbundled basis.

(3) Fiber loops—(i) Definitions—(A) Fiber-to-the-home loops. A fiber-to-the-home loop is a local loop consisting entirely of fiber optic cable, whether dark or lit, serving an end user's customer premises or, in the case of predominantly residential multiple dwelling units (MDUs), a fiber optic cable, whether dark or lit, that extends to the multiunit premises' minimum point of entry (MPOE).

(B) Fiber-to-the-curb loops. A fiber-to-the-curb loop is a local loop consisting of fiber optic cable connecting to a copper distribution plant that is not more than 500 feet from the customer's premises or, in the case of predominantly residential MDUs, not more than 500 feet from the MDU's MPOE. The fiber optic cable in a fiber-to-the-curb loop must connect to a copper distribution plant at a serving area interface from which every other copper distribution subloop also is not more than 500 feet from the respective customer's premises.

(ii) New builds. An incumbent LEC is not required to provide nondiscriminatory access to a fiber-to-the-home loop or a fiber-to-the-curb loop on an unbundled basis when the incumbent LEC deploys such a loop to an end user's customer premises that previously has not been served by any loop facility.

(iii) Overbuilds. An incumbent LEC is not required to provide nondiscriminatory access to a fiber-to-the-home loop or a fiber-to-the-curb loop on an unbundled basis when the incumbent LEC has deployed such a loop parallel to, or in replacement of, an existing copper loop facility, except that:

(A) The incumbent LEC must maintain the existing copper loop connected to the particular customer premises after deploying the fiber-to-the-home loop or the fiber-to-the-curb loop and provide nondiscriminatory access to that copper loop on an unbundled basis unless the incumbent LEC retires the copper loops pursuant to paragraph (a)(3)(iv) of this section.

(B) An incumbent LEC that maintains the existing copper loops pursuant to paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(A) of this section need not incur any expenses to ensure that the existing copper loop remains capable of transmitting signals prior to receiving a request for access pursuant to that paragraph, in which case the incumbent LEC shall restore the copper loop to serviceable condition upon request.

(C) An incumbent LEC that retires the copper loop pursuant to paragraph (a)(3)(iv) of this section shall provide nondiscriminatory access to a 64 kilobits per second transmission path capable of voice grade service over the fiber-to-the-home loop or fiber-to-the-curb loop on an unbundled basis.

(iv) Retirement of copper loops or copper subloops. Prior to retiring any copper loop or copper subloop that has been replaced with a fiber-to-the-home loop or a fiber-to-the-curb loop, an incumbent LEC must comply with:

(A) The network disclosure requirements set forth in section 251(c)(5) of the Act and in §51.325 through §51.335; and

(B) Any applicable state requirements.

(4) DS1 loops. (i) Subject to the cap described in paragraph (a)(4)(ii) of this section, an incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to a DS1 loop on an unbundled basis to any building not served by a wire center with at least 60,000 business lines and at least four fiber-based collocators. Once a wire center exceeds both of these thresholds, no future DS1 loop unbundling will be required in that wire center. A DS1 loop is a digital local loop having a total digital signal speed of 1.544 megabytes per second. DS1 loops include, but are not limited to, two-wire and four-wire copper loops capable of providing high-bit rate digital subscriber line services, including T1 services.

(ii) Cap on unbundled DS1 loop circuits. A requesting telecommunications carrier may obtain a maximum of ten unbundled DS1 loops to any single building in which DS1 loops are available as unbundled loops.

(5) DS3 loops. (i) Subject to the cap described in paragraph (a)(5)(ii) of this section, an incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to a DS3 loop on an unbundled basis to any building not served by a wire center with at least 38,000 business lines and at least four fiber-based collocators. Once a wire center exceeds both of these thresholds, no future DS3 loop unbundling will be required in that wire center. A DS3 loop is a digital local loop having a total digital signal speed of 44.736 megabytes per second.

(ii) Cap on unbundled DS3 loop circuits. A requesting telecommunications carrier may obtain a maximum of a single unbundled DS3 loop to any single building in which DS3 loops are available as unbundled loops.

(6) Dark fiber loops. An incumbent LEC is not required to provide requesting telecommunications carriers with access to a dark fiber loop on an unbundled basis. Dark fiber is fiber within an existing fiber optic cable that has not yet been activated through optronics to render it capable of carrying communications services.

(7) Routine network modifications. (i) An incumbent LEC shall make all routine network modifications to unbundled loop facilities used by requesting telecommunications carriers where the requested loop facility has already been constructed. An incumbent LEC shall perform these routine network modifications to unbundled loop facilities in a nondiscriminatory fashion, without regard to whether the loop facility being accessed was constructed on behalf, or in accordance with the specifications, of any carrier.

(ii) A routine network modification is an activity that the incumbent LEC regularly undertakes for its own customers. Routine network modifications include, but are not limited to, rearranging or splicing of cable; adding an equipment case; adding a doubler or repeater; adding a smart jack; installing a repeater shelf; adding a line card; deploying a new multiplexer or reconfiguring an existing multiplexer; and attaching electronic and other equipment that the incumbent LEC ordinarily attaches to a DS1 loop to activate such loop for its own customer. Routine network modifications may entail activities such as accessing manholes, deploying bucket trucks to reach aerial cable, and installing equipment casings. Routine network modifications do not include the construction of a new loop, or the installation of new aerial or buried cable for a requesting telecommunications carrier.

(8) Engineering policies, practices, and procedures. An incumbent LEC shall not engineer the transmission capabilities of its network in a manner, or engage in any policy, practice, or procedure, that disrupts or degrades access to a local loop or subloop, including the time division multiplexing-based features, functions, and capabilities of a hybrid loop, for which a requesting telecommunications carrier may obtain or has obtained access pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section.

(b) Subloops. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to subloops on an unbundled basis in accordance with section 251(c)(3) of the Act and this part and as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section.

