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Republican leaders recommend postponing FCC regulations

Following the presidential election, Republican leaders suggest the FCC take a pause in voting on any new FCC regulations. Plus, Facebook turns its attention to telecom.

In telecom news: After Donald Trump's election win, some members of the Republican Party have urged the Federal Communications Commission to postpone passing any new FCC regulations; Facebook looks to disrupt the telecom industry with its new white box transponder; CenturyLink and Level 3 continue with their proposed merger.

Republican leaders urge timeout for FCC regulations

Members of the Republican Party have requested Tom Wheeler, the Democrat-appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), halt progress on passing any new FCC regulations for the remainder of his time in office, according to DSLReports. The FCC has been posed to vote on some key and controversial agenda items this month, and the heads of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Communications Subcommittee, which oversees the FCC, reminded Wheeler that the new Congress and Trump's administration would likely review any controversial issues. 

The subcommittee has held hearings on controversial FCC actions of the past few years, including the passage of net-neutrality rules, reclassifying internet service providers as common carriers, implementing a higher 25 Mbps standard definition for broadband and criticizing the FCC for a lack of competition in the telecom market, DSLReports said.

President-elect Trump will appoint a new FCC chairman after he takes office in January.

According to DSLReports, many of the upcoming proposals scheduled for a vote contain controversial elements, something many political leaders want to avoid at this time. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, wrote to Wheeler, saying any action the FCC takes in the months following the election will be intensely scrutinized. He urged the FCC to "avoid directing its attention and resources in the coming months to complex, partisan or otherwise controversial items."

Republicans have confronted Wheeler before due to FCC regulations the commission passed under his leadership on net neutrality, the classification of internet service providers and his stance on market competition. Trump has historically opposed net neutrality, a fact which DSLReports said could put the current net-neutrality rules at risk.

An update on DSLReports announced the FCC would delete a handful of items from its agenda.

Facebook looks to disrupt telecom

Facebook recently introduced a brand-agnostic white box transponder, called Voyager, which advances the company's move into the telecom industry, according to ET Telecom. The Voyager platform works with Open Packet DWDM -- Facebook's push to combine packet and dense wavelength division multiplexing, or DWDM, technology to transmit over optical networks.

The company said it will contribute the white box transponder to the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), a project Facebook is involved with whose goal is to apply the collaboration and community found in Open Source projects to telecom network architecture, ET Telecom reported. Facebook also announced it would share its open source wireless access platform, OpenCellular, with TIP. These recent announcements reinforce the company's drive to affect the telecom industry, according to ET Telecom.

CenturyLink merges with Level 3

CenturyLink and Level 3 Communications, based in Broomfield, Colo., are continuing on with their proposed merger, including what they believe is the best of both companies for today's telecom climate. According to Telecompetitor, CenturyLink has announced it will continue to follow the low-cost provider approach Level 3 has maintained. This includes Level 3's strategy and practice of installing extra conduit when deploying fiber cables. By doing this, the company can allow for easier future network expansion and avoid costly construction.

With the merger, CenturyLink and Level 3 hope to become a primary enterprise carrier with an expanded national network and global reach. Together, the companies can become more credible competition with larger industry providers, according to Telecompetitor, adding that the companies hope to gain increased market share for the combined company.

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