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FPSC Staff Summary
Telecommunications Act of 1996
SEC. 706. ADVANCED TELECOMMUNICATIONS INCENTIVES.
(a) IN GENERAL-The Commission and each State commission with regulatory
jurisdiction over telecommunications services shall encourage the deployment on
a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans
(including, in particular, elementary and secondary schools and classrooms) by utilizing,
in a manner consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity, price
cap regulation, regulatory forbearance, measures that promote competition in the
local telecommunications market, or other regulating methods that remove barriers
to infrastructure investment.
(b) INQUIRY-The Commission shall, within 30 months after the date
of enactment of this Act, and regularly thereafter, initiate a notice of inquiry
concerning the availability of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans
(including, in particular, elementary and secondary schools and classrooms) and
shall complete the inquiry within 180 days after its initiation. In the inquiry,
the Commission shall determine whether advanced telecommunications capability is
being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. If the Commission's
determination is negative, it shall take immediate action to accelerate deployment
of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting
competition in the telecommunications market.
(c) DEFINITIONS- For purposes of this subsection:
(1) ADVANCED TELECOMMUNICATIONS CAPABILITY- The term `advanced
telecommunications capability' is defined, without regard to any transmission media
or technology, as high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability
that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics,
and video telecommunications using any technology.
(2) ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS- The term `elementary and
secondary schools' means elementary and secondary schools, as defined in paragraphs
(14) and (25), respectively, of section 14101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education
Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 8801).