IPcentral Weblog
  The DACA Blog

Thursday, September 2, 2004

Reinventing the FCC
(previous | next)

In an August 31 article in the New York Sun [subscription required], former FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth asserts that a major candidate for improving government in a second Bush term should be improving communications policy. Agreed.

He claims the FCC has contributed to the malaise in the communications sector "with weak communications policy, including indecision, overly complex rules, and rules that are frequently overturned in court." Agreed. (In fact, I said the same thing in my August 23 article, "Consolidate FCC Power," in the National Law Journal.)

But Harold then goes on to say: "The first step is perhaps the least obvious: Disengage the White House from communications policy." He says communications policy issues "should not compete for executive office attention with war on the terrorism, tax policy, or other issues vital to the president."

Granted that the president (himself) must priortize his time and can't be personally involved in deciding all issues. Of course. But that is not an argument against moving most communications policymaking into the Executive Branch where the president nevertheless would be accountable for the actions of those that make policy--and get involved where need be. Right now it's hard to blame the president, as Furchtgott-Roth seemingly does, for the indecision, overly complex, legally vulnerable rules that the former commissioner bemoans. You can blame the so-called "independent" FCC commissioners, if you wish, but you certainly can't vote to replace them.

In my view, communications policymaking would benefit from the slimmed-down decision-making and Executive Branch accountability that I propose for consideration in my NLJ article. Let's don't naively assume that policymaking doesn't involve politics; it does, and it should.

Sounds like the debate concerning a reinvented FCC is one worth having as we begin to contemplate a Telecom Act rewrite.

posted by Randolph May @ 2:12 PM | General

Share |

Link to this Entry | Printer-Friendly

Post a Comment:

Blog Main
RSS Feed  
Recent Posts
  EFF-PFF Amicus Brief in Schwarzenegger v. EMA Supreme Court Videogame Violence Case
New OECD Study Finds That Improved IPR Protections Benefit Developing Countries
Hubris, Cowardice, File-sharing, and TechDirt
iPhones, DRM, and Doom-Mongers
"Rogue Archivist" Carl Malamud On How to Fix Gov2.0
Coping with Information Overload: Thoughts on Hamlet's BlackBerry by William Powers
How Many Times Has Michael "Dr. Doom" Copps Forecast an Internet Apocalypse?
Google / Verizon Proposal May Be Important Compromise, But Regulatory Trajectory Concerns Many
Two Schools of Internet Pessimism
GAO: Wireless Prices Plummeting; Public Knowledge: We Must Regulate!
Archives by Month
  September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
  - (see all)
Archives by Topic
  - A La Carte
- Add category
- Advertising & Marketing
- Antitrust & Competition Policy
- Appleplectics
- Books & Book Reviews
- Broadband
- Cable
- Campaign Finance Law
- Capitalism
- Capitol Hill
- China
- Commons
- Communications
- Copyright
- Cutting the Video Cord
- Cyber-Security
- Digital Americas
- Digital Europe
- Digital Europe 2006
- Digital TV
- E-commerce
- e-Government & Transparency
- Economics
- Education
- Electricity
- Energy
- Events
- Exaflood
- Free Speech
- Gambling
- General
- Generic Rant
- Global Innovation
- Googlephobia
- Googlephobia
- Human Capital
- Innovation
- Intermediary Deputization & Section 230
- Internet
- Internet Governance
- Internet TV
- Interoperability
- IP
- Local Franchising
- Mass Media
- Media Regulation
- Monetary Policy
- Municipal Ownership
- Net Neutrality
- Neutrality
- Non-PFF Podcasts
- Ongoing Series
- Online Safety & Parental Controls
- Open Source
- PFF Podcasts
- Philosophy / Cyber-Libertarianism
- Privacy
- Privacy Solutions
- Regulation
- Search
- Security
- Software
- Space
- Spectrum
- Sports
- State Policy
- Supreme Court
- Taxes
- The FCC
- The FTC
- The News Frontier
- Think Tanks
- Trade
- Trademark
- Universal Service
- Video Games & Virtual Worlds
- VoIP
- What We're Reading
- Wireless
- Wireline
Archives by Author
PFF Blogosphere Archives
We welcome comments by email - look for a link to the author's email address in the byline of each post. Please let us know if we may publish your remarks.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation