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Short Take: Arizona, Feds square off over deregulation

Arizona regulators voted yesterday to remove in-state restrictions barring US West from handling long distance voice and data traffic within state boundaries. But the decision may not have long to stand--the Federal Communications Commission said two years ago that states can't lift these federally mandated restrictions, and that it has the power to penalize US West if the company violates the federal rules. AT&T, MCI WorldCom and other long-distance competitors are expected to appeal to federal court or to the FCC.

Arizona regulators voted yesterday to remove in-state restrictions barring US West from handling long distance voice and data traffic within state boundaries. But the decision may not have long to stand--the Federal Communications Commission said two years ago that states can't lift these federally mandated restrictions, and that it has the power to penalize US West if the company violates the federal rules. AT&T, MCI WorldCom and other long-distance competitors are expected to appeal to federal court or to the FCC.