Channel Partners

December 1, 1999

5 Min Read
FCC 1999 Telecom Rulings

Posted: 12/1999

FCC 1999 Telecom Rulings



Month of Decision

Bell Atlantic-New York’s In-Region Long Distance Application

Approved with major backsliding provisions designed to ensure the Bell
company sticks to its competitive promises.

December (?)

SBC Communications Inc. and Ameritech Corp. merger (CC Docket No. 98-141)

Approved merger subject to 30 competition-enhancing conditions.


Unbundling of Network Elements (CC Docket No. 96-98)

Adopted rules specifying the portions of the nation’s local phone
networks that incumbents must make available to competitors seeking to provide local
telephone service.


Direct Access (IB Docket No. 98-192)

Adopted a policy allowing U.S. users of INTELSAT satellite services to
have direct access to the INTELSAT system.


Access Charge Reform (CC Docket No. 96-262)

Revised the rules governing the provision of interstate access services
by price-cap LECs. Adopted a pricing flexibility framework designed to grant greater
flexibility to price-cap LECs as competition develops.


Calling Party Pays (WT Docket No. 97-207)

Adopted a Declaratory Ruling and NPRM to help facilitate the offering of
CPP as an optional wireless service to U.S. consumers.


Federal Universal Service High-Cost Support Mechanism (CC Docket Nos.
96-45, 96-262)

Adopted the framework for a new, forward-looking, high-cost support
mechanism that will provide support for carriers that don’t meet the definition of a rural
telephone company.


Truth-in-Billing (Report No. 99-72)

Enacted principles and broad guidelines aimed at making it easier for
consumers to read and understand their telephone bills.


International Settlements Policy (IB Docket No. 98-148)

Approved sweeping reform of the longstanding international settlements
policy, deregulating intercarrier settlement arrangements between U.S. carriers and
foreign non-dominant carriers on competitive routes.


Cable Reform (CS Docket No. 96-85)

Adopted an order implementing provisions of the Telecom Act that reform
several parts of the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992,
generally known as the Cable Reform provisions. The order also includes the sunset of the
FCC’s role in regulating rates on the cable service programming tier.


Access to Long Distance Rate Information (CC Docket No. 96-61)

Ordered that long distance carriers publicly disclose their rates, terms,
and conditions of their interstate, domestic, long distance services in at least one
location during regular business hours. Carriers that have an Internet website also must
post this information online in a timely and accessible manner.


Deployment of Advanced Telecommunications Services (CC Docket No. 98-147)

Adopted several measures enabling competitive providers of advanced
services, such as high-speed Internet access, to deploy new technologies faster and more
cost-effectively. The order facilitates competitors’ ability to access space in the
incumbent’s central office. Adopted rules strengthening collocation requirements and
reducing the costs and delays associated with collocation. Required ILECs to make new
collocation arrangements, including cageless and shared collocation, available to
competing carriers. New entrants will be able to locate all equipment necessary for
interconnection, whether or not such equipment has a switching function.


Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism (CC Docket No.

Adopted two orders to ensure the continued success of this support


International Authorization Process (IB Docket No. 98-118)

Streamlined the process for granting Section 214 authorizations to
provide international services and increased the categories of applications eligible for
streamlined processing.


Comparably Efficient Interconnection Preapproval Process and Network
Information Disclosure Rules (CC Docket Nos. 95-20 and 98-10)

Streamlined CEI and Network Disclosure rules while maintaining
protections against discriminatory practices. The CEI rules ensure that competitive ISPs
have access to the underlying basic services that the BOCs use for their own information
service offerings. Also eliminated certain network information disclosure requirements
made unnecessary by competition. The FCC declined to eliminate other disclosure
requirements that ensure access to critical network information by carriers, information
service providers and equipment manufacturers.


Dial-Up Internet Traffic (CC Docket Nos. 96-98, 99-68)

Concluded that carriers are bound by their existing interconnection
agreements, as interpreted by state commissions, and thus are subject to reciprocal
compensation obligations within those agreements. Declared that Internet traffic is
jurisdictionally mixed and appears to be largely interstate in nature. Preserved the rule
that exempts the Internet and other information services from interstate access charges.
This means that those consumers who continue to access the Internet by dialing a
seven-digit number will not incur long distance charges when they do so. In an NPRM, the
FCC also asked for comment on proposals governing future carrier-to-carrier compensation
for handling this traffic.


AT&T Corp. and Tele-Communications Inc. Merger (FCC 99-24)

Approved the transfer application of TCI and AT&T subject to


Payphone Compensation (CC Docket No. 96-128)

Adopted an order addressing payphone compensation issues remanded by the
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that resolved
compensation issues for dial-around calls, which allow a consumer to use a long distance
carrier other than the payphone’s presubscribed carrier. Order set a rate of 24 cents per
call that long distance companies must pay to owners of payphones for delivery of these


International Simple Resale (DA 98-2654)

International Bureau approved two carriers’ requests to provide switched,
basic services over private lines that are interconnected to the public switched network
(also known ISR) between the United States and Hong Kong. As a result, all authorized
carriers can provide switched services over their facilities-based or resold private lines
between the United States and Hong Kong.



BOC = Bell operating company
FCC = Federal Communications Commission
ILEC = incumbent local exchange carrier
ISP = Internet service provider
ISR = international simple resale
LEC = local exchange carrier
NPRM = Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Source: Federal Communications Commission

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