This paper summarizes the current state and likely prospects of proposed legislation to advance incumbent local Bell telephone company interests by cutting back on their pro-competitive obligations under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 ("1996 Act").
My principle conclusion is that, while imminent passage of pro-Bell legislation is not likely, the stakes are sufficiently high that competitive interests will face continual battles in Congress, with State regulatory bodies, and in the courts to prevent the rollback of the rights originally granted to them in the 1996 Act and FCC interpretations of it.
3-year phase out of line sharing
Expanded role for states
Elimination or phasing out of ILEC unbundling requirements for fiber-related resources
Likely impact on consumers, non-profits, and small businesses
This paper is available as a single HTML file, a Microsoft Word 5.1 document, and a PDF document.
The author wishes to thank Chris Savage, partner with Cole, Raywid and Braverman in Washington D.C., for his valuable perspectives on many of the thornier issues discussed here.
Judi Clark, a NetAction Advisory Board Member, has been riding the curl of the Internet wave for over a dozen years. During that time, she has explained, instructed, illustrated, documented, written copy, set context, and provided perspectives for a wide variety of businesses, schools, and clients.