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 WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- In testimony delivered today, John Major, Senior Vice President and Director of Spectrum, Standards, and Software Management at Motorola and Chairman of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), endorsed most provisions of the Markey/Fields bill, H.R. 3636 (The National Communications Competition and Information Infrastructure Act), but expressed substantial concerns about the Brooks/Dingell bill, H.R. 3626, The Antitrust and Communications Reform Act.
 Appearing today before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance, Major said, "In order to ensure that our nation's telecommunications infrastructure remains second-to-none, it is essential that the United States develop and implement a national policy which promotes competition in the provision of all telecommunications services." He continued to say, "Without such a policy, the American people will be denied the full benefits available through the use of advanced telecommunications technologies."
 In general, TIA believes that H.R. 3636 represents a reasonable, balanced approach for advancing the deployment of the National Information Infrastructure. However, there are several areas in which TIA believes that the legislation can and should be improved.
 TIA believes that removal of artificial barriers to competition in the provision of all types of local telecommunications services, i.e., voice, data and video, will benefit consumers, the industry and the nation's economy as a whole, in the form of lower prices, better service, increased innovation and a more diverse and efficient array of products, services and service providers. "The introduction of H.R. 3636 represents a welcome step towards the establishment of a policy which is designed to ensure that these potentially enormous benefits are available to American businesses and consumers as quickly as possible," said Major.
 TIA believes the linkage between the removal of MFJ constraints on RBOC entry into manufacturing and other restricted businesses, pursuant to H.R. 3626, and the development of competition in the provision of local telecommunications services, pursuant to H.R. 3636, is critical. TIA urges that these two important public policy issues be considered and acted upon in tandem.
 Commenting on the MFJ's manufacturing restriction, Major said, "TIA has long advocated lifting the restriction on a phased basis as competition develops in the local exchange." In addressing the bill's "waiting period" provision, he urged the enactment of a "waiting period" which would allow some time for the local exchange to become competitive, thereby reducing the possibility for anti-competitive behavior by the BOCs when the manufacturing restriction is lifted.
 TIA is also concerned that, in its current form, H.R. 3626 does not provide an adequate procedural framework for managing BOC entry into manufacturing. TIA believes there should be "procedural parity" between rules governing BOC entrance into manufacturing and those applied to BOC's seeking to enter interexchange and alarm services entry.
 In addition, TIA strongly opposes the domestic content clause contained in Title II of H.R. 3626, as it may be a violation of the NAFTA and the GATT. "TIA, both on its own and in concert with this and previous presidential administration, has devoted considerable resources to promote market access opportunities for American manufacturers of telecommunications equipment," said Major. "In an industry where the competitive arena is global in scope, domestic content clauses are a poor means for promoting market opportunities and job creation."
 TIA is a full-service trade association with membership of more than 550, including large and small companies, which provide telecommunications materials, products, systems, distribution services and professional services to the United States and countries around the world. TIA represents the telecommunications industry in association with the Electronic Industries Association.
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 /NOTE TO EDITORS: For a copy of the testimony given today by Major, please contact Kathy Hammond at 202-457-4935./
 /CONTACT: Kathy N. Hammond of the Telecommunications Industry Association, 202-457-4935/

CO: Telecommunications Industry Association ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU: LEG

DT-KD -- DC015 -- 0710 02/08/94 12:06 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 8, 1994

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