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Ohio Proposes Rules for LEC Competition

Fortnightly Magazine - January 1 1996

The Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has issued a proposed framework for competition in the local exchange telephone market. In a separate opinion, PUC chairman Craig A. Glazer noted that new market entrants in the state appear to be dominated by Time Warner. He added that the PUC must examine how to ensure that "the giants (em dominated by Ameritech and Time Warner (em can play in this market, while at the same time, not crush others at the outset and cause the creation of a duopoly."

The new regulatory framework retains the requirement that all providers seek and obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity before providing service. The proposal provides local exchange carriers (LECs) with an automatic triggering mechanism to force PUC review of the level of regulation applied to the incumbent carrier, based on the implementation of certain milestones such as resale, unbundling, and so on. New providers will be

permitted to define their own service areas based on

established LEC exchanges. No separation of cable and telephone operation is required. Facilities-based carriers will be required to unbundle local network service offerings and to maintain both carrier-to- carrier and end-user tariffs. Cost-based local and toll compensation rates will be phased-in as competition develops, along with a universal service fund available to any LEC operating in designated high-cost residential areas. All market participants will be required to provide directories and directory assistance service, with LECs sharing listings at cost-based rates. Re Local Exchange Competition and Other Competitive Issues, Case No. 95-845-TP-COI, Sept. 27, 1995 (Ohio P.U.C.).

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