Consider the implications of choosing a Competetive Access Provider (CAP) for telecommunications services.
Experiences from the Departments of Transportation (DOTS) of multiple states in selecting telecommunications options.
California,United States; Georgia,United States; Maryland,United States; Michigan,United States; Minnesota,United States; Missouri,United States; New York,United States; Texas,United States; Virginia,United States; Wisconsin,United States
- Plan for access fees charged by the local phone company. The local phone company will charge access fees to CAPs, so agencies will need to consider the effect of these fees on the overall cost of the telecommunications network.
- Consider how the CAP will interconnect with the local phone company's network. It is highly likely that the CAP will need to interconnect with the local phone company’s network; however, cross provider interconnects represent situations where cost is incurred and where responsibility becomes disputed if there are service problems. Thus, the form of the interconnect and how responsibility is delegated for problems along the interconnect will need to be addressed.
- Assess the specific capabilities of the CAPs and their quality of service. There may be significant differences in the capabilities of CAPs, so agencies should pay careful attention to the services that the CAPs offer. For example, some CAPs may be able to offer dark fiber or unloaded twisted pairs, while others may be limited to specific types of services. As part of this assessment, agencies should consider the quality of service provided by different CAPs (this may include measures of bit error rate, reliability, or other relevant factors).
- Assess the business stability of the CAPs under consideration. In the current deregulated environment, firms with relatively smaller assets are still able to enter the market. The long-term stability of these firms, however, may be questionable, and the agency may find itself in a long-term contract with a firm that is no longer in business in the region.
- Investigate the local manpower resources of the CAP. Agencies will want to determine that the CAP has the necessary local manpower to diagnose and respond to problems or outages.
- Consider the ability to modify the contract. Agencies will want to insure that they are able to modify their contract with a CAP to allow for growth. In order for networks to evolve and grow, agencies must be able to explore their options for interconnection and integration with other systems.
Author: Vince Pearce
Published By: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration and Federal Highway Administration
Source Date: 2000
EDL Number: 11488
Other Reference Number: FHWA-JPO-99-023/FTA-TRI-11-99-02URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/jpodocs/repts_te/11488.pdf
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