Magazine article Information Today

Information Providers Protest Congressional Attempts to Restrain RBOCs

Magazine article Information Today

Information Providers Protest Congressional Attempts to Restrain RBOCs

Article excerpt

In a letter to members of Congress, a group of approximately 70 companies involved in electronic publishing signaled their opposition to pending congressional legislation that would prohibit the regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) from participating in the provision of electronic publishing services in areas where the Bell company provides telephone service.

The letter was drafted in response to claims by the American Newspaper Publishers Association (ANPA) that the country's electronic publishing industry is united in support of bills H.R. 3515 and S. 2112. The letter to Congress emphatically stated that although some newspaper publishers may support the bills, much of the rest of the information industry does not.

A large number of the electronic publishers do not support legislation barring Bell participation in the industry because entrepreneurial electronic publishers stand to benefit if they are permitted to enter joint ventures with a Bell company or to rely on the financial or technical resources or marketing expertise of a Bell comapny.

To clarify the group's position the letter stated:

While we do not support legislation like H.R. 3515 or S. 2112 substantially prohibiting Bell involvement in the electronic publishing business, we do support FCC regulations which ensure that Bell companies use their resources and expertise in the industry in a manner that promotes, rather than stifles, competition in the industry. Please do not co-sponsor H. …

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