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Hearing of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce - Digital Future of the Unites States

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Location: Washington, DC


Hearing of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce - Digital Future of the Unites States, Part VI: The Future of Telecommunications Competition

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REP. FRANK PALLONE (D-NJ): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And thanks to the witnesses here today.

I'm happy to take part in what is sure to be an interesting look at the telecommunications marketplace and what lies in its future.

Studies have increasingly shown that consumers benefit tremendously from competition in the telephone marketplace. I have continuously been a firm believer that all consumers, both individuals and businesses, deserve to have many choices when deciding on their telecommunications services. I also believe that there is a role for the government in the telecommunications sector to ensure that competition is vibrant.

That role, however, is a tricky one, as we must make sure that the level of regulation is appropriate to the level of competition, and I'm hoping our witnesses will shed some light on this and flesh out the debate on some of the issues we've been hearing so much about this past year, including special access services.

The FCC began decreasing regulation of special access to increase competition and investment, and I'm interested to hear whether some our witnesses think that this approach is working, but I suspect that our panel will present compelling evidence on both sides.

And finally, Mr. Chairman, I'd like to bring a letter to my colleagues' attention. Last week, the Communication Workers of America filed a letter at the FCC with respect to special access services, and I'd like to ask unanimous consent that this letter be made part of the record of this hearing. I believe their position on the issue deserves a place in this debate.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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