Friday, March 26, 2004 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

That Blast You Hear

VOYEEEP! VOYEEEP! VOYEEEP! In my piece on CNET yesterday titled "Heeding the Blast of Schumpeter's Trumpet," I argue that the emergence of VoIP is like a trumpet blast warning that old regulatory paradigms must give way to new ones. Specifically, I suggest that as VoIP (and other IP technologies) further displace the amount of traffic carried on the old circuit switched telephone networks, there should be four paradigm shifts: (1) regulatory classifications based on existing distinctions should give way to a technology-neutral deregulatory regime; (2) state authority to regulate communications should give way to federal primacy; (3) The existing universal service regime should be replaced with a more limited, rational regime; and (4) The FCC's typical mode of developing regulations in open-ended rulemaking proceedings should give way to the use of more common law-like approaches.

Why "Schumpeter's Trumpet"? That's just my way of imagining that the coming de-construction of the old regulatory regime put in place during the analog heydey will be followed--sooner rather than later--by a new deregulatory regime worthy of the digital world. In other words, that our policymakers will be foresighted enough to give us some "Creative Re-Construction" to replace the Schumpeterian "Creative Destruction."

posted by Randolph May @ 8:07 PM | General