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Telecommunications -- Regulatory Update

Fortnightly Magazine - December 1995

Docket No. 94-423-U, Order No. 8, Sept. 25, 1995 (Ark.P.S.C.).

The PSC also approved a uniform set of rules for regulating all telecommunications interexchange

carriers (IXCs) in the state, including AT&T Communications of the Southwest, Inc. The PSC found that market conditions had changed so as to justify allowing greater pricing flexibility for all IXCs, including AT&T. (According to AT&T, there are currently 90 certificated IXCs providing service in the state and AT&T's share for gross revenues had declined to 60 percent.) In the past AT&T had been subject to a stricter "rate base" form of regulation than other IXCs as a dominant carrier in the marketplace. The PSC rejected, however, a plan by its staff to completely "detariff and deregulate" interexchange service prices.

In approving the pricing reforms for all IXCs, the PSC found that the "interLATA market in Arkansas can no longer be considered a natural monopoly" and that it was inappropriate to treat AT&T in a different manner from other IXCs in the state. It said that the "robust" competition for long distance customers justified the added pricing flexibility for all carriers. Re Rules for Interexchange Telecommunications Carriers, Docket No. 94-201-R, Order No. 2, Aug. 15, 1995 (Ark.P.S.C.).


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