(1) Copper subloops. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to a copper subloop on an unbundled basis. A copper subloop is a portion of a copper loop, or hybrid loop, comprised entirely of copper wire or copper cable that acts as a transmission facility between any point of technically feasible access in an incumbent LEC's outside plant, including inside wire owned or controlled by the incumbent LEC, and the end-user customer premises. A copper subloop includes all intermediate devices (including repeaters and load coils) used to establish a transmission path between a point of technically feasible access and the demarcation point at the end-user customer premises, and includes the features, functions, and capabilities of the copper loop. Copper subloops include two-wire and four-wire analog voice-grade subloops as well as two-wire and four-wire subloops conditioned to transmit the digital signals needed to provide digital subscriber line services, regardless of whether the subloops are in service or held as spares.

(i) Point of technically feasible access. A point of technically feasible access is any point in the incumbent LEC's outside plant where a technician can access the copper wire within a cable without removing a splice case. Such points include, but are not limited to, a pole or pedestal, the serving area interface, the network interface device, the minimum point of entry, any remote terminal, and the feeder/distribution interface. An incumbent LEC shall, upon a site-specific request, provide access to a copper subloop at a splice near a remote terminal. The incumbent LEC shall be compensated for providing this access in accordance with §§51.501 through 51.515.

(ii) Rules for collocation. Access to the copper subloop is subject to the Commission's collocation rules at §§51.321 and 51.323.

(2) Subloops for access to multiunit premises wiring. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to the subloop for access to multiunit premises wiring on an unbundled basis regardless of the capacity level or type of loop that the requesting telecommunications carrier seeks to provision for its customer. The subloop for access to multiunit premises wiring is defined as any portion of the loop that it is technically feasible to access at a terminal in the incumbent LEC's outside plant at or near a multiunit premises. One category of this subloop is inside wire, which is defined for purposes of this section as all loop plant owned or controlled by the incumbent LEC at a multiunit customer premises between the minimum point of entry as defined in §68.105 of this chapter and the point of demarcation of the incumbent LEC's network as defined in §68.3 of this chapter.

(i) Point of technically feasible access. A point of technically feasible access is any point in the incumbent LEC's outside plant at or near a multiunit premises where a technician can access the wire or fiber within the cable without removing a splice case to reach the wire or fiber within to access the wiring in the multiunit premises. Such points include, but are not limited to, a pole or pedestal, the network interface device, the minimum point of entry, the single point of interconnection, and the feeder/distribution interface.

(ii) Single point of interconnection. Upon notification by a requesting telecommunications carrier that it requests interconnection at a multiunit premises where the incumbent LEC owns, controls, or leases wiring, the incumbent LEC shall provide a single point of interconnection that is suitable for use by multiple carriers. This obligation is in addition to the incumbent LEC's obligations, under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, to provide nondiscriminatory access to a subloop for access to multiunit premises wiring, including any inside wire, at any technically feasible point. If the parties are unable to negotiate rates, terms, and conditions under which the incumbent LEC will provide this single point of interconnection, then any issues in dispute regarding this obligation shall be resolved in state proceedings under section 252 of the Act.

(3) Other subloop provisions—(i) Technical feasibility. If parties are unable to reach agreement through voluntary negotiations as to whether it is technically feasible, or whether sufficient space is available, to unbundle a copper subloop or subloop for access to multiunit premises wiring at the point where a telecommunications carrier requests, the incumbent LEC shall have the burden of demonstrating to the state commission, in state proceedings under section 252 of the Act, that there is not sufficient space available, or that it is not technically feasible to unbundle the subloop at the point requested.

(ii) Best practices. Once one state commission has determined that it is technically feasible to unbundle subloops at a designated point, an incumbent LEC in any state shall have the burden of demonstrating to the state commission, in state proceedings under section 252 of the Act, that it is not technically feasible, or that sufficient space is not available, to unbundle its own loops at such a point.

(c) Network interface device. Apart from its obligation to provide the network interface device functionality as part of an unbundled loop or subloop, an incumbent LEC also shall provide nondiscriminatory access to the network interface device on an unbundled basis, in accordance with section 251(c)(3) of the Act and this part. The network interface device element is a stand-alone network element and is defined as any means of interconnection of customer premises wiring to the incumbent LEC's distribution plant, such as a cross-connect device used for that purpose. An incumbent LEC shall permit a requesting telecommunications carrier to connect its own loop facilities to on-premises wiring through the incumbent LEC's network interface device, or at any other technically feasible point.

(d) Dedicated transport. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to dedicated transport on an unbundled basis, in accordance with section 251(c)(3) of the Act and this part, as set forth in paragraphs (d) through (d)(4) of this section. A “route” is a transmission path between one of an incumbent LEC's wire centers or switches and another of the incumbent LEC's wire centers or switches. A route between two points (e.g., wire center or switch “A” and wire center or switch “Z”) may pass through one or more intermediate wire centers or switches (e.g., wire center or switch “X”). Transmission paths between identical end points (e.g., wire center or switch “A” and wire center or switch “Z”) are the same “route,” irrespective of whether they pass through the same intermediate wire centers or switches, if any.

(1) Definition. For purposes of this section, dedicated transport includes incumbent LEC transmission facilities between wire centers or switches owned by incumbent LECs, or between wire centers or switches owned by incumbent LECs and switches owned by requesting telecommunications carriers, including, but not limited to, DS1-, DS3-, and OCn-capacity level services, as well as dark fiber, dedicated to a particular customer or carrier.

(2) Availability.

(i) Entrance facilities. An incumbent LEC is not obligated to provide a requesting carrier with unbundled access to dedicated transport that does not connect a pair of incumbent LEC wire centers.

(ii) Dedicated DS1 transport. Dedicated DS1 transport shall be made available to requesting carriers on an unbundled basis as set forth in paragraphs (d)(2)(ii)(A) and (B) of this section. Dedicated DS1 transport consists of incumbent LEC interoffice transmission facilities that have a total digital signal speed of 1.544 megabytes per second and are dedicated to a particular customer or carrier.

