Telecommunications Act of 1996 - Computer Definition
An act of the United States Congress that effectively superseded the 1982 Modified Final Judgement (MFJ), removing line-of-business restrictions and promising to permit full and open competition in virtually every aspect of communications, from radio broadcasting to CATV to local exchange service and long distance service.The local exchange networks were opened to competition, and the incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) were required to lease cable pairs, switch ports, central office (CO) space, and other elements of their networks to competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs).The act specified three ways by which CLECs could provide competing local phone service:
The first significant updating of telecommunications law in the United States in more than 60 years. The objective of the updated law was to open the marketing potential for businesses.The amendment allowed anyone to enter into any telecommunications business and any telecommunications business to compete in any market against any other telecommunications business.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was perceived as having the potential to improve the quality of life for Americans by positively affecting broadcast services, cable programming and other video services, services provided to educational institutions, and telephone service. The full text of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 can be found at http://www.fcc.gov/Reports/ tcom1996.tx.
In the United Kingdom, a similar and relevant Act is the Telecommunications Act of 1984.
See Also: Telecom.
Telecommunications legislation passed by the U.S. Congress in 1996. Although it covers many aspects of the field, the most controversial has been the deregulation of local phone service, allowing competition in this arena for the first time. Long-distance carriers (IXCs) and cable TV companies can get into the local phone business, while local telcos (the LECs) can get into long distance. Some of the major provisions follow. Section 251 - Allows states to regulate prices in the local access market. Section 254 - Extends universal service to everyone no matter how rural, even if others have to subsidize the expense. See traffic pumping. Section 271 - Provides a 14-point checklist of requirements for RBOCs to offer intrastate long-distance service.
It Wasn't a PicnicThe RBOCs thought the Act would be a road map for getting into long distance in exchange for ending their local monopolies. What they got were 700 pages of dubious rules that made "deregulating" as complicated as any regulated industry could be. The RBOCs claimed that the Act discriminated against them and that other large telephone companies received more favorable treatment. Complaints and lawsuits ensued. The Act required that the RBOCs offer competitors access to their local networks at reasonable rates, but both the Supreme Court (1999) and appeals court (2002) said that the FCC should not be deciding how the RBOCs should foster their own competition by unbundling their network services. In 2003, the FCC decided not to force the RBOCs into leasing high-speed lines to competitors. In March 2004, the appeals court upheld that ruling and also overturned a ruling that required the RBOCs to give wireless companies access to their networks. The 2004 rulings were applauded by the RBOCs.
telecommunications act of 1996 - Investment & Finance Definition
A significant piece of legislation that created the current U.S. telecom market. This legislation was the first major regulatory revision to the industry in 62 years. It was signed by President Bill Clinton on February 1996. In addition to its significant changes to the telecom industry, it deregulated the rates that cable service providers can charge and created more competition among Internet service providers. The act allowed small companies to begin to compete against the former regional Bell operating companies. The former Bells also were allowed to begin selling long distance service, but only after they proved that they had sufficiently opened up their infrastructure to competitors.