What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Telecommunications Industry : HR 1542. Telecommunications Regulation/Vote on Rules of Debate on a Bill to Allow Regional Bell Companies to Enter Broadband Markets Without Demonstrating Their Adherence to Reforms Codified in the 1996 Telecommunications Reform Act. (2002 house Roll Call 42)
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HR 1542. Telecommunications Regulation/Vote on Rules of Debate on a Bill to Allow Regional Bell Companies to Enter Broadband Markets Without Demonstrating Their Adherence to Reforms Codified in the 1996 Telecommunications Reform Act.
house Roll Call 42     Feb 27, 2002
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

The original 1996 telecommunications reform law required regional Bell phone companies to prove they had opened their local phone lines to competition before they would be given permission to participate in high-speed Internet or long-distance service. Many Republicans argued this was a regulatory failure: it made it difficult for the Baby Bells to branch into high-speed Internet, even as cable companies were providing the same service with cable modems. They drafted a bill to remove the requirement that Baby Bells open their phone lines to competitors. Progressives opposed this move as a gift to the Baby Bells and a way to ensure that local phone service would never be competitive. In the House, the rules for debate on a bill must be voted on separately before the bill itself can be considered, so obstructing the rule is a common way to kill the bill itself. Progressives opposed the underlying regulatory bill, so they voted "no" on its rule. Nonetheless, the rule passed by a wide margin, 282-142, and debate on the bill began.

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