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April 19, 2001

Re: Implementation of the Local Competition Provisions in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, CC Docket No. 96-98; Intercarrier Compensation for ISP-Bound Traffic, CC Docket No. 99-68

Today's Order is an important step in resolving a highly complex issue that has led to much industry turmoil and to market uncertainty. While the fundamental questions presented have been difficult and the subject of much debate, the Commission's reasoning rests on solid legal analysis, and a careful and comprehensive evaluation of many competing views. I am confident that the Order fully and fairly responds to the questions raised by the Court of Appeals.

Equally important, the Order provides a fair interim transition that balances the conflicting interests of incumbent local exchange carriers, new entrants, and other interested parties, while sharply reducing the potential for regulatory arbitrage and the incentive for uneconomic entry. Thus, the Order preserves the vibrant and competitive telecommunications marketplace that benefits ISPs and their customers.

While concluding that this traffic is the subject of federal jurisdiction, we look forward to our continued collaboration with the States as we move away from regulatory answers in favor of long-term market-based solutions. I am pleased that the Order today, together with the broader Notice on Intercarrier Compensation, sets us well on our way.