Telecommunications Act of 1996

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Telecommunications Act of 1996

Telecommunications legislation passed by the U.S. Congress in 1996. Although it covers many aspects of the field, the most controversial has been the deregulation of local phone service, allowing competition in this arena for the first time. Long-distance carriers (IXCs) and cable TV companies can get into the local phone business, while local telcos (the LECs) can get into long distance. Some of the major provisions follow.

Section 251 - Allows states to regulate prices in the local access market.

Section 254 - Extends universal service to everyone no matter how rural, even if others have to subsidize the expense. See traffic pumping.

Section 271 - Provides a 14-point checklist of requirements for RBOCs to offer intrastate long-distance service.

It Wasn't a Picnic

The RBOCs thought the Act would be a road map for getting into long distance in exchange for ending their local monopolies. What they got were 700 pages of dubious rules that made "deregulating" as complicated as any regulated industry could be. The RBOCs claimed that the Act discriminated against them and that other large telephone companies received more favorable treatment. Complaints and lawsuits ensued.

The Act required that the RBOCs offer competitors access to their local networks at reasonable rates, but both the Supreme Court (1999) and appeals court (2002) said that the FCC should not be deciding how the RBOCs should foster their own competition by unbundling their network services. In 2003, the FCC decided not to force the RBOCs into leasing high-speed lines to competitors. In March 2004, the appeals court upheld that ruling and also overturned a ruling that required the RBOCs to give wireless companies access to their networks. The 2004 rulings were applauded by the RBOCs.
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She discussed some of the rural issues that might be addressed by the rewrite of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.
For local elected officials, the 1996 Telecommunications Act affected local land use decisions, public rights-of-way prerogatives and authority over various telecommunications services.
U S WEST plans to continue working with the FCC to ensure that "specific, predictable, and sufficient" support for rural America as promised by Congress in the 1996 Telecommunications Act is available for rural customers during 1999.
The increase is the result of the 1996 Telecommunications Act passed by Congress to deregulate the phone industry and boost competition in local phone service.
Upon the introduction of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, Bungeroth championed Cumulus' continued growth and led the team in taking the company public.
On behalf of all broadband service providers and their customers, we are calling on the FCC to exercise its authority under the 1996 Telecommunications Act to end the inequity among competitive broadband providers as a result of the discriminatory and anti-competitive rules currently in place.
The site includes comprehensive information about such telecom topics as universal service, spectrum management, wireless communications, implementation of the 1996 Telecommunications Act and 3G wireless, as well as related links and a glossary of technology and telecom terms.
About 150 local governments have built telecommunications networks, most sparked by the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which was intended to bring consumers more choices.
Dorgan said the FCC hasn't taken the right path in addressing the fund since the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.
That was one of the requirements of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.
The signing of the 1996 Telecommunications Act redefined the rules to the local telecommunications game.
THE 1996 TELECOMMUNICATIONS Act was one of the most lobbied bills in history.