May Establishes Scorecard for Evaluating State Environments
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Noting the important role state officials play in ongoing efforts to deregulate and increase competition in the telecommunications sector, Progress & Freedom Foundation Senior Fellow and Director of Communications Policy Studies Randolph J. May has issued a paper establishing ten criteria for evaluating their progress.
In A Scorecard for Evaluating Whether State Telecommunications Policies are Deregulatory and Pro-competitive, May provides what he calls “a guide for scoring whether a state’s telecommunications policies are, in the main, ‘deregulatory’ and ‘pro-competitive’.” He focuses on the following telecommunications-related indicators:
- The adoption of price caps to replace rate-of-return regulation;
- Efforts to rebalance rates and target subsidies and rate relief;
- Unbundling/sharing requirements on incumbent facilities;
- Pricing of unbundled network elements;
- Processes/timing for evaluating long distance applications;
- Required separation of “wholesale” and “retail” entities;
- Broadband regulatory requirements;
- Prohibition/limitation on states as proprietary competitors;
- Permits, licenses or other policies that act as entry barriers; and
- State and local taxes/fees on communications services.
“A large number of state communications policymakers appreciate the desirability, in today’s rapidly changing technological and business environment, of implementing pro-competitive, deregulatory policies,” May writes in describing the need for such a scorecard. “At times, these actions and policies may be cloaked in the rhetoric of ‘pro-competition’ or ‘deregulation’. But closer examination may reveal that they tilt more the direction of traditional public utility-style command-and-control regulation or in the direction, directly or indirectly, of erecting barriers to entry which suppress competitive marketplace responses.”
The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.