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Five years of the Telecommunications Act have ushered in a new era of dominant telcos
The Telecommunication Act of 1996 was supposed to herald in a new era of unprecedented competition within the industry, but years after its passage, carriers hoping to crack California's local telephone market are saying that we are seeing the re-monopolization of the industry under the former regional Bells.
When the act passed on Feb. 8, 1996, there were eight companies that served the nation's local telecommunications market. Today, through mergers, that number has been reduced to four regional powerhouses including Pacific Bell's parent SBC Communications, Qwest Communications, Verizon Communications and BellSouth Corp. Together these companies control more than 95 percent of the nation's residential lines, a $110 billion local service market.