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April 1, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

It seemed to take forever to get a US telecommunications bill passed into law, but the exigences of the Congressional timetable meant that in the end, the thing was very rushed, and only now are people beginning to stumble upon unintended consequences. Since the law was enacted in February, says Federal Communications Commission chairman Reed Hundt, I have thought, ‘My God there’s an opportunity here to file lawsuits,’ and people are waking up to the danger that the move to competition would hit the buffers if competitors turn to the courts to solve disputes. Litigation could result in policies that differ from state to state. Hundt wants his agency to work closely with the states to formulate uniform results. In addition, universal service provisions in the telecoms act, which require that affordable communications services be delivered to rural and low- income Americans, mean that homeless people will have to be given free pagers – or at least that’s what they’ve been saying at the Federal Communications Commission, says Dow Jones & Co.

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