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FCC 01-282


Re: AT&T Corp. v. Business Telecom, Inc.; Sprint Communications Company, L.P. v. Business Telecom, Inc., Order on Reconsideration, File Nos. EB-01-MD-001 & EB-01-MD-002.

I respectfully dissent from this Order. I have concerns with the original BTI Order's approach to the lawfulness of CLEC access charges in the past. I also have concerns with the lack of guidance the Commission has provided on related issues, such as whether and under what circumstances IXCs could refuse access services. In my opinion, these issues should have been addressed in a more comprehensive fashion. At this point, however, my main concern is that the Commission move quickly to resolve these uncertainties, which have had a detrimental impact on the marketplace.

To be fair, this item was not my preferred forum for addressing these issues. I would rather have considered them in declaratory rulings responding to the primary jurisdiction referrals made by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. That court months ago asked us to weigh in on these issues by July, and we have yet to offer any response. And, at this point, it is unclear whether we will do so at all. Accordingly, a reconsideration of the BTI Order may be our best and only opportunity to address these issues. Although there are legitimate policy reasons not to allow non-parties standing here, as the Order makes clear, we plainly have discretion to hear these non-parties' petitions. Given the unique circumstances, I would have chosen to do so, or to reconsider the BTI Order sua sponte.