Marashlian & Donahue, LLC, The CommLaw Group, is pleased to announce the availability of its treatise on the United States regulatory framework applicable to Communications Service providers, Broadcasters and other entities subject to the regulatory jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission. The publication is available through Juris (link below) and is published in association with the Center for International Legal Studies (“CILS”):
Following is an introductory synopsis of the treatise:
Trends and Themes in Telecommunications Law and Policy
Historically, American telecommunications policy had been one of regulation of a perceived natural monopoly, ‘siloed’ regulatory regimes, and reaction to technological change. Telephone services were believed to be a natural monopoly. Government regulators tolerated that monopoly because universal access to telephony was perceived to be in the public interest.
In addition, since both the broadcast and the telephone industries relied upon entirely different physical networks, regulators believed that these telecommunications industries must be regulated independently. This regulatory framework evolved into what is commonly described as the ‘silo’ approach to regulation, depicted below.
Although the current regulatory regime continues to adhere to these ‘silos,’ the walls of each silo have been rapidly eroding since the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.2 The 1996 Act focused on cultivating market competition through deregulation, and tacitly acknowledged the convergence of telecommunications technologies. In the years since the 1996 Act’s passage, the deregulatory principles embodied in the Act, combined with unparalleled advances in communications and information processing technologies, have strained the long-term viability of the silo regulatory model.