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Fostering Competition In Communications Market, But Will Regulatory Policies Get In The Way?
Designed for Telecoms Monopoly and Voice Past May Impede
Progress in its Open Systems and Data Future
(RIVERWOODS, ILL., March 24, 1999)
Driven by new technology and consumer demand, the
telecommunications market is quickly moving from a
predominantly voice-based model to an open systems, data
model. This open systems model will result in increased
competition and new forms of communication that provide
added value to customers. However, whether it is allowed
to take shape depends in large part on whether regulatory
policies foster, rather than frustrate, innovation,
according to an article in the March/April issue of CCH
Power and Telecom Law, a bimonthly journal published
by CCH INCORPORATED.
"Major changes are occurring in
the technology, and the way in which it is used, that
will fundamentally alter the telecommunications landscape
of the future," said Leonard J. Kennedy, co-author
of "The Impact of Regulatory Policy on Technologies
that Enable Open Systems and Telecommunications"
article and a partner in the law firm of Dow, Lohnes
& Alberston, Washington, DC.
However, he warns, "Possibly the
largest threat to the rollout of these advanced services
is the dead hand of regulation and a regulatory system
that impedes progress. The industry should be moving
toward an open systems model that establishes new
carriers as unregulated providers. Yet, Congress and the
FCC (Federal Communications Commission) may be moving in
the opposite direction, toward regulation."
The CCH Power and Telecom Law
article outlines where the FCCs current thoughts
are on key regulatory initiatives that affect competition
in the introduction of emerging services, such as
pricing, interconnection and collocation. Two
particularly pivotal regulatory initiatives discussed
concern policies relating to universal service
obligations and those concerning the rollout of advanced
Kennedy details how regulations
designed for the telecommunications market of the past
cant apply to its future. For example, the author
notes that the voice-based industry, by regulatory
policy, divided the network between local exchanges and
Local Access and Transport Areas (LATAs), and any
technological improvements to the network were controlled
The open systems market of the future
is vastly different, however. "In the 'any distance
world' of the next-generation telcos, regulatory
definitions that segment local exchanges or LATA have no
place," said Kennedy. "Regulations that delay
the introduction of advanced technologies may rob
customers of a variety of new services or lower
CCH Power and Telecom Law, established
in 1998, is designed to anticipate developments in the
complex legal fields of telecommunications and power with
insightful analysis by leading lawyers, economists and
executives engaged in these industries.
About CCH INCORPORATED
CCH INCORPORATED, headquartered in
Riverwoods, Ill., was founded in 1913 and has served four
generations of business professionals and their clients.
The company produces more than 700 electronic and print
products for the tax, legal, securities, human resources,
health care and small business markets. CCH is a wholly
owned subsidiary of Wolters Kluwer U.S. The CCH web site
can be accessed at www.cch.com.
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Editors Note: Leonard J.
Kennedy, the articles co-author, is available for
interviews. Complimentary subscriptions of CCH Power
and Telecom Law are available to qualified reporters
covering the telecommunications and power industries. For
interviews or a complimentary subscription, please
contact Mary Dale Walters at 847-267-2038 or firstname.lastname@example.org.