FCC Eliminates Outdated Landline Regulations Impacting Rural Carriers

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The FCC has adopted a Memorandum Opinion and Order eliminating decades-old long-distance regulations applicable to certain telephone companies. Using its authority under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Commission is forbearing from enforcing rules and statutory provisions that are no longer needed to protect the public interest. The various rules and regulations date to an era when most consumers subscribed to separate, free-standing long-distance service. However, as applied now, the rules and laws were only applicable to some telephone companies. The Commission has decided to no longer enforce: (1) a burdensome rule that small, rural carriers set-up separate affiliated companies to provide in-region long-distance service; (2) unnecessary service provisioning deadlines and the related requirement that carriers submit reports about their legacy special access services; and (3) the redundant requirement that Bell companies provide non-discriminatory access to poles, ducts, conduits, and rights-of-way covered by Section 224 of the Communications Act.

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