On April 4, less than two months after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was enacted, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted the first application allowing a public utility holding company, CSW Communications, Inc., to enter telecommunications markets (FCC 96-152). CSW is now an "exempt telecommunications company." The FCC noted that the entrance of utility companies as new competitors could result in lower prices and wider choices for consumers. CSW intends to construct a fiber-optic system to provide utility communications and demand-side management services, and will lease reserve capacity to unaffiliated entities that provide communications services.
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