On Saturday, the ALEC task force on telecommunications and information technology heard a presentation from Rob Tanner, an official at the Federal Communication Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau. Afterward, he joked that I had let him off easy by not asking any hard questions.
As we proceeded to enjoy our box lunches, I lobbed a softball. I asked if he thought the state commissions had been extra-legally deputized as adjunct offices of the federal government as a result of the Triennial Review's reliance on their granular assessments and generally, in other recent (and major) proceedings of the Commission. In normal-speak, "Had state commissions been unwittingly deputized by the federal government?"
It did not surprise me to hear him say that states had not been deputized. But to my great surprise, he held out that the TRO explicitly states that states may undergo proceedings on switching but that they were not required to do so. He went on to say that there would be no problem to have a state or states refuse to join hand in hand with the Commission on the Triennial. It's worth pondering the outcomes.
Any takers among the states? Does any brave regulator want to avoid a grueling regulatory scrum that will probably be overturned by the DC Circuit before it is completed? Anyone?