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December 2004

  • "Think Tank Disputes Wisdom of FERC's Vision," Electric Power Daily, December 30, 2004.
    "A Washington D.C. think tank Wednesday issued a paper criticizing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's effort to restructure the wholesale power market, asserting that FERC's vision from several years ago of allowing for-profit transmission companies is the better one to pursue."
    " 'We seem to be stuck in a place where it's difficult to go back and unclear how to go forward,' said Lenard, senior fellow and vice president for research at the Progress & Freedom Foundation. 'There is increasingly the view that, whatever its failings, the regulated vertical integrated utility model-perhaps with some updating of the regulatory scheme-might well have been better than what we now have, which bears little relation to competition.' "
  • "PFF Pitches Sample Legislation for State Telecom Law Updates," TR Daily , December 20, 2004.
    "States need to reshape their telecom rules to take a more hands-off approach that doesn't play technological favorites if they want to give consumers broader choices in the marketplace, the free-market oriented Progress & Freedom Foundation said in a study released today."
    " 'We hope this model act provokes a critical inquiry into the widening gulf between the reality of today's communications marketplace - which is characterized by multiple networks capable of supporting a variety of competing services - and laws designed to regulate a single network optimized to provide traditional telecommunications services,' PFF President Ray Gifford said."
  • "New Study Urges State Lawmakers to Opt for Retail Telecom Rate Deregulation," Communications Daily, December 20, 2005.
    "As state lawmakers in Ind. and Utah confront telecom deregulation bills for 2004, a new study by the Progress & Freedom Foundation says regulatory approaches used in most states "are no longer sustainable" and should be replaced with systems that allow market forces the freedom to work. The report by PFF Pres. Ray Gifford and Research Fellow Adam Peters urges state legislatures to move away from regimes that require govt. permission to enter and exit markets or to change prices and services."
  • "P2P Needs a Fix, but What?," Wired, December 17, 2004.
    "Of course, critics of such plans argue they are just another form of compulsory licensing that wouldn't serve artists well." "'Do we really want to carry these flawed, legacy models into the digital age?' asked attendee Patrick Ross, a vice president at the Progress & Freedom Foundation."
  • "FCC Eases Bell UNE Sharing Requirements," Communications Daily, December 16, 2004.
    "Randolph May, Progress & Freedom Foundation senior fellow, said 'any decision that results in a finding that impairment continues to exist for DS1 and DS3 loops in more than 99% of the wire centers in the country still tilts too far in an overly regulatory direction.' May said what the order says about implementation will be important: 'It should say specifically that existing interconnection agreements with 'change of law' provision must be promptly modified to account for any UNEs eliminated.'"
  • "4 Wireless Companies Demand Tax Refund," The Baltimore Sun, December 15, 2004.
    "Last year, the Federal Communications Commission required wireless companies to allow customers to take their phone numbers with them when they switch carriers - a requirement that costs the companies as much as $1.60 per person per month, according to a study by researchers at the Progress & Freedom Foundation, a Washington, D.C., think tank that studies the effects of the 'digital revolution' on industry markets and public policy."
  • "Universal Concern," Telephony, December 13, 2004." The decreasing funds and increasing demands on the USF have some telecom analysts comparing universal service to Social Security - a longtime sacred cow that politicians have been hesitant to address, even though the current subsidy program obviously cannot be sustained. Certainly, it's not a formula for long-term stability.
    "'You have decreasing revenues and increasing obligations,' said Ray Gifford, president of the Progress and Freedom Foundation. 'Obviously, that's not sustainable long term.'"
  • "Bells, Rivals Jockeying For Changes To Draft Order," Tech Daily, December 9, 2004.
    "The FCC fails to appreciate the ways in which competition is changing the telecommunications landscape if the agency adopts the regulations as drafted by its Wireline Bureau, said Randy May , director of communications policy studies at the Progress and Freedom Foundation.
    "Instead of promoting 'static regulated competition' based on a natural monopoly model, the agency should embrace 'dynamic deregulation' on the theory that deregulation would further incentivize competitors, even when a particular market only has a single provider of high-capacity lines, May said."
  • "TRO Draft Order Details said to Remain Fluid," TR Daily, December 9, 2004.
    "Randolph May, senior fellow and director-communications policy studies at the Progress and Freedom Foundation, said the FCC appeared to be 'pursuing a course that is likely to lead to another judicial rebuke, in the sense that the rules may be more regulatory than they ought to be to comport with the court's understanding.'
    "He added that to avoid another judicial reversal, the FCC needs to adopt a 'prompt schedule' to remove unbundling obligations for high-capacity loops and transport. 'Finally, it's important for the Commission to be very clear and specific about how the order should be implemented in terms of requiring that the states accept the new changed requirements, and that there's not a situation where these issues are relitigated before the state commissions.'"
  • "Justices Query Internet Wine Litigants Over State Rights," Washington Internet Daily, December 8, 2004.
    "'This case fundamentally is about the viability of interstate e--commerce in the United States,' said Tom Lenard, senior fellow and vp-research at the Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF): 'The Internet is the quintessential interstate medium that overcomes the tyranny of distance, letting sellers in every state reach customers in every other state.' That's precisely the problem, said Betty Mercer, dir. of the Coalition for a Safe & Responsible Mich: 'We are concerned about minors obtaining access to alcohol online.'
    "E-commerce is slated to grow to $229 billion in 2008, from $95.7 billion in 2003, said the PFF. 'The benefits of e-commerce to consumers are the benefits of market competition,' said Lenard: 'Such competition has begun to displace entrenched local commercial interests who view the Internet as a threat. In Michigan they are seeking discriminatory state regulation in order to stifle the growth of e-commerce.'"
  • "Study Suggests Changes in Universal Service Fund," TR Daily , December 6, 2004.
    "A study to be released next month by the Progress & Freedom Foundation suggests radical changes are needed in the federal universal service support mechanism, given rising costs for the program and a lack of evidence that it significantly increases subscribership.
    "The study, authored by Law and Economics Consulting Group directors Joseph S. Kraemer and Richard O. Levine and PFF Senior Fellow and Director-communications policy studies Randolph J. May, was previewed at a panel discussion on Capitol Hill this afternoon. Universal service is among the issues frequently mentioned in discussions of what might be addressed by telecom act 'rewrite' legislation widely expected to be debated next year in Congress."
  • "High Court Agrees To Review Cable-Modem 'Brand X' Case," Tech Daily, December 3, 2004.
    " 'This is a huge development,' said Kyle Dixon , a senior fellow at the Progress and Freedom Foundation and a former FCC attorney. 'This [issue] is central to the FCC and Chairman [Michael] Powell's program to promote competition between broadband networks.'
    "He said that under the 'Chevron doctrine,' courts are supposed to defer to expert agencies' judgments on industry disputes and that the Supreme Court may tell the 9th circuit that it should adhere to the doctrine. But the court could go the other way.
    "'If the court rejects the FCC's perspective under this case, it would mean that the FCC's [regulatory] flexibility under the Telecom Act would diminish and the pressure would mount for reforms of the Telecom Act,' he said."


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