Monday, October 11, 2004

Supreme Court Lets Stand Court Ruling that Overturned UNE Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear three separate cases related to the FCC's UNE-p rules. By declining the cases, the Supreme Court lets stand a lower court's rulings, which effectively overturned the FCC's network unbundling rules. The FCC is working to quickly write and implement new rules.

Some Reaction:

  • USTA: "Today's action by the Supreme Court should be the final chapter in this tortured saga of instability for the industry. It's time for the Commission to set clear, lawful unbundling rules to bring certainty and clarity to telecom." Walter B. McCormick, Jr., President and CEO of USTA.

  • Qwest: "On behalf of the millions of customers who are already seeing the benefits from true, facilities-based competition, we're pleased that the Court will not continue litigation on an issue that has dragged on for nearly ten years. Commercially negotiated wholesale agreements are not only possible, but preferable to further litigation and uncertainty. Qwest was the first to forge historic wholesale services agreements with MCI and COVAD. We've since signed business-to-business negotiated, wholesale agreements with more than a dozen companies." Steve Davis, senior vice president of public policy, Qwest Communications

  • BellSouth: "We continue to urge the FCC to meet the commitment of having new permanent rules in place by the end of the year and to ensure that the rules are consistent with the decision of the Appeals Court. After 8-1/2 years of working under unlawful rules, BellSouth believes the quick adoption and implementation of permanent rules is essential to economic recovery and job creation in America's technology sector." Herschel Abbott, BellSouth Vice President Governmental Affairs.
  • In March 2004, a three-judge panel in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the FCC's Triennial Review Order with regard to network unbundling rules. The FCC rules, which were announced in February 2003 but actually issued in August 2003, empowered state public utility commissions as the decision makers on issues regarding UNE-P unbundling and local competition. The Court of Appeals said the FCC erred by not providing unified, federal guidelines and by pushing many FCC decisions to the states. The court also upheld the Triennial Review Order's exemption provided to incumbent carriers from unbundling for certain fiber-fed loops and for line sharing.


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