New Networks Institute

Tauzin-Dingell Clearinghouse


Copy of the Amendment

Copy of the Bill



An Amendment was added to the Tauzin-Dingell bill, and we'ed like to highlight just how bad it really is.... and the mistruths this bill contains.

To read our original comments see: "8 Reasons Why Tauzin-Dingell is Bad for America's Phone Customers"

1) First, the Bill states that the FCC and states' imposition of regulations impeded high speed Broadband deployment

"The imposition of regulations by the Federal Communications Commission and the States has impeded the rapid delivery of high speed Internet access services and Internet backbone services to the public, thereby reducing consumer choice and welfare."

ANSWER: Someone hasn't done their homework. The reason that there are no high-speed networks is because the Bell companies didn't roll out the networks as they had promised. In fact state laws and Federal laws were changed to accommodate the Bell companies' proposed plans.

More to the point, the Bell companies lied to the state and federal regulators about their promised rollouts--- they charged customers for networks they never received. The New Jersey Ratepayer Advocate wrote: about NJ Bell Atlantic, (4/97)

"...low income and residential customers have paid for the fiber-optic lines every month but have not yet benefited."

"Bell Atlantic-New Jersey (BA-NJ) has over-earned, underspent and inequitably deployed advanced telecommunications technology to business customers, while largely neglecting schools and libraries, low-income and residential ratepayers and consumers in Urban Enterprise Zones as well as urban and rural areas."

For links to hundreds of pages of documentation that clearly show that the Bells failed to deliver on their promises, see:  "Links: You Decide who's telling the Truth"

2) Next, Tauzin-Dingell again blames the FCC, stating that the FCC has unfairly kept the Bells out of Long Distance service (interlata) and this too has tied up the rollout of Broadband, and limited choice.

"Since the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Federal Communications Commission has construed the prohibition on Bell operating company provision of interLATA services in a manner that has impeded the development of advanced telecommunications services, thereby limiting consumer choice and welfare."

ANSWER: The Bells are restricted from Long Distance by the Telecom Act because they must first prove that their networks are open to competition. In all these years, only a few states have been able to prove that their networks are open and worse, of these, there is a great deal of documentation that this should never have occured. The only thing that has limited customer choice is the harm the Bells have done to competitors and customers.

3) How laughable is this amendment? This proposed act states

"Internet users should have choice among competing Internet service providers"

ANSWER : Duh? There were 7,000 ISPs in 2000 and the number is going down because they are going out of business based on sub-standard treatment by the Bell companies....

4) This Bill beleives that Deregulation of high speed networks is important

PURPOSES.—It is therefore the purpose of this Act to provide market incentives for the rapid delivery of advanced telecommunications services (1) by deregulating high speed data services, Internet backbone services, and Internet access services;

ANSWER:  Customers have paid for the development of the bell networks-- in fact they've paid numerous times. Now, Tauzin-Dingell would like you to beleive that that giving the monopoly carte blanche, removing any safeguards to prices or services, closing out competition and blocking the state and federal government is good for you.... Deregulation is just another term for giving more of your money to the monopoly ---- it has nothing to do with public interest.

5) This Amendment adds Limited Line Sharing (According to National Journal`s TechDaily, 5/8/01)

DEFINITION: Line Sharing is the ability of a competitor to use a portion of the copper wiring for DSL --- i.e, the customer gets their regular phone service from Verizon and someone else provides DSL over the same wire.

"The revision attempts to appease critics of the measure. The original version of the bill, H.R.1542, would have eliminated the requirement that the Baby Bell local telephone companies allow competitors access to their networks. The amendment would require limited line sharing with competitors. "It is a common-sense compromise," said Ken Johnson, the spokesman for House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman W.J. (Billy) Tauzin, R-La., who cosponsored the measure. "Chairman Tauzin listened carefully to concerns raised at the subcommittee markup and agreed that line sharing on copper loops is not only fair but also makes sense."

ANSWER: How bogus is this? Line Sharing was mandated by the Telecom Act, yet Tauzin wanted first to remove it, and now strip it. Without line-sharing most competitors couldn't compete at all. However, line sharing is still a nightmare and this act does nothing to fix the issues

6) "Free the Bells" is the Theme of this bogus Act. This bill wants to get rid of the regulators.

FREEDOM FROM REGULATION.—Except to the extent that high speed data service, Internet backbone service, and Internet access service are expressly referred to in this Act, neither the Commission, nor any State, shall have authority to regulate the rates, charges, terms, or conditions for, or entry into the provision of, any high speed data service, Internet backbone service, or Internet access service, or to regulate any network element to the extent it is used in the provision of any such service; nor shall the Commission impose or require the collection of any fees, taxes, charges, or tariffs upon such service.

ANSWER:  When you look at your phonebill, do you get disgusted? And have you heard about all of the problems with getting DSL? If it's this bad now, even with regulators watching, imagine what it will be like when the Bells are able to get rid of anyone keeping them in check.

This Bill does nothing to fix the current problems and will only make things worse... To prove the point, read the Cannon-Conyers summary.....

or read our customer oriented "Broadband Bill of Rights and compare.



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