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CONTACT: David Fish
July 29, 2004
(202) 289-8928
Kent Lassman Statement on NCSL Proposal
NCSL Has Moved in the Right Direction

WASHINGTON D.C. - In response to the recently adopted positions of The National Conference of State Legislatures, the following statement can be attributed to Kent Lassman, Director of the Digital Policy Network and a Research Fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation.

"NCSL has moved in the right direction. State telecommunications policy must recognize the communications landscape as it exists in fact, not as it exists in outdated regulatory codes. Consumers can choose among multiple platforms that provide an array of IP-based communications services. The new policy statement is an incremental step forward in the effort to reform outdated policies. The NCSL statement highlights a central truth: Competition is evident as the result of many communications platforms."

Lassman went on to say,

"Last week, The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) adopted a "Policy Statement on Twenty-First Century Telecommunications" at its meeting in Salt Lake City. The statement emphasized the necessary conditions for infrastructure development, competitive alternatives to traditional technologies and new policies that are technologically and tax neutral.

"NCSL's Policy Statement adds to the critical mass necessary to re-write the basic telecommunications laws of this nation to reflect dynamic changes to the market, changes in consumer behavior and, most importantly, the dynamic changes in technology that are central to America's emergent IP-based communications marketplace.

"Unfortunately, NCSL continues to resist any change to the current federal/state jurisdictional balance. While predictable, this reflexiveness in preserving state regulation misses the technological reality that IP-based communications does not respect state boundaries and will not be held captive to state attempts at taxation and regulation. Nonetheless, NCSL's new position is a welcome addition to the debate and shows progress toward understanding today's dynamic marketplace."

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.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation