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TELECOMMUNICATIONS | NATION / WORLD

New Setback for Phone Competition Effort

November 01, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas refused to set aside a federal appeals court order that temporarily puts new Federal Communications Commission rules to guide companies in complying with the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996. The act removes competitive barriers among phone, cable and other telecommunications companies. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis two weeks ago suspended key provisions in the FCC rules aimed at opening the nation's $90-billion-a-year local phone market to competition. The rules had been challenged by phone and cable TV companies and by some state public utility commissions. The appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments in the legal dispute in January.

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