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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).
September 28, 1998
STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN WILLIAM KENNARD ON FCC'S QWEST DECISION
In the 1996 Act, Congress said that the Bell Operating Companies are not permitted
to offer long distance service to their local customers until they have opened their local
markets to competition. Entry into the long distance market is the incentive that Congress
used to encourage the Bells to open their local markets. As long as the Bell Companies keep
their local networks closed and thus remain the sole source for local service, it makes no
sense to reward them by allowing them to become the sole source for a combined package of
local and long distance as well.|
We can't trade the short term convenience of one-stop shopping for long-term monopolies. That wouldn't be right for consumers and it's not what the law requires.
It's important to note that our ruling does not prohibit consumers from getting the same long distance rates from Qwest that the Bells sought to offer under the business arrangements in question. Consumers can get the same deal directly from Qwest.
Now we all need to focus on opening the local markets so that we can bring the full benefits of fair competition to all consumers in the manner Congress intended.