My former PFF colleague Randy May points out that the FCC just got around to deregulating the rules governing the provision of long distance service by Bell operating companies (BOCs). The FCC's new order concludes that:
"The old framework included requirements that the BOCs separate their local telephone and long distance operations, which is at odds with a market environment where local and long distance services increasingly are marketed and provided on a bundled basis. The new framework replaces those more burdensome regulations with less intrusive measures that protect important customer interests while allowing the BOCs and their independent incumbent LEC affiliates to respond to marketplace demands efficiently and effectively."
This all should have happened a decade ago. The rules were just as intrusive and unnecessary back then as they are today. Apparently, however, it takes a market almost completely disappearing before the FCC will deregulate it. But hey, better late than never, I guess.