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CLECs Will Be Forced To Increase MSAP Use: Report

American competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) will invest more heavily into multiservice access platforms (MSAPs) in the near future to comply with new government regulations, according to a new Heavy Reading study.

Responding to new Federal Communications Commission rules concerning unbundled network elements (UNEs), local carriers have been shopping for MSAPs rather than IP digital subscriber line access multiplexers (DSLAMs), according to the study. Carriers are more interested in access hardware that integrates VoIP, traditional telephony, and data functionality.

In December, 2004, the FCC announced that it would rescind unbundled network element -- platform (UNE-P) rules, effective today. Under the rule change, incumbent carriers will no longer have to lease their lines to competitors at cost-based rates. Consequently, CLECs find themselves in the position of either having to renegotiate rates or find new ways to deliver broadband services.

"The most likely outcome is that CLECs will become facilities-based service providers," Heavy Reading Analyst at Large Graham Beniston said in a statement. "This will favor the deployment of MSAPs by CLECs, as they will need to offer a bundle of services, including voice and video, to compete with the incumbents."