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U S WEST Requests Regulatory Relief from FCC Restrictions

U S WEST Communications has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to revise its current regulatory restrictions that are blocking the company's efforts to bring high-speed Internet access across state lines to residential and rural communities.

U S WEST stated it is working with other computer and networking firms to develop and deliver high-speed ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) data communication services to more than 40 cities within a 14-state region.

"We want the freedom to invest to strengthen regional Internet backbone services. We want to be able to offer high-speed data access to customers throughout our region--not in just some communities, but in all our communities," said Mark Roellig, executive vice president, Public Policy and Law.

However, FCC regulations restrict these companies, as well as other Bell operating systems, from deploying high-speed data services between states and across LATA boundaries within their regions. Under Section 706 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, the FCC is granted authorization to lift these restrictions when advanced telecommunications development is hindered.

"U S WEST is in a unique position to make the investments necessary to bring advanced telecommunications and information services to residential and rural America," said Roellig.

"Customers in these communities have told us that advanced, high-speed Internet and data services are vital for improving education and fostering economic growth. We are hopeful the FCC commissioners will grant the regulatory relief we have requested, so we can better meet that need," he continued.

U S WEST Communications is a telecommunications provider for customers in the western and midwestern regions. It comprises one of two groups that make up U S WEST, with the other being the U S WEST MediaOne Group. U S WEST claims it will split the two divisions into separate companies mid-1998 pending stockholder and regulatory approval.



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