(July 27, 2005 -- Chicago, IL) Sen. John Ensign (R-Nevada) today introduced The Broadband Investment and Consumer Choice Act.
The bill is a necessary and welcome step in the direction of enlightened telecom regulatory reform. It explicitly acknowledges that the monopoly era of telecommunications is behind us. Economic regulations designed to protect consumers from monopolies--price controls, forced sharing of infrastructure, and complex patchworks of arcane interconnection rules--have no place in the current environment.
Better still, the bill correctly understands that a free and competitive market for telecom services exists today, and that technological and organizational change means telephone, video, and Internet services can now be delivered by a single company as a cohesive set of consumer services, not by individual and separate industries each requiring specific rules of its own.
If passed, this bill will stimulate investment and increase competition, choice, and value for consumers and businesses in every part of the country. It is an excellent place to begin the debate over regulatory reform.
Steven Titch (firstname.lastname@example.org) is senior fellow - IT and telecom policy for The Heartland Institute, a national nonprofit organization based in Chicago.