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TELECOM COMPETITIVE BARRIERS FALLING AT STATE LEVEL, FITCH SAYS -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --



NEW YORK, Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Regulatory and technical barriers that have long separated local and long distance telephone companies, as well as cable television firms, are gradually being lowered on a state-by-state basis with or without federal legislation, a new report by Fitch shows. In an increasingly competitive environment, companies that can finance new business opportunities from internally generated cash are much more likely to retain their credit profile than companies that must rely on the capital markets.

While increased competition is clearly on the horizon, it will be measured and phased in on a market-by-market basis. Companies are likely to avoid sizable investments in unproven technology and large-scale capital projects without first gathering sufficient marketing data to support business plans for broadening their service offerings and launching large-scale head-to-head competition.

The phasing in of competition will be guided by both federal and state regulators, following the likely signing of federal legislation later this year. There would be an implementation period of one to three years, during which state public service commissions and federal agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission Federal Communications Commission (FCC), independent executive agency of the U.S. government established in 1934 to regulate interstate and foreign communications in the public interest.  and U.S. Department of Justice, would hold protracted negotiations over regulatory jurisdictions. Each regulatory agency will maneuver for authority over who will regulate the opening of local telephone networks to competition and how universal service and other social priorities will be subsidized in the coming competitive information era.

The overhaul of the existing regulatory framework is in response to technological advances that have, in large measure, undermined the historical economic assumption that adequate service could only be provided by the granting of monopoly status. In response to the new regulatory environment, companies in the communications industry are preparing strategies to take advantage of the expected convergence of the $90 billion local telephone, $70 billion long distance, and $25 billion cable television markets, as well as the rapidly growing wireless segment of the telecommunications industry.
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/CONTACT: Stuart M. Rossmiller, 212-908-0639, Stephanie Babich, 212-908-0524, or Michael Plancey, 212-908-0520, all of Fitch/

CO: Fitch Financial Wire ST: New York IN: TLS (1) (Transport Layer Security) A security protocol from the IETF that is based on the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) 3.0 protocol developed by Netscape. TLS uses digital certificates to authenticate the user as well as authenticate the network (in a wireless  SU: LEG ECO E·co   , Umberto Born 1932.

Italian writer best known for his novels, including The Name of the Rose (1981). He has also written extensively on semiotics and British and American popular culture.
 

PS -- NYW NYW New Yankee Workshop (woodworking TV program) 075 -- 4705 01/24/96 12:22 EST EST electroshock therapy.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 24, 1996
Words:356
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