|FCC Approves Verizon Long Distance
Applications for Maryland, WV & DC
3/19. The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) approved the
Section 271 applications of Verizon to
provide in region interLATA services in the states of Maryland and West Virginia
and in the District of Columbia. This now provides Verizon authority to provide
long distance service in all of its territory, and hence, nationwide.
The FCC concluded in its Order that "Verizon has
taken the statutorily required steps to open its local exchange markets in
Maryland, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia to competition." See,
release [2 pages in PDF] and
Memorandum Opinion and Order [246 pages in PDF]. See also,
Commissioner Michael Copps
wrote in a separate
statement [1 page in PDF] that he concurred, but added that "the
majority concludes that the statute permits Bell companies in all instances to
demonstrate compliance with the checklist by aggregating the rates for non-loop
elements. I disagree with the majority's analysis. I believe the better reading
of the statute is that the rate for each network element must comport with
Congress’ pricing directive."
He also wrote that "Our present data on whether
competition is taking hold is sketchy and non-integrated. We need better data to
evaluate whether and how approved carriers are complying with their obligations
after grant of the application, as Congress required."
Commissioner Kevin Martin wrote in a
statement [3 pages in PDF] that he concurred, but disagreed with the FCC's statutory analysis
regarding the standard for reviewing the pricing of individual unbundled network
elements. He wrote that "the Commission finds that
the statute does not require it to evaluate individually the checklist
compliance of UNE TELRIC rates on an element-by-element basis. The Commission
concludes that because the statute uses the plural term ``elements,´´ it has the
discretion to ignore subsequent reference to prices for a particular ``element´´
in the singular." Martin wrote, "I disagree".
Adelstein responded. He wrote in a
statement [2 pages in PDF] that "Today the Commission is following
established precedent in finding that the statute does not require it to
evaluate individually the checklist compliance of UNE TELRIC rates on an element
by element basis. Although some have raised concerns regarding this sort of
analysis, I believe that the Commission has correctly interpreted the statute
regarding this determination."
This is Docket No. 02-384. For more information, contact Gail Cohen at 202 418-1580.
|Verizon Says It Has Broadband Deployment
3/19. Verizon announced in a
that it "is adding more than 10 million new lines to the 36 million now equipped
with digital subscriber line (DSL) service from Verizon. By year's end Verizon
Online broadband service will be available to millions of homes not now served,
primarily in suburban and rural communities, making broadband available on 80
percent of all Verizon lines."
Verizon also stated that "New technology being deployed by Verizon will
expand the market coverage of its digital subscriber line broadband service by
pushing its reach beyond the current limit of three miles of copper wire. The
company will put DSL equipment in more than 3,000 neighborhood terminals that
are connected to the Verizon network with fiber-optic cables, and it will put
DSL equipment in approximately 1,000 additional neighborhood switching centers."
It also stated that "DSL is a first-generation broadband technology used with
copper lines. However, Verizon already is serving most larger businesses on
fiber links, and the company expects that fiber-optic technology ultimately will
become the preferred communications medium to reach homes as well as
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner
Kevin Martin issued a
statement in which he praised Verizon's announcement.
On February 20, the FCC issued a
press release [2 pages in PDF] and an
attachment [4 pages in PDF] in which it briefly described what its Triennial
Review order will some day provide. This order pertains to the Section 251 unbundling
obligations of incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), such as Verizon.
The FCC's releases contain several statements relevant to broadband
deployment. For example, the FCC stated that "Incumbent LECs are not required
to unbundle packet
switching, including routers and DSLAMs, as a stand alone network element. The
order eliminates the current limited requirement for unbundling of packet
The FCC also stated: "Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Loops -- There is no
unbundling requirement for new build/greenfield FTTH loops for both broadband
and narrowband services. There is no unbundling requirement for overbuild/brownfield
FTTH loops for broadband services. Incumbent LECs must continue to provide
access to a transmission path suitable for providing narrowband service if the
copper loop is retired."
The FCC also stated: "Hybrid Loops -- There are no unbundling requirements
for the packet-switching features, functions, and capabilities of incumbent LEC
loops. Thus, incumbent LECs will not have to provide unbundled access to a
transmission path over hybrid loops utilizing the packet-switching capabilities
of their DLC systems in remote terminals. Incumbent LECs must provide, however,
unbundled access to a voice-grade equivalent channel and high capacity loops
utilizing TDM technology, such as DS1s and DS3s."