(A) General availability of DS1 transport. Incumbent LECs shall unbundle DS1 transport between any pair of incumbent LEC wire centers except where, through application of tier classifications described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, both wire centers defining the route are Tier 1 wire centers. As such, an incumbent LEC must unbundle DS1 transport if a wire center at either end of a requested route is not a Tier 1 wire center, or if neither is a Tier 1 wire center.

(B) Cap on unbundled DS1 transport circuits. A requesting telecommunications carrier may obtain a maximum of ten unbundled DS1 dedicated transport circuits on each route where DS1 dedicated transport is available on an unbundled basis.

(iii) Dedicated DS3 transport. Dedicated DS3 transport shall be made available to requesting carriers on an unbundled basis as set forth in paragraphs (d)(2)(iii)(A) and(B) of this section. Dedicated DS3 transport consists of incumbent LEC interoffice transmission facilities that have a total digital signal speed of 44.736 megabytes per second and are dedicated to a particular customer or carrier.

(A) General availability of DS3 transport. Incumbent LECs shall unbundle DS3 transport between any pair of incumbent LEC wire centers except where, through application of tier classifications described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, both wire centers defining the route are either Tier 1 or Tier 2 wire centers. As such, an incumbent LEC must unbundle DS3 transport if a wire center on either end of a requested route is a Tier 3 wire center.

(B) Cap on unbundled DS3 transport circuits. A requesting telecommunications carrier may obtain a maximum of 12 unbundled DS3 dedicated transport circuits on each route where DS3 dedicated transport is available on an unbundled basis.

(iv) Dark fiber transport. Dark fiber transport consists of unactivated optical interoffice transmission facilities. Incumbent LECs shall unbundle dark fiber transport between any pair of incumbent LEC wire centers except where, through application of tier classifications described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, both wire centers defining the route are either Tier 1 or Tier 2 wire centers. An incumbent LEC must unbundle dark fiber transport if a wire center on either end of a requested route is a Tier 3 wire center.

(3) Wire center tier structure. For purposes of this section, incumbent LEC wire centers shall be classified into three tiers, defined as follows:

(i) Tier 1 wire centers are those incumbent LEC wire centers that contain at least four fiber-based collocators, at least 38,000 business lines, or both. Tier 1 wire centers also are those incumbent LEC tandem switching locations that have no line-side switching facilities, but nevertheless serve as a point of traffic aggregation accessible by competitive LECs. Once a wire center is determined to be a Tier 1 wire center, that wire center is not subject to later reclassification as a Tier 2 or Tier 3 wire center.

(ii) Tier 2 wire centers are those incumbent LEC wire centers that are not Tier 1 wire centers, but contain at least 3 fiber-based collocators, at least 24,000 business lines, or both. Once a wire center is determined to be a Tier 2 wire center, that wire center is not subject to later reclassification as a Tier 3 wire center.

(iii) Tier 3 wire centers are those incumbent LEC wire centers that do not meet the criteria for Tier 1 or Tier 2 wire centers.

(4) Routine network modifications. (i) An incumbent LEC shall make all routine network modifications to unbundled dedicated transport facilities used by requesting telecommunications carriers where the requested dedicated transport facilities have already been constructed. An incumbent LEC shall perform all routine network modifications to unbundled dedicated transport facilities in a nondiscriminatory fashion, without regard to whether the facility being accessed was constructed on behalf, or in accordance with the specifications, of any carrier.

(ii) A routine network modification is an activity that the incumbent LEC regularly undertakes for its own customers. Routine network modifications include, but are not limited to, rearranging or splicing of cable; adding an equipment case; adding a doubler or repeater; installing a repeater shelf; and deploying a new multiplexer or reconfiguring an existing multiplexer. They also include activities needed to enable a requesting telecommunications carrier to light a dark fiber transport facility. Routine network modifications may entail activities such as accessing manholes, deploying bucket trucks to reach aerial cable, and installing equipment casings. Routine network modifications do not include the installation of new aerial or buried cable for a requesting telecommunications carrier.

(e) 911 and E911 databases. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to 911 and E911 databases on an unbundled basis, in accordance with section 251(c)(3) of the Act and this part.

(f) Operations support systems. An incumbent LEC shall provide a requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to operations support systems on an unbundled basis, in accordance with section 251(c)(3) of the Act and this part. Operations support system functions consist of pre-ordering, ordering, provisioning, maintenance and repair, and billing functions supported by an incumbent LEC's databases and information. An incumbent LEC, as part of its duty to provide access to the pre-ordering function, shall provide the requesting telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to the same detailed information about the loop that is available to the incumbent LEC.

[68 FR 52295, Sept. 4, 2003, as amended at 68 FR 64000, Nov. 12, 2003; 69 FR 54591, Sept. 9, 2004; 69 FR 77953, Dec. 29, 2004; 70 FR 8953, Feb. 24, 2005:78 FR 5746, Jan. 28, 2013]

§51.320   Assumption of responsibility by the Commission.

If a state commission fails to exercise its authority under §51.319, any party seeking that the Commission step into the role of the state commission shall file with the Commission and serve on the state commission a petition that explains with specificity the bases for the petition and information that supports the claim that the state commission has failed to act. Subsequent to the Commission's issuing a public notice and soliciting comments on the petition from interested parties, the Commission will rule on the petition within 90 days of the date of the public notice. If it agrees that the state commission has failed to act, the Commission will assume responsibility for the proceeding, and within nine months from the date it assumed responsibility for the proceeding, make any findings in accordance with the Commission's rules.

[68 FR 52305, Sept. 2, 2003]

§51.321   Methods of obtaining interconnection and access to unbundled elements under section 251 of the Act.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, an incumbent LEC shall provide, on terms and conditions that are just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory in accordance with the requirements of this part, any technically feasible method of obtaining interconnection or access to unbundled network elements at a particular point upon a request by a telecommunications carrier.

