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Friday, July 30, 2004

Unfortunate Headline-"Regulation A Must"
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"White House Sees Regulation As Must in Promoting Broadband". That's the headline in a lead story [subscription required] yesterday in Communications Daily.

The story reported on a briefing by Bush Administration officials on broadband.  According to the report, Commerce Department Undersecretary-Technology Phil Bond reiterated President Bush's goal of universal broadband access by 2007, stating the existence of multiple technologies would help achieve the goal.

The officials, who also included John Marburger, Director of the White House's Office of Science & Technology Policy, and Richard Russell, OSTP's Associate Director, reportedly declined repeated opportunities to comment on how VoIP should be regulated.

The support for regulation to which the story refers appears to relate more to spectrum management and standards-setting, rather than common-carrier-type regulation of broadband. And Marburger is quoted as saying: "Over-regulating is a serious problem."

 So the headline writer may have taken a bit of unwarranted liberty, at least as I read the Comm Daily report. But perhaps the headline is just the "you've got it coming" visited on an Administration that never really articulated--and promoted--a consistent deregulatory communications policy agenda.  (Query: Along these lines, shouldn't the Administration now have a policy on how VoIP should be [de]regulated?)

posted by Randolph May @ 9:14 AM | General

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