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Saturday, May 15, 2004

NARUC Praises AT&T Proposal -- What Else Is New?
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Following on the heels of AT&T's proposal for binding arbitration , NARUC cooed its approval: NARUC Release.htm

Putting aside that there is heterogeneous opinion among the states, why is NARUC approving -- or disapproving -- of any of the negotiation tactics employed by carriers that are jurisdictional to NARUC's member commissions?

It is not just an outrageous display of bias -- I have seen no other releases praising or disapproving of various other offers from different companies during this period -- but at some point jeopardizes the neutrality of the commissions and undermines their legitimacy. NARUC has lost its way and become a partisan in the substantive debates. This is damaging in ways that go far beyond the particular issues.

At best, NARUC can be a resource for the states and a vehicle to promote common state interests. This role may be modest and unsexy, but indeed NARUC follows it on the electricity side. There, for instance, NARUC was sedulously neutral on the highly controversial FERC SMD proposal, which like the Triennial had profound consequences for state regulation. By contrast, NARUC has become religiously devoted to what is a highly controverted view of communications policy.

The state commissions need to act and reign this in.

posted by Ray Gifford @ 1:46 AM | General

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