Trump administration may deregulate US telecoms industry

Newly-appointed advisor claims "original motivations for having an FCC have gone away"

President elect Donald Trump could dissolve the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) when he takes office - if he follows the advice of one of the members of his tech policy transition team.

In a blog post written in late October, Mark Jamison, who on Monday became one of Trump's two advisors on technology, claimed the FCC, which protects consumer rights with regards to telecoms in the US, was "overkill" when it came to the prevention of monopolies.

The FCC notably upheld the principle of net neutrality in early 2015, voting three to two in favour of an open and free internet, thwarting some internet service providers' plans to introduce 'fast lanes' for some web content in exchange for charging customers a fee.

But Jamison's post read: "Most of the original motivations for having an FCC have gone away. Telecommunications network providers and ISPs are rarely, if ever, monopolies. If there are instances where there are monopolies, it would seem overkill to have an entire federal agency dedicated to ex ante regulation of their services."

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

"Content on the web competes well with content provided by broadcasters, seeming to eliminate any need for FCC oversight of broadcasters. Perhaps there is need for rules for use of the airwaves during times of emergency, but that can be handled without regulating the content providers themselves," he added.

Jamison puts forward three reasons that the FCC still exists: political inertia, as it's a cumbersome process to dissolve a government agency; some businesses and other groups have a vested interest in its continued existence and are able to apply political pressure to ensure it remains intact; and that it's important for radio spectrum allocation to be regulated.

Despite appearances, Jamison does not argue for total deregluation, however. Instead he states that the oversight and prevention of monopolies should fall under the purview of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), while an independent regulator of some sorts - but not the FCC - should oversee the provision of radio spectrum.

"Thus, at the end of the day, we don't need the FCC, but we still need an independent agency," he said.

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/security/internet-security/354484/facebook-exec-calls-cambridge-analytica-scandal-a-non-event
internet security

Facebook exec calls Cambridge Analytica scandal a "non event"

8 Jan 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/34515/what-has-donald-trump-done-for-the-tech-industry-so-far
Policy & legislation

What has Donald Trump done for the tech industry so far?

27 Sep 2019
Visit/cyber-warfare/33958/are-we-in-the-midst-of-a-cyber-war
cyber warfare

Are we in the midst of a cyber war?

4 Jul 2019

Most Popular

Visit/microsoft-windows/32066/what-to-do-if-youre-still-running-windows-7
Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/data-governance/354496/brexit-security-talks-under-threat-after-uk-accused-of
data governance

Brexit security talks under threat after UK accused of illegally copying Schengen data

10 Jan 2020
Visit/operating-systems/25802/17-windows-10-problems-and-how-to-fix-them
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
Visit/hardware/laptops/354533/dell-xps-13-new-9300-hands-on-review-chasing-perfection
Laptops

Dell XPS 13 (New 9300) hands-on review: Chasing perfection

14 Jan 2020