In documents filed with the FCC, Verizon Communications and AT&T called for an end to equal access and non-discrimination obligations that apply to incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), arguing that such rules are obsolete in the current multi-modal telecom environment where service boundaries are typically blurred. Five years ago, the FCC opened a notice of inquiry to review equal access and non-discrimination rules that were enacted two decades earlier, and the comments submitted by Verizon, AT&T and a host of other parties on Tuesday respond to the FCC’s recent request to freshen the record in that proceeding. Pointing to the emergence of new technologies that have eliminated divisions between local and long distance services, Verizon, in arguing for a repeal of the equal access rules, asserted: “an analysis that includes even just the principal alternative providers of voice services makes it clear that Verizon and other carriers do not have a position that would allow them to dominate the long distance component of voice services.” In a similar vein, AT&T said: “It is beyond belief that in today’s market . . . that customers don’t know that they have a choice of long distance providers.” As the U.S. Telecom Association urged the FCC to “take immediate action to end the long outmoded” regulations, Alaska Communications Systems, a regional ILEC, observed that, “competition among carriers has obviated the need for equal access obligations on local exchange carriers.” The National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates argued, however, that the rules should stay in place, warning that “the merged and newly concentrated market may provide increased incentives for local exchange companies to favor their affiliated long distance operations, to the detriment of the remaining competition in the long distance market.”