Download A Tough Act to Follow?: The Telecommunications Act of 1996 by Harold Furchtgott-Roth PDF

By Harold Furchtgott-Roth

The writer, who served as one of many 5 commissioners of the Federal Communications fee for a number of years, explains why this and different govt firms that aren't manage with separation of powers in brain turn out undermining the guideline of legislation.

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Additional info for A Tough Act to Follow?: The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the Separation of Powers Failure

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Here is a different explanation: The combination of powers at the FCC prevented an efficient and predictable implementation of the Act. Based on the rules for the sector initially written by the FCC under the Act, companies, both public and privately held, raised hundreds of billions of dollars and invested money in plant, equipment, and business development. These were sloppy rules that eventually would not hold up in court. Further, the FCC fostered an environment of regulatory uncertainty, and it occasionally engaged in discrimination against or in favor of individual companies.

In an effort to avoid perpetual rulemakings, Congress placed timelines on most new regulatory responsibilities of the FCC and attempted to limit the discretion of the commission in many of its proceedings by providing detailed instructions. For example, the local market-opening provisions of the Act were designed to give the FCC less rather than more discretion. Sections 10 and 11 of the Act placed timelines on the FCC to review its rules. • The technology retardation problem. Congress inserted language into the law to promote innovation of new services, both in the preface and in specific sections of the Act, such as sections 10, 11, and 706.

Perhaps most troubling is a widespread perception that the FCC is not self-correcting. There are no means of addressing these problems within the 44 A TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW? FCC. Congress and the courts seem aware of many of them, but are unable or unwilling to force the FCC to address them. None of these problems originated with the Act; each has a long history at the agency. Ironically, never having been implemented, the Act is nonetheless blamed for harms it could not have created. In recent years, many members of Congress were eager to introduce legislation to modify the Act to reach specific policy outcomes pertaining to broadband, spectrum, and broadcasting.

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