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BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc. Request for Declaratory Ruling that State Commissions May Not Regulate Broadband Internet Access Services by Requiring BellSouth to Provide Wholesale or Retail Broadband Services to Competitive LEC UNE Voice Customers

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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Federal Communications Commission.




This document initiates an inquiry on whether the Commission should consider developing policies or rules regarding the separate provision of services that are offered as a service bundle by communications providers and seeks comment on the appropriate statutory authority under which the Commission could implement such policies or rules, if warranted.


Comments are due on or before June 13, 2005 and reply comments are due on or before July 12, 2005.


Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554. See Supplementary Information for further filing instructions.

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Ian Dillner, Attorney, Competition Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, at (202) 418-1191, or at

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This is a summary of the Commission's Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in WC Docket No. 03-251, adopted March 17, 2005, and released March 25, 2005. The complete text of this NOI is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC, 20554. This document may also be purchased from the Commission's duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, telephone 1-800-378-3160. It is also available on the Commission's Web site at

Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) or by filing paper copies. All filings should refer to WC Docket No. 03-251. Comments filed through ECFS can be sent as an electronic file via the Internet at​e-file/​ecfs.html. Only one copy of an electronic submission must be filed. In completing the transmittal screen, commenters should include their full name, postal Start Printed Page 19467service mailing address, and the applicable docket numbers, which in this instance are WC Docket No. 03-251. Parties may also submit an electronic comment by Internet e-mail. To get filing instructions for e-mail comments, commenters should send an e-mail to, and should include the following words in the regarding line of the message: “get form<your e-mail address>.” A sample form and directions will be sent in reply.

Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each filing. Parties filing by paper must also send five (5) courtesy copies to the attention of Janice M. Myles, Wireline Competition Bureau, Competition Policy Division, 445 12th Street, SW., Suite 5-C327, Washington, DC 20554, or via e-mail Paper filings and courtesy copies must be delivered in the following manner. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail).

The Commission's contractor, Natek, Inc., will receive hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary at 236 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Suite 110, Washington, DC 20002. The filing hours at this location are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building. This facility is the only location where hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings or courtesy copies for the Commission's Secretary and Commission staff will be accepted. Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743. U.S. Postal Service first-class mail, Express Mail, and Priority Mail should be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554.

All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

Each comment and reply comment must include a short and concise summary of the substantive arguments raised in the pleading. Comments and reply comments must also comply with section 1.48 and all other applicable sections of the Commission's rules. We direct all interested parties to include the name of the filing party and the date of the filing on each page of their comments and reply comments. All parties are encouraged to utilize a table of contents, regardless of the length of their submission.

Synopsis of the Notice of Inquiry

1. The NOI seeks comment on a broad range of issues regarding the tying or bundling of services in general that have been raised before the Commission. In the NOI, the Commission seeks to examine the competitive consequences when providers bundle their legacy services with new services, or “tie” such services together such that the services are not available independent from one another to end users. The Commission seeks comment on how such bundling might affect both intramodal and intermodal competition and the effect that it might have on the public interest, including benefits to consumers. Several commenters in Commission proceedings have raised the possibility that bundling services potentially harms competition because consumers have to purchase redundant or unwanted services. As the communications marketplace continues to move toward bundled solutions for consumers, the Commission asks commenters to address specifically whether competition is supplying sufficient incentives for providers to disaggregate bundles to maximize consumer choice. The Commission seeks comment on whether such bundling behavior is harmful to competition, particularly unaffiliated providers of new services, such as voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), and if so, how this is related to several previous decisions or ongoing proceedings relating to dominance and classification issues. Finally, the Commission seeks comment on its authority to impose remedies, the adequacy and costs of any potential regulatory remedies, and the least invasive regulations that could effectively remedy any potential competitive concerns.

Paperwork Reduction Act

2. This NOI does not contain proposed information collection(s) subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Pub. L. 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any proposed “information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees,” pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

Ordering Clause

Accordingly, it is ordered that the Notice of Inquiry is adopted.

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Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene H. Dortch,


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[FR Doc. 05-7181 Filed 4-12-05; 8:45 am]