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USTA Head Calls for Less Regulation
Oct 2003
LAS VEGAS, Oct. 16 -- Walter B. McCormick Jr., president and CEO of the United States Telecom Association (USTA), called on federal and state regulators to empower consumers to shape the future of today’s intensely competitive communications marketplace in his keynote address at the United States Telecom Association's USTA Telecom 2003 annual conference and exhibition, being held this week in Las Vegas.

McCormick said boundaries between cable, Internet, wireless and wireline service offerings are rapidly blurring and called for the end of command-and-control economic regulation of local phone companies.

"Increasingly, today’s consumers can get telephone service from their cable company, digital television from their phone company, Internet access over their cell phones," McCormick said. "Rapidly becoming obsolete are the categories that have defined telecommunications: local/long distance, cell phone/home phone, cable modem/DSL, even voice and data. The boundaries aren’t just blurring. They are, in essence, gone."

McCormick cited more than 100 innovative telecom companies who are pursuing the "triple play" of voice, video and data services as strong evidence that the telecom industry is positioning itself for the future.

"What is happening in this industry is an incredible story. Local company after local company, big, small, urban and rural are abandoning business as usual, responding to the needs of their customers, and embarking on a bold new path by embracing the triple play and investing in the advanced infrastructure that will deliver it," McCormick said. "We are not your parents’ telephone industry. And for this reason, the state of our industry is strong today, because local telecommunications companies are once again leading the information revolution."

McCormick outlined USTA’s vision of a competitive, innovative and growing communications marketplace, governed less by the heavy hand of regulators and more by the choices of consumers and the business decisions of individual companies. "The old rules," he said, "have got to go."

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