New Telecommunications Bill 'Bad for Consumers': Wallop: Competition, not Stronger Monopolies will Bring Reform

Apr 25, 2001, 01:00 ET from Frontiers of Freedom

    WASHINGTON, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Former United States Senator and
 Chairman of Frontiers of Freedom Malcolm Wallop today announced his opposition
 to a new bill introduced in Congress he says would "gut the spirit of reform"
 Congress promised American consumers in 1996.
     "This bill simply doesn't pass the straight face test," Wallop said.  The
 legislation, H.R. 1542, the "Internet Freedom & Broadband Deployment Act,"
 would remove a central item in the landmark 1996 Telecommunications Act that
 required regional Bell monopolies first open their local service markets to
 competitors before being permitted by state regulators to enter the long-
 distance and Internet service markets outside their regions.
     "Rural consumers in particular will be singled out as targets of this
 legislation," Wallop said.  "There's no excuse for the provision in the bill
 that would effectively end any hope of legitimate competition in local
 telephone service markets around the country.  Rural consumers are already
 falling behind the rest of the country on the information superhighway, thanks
 in no small part to the Bell's insistence on selling off rural exchanges and
 refusal to deploy high-speed data networks."
     Proponents of the bill, including the Baby Bell monopolies and GTE, argue
 these companies need legislative relief to best serve their rural customers.
 "Competition will help bridge the digital divide.  It will improve services
 and drive down prices.  The Bells know it and that's why they're so desperate
 to skirt the original intent of Congress with this special interest bill."
     "In markets where competition has been introduced, high speed networks
 have been deployed and the price for high speed access to customers has fallen
 precipitously.  The only true incentive in a market economy is competition,
 which is what Congress promised all consumers in the United States almost five
 years ago.  H.R. 1542 will only turn back the clock and leave captive,
 overcharged consumers out in the cold.  The days of government-sponsored
 monopolies are over."
 
     Frontiers of Freedom is a non-profit, non-partisan foundation dedicated to
 protecting the constitutional rights of all Americans and restoring
 constitutional limits on the extent and power of government.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X64244481
 
 

SOURCE Frontiers of Freedom
    WASHINGTON, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Former United States Senator and
 Chairman of Frontiers of Freedom Malcolm Wallop today announced his opposition
 to a new bill introduced in Congress he says would "gut the spirit of reform"
 Congress promised American consumers in 1996.
     "This bill simply doesn't pass the straight face test," Wallop said.  The
 legislation, H.R. 1542, the "Internet Freedom & Broadband Deployment Act,"
 would remove a central item in the landmark 1996 Telecommunications Act that
 required regional Bell monopolies first open their local service markets to
 competitors before being permitted by state regulators to enter the long-
 distance and Internet service markets outside their regions.
     "Rural consumers in particular will be singled out as targets of this
 legislation," Wallop said.  "There's no excuse for the provision in the bill
 that would effectively end any hope of legitimate competition in local
 telephone service markets around the country.  Rural consumers are already
 falling behind the rest of the country on the information superhighway, thanks
 in no small part to the Bell's insistence on selling off rural exchanges and
 refusal to deploy high-speed data networks."
     Proponents of the bill, including the Baby Bell monopolies and GTE, argue
 these companies need legislative relief to best serve their rural customers.
 "Competition will help bridge the digital divide.  It will improve services
 and drive down prices.  The Bells know it and that's why they're so desperate
 to skirt the original intent of Congress with this special interest bill."
     "In markets where competition has been introduced, high speed networks
 have been deployed and the price for high speed access to customers has fallen
 precipitously.  The only true incentive in a market economy is competition,
 which is what Congress promised all consumers in the United States almost five
 years ago.  H.R. 1542 will only turn back the clock and leave captive,
 overcharged consumers out in the cold.  The days of government-sponsored
 monopolies are over."
 
     Frontiers of Freedom is a non-profit, non-partisan foundation dedicated to
 protecting the constitutional rights of all Americans and restoring
 constitutional limits on the extent and power of government.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X64244481
 
 SOURCE  Frontiers of Freedom