This article will examine court cases and actions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that distort the traditional concepts of common and private carriage by establishing new rights and responsibilities previously applicable to the other category of carrier. This article will also consider the feasibility of (a) maintaining the traditional common carrier regulatory model and (b) continuing the application of that model to basic services provided by local exchange carriers (LECs). This is especially important as LECs qualify to become private carriers tapping new market opportunities, even within the same geographical region where they provide basic services. Finally, this article examines the circumstances that continue to require application of the "pure" common carrier model (e.g., the FCC currently regulates the telecommunication transport operations of Comsat Corporation, but does not regulate its non-carrier ventures).
Schizophrenia Among Carriers: How Common and Private Carriers Trade Places,
Mich. Telecomm. & Tech. L. Rev.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mttlr/vol3/iss1/2