An act of the United States Congress that effectively superseded the 1982 Modified Final Judgement (MFJ), removing line-of-business restrictions and promising to permit full and open competition in virtually every aspect of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.