(b) Technically feasible methods of obtaining interconnection or access to unbundled network elements include, but are not limited to:

(1) Physical collocation and virtual collocation at the premises of an incumbent LEC; and

(2) Meet point interconnection arrangements.

(c) A previously successful method of obtaining interconnection or access to unbundled network elements at a particular premises or point on any incumbent LEC's network is substantial evidence that such method is technically feasible in the case of substantially similar network premises or points. A requesting telecommunications carrier seeking a particular collocation arrangement, either physical or virtual, is entitled to a presumption that such arrangement is technically feasible if any LEC has deployed such collocation arrangement in any incumbent LEC premises.

(d) An incumbent LEC that denies a request for a particular method of obtaining interconnection or access to unbundled network elements on the incumbent LEC's network must prove to the state commission that the requested method of obtaining interconnection or access to unbundled network elements at that point is not technically feasible.

(e) An incumbent LEC shall not be required to provide for physical collocation of equipment necessary for interconnection or access to unbundled network elements at the incumbent LEC's premises if it demonstrates to the state commission that physical collocation is not practical for technical reasons or because of space limitations. In such cases, the incumbent LEC shall be required to provide virtual collocation, except at points where the incumbent LEC proves to the state commission that virtual collocation is not technically feasible. If virtual collocation is not technically feasible, the incumbent LEC shall provide other methods of interconnection and access to unbundled network elements to the extent technically feasible.

(f) An incumbent LEC shall submit to the state commission, subject to any protective order as the state commission may deem necessary, detailed floor plans or diagrams of any premises where the incumbent LEC claims that physical collocation is not practical because of space limitations. These floor plans or diagrams must show what space, if any, the incumbent LEC or any of its affiliates has reserved for future use, and must describe in detail the specific future uses for which the space has been reserved and the length of time for each reservation. An incumbent LEC that contends space for physical collocation is not available in an incumbent LEC premises must also allow the requesting carrier to tour the entire premises in question, not only the area in which space was denied, without charge, within ten days of the receipt of the incumbent's denial of space. An incumbent LEC must allow a requesting telecommunications carrier reasonable access to its selected collocation space during construction.

(g) An incumbent LEC that is classified as a Class A company under §32.11 of this chapter and that is not a National Exchange Carrier Association interstate tariff participant as provided in part 69, subpart G, shall continue to provide expanded interconnection service pursuant to interstate tariff in accordance with §§64.1401, 64.1402, 69.121 of this chapter, and the Commission's other requirements.

(h) Upon request, an incumbent LEC must submit to the requesting carrier within ten days of the submission of the request a report describing in detail the space that is available for collocation in a particular incumbent LEC premises. This report must specify the amount of collocation space available at each requested premises, the number of collocators, and any modifications in the use of the space since the last report. This report must also include measures that the incumbent LEC is taking to make additional space available for collocation. The incumbent LEC must maintain a publicly available document, posted for viewing on the incumbent LEC's publicly available Internet site, indicating all premises that are full, and must update such a document within ten days of the date at which a premises runs out of physical collocation space.

(i) An incumbent LEC must, upon request, remove obsolete unused equipment from their premises to increase the amount of space available for collocation.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 28, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 23241, Apr. 30, 1999; 65 FR 54438, Sept. 8, 2000; 66 FR 43521, Aug. 20, 2001]

§51.323   Standards for physical collocation and virtual collocation.

(a) An incumbent LEC shall provide physical collocation and virtual collocation to requesting telecommunications carriers.

(b) An incumbent LEC shall permit the collocation and use of any equipment necessary for interconnection or access to unbundled network elements.

(1) Equipment is necessary for interconnection if an inability to deploy that equipment would, as a practical, economic, or operational matter, preclude the requesting carrier from obtaining interconnection with the incumbent LEC at a level equal in quality to that which the incumbent obtains within its own network or the incumbent provides to any affiliate, subsidiary, or other party.

(2) Equipment is necessary for access to an unbundled network element if an inability to deploy that equipment would, as a practical, economic, or operational matter, preclude the requesting carrier from obtaining nondiscriminatory access to that unbundled network element, including any of its features, functions, or capabilities.

(3) Multi-functional equipment shall be deemed necessary for interconnection or access to an unbundled network element if and only if the primary purpose and function of the equipment, as the requesting carrier seeks to deploy it, meets either or both of the standards set forth in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section. For a piece of equipment to be utilized primarily to obtain equal in quality interconnection or nondiscriminatory access to one or more unbundled network elements, there also must be a logical nexus between the additional functions the equipment would perform and the telecommunication services the requesting carrier seeks to provide to its customers by means of the interconnection or unbundled network element. The collocation of those functions of the equipment that, as stand-alone functions, do not meet either of the standards set forth in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section must not cause the equipment to significantly increase the burden on the incumbent's property.

(c) Whenever an incumbent LEC objects to collocation of equipment by a requesting telecommunications carrier for purposes within the scope of section 251(c)(6) of the Act, the incumbent LEC shall prove to the state commission that the equipment is not necessary for interconnection or access to unbundled network elements under the standards set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. An incumbent LEC may not object to the collocation of equipment on the grounds that the equipment does not comply with safety or engineering standards that are more stringent than the safety or engineering standards that the incumbent LEC applies to its own equipment. An incumbent LEC may not object to the collocation of equipment on the ground that the equipment fails to comply with Network Equipment and Building Specifications performance standards or any other performance standards. An incumbent LEC that denies collocation of a competitor's equipment, citing safety standards, must provide to the competitive LEC within five business days of the denial a list of all equipment that the incumbent LEC locates at the premises in question, together with an affidavit attesting that all of that equipment meets or exceeds the safety standard that the incumbent LEC contends the competitor's equipment fails to meet. This affidavit must set forth in detail: the exact safety requirement that the requesting carrier's equipment does not satisfy; the incumbent LEC's basis for concluding that the requesting carrier's equipment does not meet this safety requirement; and the incumbent LEC's basis for concluding why collocation of equipment not meeting this safety requirement would compromise network safety.

