If you’re among the individuals who feel that the FCC’s attempts to increase consumer protection are not moving in the right direction, you ought to consider the recent events which have happened. The FCC has just launched an initiative that attempts to help consumers understand the privacy concerns that surround a few of the communications technologies utilized now. The FCC also announced that it will be holding countless stakeholder meetings to solicit opinions on how consumers can boost the solitude of their wireless communications. These two efforts are a part of the FCC’s efforts to reform our state’s telecommunications policies. To accomplish this common sense frame, the FCC, now under the direction of Commissioner Carr, held countless meetings with stakeholder, including state officials and local industry leaders to hear directly from consumers and gain insight into their comments.
Unfortunately, many of these efforts to improve our nation’s telecommunications policy are being jeopardized by a strong industry lobby, which is hoping to block significant consumer harm via confusing and conflicting regulations and standards. Industry associations have urged the FCC to adopt a regulatory humility strategy to enhancing our state’s failing communications system. Regulating tech – especially high-tech, internet-based equipment – could be a complex issue. And in attempting to govern these communications programs, the FCC has itself become a casualty of regulatory humility.
Because the FCC can’t protect consumers from harm, it has to focus on marketplace competition, instead of on regulatory reform, even when attempting to shield consumers. The FCC can’t protect consumers from injury unless it prevents ISPs from harming them. The FCC is bombarded with a regulatory system that’s over-broad, that is largely not able to differentiate between good and bad practices, that lacks incentives for ISP suppliers to be more efficient, which failing to deal with the problems that come up out of DSL, cable, and rural broadband solutions. In short, the FCC cannot be trusted with even a limited role in enhancing rural and bad broadband service.
Without a realistic regulatory reform program, the FCC will continue to allow ISPs to discriminate against various forms of competition, govern all broadband connections, and fail to guarantee that consumers are able to find affordable services. If the FCC is going to play a significant part in ISP reform, then it must take on the ISP lobby’s double-game of regulating high-speed online access and simultaneously regulating the Bell-Boxes. Without an effective regulatory reform agenda, the FCC will efficiently govern all broadband carriers, eliminate competitive pricing, modulate all services, and force ISPs to select winners and losers.
Luckily, there is a path forward that the FCC should seriously think about before it doubles back on its own regulatory whims. I suggest that the FCC should preemptively preempt particular regulations which the FCC intends to enact as part of their Open Technology Act then leave for a year to allow wireless broadband suppliers and other market participants time to produce more affordable, standardized solutions to their customers. By doing this, the FCC would provide consumers and businesses a chance to adapt to a new communications standard and, ideally, lower costs while maintaining or improving consumer protection. This solution is not only better for the FCC’s revenue goals, it’s also considerably more in line with the initial intent of the Act.
There’s no doubt that the FCC has the proper authority to reduce discrimination in the provision of solutions, protect consumers from abusive practices, and strengthen the market. The actual issue is the fact that it’s ill-designed to accomplish such aims. The FCC is now totally obsessed with controlling the Internet, which is not the proper function of the commission. The FCC should rather focus on encouraging innovation and building markets, not micromanaging them through regulatory fiat. Together with the FCC chair and his staff responsible for two quadrants of this spectrum, the re-examination procedure for this wireless infrastructure is a obvious option.