The Washington Post published an article back on 28 November 2012 about Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski’s approach to regulation. The article, written by Cecilia Kang, describes Mr. Genachowski’s approach as “painstaking”. Question is, who received the most pain from Mr. Genachowski’s staking.
Mr. Genachowski’s approach may have been “painstaking”, but his major accomplishments show a penchant for replacing market driven approaches with quasi government determination of market structure with a bias toward the opinions of advocacy groups like Free Press and Public Knowledge.
Let’s face it. Free Press and Public Knowledge, who both got a lot of play from Ms. Kang in this article, had a good time under the Genachowski regime. These grass roots advocates got their net neutrality rules codified much to the chagrin of lawmakers on Capitol Hill, and pushed the FCC to consider reclassifying broadband as telecommunications, a move that would have driven broadband regulation to the auspices of a 20th century regulatory regime that would have slowed down investment in broadband deployment, negatively impacting shareholders and consumers alike.
If the FCC wants to appear effective in the 21st century, the agency should focus on promoting commerce by opening up access to spectrum and making sure it gets to the carrier placing the highest value on it. Those carriers tend to be the larger carriers who have invested the most to reach the most customers.
Driving a stake in the broadband industry by inflicting the pain of overly intrusive regulations should not be the legacy Mr. Genachowski pursues. The FCC shouldn’t try to inorganically create a competitive market in its own image.