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Don't miss Litan-Singer book: The Need for Speed

Kudos to Robert Litan and Hal Singer for the clarity-of-thought and free market policy wisdom in their new book: “The Need for Speed: A New Framework for Telecommunications Policy for the 21st Century.” Here is the link to the book at Amazon.

  • First, it’s a must read for the FCC.
  • Second, their book is an outstanding intellectual and policy counterweight to Professor Crawford’s very selective use of facts in her book “Captive Audience.”
  • Third, not only is it an important read for American communications policymakers, European policymakers who are handwringing about the “near collapse” of the European mobile industry and how Europe is falling behind America on broadband, could greatly benefit from its free market policy guidance.

Let me briefly spotlight the thrust of some of their policy advice to reform FCC policymaking given the problem of its “excessively broad regulatory powers and unlimited discretion.”

  • Encourage more private investment in fiber networks by: removing obsolete telephone carrier-of-last resort-obligations that undercut the economic return on fiber investment, and revisiting the effective ban on two-sided markets in the FCC Open Internet Order, that functions as a preemptive ban on competition and innovation in Internet business models.
  • Have the FCC show much more restraint in spectrum regulation involving spectrum caps, secondary markets and wireless mergers. (I couldn’t agree more here. The FCC should help clean up the scandalousspectrum waste, fraud and abuse in the Federal Government’s spectrum house before trying to micromanage the private sector’s very efficient use of this critical 21st century resource.)    
  •  Better target universal service subsidies.

In short, Bob and Hal’s new book, “The Need for Speed,” offers sound advice the FCC should heed.