Federal Communications Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

50 Federal Communications Law Journal 309 (1998)


The overriding goal of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 is to promote competition in all telecommunications markets. Section 271 of the Act addresses competition in the local telecommunications market. This section provides that, with appropriate competition in the local exchange market, Bell Operating Companies shall be allowed to offer in-region, interLATA services. Although Bell Operating Companies have applied to offer such services, the FCC has yet to grant a section 271 application. Through these denials, the Commission has begun to construe the frequently ambiguous text included in Track A and Track B of section 271. A further understanding of the section's Track A and Track B requirements is provided through a thorough examination of the text and legislative history. Obviously, section 271 is essential to Bell Operating Company entry into in-region, interLATA service. However, the Commission's evaluation of applications should include a forward-looking assessment of a prospective entry's effect on competition in a given local telecommunications market.