(d) When an incumbent LEC provides physical collocation, virtual collocation, or both, the incumbent LEC shall:

(1) Provide an interconnection point or points, physically accessible by both the incumbent LEC and the collocating telecommunications carrier, at which the fiber optic cable carrying an interconnector's circuits can enter the incumbent LEC's premises, provided that the incumbent LEC shall designate interconnection points as close as reasonably possible to its premises;

(2) Provide at least two such interconnection points at each incumbent LEC premises at which there are at least two entry points for the incumbent LEC's cable facilities, and at which space is available for new facilities in at least two of those entry points;

(3) Permit interconnection of copper or coaxial cable if such interconnection is first approved by the state commission; and

(4) Permit physical collocation of microwave transmission facilities except where such collocation is not practical for technical reasons or because of space limitations, in which case virtual collocation of such facilities is required where technically feasible.

(e) When providing virtual collocation, an incumbent LEC shall, at a minimum, install, maintain, and repair collocated equipment meeting the standards set forth in paragraph (b) of this section within the same time periods and with failure rates that are no greater than those that apply to the performance of similar functions for comparable equipment of the incumbent LEC itself.

(f) An incumbent LEC shall provide space for the collocation of equipment meeting the standards set forth in paragraph (b) of this section in accordance with the following requirements:

(1) An incumbent LEC shall make space available within or on its premises to requesting telecommunications carriers on a first-come, first-served basis, provided, however, that the incumbent LEC shall not be required to lease or construct additional space to provide for physical collocation when existing space has been exhausted;

(2) To the extent possible, an incumbent LEC shall make contiguous space available to requesting telecommunications carriers that seek to expand their existing collocation space;

(3) When planning renovations of existing facilities or constructing or leasing new facilities, an incumbent LEC shall take into account projected demand for collocation of equipment;

(4) An incumbent LEC may retain a limited amount of floor space for its own specific future uses, provided, however, that neither the incumbent LEC nor any of its affiliates may reserve space for future use on terms more favorable than those that apply to other telecommunications carriers seeking to reserve collocation space for their own future use;

(5) An incumbent LEC shall relinquish any space held for future use before denying a request for virtual collocation on the grounds of space limitations, unless the incumbent LEC proves to the state commission that virtual collocation at that point is not technically feasible; and

(6) An incumbent LEC may impose reasonable restrictions on the warehousing of unused space by collocating telecommunications carriers, provided, however, that the incumbent LEC shall not set maximum space limitations applicable to such carriers unless the incumbent LEC proves to the state commission that space constraints make such restrictions necessary.

(7) An incumbent LEC must assign collocation space to requesting carriers in a just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory manner. An incumbent LEC must allow each carrier requesting physical collocation to submit space preferences prior to assigning physical collocation space to that carrier. At a minimum, an incumbent LEC's space assignment policies and practices must meet the following principles:

(A) An incumbent LEC's space assignment policies and practices must not materially increase a requesting carrier's collocation costs.

(B) An incumbent LEC's space assignment policies and practices must not materially delay a requesting carrier occupation and use of the incumbent LEC's premises.

(C) An incumbent LEC must not assign physical collocation space that will impair the quality of service or impose other limitations on the service a requesting carrier wishes to offer.

(D) An incumbent LEC's space assignment policies and practices must not reduce unreasonably the total space available for physical collocation or preclude unreasonably physical collocation within the incumbent's premises.

(g) An incumbent LEC shall permit collocating telecommunications carriers to collocate equipment and connect such equipment to unbundled network transmission elements obtained from the incumbent LEC, and shall not require such telecommunications carriers to bring their own transmission facilities to the incumbent LEC's premises in which they seek to collocate equipment.

(h) As described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this section, an incumbent LEC shall permit a collocating telecommunications carrier to interconnect its network with that of another collocating telecommunications carrier at the incumbent LEC's premises and to connect its collocated equipment to the collocated equipment of another telecommunications carrier within the same premises, provided that the collocated equipment is also used for interconnection with the incumbent LEC or for access to the incumbent LEC's unbundled network elements.

(1) An incumbent LEC shall provide, at the request of a collocating telecommunications carrier, a connection between the equipment in the collocated spaces of two or more telecommunications carriers, except to the extent the incumbent LEC permits the collocating parties to provide the requested connection for themselves or a connection is not required under paragraph (h)(2) of this section. Where technically feasible, the incumbent LEC shall provide the connection using copper, dark fiber, lit fiber, or other transmission medium, as requested by the collocating telecommunications carrier.

(2) An incumbent LEC is not required to provide a connection between the equipment in the collocated spaces of two or more telecommunications carriers if the connection is requested pursuant to section 201 of the Act, unless the requesting carrier submits to the incumbent LEC a certification that more than 10 percent of the amount of traffic to be transmitted through the connection will be interstate. The incumbent LEC cannot refuse to accept the certification, but instead must provision the service promptly. Any incumbent LEC may file a section 208 complaint with the Commission challenging the certification if it believes that the certification is deficient. No such certification is required for a request for such connection under section 251 of the Act.

(i) As provided herein, an incumbent LEC may require reasonable security arrangements to protect its equipment and ensure network reliability. An incumbent LEC may only impose security arrangements that are as stringent as the security arrangements that the incumbent LEC maintains at its own premises for its own employees or authorized contractors. An incumbent LEC must allow collocating parties to access their collocated equipment 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without requiring either a security escort of any kind or delaying a competitor's employees' entry into the incumbent LEC's premises. An incumbent LEC may require a collocating carrier to pay only for the least expensive, effective security option that is viable for the physical collocation space assigned. Reasonable security measures that the incumbent LEC may adopt include:

(1) Installing security cameras or other monitoring systems; or

(2) Requiring competitive LEC personnel to use badges with computerized tracking systems; or

(3) Requiring competitive LEC employees to undergo the same level of security training, or its equivalent, that the incumbent's own employees, or third party contractors providing similar functions, must undergo; provided, however, that the incumbent LEC may not require competitive LEC employees to receive such training from the incumbent LEC itself, but must provide information to the competitive LEC on the specific type of training required so the competitive LEC's employees can conduct their own training.

