Net Testimony in Hoosierland

On Monday morning I testified before the Indiana Joint Committe on Regulatory Flexibility. Sexy, I know. I was joined by Ray Gifford and John Rutledge of the Progress and Freedom Foundation. Some 30 legislators listened as Rutledge expertly surveyed the global economic scene, with emphasis on energy, telecom, and Asian growth. I described the American technology scene and tried to show how a number of recent events — eBay’s purchase of voice-over-IP provider Skype, Google’s entry into VoIP and even wireless infrastructure, Yahoo!’s invasion of Hollywood, and the CableCos’ and TelCos’ invasions of each other’s businesses — make our already antiquated telecom laws and regulations more useless than ever. Ray Gifford then offered a cogent history of telecom law at Read More ›

Competition and customer service

The companies delivering voice, video and data services rank low in customer satisfaction, reports the Washington Post. Customer service appears to be the primary culprit. The newspaper quotes the following expert opinion: when there is competition and consumer choice, it does get better. Would the cable industry alone have spent almost $100 billion in network upgrades since it was deregulated in 1996 if not to compete against the satellite and phone companies? Competition is here. Customer service may not be as important as it once was, but that’s because customers today can also shop for innovative products and competitive pricing. Gold-plated customer service existed under regulation, when government controlled price and market entry. AT&T emphasized customer service because it was Read More ›

Monopoly, RIP

More evidence of the intense competition selling communications services in the small and medium-sized business market. Finally realizing this, the FCC apparently is about to vote on the elimination of the DSL line-sharing rules that have depressed telecom investment in the U.S.