Not enough phone competition? Answer: regulate more!

Mac Norton mnorton at
Sat Aug 16 10:46:19 PDT 1997

Regulate more?  Unaccustomed as I am to defending the FCC,
the proposal described below is to regulate *less*, not
more.  Leaving the introduction of local competition to 
state regulation isn't getting the job done, is the implicit
message in Hundt's speech--together with, "I wish the Eighth
Circuit had ignored the law and upheld our national pricing 
rules instead of enjoining them," and "There's gotta be some
way I can get out of SBC's home court in Wichita Falls, the
latest place they've sued me."

In other words, whatever its litigative motivation, what's
proposed is less regulation and fewer regulators, not more.

On Thu, 14 Aug 1997, Declan McCullagh wrote:

> <B>Associated Press Writer<P>
> 	WASHINGTON (AP) - Just 18 months after Congress deregulated the
> communications industry, the nation's top telephone regulator asked
> lawmakers Thursday for more tools to bring Americans local phone
> competition.
> 	"So far, scarcely any local competition has been delivered to
> residential or business consumers," Federal Communications Commission
> Chairman Reed Hundt said in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute.
> 	"We have a major challenge to introduce competition in the local
> telephone markets and that challenge is not yet being met," he said.
> 	Hundt asked Congress to write into law provisions:
> 	-Giving the FCC authority to set national pricing rules for those
> seeking access to local phone networks.
> 	-Requiring courts to defer to reasonable FCC judgments in disputes
> over the telecommunications law.
> 	-Consolidating appeals over the telecommunications law and FCC
> rules before a single unspecified court.
> 	-Creating a national policy to enforce the telecommunications law,
> giving the FCC power to compensate injured parties. The FCC now can order
> violators to stop breaking the law and fine offenders.
> 	Congressional hearings into the slow pace of local phone
> competition are slated for this fall.
> 	Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Commerce Committee that
> oversees telecommunications policy, said when asked about the proposals,
> "I do not think that giving the FCC more authority to regulate is the
> answer."
> [...]

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