May Says Exemption From Line-Sharing Means More Investment
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A noted telecommunications expert says the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to exempt, at least for now, cable companies from the sort of line-sharing requirements currently imposed upon their telephone counterparts is good news because it will allow the cable companies to continue investing more in facilities that deliver high-speed internet services. The next step, he says, should be for the FCC to move as promptly as possible towards a more unified deregulatory regime that applies to all broadband offerings, regardless of the technology platform.
“While the FCC might have been better off shutting down this proceeding altogether, at least for the present, it will continue to forbear from imposing sharing requirements on the cable companies,” said Randolph J. May, senior fellow and director of communications policy studies at the Progress & Freedom Foundation. “Real, sustainable competition can only result from policies that encourage investment in new and upgraded facilities.
“The FCC should now turn its attention to deregulating broadband offerings by the phone companies,” May continued. “The goal, of course, is to encourage broadband development across all platforms, under a more unified and less regulatory regime.”
May and PFF President Jeffrey A. Eisenach filed extensive comments with the FCC at the beginning of its cable broadband proceeding in December 2000. “In light of the competitive environment for broadband services that exists today, the Commission should rely on the marketplace, rather than the imposition of costly, unwieldy and difficult-to-implement regulatory solutions to meet consumers’ needs,” May and Eisenach wrote.
May writes a regular column on legal and regulatory affairs for Legal Times. He has published numerous 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.
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.