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There are weasel words indicating that the Act is a failure.

What are you talking about? Weasel words? Act was a "failure"? What in the world are you talking about? Are you trying to say that this article is purposely misleading others to believe the passing of the amendment was a bad decision? Why don't you show how, and provide some evidence for a lack of neutrality next time. This article seems pretty good and supported to me. I'm going to take the 'debated neutrality' sticker down, because you really haven't given any argument. If you'd like to argue about it seriously, please provide evidence of its bias.

Hi Monk, Please sign your comments. The weasel words comment was made by an anonymous user several months ago. The article has improved since then, and while incomplete, I agree it probably doesn't need to be tagged for weasel words. PuerExMachina 02:36, 5 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Telcom Act Merged[edit]

Telcom Act article merged with this article as per previous editor's instructions and template. MPLX/MH 22:19, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

'TRA' redirect[edit]

TRA redirects to here, but it's not clear why. The article doesn't mention it. I'm surprised TRA is not a disambiguation page actually. Aren't there several notable things sharing this acronym? -- Nojer2 12:57, 13 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Giving of digital spectrum[edit]

Will someone write about how the Telecommunications Act of 1996 gave up digital spectrums away to the telecommunications industry for free? (A spectrum that supposedly would have fetched $80 billion in a fair auction?) I know that after this bill was passed, Senator Dole and others on Capitol Hill raised a lot of concern about this. This was a major, but frequently unknown (for obvious reasons) aspect of the bill, and i thought it was funny that it wasn't mentioned at all.

Have you guys heard of this? --Maxwellcoffee 08:47, 16 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]

"The Unauthorized Bio of the Baby Bells"[edit]

I would like to know if any of the allegations set forth at this site are true/worth adding to this article.

--Sfultong 06:39, 17 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Full Impact of Bill=[edit]

I know that neutrality is key in Wikipedia, but this bill was contentious, and has had many effects on services and costs to consumers. It was written almost entirely by the Telcom companies, and is burdened with a lot of dirty laundry. Is it inappropriate to include that kind of information in a Wikipedia article?

Quigonpaj 12:05, 14 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Sloppy Edit[edit]

Seems to me that the latest edit was pretty sloppy. The paragraph after the list of mergers reads:

"Eventhough the Telecommunications act was brought into power to eliminate monopolization of large companies in the media field, this increased the power of the monopolizers through the new mergings that occurred. This last sentence is not accurate. Telecom monopolies existing because of Congressional law, until the federal courts broke up AT &T. The 1996 Act attempted to codify these changes in a new framework that would create additional competition."

So basically, the first editor said that the bill strengthened the monopolies, and the second editor decided to disagree with him, in the article, in the next sentence. Isn't that the kind of thing the Talk page is for? It sounds like the person writing this article had a dissociative identity disorder.

For now, I'm going to rewrite the whole paragraph. Feel free to change it if you have a better way of conveying the message.

Jason the Delicious 20:19, 25 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Just restored the article as deleted all content. Popher 22:44, 23 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]


The section below appears to be unsubstantiated, and appears to be unrelated at all to the subject (Telecom Act of 1996) ... We need a link to show that the statement "Because media is now centrally-owned, few Americans know that" is true, or I believe its a NPOV issue

To help with NPOV I took most of the following out, I've pasted it here for NPOV examination.


However, the two largest CLECs, Teleport Communications Group (TCG) and Metropolitan Fiber (MFS) were acquired by AT&T and MCI/WorldCom, respectively. When the smaller CLECs faced financial problems, the trend toward competition slowed, turning into a decade of reconsolidation. The stated intention of the Act was deregulation and promotion of competition, but it is now widely regarded as a failure.

Most media ownership regulations were thrown out by the Act, and independents were bought up. This, along with the Reagan-era recission of the Fairness Doctrine, resulted in the rise of right-wing radio, coast-to-coast. The Act was claimed to foster competition, but instead it led to historic industry consolidation, reducing the number of major media companies from around 80 in 1986, to 5 in 2005. Some are concerned about the consequences of such consolidated ownership. Will NBC, owned by General Electric, cover the externalities of GE's corporate activity? Issues such as: - The outsourcing of jobs to China, Mexico, and India: questions of trade policy. - Corporate behavior: does GE comply with taxation? Corporate welfare? Tax loopholes? - GE as a major polluter: will environmental policies be accurately covered? - GE is a major defense contractor: Will defense contracts receive fair scrutiny?

And these questions are not specific to NBC. CBS, News Corp, ABC (Disney), etc, are all cases which warrant concern. For example: - On election night in 2000, Jack Welch (then CEO of GE) came into the news offices of NBC, and told the producers to call George Bush as a winner in Florida. Independent investigations have asked NBC to turn over tapes of this incident, however they have refused to do so, citing privacy. - Few are aware that Reagan-Bush campaign officials met with Iranian officials in mid-October in Paris (1980), where an agreement was allegedly made to not release the hostages until after the new administration was sworn in. Several hostages claimed that their captors were holding stopwatches, counting down the time until their release. And few know that part of this agreement involved an arms agreement that utilized Israel as a conduit for the transfer of equipment. In one specific instance, within days of the Paris meetings around October 21st, Israel shipped a planeload of F-4 tires to Iran. And this was in contravention to the arms embargo currently in place. - CBS approached Greg Palast of the BBC, who broke the story about the Florida voters "scrub list" that was later proven to be woefully inaccurate (95% inaccurate). Mr. Palast gave his permission for CBS to follow up. Several days later, Palast was told by CBS that they had contacted the governor's office and decided to kill the story, because the governor's office had denied that the story was true. A target of the allegation, denies the truth of the story, and so a major news outlet decides not to cover it; a story later proven to be true, but never aired.

