"FCC Chief Cites Internet Weak Spot"
Wall Street Journal (07/31/02) P. A2; Dreazen, Yochi J.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael Powell told the
Senate Commerce Committee yesterday that he might not be able to stop
WorldCom from shutting down its Internet backbone service, UUNet. Although
Powell was confident of his ability to prevent phone services from being
abruptly dropped, he said telecommunications and bankruptcy laws were at
odds, and made his authority over Internet services unclear. Powell also
said the current consolidation going on in the telecommunications market
was unavoidable and might necessitate a previously untenable merger, such
as one between long distance carrier WorldCom and one of the Baby Bell
companies. Committee Chairman Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-S.C.) said he was
set to introduce new legislation that would give the FCC more control in
cases of bankruptcy. Hollings, however, said he would block one bill
coming in from the House of Representatives that would give the FCC more
powers because it would also make the Baby Bell local monopolies more
dominant in the broadband arena. Powell noted that backbone companies may
be legally able to ignore FCC directives and start cutting service to
customers before they have a chance to switch providers.