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FCC reports DSL boom

New FCC numbers showing "stunning" growth of telephone digital subscriber lines prove there no need for Congress to remove Bell companies' obligation to carry competing Internet service providers, a coalition of ISPs said Friday.

The American ISP Association urged lawmakers to reject legislation that would eliminate telephone interconnection rules on phone companies' broadband operations. The bill's sponsors, House Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.) and Michigan's John Dingell, the panel's ranking Democrat, say DSL growth is being hampered by burdens imposed on Bell companies. But FCC data show DSL growing 108% in the final six months of 2000, with annual growth at 453%, the ISP coalition said.

"DSL deployment is surging and the Bells have a stranglehold," the group said. "Rather than pursuing the Tauzin-Dingell giveaway to the Bells, Congress should instead focus on bringing healthier competition to the DSL industry." - Bill McConnell