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AT&T CEO praises Sikes FCC.

AT&T CEO Praises Sikes FCC No one has paid more dearly for regulation than AT&T, its chairman says, but he praises U.S. regulatory reforms and the current Federal Communications Commission.

Robert Allen says the promise of regulatory reform is to enable competition.

"The U.S. experience demonstrates that regulation at its best can be a powerful enabling force," Allen told ICA members "America leads the world in regulatory research and development.

"Alfred Sikes and the FCC have been consistently willing to explore new evidence and discard old beliefs."

Still, said Allen of his company, split by divestiture in 1984, "No one has paid a higher price than we have."

The man Allen praised, FCC Chairman Sikes, did his part to praise competition.

Competition has brought tremendous benefits to telecomm users and will continue to, as far as Sikes is concerned.

"My preference is for competition to discipline price and innovation," he told ICA members. "I am quick to want to remove regulation if there is competition present."

Competition hastened the age of an intercity digital, fiber-optic network, said Sikes.

"Spurred by competition, in less than five years, the post-divestiture AT&T converted almost all its backbone network to fiber and installed digital switches exclusively.

"Not even the most dedicated and conscientious public regulators could have hoped to accomplis so rapidly what competition in long-distance service managed to achieve."

In Europe, regulation and competition are changing too.

The continent is getting ready to hang an "Open for Business" sign on its door with the 1992 economic unification, said a reassuring Dr. Herbert Ungerer, a top European Community regulator.

"Our objective is a single European market by 1992," Ungerer told ICA members. "Not a fortress Europe, but a Europe open for business. It is not enough to allow competition to enter. Vendors must be free to offer services across the whole commu nity."

This year, 95% of the equipment market will be open, said Ungerer. Tariffs vary widely across the continent but will be studied to see if they are in line with competition.
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Title Annotation:'I' for international gets emphasis at International Communications Association; AT&T chmn Robert Allen, Alfred Sikes
Publication:Communications News
Date:Jul 1, 1990
Previous Article:'I' for international gets emphasis at ICA; good show, but where were all the people?
Next Article:Plenty of plums in ICA seminars.

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