September 26, 1997
RE: Public Utility Commission of Texas, CCB Pol 96-13
Our decision today underscores the partnership between the FCC and the state commissions in promoting competition and new entry into telecommunications. Several provisions of the Texas Telecommunications Statute PURA95 appear, on their face, to violate the federal law. But for the manner in which the Texas State Commission has interpreted and enforced these provisions, the FCC would be bound to preempt. Since the Texas Commission has used its enforcement discretion wisely and well, we do not find it necessary to preempt several actions. Nevertheless, we have found it necessary to preempt three state provisions including important facilities build out requirements and two other sections which are inconsistent with section 253 of the Telecommunications Act.
The Texas Commission has interpreted an anti-competitive state law in a pro-competitive manner. In response, the FCC has acknowledged the actions of the Texas state commission in determining whether to preempt state policies or actions that conflict with the Federal statute. The Texas Commission's enforcement, in combination with our decision to preempt particular violative provisions, will help to open markets in Texas and provide the benefits which accompany competition to consumers there.