Tuesday, December 6, 2005 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

The Way We Grew Up

According to Tech Daily [subscription required], Comptel CEO Earl Comstock said the following in arguing against the House Commerce Committee moving forward to consider its telecom bill:

"We are abandoning the regime with which everyone grew up...Common carriage is rooted in our history, and it still applies in electricity, stockyards, trains and planes," he said in a Tuesday press briefing."

I've got my own problems with the House bill (see here and here). But they don't have anything to do with abandoning the common carrier regime that we grew up with. The common carrier regime, with its hallmarks of rate and entry regulation, was approrpriate when telecom was characterized by a monopolistic environment. Few people think it is appropriate to maintain such a regime in place when competition has emerged to protect consumers.

That's why, contrary to Earl's statement, a common carrier regime no longer applies to planes and trains. Remember airline and railroad deregulation!

And it is probably time to take a good look at stockyards too.

posted by Randolph May @ 4:33 PM |