You've heard talk lately about the convergence of electricity and natural gas. That idea has grown as commodity markets have matured for gas and emerged for bulk power.
The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) has approved final rules for competition in the state's local telephone market, providing minimum certification and other standards for new market entrants. The rules permit subsequent negotiated resolution of controversial issues, such as interconnection rates and terminating traffic compensation, and preserve the right to evidentiary hearings when needed. The rules bar new entrants from engaging in cross-subsidization of competitive services, and impose a price cap keyed on approved prices for noncompetitive services by incumbent carriers. The rules also allow new entrants to submit alternative regulation plans for SCC review.
The rules do not bar resale of local services; the SCC also declined to require resale without further study of pricing and availability of service. It acknowledged, however, that in light of the costs and time required to construct duplicate facilities, "many areas of Virginia will have only the current telecommunication network for the foreseeable future." Re Local Exch. Tel. Competition, Case No. PUC950018, Dec. 13, 1995 (Va.S.C.C.).
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