Telecommunications Alert: FCC Order Reforms Telecommunications Regulation Forbearance Process

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The Federal Communications Commission issued an order yesterday adopting new procedures to allow it to handle petitions for telecommunications regulation forbearance “in a manner that is front-loaded, actively managed, transparent, and fair.”1 The order, responding to a September 2007 petition from several competitive telecommunications companies, addresses many concerns raised about the use of the forbearance process in recent years. Recently, the forbearance petition process has been used primarily by large incumbent local exchange companies (ILECs), like Verizon and AT&T, to escape unbundling and other regulations imposed on them by the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

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