Rapid Change in Telecom Business Requires Less Regulation
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an op-ed published in the January 2, 2002, edition of USA Today, PFF Senior Fellow and Director of Communications Policy Studies Randolph J. May calls on the FCC in 2002 to abandon the policies under which it “regulates broadband connections offered by phone companies under essentially the same intrusive regime it developed decades ago for ordinary phone service.” In “FCC Rules Slow Progress,” May says “the application of monopoly-era to broadband is slowing much needed investment, and he urges FCC Chairman Michael Powell to make his recent words –“broadband should exist in a minimally regulated space” – a reality.
May also notes that the mergers confronting the FCC as it begins the year– Echostar/Hughes, AT&T Broadband/Comcast, and perhaps others – “likely represent predictable responses to today’s rapidly changing business and technological environment.” According to May, these firms are scrambling to achieve the economies of scale needed to provide integrated services such as video, voice, and Internet access. “What is most important to consumers,” he says, “is not whether we have competitive broadband platforms, not whether we have one less cable or satellite firm.”
May’s “Fourth Branch” column on legal and regulatory issues appears monthly in Legal Times. May has published over forty articles and essays in leading national publications and law reviews on a wide variety of topics, ranging from communications and administrative law to constitutional theory.
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