(4) Restricting physical collocation to space separated from space housing the incumbent LEC's equipment, provided that each of the following conditions is met:

(i) Either legitimate security concerns, or operational constraints unrelated to the incumbent's or any of its affiliates' or subsidiaries competitive concerns, warrant such separation;

(ii) Any physical collocation space assigned to an affiliate or subsidiary of the incumbent LEC is separated from space housing the incumbent LEC's equipment;

(iii) The separated space will be available in the same time frame as, or a shorter time frame than, non-separated space;

(iv) The cost of the separated space to the requesting carrier will not be materially higher than the cost of non-separated space; and

(v) The separated space is comparable, from a technical and engineering standpoint, to non-separated space.

(5) Requiring the employees and contractors of collocating carriers to use a central or separate entrance to the incumbent's building, provided, however, that where an incumbent LEC requires that the employees or contractors of collocating carriers access collocated equipment only through a separate entrance, employees and contractors of the incumbent LEC's affiliates and subsidiaries must be subject to the same restriction.

(6) Constructing or requiring the construction of a separate entrance to access physical collocation space, provided that each of the following conditions is met:

(i) Construction of a separate entrance is technically feasible;

(ii) Either legitimate security concerns, or operational constraints unrelated to the incumbent's or any of its affiliates' or subsidiaries competitive concerns, warrant such separation;

(iii) Construction of a separate entrance will not artificially delay collocation provisioning; and

(iv) Construction of a separate entrance will not materially increase the requesting carrier's costs.

(j) An incumbent LEC shall permit a collocating telecommunications carrier to subcontract the construction of physical collocation arrangements with contractors approved by the incumbent LEC, provided, however, that the incumbent LEC shall not unreasonably withhold approval of contractors. Approval by an incumbent LEC shall be based on the same criteria it uses in approving contractors for its own purposes.

(k) An incumbent LEC's physical collocation offering must include the following:

(1) Shared collocation cages. A shared collocation cage is a caged collocation space shared by two or more competitive LECs pursuant to terms and conditions agreed to by the competitive LECs. In making shared cage arrangements available, an incumbent LEC may not increase the cost of site preparation or nonrecurring charges above the cost for provisioning such a cage of similar dimensions and material to a single collocating party. In addition, the incumbent must prorate the charge for site conditioning and preparation undertaken by the incumbent to construct the shared collocation cage or condition the space for collocation use, regardless of how many carriers actually collocate in that cage, by determining the total charge for site preparation and allocating that charge to a collocating carrier based on the percentage of the total space utilized by that carrier. An incumbent LEC must make shared collocation space available in single-bay increments or their equivalent, i.e., a competing carrier can purchase space in increments small enough to collocate a single rack, or bay, of equipment.

(2) Cageless collocation. Incumbent LECs must allow competitors to collocate without requiring the construction of a cage or similar structure. Incumbent LECs must permit collocating carriers to have direct access to their equipment. An incumbent LEC may not require competitors to use an intermediate interconnection arrangement in lieu of direct connection to the incumbent's network if technically feasible. An incumbent LEC must make cageless collocation space available in single-bay increments, meaning that a competing carrier can purchase space in increments small enough to collocate a single rack, or bay, of equipment.

(3) Adjacent space collocation. An incumbent LEC must make available, where physical collocation space is legitimately exhausted in a particular incumbent LEC structure, collocation in adjacent controlled environmental vaults, controlled environmental huts, or similar structures located at the incumbent LEC premises to the extent technically feasible. The incumbent LEC must permit a requesting telecommunications carrier to construct or otherwise procure such an adjacent structure, subject only to reasonable safety and maintenance requirements. The incumbent must provide power and physical collocation services and facilities, subject to the same nondiscrimination requirements as applicable to any other physical collocation arrangement. The incumbent LEC must permit the requesting carrier to place its own equipment, including, but not limited to, copper cables, coaxial cables, fiber cables, and telecommunications equipment, in adjacent facilities constructed by the incumbent LEC, the requesting carrier, or a third-party. If physical collocation space becomes available in a previously exhausted incumbent LEC structure, the incumbent LEC must not require a carrier to move, or prohibit a competitive LEC from moving, a collocation arrangement into that structure. Instead, the incumbent LEC must continue to allow the carrier to collocate in any adjacent controlled environmental vault, controlled environmental vault, or similar structure that the carrier has constructed or otherwise procured.

(l) An incumbent LEC must offer to provide and provide all forms of physical collocation (i.e., caged, cageless, shared, and adjacent) within the following deadlines, except to the extent a state sets its own deadlines or the incumbent LEC has demonstrated to the state commission that physical collocation is not practical for technical reasons or because of space limitations.

(1) Within ten days after receiving an application for physical collocation, an incumbent LEC must inform the requesting carrier whether the application meets each of the incumbent LEC's established collocation standards. A requesting carrier that resubmits a revised application curing any deficiencies in an application for physical collocation within ten days after being informed of them retains its position within any collocation queue that the incumbent LEC maintains pursuant to paragraph (f)(1) of this section.

(2) Except as stated in paragraphs (l)(3) and (l)(4) of this section, an incumbent LEC must complete provisioning of a requested physical collocation arrangement within 90 days after receiving an application that meets the incumbent LEC's established collocation application standards.

(3) An incumbent LEC need not meet the deadline set forth in paragraph (l)(2) of this section if, after receipt of any price quotation provided by the incumbent LEC, the telecommunications carrier requesting collocation does not notify the incumbent LEC that physical collocation should proceed.

