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Letter to Chairman, Local and State Government Advisory Committee
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Federal Communications Commission
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Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

August 11, 1999

News Media Contacts:
Linda Paris at (202) 418-7121
Michelle Russo at (202) 418-2358

Continues to Believe that Vigilant Restraint is the Right Way to Get There

Federal Communications Commission Chairman William E. Kennard yesterday reiteratedthat the FCC shares the goal of consumers and local governments – an open Internet.

In a letter to the FCC's Local and State Government Advisory Committee, Kennard said,"We must pursue the goal of open access in a manner that encourages investment in thedeployment of [broadband] networks."

Kennard stated that the FCC's policy of encouraging the marketplace to develop has"already produced impressive results across the country," including:

  • Increased deployment of cable modem service by cable operators
  • Increased rollout of DSL (digital subscriber line) services by local phone companies
  • Declining charges for DSL service as competition intensifies
  • Increased investments by companies exploring the potential of satellite and wireless technologies as broadband sources
Kennard noted that although broadband is in its infancy, the FCC is taking steps to ensurethat there are many competitors in the Internet marketplace. He said that more spectrum has beenmade available to wireless operators and that it is easier for emerging competitive local phonecompanies to connect into the existing network in order to provide high-speed access to theInternet using DSL technology.

Kennard said that the FCC is conducting a series of "on-going broadband monitoring sessions"on the subject, with participants including local government representatives, public interestgroups, investment analysts, cable and phone companies, ISPs, academics and others. He said theFCC will be seeking further public comment on the issue this Fall in connection with the study ofadvanced telecommunications services conducted pursuant to section 706 of theTelecommunications Act of 1996.

The Local and State Advisory Committee met with FCC staff on July 23, 1999 to discuss a series of topics, including the open cable issue.


Report No. CS 99-11