FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 13, 1997
CONTACT: Paige Darden
IRVING URGES FCC TO UNDERTAKE A RULEMAKING TO HELP NEW ENTRANTS
INTO TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKETS GAIN ACCESS TO INCUMBENT PROVIDER'S
OPERATIONS SUPPORT SYSTEMS (OSS)
WASHINGTON, DC -- In a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Reed Hundt, Commerce Assistant Secretary Larry Irving today urged the FCC to grant LCI's and the Competitive Telecommunications Association's petition for an expedited rulemaking on Operations Support Systems (OSS). NTIA agrees that the rulemaking is needed to determine reasonable, sustainable requirements for the way in which Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers' (ILECs) provide new telecommunications entrants with access to the ILECs' OSS.
OSS refers to the systems and databases necessary for ordering, provisioning,
maintaining, repairing, and billing services and facilities obtained by
competitors from ILECs. The FCC has concluded that competitor's ability
to provide service successfully will be substantially impaired if they
do not have access to ILECs' OSS functions.
Irving suggested that the FCC work with States to develop minimum OSS
requirements that will guide commercial dealings between ILECs and new
competitors. In his letter, Irving also recommends that the FCC get assistance
from industry supported national standards setting groups in order to increase
its chance of fashioning OSS requirements that are effective and are supported
by the telecommunications industry. NTIA's filing also suggest ways in
which the FCC could facilitate the development of appropriate performance
standards and measurements for ILECs' OSS.
"These issues need to be resolved in order for the promise of the
Telecom Act of 1996 -- a truly competitive telecommunications marketplace
-- to be realized," said Irving.
For a copy of the letter, please call Patrice Washington, NTIA Public
Affairs, at 202-482-7002 or visit NTIA's home page at http://www.ntia.doc.gov.
NTIA serves as the principal adviser to the Executive Branch on domestic
and international telecommunications and information issues.