126 Telecom Regulations Tossed out as FCC Cleans House

By Steve Anderson May 20, 2013

While with the recent coming of spring--and some warmer weather--the idea of spring cleaning has also come along with it. Spring cleaning also seems to have arrived out at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as fully 126 individual telecom regulations were tossed out, largely because said requirements were plain old out of date.

The cleanout came with the last day in office for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, and included a variety of rules like requiring phone companies to keep paper backups for digital records, as well as requiring companies to label and track central office equipment of any size, as well as a rule for companies dealing in prepaid calling cards that required, at last report, fully 15,000 hours a year worth of compliance work in order to stay on the good side of same.

Not surprisingly, no longer having to meet these regulations means a lot less work spent on red tape management, as well as a lot less cash going into making sure these regulations don't come back to haunt businesses later. Genachowski, in a statement, provided a little extra clarity on just what kind of savings were talked about here, saying, "We're talking about millions of dollars in savings, which will ultimately result in a more dynamic, competitive market and lower prices for consumers." At the same time, Genachowski noted that the commission had kept those regulations that were "essential to our fundamental mission to ensure competition, consumer protection, universal service and public safety."

The spring regulatory cleaning is being echoed throughout large parts of Washington, D.C., as recently, President Obama ordered executive agencies to do some winnowing in those operations, and get rid of those that aren't pulling weight financially. While the FCC wasn't subject to said order--it's an independent agency--it took it upon itself to carry out the order anyway to get some savings in play. Many of the regulations were thrown out at the urging of a lobbying group known as USTelecom, who were pleased with the regulations that were tossed out, but reportedly believed that more could have been done, calling the FCC cleanup a "missed opportunity for the thorough spring cleaning that has long been needed."

Most of this went as should be expected, with the lobbyists wanting more laws gone than were removed and the agency expressing its glee at saving the taxpayer boatloads of money while still maintaining the laws that are absolutely necessary for the continued operation of communications. Of course, it's a safe bet that those rules that were thrown out were likely once called part of the "fundamental mission to ensure competition, consumer protection, universal service and safety."

Still, especially with the economy still limping along, saving money isn't a half bad idea, and taking the necessary steps to provide those savings can scarcely be regarded as anything but a good thing.

Edited by Alisen Downey

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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