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Local Telco Regulation too Broad, Court Says

Fortnightly Magazine - September 15 1995

The Michigan Court of Appeals has directed the Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) to expand its deregulation of telecommunications markets in compliance with a 1991 state law revamping telecommunications. It said that the PSC had defined too broadly which types of services should remain regulated under the 1991 law, the Michigan Telecommunications Act (MTAct). The court acknowledged that the PSC might properly regulate services beyond an access line and dial tone, but stressed that MTAct should limit regulation to only a truly "basic" group (em not an expansive or highly sophisticated bundle of services.

The court also found that the PSC had overreached in attempting to regulate three areas: 1) negotiated contracts for regular toll services, 2) all intrastate access services that are regulated at the interstate level, and 3) the "transmission component" of otherwise unregulated services. Re Procedures and Format for Filing Tariffs Under the Michigan Telecommunications Act, Dkt. Nos. 163404 et al., May 12, 1995 (Mich.Ct.App.).

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