article

POLICY NEWS

Posted: 1/2002

POLICY
NEWS

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AT&T Communications of Texas LP paid about $500,000 in internet access charges owed to XO Texas Inc. XO originally billed AT&T for those fees from April to September. When no money materialized, XO asked the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) to step in. The PUC required AT&T to pay XO’s tariffed rates for switched access and toll-free database query services. XO’s tariffed rates match the rates the PUC set in October 2000 in an order implementing regulation of CLECs’ intrastate access charges.

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The FCC voted to raise the spectrum cap in urban markets before lifting the restriction completely in 2003, and no one seems too pleased about the decision. Opponents want the rule thrown out immediately, while cap supporters claim it preserves competition in the commercial mobile radio service market. “The decision to eliminate the spectrum cap is an important down payment on overcoming the current spectrum shortage,” said Thomas E. Wheeler, president and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association “Unfortunately, the decision delays that down payment for 13 months.”

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Now that detariffing of mass-market interstate long-distance services is under way, it didn’t take long for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and eight consumer interest groups to ask the FCC to require IXCs to give customers at least 30 days notice of their rate changes. The current system is largely unworkable and unrealistic, NARUC says, because it requires consumers “to check for [rate] changes prior to each use of the service.”

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The nation’s largest telecom associations accuse Verizon Communications Inc. of attempting to circumvent the Telecommu-nications Act of 1996 and capitalize on the tragic events of Sept. 11. Verizon tells PHONE+, however, the allegations are “way out of line.” In a resounding show of solidarity, the three industry lobbying groups representing local competitive entrants sent a joint letter to the FCC, all state regulatory commissions and NARUC claiming Verizon’s management attempted “to gain commercial advantage from these sad events.” The Association for Local Telecommunica-tions Services, the Competitive Telecom-munications Association, and the Association of Communications Enterprises also charge Verizon is using the situation

to get around provisions of the Telecom Act. Verizon calls the accusations “absolute tripe.”

 

The Links
Association for Local Telecommunications Services
www.alts.org

Association of Communications Enterprises

www.ascent.org

AT&T Corp. www.att.com

Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association
www.wow-com.com

Competitive Telecommunications Association
www.comptel.org

Covad Communications Co.

www.covad.com

Federal Communications Commission
www.fcc.gov

FCC Enforcement Bureau
www.fcc.gov/eb

National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners

www.naruc.org

New York Public Service Commission

www.dps.state.ny.us

Texas Public Utility Commission
www.puc.state.tx.us

United States Telecom Association
www.usta.org

Verizon Communications

www.verizon.com

WorldCom Inc. www.wcom.com

XO Inc.
www.xo.com

 


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