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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
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).

November 18, 1997


FCC Chairman William E. Kennard announced today that the FCC has begun the comprehensive 1998 biennial review of telecommunications and broadcast regulations required by the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Kennard noted that the FCC's action accelerates the Congressionally mandated biennial review requirement by beginning in 1997 rather than in 1998. In addition, the scope of this first biennial review will be broader than required by the 1996 Act.

Kennard announced that Deputy General Counsel David H. Solomon will coordinate the review, with the assistance of senior managers from the Commission's Bureaus and Offices.

In announcing early commencement of the 1998 biennial review, Kennard said, "The first biennial review is a key time for the Commission to take a serious top-to-bottom look at its rules. It gives us an opportunity to promote meaningful deregulation and streamlining where competition or other considerations warrant such action. It is also an occasion to develop legislative proposals that could lead to further deregulation and streamlining." The Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires that, beginning in 1998 and in every even-numbered year thereafter, the FCC conduct a review of its regulations regarding the provision of telecommunications (common carrier) service and the Commission's broadcast ownership rules. The Act charges the Commission with determining whether, because of increased competition, any regulation no longer serves the public interest. Any such regulations must be repealed or modified.

Kennard pointed out, "I said during my confirmation hearing that as Chairman I would be guided by the goals of competition, community and common sense. I view the first biennial review as a critical cornerstone of my common sense agenda. Starting the review early, and making the scope broad, will help ensure that we regulate only when necessary and that we do so in a common sense manner that will not be overly burdensome to the industries we regulate."

As coordinator of the 1998 biennial review, Solomon will work closely with the FCC's Bureaus and Offices to develop a series of deregulatory and streamlining proposals. In addition, he and the review team will host public forums and take other steps to solicit ideas from the FCC Commissioners and Members of Congress, the public, and industries that the FCC regulates. The Bureau/Office proposals will be presented to the Commission for consideration this winter and next spring, with proposals for final action to be presented to the Commission next summer and fall.

- FCC -

News Media contact: David Fiske at (202) 418-0500.
Office of General Counsel contact: David H. Solomon at (202) 418-1700.