Not enough phone competition? Answer: regulate more!

Declan McCullagh declan at
Thu Aug 14 13:47:42 PDT 1997

<B>Associated Press Writer<P>
	WASHINGTON (AP) - Just 18 months after Congress deregulated the
communications industry, the nation's top telephone regulator asked
lawmakers Thursday for more tools to bring Americans local phone
	"So far, scarcely any local competition has been delivered to
residential or business consumers," Federal Communications Commission
Chairman Reed Hundt said in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute.
	"We have a major challenge to introduce competition in the local
telephone markets and that challenge is not yet being met," he said.
	Hundt asked Congress to write into law provisions:
	-Giving the FCC authority to set national pricing rules for those
seeking access to local phone networks.
	-Requiring courts to defer to reasonable FCC judgments in disputes
over the telecommunications law.
	-Consolidating appeals over the telecommunications law and FCC
rules before a single unspecified court.
	-Creating a national policy to enforce the telecommunications law,
giving the FCC power to compensate injured parties. The FCC now can order
violators to stop breaking the law and fine offenders.
	Congressional hearings into the slow pace of local phone
competition are slated for this fall.
	Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Commerce Committee that
oversees telecommunications policy, said when asked about the proposals,
"I do not think that giving the FCC more authority to regulate is the

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