August 23, 2008

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today released new data on local telephone service competition in the United States. Twice a year, all incumbent local exchange carriers (incumbent LECs) and competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) are required to report basic information about their local telephone service, and all facilities-based mobile telephony providers are required to provide information about their subscribers, pursuant to the FCC's local telephone competition and broadband data gathering program (FCC Form 477). Statistics released today reflect data as of December 31, 2007.

Summary Statistics

o End-user customers obtained local telephone service by utilizing approximately 129.7 million incumbent LEC switched access lines, 28.7 million CLEC switched access lines, and 249.2 million mobile telephony service subscriptions at the end of December 2007.

o Of the 28.7 million CLEC end-user switched access lines, 8.4 million lines were provided over coaxial cable connections. The 8.4 million lines represent about 72% of the 11.7 million end-user switched access lines that CLECs reported providing over their own local loop facilities.

o Mobile telephony service providers reported 249.2 million subscribers at the end of December 2007, which is 19.6 million, or 9%, more than a year earlier. About 7% of these subscribers were billed by mobile telephony service resellers.

o There was at least one CLEC serving customers in 81% of the nation's Zip Codes at the end of December 2007. About 97% of United States households resided in those Zip Codes. Moreover, multiple carriers reported providing local telephone service in the major population centers of the country.

o The 28.7 million lines reported by CLECs is about 18% of the 158.4 million total end-user switched access lines reported for the end of December 2007.

o CLECs reported 12.1 million (or 13%) of the 93.9 million lines that served residential end users and 16.7 million (or 26%) of the 64.6 million lines that served business, institutional, and government customers.

o CLECs reported providing 41% of their end-user switched access lines over their own local loop facilities, 37% by using unbundled network elements (UNEs) that they leased from other carriers, and 22% through resale arrangements with unaffiliated carriers.

o Incumbent LECs reported providing about 11% fewer UNE loops with switching (referred to as the UNE-Platform) to unaffiliated carriers at the end of December 2007 than they reported six months earlier (5.5 million compared to 6.2 million) and about 4% fewer UNE loops without switching (4.1 million compared to 4.3 million).

o Incumbent LECs were the presubscribed interstate long distance carrier for 59% of the switched access lines they provided to end users, while CLECs were the interstate long distance carrier for 78% of their switched access lines.

As additional information becomes available, it will be posted on the Commission's Internet site. Note that, on June 12, 2008, the Commission adopted a Report and Order (FCC 08-89) that revises the Form 477 reporting requirements. The changes will become effective upon review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget.

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