Section 203(a) of the federal Communications Act required communications common carriers to file…

Section 203(a) of the federal Communications Act required communications common carriers to file tariffs with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Section 203(b) of the same statute authorized the FCC to “modify any requirement made by or under” section 203. Relying on its modification authority under section 203(b), the FCC issued a series of orders during the 1980s and early 1990s. These orders made tariff filing optional for all nondominant long-distance carriers. American Telephone and Telegraph Co. (AT&T), the only long-distance carrier classified as dominant, asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reverse these FCC orders. AT&T contended that making tariff filing optional for nondominant longdistance carriers was not a valid exercise of the FCC’s modification authority under section 203(b). Was AT&T correct in this contention?

 

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