Telecommunications technology and service changes since the Telecommunications Act of 1996
Simmons, Matthew R.
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The Telecom Act of 1996 was intended to address the lack of competition and reduce regulation in local telephone services and in other areas of the telecommunications sector. The competitive situation in telecommunications, particularly regarding local telephone services, has experienced a limited amount of positive change as a result of the Act. Local Telephone service consumers are still given little choice as the Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs) continue to dominate coverage in the local loop. The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate the effects that the situation resulting from the Act had on the expansion of telecommunications options and the emergence of new technologies. This thesis also focuses on exploring to what degree competition in telecommunications has improved since 1996. Case studies of telecom companies are utilized to demonstrate how effective the regulations of the Act were in various telecom areas such as long-distance and local services. The convergence of technologies and applications is also identified as several providers combined to offer services such as Web hosting, Voice Over IP solutions, wireless, and long-distance. Problems such as the need for new networks in the local loop are identified and recommendations for potential solutions in the telecom industry are also given.
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