Federal Internet Law & Policy
An Educational Project
Computer II Reference Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY

Computer II (Docket 20828)

In Computer I, the FCC established the difference between computers that facilitate communications and computers with which people communicate or interact.  This is the basic verses enhanced service provider (ESP) distinction (ISPs fall within the enhanced services category). 

In Computer II, the FCC set forth a regulatory regime that would permit Bell Telephone companies (BOCs) to enter the enhanced services market while protecting the enhanced services from unfair competition by the dominant telephone monopolies.  The Computer II rules came to be known as structural separation.  Currently BOCs can enter the ESP market pursuant to Computer II or Computer III (although they must select and adhere to one regime).

The requirements of Computer II can be found at 47 C.F.R. § 64.702(c).  These rules indicate that BOCs may enter the ESP market if 

All transactions between the separate subsidiary and the carrier or its affiliates must be reduced to writing. 
BOCs electing to provide enhanced services through a separate subsidiary must also comply with the following requirements:

Note that some of the provisions of Computer II not mentioned here have been superseded by the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  These include Network Information Disclosure and possibly Customer Proprietary Network Information.

- Final Decision, In re Amendment of Section 64.702 of the Commission's Rules and Regulations (Second Computer Inquiry), 77 FCC2d 384 (1980) (Computer II Final Decision)

"1980 - AT&T introduces the DataSpeed 40, a forerunner of the current generation "smart terminals" having the capability of doing various forms of data processing rather than serving solely as input terminal to a computer. This led to the Computer II Decision which came up with a binary test: Was the device for "basic" service; or was it for "enhanced" service? Enhanced services had three subdivisions: Protocol conversion, data processing, and information retrieval. All of this led to the Computer III Decision and the Open Network Architecture concept in 1989. Digital local offices and optical fiber transmission being deployed. Switching System #7 is being gradually deployed." William von Alven, Bill's 200 Year Condensed History of Telecom, CCL 1998


Computer II

Computer II Related Proceedings

Computer II - AT&T Interspan FrameRelay

© Cybertelecom ::