Summary: H.R.2546 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.2546. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (06/05/1991)

Communications Competitiveness and Infrastructure Modernization Act of 1991 - Title I: Communications Infrastructure Modernization Policy - Amends the Communications Act of 1934 (the Act) to establish a new national goal that by 2015 the United States will have established an advanced, interactive, interoperable broadband communications system nationwide.

Requires local telephone companies to submit a plan to achieve such goal for approval by the appropriate agency in each State in which they operate. Requires disapproval only when the plan is not in the public interest.

Requires such plan to give priority consideration to accelerated deployment of such a system for educational institutions, health care facilities, and small businesses. Requires such plan to provide for deployment to less densely populated and economically disadvantaged areas at a rate reasonably related to the rate of deployment in more populous and affluent areas.

Requires the FCC, after final State action, to review the plan to certify compliance with the goals and objectives of this Act.

Requires FCC procedures for local telephone companies to ensure coordinated communications network planning in the development of a nationwide communications infrastructure and to assure broad availability of information services.

Title II: Regulatory Changes to Promote Efficient Multiple Uses of Communications Technologies - Amends the Act to establish a policy to permit multiple uses of communications technologies and to eliminate restrictions on communications technologies to single lines of services in order to promote communications technology deployment in a manner which secures communication services for the public at reasonable costs.

Title III: Modification of Impediments to Convergence of Telephone and Video Technologies - Amends the Act to modify ownership restrictions to permit local telephone companies to provide video programming subject to specified regulatory safeguards to prevent anti-competitive activities only after the FCC makes the certification described under title I and certifies that the company has filed a plan pledging it to comply with such safeguards.

Outlines safeguards against telephone company monopolization of the cable service industry, including those: (1) requiring separate video programming subsidiaries for telephone companies; (2) allowing competitors attachment rights to telephone poles and conduits and rights-of-way within telephone company service areas; (3) prohibiting cross-subsidization between local telephone companies and affiliated video programming subsidiaries and marketing by a local telephone company of its subsidiary's video programming; and (4) subjecting local telephone companies to local cable franchise requirements.

Requires local telephone companies which distribute affiliated video programming over a broadband communications system to provide video gateway services to facilitate user access to video programming.

Exempts from the safeguards outlined above a carrier which provides video programming in rural areas with a population of 10,000 or below in which it also provides local exchange service.

Requires periodic FCC evaluation of the effect of the provision of video programming by telephone companies on the video marketplace and recommendations to the Congress concerning any modifications needed as a result of such evaluation.

Requires FCC and State rules and regulations to prevent consumers from paying more for telephone services as a result of their local telephone company's provision of video programming.

Revises multiple cable franchise provisions.

Requires an FCC report to the Congress regarding competition and consumer choice in the delivery of video programming and telephone services.

Requires an FCC review of the rural exemption described above to determine how to expedite access to broadband multichannel video programming for all parts of the United States.

Sets forth penalties for violations of the safeguards outlined above to prevent telephone company monopolization of the cable service industry.