(4) If, within seven days of the requesting carrier's receipt of any price quotation provided by the incumbent LEC, the telecommunications carrier requesting collocation does not notify the incumbent LEC that physical collocation should proceed, then the incumbent LEC need not complete provisioning of a requested physical collocation arrangement until 90 days after receiving such notification from the requesting telecommunications carrier.

[61 FR 45619, Aug. 28, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 23242, Apr. 30, 1999; 65 FR 54439, Sept. 8, 2000; 66 FR 43521, Aug. 20, 2001]

§51.325   Notice of network changes: Public notice requirement.

(a) An incumbent local exchange carrier (“LEC”) must provide public notice regarding any network change that:

(1) Will affect a competing service provider's performance or ability to provide service;

(2) Will affect the incumbent LEC's interoperability with other service providers; or

(3) Will affect the manner in which customer premises equipment is attached to the interstate network.

(4) Will result in the retirement of copper loops or copper subloops, and the replacement of such loops with fiber-to-the-home loops or fiber-to-the-curb loops, as those terms are defined in §51.319(a)(3).

(b) For purposes of this section, interoperability means the ability of two or more facilities, or networks, to be connected, to exchange information, and to use the information that has been exchanged.

(c) Until public notice has been given in accordance with §§51.325 through 51.335, an incumbent LEC may not disclose to separate affiliates, separated affiliates, or unaffiliated entities (including actual or potential competing service providers or competitors), information about planned network changes that are subject to this section.

(d) For the purposes of §§51.325 through 51.335, the term services means telecommunications services or information services.

[61 FR 47351, Sept. 6, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 14148, Mar. 24, 1999; 68 FR 52305, Sept. 2, 2003; 69 FR 77954, Dec. 29, 2004]

§51.327   Notice of network changes: Content of notice.

(a) Public notice of planned network changes must, at a minimum, include:

(1) The carrier's name and address;

(2) The name and telephone number of a contact person who can supply additional information regarding the planned changes;

(3) The implementation date of the planned changes;

(4) The location(s) at which the changes will occur;

(5) A description of the type of changes planned (Information provided to satisfy this requirement must include, as applicable, but is not limited to, references to technical specifications, protocols, and standards regarding transmission, signaling, routing, and facility assignment as well as references to technical standards that would be applicable to any new technologies or equipment, or that may otherwise affect interconnection); and

(6) A description of the reasonably foreseeable impact of the planned changes.

(b) The incumbent LEC also shall follow, as necessary, procedures relating to confidential or proprietary information contained in §51.335.

[61 FR 47351, Sept. 6, 1996]

§51.329   Notice of network changes: Methods for providing notice.

(a) In providing the required notice to the public of network changes, an incumbent LEC may use one of the following methods:

(1) Filing a public notice with the Commission; or

(2) Providing public notice through industry fora, industry publications, or the carrier's publicly accessible Internet site. If an incumbent LEC uses any of the methods specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, it also must file a certification with the Commission that includes:

(i) A statement that identifies the proposed changes;

(ii) A statement that public notice has been given in compliance with §§51.325 through 51.335; and

(iii) A statement identifying the location of the change information and describing how this information can be obtained.

(b) Until the planned change is implemented, an incumbent LEC must keep the notice available for public inspection, and amend the notice to keep the information complete, accurate and up-to-date.

(c) Specific filing requirements. Commission filings under this section must be made as follows:

(1) The public notice or certification must be labeled with one of the following titles, as appropriate: “Public Notice of Network Change Under Rule 51.329(a),” “Certification of Public Notice of Network Change Under Rule 51.329(a),” “Short Term Public Notice Under Rule 51.333(a),” or “Certification of Short Term Public Notice Under Rule 51.333(a).”

(2) Two paper copies of the incumbent LEC's public notice or certification, required under paragraph (a) of this section, must be sent to “Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC 20554.” The date on which this filing is received by the Secretary is considered the official filing date.

[61 FR 47351, Sept. 6, 1996, as amended at 67 FR 13225, Mar. 21, 2002; 71 FR 65750, Nov. 9, 2006]

§51.331   Notice of network changes: Timing of notice.

(a) An incumbent LEC shall give public notice of planned changes at the make/buy point, as defined in paragraph (b) of this section, but at least 12 months before implementation, except as provided below:

(1) If the changes can be implemented within twelve months of the make/buy point, public notice must be given at the make/buy point, but at least six months before implementation.

(2) If the changes can be implemented within six months of the make/buy point, public notice may be given pursuant to the short term notice procedures provided in §51.333.

(b) For purposes of this section, the make/buy point is the time at which an incumbent LEC decides to make for itself, or to procure from another entity, any product the design of which affects or relies on a new or changed network interface. If an incumbent LEC's planned changes do not require it to make or to procure a product, then the make/buy point is the point at which the incumbent LEC makes a definite decision to implement a network change.

(1) For purposes of this section, a product is any hardware r software for use in an incumbent LEC's network or in conjunction with its facilities that, when installed, could affect the compatibility of an interconnected service provider's network, facilities or services with an incumbent LEC's existing telephone network, facilities or services, or with any of an incumbent carrier's services or capabilities.

(2) For purposes of this section a definite decision is reached when an incumbent LEC determines that the change is warranted, establishes a timetable for anticipated implementation, and takes any action toward implementation of the change within its network.

(c) Competing service providers may object to incumbent LEC notice of retirement of copper loops or copper subloops and replacement with fiber-to-the-home loops or fiber-to-the-curb loops in the manner set forth in §51.333(c).

[61 FR 47352, Sept. 6, 1996, as amended at 68 FR 52305, Sept. 2, 2003; 69 FR 77954, Dec. 29, 2004]

§51.333   Notice of network changes: Short term notice, objections thereto and objections to retirement of copper loops or copper subloops.

