The AEI-Brookings Joint Center on Regulation yesterday released a statement by 25 top economists on broadband reform. The economists–an impressive group including airline deregulation pioneers Alfred Kahn and Elizabeth Bailey, former CEA member Richard Schmalensee, and FCC veterans Tom Hazlett, Greg Rosston and Howard Shelanski–make two recommendations:
1. Congress should eliminate local cable franchising regulations; and
2. Congress and the FCC should make more spectrum available to private parties, and allow them to use it or trade the right to use it, so that it will go to its highest-valued uses.
The bottom line, according to the group: “…investment in broadband should be as easy as possible. Regulations that primarily protect incumbents or serve as barriers to entry should be removed.”