The Commission shall prescribe, within one year after February 8, 1996, regulations that require incumbent local exchange carriers (as defined in section 251(h) of this title) to make available to any qualifying carrier such public switched network infrastructure, technology, information, and telecommunications facilities and functions as may be requested by such qualifying carrier for the purpose of enabling such qualifying carrier to provide telecommunications services, or to provide access to information services, in the service area in which such qualifying carrier has requested and obtained designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier under section 214(e) of this title.
The regulations prescribed by the Commission pursuant to this section shall—
(1) not require a local exchange carrier to which this section applies to take any action that is economically unreasonable or that is contrary to the public interest;
(2) permit, but shall not require, the joint ownership or operation of public switched network infrastructure and services by or among such local exchange carrier and a qualifying carrier;
(3) ensure that such local exchange carrier will not be treated by the Commission or any State as a common carrier for hire or as offering common carrier services with respect to any infrastructure, technology, information, facilities, or functions made available to a qualifying carrier in accordance with regulations issued pursuant to this section;
(4) ensure that such local exchange carrier makes such infrastructure, technology, information, facilities, or functions available to a qualifying carrier on just and reasonable terms and conditions that permit such qualifying carrier to fully benefit from the economies of scale and scope of such local exchange carrier, as determined in accordance with guidelines prescribed by the Commission in regulations issued pursuant to this section;
(5) establish conditions that promote cooperation between local exchange carriers to which this section applies and qualifying carriers;
(6) not require a local exchange carrier to which this section applies to engage in any infrastructure sharing agreement for any services or access which are to be provided or offered to consumers by the qualifying carrier in such local exchange carrier's telephone exchange area; and
(7) require that such local exchange carrier file with the Commission or State for public inspection, any tariffs, contracts, or other arrangements showing the rates, terms, and conditions under which such carrier is making available public switched network infrastructure and functions under this section.
A local exchange carrier to which this section applies that has entered into an infrastructure sharing agreement under this section shall provide to each party to such agreement timely information on the planned deployment of telecommunications services and equipment, including any software or upgrades of software integral to the use or operation of such telecommunications equipment.
For purposes of this section, the term "qualifying carrier" means a telecommunications carrier that—
(1) lacks economies of scale or scope, as determined in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Commission pursuant to this section; and
(2) offers telephone exchange service, exchange access, and any other service that is included in universal service, to all consumers without preference throughout the service area for which such carrier has been designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier under section 214(e) of this title.
(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §259, as added Pub. L. 104–104, title I, §101(a), Feb. 8, 1996, 110 Stat. 77.)
Last modified: October 26, 2015