Bill blocking automatic forbearance approval gains support

Qwest Communications currently has petitions requesting forbearance from pricing regulations in four markets in front of the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC must issue a ruling by July 26. But, one of the strange things about the forbearance process is that if the FCC does not rule on a particular request by the ruling deadline, the forbearance request is automatically granted. This has happened at least a dozen time in 91 petitions for forbearance.

The rule, a provision of the Telecom Act of 1996, has been criticized in the past, and now, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) is pushing a bill in the House of Representatives that would keep forbearance petition from being approved by virtue of FCC inaction. Not surprisingly, major telco foe Comcast says it supports that bill.

For more:
- see this report at Multichannel News