WASHINGTON - The Federal Communications Commission last week issued its Triennial Review Order - a complicated, 576 page order adopting rules specifying the pieces of the local telephone network that must be turned over for use by other carriers. This order was a response to a May 2002 order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which vacated the FCC's previous unbundling rules. Those rules, in turn, had been adopted in response to a U.S. Supreme Court decision vacating the FCC's first set of unbundling rules. Today, Verizon filed a
Writ of Mandamus asking the Court of Appeals to vacate for a third time the FCC rules that apply to its traditional narrowband network and to direct the FCC to issue rules that comply with the earlier court rulings and the 1996 Telecom Act. The following statement should be attributed to Bill Barr, general counsel, Verizon:
"The FCC's order is flatly inconsistent with the Act and the court's mandate and is fundamentally antithetical to investment in competing facilities and destructive of the health of the telecommunications sector.
"It's been more than seven years and we still don't have a lawful set of rules. It's time for the court to apply a 'three strikes and you're out' rule and direct the FCC to immediately repeal its unlawful unbundling rules and replace them with rules that comply with the Act and the previous directives of the Courts."