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Notes :: Title II

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Petition of AT&T Inc. for Forbearance Under 47 U.S.C. § 160(c) from Title II and Computer Inquiry Rules with Respect to Its Broadband Services, Memorandum Opinion And Order, WC Docket No. 06-125, para2 3-5 (Oct. 12, 2007)

Title II of the Act and the Commission's implementing rules impose both economic and non-economic regulation on common carriers. Generally speaking, the most extensive regulations are imposed on dominant carriers (i.e ., those with individual market power). These carriers are subject to price cap or rate-of-return regulation, and must file tariffs for many of their interstate telecommunications services - on either seven or fifteen days' notice - and usually with supporting data. [8] In contrast, nondominant carriers are generally not subject to direct rate regulation and may file tariffs, on one day's notice and without cost support, which are presumed lawful. [9] In addition, applications to discontinue, reduce, or impair service are subject to a 60-day waiting period for dominant carriers, as opposed to a 31-day period for nondominant carriers. [10] Finally, dominant carriers must follow more stringent procedures under section 214 of the Act for certain types of transfers of control for which nondominant carriers are accorded presumptive streamlined treatment. [11]

The Act and our rules impose additional obligations on the BOCs, independent incumbent LECs, or incumbent LECs generally. Under section 271 of the Act, BOCs were required to demonstrate compliance with certain market-opening requirements, including, inter alia , interconnection and nondiscriminatory access to network elements, directory assistance, databases and signaling before providing in-region, interLATA long distance service. [12] The BOCs must continue to comply with such market-opening requirements. [13] Independent incumbent LECs, moreover, are subject to certain structural separation requirements if they wish to provide in-region, interstate, interexchange telecommunications services other than through resale. [14] Incumbent LECs must meet additional obligations, including the interconnection, collocation, and other obligations set forth in section 251(c) of the Act and the Commission's implementing rules. [15]

In addition to the economic regulation described above, Title II and the Commission's rules subject all common carriers to a variety of non-economic regulations designed to further important public policy goals and protect consumers. [16] These include requirements that carriers contribute to federal universal service support mechanisms on an equitable and nondiscriminatory basis, [17] ensure access to telecommunications services by people with disabilities, [18] meet standards regarding the privacy of their customers' information, [19] and facilitate the delivery of emergency services. [20] All common carriers, moreover, are subject to a formal complaint process under which any person may complain to the Commission about anything the carrier may do that is contrary to the provisions of the Act. [21]

8See 47 U.S.C. §§ 203(b), 204(a)(3); 47 C.F.R. §§ 61.38, 61.41, 61.58; Implementation of Section 402(b)(1)(A) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 , CC Docket No. 96-187, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 2170, 2182, 2188, 2191-92, 2202-03, paras. 19, 31, 40, 67 (1997) ( Tariff Streamlining Order ); see also Access Charge Reform , CC Docket Nos. 96-262, 94-1, 98-157, CCB/CPD File No. 98-63, Fifth Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 14 FCC Rcd 14221, 14241, para. 40 (1999) ( Pricing Flexibility Order ) (allowing price cap LECs to file tariffs for new services on one day's notice), aff'd, WorldCom, Inc. v. FCC , 238 F.3d 449 (D.C. Cir. 2001).

9 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.773(a)(ii), 61.23(c); Tariff Filing Requirements for Nondominant Carriers , CC Docket No. 93-36, Order, 10 FCC Rcd 13653, 13653-54, paras. 3-4 (1995).

10 47 C.F.R. § 63.71(c).

11 47 C.F.R. § 63.03(b).

12See 47 U.S.C. § 271.

13See 47 U.S.C. § 271(d)(6).

14See 47 C.F.R. § 64.1903.

15 47 U.S.C. § 251(c).

16See infra n.213.

17 47 U.S.C. § 254(d).

18 47 U.S.C. § 225.

19 47 U.S.C. § 222(a)-(c), (f).

20 47 U.S.C. § 222(d)(4), (g).

21 47 U.S.C. § 208.


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