At the Aspen Summit, there was considerable discussion about reforming the FCC as an institution in the context of the dialogue about the need to reform communications policy in general. During his conversation with Ray on Monday, FCC Chairman Michael Powell said one of his principal legacies would be the institutional changes he initiated during his watch. He mentioned hiring a bunch of new engineers and starting an internal continuing education program in the form of "FCC University".
Perhaps the FCC needed some new engineers, and there is nothing at all wrong with programs designed to continue to educate and motivate FCC staff. But, frankly, now, with competition supplanting the need for regulation across almost all segments of the communications industry, what is needed is a much more radical reformation of the agency. The FCC, which still largely resembles the Progressive-era agency created in 1927, needs a real transformation. For my article in this week's National Law Journal concerning what should be done, click here.