FCC's Ness: leave Telecom Act alone


As a host of critics complain that the government should reopen the 1996 Telecommunications Act, FCC Commissioner Susan Ness warns that major changes now could be harmful.

"We now have a level of regulatory certainty in marketplace where capital can be invested, where businesses can develop, where competition can fight in the marketplace," Ness, a Democrat, told reporters Thursday." I would like to see a continued level of stability. Any changes would have to be measured against the benefit to commerce of having a stable environment."

Only recently have the courts backed up the FCC's authority to force local telephone companies to open their markets to competition, one of the main areas of criticism of the act's implementation.

The landmark law is six years old this week. The act is also criticized for allowing high cable rates and rampant consolidation. - Bill McConnell