Monday, October 1, 2007

Global Best Practices in Telecom Policy

Papers presented at the 35th annual Telecommunications Policy Research Conference http://www.tprc.org/ held last weekend offered more evidence that the United States no longer offers other nations forward looking policy and regulatory models. I dare say the preoccupation with lobbying and litigation has generated an unanticipated extra liability: loss of best practices leadership.

My proof:

Rather than acknowledge that the U.S. lags many other nations in broadband penetration and affordability (see http://www.speedmatters.org/; http://www.benton.org/), representatives of the U.S. government quibble over the veracity of the statistics.

The dominant incumbent telecomms service provider in the U.K., Italy and Australia volunteered to create an access subsidiary to simplify and largely eliminate regulation of corporate activity at higher layers. U.S. carriers and the FCC summarily reject this approach as eliminating synergies, mandating "dumb" pipes and relegating any physical connection operator to perpetually regulated status.

Korea joins the EU in embracing layers/horizontal regulation in lieu of silo-based, media specific vertical regulation. U.SA. carrier reject this model for the same reasonas above.

Canada has largely solved its universal service challenge while U.S. consumers subsidize carriers with most of an annual $7 billion windfall.

Some day soon we in the United States will begin to recognize that expensive, lackluster broadband access and a highly politicized regulator and policy making process knocks off a few tenths of a percent in national productivity.

1 comment:

pcsolotto said...

Thanks to the blog owner. What a blog! nice idea.