This Comment provides the reader with a general understanding of the telecommunications industry and the regulation of the local exchange market. Part II describes the historical efforts of the federal government and the Florida Legislature to control the adverse effects of the local exchange monopoly. Part III depicts the developments within the telecommunications industry that influenced lawmakers to open the local exchange market to competition. Part IV summarizes those provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 particular to the deregulation of the local exchange market. Part V outlines the provisions of the 1995 Florida telecommunications reform that relate to local exchanges and were not preempted by the federal Act. Part VI attempts to predict the likely impact the federal and state reforms will have on consumers, the telecommunications industry, and the local exchange market. Finally, part VII concludes that telecommunications reform will benefit consumers by bringing competition to the local exchange market.
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