A ‘Happy’ Birthday For Telecom Act?


No more fake IDs: Wednesday (2/78) is the 21st birthday of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In celebration, a visiting Fellow with the American Enterprise Institute’s Center for Internet, Communications and Technology Policy who is a part of the Trump Administration’s FCC Landing Team has taken the opportunity to review the Act for its relevance to the converged world of communications, content and computing.

“Indeed, updating the Act enjoyed wide support three years ago, when a broad array of stakeholders participated in the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s #CommActUpdate process through a series of thought papers on regulatory modernization, spectrum policy, competition, interconnection, universal service, and video content and distribution,” notes Roslyn Layton. “This rational, inclusive and orderly process collected hundreds of substantive responses until it was hijacked by advocacy groups which aimed to nationalize networks by reclassifying broadband network providers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. This was a beginning step by the FCC to tax and regulate the internet like the telephone network and to limit free speech, which fortunately has been halted by a backlash of 60 million voters against over-regulation.”

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