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July 18, 1997

Press Statement
Commissioner James H. Quello

Re: Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision on Interconnection

The practical effect of the Court's decision to vacate the FCC's rules on interconnection will be to delay further the introduction of competition into the local telephone marketplace. That result is at odds with the intent of Congress in passing the landmark Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996 and is injurious to the public interest by denying consumers the benefits of robust competition in the provision of local telephone services.

Although I am disappointed that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals did not agree with the FCC's rationale for our decisions on interconnection, I am heartened that the Court affirmed the FCC's plenary authority over Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS). See n. 21.

The decision whether to seek judicial review will be based on our evaluation of the public interest as articulated in the Telecommunications Reform Act. We will continue to pursue deregulatory policies favoring competition by working with our colleagues in the state commissions.

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