May Publishes "To Do" List in International Journal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Communications Commission under the Bush Administration may have been slow out of the starting gate, but Progress & Freedom Foundation Senior Fellow Randolph J. May is optimistic the agency is finally ready to consider a more deregulatory agenda. Towards that end, May, a former FCC official and current Director of Communications Policy Studies at the Foundation, has supplied the agency with a “to do” list.
In an article just published in “info”, an international journal concerned with the economic, social, political and regulatory aspects of the emerging tele-information economy, May sets forth his vision of a reform agenda for the FCC, listing a number of initiatives: Establish a technology-neutral deregulatory regime for broadband services; reduce excessive forced sharing requirements on communications networks; limit the scope of the ‘public interest’ doctrine; and establish an economically efficient regime for inter-carrier compensation.
May’s article, “A Reform Agenda For the FCC,” is a revised version of a paper released by PFF in May 2001. At that time, he wrote: “While the FCC may be credited for starting down the road towards meeting the  Act’s objective of promoting competition and reducing regulation in all telecommunications markets, there is much more for a reform-minded commission to do. With the tech sector experiencing a serious slump in the financial markets which threatens to curtail investment in new facilities and services, a new push to implement further deregulation of the telecommunications markets could help spur a revival of this most important sector of the economy.”
Now, almost a year later, May sees signs of progress toward a deregulatory agenda: “Perhaps most importantly,” he writes, “the Commission has now put out for comment proposals which, if adopted, would enable it to implement the first two priorities I identified last year—the establishment of a uniform deregulatory regime for broadband and a reduction of excessive network sharing requirements.” And, he adds, “it shouldn’t wait too long to cabin the scope of its wide-ranging public interest reviews, for example, in the merger area, and to overhaul its uneconomic inter-carrier compensation policies.”
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.