The Proper Direction for Telecommunications Reform Legislation

Robert W. Crandall
Robert W. Crandall Adjunct Senior Fellow - Technology Policy Institute

December 14, 2004

Presentation at the AEI-Brookings Joint Center conference on “Telecommunications Reform Legislation.”

Almost nine years have passed since the Telecommunications Act of 1996—the first major congressional overhaul of telecommunications law in almost sixty-two years. The provisions concerning competition for local telephone services have been especially controversial and have prompted much litigation. Given the likelihood that Congress will revisit telecommunications legislation in 2005, this conference inaugurates a new series on the future of American telecommunications by asking how Congress should best proceed with reform.

In his presentation, Robert W. Crandall argues that regulators should be required to “open up” the local market through mandated unbundling, allowing entrants an entry toe-hold on the way to facilities-based competition.