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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Rob Freiden on the new FCC and its old habits

Rob makes the following stellar point in a series of excellent blog posts:
"Absent peer review, a full opportunity to consider the views of the general public and general open mindedness, the FCC regularly relies on the biased filings of stakeholders. The Commission regularly accepts as the gospel truth nothing more than assertions. If stakeholders make these assertions long enough and finance “rock star” academics to embrace these assertions, then it becomes quite easy for the FCC to accept assertions as fact. Economists use this process with great success, because they can create unimpeachable “rules” and use math to support them. In telecommunications policy sponsored economics professors have stated with a straight face that regulation constitutes a confiscation of property, that carriers providing interconnection are entitled to retail price compensation including all “opportunity costs,” that just about every telecommunications market sector is robustly competitive and deserving of deregulation and that every merger or acquisition will promote even more competition. In conjunction with results-driven decision making such “research” provides cover and support for the FCC to conclude that the public interest coincides with the assertions of particular stakeholders. The FCC should have a healthy skepticism that what’s good for a specific stakeholder is also good for the public in general. It might or might not."

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