I just got back from an interesting presentation by two researchers on the optimal time for deregulation. MIT Professor Charles Fine, aided by Princeton Research Fellow John de Figueiredo, released "Can we Avoid Repeating the Mistakes of the Past in Telecommunications Regulatory Reform?" (Their slide show is here.) My answer to that question is "I sure as heck hope so."
The paper is short so I will be too. Basically, it shows how the railroad, natural gas and banking industries were deregulated too late, causing bankruptcies and decreased competition. Airlines and the wireless industry, on the other hand, experienced the kind of deregulation found in the title of this blog, and now there is competition and lower prices. The authors don't tell us specifically what regulators should do with telecom -- hopefully DACA will do that -- but they do make a convincing case that we're at the right time for deregulation, a case that was supported by the Manhattan Institute's Tom Hazlett and Precursor Group's Scott Cleland.