Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs) saw a 93% market share increase over a one-year period, capturing 8.5% of the local market as of late 2000, according to the FCC.
The FCC's new figures arrived amid the current political forore over the level of competition in the local telecom market. Specifically, telecom players large and small are bickering over the Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act of 2001, introduced this spring.
The bill is considered favourable to regional Bell companies because it seeks to remove the authority to regulate data services from the FCC and state entities.
Despite competitors' claims that the local market belongs to Baby Bells, newcomers show "robust" improvements, the FCC found in its report. For instance, one or more CLECs offer service to more than half of the nation's zip codes.
The FCC also noted that the CLECs are heavy on business customers compared to Bells: 60% of CLEC lines are strung to mid-size and large businesses. This figure compares to 20% of Bells' business, which is more heavily skewed to residential customers.