Friday, April 16, 2004 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

FCC Considering Procedural Modesty

"The FCC is considering breaking a final rulemaking on voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) regulation into pieces, rather than releasing a huge order addressing all of the issues raised in the February notice of proposed rulemaking, a top FCC official said today in a speech at a Banc of America Securities LLC VoIP conference." The top official is Jeffrey Carlisle, senior deputy chief of the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau, as quoted in TR Daily [subscription required] in its April 14 edition.

This sounds like a welcome step in the direction of procedural modesty that might serve the Commission well. In fact, I've said so myself. Indeed, in "New Rules for New Tech", I suggested before the Commission issued its VoIP rulemaking notice that the agency might want to break up consideration of the issues into smaller increments from the get-go and proceed in a more adjudicatory-like fashion, the better to avoid the briar patch of a completely open-ended, everything-is-related-to-everything rulemaking (aka as a "rent seeker's paradise").

It is good to see the Commission's staff thinking about how to avoid getting hung up interminably in a rulemaking proceeding without being able to decide discrete issues on which clarity is needed.

posted by Randolph May @ 5:20 PM | General