New FCC Chair's First Statements on Regulatory Philosophy

By

There is always a guessing game that goes on at the start of any new Federal Communications Commission chairman’s tenure about the likely direction of future policy, or at least the philosophy regarding that potential direction. New Chairman Tom Wheeler offers the first indication of such a philosophy in a short e-book, titled “Net Effects: The Past, Present and Future Impact of our Networks.”

The book is available for free on the FCC website, Amazon Kindle, Scribd, and other platforms.

Regulating the  Internet” is a non-starter,” Wheeler says. That should surprise nobody. As you also would expect, Wheeler expresses fundamental support for competition and protection of the “network compact.” That also is about what you’d expect from the head of an agency that is charged with doing both.

“Our goal should be to ask how competition can best serve the public – and what, if any, action (including governmental action) is needed to preserve the future of network competition in wired or wireless networks,” Wheeler also said.

“If the facts and data determine that a market is competitive, the need for FCC intervention decreases,” he explained. “I have zero interest in imposing new regulations on a competitive market just because we can.”

On the other hand, Wheeler notes that competition does not and will not produce adequate outcomes in the circumstance of significant, persisting market power or of significant negative externalities: “Where those occur, the Communications Act and the interests of our society – the public interest – compel us to act and we will,” says Wheeler.

In terms of protecting the “network compact,” Wheeler says the areas of concern include accessibility, interconnection, and public safety and security.

Accessibility includes our historic notions of universal access. Interconnection, meanwhile, might cover any number of issues beyond the traditional requirement that networks pass traffic from other networks back and forth without hindrance. Finally, security includes the traditional concern about emergency calling and now protection from cyber threats.

In other words, in his first public comments on regulatory philosophy, Wheeler pretty much provided no indication that his chairmanship will immediately or drastically deviate from the policies one would expect any FCC to pursue.

It isn’t the final word, but the initial statement does not seem to raise any concerns.




Edited by Blaise McNamee

Contributing Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Coding and Invention Made Fun

By: Special Guest    10/12/2018

SAM is a series of kits that integrates hardware and software with the Internet. Combining wireless building blocks composed of sensors and actors con…

Read More

Facebook Marketplace Now Leverages AI

By: Paula Bernier    10/3/2018

Artificial intelligence is changing the way businesses interact with customers. Facebook's announcement this week is just another example of how this …

Read More

Oct. 17 Webinar to Address Apache Spark Benefits, Tools

By: Paula Bernier    10/2/2018

In the upcoming webinar "Apache Spark: The New Enterprise Backbone for ETL, Batch and Real-time Streaming," industry experts will offer details on clo…

Read More

It's Black and White: Cybercriminals Are Spending 10x More Than Enterprises to Control, Disrupt and Steal

By: Cynthia S. Artin    9/26/2018

In a stunning new report by Carbon Black, "Hacking, Escalating Attacks and The Role of Threat Hunting" the company revealed that 92% of UK companies s…

Read More

6 Challenges of 5G, and the 9 Pillars of Assurance Strategy

By: Special Guest    9/17/2018

To make 5G possible, everything will change. The 5G network will involve new antennas and chipsets, new architectures, new KPIs, new vendors, cloud di…

Read More