In my view, Kathleen Abernathy is a very good FCC commissioner. Very market-oriented, appropriately deregulatory-minded, and respectful of the rule of law. And she would make a good chairman of the FCC should she be tapped at some future date.
But I was a little suprised to see her quoted in the January 13 edition of TR Daily to the effect that "it is much better to have managed competition as opposed to unbundling." [Subscription required].
I think I know what Commissioner Abernathy was trying to say--that any step away from the FCC's previous unrestricted UNE regime is a positive step. I agree. But in light of the agency's long history of exhibiting reluctance to loosen its regulatory grip way past the letting-go time, the use of the term "managed competition" is not the most felicitous. Managing competition is difficult to get right--even by regulators with the best of intentions--and, of course, generally unnecessary in a technologically dynamic and contestable marketplace environment.