The Federal Communications Commission has recently sought comment on whether it should reclassify broadband transport as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act, coupled with aggressive use of its forbearance authority to eliminate many of the more burdensome requirements of common carrier regulation. While such an approach certainly would give the FCC a “cleaner” legal case, this “Third Way” approach would also require the Commission to exercise significant self-restraint not to cede to temptation and use its new authority to institute heavy-handed regulation that would reduce investment and jobs. The question, therefore, is whether the FCC has the credibility to live up to its promises?
To discuss this important topic, the Phoenix Center hosted a workshop on Thursday, July 8, 2010, at the University Club to present Phoenix Center Policy Paper No. 40: The Broadband Credibility Gap (June 2010) (available at:the University Club to present Phoenix Center Policy Paper No. 40: The Broadband Credibility Gap (June 2010) (available at: http://www.phoenix-center.org/pcpp/PCPP40Final.pdf), and forthcoming, 19 CommLaw Conspectus (Fall 2010).
The program began with a presentation of research by Phoenix Center Chief Economist Dr. George S. Ford. [pdf]
After the presentation of research, Phoenix Center President Lawrence J. Spiwak moderated a panel of industry experts (several of whom were part of the FCC's original decision to classify broadband as an information service in the 1990s), including:
The event concluded with a conversation with FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell on this important policy question.
Video of the event is available below:
Broadband Credibility Gap Part 1
Broadband Credibility Gap Part 2
Broadband Credibility Gap Part 3