MiACT Opposes Tauzin-Dingell Bill

Apr 26, 2001, 01:00 ET from Michigan Alliance for Competitive Telecommunications

    LANSING, Mich., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Michigan Alliance for
 Competitive Telecommunications (MiACT) today urged Michigan members of
 Congress to oppose a bill introduced by U.S. Reps. John Dingell and Billy
 Tauzin that would be a further step in the remonopolization of the telephone
 industry in Michigan and across the nation.
     The bill, the "Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Bill" introduced
 this week, would bypass the 1996 federal telecommunications act, effectively
 allowing incumbent monopolies into long distance and destroying any chance for
 local phone competition to develop.
     "The local phone monopolies need to comply with the provisions of the 1996
 law," said Greg Boyd, executive director of MiACT.  "The law states clearly
 that before we reward SBC/Ameritech and Verizon with the ability to transmit
 data outside of their territories, they must open their systems to competition
 at the local level."
     The federal law needs to be enforced stringently before the RBOCs are
 allowed into long distance because the Tauzin-Dingell bill would reduce
 consumer choice and could result in higher local phone bills with fewer
 choices in high-speed Internet service and poorer service quality.
     "The bill talks a lot about data, but it is really about long distance,"
 said Boyd.  "This bill would make it even harder for competitive local phone
 companies to compete against the local phone company giants."
     Currently there is little to no competition in Michigan.  SBC/Ameritech
 controls 96 percent of local phone lines in its territory and Verizon controls
 100 percent of the phone lines in its territory.  The Michigan Public Service
 Commission's most recent report on competition shows that of nearly 7 million
 phone lines in Michigan, less than 300,000 are provided by competitive local
 phone companies.
     What is even more astonishing -- SBC/Ameritech and Verizon won't even
 compete with each other!
     "We hope our members of Congress will closely look at the law and talk to
 consumer groups and competitive local exchange carriers before supporting such
 a bad bill," said Boyd.
     MiACT is a coalition whose membership includes the Michigan Consumer
 Federation, the Small Business Association of Michigan, the Michigan
 Association of Insurance Agents, other business associations, long distance
 companies such as AT&T and Sprint, and many small companies seeking to provide
 local phone competition.
 
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SOURCE Michigan Alliance for Competitive Telecommunications
    LANSING, Mich., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Michigan Alliance for
 Competitive Telecommunications (MiACT) today urged Michigan members of
 Congress to oppose a bill introduced by U.S. Reps. John Dingell and Billy
 Tauzin that would be a further step in the remonopolization of the telephone
 industry in Michigan and across the nation.
     The bill, the "Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Bill" introduced
 this week, would bypass the 1996 federal telecommunications act, effectively
 allowing incumbent monopolies into long distance and destroying any chance for
 local phone competition to develop.
     "The local phone monopolies need to comply with the provisions of the 1996
 law," said Greg Boyd, executive director of MiACT.  "The law states clearly
 that before we reward SBC/Ameritech and Verizon with the ability to transmit
 data outside of their territories, they must open their systems to competition
 at the local level."
     The federal law needs to be enforced stringently before the RBOCs are
 allowed into long distance because the Tauzin-Dingell bill would reduce
 consumer choice and could result in higher local phone bills with fewer
 choices in high-speed Internet service and poorer service quality.
     "The bill talks a lot about data, but it is really about long distance,"
 said Boyd.  "This bill would make it even harder for competitive local phone
 companies to compete against the local phone company giants."
     Currently there is little to no competition in Michigan.  SBC/Ameritech
 controls 96 percent of local phone lines in its territory and Verizon controls
 100 percent of the phone lines in its territory.  The Michigan Public Service
 Commission's most recent report on competition shows that of nearly 7 million
 phone lines in Michigan, less than 300,000 are provided by competitive local
 phone companies.
     What is even more astonishing -- SBC/Ameritech and Verizon won't even
 compete with each other!
     "We hope our members of Congress will closely look at the law and talk to
 consumer groups and competitive local exchange carriers before supporting such
 a bad bill," said Boyd.
     MiACT is a coalition whose membership includes the Michigan Consumer
 Federation, the Small Business Association of Michigan, the Michigan
 Association of Insurance Agents, other business associations, long distance
 companies such as AT&T and Sprint, and many small companies seeking to provide
 local phone competition.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X64357781
 
 SOURCE  Michigan Alliance for Competitive Telecommunications