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Telecom Compromise Issued

If telecom regulations aren't confusing enough, a decision by the Federal Communications Commission last week makes them even worse. The FCC ruled that the local Bell telephone companies must continue to lease parts of their networks to competitors that want to offer traditional switched-voice and data services, pending further review from state regulators that could decide otherwise. Potentially different rules in each state will make it difficult for competitive local carriers and their customers to determine where service is or isn't available. But for broadband access lines, the FCC decided that the Bells no longer must lease those lines to competitors.

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