UC Law SF Communications and Entertainment Journal


James P. Denvir


The Federal Communications Commission Policy Act of 1986 (Dole Bill) offers a possible end to the dual federal regulation of the United States telecommunications industry, and could have a marked effect on the industry structure developed from the divestiture of the seven former Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) from AT&T in 1982. Currently, the telecommunications industry is subject to overlapping regulation by the FCC and the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The Dole Bill proposes consolidation of jurisdiction in the FCC. The Department of Justice, which is responsible for a tri-annual review of the continuing need for line-ofbusiness restrictions on the RBOCs now supports the Dole Bill. The author discusses the reasoning behind the Department's position, and examines the potential risks to the RBOCs under the proposed legislation.