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BRIEFLY / TELECOMMUNICATIONS

FCC Classifies Comsat as Nondominant Carrier

April 25, 1998|Bloomberg News

Comsat Corp. was classified by the Federal Communications Commission as a nondominant telecommunications carrier, a move that will free most of its business from regulation. The FCC ruled that Bethesda, Md.-based Comsat doesn't have market power to distort competition in many of the countries it serves. It deregulated Comsat as nondominant in "well over" 100 countries where it offers telephone services, 54 countries where it transmits occasional-use video services, and in all countries where it offers long-term video feeds. In 63 developing nations where there is no competition for international transmission of phone calls, Comsat continues to be regulated as a dominant carrier. Classifying Comsat as nondominant frees it from rate-of-return regulation, which forces the company to tie its pricing to the actual cost of providing service. It also allows Comsat to file changes in prices for its service on one day's notice, rather than 14.

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