The Federal Communications Commission Thursday opposed Chairman Michael Powell's deregulation plan that would lift the network-sharing requirement on former local telco monopolies except in the most sparsely populated rural areas.

The majority of the commission instead supported a plan by which state officials will help determine when to relax network-sharing rules.

The Baby Bells will still have to share their telephone circuits with competitors under rules adopted by the FCC over Powell's objections.

Local-phone giants gained an agreement from the five-member FCC that they should not have to share new high-speed communications networks that they build. State officials will help determine when to relax rules requiring the Baby Bells to share their existing telephone lines with rivals at discounts.