(a) Certificate of service. If an incumbent LEC wishes to provide less than six months notice of planned network changes, the public notice or certification that it files with the Commission must include a certificate of service in addition to the information required by §51.327(a) or §51.329(a)(2), as applicable. The certificate of service shall include:

(1) A statement that, at least five business days in advance of its filing with the Commission, the incumbent LEC served a copy of its public notice upon each telephone exchange service provider that directly interconnects with the incumbent LEC's network; and

(2) The name and address of each such telephone exchange service provider upon which the notice was served.

(b) Implementation date. The Commission will release a public notice of filings of such short term notices or notices of replacement of copper loops or copper subloops with fiber-to-the-home loops or fiber-to-the-curb loops. The effective date of the network changes referenced in those filings shall be subject to the following requirements:

(1) Short term notice. Short term notices shall be deemed final on the tenth business day after the release of the Commission's public notice, unless an objection is filed pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section.

(2) Replacement of copper loops or copper subloops with fiber-to-the-home loops or fiber-to-the-curb loops. Notices of replacement of copper loops or copper subloops with fiber-to-the-home loops or fiber-to-the-curb loops shall be deemed approved on the 90th day after the release of the Commission's public notice of the filing, unless an objection is filed pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section. Incumbent LEC notice of intent to retire any copper loops or copper subloops and replace such loops or subloops with fiber-to-the-home loops or fiber-to-the-curb loops shall be subject to the short term notice provisions of this section, but under no circumstances may an incumbent LEC provide less than 90 days notice of such a change.

(c) Objection procedures for short term notice and notices of replacement of copper loops or copper subloops with fiber-to-the-home loops or fiber-to-the-curb loops. An objection to an incumbent LEC's short term notice or to its notice that it intends to retire copper loops or copper subloops and replace such loops or subloops with fiber-to-the-home loops or fiber-to-the-curb loops may be filed by an information service provider or telecommunications service provider that directly interconnects with the incumbent LEC's network. Such objections must be filed with the Commission, and served on the incumbent LEC, no later than the ninth business day following the release of the Commission's public notice. All objections filed under this section must:

(1) State specific reasons why the objector cannot accommodate the incumbent LEC's changes by the date stated in the incumbent LEC's public notice and must indicate any specific technical information or other assistance required that would enable the objector to accommodate those changes;

(2) List steps the objector is taking to accommodate the incumbent LEC's changes on an expedited basis;

(3) State the earliest possible date (not to exceed six months from the date the incumbent LEC gave its original public notice under this section) by which the objector anticipates that it can accommodate the incumbent LEC's changes, assuming it receives the technical information or other assistance requested under paragraph (c)(1) of this section;

(4) Provide any other information relevant to the objection; and

(5) Provide the following affidavit, executed by the objector's president, chief executive officer, or other corporate officer or official, who has appropriate authority to bind the corporation, and knowledge of the details of the objector's inability to adjust its network on a timely basis:

“I, (name and title), under oath and subject to penalty for perjury, certify that I have read this objection, that the statements contained in it are true, that there is good ground to support the objection, and that it is not interposed for purposes of delay. I have appropriate authority to make this certification on behalf of (objector) and I agree to provide any information the Commission may request to allow the Commission to evaluate the truthfulness and validity of the statements contained in this objection.”

(d) Response to objections. If an objection is filed, an incumbent LEC shall have until no later than the fourteenth business day following the release of the Commission's public notice to file with the Commission a response to the objection and to serve the response on all parties that filed objections. An incumbent LEC's response must:

(1) Provide information responsive to the allegations and concerns identified by the objectors;

(2) State whether the implementation date(s) proposed by the objector(s) are acceptable;

(3) Indicate any specific technical assistance that the incumbent LEC is willing to give to the objectors; and

(4) Provide any other relevant information.

(e) Resolution. If an objection is filed pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, then the Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau, will issue an order determining a reasonable public notice period, provided however, that if an incumbent LEC does not file a response within the time period allotted, or if the incumbent LEC's response accepts the latest implementation date stated by an objector, then the incumbent LEC's public notice shall be deemed amended to specify the implementation date requested by the objector, without further Commission action. An incumbent LEC must amend its public notice to reflect any change in the applicable implementation date pursuant to §51.329(b).

(f) Resolution of objections to replacement of copper loops or copper subloops with fiber-to-the-home loops or fiber-to-the-curb loops. An objection to a notice that an incumbent LEC intends to retire any copper loops or copper subloops and replace such loops or subloops with fiber-to-the-home loops or fiber-to-the-curb loops shall be deemed denied 90 days after the date on which the Commission releases public notice of the incumbent LEC filing, unless the Commission rules otherwise within that time. Until the Commission has either ruled on an objection or the 90-day period for the Commission's consideration has expired, an incumbent LEC may not retire those copper loops or copper subloops at issue for replacement with fiber-to-the-home loops or fiber-to-the-curb loops.

[61 FR 47352, Sept. 6, 1996, as amended at 67 FR 13226, Mar. 21, 2002; 68 FR 52305, Sept. 2, 2003; 69 FR 77954; Dec. 29, 2004]

§51.335   Notice of network changes: Confidential or proprietary information.

(a) If an incumbent LEC claims that information otherwise required to be disclosed is confidential or proprietary, the incumbent LEC's public notice must include, in addition to the information identified in §51.327(a), a statement that the incumbent LEC will make further information available to those signing a nondisclosure agreement.

(b) Tolling the public notice period. Upon receipt by an incumbent LEC of a competing service provider's request for disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, the applicable public notice period will be tolled until the parties agree on the terms of a nondisclosure agreement. An incumbent LEC receiving such a request must amend its public notice as follows:

(1) On the date it receives a request from a competing service provider for disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, to state that the notice period is tolled; and

(2) On the date the nondisclosure agreement is finalized, to specify a new implementation date.

[61 FR 47352, Sept. 6, 1996]



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