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>APT filed a petition on February 18, 1998, urging the FCC to undertake
>simultaneous inquiry and rulemaking proceedings. The petition, suggests
>specific measures for removing barriers to advanced network investment
>and for affirmatively stimulating such investment.  APT believes that
>its proactive recommendations are a necessary corollary to easing
>certain regulatory restrictions that discourage ILECs and new entrants
>from building new sophisticated network facilities.

        Issues have been raised relating APT's sponsorship by local
phone companies (see <http://www.apt.org/sponafflt.html>) and APT's
call for the removal of "barriers to advanced network investment."
These "barriers" are the FCC rules that were intended to encourage
competition in the local telecom marketplace, i.e. competition with
APT's sponsors.
        I'm certainly in favor of providing advanced
telecommunications services to senior citizens, disabled persons,
minorities, women and small businesses, but I don't think that
removing pro-competitive local phone company requirements is the best
means of ensuring those goals.

Michael Chui
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P.S. If those requirements are ill-crafted, and don't actually
encourage local competition, then they should be fixed.  But I'm not
yet convinced by big, local phone monopolies threatening a loss of
"universal service" to senior citizens, disabled persons, minorities
and children if such requirements are not lifted.