As telecommunications companies increase rates to encourage a transition away from “outdated technologies,” CU*Answers has decided to proactively sunset all legacy copper circuits by March 31, 2023. Several credit unions have already decided to terminate their MPLS data connections. Over the next several months, CU*Answers will continue working with clients to replace MPLS connections with more affordable Internet VPNs.
Legacy copper circuits have seen multiple rate increases throughout 2022, with more on the horizon for 2023. In 2019, the Federal Communications Commission passed Order 19-72A1. This order authorizes carriers to increase monthly rates, discontinue support, or fully disconnect circuits with 60 days’ notice. Carriers have begun notifying clients of pending changes to POTS, PRI, T1, T3, and MPLS lines, with reports of some circuits increasing by over 400%.
FCC Order 19-72A1 lifted regulatory obligations from the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which were intended to establish guidelines for pricing and availability to allow for organic marketplace competition. According to paragraph three of Order 19-72A1, the request from USTelecom comes in the face of “sweeping changes in the communications marketplace” in which “the public interest is no longer served by maintaining these legacy regulatory obligations… Rather than a foothold for new entrants into the marketplace, they have become a vice, trapping incumbent LECs into preserving outdated technologies and services at the cost of a slower transition to next-generation networks.”