FCC to quicken pace of broadband review

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By roughly year-end, the Federal Communications Commission will decide whether cable and telephone companies must offer competing Internet-service providers access to their high-speed networks, agency chairman Michael Powell told lawmakers
Tuesday.

Under questioning from members of the Senate Commerce Committee, Powell said
the collapse of WorldCom Inc. and the increasing troubles of the telecommunications
sector in general warrant quick completion of four related rulemakings on
broadband issues around the end of 2002, rather than well into 2003, as previously
predicted.

"I pledge to you that we will accelerate our efforts to complete the task
before us," he said.

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