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Perhaps naturally, this Third Notice of Inquiry follows a format similar to the first two and seeks information along the same lines. These are the necessary questions, of course, in light of the mandate of Section 706 that [t]he Commissionshall encourage the deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americansby utilizing, in a manner consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity,price cap regulation, regulatory forbearance, measures that promote competition in the local telecommunications market, or other regulating methods that remove barriers to infrastructure investment.If the Commission finds that advanced telecommunications capability is not being deployed on a reasonable and timely basis, then it must take immediate action to accelerate deployment of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications marketplace.At the end of last year, there were approximately 7.1 million high-speed lines (200 kbps in one direction), with 4.3 million of these qualifying as advanced service lines (200 kbps in both directions).The rate of growth for the year 2000 for high-speed lines was 158%, a fairly impressive figure, but nevertheless one derived from a relatively low base in terms of absolute numbers.We also set forth, at that early date, what we called our containment philosophy, whereby we recognized that, in the post-1996 Telecommunications Act environment, continued regulation of traditional narrowband services might be necessary for some transitional period, but the threat of regulatory spillover from the traditional telecommunications world into the digital broadband world represents a clear and present danger to investment in and deployment of digital broadband services.Most recently, for example, we have published a book containing a comprehensive blueprint for reform, entitled Communications Deregulation and Reform, addressing a broad range of issues, including local competition and broadband matters.

This different take by the Commission may occur, on the one hand, as a result of a change in real-world conditions, or, on the other, as a result of a change in the Commissions understanding of its authority under Section 706, or a combination of the two.This book includes recent data on broadband subscribership and broadband providers, as well as a plethora of data on various facets of Internet usage.As shown below, we now believe, three years after the Commission initiated the first Section 706 Inquiry, that the agencys failure to adopt an approach along the lines of our containment philosophy to prevent regulatory spillover has, in fact, impeded the development of a more robust broadband environment.The Commission also has the opportunity to help further ensure the security, redundancy, and reliability of our nations communications infrastructure, an aspect of our national security interest brought home by the tragic events of September 11, by spurring more rapid broadband deployment.It can only seize these opportunities in a way that is sustainable on a long-term basis by adopting a more deregulatory posture toward all broadband providers, regardless of the technology they use to deliver the service.

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