Bush Administration Makes Right Decision on Phone Competition

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Washington, DC, June 9, 2004 – Today the U.S. Solicitor General's office announced it will not appeal a D.C. Circuit Court decision which struck down the Federal Communications Commission's regulations for telephone competition.  The Competitive Enterprise Institute applauds the decision.  <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />


“The Solicitor General’s decision is one small step toward regulatory certainty in an industry besieged by court battles and ill-defined government mandates,” said Braden Cox, technology counsel at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.  “Whether the FCC appeals on its own or not is its prerogative, but consumers will benefit if the FCC simply affirms the rationale of the Circuit Court decision and crafts rules that comply with it. The true giant leap for telecommunications companies and consumers is up to Congress – only an overhaul of the 1996 Telecommunications Act will create a free market that will enable competition to flourish.”


The rules at issue, part of the FCC’s Triennial Review Order, delegate to the states authority to decide whether to mandate sharing of phone company facilities with competitors at government-set prices.  The most recent ruling against the FCC by the D.C. Court of Appeals was the third by a federal court holding that the FCC’s unbundled access rules are illegal.


For interviews, please contact Jody Clarke at 703.863.9021, or Braden Cox at 202.251.6561.