Justia Utilities Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Antitrust & Trade Regulation
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires incumbent local exchange carriers to lease to new competitive LECs, unbundled, at cost, facilities and services (elements) that the FCC deems necessary to provide local telephone service, 47 U.S.C. 251(c)(3), (d)(2). Section 271 requires "Bell operating" companies that seek to provide long-distance service, such as AT&T, to make available a competitive checklist of services to facilitate competition in the local phone service market. In response to regulatory developments, Kentucky competitive LECs asked the state commission to require AT&T to continue de-listed elements. The commission agreed. A district court enjoined enforcement and ordered the commission to calculate the amount a competitive LEC owed AT&T for services obtained at the unlawfully imposed rate. The commission issued another order requiring AT&T to provide de-listed elements at a regulated rate. The court entered another injunction. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, upholding conclusions that the commission may not require continued unbundling of de-listed elements; that FCC regulations do not require AT&T to provide to competitive LECs equipment known as a line splitter; and that FCC regulations do not require AT&T to provide unbundled access to high-speed fiber-optic loops in new service areas. LECs, upon request, must package unbundled network elements provided under section 251 with elements mandated only by section 271View "Bellsouth Telecomm., Inc. v. KY Pub. Serv. Comm'n" on Justia Law