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Net, phone use rules create uncertainty



Published: Sun, February 23, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government's latest attempt to overhaul rules governing competition for telephone and Internet services sends mixed messages to consumers about how much they will pay to go online or make a call, analysts and regulators say.

Some analysts say the decisions from the Federal Communications Commission would lower phone bills, but others say they face a flurry of legal challenges from telecommunications companies that feel the rules hurt their business.

The FCC voted 3-2 Thursday to let states decide whether to spur competition between the regional Bell phone companies and their rivals. Another split decision eased requirements that the Bells provide rivals discount access to fiber-optic lines for the high-speed Internet access called broadband.




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