Because media is now centrally-owned, few Americans know that: - The wealthiest 5 percent own 84.4 percent of everything in America, and the bottom 40 percent owns less than 1 percent; - Two companies count 80 percent of the votes in U.S. elections (ES&S and Diebold), and the chief officers of the two companies are brothers Bob and Todd Urosovich. - A billionaire funded the Arkansas Project to try to bring down the Clinton presidency, in an apparent coup de état; - In July, 2006, half of the lawyers in the IRS's Estate Tax Division were laid off en masse, apparently as an end-run around the law (ref. DemocracyNow.org); - America's national debt now equals $30,000 for each man, woman and child in the nation ($9tt ÷ US population).

Professor Aurora Wallace: "Media consolidation has created the illusion of choice. Basically, just because we have hundreds of cable channels, hundreds of magazines, record labels, etc... all of these outlets are owned by 5 companies. We are not better served by the amount of information, if the information is collated by a very distinct minority."

Universal Service paragraphs (2)[edit]

After working on formatting changes to the Universal Service paragraphs, and setting a small time aside for the cited PDF from U.S. GAO (Murphy, 1998, to Sen. Stevens) -- giving a balanced treatment of the material covered in these two paragraphs would expand this article pretty far beyond the Telecommunications Act of 1996 itself. I think the episode with USF is its own page in history, essentially (Congress did not ask the FCC to overstep its authority, if that is what happened). Certainly the Telecommunications Act of 1996 didn't ask the FCC to misstep. So. It would be a matter to pursue in the FCC tree of articles on Wikipedia, or perhaps a collection of articles revolving around general misapproprations of funds and all that.

The Act itself (IMO) ought to be documented on its face, here. There's enough to it, to have to describe it in multiple pages (thousands of words) without wading deeply into its perceived failings. That is, its provisions haven't been described in much detail here, and we're already jumping in with the nooses and the pitchforks.

To editorialize a bit further…

Law has an interesting side to it .. it is interpreted one way by those who aren't quite familiar with it (and so largely obey it) and in another by those quite familiar with it, looking for ways to interpret it again.

Telecommunications Laws do affect the non-specialist, and they also have fairly honorable intentions, within a certain frame of reference. Very little has been written (in the article under consideration) about the Telecommunications Act of 1996, itself. Communications Law is interesting if you're in the frame of mind to work within it.

I think a Wikipedia article should assist that goal, primarily.

Nothing wrong with links to other (critical or noncritical) documents, but if it's done the other way, there's a hollow center where the Act itself was not discussed.

I've put in some references late last week that point to the proceedings on the Senate Floor (as documented by the Library of Congress). The stuff is fairly accessible. --Tetonca 12:05, 30 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I agree. This page should be about what Congress authorized. The details and controversies of the FCC's implementation belong in the Universal Service Fund and E-rate articles. PuerExMachina 05:59, 6 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Cleanup in Progress[edit]

I just made major changes to the structure and content of the article. I modeled the structure after No Child Left Behind. I tried to remove POV without altering the current content. When time allows, I intend to take the suggestion of User:Tetonca and expand the coverage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, itself. PuerExMachina 03:23, 18 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

It would also be useful to have a section describing the aftermath/results of the act, such as Clear Channel Communications becoming the "largest owner of full-power AM, FM, and shortwave radio stations" in the US. -M.nelson (talk) 08:00, 12 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah come on, no controversies / aftermath section? Dude "Man in the Box" from Alice in Chains has been on the damn radio for 21 YEARS now, no one sees anything unusual about that? Really? Picture 1981, "Crazy Train" from Ozzy was just played on the radio, and imagine for the next song they play "The Twist" from Chubby Checker, not only that but "The Twist" continuously since 1960. That would be the equivalent of hearing "Man in the Box" in 2011, still in heavy air play since 1990. It's like a cockroach walking across a white carpet - how is everyone NOT noticing this? Hanz ofbyotch (talk) 17:22, 27 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]


"The Telecommunications Act was the first bill signed into cyberspace"

This line seems to have been added some time ago, but for the life of me I can't understand what that is even supposed to mean. At best it appears to be a botched joke unless there is something (like of encyclopedic value) that I am missing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:59, 29 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Yeah, I have no idea what it means, either. Can someone translate that into modern English? —BlackTerror (talk) 05:33, 26 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]
I see that well over 8 years on from these comments that phrase was still present, and still just as meaningless. Now removed. (talk) 20:58, 5 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]