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The Digital Divide Confronts The Telecommunications Act Of 1996: Economic Reality Versus Public Policy

The theory behind the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (hereafter “Telecom Act” or “Act”) was that opening markets to competition, including for the provision of local phone service to consumers, would prevent abuse of infrastructure bottlenecks and monopoly power and ensure broad-based competition. Unfortunately, the Act and its implementation are contributing to a digital divide.