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services, facilities, and information, or in the establishment of standards; and
(2) shall account for all transactions with an affiliate described in subsection (a) in accordance with accounting principles designated or approved by the Commission. (d) BIENNIAL AUDIT.
(1) GENERAL REQUIREMENT.-A company required to operate a separate affiliate under this section shall obtain and pay for a joint Federal/State audit every 2 years conducted by an independent auditor to determine whether such company has complied with this section and the regulations promulgated under this section, and particularly whether such company has complied with the separate accounting requirements under subsection (b).
(2) RESULTS SUBMITTED TO COMMISSION; STATE COMMISSIONS.—The auditor described in paragraph (1) shall submit the results of the audit to the Commission and to the State commission of each State in which the company audited provides service, which shall make such results available for public inspection. Any party may submit comments on the final audit report.
(3) ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS.-For purposes of conducting audits and reviews under this subsection
(A) the independent auditor, the Commission, and the State commission shall have access to the financial accounts and records of each company and of its affiliates necessary to verify transactions conducted with that company that are relevant to the specific activities permitted under this section and that are necessary for the regulation of rates;
(B) the Commission and the State commission shall have access to the working papers and supporting materials of any auditor who performs an audit under this section; and
(C) the State commission shall implement appropriate procedures to ensure the protection of any proprietary
information submitted to it under this section. (e) FULFILLMENT OF CERTAIN REQUESTS.—A Bell operating company and an affiliate that is subject to the requirements of section 251(c)
(1) shall fulfill any requests from an unaffiliated entity for telephone exchange service and exchange access within a period no longer than the period in which it provides such telephone exchange service and exchange access to itself or to its affiliates;
(2) shall not provide any facilities, services, or information concerning its provision of exchange access to the affiliate described in subsection (a) unless such facilities, services, or information are made available to other providers of interLATA services in that market on the same terms and conditions;
(3) shall charge the affiliate described in subsection (a), or impute to itself (if using the access for its provision of its own services), an amount for access to its telephone exchange seryice and exchange access that is no less than the amount charged to any unaffiliated interexchange carriers for such service; and
(4) may provide any interLATA or intraLATA facilities or services to its interLATA affiliate if such services or facilities are made available to all carriers at the same rates and on the same terms and conditions, and so long as the costs are appropriately allocated. (f) SUNSET.
(1) MANUFACTURING AND LONG DISTANCE.—The provisions of this section (other than subsection (e)) shall cease to apply with respect to the manufacturing activities or the interLATĂ telecommunications services of a Bell operating company 3 years after the date such Bell operating company or any Bell operating company affiliate is authorized to provide interLATA telecommunications services under section 271(d), unless the Commission extends such 3-year period by rule or order.
(2) INTERLATA INFORMATION SERVICES.—The provisions of this section (other than subsection (e)) shall cease to apply with respect to the interLATA information services of a Bell operating company 4 years after the date of enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, unless the Commission extends such 4-year period by rule or order.
(3) PRESERVATION OF EXISTING AUTHORITY.-Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the authority of the Commission under any other section of this Act to prescribe safeguards consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity. (g) JOINT MARKETING.–
(1) AFFILIATE SALES OF TELEPHONE EXCHANGE SERVICES.A Bell operating company affiliate required by this section may not market or sell telephone exchange services provided by the Bell operating company unless that company permits other entities offering the same or similar service to market and sell its telephone exchange services.
(2) BELL OPERATING COMPANY SALES OF AFFILIATE SERVICES.-A Bell operating company may not market or sell interLATA service provided by an affiliate required by this section within any of its in-region States until such company is authorized to provide interLATA services in such State under section 2710d).
(3) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—The joint marketing and sale of services permitted under this subsection shall not be considered to violate the nondiscrimination provisions of subsection (c).
(h) TRANSITION.—With respect to any activity in which a Bell operating company is engaged on the date of enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, such company shall have one year from such date of enactment to comply with the requirements of this section. SEC. 273. (47 U.S.C. 273) MANUFACTURING BY BELL OPERATING
COMPANIES. (a) AUTHORIZATION.—A Bell operating company may manufacture and provide telecommunications equipment, and manufacture
customer premises equipment, if the Commission authorizes that Bell operating company or any Bell operating company affiliate to provide interLATA services under section 271(d), subject to the requirements of this section and the regulations prescribed thereunder, except that neither a Bell operating company nor any of its affiliates may engage in such manufacturing in conjunction with a Bell operating company not so affiliated or any of its affiliates. (b) COLLABORATION; RESEARCH AND ROYALTY AGREEMENTS.
(1) COLLABORATION.Subsection (a) shall not prohibit a Bell operating company from engaging in close collaboration with any manufacturer of customer premises equipment or telecommunications equipment during the design and development of hardware, software, or combinations thereof related to such equipment.
(2) CERTAIN RESEARCH ARRANGEMENTS; ROYALTY AGREEMENTS. Subsection (a) shall not prohibit a Bell operating company from,
(A) engaging in research activities related to manufacturing, and
(B) entering into royalty agreements with manufacturers of telecommunications equipment. (c) INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS.
