In case you missed it, the FCC released two very important broadband policy orders yesterday, one on broadband over powerline systems and one on “last mile” fiber deployment by telco operators. The thrust of both orders was quite deregulatory or “hands-off” in nature. In response to the fiber freedom order, Bell companies immediately announced plans to deploy more fiber-to-the-curb across America. This is not surprising; if you give companies firm property rights in their own lines and networks, they will deliver more services to customers. If you make them share their systems with all their competitors, they will be slow to innovate and deploy new networks and services to the public. Luckily, FCC regulators are finally learning this lesson.
By the way, if you want a glimpse into the mind of how an over-zealous reglulator thinks, make sure to take a look at the statements by Commission Michael Copps in both of the decisions here and here. This guy would have us believe that every new competitive technology must be tightly regulated by the FCC or else the proverbial sky will fall consumers. If you didn’t know any better, after reading these dissents you would think we’re still living in the 1960s.