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FCC Internet Paper

As summarized below the FCC has issued a long
paper: "Digital Tornado: The Internet and Telecommunications
Policy." To supplement the FCC's PDF and WordPerfect versions
we've converted it to HTML:

   http://jya.com/oppwp29.htm  (270K; 189K images)


From: Robert Cannon <[email protected]>
Subject:      FCC Releases staff Working Paper on Internet policy
To: [email protected]

News Release --  March 27, 1997


FCC Staff Working Paper on Internet Policy

     The FCC's Office of Plans and Policy (OPP) today released a staff
working paper analyzing the implications of the Internet for the
FCC and telecommunications policy.  OPP Working Paper No. 29,
"Digital Tornado: The Internet and Telecommunications Policy," was
written by Kevin Werbach, Counsel for New Technology
Policy.  OPP periodically issues working papers on emerging areas in
communications; these papers represent individual views and are not an
official statement by the FCC or any FCC commissioner.

     "Digital Tornado" represents the first comprehensive assessment of
the questions the Internet poses for traditional communications policy.
A central theme running through the paper is that the FCC, and other
government agencies, should seek to limit regulation of Internet
services.  In framing his approach, Werbach states: "Because it is not
tied to traditional models or regulatory environments, the Internet
holds the potential to dramatically change the communications
landscape.  The Internet creates new forms of competition, valuable
services for end users, and benefits to the economy.  Government policy
approaches toward the Internet should therefore start from two premises:
avoid unnecessary regulation, and question the applicability of
traditional rules."

     After providing an analytical framework to understand the forces
driving Internet growth, and describing the Internet's development and
architecture, the paper addresses three primary areas:

     Policy and legal questions arising from the fact that Internet-
     based services do not fit easily into the existing classifications
     for communications services under federal law or FCC

     Policy questions arising from the economics of Internet
     access, including assertions by local telephone companies that
     current Internet pricing structures result in network
     congestion, and arguments by Internet service providers that
     telephone companies have not upgraded their networks to
     facilitate efficient transport of data services.

     Regulatory and technical issues affecting the deployment of
     technologies promising to enable high-speed Internet access to
     the home and to businesses, including the implications for the
     Internet of the FCC's role in promoting universal service.

     The paper is available on the FCC World Wide Web site,
<http://www.fcc.gov/>.  The file is available for online viewing in
PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format at


or for downloading in WordPerfect format at


Copies may also be purchased from International Transcription
Services, Inc., 1919 M Street, NW, Room 246, Washington, DC
20554, (202) 857-3800.