Lori A. Burkhart
CSW Communications, Inc., a subsidiary of Central and South West Corp., has become the first company to file at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to become an "exempt telecommunications company" under the telecommunications reform legislation signed into law by President Clinton. Previously, CSW was barred from entering the telecommunications market by the Public Utility Holding Company Act.
Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.
Resolutions generated heat (electricity) and warmth
State utility commissioners have gone on record asking Congress to "call them first" before it legislatively restructures the electric industry.
That resolution prompted some of the liveliest debate at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' (NARUC) Winter Committee meetings. About 1,000 people attended the 10-day event in Washington, DC, February 21 to March 1.
Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.
That was the question on the minds of representatives from local telephone exchange carriers (LECs) who huddled at the United States Telephone Association (USTA) National Issues Conference days before legislators passed sweeping telecommunications legislation that would affect everyone's future.
But the question went beyond what would become law when President Clinton fulfilled his promise to sign the bill.
A century ago, Congress conveyed valuable public property to certain entrepreneurs to serve the public interest. In exchange, these entrepreneurs agreed to carry the nation's principal means of communication at fair cost and, of course, serve the national defense.
In 1850, with a commitment to move the mail at fixed rates and freely transport federal troops hither and yon, a swath of public land was granted to the Illinois Central to connect Chicago with Mobile.
Peter K. Pitsch and David P. Teolis
When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) instituted the subscriber line charge (SLC), telephone household penetration rates actually increased, even though local rates rose when the SLC was rolled in.
Thomas J. Makarewicz
Economists often seem enamored of economic efficiency, honoring its merits while decrying the lost benefits of inefficient outcomes. But really ... what's the harm in a little inefficiency? Well, the harm may be more real than we recognize.
John N. Rose
Legislators and regulators must recognize that rural America is different.
The costs of providing telephone service to rural America are much higher than for more urban areas of the country. By definition, small rural subscribers are scattered throughout large geographic areas. In rural areas, the average number of subscribers per route mile runs about 6.3; the average number of subscribers per square mile is 4.4.
Andrew C. Barrett
The structure of the utility and telecommunications industries has changed significantly since I began my role as a regulator 15 years ago. Technological developments and a competitive environment, as opposed to regulation, have provided the major catalyst for change. As a result, utility companies, which have historically enjoyed the favor of Wall Street investors, will soon face unprecedented revenue growth problems.
James H. McGrew
One of the most exciting challenges facing electric utilities is the opportunity to participate on the so-called "information highway." Not only is the technology evolving at a dazzling pace, but the opportunities to make or lose money will be staggering. The growth in sales of electricity has been and will be relatively slow compared to the dynamic growth in sales of cable television, information, online, cellular telephone, and other telecommunications services.
Lori A. Burkhart
MFS Communications Co. (MFS) has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to order monopoly local exchange carriers (LECs) to open access to the "local loop" for competitive telephone companies at a cost-based rate. The MFS "Open Loop Initiative" seeks to speed development of local telephone competition and to provide a choice of local carriers.
The local loop is that part of the local telephone network that physically connects the customer's premises to the LEC central office.