Text Version

July 18, 1997

Press Statement
of Commissioner Susan Ness
Regarding Judicial Ruling on Interconnection Rules

Local competition has been "on hold" as a result of the stay the 8th circuit issued last fall. Today's decision is a "wrong number."

This decision is an enormous setback for Congress's goal of competition in the local telephone marketplace. The benefits that consumers will lose are incalculable.

Now, more than ever, it is up to the public utility commissions in each of the 50 states to decide whether and to what extent new entrants will have an opportunity to compete fairly with incumbents. It is the state commissions that will decide whether competition is promoted, hindered, or foreclosed.

We at the FCC will use all of the tools available to us to ensure that the benefits of competition are extended as rapidly, and as widely, as possible. As before, we will do our best to work in partnership with the states on all of these issues.