Piddle, twiddle on linesharing

by on August 19, 2004

Those of you who know the musical “1776” will remember John Adam’s complaint about the Continental Congress–“Piddle, twiddle and resolve, not one damn thing do they solve.” Seems that might apply to the 21st century FCC as well. The FCC is now in the process of considering reconsideration (awkward, but true), of its decision to require “line-sharing,” i.e. requiring telcos to allow competitors to lease certain frequencies of a single wire. This requirement was to be dropped according to last year’s unbundling order, and was upheld by the D.C. circuit earlier this year. Issue settled? No, Chairman Powell is reported now to be pushing to put line-sharing back into effect, or more precisely reverse the decision to eliminate the rule. (Still with me?) One can only assume the guiding maxim at the FCC seems to be “no decision left behind,” and that the goal is maximum uncertainty in telecom markets. More important, the rule isn’t needed, with competition in telecom going full steam. Stay tuned for the musical version of this FCC folly.

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