Tuesday, March 2, 2004 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

Eight Years Is Long Enough

In the statement I issued on the TRO, I said:

"The court's decision is another strong judicial rebuke to the FCC's seven-year adherence to an excessive unbundling regime. The court's clear holding on the Commission's delegation of decision-making authority to the state commissions is particularly noteworthy. And, the court's repeated recognition that excessive unbundling stifles infrastructure investment, contrary to one of the 1996 Act's paramount goals, is key. With the ball back in the FCC's court, that agency is once again at a crucial crossroads. This time, it must heed what the courts have been telling it for years, and put in place a lawful and less regulatory facilities-sharing regime."

Unfortunately, within two hours of the court's decision, Commissioners Copps, Martin, and Adelstein issued a hasty statement saying that they "have instructed our General Counsel to seek a stay and to appeal the D.C. Circuit decision to the Supreme Court..."

Whoaaaa! Slow down, brother. Wouldn't you think that these commissioners would want to pause and reflect a bit longer on the court's reasons for issuing another stinging judicial rebuke? I'm sure that more will be said here and elsewhere concerning the intricacies of the court's decision, but you don't have to be a law school graduate to figure out the court is saying it's past time to scale back the UNE regime, especially with regard to the switching element.

And you don't have to be a law professor to figure out it is not meant to be a compliment when the court ends its decision with these words, by way of explaining the extraordinary 60-day deadline it gave the Commission for revising its rules: "This deadline is appropriate in light of the Commission's failure, after eight years, to develop lawful unbundling rules, and its apparent unwillingness to adhere to prior judicial rulings."

Wouldn't it be nice if Commissioners Copps, Martin, and Adelstein would take a deep breath, sleep on the decision, and come to work tommorrow with a willingness to heed the court's directions?

posted by Randolph May @ 4:54 PM | General