Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) applauds FCC\’s 3-2 decision upholding competition amongst states.

WASHINGTON – Today, the Federal Communications Commission issued a ruling (3-2) upholding the 1996 Telecommunications Act and re-affirming the rights of the states to determine the best way to bring local phone competition, lower prices and better service to all Americans.

Today\’s FCC decision was extremely important. The process of deregulation that began with the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and which was supported by virtually all conservatives in Congress, will further apply free-market principles to the telecom industry and create a competitive framework for consumers.

"ATR applauds a majority of the FCC commissioners who have voted to preserve competition in residential phone service," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads ATR in Washington, DC. "The UNE-P system encourages competition and defends the right of consumers to choose between service providers, better products and service at lower rates. Today the FCC has voted to protect this cornerstone of the 1996 Telecom Act," he continued.

ATR congratulates FCC Commissioner Kevin Martin for upholding the conservative principle of federalism and devolution of authority to the states and away from Washington bureaucrats. As industry regulation is increasingly centralized, it is a breath of fresh air to see the laboratory of regulation working again at the state and local levels.

"It is encouraging to see that the FCC has upheld the conservative principles supported by numerous conservative organizations in Washington and around the country," continued Norquist. "The Commission should be congratulated for its work on this very important issue."