Finally, the FCC stated that "the Commission will no longer require that
line-sharing be available as an unbundled element".
Verizon Vice Chairman Lawrence Babbio stated that "if the FCC's final order
as it relates to broadband is written the way it's been advertised that will
encourage us to speed our deployment of all broadband technologies."
|Deputy Assistant USTR Testifies Re Lack of
Transparency and IPR Enforcement in China
3/19. The Senate Foreign Relations
Committee's Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs held a hearing
titled the "Effects and Consequences of an Emerging China". Charles
Freeman, a Deputy Assistant U.S.
Trade Representative (USTR), wrote in his
testimony about the progress and shortcomings in PR China's
efforts to comply with its World Trade Organization
(WTO) commitments. He
addresses lack of transparency and lack of enforcement of intellectual property
He stated that "One area of cross-cutting concern involved transparency. In
particular, China implemented its commitment to greater transparency in the
adoption and operation of new laws and regulations unevenly at best. While some
ministries and agencies did take steps to improve opportunities for public
comment on draft laws and regulations, and to provide appropriate WTO enquiry
points, the Administration found China's overall effort to be plagued by
uncertainty and a lack of uniformity. The Administration is committed to seeking
improvements in China's efforts in this area."
He continued that "Apart from this systemic concern, three other areas
generated significant problems and warrant continued U.S. scrutiny --
agriculture, intellectual property rights and services. ... In the area of
intellectual property rights (IPR), China did make significant improvements to
its framework of laws and regulations. However, the lack of effective IPR
enforcement remained a major challenge. If significant improvements are to be
achieved on this
front, China will have to devote considerable resources and political will to
this problem, and there will continue to be a need for sustained efforts from
the United States and other WTO members."
|More Trade News
3/19. The Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) of the Office of the
U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the
Department of Labor published a
notice in the Federal Register requesting public comment regarding the
proposed U.S. Central America free trade agreement (CAFTA). This FTA includes
provisions pertaining to electronic commerce, telecommunications services, and
the protection of intellectual property rights. Comments are due by April 25,
2003. See, Federal Register, March 19, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 53, at Pages 13358 -
13359. See also, the USTR's web
page for the CAFTA.
3/19. The U.S. International Trade Commission
(USITC) published a
notice in the Federal Register stating that it has instituted an
investigation regarding the proposed U.S. Chile free trade agreement (FTA). The
USITC stated that it will assess the effect of this FTA on "United States
economy as a whole and on specific industry sectors and the interests of U.S.
consumers". See, Federal Register, March 19, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 53, at Pages 13324.
See also, the USTR's December 2002
summary [PDF] of the Chile FTA, and President Bush's January 30, 2003
notice to Congress. This FTA includes provisions pertaining to electronic
commerce, telecommunications services, and the protection of intellectual
3/19. The Office of the U.S. Trade
Representative (USTR) submitted two papers to the
World Trade Organization (WTO). The
first paper [6 pages in PDF] is titled "Identification of Certain Major
Issues Under the Antidumping and Subsidies Agreements". The
second paper [7 pages in PDF] is titled "Subsidies Disciplines Requiring
Clarification and Improvement". The USTR stated in a
these papers "make the case for strengthening global trade rules against unfair trade
practices, such as providing government subsidies to industries, and dumping --
selling goods at unfairly low prices."
3/19. The passed
HR 975, the
Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2003, by a vote of
Roll Call No. 74. See also,
in the House made by Rep. James
Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the sponsor of the bill. Sections 231
and 232 of the bill pertain to protection of personally identifiable
information in bankruptcy proceedings. The bill has not yet been passed in
3/19. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (6thCir) issued its
v. Northfield Insurance, a
breach of contract claim brought by an insured against its excess liability
carrier alleging wrongful refusal to indemnify under an advertising injury
clause for losses associated with the settlement of two copyright infringement
lawsuits. The District Court granted summary judgment to the insurer. The
Appeals Court reversed and remanded.
