Part way through the Feb. 27 conference on electric competition, it was so quiet you could hear a hockey puck slide across the ice. No, hell had not frozen over. Rather, it was Commissioner Marc...
Texas Opens Up Local Phone Service
Texas Gov. George Bush on May 26 signed into law a comprehensive bill, H.B. 2128, that makes sweeping changes in the way the state regulates telecommunications. The bill allows competitors to provide local exchange services by obtaining a certificate of operating authority (COA) or to resell local services through a service-provider certificate of operating authority. The COA is designed for facilities-based local exchange, and requires competitors to serve customers within a 27-square-mile area within 30 days of customer request.
The Texas Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will establish a "transitional flexibility plan" for incumbent local exchange carriers in the area where a competitor operates. The PUC will have authority to deregulate prices in areas where it finds the incumbent no longer dominant, based on a market-power test.
The legislation sets 10 policy goals for development of an advanced telecommunications infrastructure; companies that elect incentive regulation must meet certain infrastructure goals.
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