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Boston loses appeal on AT&T rate oversight

The Federal Communications Commission Wednesday reaffirmed an earlier ruling
barring the city of Boston from regulating basic-cable rates of the local
AT&T Broadband franchise.

The ruling upholds a July 2001 finding that overbuilder RCN Corp. is
providing effective competition in the market.

Boston officials argued that RCN's system was 'immature' and not providing
sufficient competition to warrant eliminating regulation of AT&T Broadband's basic

But the FCC upheld its standard, originally used to gauge
telephone competition, which declares competition effective if the newcomer
offers comparable service to the franchise area and if local residents are aware
of the service and can switch to the new provider with minimal expense.