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William S. Cohen Papers | Senate Legislative Work, Communications

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MS 106.3.3.4.3 Communications 1981-1995 9 boxes

Records in this subseries document a number of legislative initiatives supported by Senator Cohen in the telecommunications field. An anti-trust suit brought against ATT (settled in 1982 and effective in 1984) resulted in that company's divestiture of its 23 Bell Operating Companies. This divestiture brought about enormous changes in the telecommunications industry. With the impending ATT breakup, the Federal Communications Commission proposed a charge for access to the long distance network that would apply to all customers. In 1983, Cohen cosponsored the Universal Telephone Service Preservation Act (S. 1660), which was designed to place a two-year moratorium on this charge. Cohen also supported S. 66, the1983 Cable Telecommunications Act, which sought to eliminate unnecessary government regulation over cable telecommunications. This bill became law in 1984. After the deregulation of the cable television industry, however, the price of cable services increased about sixty percent, and in 1992 Cohen supported S. 12, the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act, designed to combat rising cable rates and poor service. Cohen later supported an override of the President's veto on this act, and the bill became law in October 1992. Cohen also supported the Telecommunications and Deregulation Act of 1995 (S. 652), aimed at making the communications industry more competitive.

Files are arranged alphabetically, and they were created by Jeff Minsky, Dale Gerry, Paulina Collins, and Kelly Metcalf. Records include correspondence with the National Association of Broadcasters, the Federal Communications Commission, ATT, and the National Telephone Cooperative Assocation. Reports and surveys on cable television rates and services, copies of bills, letters from Cohen's colleagues seeking his support, and memos from Cohen's aides providing incisive summaries of many issues related to the telecommunications industry are also found in this subseries.

Access to some of the records in this sub series is restricted until 2016. Consult the Special Collections Department for further information.


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Contact the Cohen Papers: 207.581.2665 | spc@umit.maine.edu | Revised: 01/23/2014
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