(1) INFORMATION ON PROTOCOLS AND TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS.—Each Bell operating company shall, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Commission, maintain and file with the Commission full and complete information with respect to the protocols and technical requirements for connection with and use of its telephone exchange service facilities. Each such company shall report promptly to the Commission any material changes or planned changes to such protocols and requirements, and the schedule for implementation of such changes or planned changes.
(2) DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION.-A Bell operating company shall not disclose any information required to be filed under paragraph (1) unless that information has been filed promptly, as required by regulation by the Commission.
(3) ACCESS BY COMPETITORS TO INFORMATION.—The Commission may prescribe such additional regulations under this subsection as may be necessary to ensure that manufacturers have access to the information with respect to the protocols and technical requirements for connection with and use of telephone exchange service facilities that a Bell operating company makes available to any manufacturing affiliate or any unaffiliated manufacturer.
(4) PLANNING INFORMATION.-Each Bell operating company shall provide, to interconnecting carriers providing telephone exchange service, timely information on the planned deployment of telecommunications equipment.
(d) MANUFACTURING LIMITATIONS FOR STANDARD-SETTING ORGANIZATIONS.—
(1) APPLICATION TO BELL COMMUNICATIONS RESEARCH OR MANUFACTURERS.-Bell Communications Research, Inc., or any successor entity or affiliate
(A) shall not be considered a Bell operating company or a successor or assign of a Bell operating company at such time as it is no longer an affiliate of any Bell operating company; and
(B) notwithstanding paragraph (3), shall not engage in manufacturing telecommunications equipment or customer premises equipment as long as it is an affiliate of more than 1 otherwise unaffiliated Bell operating company or
successor or assign of any such company. Nothing in this subsection prohibits Bell Communications Research, Inc., or any successor entity, from engaging in any activity in which it is lawfully engaged on the date of enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Nothing provided in this subsection shall render Bell Communications Research, Inc., or any successor entity, a common carrier under title II of this Act. Nothing in this subsection restricts any manufacturer from engaging in any activity in which it is lawfully engaged on the date of enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
(2) PROPRIETARY INFORMATION.-Any entity which establishes standards for telecommunications equipment or customer premises equipment, or generic network requirements for such equipment, or certifies telecommunications equipment or customer premises equipment, shall be prohibited from releasing or otherwise using any proprietary information, designated as such by its owner, in its possession as a result of such activity, for any purpose other than purposes authorized in writing by the owner of such information, even after such entity ceases to be so engaged.
(3) MANUFACTURING SAFEGUARDS.-(A) Except as prohibited in paragraph (1), and subject to paragraph (6), any entity which certifies telecommunications equipment or customer premises equipment manufactured by an unaffiliated entity shall only manufacture a particular class of telecommunications equipment or customer premises equipment for which it is undertaking or has undertaken, during the previous 18 months, certification activity for such class of equipment through a separate affiliate. (B) Such separate affiliate shall
(i) maintain books, records, and accounts separate from those of the entity that certifies such equipment, consistent with generally acceptable accounting principles;
(ii) not engage in any joint manufacturing activities with such entity; and
(iii) have segregated facilities and separate employees with such entity. (C) Such entity that certifies such equipment shall
(i) not discriminate in favor of its manufacturing affiliate in the establishment of standards, generic requirements, or product certification;
(ii) not disclose to the manufacturing affiliate any proprietary information that has been received at any time from an unaffiliated manufacturer, unless authorized in writing by the owner of the information; and
(iii) not permit any employee engaged in product certification for telecommunications equipment or customer premises equipment to engage jointly in sales or marketing of any such equipment with the affiliated manufacturer.
(4) STANDARD-SETTING ENTITIES.-Any entity that is not an accredited standards development organization and that establishes industry-wide standards for telecommunications equipment or customer premises equipment, or industry-wide generic network requirements for such equipment, or that certifies telecommunications equipment or customer premises equipment manufactured by an unaffiliated entity, shall
(A) establish and publish any industry-wide standard for, industry-wide generic requirement for, or any substantial modification of an existing industry-wide standard or industry-wide generic requirement for, telecommunications equipment or customer premises equipment only in compl ance with the following procedure
(i) such entity shall issue a public notice of its consideration of a proposed industry-wide standard or industry-wide generic requirement;
(ii) such entity shall issue a public invitation to interested industry parties to fund and participate in such efforts on a reasonable and nondiscriminatory basis, administered in such a manner as not to unreasonably exclude any interested industry party;
(iii) such entity shall publish a text for comment by such parties as have agreed to participate in the process pursuant to clause (ii), provide such parties a full opportunity to submit comments, and respond to comments from such parties;
(iv) such entity shall publish a final text of the industry-wide standard or industry-wide generic requirement, including the comments in their entirety, of any funding party which requests to have its comments so published; and
(v) such entity shall attempt, prior to publishing a text for comment, to agree with the funding parties as a group on a mutually satisfactory dispute resolution process which such parties shali utilize as their sole recourse in the event of a dispute on technical issues as to which there is disagreement between any funding party and the entity conducting such activities, except that if no dispute resolution process is agreed to by all the parties, a funding party may utilize the dispute resolution procedures established pursuant to paragraph (5) of this subsection;
(B) engage in product certification for telecommunications equipment or customer premises equipment manufactured by unaffiliated entities only if
(i) such activity is performed pursuant to published criteria;
(ii) such activity is performed pursuant to auditable criteria; and