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Sarjeant: telcos, cablers should be equals

Congress should treat phone and cable companies alike when considering new regulation, said Larry Sarjeant, USTA's vice president of regulatory affairs, during a Thursday hearing.

"We must begin to bring greater focus to comparable treatment for functionally equivalent services and not be driven to disparate treatment based on the old and irrelevant labels applied to today's multi-service communications company," he said. Sarjeant was testifying before the House Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee, which is considering a bill that would allow the FCC to fine phone companies as much as $20 million for violating the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

Part of that law requires phone companies to give competitors access to local markets by allowing them to share the incumbent's networks and equipment. - Paige Albiniak