Summary: S.173 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (06/05/1991)

Telecommunications Equipment Research and Manufacturing Competition Act of 1991 - Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to authorize a Bell Telephone Company (BTC), through an affiliate, to manufacture and provide telecommunications equipment, except that no BTC may engage in such manufacturing with an unaffiliated BTC or affiliates thereof.

Allows such conduct only through an affiliate that is separate from any BTC. Requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to prescribe regulations to ensure that: (1) such manufacturing affiliate maintains separate books, accounts, and records from its affiliated BTC which identify all transactions with the BTC, that the FCC and State Commissions that exercise regulatory authority over any BTC affiliated with such manufacturing affiliate have access to such books, accounts, and records, and that such manufacturing affiliate, even if not a publicly held corporation, prepares financial statements which are in compliance with Federal financial reporting requirements for publicly held corporations, files such statements with the FCC and such State Commission, and makes such statements available for public inspection; (2) neither a BTC nor any of its non-manufacturing affiliates carry out sales, advertising, installation, production, or maintenance operations for a manufacturing affiliate; (3) such manufacturing affiliate conducts all of its manufacturing activity within the United States and uses component parts manufactured in the United States unless specified requirements regarding good faith efforts to obtain such component parts in the United States and domestic content are met; (4) no more than 90 percent of the equity of the manufacturing affiliate is owned by the parent BTC; (5) such affiliate incurs debt entirely separate from and without recourse against the affiliated BTC; (6) such affiliate shall not be required to operate separately from any other affiliates of its BTC; (7) if an affiliate of a BTC becomes affiliated with a manufacturing entity, it shall be treated as a manufacturing affiliate of the BTC; (8) such affiliate shall make available to all regulated local telephone exchange carriers, for use with the public telecommunications network, any telecommunications equipment (including software integral to such equipment and upgrades) manufactured by such affiliates to any purchasing carrier, as long as each such purchaser does not manufacture equipment or agrees to make available to the BTC or any of its regulated local exchange telephone carrier affiliates any telecommunications equipment manufactured by such purchasing carrier or any of its purchasing carrier affiliates; (9) such manufacturing affiliate does not discontinue or restrict sales to other regulated local telephone exchange carriers of any telecommunications equipment that such affiliate manufactures for sale as long as there is reasonable demand (as determined by the FCC based on specified criteria) for the equipment by such carriers, unless such manufacturing affiliate demonstrates to the FCC that it is not making a profit on the sale of such equipment; (10) BTCs engage, consistent with the antitrust laws, in joint network planning and design with other regulated local telephone exchange carriers operating in the same area of interest, subject to certain limitations; and (11) BTCs provide, to other regulated local telephone exchange carriers operating in the same area of interest, timely information on the planned deployment of telecommunications equipment.

Directs the FCC to require that each BTC maintain and file with the FCC complete information with respect to the protocols and technical requirements for connections with and use of its telephone exchange service facilities. Prohibits a BTC from disclosing any such information to its affiliates unless such information is immediately so filed.

Authorizes the FCC to ensure that manufacturers in competition with a BTC's manufacturing affiliate have ready and equal access to information required for such competition that such BTC makes available to its affiliate.

Requires the FCC to prescribe regulations to require any BTC which has a manufacturing affiliate to: (1) provide to other manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and customer premises equipment opportunities to sell such equipment to such BTC which are comparable to opportunities the BTC provides to its affiliates; (2) not subsidize its manufacturing affiliate with revenues from its regulated telecommunications service; and (3) only purchase equipment from its manufacturing affiliate at the open market price.

Allows a BTC and its affiliates to engage in close collaboration with any manufacturer of customer premises or telecommunications equipment during the design and development of hardware and software relating to such equipment.

Authorizes any regulated local telephone exchange carrier injured by an act or omission of a BTC or its manufacturing affiliate for violation of provisions regarding discrimination in price, delivery, terms, or conditions of sale of telecommunications equipment, or discontinuing or restricting sales to other regulated local telephone exchange carriers of such equipment, to: (1) initiate an action in a U.S. district court to recover damages sustained and obtain such orders as necessary to terminate existing, and prevent future, violations; or (2) seek relief from the FCC.

Requires: (1) independent annual audits of BTCs; and (2) the FCC to review and analyze such audits and report its findings to the Congress.

Increases from $6,000 to $10,000 the penalty for failure of a carrier to maintain records as prescribed by the FCC.

Title I: General Provisions - Expresses the sense of the Senate that any country for which U.S. assistance is being withheld under specified provisions of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, or which is listed by the Secretary of State under the Arms Export Control Act or the Export Administration Act of 1979 as a country the government of which has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism, should not be represented at the victory parade (celebrating the liberation of Kuwait and the victory over Iraq) scheduled to be held in Washington, D.C. on June 8, 1991.