Telecommunications Act of 1996


Also found in: Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Telecommunications Act of 1996

Legislation in the United States that deregulated telecommunications. It changed regulations for telephones, television broadcasts and cable in order to reduce barriers to entry and increase competition. It also regulated explicit material broadcast on television. See also: Communications Decency Act.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1982, Congress revised the Communications Act(78) to require the FCC to deem as common carriage the services of all enterprises providing commercial mobile radio services, irrespective of prior FCC determinations that classified some of these services as private carriage.(79) The Telecommunications Act of 1996 required the FCC to classify as common carriage the provision of any telecommunications service.(80) However, both of the 1982 amendments to the Communications Act distinguish between the baseline classification of common carriage and the extent to which the FCC should regulate any particular carrier.
Basically, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 tried to deregulate (or re-regulate) the whole communications industry.
It covers such topics as: the First Amendment; commercial speech and control of privacy; defamation; obscene and violent expression; free press and fair trial; the Telecommunications Act of 1996; computer communications law; regulation of communications common carriers; cable television; and, broadcasting and international telecommunications.
The e-rate program, established as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, provides 20 to 90 percent discounts to schools and libraries throughout the country on telecommunications and related services.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 removed regulatory distinctions between carriers, enabling them to enter and expand in any market.
Yet, it is rightly pointed out in the Benton Report that it is critical that librarians embark on an active political role assessing the policy implications of the recently passed Telecommunications Act of 1996. The critical issues identified are not new to librarians--e.g., universal service and access, freedom of speech, intellectual property, and funding for services.
Constant litigation has been the most notable result of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, but what else can we expect?
Thanks to lobbying by NEA and our allies, the new Telecommunications Act of 1996 mandates that all schools and libraries have access to advanced telecommunications services at affordable, discounted rates.
"The Telecommunications Act of 1996 affects all elements of the telecommunications industry, and attorneys and industry professionals need the most up-to-date information on legal and regulatory developments" said Paul Brown, chief operating officer of Legal Information Services at LEXIS-NEXIS.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996, signed into law in February, allows open competition among local and long-distance telephone companies, cable operators, equipment manufacturers, and public utilities.
In their amicus brief, the members of Congress, several of whom were instrumental in enacting the Telecommunications Act of 1996, state that under the plain language of the Act, internet providers offer a telecommunications service.

Full browser ?