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USA: Court Leaves FCC With Discretion to Regulate Special Access Circuits

On Friday, the decision to deregulate "special access" circuits was upheld. The case had been brought by the Ad Hoc Committee, a long standing body of large business users, one of the main categories of buyers of high capacity leased lines to interconnect business premises.

"They [Ad Hoc] contend that the FCC must continue to impose not just common-carrier regulation but also dominant-carrier pricing regulation on ILECs with respect to their special access lines. We disagree. Applying the deferential arbitrary and capricious standard, we find the FCC's decision to recalibrate the degree of regulation imposed on the ILECs' special access lines to be reasonable and reasonably explained. We therefore deny the petitions for review."

See the judgment of the US Court of Appeals of 17th July 2009 in Ad Hoc Communication Users Committee v. FCC

By Ewan Sutherland, Telecommunications Policy Analyst

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