Summary: H.R.3626 — 103rd Congress (1993-1994)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (06/28/1994)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Supersession of the Modification of Final Judgment

Title II: Regulation of Manufacturing, Alarm Services and

Electronic Publishing by Bell Operating Companies

Title III: Federal Communications Commission Resources

Antitrust and Communications Reform Act of 1994 - Title I: Supersession of the Modification of Final Judgment - Antitrust Reform Act of 1994 - Authorizes Bell operating companies (BOCs) to apply to the Attorney General and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), notwithstanding the Modification of Final Judgment entered into on August 24, 1982 (AT&T consent decree), for authorization to provide alarm monitoring services or interexchange telecommunications services. Requires such application to describe with particularity the nature and scope of each activity and of each product, service, and geographic market for which authorization is sought. Sets forth provisions concerning application procedures, separate determinations by the Attorney General and the FCC, and judicial review of such determinations.

(Sec. 103) Prohibits a BOC, until one year after enactment of this Act, from manufacturing or providing telecommunications equipment or customer premises equipment, with qualified limitations on such activities after such period. Makes an exception for previously authorized activities.

(Sec. 104) Prohibits a BOC with monopoly power in any exchange service market area from tying the sale of any product or service to the provision of any telecommunications service if the effect is to substantially lessen competition or to tend to create monopoly in any line of commerce.

(Sec. 105) Provides for enforcement of this title through the U.S. Attorney's Office (including a private right of action with injunctive relief).

(Sec. 108) Directs the FCC to review its regulations: (1) and revise such regulations to the extent necessary to prevent a BOC from engaging in improper cross-subsidization in connection with specified services; and (2) regarding access to interexchange services provided to subscribers to commercial mobile services and revise such regulations to the extent necessary to protect the public interest, convenience, and necessity.

Title II: Regulation of Manufacturing, Alarm Services and Electronic Publishing by Bell Operating Companies - Amends the Communications Act of 1934 (the Act) to authorize a BOC, through an affiliate, to manufacture and provide telecommunications equipment and customer premises equipment. Requires the manufacturing to be conducted separately through an affiliate of the BOC. Directs the FCC to prescribe regulations ensuring BOC compliance with the requirements of this title, including the maintenance of separate books, records, and accounts for such activities. Requires the manufacturing affiliate to conduct all such manufacturing within the United States, with exceptions. Prohibits telephone exchange rate payers from incurring debt attributed to such manufacturing activities.

Requires such manufacturing affiliate to make available to all common carriers without discrimination any telecommunications equipment that is used in the provision of telephone exchange service and that is manufactured by such affiliate, with certain conditions. Prohibits such affiliate from discontinuing or restricting sales to a common carrier for as long as there is reasonable demand for such equipment (with a determination of such demand by the FCC).

Requires each BOC to maintain and file with the FCC complete information with respect to the protocols and technical requirements for connection with and use of its telephone exchange service facilities. Requires access to such information for competitors of the BOC's manufacturing affiliate. Provides additional requirements (and appropriate regulations by the FCC) with respect to equal competition and accessibility of telecommunications and customer premises equipment.

Directs each BOC manufacturing affiliate to establish a permanent program for manufacturing research and development of products and applications for the enhancement of the public switched telephone network and to promote public access to advanced telecommunications services. Provides the FCC with administrative and enforcement authority.

(Sec. 202) Directs the FCC to prescribe regulations to: (1) establish necessary and appropriate requirements for the provision of alarm monitoring services by BOCs and their affiliates; (2) prohibit BOCs and their affiliates from recording the occurrence or contents of calls received by providers of such services for marketing purposes; and (3) establish procedures for the receipt and review of complaints concerning violations by such companies of such regulations or other provisions of this Act which result in financial harm to a provider of alarm monitoring services. Provides for the expedited consideration of complaints.

(Sec. 203) Prohibits a BOC and any affiliate from engaging in the provision of electronic publishing that is disseminated by means of such BOC's or affiliate's basic telephone service. Requires a separate affiliate or electronic publishing joint venture (EPJV) to maintain separate books, records, and accounts of such publishing business and to take certain other steps to maintain such business separately from BOC business. Provides operating requirements for BOCs under common ownership or control with a separated affiliate or EPJV.

Prohibits a BOC or any affiliate from providing to any electronic publisher, including a separated affiliate or EPJV, customer proprietary network information for use in connection with the provision of electronic publishing that is disseminated by means of such BOC's or affiliate's basic telephone service that is not made available by the BOC or affiliate to all electronic publishers under the same terms and conditions.

Outlines prohibited and authorized joint activities between BOCs and separated affiliates. Requires appropriate maintenance of separate books, records, and accounts for transactions related to the provision of electronic publishing between a BOC and any affiliate, as well as between an affiliate and a separated affiliate. Prohibits certain interaction (such as sharing of common officers) between a BOC and other electronic publishers. Sets forth transition and sunset provisions, as well as private rights of action for violations of the electronic publishing provisions.

(Sec. 204) Requires a carrier that provides subscriber list information to any affiliated or unaffiliated provider or person to do so on a timely and unbundled basis, under nondiscriminatory and reasonable rates, terms, and conditions, to any person upon request. Sets limits on the use and disclosure of customer proprietary network information by common carriers. Authorizes the FCC to exempt from such limitations carriers that have, together with any affiliated carriers in the aggregate nationwide, fewer than 500,000 access lines installed if the FCC determines that such exemption is in the public interest or if compliance would impose an undue economic burden on the carrier. Directs the FCC to commence a proceeding to examine the impact of converging communications technologies on consumer privacy and to propose changes in FCC regulations and recommendations to the Congress for legislative changes.

(Sec. 205) Requires a common carrier engaged in the provision of telemessaging services to provide nonaffiliated entities, upon reasonable request, with the network services it provides to its own telemessaging operations, on nondiscriminatory terms and conditions. Prohibits such a carrier from subsidizing its telemessaging services with revenues from telephone exchange service. Provides for expedited consideration of complaints.

(Sec. 206) Directs the FCC to: (1) initiate a proceeding to reconsider its decision in the Report and Order In the Matter of Computer III Remand Proceedings, relieving the BOCs of the obligation to provide enhanced services through fully separate affiliates; and (2) adopt regulations prescribing the structural or nonstructural safeguards, or both, with which local exchange carriers shall comply when providing enhanced services.

Title III: Federal Communications Commission Resources - Authorizes appropriations to the FCC.