By Thomas Lenard
Published in The Hill on October 17, 2014
I had thought that, at the end of the day, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would pull back from subjecting broadband to public utility-type regulation by reclassifying it as a Title II telecommunications service. I couldn’t imagine that Chairman Tom Wheeler and his colleagues would want regulating the Internet to be their legacy.
But now I’m not so sure.
As part of its deliberations, the commission staff has held a series of roundtables, one of which focused on economic questions. Toward the end of the session, Wheeler asked the assembled economists whether the Internet economy, because of its unprecedented ability to foster rapidly scalable innovation from widely distributed sources, is fundamentally different from the industrial economy. The chairman wanted to know what regime would ensure a continuation of that success.
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