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Call for a new regulatory regime based on consumer needs

04 Sep, 2014

Rick Boucher, founder of the Congressional Internet Caucus, and now chair of the Internet Innovation Alliance, posted an opinion piece in The Hill calling for a change in regulatory approaches.

Today, consumers constantly switch systems, technology and services. Says Boucher, “Regulators should seek a more strategic relationship with service providers that focuses on the core consumer values yet remains responsive to consumer behavior. In this new world, regulators should strive to be persuaders of all participants in the ecosystem rather than commanders of providers.”

For instance, he proposes that the Lifeline program be expanded from subsidizing voice telephony service to broadband. That these programs should include, “...the transfer of consumer eligibility verification from service providers to a government agency, similar to other means-tested programs like food stamps or Medicaid.”

In addition, Boucher said, “Rather than continuing the old approach of requiring wholesale access to existing networks for competitors, imagine a new approach that offers incentives for new competitors to build their own networks. The result is new competition and an overall increase in broadband capacity.”

Read Boucher’s piece here.

Consumers drive change in communications market (The Hill, Sep. 2, 2014)

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