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April 17, 1998

Separate Statement of Commissioner Gloria Tristani

Re: Performance Measurements and Reporting Requirements for Operations Support Systems, Interconnection, and Operator Services and Directory Assistance, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking asks whether the Commission should adopt non- binding model rules regarding performance measurements for incumbent LECs' back office systems. I support this item because I believe performance measurements are needed to enable state regulators and new entrants to evaluate whether incumbent LECs are fulfilling their duty under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to treat their competitors in a non-discriminatory fashion.

Although this item proposes to adopt no federal rules, it is a very positive step in promoting local telephone competition. Competitors clearly need access to incumbent LECs' back office systems in order to have a fair chance to compete. If new competitors cannot be responsive to their existing and potential customers the same way as incumbents, competitors will be at a severe disadvantage. It is particularly important that a new competitor not be condemned for bad service that is actually due to inadequate access to the incumbent LEC's OSS. Publicity of a new competitor's poor service could permanently damage its ability to compete, and competitors should not be harmed in this way if the fault lies with the incumbent LEC, not the new competitor.

Performance measurements also promote competition by facilitating enforcement. Performance measurements will enable regulators to easily detect anticompetitive behavior. In the newly competitive local market, regulators will be called upon to arbitrate disputes between competing carriers. The availability of performance measurements will allow regulators to resolve complaints quickly. And the threat of effective enforcement is likely to encourage self-policing, the best regulation of all.

But to get there, we will need state commissions to put performance measurements in place. I know that state commissions share my commitment to promoting competition in the local telephone market, and I hope they share my belief that nondiscriminatory OSS access is essential to bringing about that competition. The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners recently asked the FCC to give the states guidance on OSS performance measurements. This Notice responds to the states' request, and I am particularly pleased that this item proposes non-binding model rules. I believe this approach represents genuine progress in the way the FCC works with state commissions. The model rules we adopt in this docket should be of considerable assistance to states interested in adopting their own OSS performance measurement requirements.

Finally, I want to commend the staff of the FCC's Common Carrier Bureau staff for their outstanding and tireless effort to produce this Notice. Their hard work in understanding OSS technology has enabled us to propose model rules in a clear, understandable fashion. I look forward to working with the staff and my colleagues to produce model OSS guidelines in the near future.

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