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Federal Communications Commission
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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).

JUNE 10, 1999

Meribeth McCarrick at (202) 418-0654


Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) initiated a proceeding intended to facilitate the development of competitive telecommunications networks that will provide consumers with alternatives to services provided by the incumbent wireline local exchange carriers (LECs).

A major goal of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (1996 Act) is the availability of competitive local telecommunications services, including advanced and innovative services, to all Americans. The 1996 Act contemplates that competitors will offer local telecommunications services by reselling the incumbent LECs' services, using unbundled elements of the incumbent LECs' networks, and using their own network facilities. Only facilities-based competition, however, can bring the fullest benefits of competition to consumers and fully break down the incumbent LECs' dominant position. The adopted Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and Notice of Inquiry (NOI) furthers the FCC's ongoing efforts to promote facilities-based local competition by seeking comment on potential action in several specific areas.

Specifics of Today's Item:

  • Section 224: The NPRM tentatively concludes that section 224 requires utilities to permit telecommunications and cable service providers access to rooftop and other rights-of-way and riser conduit that they own or control in multiple tenant environments under just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory rates, terms, and conditions. The NPRM requests comment on several issues regarding how this tentative conclusion would be implemented and other related issues.

  • Unbundled Network Elements: Subject to the FCC's future interpretation of sections 251(c)(3) and 251(d)(2) of the Communications Act, the NPRM seeks comment on whether incumbent LECs should make available to any requesting telecommunications carrier unbundled access to riser cable and wiring that they control within multiple tenant environments.

  • Nondiscriminatory Access to Facilities Controlled by Premises Owners: The NPRM seeks comment on whether the Commission should require building owners who allow access to their premises to any telecommunications provider to make comparable access available to all such providers on a nondiscriminatory basis, and on the constitutional and statutory authority issues raised by such a requirement. The item asks questions regarding how any such obligation should be implemented.

  • State and Local Government Policies on Rights-of-Way and Taxes: The NOI seeks to develop a record on whether and how State and local rights-of-way and tax policies are having an impact on facilities-based competition.
Action by the Commission, June 10, 1999, by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry (FCC 99-141). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness and Tristani with Commissioner Furchtgott-Roth concurring in part, dissenting in part and issuing a statement, Commissioner Powell concurring and issuing a statement.

News Media contact: Meribeth McCarrick at 202-418-0654, TTY at (202) 418-7233, or e-mail at

Wireless Telecommunications Bureau contacts: Jeffrey Steinberg at 202-418-0896, e-mail at; Joel Taubenblatt at 202-418-1513, e-mail at

WT Docket No. 99-217
CC Docket No. 96-98
WT Report No. 99-17