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Federal Communications Commission
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Washington, D.C. 20554
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Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

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).

Report No. CC 98-16 COMMON CARRIER ACTION June 11, 1998

(CC Docket No. 98-94)

The Commission has initiated a proceeding to promote the deployment of new and advanced telecommunications services to consumers by ensuring that the FCC's rules do not stifle innovation.

In a Notice of Inquiry adopted today, the Commission asked for comment on the effect of its rules on the testing of new technologies by regulated companies and the ways in which its rules may be changed to encourage and facilitate such tests. The Commission noted that experiments involving new technology, including technical trials and market trials, are a critical step in the process of introducing new services that benefit the public. Allowing companies to conduct experiments without unnecessary regulatory burdens is essential to this end.

The Commission asked for comment on various initiatives it could undertake in order to promote technology testing, including exercising its statutory authority to repeal or modify any relevant regulation it determines to be no longer necessary to the public interest. Alternatively, the Commission asked whether it should and can use its statutory authority to forbear from applying any section of the Communications Act or the FCC rules that is applicable to technology testing. The Commission also encouraged commenters to offer other suggestions that may promote technology testing. The Commission said that well-considered proposals to eliminate or streamline regulations applicable to technology testing would further the pro-competition and pro-consumer mandate of the Communications Act.

Today's Notice of Inquiry is part of the Commission's 1998 biennial review, which aims to repeal or modify FCC rules that no longer serve the public interest. The Commission did not identify specific rules in this proceeding that may be subject to change, but rather asked commenters to identify any changes that may be warranted.

Action by the Commission, June 11, 1998, by Notice of Inquiry (FCC 98-118). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness, Furchtgott-Roth, Powell and Tristani, with Commissioner Furchtgott-Roth issuing a separate statement.


News Media contact: Rochelle Cohen at (202) 418-0253.
Common Carrier Bureau contact: Scott Bergmann at (202) 418-7012.