I guess this has been in the works for a bit now, but I’m just reading about it now, so it’s news to me.
One of the many new requirements stipulated in the '96 Telecommunications Act was that telcos had to provide Unbundled Network Elements (UNEs). Put simply, local telcos have to allow competitors to sell services over their infrastructure: things like the local loops, colocation space in the central office, etc. The telco lobby got a FCC proposal going to eliminate the requirement. The comments period is over now. I don’t know when it will be voted on, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Ajit and company forebear such a “burdonsome” regulation and let Big Telco have its way to drive competition out of the market.
Apparently, UNEs are relatively popular, both in urban and rural markets. This is a good overview of the situation. This describes how one small broadband provider in the Bay area used UNEs as they built a subscriber base and are building out their own fiber network. I was looking back through this guy’s blog and found a number of really interesting posts about broadband. Feel free to check it out: https://potsandpansbyccg.com/