Tennessee law permitting new competition in the local-exchange telephone market clearly protects the state's small incumbent local carriers (LECs with fewer than 100,000 access lines) from market entry by competitive carriers, according to the state public service commission (PSC), unless the incumbent voluntarily elects competition either by executing an interconnection agreement with a local competitor, or by applying for a certificate to provide service outside its franchised service area.
Separate certificate hearings for new market entrants would be inefficient and wasteful, says the PSC. Competing carriers may simply file revised tariffs to serve an incumbent's territory; the incumbent LEC may then file an objection and request a hearing if necessary. Re ICG Access Servs., Inc., et al., Docket Nos. 93-07922, Mar. 8, 1996 (Tenn.P.S.C.). t
Philip S. Cross is an associate legal editor of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY.
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