Ethical and Regulatory Issues Facing the Telecommunications Industry

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Ethical and Regulatory Issues Facing the Telecommunications Industry President Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 into law in February 1996. The law modified earlier legislation, primarily the Communications Act of 1934. The legislation regulates broadcasting by over-the-air television and radio stations, cable television operators, satellite broadcasters, wireline telephone companies (local and long distance) and wireless telephone companies. The general intention of the Act was deregulation and competition. The Act removed barriers between telecommunications companies, thus fostering competition. The deregulation was also intended to offer consumers a choice in local phone service. By 1999, 98% of homes had no choice in…show more content…
Compliance Issues In December 2004, Sprint and Nextel agreed to merge in a $35 billion deal that would create the nation's third largest wireless telephone service provider (CBS News, 2004). The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the merger in August 2005. The approval of the merger is contingent on the company's compliance to FCC conditions. The first condition involves the FCC analysis of the impact of the merger on roaming. The FCC specified that Sprint Nextel may not prevent its subscribers from reaching another carrier and completing calls via manual roaming, unless specifically requested to do so by a subscriber. The FCC plans to hold a separate proceeding to examine whether the current roaming requirements applicable to mobile telephone carriers address current market conditions and developments in technology. The second condition involves Sprint Nextel's voluntary commitment to meet certain milestones for offering service in the 2.5 GHz band, unless circumstances beyond its control prevent the merged entity from reaching those milestones. The first milestone requires the company to offer services using BRS/EBS spectrum to at least 15 million Americans within four years of the effective date of the order consenting to the merger. The second milestone requires the company to serve an additional 15 million Americans within six years. The third condition involves Sprint's spin-off of local wireline business, Sprint Local Division. The
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