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Panels Look at Forbearance Effects, State Views

Two of todays regulatory sessions take a look at some of the unknowns in telecom.

The first session, Life After Forbearance, examines whats likely to happen if the ILECs continue getting forbearance from portions of the 1996 Telecom Act. So far the incumbents have convinced the FCC to loosen the rules governing special access and highspeed services. This means they have more leeway to deny competitors access to their networks, which jeopardizes the competitive service provider business model. Genny Morelli, a partner at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, will lead the discussion. Slated panelists are Anna Gomez, vice president of government affairs of telecom for Sprint; Francie McComb, vice president of regulatory affairs of Cavalier Telephone; and Gregory Kennan, director of regulatory affairs and counsel for One Communications Corp. The four will talk about the possible consequences if the pending ILEC petitions are granted. They also will call on COMPTEL members to make sure the FCC knows theyre opposed to those forbearance requests.

At the same time, members interested in knowing what states are thinking about competition can sit in on From the Perspective of the State Commissions. Commissioners whove committed to the panel will represent North Dakota, Tennessee and Washington.

The regulators will talk about how they see the future of telecom regulatory matters, strategies for universal service, forbearance and more.

The session, said moderator Joe Gillan, a consultant with his own company Gillan Associates, will give states a chance to see the competitive ecosystem and also expose competitors to the thinking of state regulators. Gillan expects the commissioners also will get into issues of jurisdiction over packet-switched networks. If packetswitched considerations are exclusive to the feds, theres not much left for the states to do, Gillan said. Hell ask commissioners how they see their role in the debate.

Those are just some of the issues the panel will cover; questions from attendees are likely to bring up additional important topics.

Cavalier Telephone www.cavtel.com
Kelley Drye & Warren LLC www.kelleydrye.com
One Communications Corp. www.onecommunications.com
Sprint www.sprint.com


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