The classic model of regulation guides the evolution of the market from monopoly to competition. In 1999 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Bill Kennard proposed a plan to modernize the FCC along these lines. While the plan was rejected in the U.S., a similar plan was implemented in Denmark. In 2011 Denmark dismantled its telecom regulator and reallocated resources to cybersecurity and the digital agenda. Three years later Denmark was named the top digital nation in the world. Before the E.U.’s net neutrality law came into place in 2015, the country had successfully practiced self-regulation for 5 years.
Today, efforts to modernize the FCC inspire fierce debate. It is logical that organizations in a data-driven world would formalize systems and processes to incorporate data into decision-making. Yet a proposal to do exactly that through the creation of an Office of Economics and Analysis at the FCC was rejected by two commissioners.
On March 16, Hudson Institute hosted American Enterprise Institute’s Roslyn Layton for a conversation exploring examples of telecom modernization and addressing FCC resistance to the concept. Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Director of Hudson’s Center for the Economics of the Internet, moderated the conversation.