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On July 30, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals largely rejected challenges by state entities and phone companies to a Federal Communications Commission order aimed at implementing sections of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

The 1996 act has allowed local telephone carriers, the so-called “Baby Bells,” to offer for the first time long-distance service across state lines by agreeing, in turn, to open their local markets to competition.

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