3/17. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency
(USTDA) awarded a $280,081 grant to the
Ministry of Communications (MoC) of Afghanistan to fund a feasibility study on a
proposed telecommunications backbone project. The USTDA stated in a
release that "The
MoC proposes to build a 3300km backbone ring linking many principal Afghan
cities. In addition, the backbone will provide connectivity to international
cable facilities." The USTDA added that "Afghanistan has one of the weakest
telecommunications systems in the world with only one out of every 625 Afghans
having access to telephone services."
3/19. The Center for Democracy and Technology
(CDT) released a
report titled "Why Am I Getting All This Spam?
Unsolicited Commercial E-mail Research Six Month Report".
|Adelstein Names Assistants
3/19. Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) Commissioner Jonathan
Adelstein announced that Barry Ohlson will be his permanent Wireless
Legal Advisor and that Johanna Mikes will be his permanent Media Advisor,
effective March 31. See,
Mikes is currently a legislative assistant to
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA), where she
has worked on intellectual property issues associated with new media. Rep.
Boucher is the sponsor of
the "Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act of 2003", a bill that would provide a
fair use exception to the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). He is also a cosponsor of
the "Benefit Authors without Limiting Advancement or Net Consumer Expectations
(BALANCE) Act of 2003". He also sponsored, in the 107th Congress,
the "Music Online Competition Act", which is also known as MOCA. Rep. Boucher
has been one of the most active and effective opponents in the House of the
entertainment industries on intellectual property issues.
replace Sarah Whitesell, who has been interim Media Advisor since Adelstein
joined the FCC in December 2002. Mikes worked at the FCC as Attorney Advisor in
the Policy and Program Planning Division of the Common Carrier Bureau before
working for Rep. Boucher. Before that, she was an attorney in the Washington DC
office of the law firm of Latham & Watkins.
Ohlson has been Adelstein's interim wireless legal advisor since Adelstein
joined the FCC. Previously, Ohlson was Chief of the Policy Division in the FCC's
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. He also worked as a Legal Advisor to the
Wireless Bureau Chief and as acting Chief of the Public Safety and Private
Wireless Division. Before that, he worked for Winstar
Communications. And before
that, he worked as an attorney in the law firms of McDermott
Will & Emery and Keller and Heckman.
|Thursday, March 20
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. The Supreme
Court is in recess until March 23.
9:30 AM. The Senate Judiciary
Committee will hold an executive business meeting. The agenda includes
consideration of several judicial nominees, including Priscilla Owen (to be a
Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit) and Cormac Carney
and James Selna (to be Judges of the U.S. District Court for the Central
District of California). See,
Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
10:00 AM. The Senate
Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, and
the Judiciary will hold a hearing on the President's budget request for fiscal
year 2004 for the Department of Commerce.
Location: Room S-146, Capitol Building.
10:00 AM. Dane
Snowden, Chief of the Federal Communications
Commission's (FCC) Consumer &
Governmental Affairs Bureau, will hold a media briefing to
discuss the work of the bureau, including telemarketing reform, slamming
rules, disability issues, tribal issues, and consumer outreach. RSVP to
Rosemary Kimball at 202 418-05111 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. Location: Conference
Room CY B-511.
10:30 AM. The House
Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Homeland Security will hold a
the Secretary of Homeland Security, will testify. Location: Room 2359, Rayburn
12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The
Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee will host a luncheon
panel discussion titled "Government Pattern Analysis: Securing Terrorists
While Preserving Privacy?" Peter Swire
of Ohio State University will moderate. RSVP to
email@example.com or 202 638-4370.
Location: Room HC-5, Capitol Building.
1:00 PM. The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the
Internet, and Intellectual Property will meet to mark up two bills, including
HR 1303, a
bill to amend the E-Government Act of 2002 with respect to rulemaking
authority of the Judicial Conference. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.
|Friday, March 21
10:00 AM. The
Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, and the Judiciary
will hold a hearing on President Bush's budget request for fiscal year 2004
for the Department of Commerce (DOC).
Location: Room S-146, Capitol.
12:15 PM. Jim Bird (head of the Federal Communications Commission's
Office of General Counsel's
Transactional Team), Don
Stockdale (FCC's Office of Strategic Planning
and Policy Analysis), Walt Strack (FCC's Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau), and Jim
Barker (Latham & Watkins) will speak at a
luncheon on FCC antitrust merger reviews. The Federal
Association's (FCBA) web site states that "This meeting will be off the
record". For more
information, contact Lauren Kravetz at 202 418-7944 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. This event had
originally been scheduled for February 19, but was postponed due to snow.
