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Conn. Sets Rules for Telecom Facilities

Fortnightly Magazine - November 1 1996

Having completed several rounds of telecommunications reforms, the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) has now announced a number of policy decisions governing the infrastructure provided by new market entrants. To ensure that the public benefits from a competitive market through a "network of networks," the DPUC ordered all facilities-based carriers to make their services available for resale and their networks available on an unbundled basis. So as not to slow the development of alternative network facilities, the DPUC ruled that a competitive carrier need not offer the full array of unbundled network services until its access lines equal 20 percent of the current access lines of the incumbent LEC in "any single modified labor market area."

The DPUC also determined that it lacked the authority to regulate as common carriers owners of telecommunications facilities that provide only "transport capability" on their systems to authorized telecommunications companies. It explained that "telecommunications capable infrastructure" in the state is owned and operated by a variety of entities, including but not limited to electric utilities and other public utility companies as well as community cable television companies. The public is adequately protected, the DPUC concluded, by ongoing regulation of the authorized provider of telecommunications services, including the authority to require the authorized carriers to cease use of any underlying facilities that present a threat to the "functional integrity of the public switched network." Re Investigation into Participative Architecture Issues, Docket No. 94-10-04, Aug. 7, 1996 (Conn.D.P.U.).

On the same day, the DPUC authorized MCI Metro Access Transmission Service to construct a fiber-optic telecommunication route in Stamford, CT. The carrier intends to enter the competitive local-exchange market and to provide nonswitched, point-to-point, high-capacity communications services. Re MCI Metro Access Transmission Services, Inc., Docket No. 96-06-20, Aug. 7, 1996 (Conn. D.P.U.C.).

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