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October 23, 2002
CONTACT: David Fish
(202) 289-8928

A Free-Market Scorecard for State Telecom
May's 10 Points Assess True Deregulatory & Pro-Comp. Activity

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Which states are the most deregulatory of the telecom space? Progress & Freedom Foundation Senior Fellow and Director of Communications Policy Studies Randolph J. May sets forth criteria helpful to those who want to make that decision for themselves. In an article in the fall edition of Regulation magazine, “A Free-Market Scorecard,” May separates “true, innovative, free-market state policies” from those that may be lauded as such but are “little different from traditional, utility-style command-and-control regulation.”

While he is not seeking to create a quantitative scoring system, he does want to provide a means of discerning whether a particular state’s policies are “in the main, ‘deregulatory’ and ‘pro-competitive’.” To the extent they are, he says, “it is much more likely that, in today’s rapidly changing telecommunications environment, the state will enjoy greater economic and social benefits than if it takes the opposite path.” The following are May’s indicators:

-- Has the state replaced rate-of-return regulation with true price caps?

-- Has the state undertaken meaningful rate rebalancing?

-- Does it require more unbundling & sharing of incumbent facilities?

-- Does the state require prices lower than TELRIC?

-- Does it evaluate RBOC applications in a rational & timely manner?

-- Is the incumbent to be split into wholesale and retail entities?

-- Is the state trying to regulate broadband?

-- Does it prohibit or limit government provision of telecom services?

-- Does the state’s licensing, permitting or related policies bar entry?

-- Does the state limit taxes and regulatory fees on telecom services?

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that promotes innovative policies for the digital age. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation