Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Information Service Telecommunications Service Mutual Exclusivity

The FCC surely has a hard time dealing with convergence and in particular a firm that offers both telecommunications services and information services, e.g., wireline and wireless telephone companies. The Commission perceives the statutory duty to establish bright line, mutual exclusivity between the two categories:

The FCC interprets the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to create mutually exclusivity between telecommunications services, subject to Title II common carrier regulation, and information services, subject to limited regulation available under Title I. “Congress intended the categories of ‘telecommunications service’ and ‘information service’ to be mutually exclusive.” Federal-State Joint Board On Universal Service, CC Docket No. 96-45, Report to Congress, 13 FCC Rcd. 11501, 13 FCC Rcd. 11830, n. 79 (1998). “Based on our analysis of the statutory definitions, we conclude that an approach in which “telecommunications” and “information service” are mutually exclusive categories is most faithful to both the 1996 Act and the policy goals of competition, deregulation, and universal service.” Id. 13FCC Rcd. at 11530 (1998).

So does this mean that the FCC has no statutorily appropriate means to subject a single firm to two different regulatory regimes?

1 comment:

winner said...

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