War for the Web
10 10.11

Rethinking Telecomm Regulations

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has been busy in recent weeks. The FCC is putting together a proposal to restructure subsidies for Telephone companies to reorient them towards providing broadband services.

The Universal Service Fund was originally created to subsidize telephone service to rural areas. Genachowski has proposed a plan to reorient the fund towards providing broadband service. It would also focus on the installation of cellular sites and services along the US highways, which seems cool.

Now, several of the major telecoms have offered their own plan to the FCC for how to do this. It tends to favor them against competitors, and offers them regulatory concessions now, concessions that would allow them to fortify their business against competition, in exchange for an agreement to build out their networks over the next five years.  It’s a little ridiculous, but as Ars points out, it highlights the fact that everyone is vying for the FCC is sitting on, and what the FCC decides to do with it will have a significant impact on the industry.

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