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Arizona Telecommunications & Information Council (ATIC)
Multitenant Building Telecommunications Access Study
State Precedents and Trends-- Public Utility Commissions (PUCs)

State Regulatory Precedents and Trends

State Legislatures

Principles for Telecommunication Regulation
  1. To the greatest degree possible, the Internet should be kept as free from government regulation as possible.
  2. The state must take an active role in promoting high quality consumer choices, innovation, and broad availability regardless of geographic, socio-economic, or educational status
  3. Degradation of services in non-metropolitan areas of the state must be guarded against.
  4. The desired outcome of any regulation is a safe, fair, and competitive e-marketplace.
  5. Questions of open access are likely to continue for some time and be difficult to resolve. Legal challenges are likely to parallel legislative ones. The state should keep in mind the goal of developing a world-class Internet infrastructure in Arizona and providing justice for those involved. Solutions should balance rights with responsibility.
  6. The state should work to remove barriers that impede telecommunication competition.
 -- Arizona Joint Legislative Internet Study Committee (ISC) Report - 12/01/99

State Legislatures play a significant role in the regulation of intrastate utility services. The U.S. Congress' Communications Act of 1934 established dual state and federal regulation of telecommunications services, while limiting federal authority primarily to interstate and foreign communications, and granting the FCC regulatory authority over common carriers as to their pricing and classifications. In such a complex environment, however, responsibility and authority regarding telecom issues and policies has often proved ambiguous resulting in jurisdictional disagreements and even conflicting actions from different government entities.

While local government primarily regulates, licenses, taxes, and polices the use of the public right-of-way (ROW) and protects community interests, State Legislatures have been actively engaged in passing legislation to remove barriers to competition, insure consumer choice, protect the public interest, advance regional economic development, and enable e-commerce and e-government growth. Meanwhile, the exponential growth of business-to-business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) Internet sales is threatening traditional regional sales tax revenues.

Regarding the multitenant building access issue, several states including Connecticut and Texas have instituted statutes requiring landlords to grant fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory access to the full range of telecommunications carriers from whom their tenants choose to take service. Other State Legislatures are actively considering similar actions including Arizona with a House bill being considered this session (HB 2634 Sec. F) requiring equal legal and physical access to multitenant properties at the same cost as existing telecom providers. Additionally, states have begun to deal with inside wiring ownership, the Point-of-Demarcation (POD), and contract exclusivity issues. A comprehensive summary of related legislative and regulatory actions can be found later in this section.

Multitenant Building Telecommunications Access Study
State Precedents and Trends-- Public Utility Commissions (PUCs)