Foundation Emphasizes National Importance of State Policy
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Telecommunications and technology policies at the state level have greater national impact than some proud members of the Washington, D.C. establishment may admit. Not so at The Progress & Freedom Foundation. For years, the Foundation has played an active role in the state policy arena. This week, PFF experts are speaking about state telecommunications regulations and digital property rights in New Orleans, as well as rolling-up their sleeves to examine collaborative policy efforts with legislators convening in Boston.
This focus on state law and regulation is not to signal that PFF believes states should drive national telecommunications policy. It does not, and Foundation experts question the wisdom of the FCC’s decision last month to give state regulators near total sway over telecommunications unbundling and sharing requirements. Rather, the goal is to make sound arguments for Federalism properly understood. In fact, the proper role of state and federal telecommunications regulation is the topic of PFF President Ray Gifford’s remarks to be delivered tomorrow at the Heritage Foundation Resource Bank’s panel on telecommunications deregulation in New Orleans. Gifford, the immediate past chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, will say that the FCC should have dealt with the UNE (Unbundled Network Elements) matter, rather than ‘punting’ it to the states. In addition to being contrary to federal law, Gifford believes this will distract states from such crucial work as fixing distortions in retail rates. Separately, PFF Senior Fellow James DeLong speaks at the same conference on a panel today, “Protecting Property Rights in the Digital Age.” DeLong directs PFF’s Center for the Study of Digital Property.
On Friday in Bean Town, PFF Research Fellow Kent Lassman will take part in a discussion sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures, “New Models of Collaboration.” This session will focus on state-private sector collaborative efforts to solve policy problems with greater efficiency and at less expense. Lassman, who directs PFF’s Digital Policy Network, produces the annual Digital State Survey, which traces the increasing use of Internet by governments to make information and services more accessible.
The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the impact of the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1993.