Federal Communications Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

50 Federal Communications Law Journal 179 (1997)


The Telecommunications Act of 1996 purports to ensure every American eventual access to advanced telecommunications networks and services, and more immediate access to basic telephone networks and services. This access is essential because it determines the ease with which Americans can acquire an education, obtain employment, control financial affairs, access emergency assistance, and participate in the political process. The interpretation and implementation of the 1996 Act is critical because there is an imminent danger that a large portion of society— in inner cities, near suburbs, and small towns— not be connected to the "national electronic nervous system." To ensure that more Americans are technologically empowered, it is suggested that telecommunications discounts be extended to eligible community based organizations and urban health care providers.