Location: Willkie Farr & Gallagher, 1875
K St., NW.
|Monday, March 24
The Supreme Court will return from recess.
4:00 PM. Polk
Wagner (University of Pennsylvania Law School) will present a draft
paper titled "Is the Federal Circuit Succeeding? An Empirical Look at Claim Construction".
For more information, contact
at 202 994-6138 or
email@example.com. Location: George Washington University Law
School, Faculty Conference Center, Burns Building, 5th Floor, 720 20th Street, NW.
Deadline to submit applications to the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for financial assistance for
FY 2003 for its 2003 Summer
Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) in several areas, including
electronics and electrical engineering and information technology. See,
notice in the Federal Register, February 20, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 34, at Pages
|Tuesday, March 25
10:00 AM. The
Committee's Subcommittee on Homeland Security
will hold a hearing on the proposed budget for FY 2004 for the Department of
Homeland Security. Location: Room 106, Dirksen Building.
|Wednesday, March 26
Deadline to submit requests to the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) to participate as a panelist in its workshops regarding the role of
technology in helping consumers and businesses protect
the privacy of personal information, including the steps taken to keep their
information secure. The FTC will hold a workshop titled "The Consumer
Experience" on May 14, and another workshop titled "The Business Experience"
on June 4. See, FTC release
notice in the Federal Register, February 26, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 38, at
Pages 8904 - 8906.
9:30 AM. The
Senate Judiciary Committee
will hold a hearing on pending judicial nominees, including Edward Prado (to
be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit), Cecilia
Altonaga (Southern District of Florida), Richard Bennett (District of
Maryland), Dee Drell (Western District of Louisiana), Leon Holmes (Eastern
District of Arkansas), Susan Braden (Federal Claims), and Charles Lettow
(Federal Claims). Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar
Association's (FCBA) Online Communications Committee will host a brown bag
lunch. The topic will be "wireline broadband issues". The speaker will be
Brent Olson, Deputy Chief of the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau's
Competition Policy Division. No
RSVP is necessary. Location: Kelley Drye
& Warren, 1200 19th St., NW, Suite 500.
|Thursday, March 27
8:00 AM - 2:30 PM. The Information
Technology Association of America (ITAA) will host a conference titled "Securing
Cyberspace: A Government Industry Partnership for the Future". At 8:30 AM,
Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), Chairman
of the House Government Reform
Committee, will speak. At 8:55 AM,
Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY),
Chairman of the House Science
Committee, will speak. At 9:55 AM,
Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT), will speak. At 1:30 PM,
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) will speak. The
ITAA states that the event is "By invitation only" and "Expected Attendees:
Hill Members and Staff, Public Media, Industry Reps. & other Public/Private
Sector partners". See,
Location: Room G-50, Dirksen Building.
11:00 AM. The Cato Institute will host
a book forum on the book
The Half-Life of Policy Rationales: How New Technology Affects Old Policy
Issues [Amazon sales rank on March 16: 1,844,100]. The speakers will be
Daniel Klein (co-editor), Jerry Ellig (Acting Director, Office of Policy
Planning at the Federal Trade Commission), Donald Boudreaux (George Mason
University), and Robert Atkinson (Progressive
Policy Institute). Lunch will follow. See,
notice and registration
page. Location: Cato, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.
6:00 - 8:00 PM. The Federal Communications
Bar Association (FCBA) will host a CLE seminar titled "What Every
Practitioner Needs to Know about Telecommunications Access - Policy and
Practice Related to Persons with Disabilities". The speakers will be Bryan
Tramont (FCC), Tom Chandler (FCC), Richard Ellis (Sprint), Mike Fingerhut
(Sprint), Pam Gregory (FCC), Karen Strauss (Gallaudet University), Paul
Schroeder (American Foundation for the Blind), and Claude Stout
(Telecommunications for the Deaf). The prices to attend range from $50 to $80.
RSVP to Wendy Parish at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location: Wiley Rein & Fielding, 1750 K St., NW, 10th Floor.
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